This one is for my fellow bloggers out there. I’ve recently had a few frustrating situations arise and have noticed some less-than-desirable trends in the blogging industry that I’m sure others have observed as well. Though I’ve felt defeated at times, these instances have reminded me how important it is to stay authentic, honest and in your own lane if you want to succeed (in blogging or anything!) So I put together a list of ways that I retain the authenticity of my Bellezza Corner and how you can too.
Stay in your lane and trust your unique vision
Before starting my blog almost two years ago now, (time flies!) I really didn’t do a ton of reading of other blogs out there. I had about three or four girls that I followed, but a couple of them were even more photo centric fashion blogs. This actually worked out for me and my writing because it prevented me from being influenced too much by others’ ideas or styles of writing.
It’s easy to look at someone else’s work and want to “copy” it because you like it so much, so I try to avoid the temptation altogether, and I limit my blog reading to just a few, preferably on topics outside of my own. This helps me keep my content and voice authentic to me and my vision. I do a fair amount of reading outside of blogs that helps guide my general writing style, but I don’t want to even subconsciously assume someone else’s sense of humor or writing personality by reading too many blogs.
I think it’s important when you’re starting a new blog or if you’re trying to pivot or streamline your existing one, to have a clear vision of what you want your posts to center around and what you want your writing to bring to the table. Once you have this vision, you can just put blinders on and set off on your path. Don’t get distracted by what others are doing. If you have bloggers or writers that you admire, think about what it is that you like about their style and try to bring your own flavor when writing your pieces.
Inauthenticity in writing is pretty easy to spot and quite honestly won’t send the best vibes out because it’s not coming from your heart.
Work hard at cultivating a voice of your own and remember that no one has your exact voice, so you’re already bringing something new to the table just by being you!
For more on maintaining “tunnel vision” see my past Soul Food post HERE.
Comparing yourself to others is a waste of your precious energy!
In the spirit of being you, making comparisons and getting sucked into that awful vortex is a complete waste of your time and energy. In the same way that you can remix the writing style of someone you admire, you can remix, revamp, and twist any aspect of someone you admire to fit your personality.
Try to separate comparing yourself from taking inspiration from others. One will lead you down a negative path and will probably end up making you feel bad about yourself, and the other will cultivate excitement and hope about your own journey. You are free to choose.
Of course we all take inspiration from one another in life, but it’s how you make it your own that matters. Trying to stage a photo exactly like one you saw on Instagram is not being authentic and won’t put out the vibration that you desire to bring about success.
Dr. Seuss expressed this point well when he wrote, “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
Just by virtue of existing, you are a unique person with a specific voice and set of ideas. Trust who you are and show the world wide web the real you by just being yourself!
Quality over quantity
Here’s a biggie in my book: produce quality content and be genuine in your approach and engagement with others. I think I speak for many when I say I’d rather read four quality pieces of writing or see a handful of beautiful photos than 20 superficial, salesy, or poorly-thought-out posts. You can be consistent and have quality behind your work without cranking out posts every single day.
On engagement – there’s nothing worse than someone throwing out a copy and pasted generic comment on your blog post or Instagram photo with the link to their blog below. If you are going to engage with others, I recommend being sincere and thoughtful in your comments and you will most likely see the same level of sincerity in return. I’ve had a lot of success doing this, and have even made some insta friends by genuinely responding to cool content. Again, I’d rather take the time to post 10 authentic comments and mean what I say, than copy and paste 100 “awesome post” comments on random blogs.
If you think people don’t notice insincerity, you are mistaken.
There’s a biiiig issue in the industry right now, particularly as it pertains to Instagram and that is buying followers. I will never be a proponent of doing this, because I do feel that it’s very inauthentic and “wrong” but also because I think quality people and brands will notice.
There are certainly plenty of brands out there that don’t know any better and that don’t even take a peek at engagement rates to notice that someone’s account with 10K followers gets 100 likes on a photo. But that does not mean that other brands won’t notice or that you’re not putting insincere energy out there, which is never a good thing.
Getting followers is often a slow roll, but if you’re committed to expanding your reach and producing high quality content, your social accounts will grow organically.
I also think it’s really important to understand your growth rate and how many people you’re actually reaching. If you fudge the numbers so heavily that that gets lost, you are just cheating yourself.
If you’re just starting out or have a smaller following than you’d like, you can highlight your engagement rate to brands and explain to them why this is important. Also know that smart brands will ask for access to your Google Analytics, which can’t lie.
Honestly really is always the best policy and you can’t “lie” in what you’re putting out in the Universe. If you believe in yourself and your vision, opt for the “long game” and work hard with authenticity behind it and people will notice.
Great advice! Thank you for sharing.
Thank you! 🙂
I would love to “like” this post, but unfortunately I can’t seem to find that button? :/ Oh well… I just wanted to say these are all great tips. I know personally I can’t help comparing my IG-profile or blog to others. I try my best not to, but it’s something I have to work on <3
Aw thank you! (I disabled the “like” feature but I’m so happy you liked it! 😉 ) I know, the IG comparing is definitely easy to fall into. Just keep reminding yourself to stay focused on your own content and catch yourself if you ever stray from that. You got this! 🙂
Great points! Especially that you shouldn’t compare yourself too much to others, that is just a waste of energy and won’t make you feel better! Nice post 🙂
Thank you so much1 I think we’re all a little guilty of that from time to time, but it’s catching yourself and retraining your mind that counts. 🙂
1. You are so lovely! 2.This is such a great post! I really appreciate your authenticity. As you know, you were one of the very first bloggers I reached out to when I was just getting started. The tips that you gave me then were invaluable and got me going on the right foot. The blog sphere is a crowded place and it can be difficult to make your voice heard. But just like anything worth doing- it’s worth doing well. Every single point you’ve listed here is so important. The IG thing is especially true for me. I suck at IG! And it stinks that many brands only look at that one thing- HOWEVER- I feel like that will have to change eventually if they truly want to reach their target audience. As a new blogger, I really enjoy working with smaller brands. Their enthusiasm and willingness to work with me to get the word about their product is contagious. It feels good to be able to help one another. 🙂 Excellent post as always!
Melissa! You are so sweet, this comment made my day! I’m so happy to have had any part in helping you with your blog! And I like working with small brands too. They are very engaging, easy to work with and as you said, excited about collaborating, which is a lot of fun. I think brands are “waking up” slowly to the truth about the IG followers issue, but it’ll be a little while for everyone to see the truth. P.S. you look STUNNING in that photo you posted the other day!! xoxo
Thank you for the advice! Much needed. I was losing my motivation currently and this did help!🙌🏻
Aw thank you for these kind words and I’m so happy to hear that I’ve motivated you in any way! <3
I could relate to so many things and points in your post, I too remember when I first started blogging, it was scary because I knew why I started but when I would look at other bloggers and their engagement, I felt intimidated and began to doubt why I started. I also feel you when you said, you don’t read a lot of other blogs, like you; I try to steer clear of blogs that are sort of like mine because usually the ideas that they write about are things that I thought about and/or was going to write but I stop because I never want people to think I’m trying to copy their message. I’ve learned that it’s better to just be me and write what’s on my heart and when I do that and ignore who’s reading or following as you said, things happen unexpectedly. Great Post and Tips.
Thank you so much! So happy to hear that you could relate! I totally agree. I feel like the “copying” is even possible at a subconscious level, so I try to just limit blog reading as much as possible. Writing (or doing anything) from the heart is always the best way to go! xoxo
Really great advice and I couldn’t agree more about honesty. Your blog is so lovely!
Thank you so much, lovely! <3
Thanks for sharing really love this
Thank you, so happy to hear that. <3
Wow!! I really needed this today! What a powerful post written beatifically! Well done my love!
I completely agree with all of this but the one that rings the most for me is that you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. You could be at the start and looking at someones end game and thats just soul destroying if you fester on it for so long!!
Really enjoyed this, thank you my love xx
Thank you so much!! 🙂 Comparison is definitely a toughy. I slip into it myself too from time to time. Still working on training my mind to stay out of that and stay in my lane! So happy you could relate to my post, thank you for stopping by! 🙂
If you figure out the knack of doing that let me know to 🙂 I think its only natural but to stay away from zoning in on it 100%! It’s a fine line for sure!! Thanks for putting out a great post little lady, as always xxx
Totally agree! Thank you girl for stopping by! <3
Yes, be yourself.
Yes to all of these! Xo
Thanks, girl!! 🙂
Great post! I love your writing.
Thank you so much, that’s so sweet and I really appreciate the feedback. <3
Great post! I love your writing
Very insightful and straight to the point!
Thank you very much! 🙂
Another great post and great advice!! I’d only really read one or two blogs before I started blogging and feel like my ideas came much more easily then. I’ve been reading a lot of blogs recently because of linkies but I do agree that taking a step back will help me to re-affirm my own voice. Maybe one week reading and linking, then another week creating content is the way to do it? Thanks again xx
That’s a great idea, just taking some time away from reading. It’s definitely fun to read around but I think we can do a lot subconsciously without realizing it so it can be “dangerous”. Thank you, girl! <3
Great advice! I would rather have 10 followers that actually care about my posts and interests rather than 1000 fake followers!
For sure! Keep doing you, girl! <3
I absolutely love this post! As someone that has only just started blogging and is very conscious of knowing the best way to put across my views without accidentally soaking up other styles, this post has really provided much needed advice.
I love that you have clearly stayed very true to yourself and I hope I can do the same 💜
Thank you so much for your kind words, I really appreciate the feedback. Keep doing you girl! 🙂
This was written so well! Really helpful post. I used to get overwhelmed by not having posted for more than 5 days etc. but now I just stick to what I CAN put out there and keep the quality of my posts, rather than quantity. Otherwise I’ll just drive myself insane.
Thank you so much!! Me too, I used to try and post so regularly on social media and my blog and it can just become forced that way. Not worth it!
This advice is right on time for me. Thanks!
Aw so happy to hear that! Thanks, girl! 🙂
This is such a great post. I could have written this myself (although maybe not as well). You touch on things that I have been thinking about for a couple of months now even though I’m a new blogger. Dishonesty and incencerity in writing blogs or posting and engaging on Instagram. Quality always beats quantity for me and like you say I would rather read or see 4 good blogs or posts than 20 bad ones because people feel the need to put out posts every Thursday like clockwork. I’m so glad you put it out there. But I know it wouldn’t have taken me long to write about it. I left 2 FB groups last night because of this. I don’t regret leaving. I don’t get many views on my blog, but for now I’ll just write for me. Thank you for writing this. It needed to be said. I shared all over FB. Lol.
Thank you so much for all your kind words! I’m so happy to hear that this resonated with you, as I was just itching to get it out! Thank you for all the FB love too! <3
Love this post!
Thank you! <3
Couldn’t agree anymore! What a great post! For me blogging is a hobby and a passion, I don’t have many followers and I mainly write for myself but that’s okay because it makes me happy!
Stay true to yourself that’s all that matters!
Great read, thank you 😌🌸💕
That’s awesome! You should be doing it if it makes you happy and that’s so great that you’re just being true to you! <3 Thank you for the kind words and for stopping by! 🙂
So true! This was a great post! By the way, I love your “CIAO” shirt!
I really appreciated this post, and it’s sort of stayed in my mind for a while now, as did your SEO post, both of which are really generous with information and advice. I find it can be a little challenging at times trying to balance what you feel has value for others with what is personally interesting.You’re right I think to try to ‘stay in your lane’ and remember that we each have something unique to offer.
Thank you so much for saying that, it means a lot to me that my posts resonated with you in some way. 🙂 That’s definitely a balancing act. I find that when something is interesting to me that there’s a decent chance it’s interesting for some other people too so I try to always go off of something I truly care to talk/write about. <3
Not sure how I found you but glad I did! This is just what a beginner blogger like me needs to read!! XO
Aw thank you girl! I’m so happy to have helped at all! 🙂
I love your blog, your content and your pictures! I was wondering if you’d be able to make a post on if and/or how you monetize your blog? That would really help me! I’ve tried starting multiple blogs and it’s really fun, but I never can keep inspiration to keep going..
That’s an interesting idea, I should do a full post on that, thank you for the suggestion! Currently I make more money actually over on my Instagram, but find a lot of people and have a lot of engagement here on my blog!