It is I’m moving to London’s 2nd birthday and I cannot express how excited I am, about the journey we have been on together. Last year, I wrote a post about my learnings from year 1. This year, I wanted to share some behind the scenes and thoughts overall on the blogging/Instagramming life.

Deyana behind the scenes
Picture by Lina Kivaka @linakivaka

My year inΒ  review:

I reached 23 000 followers on Instagram and thank you for each and every one of you, for being there, engaging and spreading love and positivity in this world

I got featured in Time Out London print edition (can’t link to that unfortunately πŸ™‚ )

I got named one of the top London Instagram accounts to follow by the Evening Standard (O_M_G)

My article on ‘How to get a job in London‘ reached 600 unique hits in a day

I believe it was January when I did a poll, about how interested people are, to learn more about the behind the scenes. 97% of you said ‘share, share, share’ so here we are.

One thing I want to make sure I stand by, is creating reality and not fakeness. I have always wanted to have a voice in the world, and although small, I want to make sure it says the right things. I do not want to create an unrealistic view of a polished life and people thinking that this is how it is, and oh-my it is so amazing. There are things that are brilliant and there are things that are bloody hard. Here it is, my year 2 view.

Never forget that Instagram is a curated view of life

Deyana behind the scenes
Food – putting a smile on my face always πŸ™‚ Image by Lina Kivaka @linakivaka

I get so many messages from people around the globe saying ‘I wish I had your life’. Never wish to have anyone else’s life, especially from social media. I create content to share happiness and positivity, that does not always mean I am smiling, while I do it. Instagram is a platform, for me to share aspects of life I find beautiful. In the past few weeks, I have started sharing a bit more in my captions and stories, about the way I truly feel, so people can get a balanced of view.

Yes I travel, yes I stay in pretty hotels, yes I do go to cool events, yes I visit the hottest bars and restaurants in town, and yes I do meet a lot of amazing people every minute, of every day. And yes, this is absolutely amazing and I am so grateful for it.

The flip side to all this is – I do not remember the last time I had a home made meal at home and spent a weekend lazying around for real. I missed weddings, birthdays, christenings and all kinds of other important events. I have not seen my parents since November last year. Many times, I do not have time to wash my hair because I just pass out in bed, exhausted. I sleep 5 hours a night during the week, and sometimes on the weekend to ensure I have time to catch the best light for photography and write at night.

My point being – do not pity me based on the above as I have chosen it for myselfΒ – just understand that everything has a price and it is never one sided. You just need to chooseΒ  what is important to you, however you lookΒ  at it, one can never have it all. You just need to define what ‘all’ is for you.

Behind the glamour, let’s not forget my favourite thing in life – the admin (I wish there was a cryptic, devil looking font I could use for this word). All of the above takes a lot of back and forth discussions with brands, agencies, media and friends. Organising 1 little thing can take hours and hours of discussions. Organising a shoot for a collaboration, takes days of planning (sometimes) if you want the end result to be good.

Tips about starting out

Deyana behind the scenes
One of my favourite things is meeting animals along the way! Image by Lina Kivaka @linakivaka

I get asked this A LOT. So here it is plain and simple – no pain, no gain. It is difficult to start, a lot of things demotivate you but if you want it, you just need to keep on going. You will hear a lot of ‘No’, you will have a lot of negativity, however you will find the positive too. You will find your true supporters and the people who will root for you, you will explore your own boundaries and you will learn a lot of new things. There is no magic formula – find something you are passionate about and share it with the world. It will morph, it will grow, until it becomes what it is meant to be. This will not take a day, it will take time and effort. It will take sleepless nights and disappointment. It will also take some tears but the end result will be beautiful.

Deyana behind the scenes
Image by Lina Kivaka @linakivaka

Every start is difficult. Opening a blank CMS with 0 articles, 0 everything always looks scary and ‘what’s the point’. I was there but then I got over it and said to myself – let’s see what happens. You do not go viral day 1, and you should not get discouraged that even after months of work, your content might still be getting lost and you are not seeing the results you envisioned. It all takes time. I know I have repeated this about a million times but without patience and perseverance, you just won’t get there. Also, once you start building your follower base on any channel, no matter how small or large, you owe them good quality content on a regular basis. If they are following you, they find your content interesting, no matter if it is 300 or 300k people. The kindness of my followers and the people who email me/message me, has been such a driver for me. I find it so important to see that I can spread positivity, and that people see it and appreciate it. Making someone smile with a beautiful photo, or helping someone learn something new from my content is priceless for me. You need to find that ‘priceless’ feeling for yourself, and that will drive you forward and turn any negative into a new opportunity.

Deyana behind the scenes
One of my favourite Notting Hill house (funky green) Image by Lina Kivaka @linakivaka

One advice, do not sell out all your content. The beauty of what we do as content creators, is that it is mostly genuine. Yes your blog/Instagram/Youtube is meant to be a business and you should always try to be commercial but do not ‘sell out’. Meaning, choose whom you work with and support brands you actually like yourself. You will start getting requests for collaborations at some stage of course, and the excitement is real the moment you get your first one. Once you do that one just learn from it and be a bit smart about the upcoming opportunities. Try and keep your content as genuine as possible, as this will support your growth and authenticity. Don’t forget that when people started following you, it was because they liked what you do and you owe them authentic content creation, rather than #ad and #sponsored on every post, as then you lose yourself.

The journey has been an inspiration for me and a guiding light, in a lot of difficult moments. It has created true friendships and a new kind of family. The community surrounding this blogging/Instagram life is priceless for me. Thank you for reading and being here, this journey would not have been possible without you. Happy birthday to my world, I hope to celebrate many more to come.

xoxo

D

*images in this post aim to represent a weekend day in my life with no edits

4 Comments

  1. Happy second birthday blog sweetie!
    I absolutely love the article and how honest you are!! Miss you every day 😘😘

  2. So proud of you my lovely!!! Amazing journey you’ve been on indeed!
    I know you’re super busy, but lets find time to meet up soon… i want more insider info and really more importantly to just hug you and catch-up. xx

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