Clóda Scanlon, 21, Irish Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, UCC Student, Cork City.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Why I haven't blogged in 3 months

Hi,
This feels weird and wonderful writing here again.

I'm actually quite emotional writing this first sentence, like it's hit a nerve and I don't know why. I feel like I have become estranged with my own blog.
If you hadn't noticed, I haven't put up a blog post in over 3 months.

I'm figuring out a few things in my life and it's made me realise that I need to write. Ever since I was a child, I loved writing stories and scenarios and English in school was my strong point. Even though I'm not the most articulate with my words and I don't use the biggest words in the dictionary, I just feel release when I do personal writing.
Somewhere along the way in 2018, I forgot that and it contributed to me feeling confused, guilty and lazy. 

The Blogging Scene in Ireland 2018

I love my blog, and I love what I have created. I love my blogger friends and I'm so grateful for the opportunities I've received since I set it up. I love that I have inspired many people and that you are interested in my content.

But it can be really hard to juggle everything. This year I was full-time in my second year of college. I stepped up as chairperson of a society. I went home to Tipperary every weekend and taught guitar lessons. I scheduled in weekly blog shoots with my gal Ailbhe. I hung out with my friends, enjoyed my nights out and breezed through everything! I love to keep busy. I can't function if I'm not busy.

But somewhere along the way, the blog got thrown to the side, and I'm actually upset writing this because as much as I love my blog, I couldn't bring myself to prepare, edit and publish blog posts.

People don't realise that when you're a blogger, you own a brand. I am the owner, editor, photographer, writer, social media manager, performance reporter and inspiration behind my whole brand, Orange Obviously. Blog posts take hours. And I love it. But when it's not a career for me, it's so hard to put my all into it. I've had a few sponsored Instagram posts and that's amazing but the reality is, it's not a career for me right now, and that makes it a struggle to make time for it. There is a huge pressure for smaller bloggers to 'keep up' when it's not a full time thing for us. Standards are always being raised and algorithms affect our efforts.

I've always been a believer in "You do you, girl!" and that other people's mishaps shouldn't affect my work. But the scandals around the Irish blogging scene this year have really disheartened me and pushed me away from the thing I love.
Many people now tarnish all Irish bloggers with the same brush because a select few have ruined it for the rest of us.

There is absolutely incredible Irish bloggers out there who are real, authentic, creative and passionate about blogging. They blog for their love of writing and because of their innate creativity. They blog because they want to constructively use their own corner of the internet to inspire and spread knowledge of their niches.

However, it is extremely frustrating when you build yourself for a few years as a blogger with your own website and authentic image and people abuse the industry.
There's so many occurences of influencers listing themselves as 'blogger' in their social media bios and yet there's no trace of a blog or website. What is their purpose? Are they in it to be gifted by companies or gain a following by falsely listing themselves as bloggers?
In my opinion, it is totally unfair on actual bloggers who have a blog. The word 'blogger' derives from 'blog'. If you don't have one, how can you call yourself a blogger? Just because I can kick a ball doesn't mean I call myself a footballer.
It is literally taking the mick out of people who have worked really hard on creating their blogs.

And to the bloggers in Ireland who have photoshopped their bodies to disproportionate lengths, to the point they're unrecognisable. To the ones who have lied to their followers in order to make a quick buck off a company. To the ones who have imported white label products and put their own name on it, and sold it for way more to their misinformed and unassuming followers.
Deceiving followers, lying to people, photoshopping to make some quick cash.
It is shameful. Such shameful and disgusting behaviour. Social media is pressurising, I get that. But there is no excuse for that carry on! Not when you make a career off the people who trust and follow you.

It is reflecting a really bad light on the rest of us who are real, honest and authentic to our following 'cause we are in it for the love of it. Unfortunately, most bloggers are being painted with the same brush.
 Every time I go online, someone is giving out about bloggers. I've even been in conversations with friends about how they are 'sick of bloggers these days'. 
At times it makes me want to give it all up and not be associated with it.
But it's so true what they say, there will always be a few who will ruin it for the rest!!!

While I don't exactly support the infamous Instagram page Bloggers Unveiled because I think they take it too far at times, they have brought a lot of things to our attention on just how much fakery and lies are being created by certain Irish bloggers.

For so long I followed a really popular blogger in Ireland who lost weight and toned up in just a few short months. I wondered and wondered why it didn't work for me. How come I wasn't toning up as quick as her, and it made me feel conscious of myself and my appearance. It turns out she was photoshopping her body the whole time to make herself appear 2 sizes slimmer on social media when it was all a lie.
I'm lucky I have thick skin, and I quickly copped on to her photoshopping, but it made me think of how many impressionable young followers she was deceiving and how damaging her lies really were.
.
.
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For 3 months I have avoided blogging because I worried. 
Would anyone even want to read blogs anymore after the carry on in the industry?
Is a blogger just someone to gossip about with your friends and nothing more?
Would anyone trust me given the behaviour of dishonest bloggers?
I had no interest and took no pride in writing my blog anymore. And isn't that just disgusting? The effect that some people have had on me and how I view the industry stopped me from doing something I love and in the long-run left me confused about why I do what I do.

But I have had time to think and I am so proud of what I have created. Time and time again I have been commended for my authenticity and positivity and the high quality content I produce.
I still don't know what career I want, but I know the blog will help me get me to where I need to be someday. 
To be honest, I'm not me without my blog. 

But my message to you is, please don't lose faith in all Irish bloggers. Please don't throw around the term 'bloggers' with your friends and fuel the fire even more.
If you follow blogs and read blogs, remember why you do. Remember which attributes you love about your favourite bloggers and support them. Like their pictures, give a comment if your admire something. You've no idea how much it means to see the hard work pay off.

If you follow someone and they constantly bring negativity to your newsfeed, hit that unfollow button. Don't continue to follow them and then gossip with your friends, or else it just continues to spread negativity. 
Do a bit of searching and follow the honest bloggers.
 Follow the real bloggers.
Follow the authentic bloggers who bring positivity to your feed.
Follow the bloggers who make you feel good about yourself when you see their posts.
Follow the bloggers who blog because they love it.

They are the ones that are keeping this industry alive. They are the ones that daily, are restoring my faith in this industry. They are the ones who are bringing a change and revolutionising blogging in Ireland.

Blogging is not dead in Ireland. Watch.  It is being re-born!
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