Over the past few months bloggers and vloggers have achieved some truly incredible things; book deals, magazine shoots and makeup lines to name but a few, however they’ve also received some pretty harsh criticism. But it’s not even the big articles that really worry me (the press will always hop on the latest ‘story’), it’s the eye roll that so many people now do when the word ‘blogger’ is mentioned. Even some family and friends, who know very little of this crazy online world that we’re a part of, are starting to take ‘blogger’ as another word for ‘makeup fan who got lucky and now gets free stuff’. The truth is there is so so much more to it than that. Zoella and Tanya Burr I most certainly am not and never will be, but blogging has still changed my life in the best possible way. It’s for that reason I wanted to bring blogger conversation back down from the pound signs and public appearances to why blogging is such an amazing thing for girls and guys to be doing in their spare time no matter how ‘big’ their platforms become.
I decided to start what was then called ‘Meg’s Budget Boutique’, because it was the Summer after my first year of uni and (let’s be honest) I had too much time on my hands and not enough self-control in Boots, so wanted to do something productive about those predicaments. Some people spend their time playing sport or creating music and the hobby of beauty/fashion blogging is no less wholesome. In fact it combines writing, reading, photography, videography, computing, and design as well as some cracking makeup application and fashion styling. Considering other hobbies are so heavily encouraged, it is baffling when people complain that ‘everybody and their dog’ now has a blog and are annoyed by people ‘jumping on the bandwagon’ when it’s such a positive wagon to be part of!
Blogging should first and foremost be fun, but you do happen to pick up some excellent skills along the way which far surpass the amount gained jumping through hoops for certain qualifications. By setting up a blog/YouTube channel, creating content for it, running all the additional social channels that go alongside it and liaising with PR’s/other bloggers, you develop not only the obvious things like English, photography and social media skills, but also serious dedication, organisation, time management and business relations. It’s hard work, especially when you balance it with a degree or full time job, which is why getting those blog posts and videos up is no mean feat and luck can only get you so far.
You start a blog to share your passions with likeminded people, but for many it also leads to dream jobs in a way qualifications alone never could. Obviously there are now many people who can turn to blogging full time and instead of people giving them jip for not having a ‘real job’, their risk taking and entrepreneurial talent needs to be admired and celebrated. Then there are the much lower profile cases like my own, where my blog and other social channels not only made me realise exactly what I wanted to do in life but also helped to secure work experience, then an internship and finally my current role as Social Media Coordinator for feelunique which I absolutely adore. So many girls can now go into roles previously inaccessible to them thanks to blogging and that is bloomin’ marvellous news.
As a former theatre student, I’ve never exactly been a shy and retiring wall flower, but I did struggle to stand up for myself when it came to comments from the classic mean girls in life and have always had inhibitions about my girly voice and crazy hair. Then blogging came along and that completely changed. Of course there’s always going to be some ridiculous trolls, but the support and love you get from day one as a blogger from other young girls is totally heart warming and enough to get you over the biggest personal struggles. You also end up going to events across the country alone, which makes you one seriously social cookie, no longer afraid of mingling and being first to Instagram the cupcake stand.
THE FRIENDSHIP THING
Pretty much every blogger will walk into those aforementioned events and come out with a list of Twitter handles or numbers that eventually turn into real life friends. I have met the most wonderful people through blogging and was lucky enough to have tea and cake with a lot of them last year- there's even a whole weekend put aside in my diary so I can go and stay with Kayleigh later this month. People have asked before why bloggers help each other, because surely they are rivals, but the brilliant thing about bloggers is that they’re stronger together and have created a really amazing community, which I for one am so proud to be a tiny little part of.