It’s been on my mind for a while. And if it’s been on my mind, it’s probably been on someone else’s mind: Blogging is not the same as it used to be.
Everything is very different from when I started my blog six years ago. In that fairly short space of time, blogs have gone from a hobby to a full-time job generating a HUGE amount of income. And I think that’s amazing. Some of my favourite OG bloggers are now incredibly successful women, curating awesome content and making a living from it. What Olivia Did, Wish Wish Wish and The London Lipgloss (now Zoe London) are still some of my favourite bloggers and I still absolutely love reading their blogs.
But it’s not the same, and it makes me feel a bit sad.
I feel like there has been a huge shift in the past 18 months in terms of influencer/blogger content. Instagram has become saturated with copycat accounts, highly staged photos and over-edited shots. Blogs have become abandoned somewhat in favour of daily photos on Instagram and continuous snapshots into people’s lives through Instagram stories. The numbers of young women and men quitting their jobs to go freelance and make money through content creation probably reaches the thousands.
And it’s by no means a negative thing. But as soon as something reaches the ‘mainstream’ some of the magic feels like it's been lost.
The whole reason I started blogging was purely that I loved writing. I felt like I had something to say and I hoped that other people would relate to and enjoy reading my words. I have always been a creative person, and I found myself funnelling my efforts into this online space that very quickly became my own. I’m very proud that I still have people reading my blog that were here to read my first post, and that I have also attracted lots of new readers who enjoy my content. (Hi!)
People just don’t read blogs like they used to. Even my cousins who are only four years younger than me pretty much only scroll through Instagram and watch YouTube rather than reading long-form content. Even I find myself posting less and less because there’s no value in posting every other day any more and to be honest, I don’t have enough time to post every day!
Of course, this shift to shorter content brings advantages. I personally love Instagram stories and the interaction it provides between me and my followers. I also still enjoy Instagram because it means I don’t have to publish a new outfit post on my blog every day and I can share snippets of my day-to-day. It’s still an inherently creative platform, despite the hella frustrating algorithm.
I can’t pinpoint when the term ‘influencer’ began being widely used. But suddenly this label started being thrown around and I’m still not sure what to make of it. I don’t really like the term influencer to describe myself, purely because I think an influencer has more than one core content platform (i.e YouTube, Blog, Instagram). I would still refer to myself as a blogger because that is where I create my core content. My Instagram, Twitter and Facebook merely support that.
Defined by the Cambridge Dictionary, ‘influencer’ is a marketing term that describes, ‘a person or group that has the ability to influence the behaviour or opinions of others: The influencer is the individual whose effect on the purchase decision is in some way significant or authoritative.’
Influencers used to be celebrities - now they are a Jessica or a Mark next door. For me, that was always the beauty of blogging. You could stumble across space on the internet that you related to and find things that you loved and buy them. It made everything accessible.
Now I feel like influencers are increasingly far removed from the ordinary, jetting off several times a year on all expenses paid trips to destinations that we could only dream of affording. Now, that sounds super bitter, because I’ve had so many cool opportunities to work with brands over the past few years, but the opportunities that are blog post based feel few and far between now.
Dress - ASOS; Boots - Primark; Bag - ASOS
I feel like I’ve just had a big moan about blogging, but I did want to round off this post by saying that for me, it’s still the best platform. YouTube doesn’t appeal to me at all - my efforts are much better spent writing and taking photos because that’s what I am good at and what I love.
I think words are still the most powerful way of getting my thoughts across - I mean as a literature grad, I probably would say that… But there is no better feeling that pouring your heart out in a thousand words, and receiving a message telling you that your writing has helped someone. I relate to words so much more than an image, so I will always read blogs too. Yes, blogging and online content creation has fundamentally changed, and no doubt in the next five years, it will evolve again. But for me, blogs still form a really important part of online content. They are the first place I turn when I want to find out the best places to eat, the best places to see abroad.
And that's why I won't stop blogging.