Some Thoughts On Blogging In 2018
I reckon I've read more think pieces about blogging than any other topic this year, and yet, here I am - a blogger adding more thoughts about blogging to the millions that already exist on the Internet. Soz guys - I'll forgive you if you're all doing a little eye roll at the back. I'm not writing this post because I feel like I've got anything particularly ground breaking to add to the conversation, or because I think that my opinions are more important than anybody else's. I suppose it's more of a way of me sorting through my own thoughts that are constantly buzzing around my head and getting back to a place with blogging that feels good.
Because there's no denying that the world of blogging has changed in the past few years, and my own blog and motivations have changed with it. When I first registered my own domain back in December 2014 and started typing little posts for you all, blogging was a completely different beast. Photos were taken on iPhones and fast relatable content was all the rage. There were no content calendars or strategies or in-depth discussions about beating the Instagram algorithm. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I was still using Instagram to apply a lovely orange filter to my selfies. Lol.
And I'm not going to sit here and wish that we could all turn back time and go back to "the good old days", because I think it's totally awesome to see how the industry has changed and evolved in such a short space of time. I love that people can build careers in blogging solely based on their own grit and determination, rather than having to rely on their location or a bit of nepotism (I'm not saying that this is the case all of the time, but you have to admit that it's much easier for the average girl to start a blog than it is to say, break into the journalism industry). And from a selfish perspective, I LOVE being able to see girls my shape and size style clothes in a beautiful editorial way, rather than having to imagine how the dress on the size 6 model will look on my size 12 body.
And yet, there's no denying that I miss the more "off the cuff" style blogging that was all the rage a few years ago. I miss the honesty and authenticity and glimpses into the inner workings of someone else's mind that you used to be able to find in swathes. I miss those personal posts that made you feel like you had really connected with the person writing them, the ones that made you feel that little bit less alone in your thoughts.
There are still people producing that kind of content of course, but the balance has shifted. As the big "influencers" have transitioned away from blogs to Instagram, I feel like the level of connection between creators and their audiences has transitioned too. I see less posts and captions that make me shout "Yes! That! That's exactly how I feel too!", and more that try to seem relatable but come across as totally staged. You know the ones I mean - we're all familiar with teeny tiny blonde Instagrammers posing perfectly with a huge dessert while claiming that they just devoured a family size pizza by themselves. I get that that's the kind of thing that works on Instagram these days and that people have brand guidelines and targets to reach, but I do find that a lot of content I see is surface level and false, rather than making me feel truly inspired.
And I'm not trying to claim that I've been immune to these shifts as a content creator myself. While my Instagram feed will always be full of honesty and images that reflect my real life (mostly because I'm too lazy to style stuff just for the grid), my blogging process has definitely changed over the past 12 months. I stopped typing quick posts into the notes section of my phone when I was on the train, and started treating blogging like it was my job, worrying about pinnable images and making my content informative and getting the right mix of content.
In an effort to keep up with everyone else in the blogging industry, I feel like I've lost my own style a little bit. The posts that flow easiest from my fingers are the life rambles, the personal updates, the musings on topics that my friends and I discuss. Those are the kind of posts I want to get back to, and I want to write them on my own terms, rather than trying to adhere to some sort of schedule and social media strategy that will help me to achieve a big traffic boost. I want to get back to blogging for the love of it again.
And so that's exactly what I'll be doing. In order to do that, I've had to change a few things to keep me from getting side tracked by everybody else in the industry. I've unfollowed a lot of the super posed Instagrammers that were making me feel crap about myself, and tried to curate my feed a bit more to be full of authenticity and real life. I've deleted the Twitter app from my phone so that I'm not forever bogged down in everybody else's "just landed a super exciting brand campaign!" tweets. And I'm making a conscious effort to write about the things that make me happy, rather than the things I think people want to read. I hope you'll all stick along for the ride.
What are your thoughts? Have you noticed a shift in the blogging world and the content you consume? Do you want to read personal posts or do you prefer the more curated, editorial style that dominates the industry these days?