I struggle with blogging. My mind runs at 1,000 miles an hour and is incredibly unpredictable. I'm a little all over the place due to my creative instinct and entrepreneurial mindset. The experts say in order to be successful you have to post everyday, multiple times a day. Honestly, I can't.
First of all, I value quality over quantity. When I'm going to post I want my content to be worth sharing, good material that readers will appreciate. Second, my mind is so scatterbrained, I'm really bad at scheduling posts. Planning certain topics to post about actually hinders my creativity abilities, making me feel pressured to post and leading me into a writers block. When inspiration hits, that's when I write. For example, inspiration hit me at 12:40am last night while I was trying to fall asleep. This post was not planned....
Blogging isn't as easy as people make it seem.
Maybe it's luck? Maybe I'm not doing it correctly. Yeah, there are A LOT of people that make a living off of their blog, but I am not one of them...yet! I hope someday I get there. I created The Honest Consumer to share my passion for social enterprise and conscious consumerism. I'm a college student writing for the fun of it, trying to build a community of people with similar interests, and provide resources for those who want to learn more.
When I started The Honest Consumer in 2016, I did not want to be in the pictures. If you scroll back to the beginning of my Instagram feed, you will notice I'm rarely in a photograph. When I thought about bloggers, I pictured that perfect girl with the photogenic lifestyle and that's not who I am or what The Honest Consumer is. I wanted The Honest Consumer to focus on the mission of companies making a difference, not me.
Honestly, my life is messy and far from photogenic. The picture featured above...definitely not my desk. My desk is never that organized. It was interesting to me that when I started to highlight the honesty of my life such as who I am as a person: passionate about doing good, being real, and struggling with anxiety, people started to relate. I try to keep it real, after all I am The Honest Consumer.
The products I feature are actually goods I use, not just props I pose with. No, I'm not paid to wear certain brands. These products are clothes I wear in my daily life, candles I burn in my apartment, coffee I brew to keep me awake in class....sounds boring when I put it like that. But honestly, I only write about organizations I believe in. I spend SO much time talking with conscious brands over the phone to better understand their missions, beliefs, and values. I believe the future of consumerism is sustainable, ethical, and socially responsible and I want The Honest Consumer to reflect that.
It's time consuming.
Don't be disappointed when you only have ten followers on your first day. It's a process. Building a community takes time. The Honest Consumer has been up and running for almost a year and a half and I am still trying to grow the size of the community. Writing quality content takes time. I spend hours researching ethical companies and talking to founders on the phone each week. Then I spend a solid chunk of time writing up their story. But I'm lucky because I love pretty much every second of it. If you're looking to start a blog I encourage you to do it not to hit the goldmine, not for free goods, but to share your passion with the world.
Blogging can be incredibly draining...and rewarding.
There are days where I feel so uninspired. Defeated. When I spend hours writing a post and don't get the response I expected, it can be disappointing. When I'm working hard and my numbers are going down, sometimes I take it personally. Sounds silly and I'm sure it has something to do with my anxiety, but that's the truth. When someone leaves a nasty comment on a post, my heart sinks a little. Sometimes I let the bad cloud the good when in reality there are many more rewarding blogging experiences than rough ones.
I am very lucky that so many genuine followers have reached out and been part of The Honest Consumer community. Online friends are real. Every like, comment, and share you all make encourages me. I sincerely value your contribution to the community. For those of you who have reached out through e-mail and DM, I LOVE hearing from you! And for companies who send me handwritten notes, I keep every single one. It's the little things. Small victories can get you through long days. If it weren't for your love and support, I don't know what would have happened to The Honest Consumer!