When I started writing Daisybutter five years ago, I was a shiny new, naive, first year student at Uni. I didn’t have enough money or loan to buy food – trust me, my budget for each semester was MINUS £173.86 – and I certainly didn’t have money for multiple new outfits a week.
Something that presses on my mind whenever I get these emails from you guys is that there’s a culture around hauling and spending money in order to ‘run a blog’. Perhaps it stems from the popular haul videos from YouTube or the societal need for new things, new content and new-ness everywhere. I know that some of my most popular posts, analytics wise, are my interpretation of hauls. To put it simply: there is pressure to succeed – by spending. Or is there? Let’s chat.
Haul culture is worrying. I have a firm grasp on my spending despite what this blog portrays, but it hasn’t always been this way. Somewhere along the blogging road, I also got caught up in haul culture. Whilst I was at University – an environment that some may say is very spend-limited – I began blogging and my blog began to flourish. In fact, when Daisybutter began it was awash with new things that I’d bought, things I’d seen on the catwalk, personal chatter and my overall opinion of things. But mostly pretty new things, let’s not lie. And when you’re a newbie blogger as I was then, you take inspiration from popular YouTube gurus (as they were then known) and more established bloggers who were seemingly raking in new things by the bag load.
Last week BBC One ran a documentary on the Bangladesh factory disaster in 2013, one that could have been avoided with just a touch of responsibility. With thousands of factory workers killed and survivors exhausted both physically and mentally, the documentary turned to mention and briefly criticise the consumer-centric nature of our society today. (The documentary is available here on BBC iPlayer if you want to have a watch.)
Spending money for the sake of spending or for the sake of sharing is unhealthy. It’s unhealthy to revolve an inherent part of your life (i.e. the money you worked hard for) on frivolous and gratuitous sharing. I never want my readers – you guys – to feel like you “have” to spend money to create content. It’s hard to voice how I feel about the subject but I genuinely feel that any content and posts that I write about things that I’ve bought is just a bonus. I never buy a dress with the sole intention of sharing it on here in the same way that I don’t buy five eyeliners to compare. Make your life and interests and belongings and shiny-new-things work for your blog, not the other way round.
No New In? No Problem.
The idea that you can only run a successful blog if you always have new products to write about is a myth. No new in things? Try creating a post about revisited items, styling/using something in three ways, create complete capsule wardrobes or faux suitcases that your readers can read and then pack. Variety is the spice of life and often if you can’t afford to keep up your blog shopping lifestyle, chances are your readers can’t either. Myth debunked.
So now it’s time to turn the tables and swing the question back to you: What are your thoughts on shopping for your blog and the culture around hauling? Whatever do you think happened to shopping for fun as we do/will do on ASOS tonight/did so well? Comments below and we can have a ponder.