There is something about blogging that has brought more joy to my life than I could ever imagine possible. It has given me a purpose beyond belief. But then at the same time, there is something about blogging that has brought a lot of heartache and stress.
Whether it is keeping up with every trend, competing for a campaign, keeping your readers engaged, attracting new ones or staying relevant enough by being interesting, you quickly learn it can be a lot.
Out of all of these stressors though, the one I found to cause the most headache is hands down, Instagram. Recently, because of the new algorithm, Instagram has made it very difficult for bloggers and small business to reach new audiences and gain new followers. Sometimes I find myself stressing more over my Instagram than I do my blog, and that’s where my probably lies. Before I get too far into this though, if you are an Instagram Rock Star who has had tremendous success on their Instagram, without having to have an actual blog or you are someone who does have a blog, but only has to post once or twice a week, then you do you girl friend. You are killing it!!!
While I have had great success with Instagram, it’s still hard for me to not compare myself to other girls. It can be very discouraging.
Starting a blog was my dream. I wanted to inspire, create content and write every single day. I mean, I created and launched LifetoLauren first and then a week later started my Instagram Account. Probably not the smartest business tactic on my part, but I was so involved with starting my blog that the thought of my Instagram came second.
A sweet girl who works at a place I frequent often, told me recently that she had no idea I had a blog! She just thought I was an “Instagram Star”. She had no idea that I poured my heart and soul into an actual website every day.
***Insert dagger to heart***
That right there is the problem with Instagram and, as a blogger, what is disheartening the most.
As someone who puts out content almost 5x a week (on top of having a full-time job), I would be lying if I said it wasn’t discouraging to see girls who do not even have a blog, have so much more success. I know girls who have over 100,000 followers on Instagram and post maybe (I mean, maybe) twice a week. Sometimes even less. It makes you sit back and think “Why am I putting so much work into this? These girls put in half of the hours I do and are doing way better than I am. Why do I even try?”
Especially when it comes to the #bachelornation bloggers. I’m bitter, I’ll admit it (lol)
Anyways, a few weeks ago, I had a total and complete meltdown. To the point where I had one of my lowest moments and almost threw in the towel. That’s until Colton and Dede convinced me not too. They made me think of you guys.
I really had to sit back and remind myself, why I started in the first place. I had to remind myself that I started a blog because I wanted to connect with like minded women. To encourage them, grow with them and grow a community. To have a creative outlet where I could express myself freely. I had to remind myself that I didn’t start a blog to have thousands of followers on Instagram.
With that being said, at the end of the day, Instagram is a great (free) marketing tool that drives people to my blog every single day. It gives the world a small glimpse of what you can expect to see on my site. It’s almost like a mini portfolio. It allows me to reach a new audience that I wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise and instantly shows my style, my brand, and my interests. Also, as much as I hate it, it’s what most brands will look at first before deciding if they want to work with me. While my numbers do matter, I have to remind myself that my numbers do not define me.
I’m sharing this with you all today because I think it is important to let you guys know how I feel. Like I mentioned above, I’ve had a really hard time recently and maybe it’s just the wedding stress (?) but none-less, I really needed to remind myself why I started LifetoLauren. I’m sure you guys would rather read about a new trend, healthy recipe or anything other than me ranting, but I felt like a few of these things needed to be said. Especially since so many of you reading this have blogs of your own and are feeling as discouraged as I am. I also know that a lot of you reading this are girls who want to start a blog of your own. And if that is you, my advice to you is to work on building your blog and your brand. Work on your content and build your community there.
I don’t know if you guys know this or not, but my blog, this little space on the internet I like to call LifetoLauren, is the only thing I actually own. Any day my Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat or even my Pinterest could be taken away from me but my blog is 100% mine.
On top of that, as every current blogger and small business owner will tell you, you cannot rely on Instagram alone. At one point maybe you could, but not anymore. When I first started (two years ago) you easily could have, but since Instagram changed their algorithm, they have made it very hard to grow. Basically, instead of showing you posts in chronological order, Instagram decides what they want you to see. That’s why when you’re scrolling through Instagram, you’ll notice posts from two days ago popping up at the top of your feed. Because of the algorithm, my posts will only reach 10% of my readers on average. Even some of my most favorite bloggers, who inspired me to start my own, are struggling with the new algorithm. Which is super hard to see because I’m like, “How could they be struggling?? They are perfect and everyone should love them as much as I do!” but at the same time, it also lets me know that it’s not just me.
So if you are a blogger, who is struggling because you’re letting Instagram control your happiness, then I encourage you to do what I did. Step back and think about why you started. While I understand Instagram is “king” and this change is causing a huge setback, it also a good learning lesson. It teaches you good business, in that you cannot put all of your eggs in one basket when it comes to marketing. You must diversify and concentrate on the things you actually can control, like your blog.
If you are a reader, who doesn’t have a blog, nor is looking to start one; Or heck, even if you are, idc (lol) I really want to say thank you, thank you for supporting me. Y’all are the reason I didn’t throw in the towel. You guys are the reason why on my “Blogiversary Giveaway”, I didn’t make it about gaining more Instagram followers. I strategically planned it so that a true reader would win.
With all of that being said, while I am not throwing in the towel, nor do I plan on it, I do ask you guys to bear with me on my posting schedule for the next few months up until our wedding.
I will try my hardest to post 5x a week, but if I only make it to three or four, please understand and love me anyway!
If you took the time to read all of this, then you are the real MVP and deserve a gold star (lol) Please know how much I appreciate you.
Any who, I hope you all have a great rest of your week!
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