Summer spoils us with great choices of fresh flowers -…
In the past few months I have become exhausted and made some discoveries that astonished me and some things happened that I never in my wildest dream would have thought would happen. This post is about my inner feelings, whether they be justified or not, but because I respect my audience I feel that I need to share this with you. It is not meant to be a self-pity and I do not expect anybody to feel sorry for me.
I have been writing this blog for more than three years now and I have always known that my goal was:
- to create value
- to give
- to be genuine and unique and create genuine and unique content.
I never wanted to copy others or show off in any way shape or form, by showing where I have been, what sites I have visited. All I wanted was to show England through my lens and provide good content.
I also knew you have to work hard for success and it may take years. Doesn’t matter as I enjoy blogging, to make my ideas happen and to learn new things I am interested in.
It has been almost two years now that I post daily on social media (Instagram and Facebook) and although many marketing experts suggest linking the two accounts, I did not. The reason being is that I do believe you MUST provide different content on different platforms because the audience is different on every platform, plus to avoid boring content. Because of this I have been creating different content for my blog, for Instagram, for Facebook and this summer for Youtube.
This is tiring. Very tiring!
No, I am not complaining because I love blogging. But it still is tiring. To put it into perspective, after work I normally work another 3-4 hours on the blog. Every single day. Sometimes I edit a photo for hours, a social media post can take one hour if I want to make a proper investigation for my caption and it can take hours to upload a blogpost to my website including editing and resizing photos, not to mention editing videos. Having said videos, believe it or not, it is actually easier and less time consuming to edit videos than writing a blogpost in two languages and searching for photos.
So this has been going on for months now and in between a pandemic broke out, we moved house, did some renovation and transformed a garden. It was difficult to split my attention and focus on all these things plus learning how to edit photos and videos and God knows what else.
But I always believed that my efforts would pay off.
Indeed more and more people from the US, Canada, the UK and Hungary started to find my blog and comment on my blog posts which is excellent, however as much as I am running between all the social media platforms and private life I do not understand how this can happen. This is definitely positive, but surprising at the same time.
Equally, I love my tiny audience on Facebook because it is small and I think the community is great. Creating content for a great community is certainly inspiring and motivating.
So there are positive signs but I have become exhausted in the process. I did not realise how much I was in the rat racer and my life did not consist of anything else but work and blogging. I would have liked to spend time on interior design, gardening, photography, learning how to make videos properly, doing some sports and have a private life but did not have time for them.
It is only me to be blamed for this. As Bill says the only person that is pushing me is me.
The other part of the story is different and not sure where to start…
As I spent more time with photography and photo editing, my photos became better and better and I got more and more positive feedback mainly on Instagram.
What’s wrong with that?
Nothing. But you wait and see how Instagram really works – at least how those Accounts work who post about England or the UK.
So there are bloggers on Instagram with hundreds of thousands or thousands of followers who visit different places in the UK, National Trust sites and post photos of country houses, cottages and landscapes – just like me btw with the difference that I do not have a massive number of followers. Some of these bloggers write in an interesting way about the places but the majority have a Wikipedia feel about the content..
It took me some time to realise that whenever these Influencers visit a place or a cottage or anything, then those with less followers (10-20K) go and visit exactly the same place and post exactly the same image…
I found it really frustrating, disappointing and not creative at all.
It might be psychology… Something like people wanting to bu the same coat they have just seen a celebrity wearing on Instagram… Everybody wants the same. Even if there are nicer or more interesting coats, they still would want the same as the celebrity.
Of course, there is nothing new under the Sun, I am aware of that. I know that we all like visiting the same places and there is nothing wrong with it. Probably I too post photos of buildings and places that were visited by many other bloggers before and I too could be blamed for not being genuine and copying others. Having said that, I always try to find something interesting at an Instagram favourite place and post that rather than the boring usual stuff.
Probably nobody would be interested in the fact that I always paid attention to not being influenced by magazines, television or any other media. I get my inspiration from books I read years ago or from old English films and series. And I am not talking here about holiday photos but photos taken buy photographers or photographers-to-be-s or bloggers whose take on the same building should be different, I think. I do appreciate there are buildings that are difficult to make a photo from a different angle from purely because of their locations. But that’s different.
It has been a while now that I noticed that some influencers started to like some of my photos. Not following, just liking which means that Instagram probably suggested my Account for them because of the similar interest and hashtag. I could put money on it that rookies would all be over the moon for a like by an Influencer and would “eat it up”.
But then slowly it has become suspicious… and I might be paranoid and I may overreact it I don’t know but when you realise
- that an Influencer suddenly visits a site which is the cover photo of your blog and she visited the place after you published the photo,
- that an influencer suddenly starts to give information in their videos whereas they never used to before
- that as soon as I started to post photos about the Chilterns – which is only photographed by a handful of people on a regular basis – suddenly an Influencer announces on Instagram that she has discovered a new area and starts to post about the Chilterns… This person liked my photos before btw…
- that a person with 10K followers posted a photo of the mill with the plunger looking dome and chimney a few days after I did… not only that, the photo is almost taken from the same angle and with the same branches in the foreground…
…then it becomes suspicious and you ask yourself the question: Is it really coincidence and synchronicity…?
To discover a new area and posting pictures about it is not a sin. But if the person was indeed inspired by someone else because he or she saw it on someone else’s Account, then the fair thing would be to say it. Say that you have been inspired by XYZ or you found amazing photos on XYZ’s Account or in a book or just whilst you were driving home. I have seen that happen before so it works. This is how it should work. But Influencers are not fair – apart from rare exceptions.
To say I was very disappointed would be an understatement. Although I do not care about the number of followers (NB Macmillan Advert: “Cancer doesn’t give a damn about the number of your followers”) yet the success or results are measured in numbers on these platforms. So when I post a photo of my beloved area that I research and am being passionate about and put my heart into every post, I get nowhere, but when an Influencer posts a photo of the same thing, he or she gets tons of new followers and gets the cake.
That’s what upsets me. That’s unfair.
After this a few friends of mine remarked: “Gizi, you probably have more influence on Instagram than you think…”
“What? Meeee….? That can’t be? I can’t influence anybody with 60K followers. I only have 1,5K…!”
Or maybe I can… Maybe that’s the case and that’s what is happening. No idea. Maybe the reason why it upsets me is because I am simply not used to influence others… if I do at all…
All in all, whether influencer or not I found it extremely disappointing that people pinch your ideas, style or content. Yes, I know… Ildikó would say now that those who need your content will always find you and will always prefer your content. That’s true. Still it upsets me and as it is my problem, I have to fix it.
Let me emphasise my issue is not that we take photos of the same thing. We all like the same things. But if you do get inspired by me or others and go to the same place, at least try to make a photo from a different angle or go in a different season so that it looks different. Try to be unique and creative and give credit.
Another thing I will never understand is how some people think they are very important persons and they announce where they are going, what they are doing. Who cares? It is sad to see how many people don’t get the attention at home and they are craving for attention and compensating on social media…
You say it is me taking the whole thing to my heart and too seriously?
Maybe. Maybe I am totally overreacting it and everything is just a coincidence. 🙂 But it really upset me. As much as I did not post anything for days or weeks. I questioned whether it makes sense to carry on if my ideas, creativity and content gets pinched. I felt emptiness. No I did not burn out, it was a different feeling. Emptiness, disappointment, injustice and insensitiveness.
Every cloud has a silver lining they say and indeed, I realised that I have to put my creative energy into something that I really like doing and cannot be stolen or copied. I am working on it now beside blogging and it makes me feel better. Much better.
Getting back to the first part of this post, I decided to slow down and care less about social media. On this note, let me remark that some professional photographers who quit social media and focused on their photography and blog, reported to be much happier and balanced since.
Well, I have taken things easier in the past few weeks and given myself time to exercise, to go for a walk, to bake and to chill. I am reading every night now which I have no idea when last happened. I am getting balanced again, my creativity is back on track and I am full of ideas. That’s how I like blogging.
Last but not least a few words about videos
I loved doing it. No, I did not like being in front of the camera or to be in the spotlight, that is not the reason I made the videos. In fact, that is the bit that I hated in making videos. The reason I made the videos was to GIVE. To show something different. To give MORE.
It was very difficult to learn to speak in front of the camera even in my own language. That’s because my own language has become passive, because I don’t speak Hungarian very often living in England. I mainly write in Hungarian but I do not speak it. Realising what happened to my mother language was shocking and I had to learn to speak and express myself again.
As I was getting better and better at it, I realised this was simply too much for me. It is very difficult to make beautiful photos, to shoot videos and to take all in and enjoy yourself when visiting a place. Also on top of blogging and social media, making videos was just too much.
I am not saying I give it up for good, no. In my mind I know exactly what I would like to achieve but for that I should do the blog full time which is not the case unfortunately.
Why have I told you all this?
Normally I don’t involve my audience in my private life because I don’t think they should know what’s going on behind the curtains or if I have problems. They should be entertained and not burdened with problems. However, at this time the things that happened are blog-related, I thought my audience should know about them and should know how much it upset me and what the reason behind non-posting was. You will see me around I am sure on social media, but maybe not quite so often, but as always I will endeavour to continue giving the best that I can, to you all. Because I do respect and love my audience.