The Lifestyle Blogger’s Dilemma
( FYI, this is a mini excerpt from my upcoming eBook Going Viral, which you can preorder HERE if you’re interested! )
Okay, so this isn’t MUCH of a dilemma if you don’t care that much about social media. But if you’re a blogger, you should care about social media. Unless you’re Emily Schuman or something, in that case — your blog readership is set regardless of your social media presence.
For those of us who started blogging post-2009 (which, I’m willing to say, is most of us…) then the aesthetic and vibe of our social media matters a LOT when it comes to driving readers to our blog.
Our Instagram accounts, and also Snapchat, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and others to some extent; are a huge reflection of what our blogs are all about.
If you’re a food blog, you’re in luck. All of your food photos will probably flow nicely together as long as you have some nice backgrounds and an eye for photography and food styling. If you’re a fashion blog, you’re also in luck. Your style will attract a certain type of curated audience and they will keep coming back for more because they love the way that you dress, and you can even throw in some fun quotes and scenery without it being totally out of place.
In other words, for those types of blogs, it’s EASY to stay consistent. The challenge might be staying innovative and keeping things fresh and exciting… but even so, your Instagram feed (and all other social channels as well) will reflect what your blog is all about — so you will keep on gaining followers and traction at a steady rate. You KNOW what will keep your audience engaged.
The LIFESTYLE bloggers:
Then there are those of us who don’t always blog about something so specific. I mean yeah, I write about health & lifestyle. I do healthy recipes, shoot some vids here and there, am a total fitness fanatic, am a sucker for the beachy-gypsy-wanderlusty travel lifestyle pics, love a good selfie, and like to share my IN THE MOMENT real life with you guys.
My Instagram photos & videos now range from yoga flows in my living room to super styled and very curated photo shoots for brands that I work with to post-workout sweaty selfies to long-as-can-be captions about what I am feeling in the moment.
You know, like this…
You see, I’ve found myself in a dilemma. But I also kind of love the dilemma for other reasons. I’m torn, you guys!
I want to have a beautifully curated Instagram feed. I want the photos to flow super well together and have the artistic aesthetic of Marianna Hewitt‘s Insta or the super reliable consistency of Chocolate Covered Katie‘s.
When I give advice to new bloggers, I tell them to BE CONSISTENT and give their audience the type and style of content that they followed them for in the first place.
But I also want to switch things up and keep things unpredictable and fresh. I want my social accounts, sort of like this blog, to have a “reality show” feel and vibe. NOT in the “famous for being famous” reality show way… but the very open, sharing my life, letting you guys know what I am up to every day kind of way.
And with that, there comes a lot of variety. No two days are the same. Try as I might, I don’t always have that killer white & grey marble slab with me for food photos. And I don’t always have the most kickass lighting for my yoga videos. I also like to throw in a few spur-of-the-moment ‘WHAT UP, GUYS?’ photos when I am feeling most inspired, which most definitely don’t always have a professional quality to them.
On the flip side, I love the creative side of curating a beautiful, perfectly flowing Instagram feed. I love high quality imagery, and I love capturing the perfect yoga photo on the beach at sunset with my fave photographers. I love being super, duper proud of the quality of a food photo I capture for a brand, and I love sharing the art of photography with you guys who are following.
SO, that is why I am in a perpetual dilemma! Do I keep sharing pure, un-curated, in the moment reality with you guys, or do I exercise some self-restraint (which I’m bad at) and JUST post the beautiful images with the best lighting even if inspiration strikes in between?
I think I know the obvious answer to this. Inspiration should never be ignored.
And I feel LUCKY, beyond lucky, to feel so inspired in the job that I do.
Just like beautiful, aesthetically jaw-dropping photography inspires me to no end, sharing REAL, authentic, & raw moments in real-time inspires me.
This was a good example of in the moment sharing, but also something I found super beautiful and wanted to share for that moment too:
That’s why when you go to my social media accounts these days (and this blog), you see a medley. High quality photos that have days and hours of prep work behind them & an experienced photog behind the lens — and hopefully when looking at them you feel a little bit of the magic that sparks within ME and the photographer when we nail that perfect shot.
That’s what I want when I share those photos. I want you to feel the magic, and I want the inspiration I feel to radiate back to you and make you inspired in your own life, and in your own way.
Like this shoot for Alo Yoga with my BFF Lex & BFF behind the lens Danika:
Similarly, you’ll see a grainy video of me DRIPPING sweat in a yoga class, and you’ll also hear some bomb-ass music playing along with the video because there’s almost nothing I love more these days than finding the perfect song to accompany my yoga flow vids.
And starting on Thursday, you’ll be along for the ride with me as I travel to Kauai for 8 days and capture the beauty around me in ALL sorts of ways. With my GoPro, my Canon 6D, my iPhone, my Snapchat story, my iPhone video (grainy at times I’m SURE), my mom’s Nikon, allllll of it.
Because I love switching it up. I LOVE staying inspired and making sure things never get dull. Not for me, and not for you guys. I want to keep it fresh and exciting always.
So, WHY is it a dilemma then?
So yeah, because of the lack of total consistency, I don’t see the steady, predictable rise of my social following the same way I used to. When I used to be very consistent with the same style of food photo 3 times a day, I knew how many followers I’d gain per week no matter what. Now I am more likely to LOSE & gain the same amount of followers per day, because not everyone is in it for the full lifestyle.
But I am interested in sharing my lifestyle above all else. The good days and the bad. The ordinary and the extraordinary. The AWESOME quotes, songs, fitness routines, recipes, outfits, moments, all of it. ALL of it.
But I promise I am still a creative nutcase and still have an aesthetic vision for everything I do.
Don’t you worry about that. 😉
This is where I see social media moving. We want realness. We CRAVE realness.
Just tryin’ to bring dat to all of you.
What do you think? Have you noticed a change in my social media aesthetic over the years, or did you not really notice because you’ve just been along for the ride? If you blog, how do you curate YOUR social media? Heck, even if you don’t blog, how do you like to make your Insta feed look?!
Hashtag #TBBMADEMEDOIT on Instagram if you agree!!
ALSO, if you like this kind of content, you can preorder my Going Viral: A Guide to Becoming the Boss of Your Own Life, & Turning Your Blog Into a Business eBook HERE!!