Challenges and Learnings from starting a Blog/YouTube Channel

Some of you may have noticed that I have not been blogging or filming for quite some time now. In all honesty I found it hard to make the time but that also went hand in hand with pure lack of motivation. I wanted my first blog back in January 2019 to be about my learnings from starting my blog and YouTube channel. One thing I want to make clear is that despite this blog being about the challenges and learnings this does not mean I am any less passionate about the blog or makeup. I have full intentions to come back bigger and better than ever and do a lot more with the blog and YouTube content.

Negativity Online

When I started my YouTube channel last year I had 2 goals;

1.     To wear and use my makeup again (the colours/ styles I used to love to create but would not normally wear to my office job)

2.     To create a social platform where people had the opportunity to learn

I was always realistic with myself that I was never going to become a “YouTube sensation” or even “Instagram famous”, that doesn’t interest me. I wanted to get back into doing something I really enjoyed and help others along the way. To be completely honest I was so surprised when my first video got to over 100 views, I remember screaming with excitement to Zac. I only share my links to Facebook and Instagram so to have that many made me super chuffed. I continued to create my videos and to my delight one of my videos hit 1.3k views! Unfortunately, there are always those few people who like to tear down the growing confidence of others, I do not know who they are but it got to the point where I would upload a video and in just a few minutes of me posting the link on my social media I got a thumbs down. Before anyone says it, I know a few thumbs down is not that bad on a video or the end of the world, that’s not the point, it just gets you thinking about who it could be and why. When you are an over thinker that certainly does not help either!

Lessons Learnt

Going into 2019 I need to not be so naïve about the internet and accept there will always be people online who hide behind the screen and enjoy putting others down. I need to not take it personally, build a thicker skin and just remember I am doing this for me and for the love of it! The internet is not always a nice place but that’s just the reality.

The Cost of Staying Relevant

Whilst working for Urban Decay I became obsessed with makeup and I spent a lot of money getting as many of the new eye shadow palettes, foundations, bronzers, highlighters as I possibly could from many brands. Yes, this meant I had a pretty impressive collection of makeup but this also meant I had spent a lot of money on makeup I did not always wear. When you work on a counter which encourages to wear crazy colours of electric blues, greens, purples and pinks every time you are at work it means you are using that makeup almost every day. Since stepping away from retail and moving to an office environment I choose to wear more “natural” makeup if any at all, yes that is my choice but it’s also because of time. So now I have my impressive collection of makeup and hardly any time or place to wear it!

So here is the dilemma, I have lots of makeup, so many colours, a variety of brands and yet they are now classed as old. Some of these palettes are only a few weeks/ months old yet brands have launched new palettes/makeup at such a rate that even a palette you bought before Christmas 2018 is probably old already! Influencers who are already well established and have a good following by both viewers and brands are ok because they get sent PR boxes so they do not find it difficult to fall behind yet for everyone else we have to pay to keep up. Think about how many “must have” brands there are and how many eye shadow palettes are being launched in just a short space of time (as an example, you have the main brands range as well as collaborations and limited edition palettes all being launched every few months). One moment you are saving to spend £46 on the new Anastasia Beverly Hills palette then you also wanted to try the Morphe X James Charles palette that everyone is talking about, OH but you also saw that *insert influencers name here* bought the Makeup Revolution Foundation and said it’s the next best thing and to top it all off you ran out of Urban Decay Primer Potion but there is a new P Louise eye primer being hyped about so do you risk getting that and hope it’s as good as you heard? There are so many choices out there now, and by the time you have heard an influencer raving about one product you save up, you buy it and even by the next week guaranteed they have uploaded a new video about something else. I wish I could afford to do that! I really do, the most successful YouTubers and most watched beauty gurus are those who give you variety and up to date insight in all things new in the industry.

Lesson Learnt

2019 let’s be realistic here, I would rather use my YouTube channel to give my viewers multiple looks using one palette which may be “so last year” but if it means my channel can be used by people still trying to enjoy a palette they may have taken months to save up for and still adore then I should be happy. I still ADORE my Naked palette from Urban Decay, it may have been launched years ago and its discontinued now but there must be thousands of people still using it and looking to find new ways to incorporate some of the colours they have never touched. As for my more colourful and braver palettes, yes not everyone will have those, but if my viewers love watching looks being created with colour and have another palette with some blues and greens in then they can make it their own with whatever palette they like! Plus, there are only so many colours out there now that they are starting to repeat themselves, I have noticed in some of my own palettes that the transition shades from one brand to another are all looking similar.

I would rather finish 2019 with a decent amount of savings, memories of a few wild and adventurous trips away and some new makeup to add to the collection but more staple pieces, makeup that I genuinely think is unique and different to what I already have.

Time

I must admit I did not give enough credit to those YouTubers and influencers who film and blog so regularly. I had never edited videos before I started my YouTube and WOW its complicated and time consuming. I only use the most basic of video editing software too! Despite this I do not think other people consider or understand how much time it takes to create, edit and post the content. As passionate I am about doing my makeup and as much as I really do want to get back into the blogging it is hard to fit it all in to one week sometimes. It gets frustrating when I have an idea and I am so motivated to sit down and just spend the weekend/evening dedicating my time to the look/blog and then something else comes up. I run twice a week in the evening, I started doing gym classes 3 times a week during the week, I work full time, I try and see my boyfriend, I try and see my family at home, I travel to see family I do not live with, I want to keep up with a Netflix series I started and then I also want to see friends! There are just not enough hours in the day to be filming and writing all the time. If I could afford to work part time and maybe upload a video once a week that would be great but it’s just not possible for me at this time of my life, like I think would be the same for most people. When I stopped posting I started being asked lots of questions about why, I was always open and honest and talked about lack of time but also motivation as previously mentioned but rather than people understanding I almost felt like they were angry. I think if people understood that a lot of people write blogs or upload videos just for a hobby and because they want to be part of a community whilst sharing their passion then there might be less pressure to constantly post/upload, after all, I am only doing this for fun.

Lessons Learnt

Set expectations for both myself and for those who choose to follow me. I loved filming and editing last year and I am certainly going to organise myself better this year to film more but I will not force myself to create content for the sake of it. I think I might even broaden my content so that my followers can see more than just the makeup side of my life. I might film some of my travels and other things I set out to achieve in 2019.

My Never Ending Love Affair

Finally, on a more positive note, aside from the challenges and some of the negativity I have experienced since setting up my blog and YouTube channel my love and interest in makeup still is strong. I am constantly looking for new inspiration and I have saved so many looks, followed so many smaller but incredibly talented artists and I am feeling so much more inspired to start a fresh this New Year. I am going to work harder to improve my website and the existing content and I hope those who view this will continue to support me in my ventures moving forward.

 H x