Wednesday, 21 February 2018

8 Years of Blogging


I can't quite believe it, but today marks eight whole years of blogging. Wowzas.

I never thought when I first started this blog back in 2010 that I'd still be doing it today. It was a fleeting thing, definitely just a hobby I did on weekends and during reading weeks at uni. Now it's evolved into so much more, and I couldn't be more thankful.

I started this blog way back when because it was my life-long dream to be a journalist, and I knew the one sure-fire way to get my writing out there would be to set up my own space on the internet. Nobody told me to do it, it wasn't advised by my lecturers or anything like that, I just somehow stumbled into the world of Blogspot one day and loved what I found.

I fell in love with the words and pictures of bloggers like Milly, Anna, Louise, Lily and Zoe, and entered a whole new world - the blogosphere.

Back then it was a whole different ball game to what it is now - then, it was almost like a secret club, something nobody really knew about, and everyone within it was the best of friends - constantly commenting on each other's posts, sending each other supportive tweets and giving each other cute little made-up "awards". It was honestly the nicest community I've ever been a part of.

That's not to say that it isn't now, but boy, have things changed. Now blogging is this mainstream thing that everyone and their mother is doing, and, well, it doesn't feel quite as special as it did to me back then. It's fiercely competitive, over-saturated some might say, and brands are all over it. More and more bloggers are doing it full-time and sometimes it feels as though we're all fighting for collaborations, likes and followers.

There's so much more pressure to blogging now, and comparison is something that affects us all. It's crazy to think that I never compared myself to other bloggers back then - I just focused on doing my own thing, and enjoyed the ride. Now I'm thinking about how I can grow my Instagram, why my blog posts aren't getting commented on, how many likes my latest tweet got. It's crazy.

I went through some of my first blog posts last night and it really made me miss the carefree nature of blogging back then. I had no fancy equipment, no real plan or agenda when it came to posts, I just took pictures when I wanted and posted when I wanted. Now I have to think about props, backgrounds, lighting, when would be the best time to post, how much time have I got to edit that photo... the list goes on.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love it, but I do miss the days it was a whole lot simpler. Back then, however, I rarely earned money from my blog, whereas now it's a big source of my income. I think that's where the real difference in blogging came about - when it evolved from being something we did as a hobby, to an actual career. A job.

And honestly, I do think we should be so thankful that something we all enjoyed doing for the fun of it has become so much more. Bloggers are travelling the world with incredible brands, being involved in television adverts and even seen on the shelves in your local Boots and Superdrug. It's crazy how much it has evolved when you think about it.

Sometimes I get a bit down, and think about how back then I felt like a big fish in a small pond, and now the roles have reversed. But then I think about everything I've achieved, and all the opportunities I've been given, and it makes me so happy and proud of myself. I've worked with some incredible brands and got to go to amazing events. I've got jobs I would never have been able to get without my blog. I've even been featured in magazines and on the websites of huge brands.

Sometimes, though,  I feel like over the past few years that has fizzled out a bit. I haven't been as focused on my blog because I've felt a bit like I simply can't compare to everyone else out there, so what's the point in trying. I shouldn't see the mainstream side of blogging as a problem though, I should see it as an opportunity. A chance to give it my all once again and see where it takes me.

So, here we are, eight years later and so much has changed. I got a degree, moved in with my boyfriend, got a dog (although that happened in the first year of blogging), got the journalist job I always wanted and then my blog turned into my job. I only hope it can get bigger and better from here on out. I love blogging, and I hope I'll spend my life doing it. Here's to the next eight years!
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