Well, Here We Are...
What most people don’t know about my journey on social media is that I started out as a blog.
It was called “The Beauty & the Budget” and I thought that was so incredibly clever. What can I say? I was 17 at the time. Sue me.
I’ve always had a passion for writing. I wrote books, poems, short stories -you name it, I wrote it. But writing is hard. And it’s even harder when you’re a perfectionist with slightly obsessive-compulsive tendencies. My stories and novels would never get to conclusion or heck, even to climax. I had (and still do have) how I want everything to play out, all in my head. For some reason, I could never it capture on paper or, more appropriately, computer screen. I’d just edit and revise the pieces that were already written over and over again, always finding something wrong with what I wrote. Blaming those errors and omissions for why my brain refused to continue the story. I haven’t touched the last novel I was writing in over a year. I most definitely still have it sitting in a bin in my closet. And I most definitely have read it over and over again while making no changes.
Back to the whole blog thing. I started my blog because I discovered an intense passion of mine at 16: beauty. Honestly, I’d always been obsessed with beauty and makeup. Partially because I was bullied for my appearance starting in elementary school, and partially because the thought of beauty blogging and YouTube enamored me around age 10. I’d always wanted to be a YouTuber, but I was afraid of being made fun of for not being a supermodel-like image to the internet world. So I started a blog, because no one would ever have to see my face. Nor would they have to hear my actual voice, which I’ve been told is quite annoying and nasal. All they’d hear is my inner voice: my mind, my passion, my literary eloquence.
Just like no one told me that writing was hard, no one told me writing a whole blog is hard. First comes even getting the website up and running. You have to pick out the perfect colors, the perfect logos, the perfect theme. Anyone who knows me knows my life has no theme. My YouTube channel never had a theme, my Instagram doesn’t have a theme, and my Snapchats sure as hell don’t have a theme. Then you have to do the actual writing part. I’m pretty sure that if I went into my old Wordpress account, there would be at least 10 drafted blog posts I never finished or just never posted. And after writing, you have to coordinate images and pictures of products, places, outfits -it’s a lot. Should the picture be in the center or right-justified? Should the text wrap around the image or should it be in line with text? Should the background of the pictures be blank, or should I put a flower vase or something to spruce it up? All these questions constantly swirled in my head. They filled me with unbelievable doubt.
I stopped blogging and decided to pick up the camera. I rambled in front of it until I figured out I was passionate about what I was doing. Eventually I learned all about editing, custom thumbnails, monetization, tags, keywords…the whole shebang. I loved creating content for YouTube. I wouldn’t have been on the platform for 3+ years if I didn’t.
Slowly but surely, that passion dwindled. Being a woman of color, naturally my growth on the platform was stunted. Yes, other races use YouTube, but very few who are not also black will watch a black Youtuber unless they’re one of the greats: Jackie Aina, Alissa Ashley, and the like. I don’t have a completely disposable income, so I always felt one step behind other Youtubers in all ways. I didn’t get studio lighting until 2016. I didn’t get more than a camcorder until 2017. I wasn’t on PR lists, so my reviews were always a million and one years past relevance. All these disadvantages, and then the YouTube algorithm changes started. It was becoming harder and harder to gain traction, and the only time I did was when I was talking about a terrible experience with a brand. Otherwise, I had 700+ subscribers but was only getting 35 views per video on average. Then YouTube came out with the big guns recently -they cut partnership status for anyone with less than 1000 subscribers AND 4000 hours of video watch time. Was I on YouTube for the money? No. I made only $117 in my 3+ years there. But feeling like my rights are being abridged for doing absolutely nothing wrong? That doesn’t make me want to be a content creator for them anymore.
But I still have passions, right? I still love makeup and beauty, but now I love fitness, and clothing, and style, and meal prepping, and travelling, and vegetarian eating, and skincare, and music, and Apple watches, and…you get the point. I still want to share those passions.
Which is why we’re here. Right now. This moment. This time in space. On my website, I get to play by my own rules and answer to no one. I hope you’re down for the ride.
Write you little lovelies later,
XO Ky M.