UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

The Blogging Rut Of 2015

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I’ve seen this littering my Twitter feed, I’ve read the texts from blogger pals making their way onto my phone, and I’ve felt it myself – there’s a blogging rut in the air and it’s highly infectious.

It feels a *little* bit like everything’s been done, like we’ve hit peak blog – peak glossiness, peak content on par with a magazine, and well, it kinda feels like there’s no-where new to go. Like, what, where do we go from here?

Aside from *maybe* getting a touch better at photography (looking at you, HG) or tweaking a blog design to make it look a bit more Pinterest, it feels like we’re fast approaching the peak of what we can do for our blogs.

Go back a decade, or go back two, and consuming content could really only be done in one way – print, either magazines or newspapers. Or, y’know, reading your friend’s MySpace page, or reading news on NeoPets, but kinda not really the same.

Magazine content has always had crossover in the women’s lifestyle sector because when it comes down to it, the people behind those magazines, the people writing the content – women in their 20s, 30s and 40s – well, they live similar lives, they experience the same things, they have the same ideas.

Things that were exciting and interesting and groundbreaking to one woman working on one magazine was pretty likely to be the same for another woman working on another magazine.

You could read a piece on speed dating in one mag one week, and then, well whattya know, there’s a piece on speed dating the next week in a different title. It was, and still is, impossible to not have content overlap.

So think about blogs – blogs which in 2015 are more like the magazine of an era than ever before – there are hundreds and thousands and millions of them.

That’s hundreds and thousands and millions of people who might have similar ideas, similar inspirations and aspirations and thoughts and blog post plans.

Back in the day of peak magazine, there was probably about 10 decent women’s magazines – monthly and weekly – that were in competition and creating similar content, albeit some were glossier and some were aimed more at the ahem, sex-orientated gals, but at the core there were the same features, the same fashion, the same beauty, the same celebrities.

And now with blogging? There’s 7853662567 of us trying to be unique and creative and popular in the same women’s lifestyle bracket. It’s near impossible to not overlap with people and have the same kinds of posts.

I read Bloglovin every single day. Heck I probably check it hourly when I’ve got a strong WIFI connection and there’s no doubt that people – myself included – have latched on to certain themes that perform well.

How many times have you seen ‘xx tips to improve your Instagram?’ and ‘xx blog post ideas’ and ‘xx ways to be happier’ and ‘the perfect green smoothie recipe’?

I mean, for me personally, it’s definitely in the 3 figure mark.

But where else is there for us to go? What new thing is there that we can latch onto before anyone else? What can we do to break the mould? To be original? To be the one that readers like best?

Blogging has come a long way from posting a few beauty reviews and outfits snapped by your mum every week, now it’s about creating content that wouldn’t be out of place in one of the magazines we used to spend all our Saturday job money on BECAUSE OMG YOU GET FREE BENEFIT THINGS WITH GLAMOUR THIS MONTH.

There’s a general feeling in the bloggersphere at the moment that I guess is pretty similar to writer’s block. We’re lacking original ideas and that rush of excitement that I sometimes get when I look at my blogging schedule for the week and think fuck yes, I’m owning this.

(Disclaimer: I make a blogging schedule about once every two months, it’s normally a fortnight long, and only EVER happens when I’m screaming ‘you got this’ to myself. I’m not for realz that organised and on-it all the time. Nah, babes.)

In a bid to be the best, to be the biggest, to make this full-time thing actually work for us (because contrary to popular belief, a lot of us aren’t sat around surrounded with buckets of gold whilst chuckling and being fed peeled grapes) we’re constantly putting this pressure on ourselves to better ourselves and our blogs and brands.

Sometimes it’s exciting, sometimes I can’t sleep for all the ideas whizzing about my brain like fireworks, and sometimes it’s pretty dull and foggy and I’m just like ‘shall I write about my Essie nail polish and make a fashion edit?’.

I have no idea where blogging is going to go from here. In a world where most bloggers read blogs for fun rather than the magazines lining up our local Tesco Express’s shelves, it’s hard not to be inspired by each other and to take in from each post what we like and dislike. And it’s even harder, when looking out at the rest of the bloggersphere and seeing what people are saving, what people are talking about on Twitter and sharing on Facebook, to not look at that post or content and wonder how you could utilise the success of that in your own content.

I’m so intrigued to see what comes next. Where blogging will be in a year or five. What will happen. How we will differentiate between our favourite bloggers and how we will make ourselves stand out. How we will make our content unique and how we will adapt our content to the changes in reader needs.

I was having a foggy, uninspired morning before I wrote this. Hormones will aid writer’s block and a lust for life, won’t they?

But, after a coffee and a drive and a chat with a friend, this post came about and now it’s like I’ve put a swab of aloe vera gel on a mosquito bite and the horrible itchy, annoyingess has gone and now I’m back to peace and normal. I’m back to me and I’m ready to tackle the day and brainstorm and listen to Neyo and write some content that I’m pretty proud of.

OMG ALL THE IDEAS.

Anyway, what would you like to see more of? What sort of content do you think is missing? And what would you like to see from me? I’m so intrigued and also, want to make my number 1 gals happy, obvs.



33 comments so far.
  • I’m a sucker for behind the scenes stuff, I’d love more of that! Like what really happens around the office, what are the girls gossiping about now? Also what do you do to get prepared for blogging or events? It’s awesome seeing the glossy final outcome in a post but I wanna see the storm before the sunshine :)

    Wendy Xx

    http://www.bumpkinbroke.com

  • Catherine Schofield

    Hey! I really enjoy all the stuff you are already doing, but I know where you are coming from about being stuck in a rut cause I think its the same for anyone and anything creative at the minute.

    I tend to find shaking things around and doing something a little bit different and maybe more technical, like a funny original infograph or having a go at looking at another area I haven’t done before, maybe tech/apps/kickstarter sort of thing can sometimes be a good way to give my content a new lease of life.

    Obviously these might not be the best thing for you, but I thought I’d throw out my suggestions

  • Amirah

    Hey Hannah! Love this post, it’s got me thinking about magazines…. For the last decade i’ve been hooked on Glamour magazine and
    It’s more than likely i’ve read similar features but never really realised it. I feel like readers would still read your blog if they like the person behind the brand :)

    • I think we’ve all got this natural desire in ourselves to constantly be looking for the next challenge – so in this case, how we can take our blogs up another level and keep bettering ourselves. I think it’s hard to just say keep on doin’ whatcha doin’ because it’s good enough as is. xxx

  • Lauren

    I just love reading your lists the best haha and recipe ideas because you always have the best ones x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

  • I love this Hannah, and I am one of those in a blogging rut! I started my blog about 3 years ago but kept it low key/personal for 2 of those years because I used to as a place to rant about recovery from anorexia. However, once recovered I swapped to posting it on social media and now I feel like I’m not blogging for me any more, just because I feel as thought I SHOULD be producing content. I’ve recently decided to go back to old school blogging and I’ve had a good reaction – maybe that’s the way forward? People love honesty and ‘real’ people so who knows..? xx

    Sam // Samantha Betteridge

    • I definitely agree with this. As much as I love a glossy photo, for me the writing has to be relatable and ‘normal’. It has to be like talking to a friend.

      I want to know more about low-end cosmetics and high street stuff I can afford about about problems I’M going through too – so maybe that’s what I’ll concentrate on, I guess?

  • Great post, it’s really interesting to think about. I think the reason I prefer blogs to magazines, and don’t mind reading pretty similar content, is because we get an actual person to relate to. Not some random writer we’ll never get the chance to connect to. All about that connection, right?

    x
    http://www.siobhanlrothwell.wordpress.com

  • I’ve felt exactly the same lately and wrote a post about it. I remember reading one of your blogs before where you said that if you’re feeling a certain way chances are that lots of other people are too and I discovered exactly that! Sophie xxx
    http://Www.fashionnomads.com

  • Joni

    I don’t blog.. but an idea for a post theme which could stray a little from the typical “This cleanser is the BOMB” or whatever which there seems to a be a lot of, could be looking at stuff like charities? As in, doing a Charity of the Month post where you select a charity that you think has done incredible stuff (God knows there’s a lot of them out there!) and help raise awareness for that charity. Maybe just something that’ll make us think less about the contents in our make up bag (I am guilty of this too, by the way!) and more about giving to others in need.

    xxxx

  • Awwww this is great. I run my own shop and blogging has creeped more and more into my life so yes a schedule is a MUST. Sometimes I am on a roll and other times I just want to eat and sausage roll because I have zero blog post and zero drive. I get hard on myself when I don’t post on the day I was supposed to and that gets me in down but I have a cup of tea and relax, start again and it all comes flowing back.

    I love a good blog that you get to know the person and their daily life. This is something that I wanted to do but I kind of don’t. It’s a shame but I wouldn’t know where to start! Do people really want to know about my daily unglamorous routine?

    I have just stumbled across your blog and it was my holiday read. Your super and keep up your great posts.

    Carli x

    http://www.theteabee.com

  • Wow this post is so true. I started blogging back in 2009, when it was growing slowly. The last last year or two it’s being growing at the speed of light and you’re right, there is nowhere to go! I wonder what it will be like in 5 years time as well…

    The only thing that sets it apart from magazines so much is that you have an insight into someone else’s life. As humans we are nosey creatures and that’s why blogs have such a huge appeal.

    http://blog.pollyrowan.com/

  • Flo

    Hannah I loved this post, its thought provoking and really makes you consider blogs nowadays and where on earth it goes from here. I personally love your relatable posts on being a girl in her twenties. I am currently living abroad and even after 12 years of living outside the UK still feel very British. Your posts make me realise that it’s ok, I’m normal and not a total freak.

    About once a week I’ll email a link from your blog to my best friend in the UK, she’ll read it and then send a different link back to me. Usually at some point one of us says “I just laughed so much I snorted tea through my nose” or “OMG that made me cry! I’m so relieved” but the essence of what makes you such a brilliant blogger is that you are so god damn relatable!

    I’d like to thank you for your posts, you have certainly made me feel better about myself, more accepting and brought two incredibly close friends even closer together.
    Flo x

  • Emily

    I’d love to read more posts about depression and what its like to be our age… its a cliche but I find it really hard some days, and some of the posts you’ve written help me feel better?

    Especially comparison with social media… I find that i’ll be having a really good day, but then i’ll see a lovey-dovey post from a girl I BARELY KNOW on fb gushing about her boyfriend or how amazing he is, or happy anniversary, and even though I know its all absolute BOLL OCKS, i immediately feel bad about myself and doubt my relationship with my boyfriend?? or is that just me being psycho because i got dumped out of the blue and i’m still struggling with it?

    wow essay, sorry hannah!

    but i reallly enjoy the posts about what its like being in your mid-late twenties, and how sometimes its ok to have a day with binging, duvet and netflix!!! i actually sent one of your posts about “31 things girls do” or whichever one it was, to my boyfriend!! one sunday i just cried and i didnt know why, and he was awful!! ha!!

    god sorry me me me post!!

    but my point is, i love your blog, its the only one i check daily, and i really enjoy posts like that! i also have a mega laugh at your list posts though!!! xxxx

    • Emily

      i would also love more insight into your life… maybe like what you tend to do on saturdays, or weeknights? i’m so nosy!! what i was trying (and failed!) to say was, what i love about your blog is that its so relatable!! xxx

  • Beth

    I honestly think your best stuff that we all love is the every day! Like I’d prefer to read a post about driving to costa and then watching Harry Potter then a post about a shiny holiday press trip. I used to love those blogs where you just sat and spoke to the camera about general life and how you were feeling! To me I’d watch one of those every time over a ‘get ready with me’ or just a general one that has music plastered over it. Also, you should totes do a Q and A!

  • Caroline

    I agree with the last comment. We love how relatable and real you are. You share the non-shiny/ glossy/ instagram worthy side of yourself with us. Making each of us feel better about ourselves in the process!

    I particularly like the house/ design/style stuff, affordable fashion, things you are watching/listening to/ reading that we might also enjoy. Basically an extension of what you would chat about with your girlfriends – from the glam, to the day-to-day to the downright “oh my god, we are such old ladies I can’t believe we are taking about………..*insert embarrassing new grown-up obsession here* “

  • Kat

    I made a blog 5/6 years ago and everything was so so different back then, blog seemed more raw I guess because they were a little more relatable and something that anyone could try for a bit of fun, there was no pressure it was just having fun with creativity and sharing stuff. Which it still is! But for me it’s hard for me to find blogs that I love and will read religiously as although there are so many incredibly talented bloggers I think I just like to find ones who approach more diverse topics, break rules and are just maybe more honest if that makes sense? I’m just rambling a bit…. hahaa

    Yours is one of my favourite go to blogs, mainly because I love the way you write, you seem like such a really lovely down-to-earth person that I could be friends with! I think the posts I enjoy the most are the ’25 things…..’ I also love stuff like Haul’s, Favourites and Room Tours. Oh and book reviews, I need more books to read! Maybe you could do some film reviews too? :)

    Kat x

  • I’ve been feeling the same recently, mainly because when I think up post ideas I’m like, nah, Hannah Gale’s done it! I actually stopped buying magazines unless they have free gifts cos it’s all the same regurgitated content that I can get for free from blogs. I just enjoy reading honest posts, from bloggers who are just being themselves. So yeah. That’s what I’ll do too.

  • I’ve felt the blogger blues quite a lot recently and then out of nowhere had an idea spree!
    TrudyJohanna UK Lifestyle Blog

  • em

    your blog is fast becoming a fav!

    http://www.thewonderlanders.com

  • Tor

    I love your posts! I love the shopping ideas you post but also womens issues like the posts about depression really spoke to me and I think a lot of others. It made me feel like I wasn’t so alone. I think more of some of the posts you’ve already done about women’s health like smears and mammograms and how they are embarrassing but keep us safe. Also inspirational stories like doing good deeds and how they benefit others. I had a double lung transplant in 2011 and wouldn’t be here now if I hadn’t. I publicise the need to donate organs a blood wherever I can.
    Keep up the amazing work Hannah! xx

  • Hey Hannah, I’m really interested to hear how you feel about the future of blogging for those who do it full time. If blogs disappear in five years’ time, will you make the move back to magazines? Will magazines even exist in five years’ time? Or do you think both mediums will continue to evolve and you can just roll with it? Just interested in your thoughts as I’d love to blog full time and have no idea what the future of blogs will be! x

  • Roseanna

    I haven’t really had the time to read a lot of blogs as of late but like to check up on yours. I saw one blogger review a frozen supermarket pizza product :/ so yours cannot be doing that bad in terms of content ;)! I loved the video of Rudey’s birthday with you and your boyfriend, it was too cute. xx

  • Andie McLean

    I love your posts, topics & your content always catches me by surprise. You put a great spin on things which differs from other blogs I come across- I guess it’s your personality & humour & general down to earth thoughts!

    I really enjoy when you make me realise life is going to be OK. Maybe a post on milestones in your life- turning points, sudden realisations, change of goals/ aspirations. I know you have already chatted about this stuff a lot but it’s my fav!!

    All good writers have writers block- I guess that goes for bloggers too.

    So eat some ice cream, I’m sure an amazing idea will pop up!

    Good luck :)

  • I definitely feel the sense of people clambering to find new ideas (myself included) I mean, how many times can you do a certain post without people skipping past because the content has been seen elsewhere? I set myself the goal to be as original as I can with my content and that’s put the pressure on but it forces you to be creative – can’t wait to see what you come up with though Hannah, always a laugh a minute with your lists!

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Beauty

  • I get you Ms. Gale, you’re dead right…now what to do? TPJ x

  • I genuinely think blogs will turn into vlogs. The children of today don’t read blogs, they watch videos on YouTube! Perhaps us golden oldies will continue to read blogs but I think they’ll be phased out. When I started blogging 5 years ago, there were hardly any of us. Now every other person you meet has a blog!

  • Completely agree with this – I’m having such a blogging lull at the moment, my mind is just blank, without a single idea in it! I’m lucky in that there are four of us running our blog, so we’re never without content if one of us is feeling uninspired, but it does also mean that there’s a pressure not to be the one letting everyone down, too!

    For what it’s worth, I absolutely love your blog – it’s one of just two that I actively type the URL in to my address bar every single day – and think you should just keep doing what you’re doing as you are one of the original ones. Your tone along with your ideas are what really nail it for me – it’s all so relatable and friendly.

    – Jazmin x

  • I often wonder this too. I mean, what IS next? There’s apps/podcasts/books/radio shows/make up/toiletries/homeware/stationary/clothing lines…! Is just maintaining readers enough? That’s quite a bit deep…

    I love your outfit pics and recipes so keep those coming. I saw someone else’s comment on behind the scenes – that too!!

    Sophie Loves Food | Recipes & Reviews

  • Lynn

    I personally love your posts about makeup, clothes and real life. I think we all love the outfit posts too. My favourite ones are the ones about life goals, mental health and bulimia.

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  • amy

    Hi Hannah, first off interesting new blog design, it’s looking more like a magazine every time I check your site out. I have been taking my own blog seriously only for the past 2 weeks and I have found a lot of your advice on blogging very helpful. I have been wondering what the future of lifestyle blogs will be, as you say the more you read the more samey every blog appears. I half worry the only people reading blogs are bloggers themselves.

    I know you were thinking of writing a book earlier this year and I thought that sounded like a good idea. I guess your audience, like you are women in their twenties and we’ll grow up together so to speak, when your in your forties it will probably be a very grown up blog and maybe 3D and a virtual reality hannah experiance, or however blogs are going to turn out in the future.

    I think it’s important, like your new design, that you just keep evolving the blog and don’t be afraid to experiment with another way of telling a story. I don’t like the fact that every blog I see is the same, your blog has a more down to earth touch that obvs people like. I think maybe you need another goal for your brand, now that you’re a fulltime blogger what os next for hannah gale?

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