A lot has changed in 9 years. When I posted THIS, my very first blog post here on HOB, I had no idea what to expect. I stayed awake until the sun would (literally) come up researching how to blog. I taught myself html and various platforms to keep with the latest technology. I even (uncomfortably) uploaded videos of myself explaining things like how to airbrush and whatever else I thought would be engaging on YouTube. I like talking about all things beauty, an industry I’ve been a part of for 20 years now.
Back then we did it mostly for fun (although the free product part was awesome) and maybe pennies per click for ad space. There were times I’d get checks in the mail for $2. Though I’m still sent invites for Fashion Week, I’ve gone only once reporting live back home to CO from NY, and rubbing elbows with all the celebs backstage feeling completely awkward and out of place, but also proud knowing that I earned my invite by sitting down at my desk every single day for hours writing truthful and thoughtful reviews. (And by the way, I footed the bill for the 6 day trip.) I’ve blogged dutifully, and happily for the last 9 years because I love it. I still do.
But lately I started feeling that this social media landscape was evolving to a point where I no longer felt included. The heavy, contoured makeup isn’t what my clients (or most people) are wearing, but Instagram would have you believing otherwise. And though I’ve been making the transition to more natural and organic lines, as a Makeup Artist I’m finding that natural makeup doesn’t always work as well so I still use some traditional formulas which makes me not ‘green’ enough for the eco-only crowd. Then recently someone I admire in the green beauty space made her whole glorious IG feed shoppable and I don’t fault her for wanting to capitalize on her hard work and countless hours, but it made it all somewhat less pure to me knowing I was now just looking at a giant ad. I’m constantly reading posts about a child’s first day of school only to find out that their morning was made better thanks to a certain cereal or how cute they are taking a nap on their new organic mattress. I regularly (much to my husband’s amazement) turn down thousands of dollars of revenue from potential sponsors who I don’t feel comfortable touting. And though many of these sponsorships seem like a natural fit for other bloggers, they never have for me. I guess I’m just not good at it.
It has all inspired me to go back to basics. HOB is here to stay because I love it so much, but I want those who have been with me for this almost decade long journey to continue to trust what I have to say so I’ve made the decision for my blog to be 100% sponsor and affiliate link free. Everything you click on will go straight to the company where they’ll be solely rewarded should you make a purchase. So many of the companies I love are small ones, so every bit of revenue counts – and they deserve it.
I want to get back to the purity of blogging while taking the stress out of it on my end which squashes my creativity and sucks the fun out of it. And for those who are making money from your blogs and social feeds KUTOS! This is an industry of (largely) women who are hustling every single day to get in front of people to share messages from brands (and themselves) which is never an easy thing to do. Putting yourself out there to be scrutinized (I was called both old and a man last month online!) takes courage.
Lastly, I have a new exciting project launching Monday (deets to come!!) that will provide a revenue stream while allowing me to work from home so I can be with my 3 little girls while still blogging. Whew. If that sounds like a lot, it’s because it is, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Thanks for continuing this journey with me. I’m so excited heading into the next chapter.
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