A few posts may have been converted to draft, but I’d like to think that I’ve never tried to hide that my blog was far from polished for a very long time before I started to get the hang of this blogging thing (old post for the lolz). I’m also pretty open about my very normal life and 9-5 in the riveting world of insurance (though seriously; I promise it's more interesting than it sounds). I’m dedicated to my blog and put out the content that I want to. I have a clear idea about who I am as a blogger and what I want to do with this space. However I’m starting to feel as though the blogging world has changed. Maybe I’ve been naïve but it’s starting to feel as though bloggers like me don’t quite fit in any more.
When I started blogging (which is only going back to 2014), I did feel a greater sense of community. Twitter chats were always buzzing, but these days it feels as though they’ve all but fizzled out. I myself can’t remember the last time I checked one out. When someone commented on your blog (unless you were Zoella-level), it was common courtesy to reply or at least check out the person’s link. However there now seem to be a lot of bloggers who think they’re ‘above’ others (though when you've passed a certain follower threshold, then they suddenly want to know…)
When I started blogging, I didn’t even know PR was a thing! I literally blogged for about 6 months before anyone even commented on my generic Blogger-templated blog (complete with a Comic Sans title) with horrendously LQ images… But to me that’s how you learn to blog; by doing it. However it seems like now we’re so obsessed with perfection that bloggers regularly have someone else take their flat lays for them and feel the need to Photoshop their Instagram posts with unrealistically perfect backdrops. Yes, a lot of what we do is to create something aesthetically beautiful, but I don’t want to do that at the expense of my integrity. We’ve all had a bit of a laugh at the absurdity of it all over on Twitter but on a serious note; is this really what blogging is about these days?
I always thought that blogs were the antidote to glossy magazines. There wasn’t the pretentious elitism of editorial. We were just girls (and guys!) in our rooms at our parents’ place taking photos of what we got in our last Superdrug 3 for 2 on our iPhone cameras. And having a bloody fun time doing it! Over time some people stopped blogging. Others became more polished. But blogging still meant giving normal people a platform to talk about their passions. And, in a way, that’s always what I’ve loved about reading blogs; different people from different walks of life (whether that’s age, location, ethnicity, occupation, gender identity or anything else) all coming together to talk about something that connects them.
It’s a little bit crazy to me that there are people paying bots on Instagram to boost their following whilst honest influencers are struggling to stay afloat with recent changes to how hashtags and feeds work (which is why I’ve recently scaled back my Instagram efforts – I wasn’t enjoying creating so much content and I wasn’t getting much out of it in terms of engagement).
It’s a little bit crazy to me that the ‘top tier’ (I hate that phrase but can’t think of how else to put it!) of influencers are sent off on extravagant press holidays over and over again and then the brands get grief for not paying for photographers to go along too.
Sorry if this has all been a bit rambling but so much seems to have gone down over the past couple of weeks that it really makes me question if I’m just trying to move against the tide by doing my blog in my way. It almost feels like you need to be armed with a £2000 camera, spend a fortune on web design and have a ton of spare cash to blow on every new release (which I’m just so over) and designer goods these days in order to have a ‘successful’ blog. I’m just a normal person with a platform, who has built up what I have from nothing, without anyone’s help. It’s not perfect but I don't care. I take my photos on the dining room table in my shared house whilst wearing tracksuit bottoms and not a scrap of makeup. I answer emails and reply to comments on my commute home from the day job. Maybe my face doesn’t fit in some ways; I’m not one of those bloggers out there winning awards, going on press trips and being sponsored left, right and centre, but I’m ok with that. It’s great that bloggers can make a living out of their passion now, but I think some have forgotten the reason why they started in the first place. I do this because I love it. It’s almost just a bonus that people are actually reading and interacting with my content… I’m just not sure if I’m fighting a losing battle here!
How do you think blogging has changed recently?
Disclosure - products marked * were sent to me for consideration however all opinions remain my own.
Read more posts from this series here!
I think there's a lot of simulated perfection in the blogging world, whether it's in blog posts or on social media. Plus as blogs grow and people get on PR radars there's almost always a change in tone and suddenly a lot more positive things are said.ReplyDelete
I started blogging as an antidote to that because I thought I had something to say and I've always maintained my honesty and frankness. In fact, I just published a blog post with some very honest thoughts about a PR sample. But that's what it's about to me!
Morgan | Hyacinth Girl
Exactly - I'd like to think brands would rather have a positive review from a straight-talking blogger than one who is notorious for gushing over every single thing they've been sent then casting it aside 5 minutes later xxDelete
All I know is that I love reading personal posts rather than sponsored posts. 🙂ReplyDelete
I think some parts have changed for the better. Bloggers with small followings like me find it difficult to grow nowadays. But I think that the small blogger community is far more welcoming. Personally, I don't feel the need to be like the top influencers. I would never even dream of it because my honesty and integrity is worth more than all that.ReplyDelete
You keep doing what you're doing Jasmine because you're doing a fab job! x Nikita
Thank you Nikita - I really like that 'micro-blogging' is now a recognised thing xxDelete
I can´t say if blogging has changed that much. Like you I have been blogging since 2014, but here in Germany working with PR isn´t that big as it is in the UK, and bloggers above the age of 25 are rare. I don´t work that much with PR and I don't care about my following, I can´t keep up anyway given that I have a full time job and two kids.ReplyDelete
Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking
It does sometimes feel like you have to appeal to young teenagers to ever get that popular as a blogger and that's just not me! xxDelete
I think there are so many different types of bloggers out there and that's awesome to me! I personally feel like I can relate to your style in a way. Not 100% of course. I love reading your content and honestly I loooove that you reply to comments. That's something I've told myself that I would always keep doing. Sure there might be a few that I miss but I would say I reply to pretty much every comment. I enjoy coming back to blogs and seeing a reply, even a tiny one! Great post xxReplyDelete
Cherries & Perfume ♡
Yeah there have definitely been times when I've left long, well thought-out, supportive comments and the person hasn't even bothered replying (and we aren't talking about super-famous bloggers!) I would never want to become someone who does that...xxDelete
I haven't been around for long enough to know if the blogging world has changed (I just started mine in October!) but I do agree with a lot of what you've said in regards to Instagram, with bots, and people buying engagement, and the top tier losing their grasp on reality.ReplyDelete
I've just started my "journey" *cringe* into the blogging world, but I came at it from a photography background (I worked as a fashion photographer for a few years, and now have a career in retouching) so for me blog and Instagram photography is my main passion. I love spending hours and hours photographing flatlays in a way that looks "perfect" to me, and if I couldn't try to make them as polished as possible, I wouldn't blog at all. I don't think that high quality/polished photography necessarily means a blog is less authentic, and I would hope that my work never comes across that way. For me the goal to create beautiful photography is fun, much more fun than taking quick photos on my iPhone would be, and I'm really enjoying being part of this little beauty blog community! :)
Sorry for the slightly rambling comment, I really enjoyed reading this post! xx
I know right - it does seem like people are living in some other universe to me...Delete
Glad you enjoyed the post Faye xx
I'm a very new blogger and feel the pressure about "perfection".ReplyDelete
I've DEFINITELY become a bit disillusioned with blogging in the past six months or so. I originally started blogging to document my university life, and now I kinda don't fit in any niches. I do a lot of food but wouldn't class myself as a food blogger - and I would love to rebrand but I don't know what to go for. I'm definitely feeling the pressure!ReplyDelete
NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog
I think you should just do you without feeling you have to fit into a specific niche :) it's your blog at the end of the day xxDelete
I joined the blogging community last May, and from the second I hit publish on my first post there was an intense pressure to have perfect images and a stunning web design so I would spend hours taking photographs for posts and scrolling through the internet trying to find the perfect theme...as well as trying to make friends in the community.ReplyDelete
Safe to say it took a couple of months to realize I was blogging just for me and no one else, and if people read my posts then that would just be a bonus. Although I am tempted to go through a revert some of my older posts to drafts and hide the cringiness of my photography back then!
I almost feel as though this need for perfection will put off new bloggers from even trying to start their own blog xxDelete
This is all so true! xxDelete
Amen!! Argh!! This is a huge frustration of mine. I've been struggling with 60 hour work weeks and trying to blog recently - I didn't realise I was putting so much pressure on myself to have everything absolutely perfect! Ultimately - for most of us - this is a hobby. It's meant to be fun!!!ReplyDelete
Beekeyper - Latest: Beauty Pie Superstrobing Drops - gimmick or gimme?
Exactly how I feel! XxDelete
So in your shoes :) I started way back in 2010 but since I'm from a small Balkan country and I switched to writing in my mother tongue a long ago, I can take a look from "above" at what's happening in the blogosphere. And I'm so fed up with blogs which look like magazines, no real content, only polished pictures... It's just sad to see how marketing and PR turned this once honest space into the next blah-blah magazine. I am happy to continue doing things the way I do them and will continue doing them that way until it stops giving me the pleasure it's giving me now.ReplyDelete
BTW, your blog and photography rock, keep it that way :)
Elena from MaquiLab
The line between online magazines and blogs really is blurred now... And thank you lovely! XxDelete
THIS IS EVERYTHING!!! I have felt myself pulling away more and more from the blogging community recetly and I'm just not sure why but things are clicking into place and I feel exactly the same as you do!ReplyDelete
I adore your blog! I love it because you're a normal girl just blogging about her passion for beauty and makeup! I can relate to you and your posts! Please don't ever stop xoxoReplyDelete
Aw thank you <3 I'll always keep going as long as I enjoy the creation process. There's just so much noise in the background these days that can really distract from that xxDelete
Fantastic post. I'm a former blogger (2009-2015) who quit due to the whole atmospheric shift in blogging. The bitching, the competition, the drama, alongside the unrealistic #lifegoals sucked the fun out of it entirely for me. Shame xReplyDelete
Love this post, and you're so right! It's almost like everyone's trying to fit in...ReplyDelete
My blog is by no means perfect, my pictures aren't crazy HD, and I don't have thousands of followers but I started my blog because I enjoy and I've starting posting again because I missed it!
I love your blog girl, keep doing what you're doing xx
Thank you Sophie, I just feel it isn't recognised any more that we all have to start somewhere! XxDelete
Haha! I so relate to the '6 months before anyone read my blog with LQ pictures'... Same, same. ;) I think because I've never really 'engaged' with the blogger community at first (hence the 6 months before anyone read my blog, and that anyone being my mum) I don't really have a good image of what it was like. But INDEED it's all looking a bit more glossier magazine-esq based on brands and sponsorship instead of showing what you're REALLY passionate about.ReplyDelete
Although I love the glossy pictures, they can sometimes be this unattainanble something that I will never be able to duplicate (no expensive camera and no photoshop). But I think it's also, in some way, pushing me to think outside of the box (she said, having not posted anything for, like, four months... really stretching that box...). ;)
Anyway, nice to read your thoughts on the matter! I don't think things will change, but I do think there's a new 'wave' of bloggers who are going to try to play the game differently...
Let's hope so! XxDelete
I went through a phase a while ago of feeling completely lost and like I didn't fit in the blogging world! Turns out I needed to update the blogs I was following. It's rare that I read the blogs nowadays that are the the exact same perfect pictures over and over again. I much prefer the blogs that look different, sound different and have the writers personality coming through in the first few lines! I think you can 100% tell if someone is just doing what's popular in order to gain a following and all the freebies that come with it as opposed to someone who genuinely writes about the things they're passion about! Also COMPLETELY agree with what you said about people not replying to their comments. Fair enough if you're getting tons and tons of comments on every post, but if I visit a blog that has something like 5 comments and they've not bothered to reply, I leave straight away! Loved this post Jasmine <3 xxxReplyDelete
I do exactly the same - it's the one thing that really does put me off xxDelete
I love this post so much Jasmine! I feel the complete same.. I feel like there's such a pressure on creating the perfect posts and having the perfect photos. Sometimes I wonder why I still do it, when there are so many other bloggers creating such amazing content on a daily basis.. But the lovely comments on my blog that the readers leave behind and my passion for writing and creating photos motivate me to keep going. I always try to reply to readers too! In my opinion it's so important to build that connection with the people who take the time to read your blog. Loved this post Jasmine!ReplyDelete
That's exactly how I feel - comments make my day! xxDelete
I totally get what you mean from this post. I try to just do my thing and try not to focus on much else! There seems to be a lot of negativity and drama which I prefer just to stay away from.ReplyDelete
Jaynie Shannon | Beauty & Lifestyle
Completely agree that the blogging world is changing! It's scary now. Very overwhelming and it seems to be a bit of a competition. A real shame honestly! However, I'm hopeful that newbies aren't afraid to join and contribute to the blogging community - there are some great people around :)ReplyDelete
Fatima x www.fatimawrites.co.uk
I do often wonder if they are, it's quite intimidating :( xxDelete
I've just entered the whole blogging world and it was really interesting for me to read this post. It seems like back in the day, the things were much more simple and much less oriented towards advertising!ReplyDelete
Have a lovely day!
I hear you, Jasmine! The blogging has changed so much, many blogs have become glossy online magazines with beautiful pictures that I love looking at but can't relate to the blogger nor really trust their opinion. I think all the changes have made me love blogging a bit less, which is such a shame as it was a huge passion of mine. xReplyDelete
I can totally relate to this xxDelete
I totally hear you Jasmine although I've only been blogging for 18 months. I feel myself pulling away more and more due to everything you've just mentioned, and also the pressures of providing the latest next best thing. I feel some blogs have become nothing more than an advertising site for products sent by brands I've never heard of, rather than sharing their latest purchase with genuine thoughts. The more I see these types of blogs, the more I feel isolated and lose the passion. XReplyDelete
Toni | sheergloss
It's such a shame - there also seems to be a real lack of disclosure with some bloggers xxDelete
I don't understand Instagram anymore and it used to be my favourite media.ReplyDelete
As for blogging I have been away for a while (two jobs means lack of time) but I have missed it so much. I blog the way bloggers should do it, for passion. I am sad to hear that, as I am a little annoyed that people I find in the blogosphere are always the same 20ish famous/not famous people and it seems they only reply to each other.
hope this will soon change.
xx from italy
Cate ღ 35mm in Style
I was exactly the same - it was my favourite this time last year :( xxDelete
Could not relate to this more. If you don't have a lot of money to spend on perfection, no one wants a bar of you.ReplyDelete
I don't understand why people get upset over sponsored posts. Obviously if the content is not genuine, there's a big problem there, but I find that all of the bloggers I follow are super genuine and upfront, and I love that. We've gotta earn a living somehow - it takes way more than five minutes to create an entire blog post! But I totally understand what you're saying about the perfection - it's so false! I definitely connect more with genuine, from the heart content - like yours!ReplyDelete
A Girl & Grey
I don't think anyone is upset about sponsored posts? It's what makes it possible for people to do blogging as a job xxDelete
Good on you - It's amazing that in this world you are standing your ground and being true to yourself. You're keeping it real and as long as you continue to do that, it will always be okay. I've only been blogging for a few months so I'm not at the same stage as you but, I have read blogs for years and I can see the difference. Blogging is losing it's authenticity. You said that there's no more space for you but, there is. In a world where everyone is changing their blogging style, we will all hold the real bloggers to our hearts. Relatable people are what we want.ReplyDelete
Have a great week :)
Chloe @ https://girllgonerogue.blogspot.co.uk/
Thank you Chloe - I hope we can keep at it! xxDelete
Definitely agree with some of the points you made in this post! When it comes to blogging it is so important to just be you and do you. Essentially there are no rules other than the ones you make for yourself, whether they have been influenced by others or the ones that do just feel 100% right for you. It can be hard to come to terms with things changing, especially when they do not feel for the better, but genuine and real content is something we all do appreciate and I know for sure it is something I always aim for. I do think this realness has got a bit lost from the blogging community, but it's still there. Your blog is 100% always relatable and real. So don't fret! Great post xxReplyDelete
Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.blogspot.co.uk
Aw thank you Lauren <3 xxDelete
Absolutely agree with everything you said. I'm new at blogging, I have a theme that was pretty cheap and I take photos with a 400€ camera that I bought after saving for months, and my photos are taken sometimes in my vanity table and other times in my bed with a curtain as background. I also cannot afford every beauty product that is coming out. I have my blog at about 1 month and sometimes I feel like quiting, because people now just want perfect blogs with perfect photos and expensive makeup, and that I cannot have unfortunately... blogs just are not what they used to be :(ReplyDelete
I definitely feel as though it's taken me a while to stop spending all my money on new releases I don't really want or need...Delete
Don't give up! xx
I totally agree with you on all of this! Twitter chats used to be amazing and everyone used to comment on everyone's blogs all the time! Now it feels like the comments I get are just people promoting their own blog without actually reading my content. I still enjoy sharing my thoughts, but I am also over all the new releases too! I also take my photos on my dining table, usually in comfy clothes hahaReplyDelete
I can totally agree with that - it's so obvious when people haven't even bothered to read past the title...xxDelete
I do feel more and more bloggers are speaking out about this issue and I have noticed the massive change myself. I'm starting to realize that a lot of bloggers are becoming more editorial, reviews are being glossed over with sweeter than sweet words even though I know for sure that product is crap. The normal reviews are almost gone because more and more bloggers are doing 'the best of' or some sort of list type of posts because those will get the biggest hits. Recently I have been more comfortable with following bloggers whom have scaled it down to basic and their posts come across as more raw...it feels like I can relate better to them.ReplyDelete
Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity
For as long as you keep writing I will keep reading and buying the things you recommend. Love you and your blog.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much <3 xxDelete
I love this post Jasmine, you're so genuine! I also loved that old elf post because I remember I had one so similar to that and it made me laugh! It's nice to look at how far you've come and remember to stay grounded!ReplyDelete
Jen, Velvet Spring x
Haha thank you Jen - glad you enjoyed :) xxDelete
I'm definitely a new blogger so I joined when the hype was all about Zoella. I think a lot of my bloggers are losing their identity which for me is what I want to see. More about the person rather than the perfect photos.ReplyDelete
I just want to say Jasmine I DEFINITELY see a major place for you in the blogging world, your blog is one of my favourite to read and I don't even bother with all those glossy ones - just not my cup of tea. Keep doing you because I will always love Jasmine Talks Beauty (or Magpie Jasmine ;))ReplyDelete
The Makeup Directory
Aw thank you so much Sally, this means a lot :) xxDelete
I started blogging back in 2009, I think, on two different platforms and it was fun! I met two good friends, while we live miles apart we still keep in touch through email.
I still blog now, it's a fun hobby for me and keeps my mind off the stress of my 'regular' job.
I think there still is a market for bloggers who just like to blog and share their passions.
That's definitely how I see blogging too, though it seems to just get more and more stressful! xxDelete
I totally agree! The blogging world has changed so much, in both good and bad waysReplyDelete
I started blogging in 2013 and truthfully don't think I have improved that much haha, I blog because I love it and the amount of time I have searched DSLR.net for a camera that costs the earth because I feel like what I have just doesn't cut it anymore is bordering on insane. I love blogging, having a lot of money makes blogging a lot easier. I don't have a lot of money to spend on new releases, nor do I want to spend it on new releases (seriously how many different forms of "unicorn makeup" does anyone need?). My money goes towards my masters. I would love to go to Bora Bora with blogger friends and have a great time discussing a contour palette but I am pretty sure that is not in the stars for me. Unless I organise it myself, you in? But I still do what I do knowing that, even if I didn't make a single penny from it, didn't get any PR, I would still be doing it. As long as you still love it I think everything else will die down eventually. I hope. Thank you for sharing, you basically wrote everything I have been thinking these past few months like you have a window to my mind. Hope you have a great week xxxReplyDelete
ALittleKiran | Bloglovin
Yeah it feels like there's so much excess now and I don't feel that comfortable with it xxDelete
This was such a good read. I'm by no means an experienced blogger (it's been just over a year), but any growth I've had has been organic and extremely slow going. I see others who started around the same time as I did (blogging and/or Instagram) and they grow followers so quickly by hosting giveaways etc. I will admit that has been a tad bit frustrating, but I've decided to do it on my own terms & on my own schedule, and not get as bothered by numbers. As long as you enjoy what you're doing, you can do it your way and not let others ruin the experience for you. <3ReplyDelete
There's just too much pressure put on bloggers to 'do better' and 'be different' when in fact we are all different but share interests so usually end up talking about the same things!ReplyDelete
Maya x | Vogue By Maya
I totally know what you mean! I tweeted the other day about how I feel like no one comments on blog posts anymore, or shares them around and spreads the love - everyone seems so consumed with having a massive following, that they forget to just enjoy what they're doing and support fellow bloggers. It's really important to me to try and spread as much positivity as possible, as there really isn't much at the moment.. It's such a shame! Blogging has changed a lot over the years, but hopefully it will go back to normal very soon. I still enjoy it and I hope everyone else does as well xoReplyDelete
Char | www.charslittleblog.co.uk
I can definitely agree with that :( xxDelete
I totally agree with you - I think we started blogging around the same time, and there was more of a community then. It seems to have become more of a competition, and as this is just a hobby for me, sometimes I feel like I'm falling behind even though I'm happy with the content I create. I've fallen behind on replying to my comments though - I still read them, but now I'm finding it's mostly "Nice post!" with a blog link, and it's hard to feel motivated to respond when you're not sure the person even read the post!ReplyDelete
Ugh I can definitely relate to this :( xxDelete
Wow I can totally resonate with this! This - THIS - is blogging! I can't even believe how much I feel this, it's like you wrote what I have been thinking for so long! Even though I just recently got serious about blogging, I have been in the blogging world for quite some time. It really is frustrating to see that so many bloggers have made it based off of .. privilege. I dont want to sound rude, but it just seems like you cant get anywhere these days without money. Do these people even care about producing good content, or do they just care about their followings growing and getting paid to go on trips?ReplyDelete
Thank you for posting this! I LOVE!
Jordan | https://www.jordanmwa.com/
I often feel as though the quality of their posts is an afterthought for some bloggers once they've reached a certain level :( xxDelete
I'm also a blogger who started the same time as you and have watched the progress of blogging. I struggle with instagram too and blog traffic. I try not to get caught up in all the "perfect" shots from others who hire photographers or have Leicas to take their photos. I know definitely that in my city people "compete" and aren't authentic with other bloggers. it's a real shame!ReplyDelete
Thank you for your comments - they've made a really interesting read :) xxReplyDelete
As PRs, we too have seen the bloggosphere change and actually, it's blogs like yours that we love... you are knowledgeable, polite, passionate and easy to work with. We love your posts as we're sure, many of your readers do too... Keep up the good work. ♡♡♡
Thank you so much Sarah (sorry I missed this comment somehow!) it really means a lot to me that you think that <3 xxDelete
I've only been blogging for about one year now, although I did have a youtube channel 5(!!) years ago. And I remember the community on there being so different back then, people were interested in the normal, everyday people a lot more and it was a much nicer community to engage in right from the get go. However I also think it's so amazing how much the industry has grown and how bloggers can make a living from what they are doing now. And I really do appreciate some of the amazing editorial content that comes out - but I also love the realness! I guess there are kind of two categories now! xxReplyDelete
Frances Kayleigh | Style Beauty Travel
I definitely do see a difference there - you're so right! xxDelete