I feel like being a blogger and promoting yourself online are things that come hand in hand – it’s really difficult to get people to read your work without letting them know it exists. Believe me, I’ve tried. It is really daunting though, and although I now mindlessly tweet about my blog and all the behind the scenes jargon, a few years ago I never would’ve thought I’d be in that position. It’s difficult to put yourself out there like that, even though you are somewhat masked by the fact it’s all online and you can easily switch off your device if you’re worried about the initial judgement. I’m finally at a stage where I feel confident with my blog and my work, so I’m significantly less worried about any sort of judgement than I was when I was first starting out. The support I get outweighs any of that.
Something that took me literally months to work up the courage to do was share my blog somewhere filled exclusively with people I know – Facebook. It’s not the platform that I find the most useful in terms of driving traffic to my blog, but I always felt like I should be using it and promoting myself on there. I find it so much easier now that I work in a more professional environment; my colleagues now are far less likely to judge me on writing a blog than my retail colleagues were. Plus, my job now is much more related to blogging and social media than any of my previous jobs were – my blog got me this job and that made me realise that it’s not something I should be keeping a secret. I remember speaking to a lot of people on Twitter when I had just started out with blogging about this fear of sharing your blog on Facebook – it is definitely a universal feeling within the blogging community. It’s always going to be there, because there’s always going to be people out there that, for some reason, have a problem with things that you do. Not everyone is going to be supportive, that’s why you need to surround yourself with the people that raise you up instead of trying to tear you down.
Every now and then I still have moments where I think about all the people from school that follow me on Twitter and probably hate the fact that I’m all blogging all the time, but then I just take a step back and think, why does it matter? I’m never going to see them again, they didn’t have, nor do they have, any sort of impact on my life. It doesn’t matter that my scheduled tweets promoting myself and my blog annoy them. I’m ridiculously proud of everything I’ve created, and if I didn’t schedule tweets, it’s likely that far fewer people would see them. Scheduling tweets seems to be a bit of a grey area in blogging – it’s a 50/50 split between people that do it, and people that don’t. I personally feel that the benefits of scheduling tweets are endless, and I love seeing other people’s scheduled tweets. Mostly because it’s like, waheyy get that self promo!! and also because I’m not on Twitter 24/7, nobody is, so we miss a lot of fresh content being uploaded. I also don’t click on every blogger that pops up on my timeline and go to check their blog for new content. Scheduled tweets really help me keep up to date with some amazing creators, and they also help me find new ones. Twitter is the first port of call for most people to find new posts to read, and I’m not trying to tell you to schedule tweets but I think it’s definitely something to think about.
You’d be surprised by the amount of opportunities that come your way from being completely candid and promoting the shit out of yourself online. I’ve had multiple blogs over the years, but none of them have been anywhere near as successful as Loulabellerose is, and I would say that’s almost all down to self promotion. I’ve been to some really cool events and worked with some really cool brands – stuff that 14 year old Lauren dreamed of but couldn’t achieve because she was too scared to really put herself out there. This stuff makes it a lot easier to promote yourself too; the more cool stuff you do and work on, the more you want to share it. I don’t want to come across as ungrateful or materialistic in any way, but if anyone were to judge me on my blog now, I’d probably just be like “okay well I met a famous designer at a Debenhams event and I create content for eBay. What are you doing?” I finally have that confidence in myself that I’ve dreamed of having for years, and I am extremely proud of myself for getting there.
It’s not an easy path, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a lot of wobbly moments over the years where I’m like “why am I doing this?” and just felt like deleting my blog and doing nothing with my time again because it was easier than exposing myself completely online, but I got past it. I really do believe that everyone should be proud of themselves for what they create and everyone should have the confidence to share it, but it’s not that simple and I absolutely appreciate that. I still don’t share as much on Facebook as I’d maybe like to, because the fear of being judged is always there. And that’s okay – I have other platforms where I feel more comfortable. It’s all about working out what’s best for you and getting your voice heard in a way that still represents you as a person. You can schedule a hundred tweets and post a hundred times on Facebook, but what matters is that you maintain that individuality because that is where your confidence really is.
How do you feel about sharing your blog online?