~ OUTFIT DETAILS ~
Okay, so back in May of 2011, I started this blog. Yes, I’m horrendously old in the blog world, thank you for noticing. I stumbled across blogging through an accident; I had decided I wanted to dip dye my hair, but I was also skint af, so 18-year-old me was on YouTube trying to find out how to do it. Lo and behold, I stumbled across a video made by Lily Melrose, taking through how she had done it. I was enamoured. There are people online that talk about clothes and makeup??? Holy cow that’s amazing!
Back then, blogging was an utter niche. I remember discussing with my boyfriend at the time, and friends at college, if I should start one. The blogging scene was emerging at this point. People were just starting to get noticed by companies and starting to work with amazing brands. I’d seen tons of photos online getting one the early PR packages and incredible events people were going to and I wanted in.
*record scratch* what?
Right, so here’s where I get to the point of this post. I was influenced to start blogging because I saw people getting free shit and being treated like royalty. Which is an absolutely awful reason to start a blog. If you have ever, ever read a blogging tips and tricks blog post the overarching piece of advice is to write because you want to, not to get freebies. I promptly ignored all of that advice, cracked open my laptop and started a blog called Chlo Witty. Apparently, I was too cool for the E in my own name.
For the first few years, I posted semi-regularly. But I was also so selfish. I’d never comment on anyone’s blogs unless I thought there was a chance they would follow me back on Google Friend Connect (vintage). I barely interacted with anyone else and wondered why no one ever “discovered” me. My arrogance was that my content was absolutely good enough to get me thousands of followers and those amazing PR packages I saw on YouTube. I copied as many bloggers as possible, using popular song lyrics as my titles (it was the done thing back then) and sulking that I couldn’t jump on bandwagons (holla to Jeffery Campbell Lolita boots I’m still salty about you). I did EVERYTHING I could to get my blog noticed. I even once went on such a commenting spree that I got myself banned for 48 hours because I had this theory that’s all I needed to do to “make it big”. I joined YouTube because I felt there was nothing in blogging for me and I could be more successful making videos. I even accepted sponsored posts that were utter garbage just because I needed £50
Guys, I was a bad blogger.
I had such a chip on my shoulder – “why aren’t I getting noticed when I’ve done this for years?!” – that kind of shit. It’s embarrassing to think about. This went on for such a long time and I’ve found that really only in the last few years, have I gotten over this idea.
I started a blog for all the wrong reasons, and it shows.
All the advice columns telling you how to start a blog are right. You need to start it for the love of it, not because you want to be on Charlotte Tilbury’s PR list. I didn’t try in the early days, I expected to land on my feet and that I deserved it, just because I had been around for years. I was wrong, so wrong. Going into blogging with this mindset makes you hate it. I had every reason to give to why my blog wasn’t “popular” – oh they have a proper camera (got one, not the secret to internet fame), they have a boyfriend that takes perfect outfit shots (not that one either), they are rich (still working out if this one is the secret).
Now, I love it. Yes, I can feel tired and exhausted by it. But you know every day I’m noting ideas, thinking of photos to take and what I can write about next. This is my little passion project, and I don’t care how many people read the blog. I’m in it for the love of it. I’ve found my look and style. Maybe that’s because I’m older now and more confident in knowing where I want to go in life, but the “old blog” makes me sad. All the posts are still there, but it reeks of desperation.
So, fellow reader, if I can give you some advice. If you’re thinking of starting a blog and dipping your toe into the influencer world. Do not do it for the reasons I did. Do it for the reasons I have now.