There is a assumption when you start blogging that there’s some mythical winning formula that everyone should follow to guarantee success, or a set of rules that you must stick to in order to ‘make it’. There isn’t. And 4+ years on, I still have to remind myself of this. I think a lot of these assumptions are imposed by other bloggers - or other bloggers’ critics; the truth is that beyond being ethical and legal (eg declaring paid content) your blog can be however you want it to be. Replicating others’ work is not the way to stand out from the crowd - it’s obvious when you think about it… white backgrounds and fairy lights are not the only way.
The bloggers and YouTubers who inspire me the most are those who do their own thing and don’t conform to the norm. Their work really excites me and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. I’ve recommended them individually to lots of people, but thought I’d share a few favourites with you today - I hope you find them equally inspiring, or at least entertaining!
Worship Blues was one of the first blogs that I discovered and I haven’t stopped reading since. I love it because it offers a new way of looking at life and an appreciation of the little things, summed up well in Never Stop Exploring. The blog is written by stylish husband and wife team, Yasumi & Hiro who describe it as ‘encouraging others to give into a daydream or twenty,’ among other things. I love their philosophy, which you can read here. Yasumi also makes many beautiful things, from jewellery to textiles, and I’m lucky enough to own a few of her pieces. She has just had a baby but plans to reopen her shop soon, linked from her blog home page, worshipblues.com. She is also one of the kindest souls I have encountered - and I consider myself lucky to call her a friend.
Forever Amber is written by a beautiful Scottish redhead with a penchant for 50s-inspired dresses, high heels and polka dots. Despite All The Charm, what I love most of all is her writing style. Frank, funny and witty, her posts (and stunning photographs) feature style, beauty, blogging and more - and never cease to inspire me. Take this quote from a recent post, Random things I’ve learned from 9 years of blogging: “Everyone else always seems to be doing it better than you: It’s easier to view this as inspiration, rather than getting jealous. If they can do it, so can you: how amazing is that?”
What a refreshing way to look at the competition - and for the record, blogging is extremely competitive. I’ll never forget the day I reached 100 followers. 6000 later and I’m glancing over my shoulder at those who have 10,000 or 100,000. I try hard to keep my head down and continue doing the best I can, but it never feels quite enough - and that’s ok. I’m constantly fired up to do better.
Amber’s blog is bursting with great content, some serious, some tongue in cheek and a lot of humour. Things that tell me I’m not a real grown up makes me laugh so much: “When parents tell their children to “watch out for that lady!” I always look over my shoulder to see who the “lady” is, and then am totally shocked to discover the lady is ME.” Ditto Things redheads are sick of hearing or Is it because I lied when I was 17?
photo: Casey Neistat, YouTube
I’ve been reading both of the above for a few years now, but my newest
addiction discovery is Casey Neistat’s YouTube channel. Casey is a New York film maker who recently started daily vlogging and is racing towards 1 million subscribers, all in the middle of setting up a new company (his video app BEME launches soon). He’s incredibly down to earth, personable and makes the ordinary entertaining, probably due to such an infectious enthusiasm for life. Make it Count pretty much sums up why I’m hooked on his content - it’s been a while since I’ve come across someone who fits so much living into every minute of every day. Drawing my Life may explain why. I also love the glimpses into his relationship with his wife and baby, from Surprised my Girlfriend to Marriage Confession. Oh and the one about his Wildly Functional Studio Set Up made me want to reorganise my entire house immediately.
I could go on and on, but these are my Top 3 for now. I’m very aware in all of this that I am not one who stands out from the crowd, or am particularly different in any way, except perhaps being old enough to be most bloggers’ mum! Actually I’ve just joined a 30+ blog collective, which you can read more about on London Beauty Queen, another fantastic read by Hayley, who isn’t afraid to speak her mind!
Who are your favourites to read or watch?