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?