Hey Everyone! I am back after taking a little bit of time off from my blog to regroup and re-evaluate this passion project of mine. First things first, there have been a lot of changes to Instagram recently which has made it incredibly hard for struggling bloggers like myself to really gain any kind of momentum. They have made it nearly impossible to really gain any kind of new traffic due to these new algorithms they have put into affect. You might be asking…what does this mean? Well I will explain.
Say, I post at 3pm today. In the past if you followed me, posts would be in chronological order, so if you happened to be on Instagram at that moment, my post would be at the top of your feed. However, this isn’t the case anymore. Now it is based on popularity and the number of followers you have on IG. So if someone you follow has a larger reach with 50k+ followers for example and they posted the night before at 8pm…that is who you will be seeing first almost every single time. So in the IG world, us bloggers use tools such as hashtags to garner traffic to our profile. Popular ones such as #fashionblogger, #styleblogger, #instastyle and #instafashion used to be useful until they became redundantly used and us lesser known bloggers got lost in the mix. So then, we decided to get more creative and use more specific hashtags that represented our style and aesthetic more. For example, I consider my style to be more #bohochic, but then IG caught onto that and started “shadow banning” users for overusing hashtags and blocking our content from being seen by anyone outside our follower circle. So as you can imagine, it has been overly frustrating. In the blogger world, we are constantly brainstorming new strategies to succeed and it’s become somewhat of a rat race to not fall behind. So I got exhausted and took a bit of a break. I asked myself, how can someone be doing this for 4 years and not have over x amount of followers? Obviously my plan has always been to build a platform that brands would be drawn to then offer collaborations, but with so few followers, it has been a struggle. I value authenticity, so I have never given in to going the route of paying for followers, because I think it is unfair and misleading but I have seen others succeed this way which of course is disappointing. And due to IG’s algorithms, this technique slides through the cracks.
On a positive note, a lot of us have support systems called engagement groups that are made up of fellow bloggers who keep us sane, inspired and motivated. SHOUT OUT TO MY GIRLS! You all know who you are! They are really the glue that holds me together at times and a huge positive that has come out of this experience. It is so wonderful to be in a group of women where we all support and lift each other up. We are all in this together and are continuously networking and doing all that we can to get our content out there. So I know that I am not alone in this struggle.
So, when I took a moment to ask myself why am I still blogging this time, the answer was simple. It gives me joy. It’s my own little niche that takes me away from this crazy world we live in. It’s a place where I can be fun and use the creativity that really isn’t utilized in my every day job. Sidenote: I work in tv news on the technical side of production…so for a person who loves to be innovative and imaginative, my job doesn’t require much of that.
I have always been a creative soul with this built -in internal idea generator. As a child, I used to play “fashion designer” with my friends which consisted of a box of newspaper advertisment clippings that I would piece together to style outfits for my friends. My parents would also get me the old retired pattern books from the fabric stores for use too! During my teenage years, I used to dress my sister up in my outfits, do her makeup and conduct photoshoots. She didn’t really care for that as much as I did, but I lived for it. When I was a RA in college, my residents would borrow my clothes and ask me to do their hair and makeup and I gladly obliged. I have always had an eye for style and people have always noticed. I still get asked why didn’t I go the traditional route and go to fashion school, but to be quite honest, I am glad that I didn’t. I have heard so many stories about how the industry has turned people away and I’m not quite sure I could have handled that.
I instead went the journalism route with an aspiration to be in front of the camera which may have not happened yet, but I know I still have time. I was unwilling to move to somewhere in East Bumbafudge, Montana to jumpstart a career in local news which lead me to applying to several stations in California. It was my dream at 22 to move to the West Coast but plans fell through. So I was young back then with little to no experience, but I persevered and it wasn’t until 2 years later that I moved to New York and landed a job in news. It isn’t as glamorous as you may think, but I have a great steady job that pays and gives me the opportunity to continue this blogging thing I have going on the side. I still feel like I have a calling to be in front of the camera, but only this time…it will be talking about what I love. I have been looking to add a vlogging component to MAKA STYLE and hopefully will in the near future.
So while my blogging career has been slow going, I look towards the positives. If 150 people like my photo on IG…consider it a success. If I strike up one conversation with someone in a store and it gives me a chance to pitch my blog, I will consider it a success, If I can make anyone feel better about themselves after they ask for style advice, I will consider it a success. If this makes me happy, I will consider it a success. Shouldn’t that mean the most? I hope everyone has some hobby or interest that provides this type of contentment, because we all need a little bit more of that! xo
Anyone who knows me, knows that I pretty much live in kimonos. They are not only incredibly comfy, but they are such an easy style staple to incorporate into any wardrobe. Whether you are looking for something to wear for a night out or something to lounge around in, there are so many different styles to choose from. I find them to be incredibly slimming as well, whether you are wearing them with jeans or a dress. I probably own close to 15 now. I simply love them. Free People offers so many cute styles at various price points.