Tuesday, 13 June 2017

4 Things I've Learnt After 4 years of Blogging

It's 4 years this year since little 16 year old Sophie started Petals of Perfection. I had no idea I'd be blogging for this long and I definitely did not expect to gain so much from it! Life goes by so quickly and we often get caught up in it all but I am so glad that I have managed to document at least these 4 years of my life, especially considering how much has changed in those 4 years! 

So what have I learnt...

1. 'Internet friends' can be so much more supportive than 'real life friends'

Since I've been blogging only a small handful of my 'real life' friends have supported me, many others have told me that I won't get anywhere with it. Let's just say, those 'friends' are no longer in my life thank god and I feel so much better for it! Since blogging I have met so many amazing people and even been lucky enough to meet up with some! The blogging community can sometimes be a bit like its own Mean Girls film but there is still a lot of support around! I met Macey (Hey if you're reading this) on Twitter in March 2015, as she was a reader of my blog. We are now best friends, even though she lives in America, we are still able to talk to each other every day thanks to Snapchat! 

I have also met the love of my life *ALL THE CHEESE* on Twitter. When I first knew of Rich... I think it was around this time last year, I never even imagined to be where we are now! I remember looking at his profile picture where he was wearing that pink shirt (which will forever be my favourite on him) and thinking that he looked like a nice and genuine person (also not bad looking)! We happened to be in the same group chat but never really spoke on there, until one day he slid into my DMs... and the rest is history ;) (Love you too Richardo) 

2. Life isn't all about marble backgrounds, cacti, fairy lights and PR samples

Petals of Perfection began as a beauty blog, as I was inspired by the likes of Louise Pentland, Rhiannon Ashlee and many other amazing bloggers and vloggers! Then suddenly the beauty blogger bandwagon started moving. Everyone and anyone was doing it. This was obviously a great thing as this meant I was able to easily make friends online with similar interests to me. Since then, I've slightly fallen out of love with beauty blogging. I will still occasionally do it here and there but I definitely prefer to make videos on my YouTube about beauty! 

My blog has somehow become like a journal to me, I feel like Holly in The Perfect Man (One of the BEST films ever). I use this little corner on the internet to talk about my emotions, my life updates and my opinions on certain topics. I'm loving my blog more than ever at the moment because it feels completely unique! I think I've just grown up and realised that not every blog post needs to have a marble background in it or some kind of PR sample that I am reviewing (Not that there is a problem with that). I feel like I have completely stripped back and opened my heart to the world and it is so therapeutic for me to be able to just say how I feel and upload it to the world. 

3. It's ok to be me!

Social media and the blogging world opens our eyes to some ideologies that seem too far to reach. When I first started blogging at the age of 16 years old, I was a vulnerable teenager who was trying to find who she was and to begin to grow up. I remember looking at other bloggers and vloggers and thinking "Why can't I be them? Why haven't I got their body or their life?". I tried to change myself to fit these ideologies, to fit in with the blogging world! Since then, I have realised that what we see online might not be what is going on behind closed doors. It is an edited and cut down version of people and their lives, almost too unrealistic that they lose some of who they are as a person. We as humans naturally want to fit in and we will do and say whatever we can to be part of a group. Through my 'blogging journey' so far I felt myself trying to slip into these ideologies. It's not until recently that I have accepted that it is ok to be me, it's ok to talk about my life on my blog even though it doesn't fit into the ideologies. 

4. Blogging isn't all fun and games

When I first started a blog I did it purely for a hobby, something to do when I haven't got anymore homework to do. After about a year of blogging companies started to approach me and ask if I wanted to collaborate with them. Of course I did not turn them down (minus a few who I did turn down because they did not suit my blog) however, this began to happen on a regular basis. I'm not quite sure why or how as I did not have a massive following, but I guess as soon as one company wanted to work with me other companies followed. 

I remember in my 2nd year of blogging I'd have to turn down 90% of collaborations as it was all too much for me. I didn't want to blog for the 'exposure' of the PR samples, I wanted to blog for me. I'm not saying I'm ungrateful for the companies who have approached me in the past, I am so so grateful and it's brought me so many opportunities but it got to a point where my blog wasn't a hobby anymore and I felt pressured to write content. Last summer I had quite a few posts and videos planned with companies and I tried so hard to get them all completed but in the end I had to turn some of them down. I remember sitting at my desk for up to 14 hours a day, non-stop blogging and editing videos for companies. I enjoyed it but there were definitely a few tears. This has made me realise that I need to blog for me, if I get approached by companies and I feel that it suits my blog then of course I will accept, but I'm not going to make the same mistake and turn blogging into a chore.

What have you learnt since starting your blog?
Let me know in the comments below!