Earlier this month (4th January to be exact) was the anniversary of my first ever blog post; just over a year ago, I decided to embark on my blogging journey to not only share my thoughts on green beauty, but with the hope that I would be able to interact with like-minded people and discover more products and brands to try. Since that point, my blog has grown and so has my outlook on green beauty; I’ve learnt so much more about products and ingredients, as well as about my own “rules” about the products I want to be using. I’ve also learnt a lot about blogging and, in particular, the amazing community of people it brings together. I’ve even expanded the focus of my blog to explore sustainable fashion and lifestyle, as I discover more about how to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle across the board.
In order to celebrate my first year as a blogger and what it has taught me, I wanted to round up and share three major lessons I’ve learnt:
1. Community is everything!
The green community is truly, truly amazing! As soon as I set up my social media pages and shared my first blog post, I was adopted into an awesome circle of like-minded bloggers, influencers, small business owners and green beauty enthusiasts who have since been incredibly friendly, supportive and inspiring to me.
The community just keeps on growing and I see more and more regular faces interacting with my posts… it warms my heart to think that what I’m writing is interesting and inspiring to others, and may even be encouraging them to make more sustainable choices! I’ve certainly been influenced and inspired by those around me, who have introduced me to new products, helped me to understand the impact my choices are making and just generally been wonderful, wonderful people to make virtual friends with! However…
2. It’s your own choices that matter…
…and no one else’s (as long as you are making them for the reasons that feel right to you!). I touched on this a bit in one of my earliest posts, but I think it rings even truer for me now I’m a year down the line in my blogging journey!
Striving to lead a more eco-friendly lifestyle is a learning curve and a journey; there are always going to be people whose experience, opinions, knowledge and financial situation will differ from yours and, in turn, they’re probably going to make different choices than you. Your choices may also be affected because your priorities or situation could change, as could the resources and information that’s available to you. For example, there have been times when I’ve been unable to make the most sustainable choice simply because I couldn’t afford to, and that’s OK! There have been occasions when I’ve picked up something in the supermarket thinking it was a great sustainable choice, only to get home and find that the packaging isn’t recyclable… that’s OK too, I’ll just think more carefully before I buy it again! I’ve even bought from brands that people have labelled as “greenwashed” because I believe in the brand’s overall ethos, even if sometimes their ingredients may be a little “off”… It’s all part of the learning curve and part of deciding what works for you.
Unfortunately, as much as there is an amazing online community out there, there are always going to be people who will – intentionally or unintentionally – make others feel crappy about their choices… I’ve felt waves of doubt when someone’s questioned whether a product I’m using is “green enough” in an Instagram comment, or I’ve read a tweet that’s designed to make me feel guilty for not adhering to a certain type of diet. However, at the end of the day, as long as you know you are making your choices for the reasons that matter to you and making the changes that are right for you at that time, don’t stress and certainly don’t allow yourself to be upset by anyone whose only aim is to make you feel guilty! The fact that you’re even trying to make sustainable changes in your life is a really, really awesome thing!
3. You have to blog for the love of blogging
If you’re starting a blog with the aim of making a ton of cash or getting a bunch of free stuff, you’re going about it all wrong! I’ve been blogging for over a year now and, although I’ve been lucky enough to receive a few lovely products to try for free, I haven’t made any money. If I did start making any money it would be a lovely bonus, but it’s not what motivates me to keep on blogging; I blog because I hope to encourage others to lead a more sustainable lifestyle by sharing my journey, and most importantly because I just really enjoy it!
I know there are plenty of people out there who make their living through blogging, which is totally awesome, but I’m sure they would never have become so successful if they didn’t truly invest in their subject matter and their readers. Point is, if you don’t really believe in the thing you’re writing about, your blog isn’t even going to get off the ground because no-one is going to believe in you!
If you’ve made it this far, I want to thank your for reading my musings and especially thank you for supporting my blog, whether this is the first post you’ve ever read or you’ve stuck with me since the beginning! And if you’re reading this because you’re considering starting your own blog, whatever it is that you’re passionate about, go for it! Trust me, it’s so worth it and you’ll meet some amazing people and learn even more amazing things along the way. Here’s to many more years of blogging ahead!
If you’re also a blogger, what have you learnt since you started? Or if you’re a fellow eco-enthusiast, what have you learnt so far on your sustainability journey? Let me know in the comments below!