In 2018, the world of social media, content creation and online influencing is overcrowded to the extreme. Everyone, from all corners of the globe, from all backgrounds and from all walks of life are vying to take their piece of the Internet pie because if we learned anything in 2017, it's that blogging, YouTube and social media is one hobby that can transform your entire life.
So just how is it possible to carve your own way in this virtual world? To stand out as someone new, fresh and different? Especially when you feel as if you are nothing special? Or if you haven't been given the same head starts as others have?
The beauty of the content creating industry IS the diversity***** amongst us. But I've asterisked the shit out of the word 'diversity' because really - who are the people at the top of the social media and blogging industry? The ones with the six-figure fashion deals, the glossy Instagram accounts and the millions of followers?
They are all conventionally beautiful, glamorous, kind, warm, aspirational and relatable appearing people. They are the ones we all wish we could be. The Whitney Houstons to our miming Victoria Beckhams.
They are often the ones (but not always) who have had many leg ups along the way. I say not always because of course there are some amazing creators out there that have fought and worked hard to achieve everything they have achieved - but we can't deny that there are also those who have always lived a privileged life and that these head-starts have helped them along their way.
Whether those privileges are financial, strong support networks, flexible working hours or the access to the best technical equipment or the best employees to level up their game - those privileges exist to help them stand out.
So when little old sack of potatoes, with the huge chin spot, poorly lit photos and holes in her knickers me dreams of taking over the bloggersphere - it seems that to compete with the ultra-privileged set is impossible.
I'm the girl from the council house, with the disruptive home life, who was almost suspended from school and was told she'd never amount to anything.
I'm the gal who has done every shit job imaginable and didn't go to uni until she was 23 and even then found it tough.
I'm the person who wakes up at 5am every morning, gets on the train, does the shitty London commute to a job where she receives no thanks and even less wages in her pocket each month.
However I will admit my own privileges - I have been in full-time employment with supportive friends and a boyfriend that will take photos for me, help me buy camera lenses and feed me when my paycheck goes towards a Macbook and web-hosting instead of, I don't know...rent.
But taking that all into account, I still wonder - how do I go from that to becoming the all-singing, all-dancing superstar of the blogging universe?
When Tammy Ten Thousand Followers is out there with her lush photography, finely crafted and edited Instagram feed and more 'exciting emails with uh-maaaazing collaborations' than she can wipe her (probably bleached and hairless) bum-hole with?
Well, maybe because even though I was born to blend in, I've been raised with a desire to stand out...
Sorry hun but you're never going to stand out if you keep trying to be something you're not.
Just because Becky Beauty Blogger gets a billion dollar collab with your favourite brand, doesn't mean you need to start sliding into Charlotte Tilbury's DMs and prostrating yourself for recognition.
Some things are not meant for you AND THAT'S OK.
To stand out, you need to be doing what everyone else is NOT.
So look inside yourself, reflect on what you're about and what makes you, you and capitalise on that. You're your own USP and trying to be something you're not is the path to blending in.
Do Something Different
Maybe you want to be doing what everyone else online is doing. Maybe you're so inspired by what others are creating that it makes you want to create the same thing. Maybe, just maybe you've seen Ingrid Insta Star get a regram from ASOS for wearing hideous slippers and it makes YOU want to post about hideous slippers but dude, YOU WILL BLEND IN.
So think outside the box. How can you do what you want but put your own spin on something? Can you take an idea that's already out in the online universe and twist it to be something fresh?
Or, can you hit the content creating clit and HAVE A UNIQUE IDEA?
Doing the same things differently or doing something completely out there, will get you noticed a lot quicker than copying what's been done (better) before.
Give Less Fucks
Be the shark and not the sheep. Dance to the beat of your own drum. And put everything else in the Fuck-It Bucket. Be that gal at uni who wore PJs and flip-flops to December lectures. Be that dude who brings 6 crates of Mr Blobby's Pink Lemonade to a house party and OWN IT.
Because the less you care about whether you were born to blend in or to stand out, the more you'll blaze a trail above those who are worrying about it all.
Sure, you *could* be Tara Twitter Twat who drafts tweets in advance that are 'totally on-brand' and are desperate to go viral, OR you could be you - Sir Gives No Shits who retweets cat GIFs and uses their energy on more important things - like creating natural content which stands out for its quality.
Carve Out Your Niche
Be a cauliflower steak in a world of pork escalopes. Take a step back and assess the online world as it currently is. What's trendy? What's in? What is everyone doing? AND DO THE OPPOSITE.
Don't create your content because everyone is doing it. Don't create your content because the three other people who wrote similar blog posts got lots of shares. Don't film the YouTube tag that millions have done before because you think it's popular.
Create the content that hasn't been seen before. Because in full subs boxes, overstuffed Instagram feeds and threads of threads of threads on Twitter, it's easy to get lost in the Sea of Same.
So look at what's NOT being done. Think about what makes you, you and do that because you are your own niche.
This is two-fold. Everyone out there creating content has some form of privilege. Yes, there are some who have been fortunate financially to help themselves along the way. Or there may be some that just have, 'the look', that sets them apart. Maybe there are those who are just so damn talented that everything they do turns to gold. But recognising the privilege others have AND the privileges that you have will set you apart.
Because when you can recognise that others, for no fault of their own (or not) have had head-starts, it makes you realise that you have to grind that little bit more to catch up.
And when you recognise your own privilege - it helps you see what sets you apart and guides you into being thankful for it.
And that was a super long-winded way of saying the same thing over and over again but my main point is - if you want to stand out in this ever growing online population but you feel as though you have nothing special to offer or that what you're doing isn't anything different then look inside yourself and find your way to stand out by actively NOT blending in.
"You are you, that is truer than true. No-one alive is youer than you."
Thanks Dr Seuss, you bloody ledge.