This year, without doubt, has been the year of the micro-blogger. The year brands finally started to realise the power of the small, but fiercely loyal, blog following.

In all honesty, when I started blogging in 2008, it was only because my university tutor told me I needed to and that because one day “blogs would dominate the internet.” I was all like “cool story bro” and begrudgingly signed up to Blogger.  But I soon fell in love and nearly a decade later, here I am writing this post.

However, over the last nine years I’ve wanted to give up so many times. Especially when I’ve seen blogger after blogger launch their site on Tuesday and by Friday evening they’d signed to L’Oreal and were being flown to the Maldives. I’ve spent hours wondering why not me? Why was I still struggling to get people to read my blog? Brands would either approach me and then never reply to my email, or they’d reply to say that they’re going with a more established blogger on this occasion – true story, and actually happened just last week. It’s like a virtual punch in the face.

But this year something clicked. It was like a light bulb had finally gone off in my head and I realised it’s OK to be a blogger with a 9-5. It’s OK to be a blogger with a small but amazing following. It’s OK to be my own version of success.  Success is whatever you determine success to be, not measured on what someone else is achieving in comparison.

My main goal is, and always has been, to inspire people to create a beautiful home without blowing all their wage. And when I started to read back through my comments on my blog and my social media posts, I finally realised I was already doing that.

I’d been putting so much pressure on myself to “succeed” in the blogosphere, all the while beating myself up for a lack of readers and for my incredibly slow growth on social media when everyone else was seemingly flying. I was so caught up in this whole girl boss mentality of trying to have it all, reaching for the stars and achieving goal after goal, that I completely forgot to appreciate all the amazing things that come with being a micro-blogger.

I have amazing, loyal, genuine people who read my blog posts, that take the time to leave comments and chat with me on social media. What I don’t have are trolls leaving nasty and negative comments daily. The only thick skin I have is on my thighs and I genuinely don’t think I could take the level of hate some poor bloggers receive.

If I want to take a break from blogging, no-one minds and I don’t think anyone even really notices. I’m just over here reading Marie Claire, lighting my Neom Organic candle and sipping on a little elderflower cocktail, deciding whether or not I can be bothered to blog today. If I was running this as a full-time business, I’d no doubt be feeling guilty for not Boomeranging said candle and cocktail duo.

I can just be me. There seems to be this immense pressure on the blogging industry to be picture perfect. So much so, certain bloggers feel the need to alter and photoshop their images in such a way it warps their actual reality and misleads their followers. But when there isn’t that pressure, you can be your authentic, rough Sunday morning self on Instagram stories and that’s OK.

I’m no longer ruled by numbers and let me tell you, it’s liberating. For years I’ve felt disappointed in myself and my distinct lack of growth in terms of numbers. But when I took the success scale out of the picture, aka reaching 10k followers on Instagram before you’re taken seriously by certain brands, I realised I actually have a really good engagement rate, I had people wanting to comment and strike up a conversation through my blog posts, people trust my voice enough to actually buy the products that I recommend and I’m lucky enough to earn a living doing exactly what I’m doing right now. Writing from the heart and staying true to myself.

If you’ve ever sat there and thought when is it going to be me, when am I going to get my big blogging break, then please stop. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be the world’s biggest blogger, especially if you work incredibly hard on your content – strive all you can – but if you’ve ever written a post and even just one person has related to it, then you’re already a success if you ask me. Forget the numbers, forget the awards, forget the constant posts on “how to grow your Instagram following” and start celebrating everything that comes with being a micro-blogger. Be proud.

In case you missed it: 10 Ways To Refocus On Your Goals | Three Bird Renovation Tour | Q&A With Tabara N’Diaye