I’ve been thinking a lot about authenticity lately. I think it might be because my Instagram following is getting bigger and I’m getting asked to read books and try new things and promote new products that aren’t related to books. I’m what people consider an “influencer” and while I’m super grateful for the point that I’ve reached I’m asking myself where’s the authenticity of all of this?
I found myself the other day taking over 50 shots of myself in different positions just thinking whether or not this post would get me over 500 likes. I mean, how is that a way to think about things and what is the message I’m sending if that’s what I’m trying to accomplish?
On one hand of the spectrum, you are gaining this traction and sharing your thoughts and sharing your life with so many people and on the other side you want to make this a career and become an entrepreneur and be your own boss. It’s a constant push and pull and a place to easily lose your sense of self and authenticity.
So what do you do in a situation like this? How do you keep yourself you in a sea of possibility and growth and what other people would consider “selling out?”
I know a lot of people (myself included) that want to take what they’re doing for free and make something real out of it. For some people it’s already a reality and for others we’re still working on getting there. And thinking about it, I think I realized that authenticity exists even if you’re trying to sell a product to people.
The funny thing about authenticity is that it’s easy to see beyond the bullshit. So how do you avoid that situation?
I have no idea. But I can’t help but to think about three steps that I hope to remember every time I wonder about my authenticity.
The first step to developing your brand is always knowing who you are. Are you a vegan selling dairy ice cream? Are you a naturalist putting on lipstick to sell to your followers? Stick to what’s true to you because in the end after wading all the bullshit, that’s all you have left.
The second step is to find those things you want to promote because it just makes sense to you and it makes you happy. Don’t sell sunglasses if you don’t like going outside and don’t wear high heels when they hurt your feet.
The final step is don’t give up. I think a lot of us want to feel “important” or more like an influencer so they say yes to everything. Don’t sell yourself short. You’re a unique and interesting human being, so follow that first step of knowing yourself and know that even though you’re not making money being a blogger, you’re influencing people’s lives.
11 thoughts on “Being a book blogger and being authentic”
Love this post! I agree that it’s perfectly fine to promote when you are happy with said product. Not just because someone contacted you and wants to give you free stuff if you do x amount of things. As long as you are true to yourself and repping something you truly believe in or love.
It goes back to that convo we had about that ice cream brand. Like yeah, book lovers love those sweet treats, but should I be selling an ice cream I can’t even eat?
Simone, this particular blog is quite valuable to us. Because at The Queue (which now exists in two NC towns about an hour and half apart), are goal is to eventually morph into a literary culture magazine. We’re not glued to the idea of a paper, print magazine — but, yes, something worth monetizing.
Thank you for talking about and bringing light to this cultural situation.
Sarah, one of ladies behind The Queue
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That’s so awesome to hear that you plan on creating a literary mag! It’s especially tough with magazines since there’s a lot of ad space available and a lot of people who want in on that. Good luck! If you ever need a contributing writer, hit me up 😀
That sounds like a wonderful proposition, Simone. Will do!
I’m so excited to see where this new push for authenticity takes you! I was so impressed with your Instagram post the other day- it takes a lot of courage to present yourself honestly to the world, particularly after feeling that you may not have been in the past. I wish you the best of luck in your journey!!
Thanks, girl! Yeah, I’m approaching this whole blogging thing in a way that serves my followers and myself. It’s tough though when you’re not a fan of saying “no.”
Yeah I hear ya! I’ve struggled with that too but I’ve noticed that once I recognized it in myself and made an effort to change it has been much better for me. And I’ve survived the process.
Now reading this makes me feel the exact same way. I don’t have much of a social media presence but I definitely spend more time than I should taking photos of book aesthetics. Thankfully, I have been able to stick to promoting only the things I love. I’m so happy you decided to shrug off the pressure and do what you know is good for you.
Thanks for the thoughts here!
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