Welcome back to the CCL Diaries- it’s been a little while since I’ve done one of the diaries hasn’t it! Things for me have been pretty crazy again now that work is back to normal, and I am working on lots of exciting projects. I have had a few questions about Youtube, so I thought now was a good time to address this. There is also a little bit of a controversial topic that I touch upon in this blog. I usually try and stay away from anything controversial, so I have been researching and reading lots of other articles about this particular topic, to gain a good understanding of different opinions.
Why I ‘Quit’ YouTube …
I had always wanted to start a YouTube channel alongside my blog, but I felt I was better at writing, than speaking in front of the camera. Having completed an undergraduate degree and a masters, I loved writing about things that I was passionate about, and it just came naturally for me to be creative through writing.
Youtube was much more of an ‘unknown’, and was very much outside of my comfort zone. The content that I currently film is nearly always portrait, so that it can be shared across my social media channels, and I found it frustrating that the same content then couldn’t ever be added into a Youtube video as well.
Finally deciding to give it a go anyway, I was brave and took the plunge in the Spring. I knew it would take time to build up an audience on there, so I didn’t become disheartened by views or subscribers, despite the amount of time it was taking me to get the filming to a reasonable standard to post. However, around the time of posting my third video, I had an influx of ‘dislikes’ against the videos. I was sat at home literally watching them go up by the minute. At the same time, my Instagram had been inundated with some spam comments.
Following this, I had a huge confidence knock. I don’t know why, but it triggered becoming overly critical of my appearance in videos, picking apart every single part of myself in front of the camera. For someone who is in front of the camera on a regular basis, I became shocked how negative I was becoming about my appearance, and how much it was upsetting me. It got to the point where I was rerecording videos for days at a time, to see if I looked slightly better on a different day. I had poured so much time into videos which I then never published, because I was in such a state over how I looked in them. It got to the point for me where my confidence was so shattered, I just stopped.
I think to have a fantastic blog and Youtube channel alongside each other is very tricky, most people who have both, still have a stronger focus on one over the other. My blog is my main focus, things are so busy here, and I have so much content coming on this channel, that I am not disheartened by my break from YouTube.
My plan is still very much to get back onto YouTube again. I had the confidence to start the channel, so that is somewhere within me. I did leave my YouTube channel up and running, and I have some exciting things planned for this, which I WILL be going ahead with! – Stay tuned over there so you don’t miss anything!
Whilst I generally prefer to avoid controversial topics, I have done a lot of research into this one, to try and gain a better understanding of all different opinions associated with the topic, before expressing my own opinion.
I’m noticing more and more aggravation expressed over other peoples content on social media at the moment. I sometimes think people forget that we are all just posting what we want, and everyone has the right to post what they want to. People are just going about their lives. If they want to call themselves an ‘influencer’ does it really matter, is it really effecting us and our own lives?
I personally dislike the term influencer, but that is just my own personal opinion. It essentially describes someone with specialised knowledge, and an audience within a certain niche, which actually, so many people on social media would now fall under. It is no longer a term solely attached to reality stars and celebrities. Social media is a hugely beneficial marketing tool, and I for one, do pretty much all of my shopping from things I’ve seen on Instagram and Facebook. I’m influenced by everyone I follow – that’s why I follow them! So, technically everyone who posts influences their audience to a certain degree.
Several posts/comments/polls I have been seeing recently, have been expressing severe frustration towards these types of accounts – but then if we are now suggesting that anyone with specialised knowledge posting about a niche topic is ‘influencing’ why are we suddenly annoyed at them? If you don’t like what someone is posting, or don’t like their version of ‘reality’, there’s mute and unfollow buttons, so you only ever have to expose yourself to the content that you really enjoy. It seems as though most of this frustration is aimed at ‘influencers’, bloggers and YouTubers, who are reviewing items.
I wonder where this frustration comes from. Possibly from the fact that so many are chasing the life of these content creators, and in turn Social Media is becoming more and more of an envious place?
I do think social media to a certain extent, has become a game, and if you post very genuinely, it is a somewhat difficult one to play. There are lots of tactics out there to try and source followers, likes and ultimately work. I am very against these tactics being used. Honestly, I could list off hundreds of images/captions that I could post on my social channels that would probably gain more ‘likes’, but I don’t want to work in that way.
Being part of this content creation bubble, I am very aware of what goes on, and how people are working, but everyone has a choice to avoid those tactics… but sadly that doesn’t always get you those ‘quick results fast’.
I can sort of understand why people are resorting to certain tactics in order to gain likes, it can be hard to consistently achieve the same number of likes across posts, without falling into the traps of posting ‘samey’ content. However, I just don’t think personally there is any enjoyment in posting or seeing this type of content. I would rather have less social media pull, and post content I have really thought about, and am proud of, than knowing I resorted to tactics just to gain a few more likes or followers. This is probably to my detriment, but, I would rather do my pages my way. Someone having less likes than you, means nothing, with content creation there is always a bigger picture, so just chasing likes is an interesting approach, despite seeming the way to collaborations and work, or status!
People seem to be so very envious of the life of influencers/bloggers/youtubers, and I often find myself asking why? What is it that people see when they look at these pages? What is so desirable? I think it is important to put into context what life is really like under these brackets. There is financial investment, tight deadlines, stress, tears, anxiety, lack of sleep, perfectionism, burnout. Yes it is amazing, but does it come easy, and is it simple? No, definitely not. My content is never ever ready. I have to force myself to press publish on posts/blogs/content, to me I am such a perfectionist that I could sit on content forever, in my eyes it is never ready and it is never perfect. There is always more I could do. And as much as I love what I do, and I really do, it . is . hard.
Those looking in on the world of bloggers/influencers and YouTubers, who hear them talking openly about their experiences, seem to only offer the advice of ‘why don’t you take a break’. For me, those are the exact words of someone who doesn’t understand what we do, and probably never will. We LOVE what we do, but it is not easy.
Many of us are not simply faking content to gain views, we spend all of our time creating and nurturing our content. Everyone at the moment seems to be chasing and craving this ‘influencer’ life, through simply posting things they think people want to see or what worked well in the past, but what are they hoping for in return? Validation? ‘Free’ product? I often wonder what it is that is being chased under these circumstances.
I have been doing blogging for a little while now, and see the sheer desperate measures that some people will take for more followers or likes, and when does that stop? At what point are we satisfied, and at what goal? What is it that is assumed will happen with the bigger numbers, and the more likes? There is no big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, because if you are forever chasing the numbers, you will just forever be chasing more.
Anyway, I have actually just gone totally off topic on all different points there, but I think it is good for us all to understand each other. I became frustrated initially by seeing these constant posts, polls and comments about how negative ‘influencer’ profiles are, but I also saw something talking about people living in flats on a lemonade budget trying to live a champagne lifestyle, in reference to influencers. I think comments like this are detrimental. Someones house has absolutely no impact on their ability to work as a content creator, blogger, youtuber, influencer etc. Collaborating with brands has absolutely noting to do with financial status?? If you don’t like what you see on these pages, you could unfollow them. I reiterate, we only have to expose ourselves to what we want to see and follow.
There are so many people out there with blogs, Youtuber channels etc that content create with purpose, and they don’t simply post in order to gain a ‘free jumper’ then giving it a glowing review. Many of the people posting good reviews, do so because they have defined a very strong criteria for working with brands, and are then extremely selective of who and what work they choose to accept, and then review!
To be perfectly honest, I am not very good at writing about controversial topics, however, I do think it is always good to hear other sides of the ‘story’.
Moving swiftly on…..
When I started writing this blog, I had initially written about being so heartbroken over the racing season. However, a lot has now changed since then! So here I find myself completely rewriting this section. When the news broke that under the tiered restrictions, spectators would be able to visit sports stadiums following the lockdown end, I had hoped this would mean one things – Cheltenham!
My history with racing goes way back, I did my high school work experience on a racing yard, and at the end of this I was offered a job there. I became so completely fascinated with Thoroughbreds, and my love for this sport only grew when I went to university and studied equine science. Pretty much all of my University research was based around racehorses and jockeys, and with Cheltenham racecourse only down the road, it is no surprise that much of my A/W life is revolving around the NH season.
I have a Cheltenham membership every year, and I still went on to purchase my new season membership earlier on in the Summer. Despite everyone thinking I was completely crazy, it turns out that I will now be back at Cheltenham next weekend, and honestly, I couldn’t be any more excited. When I read the email to say that I had been successful in the ballots, I cried. Wow, I was not expecting to feel so emotional, but after this year, I am just so grateful to be able to get back to doing one of the things I love.
For me, work is very much back in full swing again, and life is back to the much busier way I like things. I do feel like I am struggling more with the darker nights and wet weather this year though. I think because of the year we have had, the awful weather just makes us all feel that little bit more unmotivated.
If you’ve followed me for a little while, you’ll know last year was an extremely difficult year for me, and to be honest, I was sad, really, really sad. I came out of something, which turned my life upside down, and my life changed a lot. I am definitely someone that found this year tough, as I was finally getting back to myself again, and all I wanted to do was be busy, and fill my life with everything I loved, but instead I was given a lot of time to process what happened, and whilst I probably needed this, it has been tough me on. I know this year has been tough on everyone too, so I know we will all be looking forward to a time when we are all feeling a little more normal.
I’m working on some really exciting blog projects at the moment, which I hope you will stay tuned for. I have lots of winter projects planned, so if you are needing a little inspo – you can subscribe at the bottom of this page, so you don’t miss any posts.
That’s all for now Darling’s.
Speak very soon indeed.
Lots of love, Lucinda xo
‘A BEAUTIFUL THING, IS NEVER PERFECT’PROVERB
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