Chit-Chat: My views on blogging & a hiatus

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hello ladies,
I've been thinking a lot about blogging lately and this post from Živa - Nothin' Fancy Really on her Facebook page gave me the final push I needed to share a few things that have been on my mind with you.

I'm sure you've noticed that I've been posting a lot less regularly for the past year or so, and went from posting three times a week, to posting maybe once a week with a week of silence in between or something similar like that.

The truth is that the whole blogging thing changed a lot in these past years. The community changed, the relationships between bloggers changed, the relationships between bloggers and companies changed, I've changed. And honestly, I'm not the biggest fan of the majority of these changes. 

You see, blogging has always been a hobby for me, something to do for fun, a creative outlet if you will. And it was never my intention to turn it into something more. But the majority of the blogging community seems to not agree with my point of view. There has been so much talk recently about getting paid for writing blog posts, how to get more followers, how to get more ''free'' products, actually attacking companies for not being invited to their events/not getting their products, how to make a brand out of your blog, how to get more views, buying likes or followers, tips on how to improve your photos which most times than not turns into a bunch of bloggers having pretty much the same photos. And I think it's getting a bit out of hand. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to throw shade at anyone or claim that my point of view is the right one. I'm just trying to share my opinion about the whole situation. I actually had the next part saved in my drafts for more than a year now, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to post it or not. I really hope no one gets offended by this, keep in mind that this is just my opinion/my observations, and even if you recognise yourself in some things, please don't take it personally, because I'm not targeting anyone.

I've noticed that a lot of bloggers are asking themselves ''Where is this even going?'' and I'm asking myself ''Why does it have to even go somewhere?''.
Personally, I don't have a purpose for all of this. I don't have a final destination or a goal I want to reach when it comes to blogging. All I know that it makes/made me happy and it allows me to express myself about the things that I like or don't like.

I definitely love seeing my little place grow, and even after all this time I still get extremely excited with every single comment, view and gained follower, like everyone else I would assume. I love seeing myself getting better at taking photos, expressing my opinion, getting involved in social media, working with new companies and all that. I love that all of this has given me the opportunity to work with different brands and companies, some that I've loved for years & years, and as you all know I do get send products for reviewing purposes, but that's where things end for me. Even though I put more & more effort and time into it, and even though blogging sometimes occupies as much time as a full time job, I don't want to make money out of it. I know it wouldn't bring me as much happiness as it does now, cause it would probably start to feel more like an obligation (not saying that you should agree with me on that).

You see, even if all of this was taken from me, if I never got a chance to work with a brand again, if everyone stopped reading my blog and if I lost all of my followers, I would most likely still be writing it. This place, Sparkle with Laughter, has started out as a hobby, as something that I was sure would only get read by a few of my friends & I, it still is a hobby, and will continue to be a hobby. This is a place for me to look back on, a place to see what I thought about certain products a year ago and if they're still worth repurchasing now. A place for me to look back on and see what 10 things made me happy last November, or how my answers to some tag would've changed. And I'm fine with it being ''just'' that. Because I'm doing this for ME.

In these years I saw quite a lot of blogs that I used to enjoy reading turn into something I can't possibly connect to. Yes, we all enjoy looking at nice photos, but how am I supposed to relate to someone who for example has a photographer to take photos for them, has their photos extremely edited or airbrushed, includes only one ''staged'' photo, when all I want to do is see how a product looks on someone, that for example has a similar skin tone to mine.

You see for me, blogs have been a way of knowing which products are worth buying and which are not, a way to learn about new things, a way to admire fantastic make-up looks from talented people, a way to find new recipes to try out, a way to see the places I would want to visit one day,... And honestly, I just don't get that from five completely perfect white photos with a bunch of products that aren't even related to (let's say) a brush you're trying to review and a couple of sentences from which I can only gather that you liked the product. That's the reason I found myself reading less and less blogs, mainly from bloggers that are the actual real deal for me - those who include swatches, those who aren't so bothered that their photos have the most perfect white/marble backgrounds, those who don't have the need to include the majority of their make-up collection/everything they own on a photo, those who actually share something personal with their readers, and most importantly, those who actually tell me all the details I would ever want to know about the product /topic they're talking about. 

And don't even get me started on the whole 'only one photo of the beauty product at the begging of the post' trend. We cannot get a lot of products here in Slovenia, which means online shopping is our best friend. And there's nothing worse than seeing a review on a product that I really want/am planning on purchasing, from a blogger that I trust and there are no swatches or no close ups of that product. Yes, you managed to get a gorgeous photo that could easily be featured in a magazine, but that doesn't help me as a potential buyer of that product in the slightest. 

If I wanted that, I would just buy a beauty magazine. But what I actually wanted/was searching for, was an honest & detailed opinion from a fellow beauty lover. Truth be told, I would rather read a detailed post that has a lot of ''bad'' or unedited photos, than a post that has one photo that checks all the ''right'' boxes (white background, composition, brightness, a bunch of other ''props'' etc). 

I didn't want to turn this into a rant and I don't really know where I'm going with it. Maybe I just wanted to tell you that I think that it's alright if you don't know where you're going with your blog/have an end goal, if you're getting a bit lost in this ''right way to blog'' trend, or if your blog isn't doing as well as you think it should compared to other bloggers, or if you're not getting invited to events or get the same PR packages as the others do, as long as it brings you joy. 

Sometimes a hobby just needs to stay a hobby. And it should be enough for you if that's what you really want. Don't feel pressured to take it to ''a next level''/change it just because everyone else seems to be doing so. There will always be someone ''better'' than you and someone ''worse'' than you, you just have to stay true to yourself and the things you believe in. And if you really feel like blogging is something you want to pursue as a career more than anything else, than screw all of what I just said, go for it and kick ass while doing it.

It wasn't really my intention to write about all of these things, I only wanted to let you know that I decided to take a bit of a break from blogging, but once I started typing everything, I couldn't really stop.

I have so many other things going on right now, and I just can't keep up with everything anymore. I'm the type of person that wants to do everything at once, starts feeling very overwhelmed and then burns out. I always dedicated a lot of time & love to the whole blogging process, it was something that brought me a lot of joy, something that relaxed me. And if I try to do that now, I feel guilty because it means that I'm most likely neglecting something more important and due to lack of time, I do everything in a hurry & without my heart really being in it. It went from being something that I did for me, to something that I felt obligated to do because of all the things I buy and get.

And if I'm not blogging, it means that I'm not only letting down myself cause I don't get to carry out all of these ideas I have written down in my notebook, but I'm also letting down companies that send me their products in hopes I'll talk about them, companies that trust me & want to hear my opinion, and I once again feel guilty - probably even more. I had to turn down quite a lot of events recently, which once again made me feel guilty, cause it means that I turned down opportunities to network, chat & get to know brands even more and also catch up with my fellow Slovenian bloggers.

I've been lucky enough to receive so many amazing products from even more amazing companies since I started blogging and I do feel like I'm letting everyone down with taking this break, since I'm already so behind with my posts. I'm really sorry about that and the last thing I want, is to come off looking like I'm being ungrateful, because I truly am extremely grateful & excited about every single package that I get, just like I was when I got my first one. And I can promise you that I'll find a way and time to talk about the products that I had the privilege to get send. Just not right now.

As I said, blogging has always been ''only'' my hobby and I intend to keep it this way, and unfortunately it can't be on top of my priority list as of now. I just need to have some time to finish off some other things (like exams) and to turn blogging from something that makes me feel guilty, back to something that makes me excited and brings me joy.

I know some of you might find this ''rant'' and update completely unnecessary, especially since I'm not even sure how long this hiatus will last (who knows, I might be back in a week or two) and I'll mostly likely still be active on all of my other social platforms, but I'm not the kind of person who just leaves without explaining herself. 

And once again, I hope no one gets offended by reading my views on the ''current'' situation in the blogging community, as I said, it wasn't target toward anyone specifically.

Thank you for reading this lengthy chit-chat and thank you for always leaving me lovely comments. 

Talk to you soon, 
Sanja ♥

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24 komentarji

  1. Se mi zdi, da je naenkrat nastalo kar veliko pritiska med blogerkami, tudi s strani podjetij, ker so naenkrat začeli vsi nekaj pošiljat in enostavno ne moreš vsega objavit.
    Jaz sem začela bloggat, ker sem hotela delit svoje mnenje z ostalimi in pokazat zakaj mi je nekaj všeč ali zakaj ne. Z veseljem bi bila plačana za ta "hobi", ampak po eni strani pa mi pol to ne bi bilo več v tako veselje in bi bila še pod večjim pritiskom.
    Glede fotografij se pa totalno strinjam, ker zadnje čase berem objave in nikjer ne vidim posameznih ličil na osebi in si sploh ne morem predstavljat kaj kako izgleda. Zelo pomembno mi je seveda pri kakšnih pudrih, ker vem kakšne polti je katera blogerka, pa tega pudra ne vidim na njej :/
    Kakorkoli...se mi zdi, da objave in čas prilagajaš sebi in se ne rabiš opravičevat, če enostavno ni časa za objave :) Vse imamo za blogom še svoje življenje...

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    1. Se čisto strinjam z vsem, kar si napisala. Sploh zadnji stavek mi je zelo všeč :)

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  2. Odlično zapisano in moram reči, da je tvoje razmišljanje prišlo ob pravem času. Čeprav nimam beauty bloga, pa sem tudi sama začutila v zadnjem času, da mi pisanje postaja skorajda obveza in zgodilo se je, da včasih tudi po mesec dni ali več nimam navdiha, energije ali časa za pisanje.

    Zelo se strinjam s tem, da morajo kakšni hobiji preprosto ostati hobiji in da je najbolj pomembno, da pišemo zase in ker nas to veseli. In četudi nimam beauty bloga, pa je eden izmed mojih hobijev, poleg pisanja lastnega bloga ter športa, branja itd, tudi navdihovanje nad lepoto in prebiranje blogov. Te me sproščajo, ponudijo veliko idej, ob njih si privoščim nekaj absolutno brezskrbnih trenutkov za sebe in poleg tega mimogrede sestavim še kakšno listo, največkrat dekorativnih, izdelkov, ki me zamikajo. Tudi jaz sem opazila, da se je blogerstvo, sploh beauty, tudi v Slo. precej razcvetelo in zelo lahko razumem pritiske in kar eno tiho tekmovanje ali pa zaskrbljenost, če blog ni bran ter primerjanje z drugimi ipd...(najbrž pogosto nezavedno). In res mislim, da je najboljše, da je vsaka iskrena sama do sebe in piše, ko lahko in predvsem ko želi in o čemer pač želi.
    Kar je iz srca, je vredno največ. Pa četudi pišemo le zase.
    Vse dobro in se beremo :)

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    1. Sara hvala ti za tale komentar <3
      In točno v to razmišljanje si jaz želim priti nazaj - da bo tako prebiranje kot pisanje bloga sproščujoče, trenutno pa sem oboje delala čisto v preveliki naglici, ker enostavno nisem uspela kombinirati z vsemi drugimi obveznostmi.

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  3. Thumbs up za tale in Živin post! Tudi jaz se pogosto tako počutim in tudi zaradi tega manj blogam. Mam občutek, kot da MORAM spisat ocene vsaj za nekatere izdelke, ki jih dobim, ampak po drugi strani spet nimam toliko časa, da vključim druge objave, nočem pa da je moj blog pol PR izdelkov in kot nek oglaševalski pano.
    O današnji blogosferi pa sploh ne bom :P
    Upam, da se kmalu vrneš ;)

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    1. Hja, meni je tudi težko to ravnovesje najti.
      Me pa iskreno veseli oz. sem si kar oddahnila, ker vidim da nas je dosti s podobnim razmišljanjem.

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  4. Po eni strani sem malo žalostna, draga moja, da te nekaj časa ne bom brala, po drugi pa te čisto razumem. Saj itak veš iz najinih pogovorov, da imava o bloganju zelo podobno mnenje, tako da ne bom preveč dolgovezila, sem ti pa hotela toliko pustiti komentar, da ti izrazim podporo. <3 <3 <3 To, kar delaš, moraš delati s srcem in ne pod pritiski, pod katerimi mislim, da se nas je itak znašla večina blogerk.

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    1. Hvala Tatjana, tako za tale komentar kot tudi za vse najine pogovore o tej temi <3 :*

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  5. Se strinjam z napisanim,
    mi je žal da te nekaj časa ne bomo brali, ampak te popolnoma razumem.
    Se mi zdi bolj odgovorno do tebe da se odločiš za pavzo ko jo potrebuješ, namesto da bi v sili na hitro pisala objave :)

    Upam da se kmalu spet beremo *

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    1. Zdaj ko prebiram te komentarje, mi je kar malo žal, da se nisem že prej odločila za pavzo in objavo post-a.
      Obljubim, da se kmalu beremo :)

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  6. Se mi je že na naši pijači zdelo, da te malo zapušča veselje, če se lahko tako izrazim. Jaz bom rekla, da se ne pusti. Če to delaš kot hobi in če te to veseli, ti nikakor ni treba naredit iz tega biznisa, pa čeprav vsak trobi na vsakem koncu kako imeti uspešen blog. Meni gre to včasih tudi na živce, sploh pa dejstvo, da v Sloveniji pač ne moreš samo od tega živeti. Lahko imaš nek dodaten zaslužek, če se za to odločiš, lahko pa tudi delaš kot hobi, ker te pač veselijo vsi drugi procesi, ki ne vključujejo zaslužka.
    Jaz se v marsi katerem pogledu strinjam s tabo in se tudi sama včasih zdim enostavno preobremenjena z vsemi PR izdelki. Se bo pač treba še malo ožje odločat kaj sprejeti in kaj ne.
    Upam, da prideš čim prej nazaj, da ti damo zdaj s komentarji malo zagona. :)

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    1. Res je, sej veš da smo pravo debato razvile :)
      To se nikakor ne bo spremenilo, zame bo to vedno hobi. Mi tudi ni bil nikoli cilj, da bi iz tega naredila biznis :)
      Glede komentarjev sem pa čisto overwhelmed, me je bilo zelo strah, da bodo padali kakšni negativni komentarji. Tako da, hvala vam <3

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  7. Jaz bi zelo rada videla, da se punce nehate tako obremenjevati s to mislijo, da morate objavit o PR izdelku. Nihče vas ne plača (večinoma vsaj), vse kar ste dobile je izdelek, ki ga lahko preizkusite in če ti je všeč, deliš to z drugimi. Res upam, da podjetja ne pritiskajo na vas, ker to je pa korak predaleč. Jaz niti približno ne objavim vsega kar dobim, ker itak me noben sploh več ne vpraša, če kaj želim, ampak samo avtomatsko pošljejo in jaz pač nimam neomejene količine časa, da bi delala objave za vsako stvar. Da ne omenjam, da objave o PR stvareh sploh niso brane. Kot sem že pri Živi napisala, večinoma ne sprejemam več izdelkov, kar dobim je poslano avtomatsko, čeprav mojega naslova ni na tistem seznamu v skupini. Ponavadi vključim stvari v New in in to je to. Problem je nastal, ker je bila blogerska scena v Sloveniji popolnoma spregledana do predlani, medtem ko so sodelovanja bloger-podjetje laufala že zelo dolgo v tujini in se imela čas razvit. Zdaj ko so naša podjetja in podružnice videle kakšen vpliv imajo blogerji, so šli enostavno v nepotreben overdrive. Odbija me to, da 30 blogerk dobi isti paket od enega podjetja in potem dva dni gledam poln Instagram in Facebook zahval podjetju. Nepotrebno. Niste zastonj reklama. Zdi se mi, da predvsem novejše blogerke želijo ustrečt podjetjem in se strašno bojijo zamerit komu, a je na žalost resnica kot vem iz prve roke, da smo le zelo poceni reklama. Ne gre se za to, da bi zdaj zahtevale plačilo, hobi naj bo hobi, ampak da ti ostane ta svoboda, da si preizkusil izdelek in le če ti je všeč ali smatraš, da bo bralce zanimalo mnenje, ker je stvar takrat priljubljena, to dejansko objaviš. Nočem brat objav, ki zvenijo kot reklama in na žalost jih je med slovenskimi blogi v zadnjih mesecih enostavno preveč in sem nehala brat.

    Ja, blogerska scena se je zelo spremenila, tudi meni ni všeč. Ima pa vsaka blogerka malo pri tem, ker ni nihče popoln. Tudi jaz sem verjetno kaj zakuhala, pa še ne vem. Mogoče imam preveč perfektne slike, ampak mene slikanje izjemno veseli, mogoče je to da delam s podjetjem, nekaj je že. Vsekakor ne želim, da se z mano kdo primerja ali me ima za vzor, ker sem über lame v real lajfu in se ne hecam.

    Vzemi si odmor, če ga potrebuješ. Napolni si baterije, sprosti se in se ne obremenjuj z nepotrebnimi obvezami, ker ne bo konec sveta, če ne objaviš par izdelkov, sploh ker predvidevam, da nekatere PR stvari nisi dobila le ti. Tvoj blog je meni eden izmed najljubših preprosto zato, ker te imam za moj blogger soul mate. Ti imaš verjetno še največji vpliv na mojo wishlisto, kar se tiče mejkapa, samo danes sem kupila dve stvari :) Če imaš kakšno staro idejo za objavo, se jo morda zdaj loti delat, ali pa vsaj nek okvirni osnutek, ampak nikar se v kaj ne sili. Saj veš, da vsi upamo, da se hitro vrneš, but just take your time :)

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    1. Ta prvi odstavek si čisto zadela in ti dam prav. Kljub temu, da skoraj nobeno podjetje ne pritiska zaradi objave izdelkov, sem jaz tak tip osebe, da se enostavno počutim zelo krivo, če izdelka vsaj na nek način ne omenim. Ne vem no, tu sem si najverjetneje sama kriva, da ustvarjam ta pritisk sama na sebe.

      Res je, še zdaleč ni nihče popoln, čeprav to primerjanje pa se velikokrat zgodi tudi čisto nezavedno. Mi je pa všeč, da smo si kljub vsemu kar se dogaja na blogerski sceni pripravljene pomagati (tudi pri nekih čisto x stvareh) in si izmenjavati mnenja na konstruktiven način (večinoma no) :)

      Pa čeprav si rekla, da nočeš, da te ima kdo za vzor, ti moram povedati, da mi tvoj komentar zelo veliko pomeni, ker si ena izmed prvih blogerk, ki sem jo začela spremljati, vedno preberem vse tvoje objave in posledično velikokrat tudi moja denarnica trpi zaradi tebe ;)*

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    2. Odlično povedano! Tudi sama ne vem kako je s temi PR izdelki in s sodelovanjem s podjetji na sploh, ker na slov.sceni ni kaj veliko 'starejših sester', ki bi delile izkušnje s tem- ne moraš se ravno primerjati z nekom iz mednarodne sfere, bi pa vseeno z veseljem vzela kakšen nasvet od nekoga, ki ima s tem izkušnje.
      P.S.: Morali bi odpreti debato o tem in povabiti vse slov.blogerje ;) xx

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  8. Ta objava je samo še potrdila, zakaj si ena mojih najljubših blogerk <3

    "those who don't have the need to include the majority of their make-up collection/everything they own on a photo" umrla XD

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  9. Pa kaj se to dogaja s (slovensko) beauty bloger sceno? Me ze dalj casa mika, da bi zacela pisat blog, ampak me je tole kr mal prestraslo. Skratka, vseeno upam, da se spocijes, naberes nobmvih moci in uzivas. Pa da se kmalu spet beremo ;-)

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    1. Joj, Rozy, upam, da te res nisem odvrnila od pisanja bloga. To niti približno ni bil moj namen, prej obratno. Če te že dlje časa mika, ga le začni pisati. Samo začni ga pisati zaradi svojega lastnega veselja :)
      Drugače pa tole ni bilo mišljeno za slovensko bloger sceno, ampak za opažanja iz celotne bloger scene. Saj lahko vidiš že po komentarjih, da je slovenska bloger scena večinoma zelo krasna :)

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  10. Your one of my favorite bloggers ever and I'm so glad I got the chance to get to know you! I'm so sorry that the blogging scene had changed the way you feel about blogging, especially since it's your hobby and outlet. But if you need time to figure things out, you should take it! When you decide to write again, I'll be here reading! In the mean time, we'll chat on social media <3

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    1. You're*
      - Oh god, Astrid, GRAMMAR-

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  11. Preveč je pritiska na sceni; da sprememb sploh ne omenjam. V blogosfero vstopajo entuziasti, ki pričakujejo preveč; ravno tako so (nekateri) bralci, ki želijo samo top objave, podjetja pa so sploh poglavje zase. Z obeh strani se vse prehitro odvija. Nekatere stvari te prisilijo, da pomisliš kaj je še v redu in kaj ne. Kje je meja in podobno. Jaz ko sem začela, nisem imela nekih pričakovanj, sedaj pa moram podrobno pomisliti kakšna naj bo objava, slike, ali je/bo dovolj dobra itd. Zato si vzemi čas, napolni baterije, razmisli kaj bi imela na blogu, da bo v korist vsem- predvsem pa tebi :) xx Maja

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  12. You go girl. Super objava. Sicer opažam, da vas je kar nekaj, ki greste "na dopust" danes. Tudi Hysteria of Decay je v dvomih.
    Upam, da se vse reši v najboljše možno vseh, tako da ti želim, da bi si napolnila baterije in počela tisto kar moraš in potem tisto kar te veseli.

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  13. Kapo dol za tole objavo in korak ! Sama sem sicer še na začetku, pa me je kljub temu včasih oblil ta občutek pritiska, ko dobiš paket brez da te kdo kaj vpraša, obvesti... Ampak me je takrat že Živa potolažila z njeno objavo na Facebooku, zdaj ti, pa še Mateja z komentarjem, tako da se bom te slabe vesti neobjavljanja počasi znebila. Zdi pa se mi da podjetje ful pričakuje, da če oni tebi izdelek pošljejo, da ga boš ti hvalil, v zameno tega free izdelka... Zato me je bilo vcasih prav strah napisat za kaksen tak izdelek kak minus, pa sem si rekla da raje ostanem zvesta sama sebi, kot pa da se moj blog spremeni v poceni reklamo. Pri nas je pa itak vedno tako, da z stvarmi za ostalimi državami zaostajamo, potem je pa kar naenkrat boom in hočemo vse zamujeno nadoknadoti, to pa potem ustvari takšen pritisk, kot smo ga deležne zdaj. Tudi jaz v zadnjih dveh mesecih pišem manj, ampak se trudim... je pa res da se takoj v objavi vidi, če je objava narejena na silo in zato ker pač more bit. Jaz enostavno pustim, da se stabiliziram, dobim nazaj voljo in energijo in potem boom, pa spišem. Upam pa, da se čimprej vrneš nazaj, ker mi je tvoj blog v navdih in veselje! :*

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