Thursday, 15 February 2018

THE PERKS OF BLOGGING



I’d attempted to start up blogs in the past several times but they’d never really taken off in the way which I wanted them to. But I’m really happy with the way things are going with ‘Antonia Writes’. In just over a year, I’ve managed to build a following on my blog and all of its linked social media accounts which I’m happy with. It hasn’t been particularly easy to do so either. As any blogger will tell you, blogging can feel like a super competitive environment at times and you often feel as if you're not as successful as other bloggers, who seem to be churning out posts every other day. But ultimately, I’d much rather produce less content which I believe will be an informative, fun or  relatable read rather than just waffling on about anything, just as a superficial measure of success. 

I’ve worked with a couple of brands for my blog and I’m pretty proud of this. I see other blogs all the time which have worked with an impressive and seemingly endless list of brands, which I think is great for them if that’s what they feel is important for their blog to project. Although I have been approached by several brands for collaborations and promotion work, I’ve chosen to be a bit more picky and selective with who I chose to work with. I just don’t feel comfortable with the idea of promoting high end (and high-cost!) fashion, no matter how nice it is, when the simple fact remains that I’m a student who feels guilty about ‘‘splurging’’ £20 on a pair of shoes!

What I’ve come to realise during my limited blogging experience is that writing for an audience can so easily jeopardise your own integrity as a writer. Writing on a blogging platform for an 'audience'  can make it feel as if you’re writing on your audience’s behalf and that you should be targeting your posts to address your audience’s needs. But ultimately, it comes down to what you want to talk about as the writer and that's pretty important to keep in mind.

Writing is like therapy to me. It’s allowed me to have a voice on things which I've internalised and kept concealed from sight for such a long time. Writing ‘The Realities of Anxiety’ post last year was by far my favourite post to write, because it signposted a milestone in my own mental health development in being able to speak out about it. But I’ve also really enjoyed tackling other issues as well, by touching on the stigma of long distance relationships at uni, the ridiculous variability in sizing on the high street and dealing with loneliness at university for example.

To others, these topics may seem unconventional, particularly if you place them in the broader context of what other blog posts tend to be written about. They’re very personal to me and I hope they’re relatable to those who decide to read my work. But even if they don't speak out to anyone, it doesn’t really matter because every post I write has helped me, even in the smallest degree, and I would argue that’s reason enough in itself to set up your own blog.

I love being the curator of my own content and organising and planning where I want to take it moving forward (albeit it is becoming harder in third year to manage my blog on top of all of my other responsibilities!) The greatest thing about having a blog for yourself is that blogging becomes the half an hour or so where I can put all of my other worries to one side and just focus on putting how I’m feeling into words, whether that’s feeling stressed about something, a coffee bar I really enjoyed going to or a new trend. And the moment blogging begins to feel like a chore to me or as if I’m not doing it for myself anymore, will be the moment I decide to call it a day.

I’m really happy with how far I’ve come with my blog in just over a year. My blog is something I'm really proud of because I have protected my integrity as a writer above all else, when I could have been so easily swept up into the superficial side of blogging and all of the perks and freebies that can present. I will always write for myself and the latest News Edit feature I've added is testament to that, for it's the writing style I feel the most comfortable with. A round up of weekly news stories may not whip everyone into a verbal frenzy, but it gives me as the writer immense sanctification to furiously thrash away at my laptop keys and jot down every opinion I've had on what's been going on in the past week. 

I think writing for an audience is absolutely fantastic. But valuing your integrity as a writer supersedes the rather limited fulfilment you can ever hope to achieve if you always write for the needs of others in mind. (*dropsmic*)


Antonia x 
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