I’m sitting here dreaming of mince pies – ya know, the ones with icing on top? Oh god they are my absolute faves. I’m also thinking about the year that’s gone, before the mince pie haze and Chrimbo festivities take over my life. It’s just a tiny moment of reflection of another year done and I’m dragging you along for the ride.
Wanna know what I’ve learned this year? Clearly not the ability to differentiate between learned and learnt…I’m not even gonna try.
I could write about how it’s been a busy year and I’m overwhelmed by all of the support (truth) yaddah yaddah yaddah but there’s a drink with my name on it in the kitchen and I’m not allowed to use the MAC whilst drinking hot beverages. So let’s get on with it.
Here they are – the lessons loved and learned (learnt??) from a year behind my favourite Instagram filter.
Oh GOD I hope it’s “learned”…
- How to have a gracious loser face. I got good at this after being nominated for a raft of blogging / social media / general-bitching-about-life awards and then not winning. It’s always an honour to be up for an award and let’s face it – we ALL want to win it. But I didn’t win so instead I got really good at my exuberant ‘clapping and over-excited smiling with a big, wide mouth’ kind of thing. I was genuinely pleased for the lovely winners and I didn’t really expect to win (liar) but it still stung a tinsy little bit. Hey ho, there’s always next year right?
- How to have a winning “who me?!” winners face. Only because I practiced in the mirror a lot. Turns out I didn’t really need it…
- You don’t have to be perfect to be good at what you do. Neither do you have to be happy, smiley and Disney-fied to build an audience. If you are pinker and more sugary than a sugar mouse then that’s all dandy. Go ahead and spread that sugar. Despite being a lover of pink (stating the obvious) I’m way more sarcasm, real life and ranty than sugary or sweet and as soon as I stopped trying to be like the people I perceived to be popular and I started doing my own thing – well whatta ya know? Here we are beauts.
- How to drown out the noise. Everyone has an opinion and I became so bewildered with all of the advice about blogging and making a success that it nearly killed my blog. Because guess what? Just because one thing works for one blogger, doesn’t mean it will work for you and for every opinion declared as a fact, there will be an opposite one right around the corner. Listening to all of this advice will just leave you spinning in circles of blogging doom chasing your literary tail. The irony is I’m now about to despatch some more advice (lols)… buuuut using common sense and sticking to what I believe in has been the only thing that has worked for me my loves. Sooo then… to summarise (never really been my thing) drowning out the noise in
forums of despairFacebook groups has been a very valuable lesson learned.
- Flat lays are weird and pointless albeit bootiful. Seriously though, what is the point of a flat lay? As my mum who lives in the real world exclaimed “what on earth even IS a flat lay Fiona?!” and you know why? Because they have no relevance or bearing on real life. Apart from making inanimate objects that don’t belong together look pretty. Which is something to consider I’ll admit.
- Don’t work with brands unless you love them and emit high-pitched squeals of excitement when their emails pop into your inbox. I will only work only with brands I love anyway but this has been big news this year. There’s been LOTS of criticism from the public against “influencers” who seemingly peddle anything for a quick plastic fiver and consumers feeling cheated by their faves promoting things that are just piles of poo. Now then, if blogging is your biz, then it’s not as cut and dry as all that. For some, it can feel like a tough call whether they accept that hidden bingo link in their posts for mucho-moola when they don’t know how they’re going to make the mortgage payments. I mean, kids gotta eat, shoes gotta be bought and all that jazz. I get it, I really do but for me PERSONALLY I decided I just won’t work with brands who I don’t love anyway. I’m gonna level with you, because I did work with a brand like this once over the summer and then I spent the whole summer trying to think up creative content that quite frankly I couldn’t have given a crap about. I feel dirty just thinking about it and I swore that once the contract was done, I was NEVER doing this again. I’d rather work in my office job and pay the bills that way until Chanel comes a-calling…
- Curate don’t curate. Whatcha want to see – a dark, grainy, blurry shot of “real life” or something bright, clear and slightly more advertorial. Yeah. Exactly. Being real doesn’t equate to be really rubbish. A glossy, high quality camera shot is always going to win for both brand and reader. It doesn’t make it fake – it just means you’ve put the effort in. And that is a-ok.
Ok, I know I said there were seven things but I thought of another one and it’s a biggie…
THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ME AS A BLOGGER AND ME AS A READER
Other than perhaps the 1122 selfies in my phone camera I mean.
Soooo…after another year of blogging, writing, hustling and caring about my content it has finally hit home that I don’t actually need a brand strategy, I don’t need a business plan and I don’t need to have anything other than my ability to type really, freakishly fast.
So essentially, although I am a tad wiser *snorts* and I have a few more selfie-taking skills, I am right back where I started in 2016 – a mum, still sharing her life, loves and shopping problems with her online besties and switching in and out of the third person a bit too much.
Anyway enough from me – it’s mince pie time and I want to catch up on the new series of Scandal.