Back when I was 8 years old, I started going to my grandads writers group with him every Saturday. I absolutely loved going with him & he would make me write short stories whilst I was there. I always loved writing and in school I really liked English. When I started up a Facebook page, I found myself sharing stuff about fashion & beauty on my personal Facebook page. It was then I thought about starting thinking about having my own personal page to share and write stuff I liked.
Back in 2012, there wasn’t many bloggers, actually Pippa, Faces by Grace or Rosie hadn’t even started their blogs at all. I knew that it was writing that I loved the most so I researched everything myself on my own about starting it all up. I spent endless hours thinking up of a name and finally came up with The Secret Obsession. I got myself a Blogspot at the time and set up a Facebook page. Instagram wasn’t even around back then nor was Snapchat. I remember thinking at the time, will anyone even read it? But I genuinely didn’t care if only one person read it, it was more an outlet for me and something I just enjoyed doing.
The more I done it, the more I enjoyed it. I wanted my own website and a proper one at that. So I bought the domain www.thesecretobsession.com and look into getting a proper website done up. These days you can get websites done for little or nothing but me being me, I wanted something really good. I worked with Gary in Ocean Design Studio to create what is now The Secret Obsession. My blog started off based a lot on Celeb Gossip, Fashion and Beauty but the over the years it’s evolved into more of a Lifestyle Blog. I still obviously do a lot of Fashion and Beauty related posts but I find my lifestyle section is what people view the most. Last year I added in a travel section to my blog as I found doing the job I do meant I was travelling a LOT more.
When I started my blog I never sought out to get paid for anything. I was happy to just do my blog, write blog posts and get invited now & again to the odd event. The more followers I got the more people got in touch with me – PRS, companies and brands started to slowly notice my blog and take interest. Before I knew it, I was at 15,000 on Facebook and 5,000 on Instagram. Then the likes of Snapchat came in, so it meant a lot of people starting out were not actually blogging as such but more just ‘snapping’. For me it’s always been about writing a blog post not just using social media. People say blogs are dying and social media is taking over but I don’t believe that’s the case. I think people still enjoy reading blog posts and if you are a good blogger then you’ll write posts that are totally relatable which people will like.
In a world where it’s all about watching someone’s every move, I try to just always do me no matter what. If I don’t want to snap I won’t, if I don’t want to share something I won’t and if I don’t want to talk about something I won’t do that either. For instance coming off Snapchat at the start of the year when everyone was still very much on Snapchat was a decision I made for ME at the time. I didn’t care what anyone else was doing because it didn’t suit me to continue it. Fast forward 10 months and I’m back on it, circumstances changed and I chose to go back. I had never wanted to take my blog full time nor do I ever want to do it full time as I’ve got my career and path I want to follow. It’s always been a side gig for me as I’ve mentioned many times before. I think that’s why I absolutely still love it as much as I do. Sitting down writing a post feels so good to me, I couldn’t tell you why but it is. I feel like when I write, it’s like I’m just having a chat with a load of people who happen to just enjoy what I’m saying.
Having a blog is much harder than people think. You don’t just write posts and put them up. There is a lot of editing done in the background that people wouldn’t think. This blog post might take me 45mins to write however I’ve to then edit it on the laptop which could be another 30 mins to add photos/main image/tags etc then I can upload it. You also HAVE to have social media for a blog these days too. It’s so important whether it’s Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat you need to have one. These take time and effort also especially when it comes to growing an audience.
My advice for anyone thinking about starting up a blog is to think about it long and hard. It’s not as easy to gain followers these days with restrictions on Instagram and Facebook however if the content is right then you are onto a winner. You need to think what can make you that little bit different and think about why you think people might like to follow you. You need to think of a good name for your blog and if you want to be taken seriously in the industry investing in a website is important too. I’ve certainly made my money back on what I paid for the website but it can be expensive. If you want to start a blog, GO FOR IT. Blogspot is a handy and cheaper way to begin. It’s quite easy to use and a good way to begin.
Last thing I will say is make sure you start it for all the right reasons. Don’t start a blog with the hope you’ll get freebies and paid straight away because that won’t happen. You need to gain momentum which you will if you are focused and really want to do it. Also something to note is not everyone is going to like you. People will be rude, people will be nasty and some people will become extremely jealous. I never EVER EVER see myself as anyone special, I am and always have just been me. I’m very honest and I know most of you will know that. You should always be YOU and remember than everything takes time. You aren’t going to have 5,000 or 20,000 followers overnight so be patient. People will follow you for your personality so just be yourself and enjoy what you do, that will come through.
Something to note, I recently had a girl comment under my photo saying ‘pity your followers can’t see you for the real you’. This is a girl who doesn’t know me at all or I’ve never met before. I’ve been doing this for five years now, I’ve never been anything but me on my blog and social media. I don’t need to argue with this girl because I know how I am on my blog and that’s 100% me. Be prepared for people to bash you at any opportunity they get because they will. You need a thick skin which is something I now most certainly have. Something that might bother my friends won’t bother me in the slightest anymore. If someone doesn’t like me that is fine, I’m not here to please everyone. I’m here to please myself and that is why I started MY BLOG……
I hope you all enjoyed my honesty.
Love Aoibhe xxx
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