The first thing people always say when they find my Instagram is: ‘oh, so you’re a blogger’. I mean it’s not a difficult deduction, they’re no Sherlock Holmes, it literally says I am a blogger on my Instagram profile and there’s a link to – you guessed it – my blog. I used to be very secretive when it came to my blog, there were no photos of my face, and my name barely featured. Switch to now and my domain is my name, and I put my face on my blog as much as possible and yet, as soon as someone asks if I’m a blogger, I get that feeling of dread in my stomach, because I feel I have to justify my hobby.
When I started my blog in 2012 as MissCosmeticBlogger it was because I loved YouTube but was nowhere near confident enough to film videos. This lack of confidence was due to 12 year old me being nervous about people I knew finding it and making fun of me. If I had started then, who knows where I would be now; life could be completely different, maybe I would be a fully fledged beauty guru. I know people are probably thinking I should have just ignored what other people thought and done what I wanted to, but at 12 people’s opinions of you are a lot more difficult to ignore. (I’m very close to starting YT now, I haven’t due to time rather than people in this instance though.) I started a blog instead of YouTube as it meant I would put less of myself online and could somewhat monitor what people I knew would see.
The blog name was carefully chosen so I barely needed to use my own, and I didn’t tell anyone, not even my closest friends for the first year or so. I took part in a school club called Young Enterprise in year 9, I was around 14, and we created an app which needed promotion to be successful. I had my own website, with a decent amount of traffic so I added a link to the app. When my counterparts in Young Enterprise checked the traffic the app was receiving my blog was the highest referral – but instead of thanking me for this free promotion to an audience that would never have heard of ‘Narwars’ (our app,) there were a few sniggers and jokes about blogging. I took the link down, not out of spite, but out of self consciousness for my corner of the internet.
I’m in no way saying that I should have received some sort of trophy or congratulations for adding a link, it’s not a difficult thing to do, in fact I didn’t want anything at all. I was trying to help in the only way I could, using my blog with decent traffic to hopefully steer some of my readers that way. I just really wasn’t expecting the judgement I received. Again, I was younger and nowadays I wouldn’t think twice about someone sniggering about my blog because it’s brought me so many opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise, but back then it really affected me.
Fast forward to now and that self consciousness is still visible. Blogging when I was younger was very much a new hobby, especially for someone my age, whereas now it is almost mainstream. Now I don’t care if you find my blog, Google my name and it should come up on the first couple of pages. I do however care if you are judgemental about my blog, because this is my safe place to write what I want.
Something I want to stop doing now though is justifying my hobby to people, it’s a knee jerk reaction to explain my hobby – but I shouldn’t have to. I also play hockey alongside writing my blog, but you will never find me trying to explain why I enjoy it to you, because sport is classified as an acceptable hobby in society. I’m going to try and tell people that I am a blogger without the ‘oh I get sent things,’ and ‘I write about makeup, lifestyle and anything else that takes my fancy.’ I shouldn’t have to sell you a hobby YOU are not involved in, unless you are wanting to take it up yourself – but even then, you should want to do it because you have a passion, not for the free stuff.
If you’re reading this, you’re most likely a blogger or how else would you find a post like this!? On the off chance you’re not a blogger, I hope you take away from this that blogging is indeed a real hobby and can even turn into a job. Either way I’d love to know your thoughts on the situation – should I have to justify my hobby.