how the social media landscape changed and I won't let my ego get in the way of the truth
This past year has been one of transformation: for myself personally and for my work. It's been almost seven years since I began my blog (first known as BeautySweetSpot) and I'm excited to allow this space to evolve as I grow in my personal life. But now, the social media game has changed everything and as I continue to try to keep up, there's only so much I'm willing to do to stay on top. As a journalist and fan of authenticity, I can promise you one thing – I will not sell out.
Back when I was in my mid 20's blogging was new. I was so excited to learn how to use this thing called "social media" and wanted a purpose for delving into it. (If you're not familiar with how I got started, this Forbes feature pretty much sums it up.) I've always freelance wrote for different publications and had a million side hustles to make this thing called "freelance" work. As a "full time blogger," blogging has always been a piece of what I actually do to make a living. Throughout the years, I've been fortunate to have spokesperson and sponsored work with brands I truly identify with. And there have been times, many times, where I turned down deals because I wasn't a true fan of the brand or the concept didn't make sense with my beliefs and expertise. I believe my journalistic ethics, ambition and understanding of my "brand" has given me the ability to have a successful 10+ years in the beauty industry so far.
Fast forward to today... How many beauty bloggers are there!? Do people even care about bloggers anymore? How about the super-talented YouTube makeup gurus? Or the Instagram celebs?
The social media landscape has changed completely since I got into the game. Looking at it, I also find it disappointing that most of what we see now isn't even real. I'm sure you also see right through it. People are actually living fake lives through social media in order to get work and impress only God knows who and I think it's really sad. (Remember the Australian model who completely lost it over the pressure?) But you know what, the industry has been embracing it.
I'm simply just not into the ego. I can't play into this popularity contest and miss out on life. Plus, as a journalist, I've always been 100% ethical and authentic in all of my work. I don't know any other way. It's just not me. Hence one of the reasons I had a huge campaign with Dove and E! last year – as a "real" woman red carpet reporter. Because let's be honest, I'm as real as they get.
While these Instagram "celebs" spend their money purchasing followers and likes and publications both online and in print are so heavily influenced by advertising (Come on, how often do you see a non-advertiser win a "Beauty Award?"), I find it important to check in with myself and reanalyze my work as a blogger and multi-media beauty and wellness reporter. Since authenticity is the most important piece of this social media shit storm for me, I'm OK with having fewer, yet real, followers and readers on my social platforms.
Unfortunately, many brands these days spend their dollars on the "influencers" with numbers, (many who are living these fake, idealistic Insta lives), which makes sense because at the end of the day they're hoping the people they partner with help to sell their product. I'm sure you've seen the articles, but they never question (because there's no way of measuring), if the numbers are genuine. Are they actually people who care about what you're saying and click to purchase? Or simply robots? This is a game that I'm just simply not into.
I utilize my social media platforms to celebrate life. To showcase my work and portray an image of who I truly am while hopefully giving informative beauty and wellness tips along with some inspiration along the way. That to me, is enough and I appreciate that it is for you, too. Even if I were to begin buying an audience on Instagram, it would never be enough. I have a friend who has over 80K followers and even she struggles with, it's just not enough, because there's always someone, somewhere with more.
I began BeautySweetSpot, because I was passionate about all things beauty and loved writing with no intentions of it becoming a full time job to begin with. After taking a step back and watching how the industry now works, I realized that I need to begin to redefine success if I'm going to stay in the game. I'm all about truth and that has gotten lost. My blog and my business can remain a passion and I'm lucky to have come this far on my own. I'm going to continue putting my heart and soul into my work, because I know no other way, and am excited to see what's next, hoping the industry I'm in seeks truth once again.