It’s been a while since I’ve really written on here. You know, like really got into it… went deep, and got personal. I think that’s for a multitude of reasons, but in any case… I’ve missed it.
When I launched this blog nearly 2 years ago (January 25, 2016!), it was my second go-around at blogging and I wanted it to be different than the first. I didn’t hold back on ‘letting it all out’, especially in regards to my faith and my grief of losing my brother-in-law just two weeks after we returned from our honeymoon. Those posts were about as real and as raw as it gets as they were what I was truly feeling at that time.
Fast forward to this past year of blogging and things have certainly shifted. First of all, my life has changed! My own grief and our grief as a married couple has changed. Though it is never lost, it’s different. And navigating this past season of life has looked different for me. And with those differences comes different approaches to blogging. When I was blogging through such fresh grief, it somehow felt easier to spill my guts. It was almost as if it felt like “well, everyone knows what we’ve been through… there’s no hiding now.” But as time and life went on, that changed. Life moved forward and everyone no longer knew what went on in my personal life quite as much because well, the past was now the past. Yes, I shared about my faith, grief, and how it intertwined with my life… but I was also healing in my own private way. I was taking on new roles as a new wife. I was navigating a lot with my own family’s health concerns. I was realizing that I couldn’t always share everything out of respect for myself, my husband, and my family. And I was realizing that’s okay.
At the year mark of blogging again (so, this time last year) I still felt a little shell-shocked at all that had been going on in my personal life. As life had “simmered” a bit at that point, I remember feeling such a freedom with the clock striking midnight last New Years and praying that 2017 would be full of much promise, hope, and change. And boy…. WAS IT EVER! This past year we traveled a ton, we moved, we brought our four-legged son Dallas Walker Campbell into our home and hearts… and as I look back on it all I’m so incredibly grateful! I will do a separate recap post of the past year of blogging on it’s 2-year anniversary coming up, but until then I will say that I have really loved this past year of blogging.
So that all leads me into THIS year of blogging! 2018! Things have changed a lot in the blogging world…. and let’s face it, they’re going to constantly and consistently keep changing. SO… I wanted to really dive into all of this, give you my honest and candid information and thoughts about it all, and really just catch up and connect with y’all. For this blog is NOTHING without my sweet reader friends!
So here we go, let’s break it down by media ‘category’ shall we?
In one word: ‘the beast’. Bloggers and influencers alike hold a heavy weight with Instagram as a part of their blogging and/or business platform because, well…. Instagram is a pretty neat tool! It’s a way to instantly plug, promote, share, and engage with readers and direct them to blogs and/or other media. I used to absolutely adore this partnership between Instagram and my blog because it was a way to engage in real-time. Well, perhaps you’ve noticed this but…. things have changed. Instagram instated a new algorithm this past year that no longer displays your feed in chronological order. Instead, our Instagram feeds are now displayed as to what the algorithm ‘thinks’ we would like to see. So, how does it ‘think’? Well, the more you look at, ‘like’, comment, watch stories, and direct message accounts…. the more you’ll see them in your feed. So basically, Instagram shows you what you seem to care about the most! Which honestly, I kinda think is neat! Because if I think about it in the sense of y’all ‘chatting’ or ‘hanging out’ with me over there, the more I’d assume you’d want to see me and my posts in your feed vs. your crazy ex-boyfriend that you still follow but don’t want him to know that. You know what I’m saying?!
But here’s the stinker about the new algorithm: if you’re not consistently (and I mean, engaging daily and liking every single post) interacting with me or any other person you follow, those posts get hidden and really won’t pop back in your feed again until you go and engage again. So, if you’re engaging… that’s great! You’re good! But if you just like to watch and follow from afar (which is totally and 100% acceptable – we ALL do it!) you just won’t be seeing me in your feeds. Womp womp.
So with all that backstory, let me tell it to you straight: bloggers and influencers are paying their way to ‘likes’ & ‘followers’, paying for ‘bots’ to interact for them to boost engagement and be seen, engaging in special ‘comment pod’ groups where bloggers comment and like posts in order to promote themselves and each other, are buying into and participating in loop giveaways, and paying for sponsored posts in order for their posts to be seen. Now honestly, these tactics are nothing new and to each their own… BUT they’re becoming more and more popular out of desperation to keep their followings growing. Why? Because bigger followings = more brands reaching out to partner, more collabs, more ‘likes’, andddddd more money. Crazy world we live in, isn’t it?!
So here’s my honest true confession thoughts about all that:
I. Could. Care. Less. About. The. Number. Of. People. Following. Me. On. Instagram.
Have I always felt that way? Absolutely not. I have beaten myself up time and time again over my ‘slow growth’ in blogging. I have compared myself to every single other blogger who stared out with a similar following and has zoomed past me in terms of growth by either just sheer luck or using the tactics I shared above. I have gone through and seen that followers that I once loved having around had in-fact unfollowed me. I’ve been discouraged at being turned down because brands ‘only work with bloggers with bigger followings’. I’ve been embarrassed and frustrated about being denied from invitation-only affiliate marketing companies. I have cried ugly tears because I have felt little self-worth due to a sheer number of strangers following the pictures I post on the internet. And yes, I have considered all of the above tactics to grow my following. How absurd is all of that?!?! But sadly, it’s the truth.
So, what changed?! Honestly, I’m thanking that gosh darn stupid new algorithm! Because honestly, it put it all in perspective for me! Well, that and some serious time spent with Jesus reminding myself that my worth is not and never will be found on internet ‘success’. But I’ve also realized this: I do not own Instagram. It is a business. They exist to make money. AKA they can implement any algorithm they so choose and I can’t say boo about it. And that’s OKAY!!!!!!!! Because you know what?! I DO own my pieces of the internet: www.amybethcampbell.com & www.beautycounter.com/amybethcampbell (more thoughts on those two later).
So Instagram, you do you. I’ll do me. I’m done with the rat race! Do I still love posting photos? 100% YES. I still see it as a great tool to showcase a highlight reel as to what’s going on in my life as well as on my blog. I’ve recently been loving viewing the photos I post on there as a little ‘mini-Pinterest’ as I love to share and also save photos on there that I find to be inspirational. I personally really enjoy curating my feed! It’s like a live-version of a photo gallery or collage and I love to make everything feel cohesive and pretty on there while also intertwining personal snapshots of everyday life. I still love the app, check it often, and will absolutely continue to use it and post pictures almost daily. But I’m promising myself to focus on it being just that. JUST a tool. Not an indicator to the success of my blog or career or life.
Plus… Instagram has new features I’m actually really excited about…
Instagram Stories, LIVE, & Direct Messaging
Here’s where I really think the ‘gram is shining these days. Insta Stories are the only thing left on the app that are in real time! Which honestly, I think we ALL love. We like seeing the ‘real life’. The everyday! The no makeup, the messy cooking, the quick ‘I’m loving this and wanted to share it’, and of course… endless snaps and videos of Dallas. HA!
With Instagram Stories also comes my intro to doing LIVES recently. It’s a chance for me to really sit down and ‘chat’ with y’all without worrying about doing it in 20 second increments. I’ve absolutely LOVED doing lives towards the end of the year and I FULLY plan on brining them back here in the New Year. Hopefully, on a weekly basis! I’d also love to begin to save them and upload them to a YouTube channel so they can be available for longer than 24 hours. I’m SUPER excited about this as I feel like it’s a great way for y’all to engage, get to know me, hear my voice, see my sass, and just hang out with each other! SO, expect more of this coming your way ASAP!
And then there’s DM’s. I LOVE GETTING DM’s FROM Y’ALL! Honestly, it’s ALWAYS the highlight of my day. My husband Sam will see me typing away on my phone and ask, “who are you texting?” and I’ll say…. “Oh! You know, so-and-so… she’s loving that Beautycounter product! And oh my gosh, she totally agrees with me on *blank*”. Honestly, DM on Instagram feels like I truly am texting with y’all and I LOVE it! So let’s not quit anytime soon! ALWAYS feel free to direct message me about ANYTHING. Truly!
And here’s something that goes back to the positive of the ‘smaller’ following of mine…. the less followers I have, the more I can ACTUALLY respond to each and every single one of y’all! AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THAT. I’m so incredibly grateful to be able to take the time to devote to messaging back to y’all and really being able to answer questions. Now, a lot of bloggers with huge followings simply can’t do that NOR should they!!! They have other aspects about their job that they need to tend to! And that’s perfectly okay! But for me, for my personal following… it’s something I’m really loving about keeping things small.
So, speaking of keeping things small…
My Beautycounter Business
Let’s chat Beautycounter for a second, EVEN if you’re not quite yet aboard the ‘safer beauty train’ (which is more than okay!). When I launched my Beautycounter business in July 2017, I wasn’t sure how involved I would get with it. My initial decision to become a consultant was to be able to link to products that I was personally loving as well as make changes in my own beauty routine. Sharing all that feels just completely natural and a part of my life and blog and I love that! After launching and getting going with it, I’m so proud to say that Beautycounter is really the breadwinner within my blogging/entrepreneurial business endeavors. The commission rate is higher on Beautycounter than of linking clothes, home goods, and other miscellaneous products…. therefore, I make more money with Beautycounter than I do with just blogging. I share that Because A) It’s the honest truth B) I’m proud of it and C) I think it provides readers great insight to the inter-workings of me and my business/career! Now this isn’t to say that I’d drop blogging or only focus on Beautycounter – never the case. I love blogging because it allows me to share EVERYTHING I’m interested in! Yes, Beautycounter is one of my top interests in life currently (I’m talking products first, then the business… truthfully), but it will never be my only interest. And therefore, my blog will always strive to have a healthy mix of content!
But why bring up the ‘behind the scenes’ of Beautycounter? Well, it all ties back in to keeping my readers and clients in a smaller number bracket. If I concentrated on growing a following, I wouldn’t have the proper time to devote to my readers and clients needs. I love being able to spend time answering questions about safer beauty. I love talking through specific product recommendations with clients and potential clients. If I was working with a following of hundreds of thousands, that much personal contact and commutation just simply wouldn’t happen! So, again… I’m so grateful for those who have supported me in this Beautycounter journey! It’s been an incredible addition to my blog and I hope you’ve been enjoying reading about the process as much as I’ve loved sharing it. I’m so looking forward to continuing growth in my Beautycounter business… which leads to me start sharing how this all ties in with…
My baby. My pride and joy! This website fully encompasses my heart and soul. ESPECIALLY now with the new ‘do I’m sporting! YAY! I’ve left chatting about the blog last because it’s really the all-encompasing piece of this whole blogging business puzzle.
As I mentioned before, amybethcampbell.com is all mine. I own it, write it, edit it, run it. No one else has a say in this little corner of the internet and that’s a wonderful thing! Because of this, my goal will always be to have the most interaction with readers on HERE. Now, I get it… that’s hard. Instagram is quick and at our fingertips! It’s easier to message me there then here or write an email. Comments on blog posts seem a little more exposed than they do over on Instagram. I totally and 100% understand. However, I think it’s time I challenge this a bit!
Because my blog is the pinnacle of my business as a whole, it’s really what I put the most heart, soul, and time into. It’s what I’m most proud of over everything else. It’s not going anywhere! And because of this, I’m hoping you as readers find yourselves here as often as possible!
The Weekly Newsletter
Besides launching Beautycounter, this was my proudest development blogging-wise in 2017. I absolutely adore creating each Weekly Newsletter. It feels like a personal email sent to all of my friends: recapping the week a bit, sharing the recent blog posts, sharing other little goodies I’m currently loving, and sending y’all warm wishes as you head into your weekends. I truly hope y’all are loving it just as I’m loving creating it! This new addition to ‘amy beth campbell’ is here to stay, and I so hope you’re as happy about it as I am!
SO, what does all of this MEAN in terms of how I see ‘amy beth campbell’ as a whole in 2018???
I want Instagram in its entirety, Beautycounter, The Blog, The Weekly Newsletter, and EVERYTHING else that goes along with it to become MUCH more community oriented in 2018!
I want y’all to get involved! I want every media outlet I manage to feel like you’re a part of it. I’d love to continue to grow the friendships I feel that I have with each and every single one of y’all reading and following along. I’d love for everyone to feel comfortable enough to reach out in whatever way they feel most comfortable. Because… all of this wouldn’t exist without your support!
Yes, this has become my small business. And I’m so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to turn my entrepreneurial dreams into a reality. And I couldn’t feel more blessed by those who have supported me along the way! Though some may view my ‘small’ following as ‘unsuccessful’, I don’t see it that way. I didn’t start blogging again to make money. I started to share about my life, my faith, and the things that I love. The fact that it has evolved into producing any income at ALL is a HUGE BLESSING. And I’d absolutely love to continue to do so! So with that, I humbly ask for your continued support to be able to keep this business thriving.
By your continual visits to my website, by your clicking on links, by your purchasing products I recommend via the links I provide as an act of a ‘personal shopping experience’ by yours truly, by purchasing Beautycounter products through me, and by simply just becoming increasingly more a part of this little community we’re creating together…. amybethcampbell.com will continue to thrive because of YOU!
I truly hope you read this with insight into my honest and genuine perspective on things. I absolutely do NOT want this to come across as a desperate plea for money and clicks! Because honestly, I’ll continue to blog and share even if it never makes one more cent! I simply say all this because I think blogging as a career is a very elusive thing these days, and I want to be as honest and transparent as possible through it. I never want anyone to feel like me blogging is shady, or that I’m not being honest when I’m writing about or recommending something. I want y’all to see what you get with me! And by me walking through ALL of this feels like the best way to be as transparent as I possibly can.
TANGENT: Hear me out on this whole blogging business as a whole:
There are A LOT of bloggers out there. Amazing, talented, fabulous, and successful bloggers with HUGE followings. Thousands of people. Hundreds of thousands of people. And they’re KILLING IT. And I support those who have worked hard and played fair 1000%. I truly mean this – one of my best friends falls at the tippy top of this category of blogging! So truly don’t think I’m bashing any of those hard working women! I’m just sharing this all for ME and MY SITE personally. Though I’ve believed the thought a time or two that the internet doesn’t need one more blogger, I’m here to say that’s a big fat lie. ALL bloggers of ALL shapes and sizes can make their entrepreneurial dreams a reality. We just have to stay in our own lanes and be passionate while being in them!
Sooooo…. with alllllll that said…..
Let’s do this, team! Let’s get this little community thriving here! HOW?
- Engage with me on Instagram!
- If you’re interested in safer beauty and purchasing Beautycounter, let’s chat! I’d love to talk through products and even send you samples to try!
- Comment on blog posts
- Shop with me! I try to link everything I’m talking about and/or recommending on here and/or on Instagram. By simply clicking on those links, I may make a small commission which I SO greatly appreciate! I’m going to keep this new page current with finds I’m sharing/linking!
- Share the blog & posts with friends and family you think would enjoy reading as well!
- Subscribe to the Weekly Newsletter
- Engage in any community-oriented or interactive posts I share
- Join in on reading the Bible in a year!
and ultimately just keep being YOU!!!
I’ll keep saying it over and over again… this blog is NOTHING without y’all! And I’m SO grateful for that!!!
From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for supporting me and following along with me. It means more than you will ever know! And THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for reading this! I know it was lengthy and a lot to digest. But I meant every single word and hope it gives a great insight to how I’m moving forward here in 2018!
LOVE y’all to the MOON and BACK!