2018: The One Where I Learnt Lots of Lessons

28th Dec 2018 4 min read
Category: Gem's Blog | Misc

2018 has been quite a ride. Here is what I have learnt along the way.

Bloggers cannot live on #gifts alone

Over 2018 I have seen a growing wave of people becoming more and more annoyed with Instagrammers producing paid content. At first I was one of them. It felt a bit icky suddenly seeing an ad that stuck out like a sore thumb on someone’s feed. It felt like they were selling out in some way and in early 2018 I was very vocal about it.

Let me explain, Instagram is a very personal platform. We get to see parts of our favourite IGers’ or celebrity’s lives that we would not see in any other place . This insight into how someone else lives is FASCINATING! I think this is where the issue lies.

If we know what Ermentrude has fed her kids for breakfast and if we have sat and listened to a live where she gets upset because she is going through a difficult period in her life, we become attached. We feel we know her. Then when all of a sudden she tries to sell us a set of spanners and it is a bit like your best friend coming into your living room and trying to flog you aloe vera juice. It is all a bit jarring.

My avocado was brown

But here’s the rub…

Blogging is hard work (and not only that but running a blog costs money)

The work that goes into creating content that is fresh and engages an audience is CRAZY. I mean it all looks so easy, doesn’t it? How hard can it be snapping a pic of yourself next to a very instragrammable wall? But it seems that all the successful bloggers who have gone before have just made it look easy. I guess that is why they have been so successful. Writing, photography and performing is all an art form. As with all artists the talented ones make it look really really really easy

I have been writing this blog for two years and only now am I starting to make some money. But it has taken two years of hard graft. Having gone through working 60 hour blogging weeks, damn right bloggers deserve to earn money for what they do, especially if they are creating content that people are consuming for free.

One cannot live on air people!

Most of the successful bloggers you see on Instagram are not ‘just farting about on the internet‘ .

Behind all the lovely photos lies hard work and you have to ask yourself if you would work for free? Of course, there is a balance that needs to be found. I am pretty sure you would soon get bored if my whole feed was paid ads, I would stop following someone sharpish who only did paid work. But in order for all the free content to be created, the cameras bought, the blog subscriptions paid for and the kids fed there does need to be some money coming in.

There will ALWAYS be knobcarrots

This was a hard lesson to learn this year. Really really hard. I naively thought that everyone in the world of Instagram was how they portrayed themselves on the app.

Holy crap balls was I wrong! You see the recognition that there is serious money to be made on Instagram has meant that more and more people are giving it a go because on the surface it looks like easy money. I watched a YouTube video the other week where a group of fitness and fashion bloggers spoke very candidly about their earnings. One of them has been paid in excess of £100k for an ad campaign. I almost fainted too.

It stands to reason that with so many people trying to get a slice of the pie it means that there will be more competition and I don’t mean friendly fluffy ‘pat you on the back’ competition I mean pretty eye watering, ‘I’ll step on your neck to succeed’ type stuff.

Think of the Wild West in the Gold Rush. Yeah its just like that. Some people play dirty, some play fair and it is pretty lawless.

Sorry did my back hurt your knife?

I have learnt the hard way this year that what you read in the captions isn’t always true. It is someone’s actions and how they conduct themselves that matters. Anyone can write a gushy comment full of heart emojis and I love you’s, that takes no time at all. Actions are what we need to look out for.

Which leads me to my final point.

You really do attract the energy you put out there.

One thing that I really make it my mission to do with TeamTOMM is to create a safe and fun place to be on the internet. Whether that is in our Facebook group, on the blog, the forum, the YouTube channel or over on Insta. God know that the internet is already far too full of nasty, toxic places. I have learnt to my absolute delight this year that if you create a safe and non-judgemental place, people will respect that. Love always wins.

He’s her lobster

I am still working on the overwhelming sense of imposter syndrome that hits me sometimes but in truth is that I am not sure that this will ever go away, and I am not sure if I want it to. If it did it would mean that I have become a bit too big for my boots ?

Thank you for sticking with me through my journey and I hope that you stay to see what 2019 has to offer.

Big love Gem x