7 Harsh Realities of Blogging + Social Media

Savannah + I have recently-ish joined several blogging Facebook groups. Boy have they been eye-opening. I have learned a lot and have gained followers from interacting with the groups, so that's cool. BUT I've seen another side of blogging that you don't see anywhere else.

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Many girls share their biggest struggles with blogging + social media on these groups. A lot of these girls want to know how to grow quickly and how to make money as a an influencer/blogger. Some of the girls in these groups will share their disappointments + frustrations when things aren't moving along as quickly as they'd like. Savannah + I totally understand that, but there are some harsh realities out there that I wish I could prepare all new bloggers/influencers for.

1. Not everyone is not cut out for this life. Some days I wonder if I am. Savannah + I both have pretty thick skin, but this influencer/social media world will get to you. And I'd like to tell you that blogging isn't personal and when someone unfollows you on Instagram that it's not personal. But unfortunately it oftentimes is.

The reality is- when you put yourself out there for public opinion, some people aren't going to like you and/or your content. When IG stories came out, I unfollowed so many people whose pictures I loved but whose personalities I didn't. Decide if you can handle this.

2. Not everyone is going to make it. There are a zillion people trying to make it in the blogging/Instagram/YouTube world and a lot of them don't have the talent or patience for it. I notice a lot of girls who just like the idea of taking pictures of themselves and getting free stuff + making money for it. I think a large portion of girls get into this world for that very reason.

The truth of the matter is that those things do not come easy. You have to be different, and you have to add value to your readers/followers. You have to have something to offer people. Very few people make it by just taking pictures of themselves.
3. No one owes us anything-in life and in the social media space. I don't think anyone is knowingly entitled but a lot of the things I hear people complain about come from a place of entitlement. The truth is, Instagram doesn't owe anyone a following.. Just because I post a picture, doesn't mean it deserves any likes or reach. Your content has to be worthy of likes, engagement, and followers.

4. Brands really don't care about you. This may sound like the harshest reality of them all, but it's just a fact of this life. Brands will work with you for one of two reasons- they are interested in your following or your content. It's not that they don't care about you as a person perse, it's just that they are only interested in what you can provide them.

But think of it like this- working with brands is a business transaction. When you are dealing with money, your talent and what you can provide a brand is what matters more than anything, and it's they only thing that they should even consider. You don't just get a job because you have a good personality. You have to be able to deliver results.

I see people in these blogger Facebook groups that are so frustrated that brands aren't reaching out to them, but they create 'bleh' content and don't have a large following. You can absolutely land some decent brand deals without having a massive following but your content needs to be AMAZING. That is the ONLY reason a brand will work with you before have a large following.

Brands do reach out to people with small followings but they usually want you to do content for them for free or to not pay you much. Some even try to convince newbies to buy their product at a discount and promote them. Brand deals that are worth your time will come when you have a decent following and/or you content is strong.

5. It takes time. This may be the hardest one to deal with. I think it's easy to see influencers getting all these free products being sent to them and getting all these brand deals and to think it came quickly and easily. A very small teeny tiny portion of influencers become successful overnight. There are lots of people selling classes on how they made it big in 6 months, and I've never read any of those so I can't speak to whether or not they are true.

9 times out of 10 when something seems too good to be true, it is. Think of starting out as a blogger as starting a new job in corporate America. Some people move up the ladder quickly, some people quit, and some people stick it out but move up slowly. The influencer world isn't much different. In a way, your followers are your boss. Be patient and do the work. Success in the influencer world doesn't come quickly or without many struggles.

6. Your lack of success is no one else's fault. Thinking differently is your #1 way to fail. You aren't growing because of something you are or aren't doing. Period. There isn't a nice way around that. The Instagram algorithm isn't a punishment. When your picture doesn't get a lot of likes, that is not IG's fault. That's your pictures fault. It wasn't good enough. Period.

If your blog growth is stagnant, then you aren't promoting it the right way or your content isn't good enough. The sooner that you can realize that the success of your blog/social media is completely on you, the sooner you can figure out how to be successful.

7. You can't trust everyone. Some influencers + brands lie. It sucks, but just like any industry, there are dishonest people everywhere. People will steal your ideas and post them as their own. Influencers can be catty. And as previously mentioned, brands are only looking out for themselves. But you can't spend too much time thinking about what other people are doing. You have to think about yourself and your integrity.

When you are 100% truthful and run your business ethically, then you have nothing to hide. So try not to get too caught up in the shady stuff other people are doing. This is the hardest advice for me. I can get so bogged down in people who I know are being dishonest. Maybe they'll get caught. Maybe they won't. But again. you won't help yourself any by getting caught up in other people's dishonesty.

At the end of the day, you have to think about all these things and decide if this is the business you want to be in. The most important thing you should take away from this post is that this business is real life work. It can be a hobby, but if you want it to be your full-time job you have to treat it just like any other job. Know the risks, find your place and work hard!

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- Casey

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