To all the other bloggers reading this, I am sure you guys will back me up when I say: blogging is difficult, and time-consuming, and hard work. And I am not sure if I find it hard because I am still reasonably new to the blog-verse, but nevertheless, I don’t think any amount of YouTube clips or articles on ‘How to Become a Blogger’ could have adequately prepared me for what lay ahead.
Almost three months have passed since I created Olive & Clo. And I honestly cannot explain to you just how much I have grown as a content creator. Every single week has bought with it new challenges, with some learning curves so steep that the sheer thought threatened to completely overwhelm. And I doubt I would be sitting here writing this post today if I hadn’t fallen so utterly in love with blogging.
So today, I thought I would share with you some of the unsexy truths involved with being a novice blogger. And since no post is complete without an exhaustive gallery of photos, here are some snaps from an afternoon spent bathing in the picturesque views of Maroubra Beach, a breathtaking suburb located in Sydney, New South Wales.
Unsexy Truth #1:
Every Outing is a Blogging Opportunity.
Literally everything. But this point is probably more relevant to the fashion and travel bloggers of the world. Gone were the days where I could simply step out of my door in a coffee stained t-shirt with bed hair, sleep in my eyes, no makeup and no camera. And it doesn’t matter where I am headed for the day. It can be to the local markets, or the beach, if the lighting is good and I am dressed semi-decent, my eyes will immediately spot an opportunity to create content. Which is fantastic, because finding something to photograph or write about can be inspired by a simple drive around my local suburb.
However, this mentality also tends to add an element of pressure to what would otherwise be a lovely, stress-free day out. And I would be lying to you if I said that my desire to capture the perfect photograph had not caused my fiancé an extensive amount of grief over the past few weekends. Because it has. And I have been such a terrible partner to allow my ambition to detrimentally affect my relationship like that. I have since parked my impossible expectations, not only for the health of my relationship but because blogging will only remain something that I like to do for as long as it continues to be positive, and stress-free.
Unsexy Truth #2:
Your Blog Will be Limited by Your Financial Situation.
I’m just going to throw this out on the table. Not only do Rhett and I have a mortgage, but we are also saving for a large (and yes, arguably excessive) December wedding. As much as I would love to sink every single dollar that I have into a new theme, or new products for Olive & Clo, I just don’t have the financial capacity to do so. And I am not going to lie, my financial barrier is a weekly sore point for me. Because I want to. I want to invest in my blog. I want to consistently deliver new content. But I simply can’t.
And you know what, I am starting to come to terms with that. Like I said, Olive & Clo is only 3 months old. I need to stop trying to keep up with the joneses, and definitely stop comparing myself to others. To hold myself to such impossible standards is a sure-fire way of setting myself up for failure. So, I’ve simply stopped doing so. And that’s all I am willing to say on this front. Because let’s face it. This ‘unsexy truth’ is such a #firstworldproblem, that I would be disappointed in myself if I indulged on it any further.
Unsexy Truth #3:
Public Photoshoots are Uncomfortable.
L*rd-all-mighty, is it just me, or is this still a taboo, deer-in-head-lights sort of activity? Because every time my partner is seen taking photos of me in any sort of ‘public’ area, we tend to attract the most awkward stares and at times, smart-mouthed comments. This problem might just be isolated to Australia (blogging is not as prevalent as it seems to be in other countries) but nevertheless, it does make for quite the awkward experience.
But in saying that, I have not yet felt discouraged by the curious stares or negative words. It has almost felt like water off a ducks back. Well, for me personally anyway.
If anybody out there has ever felt hindered by this ..odd experience, just remember that you are investing time, and dedication, and hard-work into something you are passionate about. I doubt many people are able to say the same thing.
Unsexy Truth #4:
Marketing and Social Media Can be Painful.
Ugh. One thing about blogging that I could ..do without has to do with marketing and social media. The two fundamental pillars that are intrinsic to the success or failure of just about any blog. I can’t say that I enjoy any of the two one single bit. In fact, my sluggish growth rate is probably attributable to my lack of social media presence. And that is definitely to my own detriment.
But in my defence, just creating Olive & Clo and exposing a little piece of me to the world wide web has already taken a monstrous amount of courage on my behalf. But it requires an entirely different level of courage (a level that I am not sure I am ready for) to push myself onto my readers and ‘market’ myself. I wish I could tell you that I have gone gung-ho on all social media platforms. But I would be lying. Regardless, this is something that I am committed to working on.
Unsexy Truth #5:
Time Can Be Hard to Come by.
As I juggle this blog around a full-time job and other responsibilities, capturing ‘moments’ and ‘outfits’ tends to not happen as organically as you might think. A large amount of my weekends are now devoted to creating content for the week ahead, brainstorming new ideas and just ..learning how to take a decent photograph. And depending on what life decides to throw my way, managing all of the above only tends to increase in difficulty. For instance, the last fortnight alone saw me lose: an entire long weekend to visiting in-laws, 3 week days to a business trips and a 2nd weekend gone to an impromptu interstate visit. Somehow, probably out of sheer relentlessness, I managed to adhere to my blogging schedule.
But despite the difficulties that can come with juggling a hobby and managing the day-to-day stresses of life, I can truthfully say that I have enjoyed my experience thus far. Because without Olive & Clo, I wouldn’t know what I know today about marketing, and photography, and writing. And Rhett and I certainly wouldn’t have found ourselves exploring the Sydney Opera House last Sunday morning, nor would we have gone out of our way to visit the old mining wharf at Catherine Hill Bay, or visit Caves Beach at sunset.
I hope you guys enjoyed yet another installment of my ramblings. Any fellow bloggers out there that have experienced the same ..oddities that I have, please feel free to leave a comment down below, I would love to hear your takeaways on being a ‘blogger’.
Until next time, stay safe.