Why I'm Going Back To Basics With Blogging
Whether you're a blogger yourself or a reader and consumer of online content then you will have more than likely noticed such a huge change over the years and it's hard not kept swept up in it. This year I've really looked at my blog, the industry and what I want to do and it's been difficult. I recently wrote a post all about why I think blogging will always be important and I still stand by every word I wrote but something I didn't touch on was how I'm going about the whole blogging thing right now. Although this blog is part of how I make my living which is always something that I've been super upfront about, 85% of what I do with this online is completely off my own back and always comes from a place of passion. I've seen quite a few bloggers who have been in this world for many, many years talking about this subject a lot lately too so here are a few thoughts on taking things back to basics.
YOU DO YOU
There are so, so many posts about how to blog and it's probably one of the most talked about topics in the blogging world. Which when you think about it is kind of strange as it's just one of those things that you pick up as you go along and it's a learn on the job situation. Anyway, if there is one thing that I know for sure is that you have to do you in the blogging world as it's pointless trying to keep up with someone else. And when you admire others and what they do it's all too easy to mould yourself to do everything that they do and base your work off of theirs. We've all probably done it at some point as when we see somebody doing well then we naturally want to follow suit. However, no-one needs to see the same vein of content 45873 times over because we're all individual and unique and have something special to bring to the table and that is something that should be celebrated. Sticking to what feels good to you when it's not something that anybody else is doing certainly does feel scary, there is no denying that but in the long run, it will make you feel so much better as you know deep down you've always been your true authentic self.
THE INDUSTRY IS CONSTANTLY CHANGING
Blogs and the concepts of an online diary is something that has been around for a very, very long time. And when they first began they were incredibly different to what they are now and in the seven years that I've been doing this they've changed so much and so have I. Like I said, there is an awful lot of chatter about the blogging world being over with and I truly cannot believe it. There will always be people who want to read blogs and be able to search for something specific. And the industry of blogging has only just got itself off the ground so how could it be over before it's truly begun? Right now there is a huge, huge trend for luxury blogging and trips to far-flung destinations but there is also a big movement towards living a more sustainable life so you just have to find what you want online because it's out there. And as a reader or a creator, you do have to go with the flow of what is going on and find your own feet within it as nothing can ever be how it was when it first began. We really are such suckers for nostalgia in this world!
READERS DON'T JUST WANT ONE THING
The reason why I've been thinking about what direction I want to go with my blog and what I want to do in the future is that I fell into a huge comparison trap. Something that I think happens to us all online as we're constantly surrounded by what other people are doing. Whenever I sit and look through Instagram or what the most popular blog posts are they're usually pretty much the same thing. On a beach or wandering the streets of London wearing something very expensive and some people might love creating that and I can't deny I like to look at it. But that's not my life so as much as I might enjoy it visually it's not something I find myself connecting to in any other way. It's hard not to get down on yourself because your life doesn't look like that and it's always the most popular content online. And it bothered me for a while, I felt like I couldn't be part of the blogging world because my life isn't designed to show it off and then I realised that if I felt like that then plenty of other people must do too. We can consume the really dreamy content but we can't always make a connection to it and that is what blogging is for me. I have Pinterest to look at dreamy unrealistic things but I want to be able to somewhat relate to what I'm reading. The things that I find myself enjoying the most online are people talking about general day to day things like; the makeup that doesn't get all over their glasses, how their mental health is, what is going on in their lives, what clothes help them feel good when they are bloated and so on. I love the fact that there are so many blogs out there that feel like a conversation between friends and can connect people from all over the world.
ARE BLOGS now turning into MAGAZINES?
For some, they might want to turn their online space into this really dreamy editorial space and that's awesome. You have to do what you want but I think for everything to be so highly produced and edited then it does always lose that edge of personality. So many magazines have folded over the years because they simply couldn't keep up with the online world and personally, I don't think blogs are replacing magazines as they are two different beasts. People read glossies as that's all they knew but when the world of beauty and style blogs became more prevalent then people found themselves reading them more because there were real people behind the words and they could get an honest take on something. Obviously now there is money changing hands between bloggers then it can muddy the waters a little but in general, you're still getting something way more real than you would ever find in an editorial magazine. Now the blogging industry is evolving to be more overly produced and Instagram pictures frankly look cartoonish I can't help but think it's losing what made it so special in the first place. Which is why I want to go back to what made me want to be a blogger in the first place.
MY BLOGGING MANIFESTO
Like I said, I want to take things back to basics and here is how I plan on doing so;
- Always create content that I would want to read myself and be as respectful to my audience as possible.
- Be upfront with paid work.
- Create beautiful imagery with honest words.
- Have an online space that feels safe for readers and free of any judgement.