Last Monday morning I was checking through my emails as normal, and through my Monday morning coffee haze one email stood out to me in particular. A few quick gulps of coffee later (just to check I was actually reading this email correctly) and there is was…my blog has been nominated for an Award. I did a little squeal, actually it was more like a large scream (sorry neighbours!) I am pretty shocked still and incredibly excited. My Blog has been shortlisted as a finalist for Best Newcomer at the New Generation Beauty Influencer Awards and I have to say I am really rather chuffed, proud and thrilled. My Blog is just over 18 months old now, and the direction in which it is starting to head has been such a rewarding surprise, so I thought a little reflection on how ‘House of Paper Doll’ has developed during these past months, abit about my journey and my thoughts on the Blogging Industry in general would provide a post that’s abit different from my normal.
As a stay-at-home Mum fitting blog posts around the children can sometimes be a little challenging but I love a challenge and lets be honest us women can be pretty amazing at multi-tasking. Our house is chaotic, messy, loud and full energy and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am incredibly lucky to have an incredibly supportive Husband who ‘gets’ my crazy moments when we are out on a family day and Mummy is suddenly standing on a random wall trying to take that perfect Instagram shot. Blogging has given me a new outlet that has taken me outside the role of being a Wife and Mum (which are my greatest achievements and the roles I would never swap for anything). Blogging has somehow given me a little bit of ‘me’ back again and for that I am incredibly thankful and grateful, for those hours I am blogging I am switched off into my own little world, abit of an escapism and its one I am loving more each day. Its funny where life can take you, I started my blog after a scary time following the birth of our youngest child, surviving 2 Pulmonary Embolisms (blood clots on the lungs) days after giving birth and a time in which our lives took an unexpected turn. We muddled through it all and whilst we have certainly been dealt the hugely rough with the smooth it has given me a whole new perspective on the little things in life as well as a new found respect for my health, well-being and of course family. I worked within the Beauty industry years ago so its interesting to be back here again in a whole new way.
Blogging and the Blogging World/Blogger Misconceptions:
The Blogging World itself is quite a surreal place to be and unfortunately there seems to be abit of stigma when it comes to Blogging and in particular Beauty and Fashion Bloggers. There’s maybe even a little stereotype of what a Beauty Blogger is and one that’s maybe seen as abit of an easy/throw-away/roll-your-eyes ‘job’ that attracts young teenage girls pouting their lips through endless Instagram posts. Whilst I get that sometimes it may seem that way on the outside (I hold my hand up that I had abit of that perception a few years ago), now that I am abit more on the ‘inside’ of Blogging I see it in a whole new light and I see the opportunities that are being created for those hard-working Bloggers that are channelling their passions, knowledge, dedication and skills in a creative and business-minded way (Zoella, Inthefrow, Fleurdeforce, Marlene of Makeup Geek, to name but a few). Someone who may start off talking about lipsticks and eyeshadows can grow that into a company that produces organic beauty products with eco-friendly packaging, or someone can turn their growing audience platform of fellow skincare appreciators by talking about other personal topics including raising mental health awareness for example – all of this can only be a good thing (if its handled correctly).
Recognising Blogging as a Career:
I constantly see on social media other Bloggers venting their frustrations on blogger misconceptions, their understandable disgruntlement of it seemingly being easier to criticise than celebrate others – maybe for alot of people they are simply curious as to what bloggers/youtubers do, I know its a question I get asked alot when I mention I am a Blogger. Whether you start out blogging as a hobbie, as an outlet or as a potential business, blogging is now big business and we don’t just sit around playing with makeup and posing for photos even though it is a very generous and sometimes glitzy industry. I have worked for many years in the Beauty World prior to Blogging and I know how closely guarded it can be and at times a little unforgiving, however the industry is a huge one and Bloggers are starting to make up a decent piece of that pie, brands are constantly becoming more open to us, companies are understanding that we have a voice and that readers, consumers and potential customers are listening to us.
As mentioned above, there are Bloggers out there that are launching themselves as huge career women/men with their own lines, brands collaborations and own companies – they are becoming role models and inspirations through their hard work, flare and creativity and I think this is something that should be celebrated, hugely celebrated because Blogging is now a career. And anyone can be a blogger. New blogs are launching daily, you can set up a blog sat in your bedroom and I think this is what makes Blogging so exciting, anyone and everyone can have their own platform for their voice and passions. Where it then may take you is down to you, your choices and often your circumstances. It’s not a career choice for many but for some it is and even though the Blogging World can seem heavily saturated which it sure is, there are still opportunities and the potential work scope there for the taking if that’s your calling and ambition.
And for me?
Well I am someone who is now hoping to make the move into full-time Blogging because I love it, I love writing, I love taking photographs, I love creating my own content and I love having this little outlet where I am able to do all this. I’d like to continue to build up the trust and relationship between myself, my audience and the brands I love. Where is takes me who knows?, I don’t have any large wants, desires or huge ambitions with it, I am happy in my little space doing my thing and sharing my passions, and if I can turn that into a paying career then I will be incredibly happy with that.
When I started writing this post it was initially going to be a short blog post to say a big thank you to the readers of my blog and my followers of social media and then this post just unravelled! And that’s why I love writing like this, and receiving an award nomination has certainly been an unexpected surprise. It’s really welcoming to be recognised next to other like minded-people of whom I am proud as punch to be nominated alongside.
And finally can I be cheeky enough to ask you to Vote for Me?
If you would like to vote for me as Best Newcomer at the New Generation Beauty Influencer Awards here is the link – you will need to enter your name and email address (think this is to ensure only 1 vote from each person & you get entered into a huge Beauty Prize Draw), select Best Newcomer and then Stefanie Russell House of Paper Doll – thank you so much I really do appreciate your vote xx