Taking A Step Back From Instagram

I started my blog a long time ago, mainly focusing on relationships and break ups and hoping I was helping other people through what I was going through. And since it’s transformed, it’s more general but I’m still trying to help people through what I’m going through.

I’ve always been a writer, I’ve always been better about hiding behind my words instead of standing in front of a camera. Being an influencer and a blogger goes hand in hand, so I started building my Instagram following and taking on sponsored campaigns. It was fun for a while, but now it’s just work.

I have a blogging epiphany like every 3 months and recently I was staring at my Instagram feed and was noticing what people liked about it and what they didn’t. I was mostly noticing that 90% of my following doesn’t even interact with my posts, but the 10% that do really care about what I’m doing. That’s when it hit me.

I don’t want people to follow me just because I’m following them and I don’t want to follow people just so they follow me. I’ve recently started unfollowing hundreds of accounts, from mommy bloggers, to people who don’t speak the same language as me, to style bloggers who dress a world’s outside my budget. And I’m actually starting to enjoy Instagram again and seeing people who actually inspire me.

Now my 10% who cares has my focus and they are who I really want to target and inspire. Even though my numbers will drop and that will mean less sponsored posts, I’m so much happier creating content on my terms. I’m hoping this will relieve the stress I feel from a stupid app.

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Sometimes There’s Nothing To Write About

I look at my blog sometimes and am just so frustrated with the content I’m putting out. Sometimes it’s too fluffy, sometimes it’s too bare, and sometimes it’s too dark. And sometimes there’s just nothing to write about.

While I want to have consistent blog posts for my readers and it seems like something they want that too, my life isn’t always that interesting. I’m not always having some kind of epiphany, quarter life crisis, or relationship realization. I can’t always strip down my soul and spill my guts to you all because I don’t always have something to spill. I try to be as personal and vulnerable as possible, but then I see other bloggers writing about miscarriages, divorces, bankruptcy and I feel so unauthentic.

When there’s nothing to write about, I make lists. I talk about some of my goals, my to-do lists, I promote myself and other bloggers. But it can feel cheap sometimes that I can only give an emotionally and beautifully composed piece of writing to you all every once in a while.

There are a lot of doubts when it comes to being a blogger and a lot of comparisons. I don’t feel that I fit in the stereotypical blogging niche and my audience here on the blog certainly differs from my audience on Instagram. While there is always something to take a photo of, there’s not always something to write about. So I hope everyone will bear with me through the fluff and folly while I wait for inspiration.

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Yay 3k! Answers To Your Questions

Thank you all for your questions! Whenever I post an ask for questions, I get so nervous no one is going to respond haha! I am thrilled to welcome 3,000 followers to my WordPress blog and to give you all a chance to learn a little bit more about me. If any of these questions/answers spark more questions for you – feel free to ask me! And if you’re new here I’d love if you’d just drop a smiley face or hello in the comments.

1.What’s the best compliment you ever received?

It’s hard to narrow it down to one, but I think the best compliments are ones that are about things you didn’t know people noticed and are from people you didn’t even know noticed you. Throwing it back to 7th grade, I was in an English class where we all became really close friends and one boy wrote us all little notes at the end of the year and his note described me as a rebel without a cause and went on a little bit complimenting me. It’s always stuck with me, I might still have it in a box somewhere.

2. Where do you see your blog in 1, 3 and 5 year’s time?

In one year, I imagine I’ll still be in the same place I am now. In three years, I would hope I’ve grown a bit and finally reached 10k on Instagram so I can have the swipe up feature and promote my blog/brands more. In five years, I honestly don’t know if the influencer side of my blog will still be around (like working with brands or managing my instagram). It’s exhausting and I might just revert back to blogging without any pressure.

3. What is your next big goal in life in general?

Hmm this is tough because I like to set mini goals for myself and don’t often look too far into the future. I’ve never been the kind of person to say “I want to be making three figures by the time I’m 35!” or “I NEED to be married by 29!” My only main goals that I am continuously working at are traveling as much as I possibly can and finding true comfort and happiness with myself.

4. Do you frequently get contacted by companies for sponsored posts since your blog is so big?!

Nope. Lol I don’t consider my blog to be very big at all and it’s actually taken me almost 4 years to get where I am today which would be considered slow in the blogging world. I am contacted maybe once a month by companies, most of those are asking me to do things for free or in exchange for product so I don’t normally take them up on the offer. I am part of a lot of influencer networks (Social Native, Ambassadher, ApexDrop) where they partner me with brands and I either get paid or I only accept product that I really love/is worth my time in price and quality.

5. What’s one piece of advice you would go back and give yourself when you were first starting out as a blogger?

Do more research and ask more questions to other bloggers. There were so many blogging tools I missed out on my first couple years because I was just winging it. There are so many facebook groups to help out about blogging and articles about growing engagement and influencer networks. I wish I knew more sooner.

6. What’s underrated about New Jersey?

It has everything in one place. The ocean, the mountains, farms, and even cities are not too far away. The scenery of New Jersey is just breathtaking but most people never get much further than Hoboken or the Newark airport so they never get to see it. Asbury Park is a hub of art and music, the jersey shore is magnificent when all the shoobies leave, and the hiking brings you to massive waterfalls and great foliage. I love NJ!

7. Of your friends family etc who reads your blog? Would you ever go to a blogger bash?

My friends read my blog, my boyfriend’s family sometimes reads my blog, people I know from college still read it. My family doesn’t read it too much but I know they have read it in the past. I would love to go to a blogger meet up, but I don’t think I’d like to go to any blogger conventions just yet.

8. How do you find new and interesting content/subjects to write about? Also, do you plan your posts or write when you feel like?

I just write about what I know. I don’t think it’s always interesting, but it’s usually something I get off my chest. My inspiration usually comes from a part of a conversation I’m having and I just jot down the idea. I write when I’m inspired, I can’t force myself to write it just comes out awful. But I save the posts and schedule them because I like to post at least 2x a week and ideas are mostly always flowing for me.

9. How do you promote your posts? What works best for you?

I try to post twice a week and when I do I will “reschedule” my blog post so it posts on the WordPress reader more than once through the day. I also share on Facebook and Twitter but really need to work on getting readers through those platforms.

10. What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?

People who try too hard to fit in or be funny or just get noticed in the group. It makes me cringe and the more they try to be something they’re not, the more I stay away from them.

11. Favorite book?
The Outsiders

12. What’s one thing you admire about your boyfriend?

His patience. When we first started dating I was so grateful for how he allowed me to go at my own pace. Even now, he’s great with just giving me space and letting me talk when I’m ready – even if it takes a little bit of reminding for him to get the hint that I need some quiet.

13. How’s your doggo doing?

Sooooo good! She’s so well behaved and is just perfect – we are proud doggo parents.

14. Dream job?

This is terrible, but my dream job is to have no job at all lol.

15. What’s one thing you can’t live without?

Music. It’s pretty much the only thing that relieves my anxiety and helps me to feel like I fit in somewhere!

If I missed anyone’s questions, I am so sorry and please drop them below and I will answer! Thank you all for the support, I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me!

4 Year Blogiversary

Happy blogiversary to me – I’m celebrating 4 years of Rosie Culture! (Well the real day is somewhere between October 20 and 30th but idk). I’m going to give you a brief background history even though I know a lot of you have heard it all before.

I started this blog as a school project for my New Media concentration and it was all about relationships and initially called Hookup Culture. I was a couple months out of a break up and I was with my ex for four years. It was a really nasty break up that left me with a lot of questions that never really got answered. I was thrown head first into single college life and was just trying to navigate it. Now I’m just trying to navigate in a relationship post grad life and I’ve pretty much learned that no matter what stage of life you’re in, there will always be more questions than answers.

On my first blogiversary post I stated that I had 163 followers on WordPress, over 300 likes on Facebook, and 400 followers on Twitter. Now I have almost 3,000 followers on WordPress, over 600 likes on Facebook, and over 1,000 followers on Twitter. Oh yeah and everyone’s become obsessed with this little thing called Instagram that I’ve put A LOT of time in to grow to almost 7,000 followers.

Thank you to everyone and anyone who has read my blog whether this is your first time and you’re like what the heck is this girl talking about, or if you’ve been here all four years (have you? if you have you need to comment here), or if you’ve been here just a few months! This community has gotten me through a lot and I’ve learned a lot about myself along the way, it’s weird to read back and see how much I’ve grown. I’m going to give you 10 fun facts about me in honor of this blogiversary and I hope that you will comment with a fun fact about yourself 🙂

  1. My real name is Roisin, if you’re from Europe you probably don’t think this is weird but in America it’s pretty weird.
  2. I have a pet leopard gecko named Lucy and a doggo named Kaya.
  3. I lived in both Pennsylvania and Georgia when I was around 4 years old and under, but I’ve basically lived in New Jersey my whole entire life.
  4. I’m a Delta Phi Epsilon Alumna.
  5. I love to dye my hair. My hair has been purple, blue, pink, brown, red, blonde, black, and green! I’m a natural brunette but honestly don’t know what my natural hair color looks like.
  6.  I like iced coffee or I like lukewarm coffee. Never hot coffee!
  7. I really like cheesy YA novels, especially if they include vampires.
  8. My favorite colors are pink and black – they’ve always been included on my blog even as my themes change.
  9. I love piercings, I have 6 right now but at my peak I had about 9.
  10. I have a hard time listening to new music, I’m an emo kid at heart and my whole Itunes library is just pop punk from the 2000’s.

Thank you all again for joining me on this journey, leave a fun fact about you below 🙂

Blogger Burnout

Every once in a while, when I’m too busy to blog, I throw up a post giving a shout out to bloggers I follow that I think other people should also follow.

I had some time to go through some of the posts like that I’ve put up over the years and was very sad to see how many blogs were inactive. I should’ve noticed they had been gone, but as new followers join my blog I end up just keeping in touch with people that keep in touch with me and whoever else is popping up on my reader.

I totally get blogger burnout. There have been so many times when I sat down to publish a post or Instagram and thought – does anyone really care? I put a decent amount of time into everything blog related and a lot of the time it feels like no one is even listening.

Especially on Instagram, I feel like there is so much mumbo jumbo about whether my picture looks good, my hashtags are good, etc. Then I’m worried about if I’m getting my personality across, if people actually like the products I promote, if I’m authentic like I’m trying to be or just as fake as the many beautifully filtered and curated feeds out there.

Then I’ll get a message or a comment from someone telling me how my blog has helped them or answering a question I left at the bottom of my post. And I’m inspired to keep going.

If you’re a reader, know that bloggers really do appreciate knowing that you like their blog. Whether you throw them a like, a comment, or an email. I am definitely more prone to staying on the silent side when it comes to expressing how I feel about something. I think about it like this, though, if I liked someone’s dress then I could make their day by just coming out of my shell a little bit to tell them I like it. The same goes with reaching out to your favorite bloggers.

If you’re a blogger, I know how hard it is to write to what feels like no one. But that one person you could help with your blog exists and they’ll find you eventually. Do it for yourself, but do it for them too.

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2k Q&A!

Thank you all for asking me amazing questions and celebrating my 2,000 WordPress followers with me. Below are the answers to your questions! 🙂

1. Has your blog followed the path that you wanted it to take or has the content you published changed? What’s been the biggest influence of that change?

So my blog has definitely taken the path I wanted it to take, but the content has really changed. It started out as a relationship blog called Hookup Culture, but as I evolved and grew (this blog is three years old as of the end of October) I changed it to Rosie Culture and made it more personal. The biggest influence of that change was graduating college and then ultimately leaving behind the single life and entering the relationship I’m currently in.

2. What’s your favorite blog post that you’ve done?

I really love the series I did on being better off without my exes. You can start here and go backwards.

3. Least favorite?

Anything I wrote when I was first starting out lol. I really had to dig deep for this one, a very dry post about Tinder.

4. What sort of influence does your blog have on your real life (or vice versa)?

When I was in college, it was almost kind of a negative impact because boys would ask me if I was writing about them and it just created like this weird vibe when I was dating people. Now, it has been super helpful to me mostly because of the advice I’m offered and I have an avenue that I’m not judged on.

5. What do you like most about the U.K? 

While it’s on my list of places to go, I’ve never been to the UK! I have to say my favorite thing that I know about the country though is the awesome accents and slang! 🙂

6. How long have you been blogging, and what are some of your favorites to follow?

At the end of this month, it will be three years! Here are some blogs that I really love 🙂

  1. StyledbyMcKenz
  2. Dishing up Chic
  3. One Degree, No Direction
  4. Healthy & Psyched
  5. Single in the Suburbs

7. A question for my boyfriend: Do you read Rosie’s blog? Is it helpful to your relationship to read her insights or do you feel awkward knowing certain posts are about you that random bloggers are reading?

I do read Rosie’s blog! I check it almost every day, and I actually read it occasionally when it crossed my path in college, back in the Hookup Culture days.

I think it’s super helpful to read it. Sometimes it’s a little weird to know things are about me and strangers are reading them, but I’m comfortable enough with myself and with us that it doesn’t make me uncomfortable. I think that in relationships, the most important things are honesty and communication. And it’s not always easy to be honest about the tough things, or figure out a way to express how you’re feeling. The blog really helps me understand where Rosie’s head is at on things – how she’s feeling, what she’s feeling, what works, what doesn’t – and it even gives me insight into how things have made her feel previously. Our relationship is successful partly because of this blog and the WordPress community because both provide her with an outlet to clear her head and get her thoughts out there. Plus, she literally puts checklists of what she wants to do each season up, which is like handing me date ideas on a silver platter.

8. How do you balance blogging, work, social calendar and the other things life throws your way?

I think it’s a little easier for me because social media and writing come very naturally to me. Usually I write my blog posts during my lunch break or while I’m walking on the treadmill then schedule them. I also have a content calendar for my Instagram. I just kind of consider it a second job that always needs my attention!

9. What makes you more excited on your own blog?

Sometimes I ramble when I write, so I get pretty excited when people leave comments and actually understand what I’m saying lol.

10. What makes your readers get connected to your blog?

I don’t really know. I know my break up and dating posts help a lot of people because it’s not something widely talked about and I always try to be as honest as possible.

11. Have you ever regretted a post that you’ve written?

No, but I do feel bad about how hard I was on some people I wrote about.

12. Do you ever struggle with how much of your life you want to share on your blog? Are there any topics/issues that are off limits?

I do struggle sometimes with how much I feel like I can really put out there because of my professional life. I limit my cursing and anything inappropriate. One thing I almost never talk about anywhere is politics.

 Thanks everyone for reading! xoxo

Rosie