For a couple of months now, a certain subject has been brewing in my mind, one that I wasn’t sure that I should leave firmly there in my mind or one I should, y’know, have a chat about on Musings & More. But here we are.
There are 2 million blog posts written daily. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how the blogging world is bloody massive and how easy it is to feel like a small fish in a big pond. There is one thing that I think is crucially important in all this though. Whether you’re a brand-spankin’ new blogger or one who’s been doing this for a good while now. And that, my friends – wait for the trumpets – is to be yourself. Yep, it’s as simple (and hella corny) as that.
Because let’s be honest, there are a lot of people out there who just aren’t doing that. There are those bloggers that are emulating other bloggers who – most of the time – they want to replicate the success of. But what you need to remember is that you probably haven’t witnessed their journey to get to that point. Nobody is instantly a success – it’s something that you have to work bloody hard at. I’m pretty damn sure that all of us have experienced the frustrations of being a blogger. When you put so much work into crafting a thought-provoking post alongside incredible photos only for it to not really been seen by anyone. For nobody to care. Yep, we’ve all been there. Even your favourite blogger whose blog you visit week after week. The thing is, they didn’t get to where they are by being like someone else. They got there by being themselves.
Because you, yes you reading this, are pretty bloody marvellous. You might not feel like it, but your thoughts and feelings, your quirks and your habits, are what make you stand out from the girl next to you. Believe it or not, no single person is the same. You can have similarities to your best mate, sure, but there will be more than makes you different than that makes you the same. And it is all that makes you different that you should put channelling through your content. Because replicating someone else will only get you so far.
I’m not talking lifting full posts from another blogger and claiming them as your own (don’t even get me started on that one…). What I’m talking about is copying someone’s style of writing when it’s not your own or even the way they take their photos. It makes me really sad to think of someone reading another blogger’s work and abandoning how they would produce their blog naturally and authentically because things just aren’t going the ways they want it to right now. It’s worth remembering that the reason it’s working for someone else is because it’s them. They have managed to put their personality into their blogs and yes, there will be people who don’t enjoy that personality but it’s not those people that you need to care about. It’s the people who read your blog post and enjoy your tone and style of writing and come back for more.
And don’t get me wrong about the photos, we’re all guilty copious amounts of flat lays and those shots of hands carefully curled around tea amongst flowers and books. But the difference is not just choosing to take a photo a certain way because you’ve seen it work for someone else before (and receive lots of engagement) but choosing to take a photo using your own initiative and creativity. Sure, take inspiration from others – who doesn’t? Just don’t let someone else be what defines you.
It’s worth remembering that there is a huge difference between inspiration and imitation. We’re all inspired by various different things from fashion to Instagram, blog content to holiday destinations. And that’s fine – good even when you’re struggling or facing a mental block. It can be just what you need to flare your creativity. But it’s when you start copying someone else and how they do things that it becomes a problem. And not just because it’s completely unfair to them (trust me – I’ve been there very recently) but because you’re doing yourself an injustice. I truly believe it will get you nowhere in the grand scheme of things.
I’m not naive enough to say that simply being yourself is all you need to succeed. What I’m trying to get is that you will go through a journey as a blogger but it is the growing and learning as you go that is not only important to experience but completely necessary. And if you are doing it authentically rather than copying someone else (because that’s not growing fyi) – you will see results. And it will mean so much more because you did on your own merits.