I’ve spent a lot of time these past few weeks thinking about the direction the blogging world is heading in (I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about macaroni cheese and wondering which Christmas films are worth buying for the 57456th time – I went with Elf and The Holiday, but that’s neither here nor there).
I feel a bit like I’ve fallen out of love with blogging. I’m not sure if it’s my general mental and emotional state or whether y’know, I’ve just run out of ideas and creativity and passion and excitement for the whole thing.
Like, has my love affair with blogging actually subsided a bit, or has my hazy mind clouded my love for it? WHICH ONE IS IT?
When I started blogging properly, back in April 2014, I was engulfed in whirlwind traffic brought in by nostalgic and relatable lists that went viral. I was one of the lucky ones. I kinda popped up on the scene and was like HI I’M HANNAH AND I LIKE WORDS AND EMOTIONS and became one of the minority who were able to do it full-time not so long after.
I guess maybe because I was doing something a bit different.
Anyway, fast forward to now, and EVERYTHING has changed.
Blogs are pulling in less comments, blogs are less personal, blogs are more glossy, blogs are less about words or content, blogs are more about a pretty faces and photographs, blog content is often outsourced and well, the blogging world feels less happy.
Maybe it’s just me, but Twitter seems awash with bloggers, both full-time and part-time, that seem like they’ve had enough. Like they need a month curled up in a fort made of sofa cushions and blankets with hot Ribena and Harry Potter books. Time away from the internet and wi-fi and envy and comparison and self-doubt.
Oh right, did I mention I’m FO’ SURE included in the paragraph above?
Everyone just, well, feels a bit broken.
And here’s where I think the issue kinda maybe comes from: blogging became such a phenomenon because people were looking for content that was honest and real and raw. They wanted reviews from people who could basically be their best gal pal. They wanted advice from people who could be a sister. They wanted to read stories from people who were just like them, to make them feel less alone. They wanted to read and digest content that WASN’T magazine content.
We grew up bombarded of images of perfect women with perfect bodies, in clothes we couldn’t afford or fit into. So we decided to create the opposite. To be open about our flaws, to celebrate them, to discuss products without the fear of offending a brand. To be true.
Blogs became so groundbreaking and money-making and traffic-driving because they were refreshing in a digital age where the only other content we could get our hands on was carefully edited and manipulated or well, brain-numblingly dull.
And now? Blogs have never been more like magazines.
From the perfectly edited images, designer clothes, gym-honed bodies, holidays in £10,000 a night villas, and copy that doesn’t shine with personality and lolz and OMG YES THAT’S SO ME and boo boo boo this is making me realise so much about myself and I’m having a cry into my 10pm slice of pre bedtime toast.
Blogging has gone too far the other way. In a bid to outdo each other with fancy camera lenses and Photoshop editing skills and blog pages that wouldn’t look out-of-place in Vogue, we have lost touch with what made blogging so successful and energetic in the first place.
So that’s my prediction for next year.
A slight unraveling. A return to the normal. And, newer bloggers. Bloggers who can write seriously fucking well and create content that is exciting and stimulating. I know you’re all out there, biding your time.
An outfit photo I’ve taken in the mirror will normally always get more Instagram likes than something fancy I’ve made a blogger pal take on my Olympus Pen. True story.
This post had 350,000 page views in 24 hours. The photo is taken from Google and it was hosted on a blank Wordpres blog template. It is proof that you do not need a £400 camera or snazzy blog layout or 150k Insta followers to be a digital success. You just need to have some basic understanding of how to relate to people, how to be the average girl, and how to write.
Blogging next year will be for the normal girl who wears her heart on her sleeve and is obsessed with H&M bargains and vlogging late night trips to McDonald’s with her bae. She will be fun and energetic and she will be consistent in putting up content.
The industry needs new, refreshing people, creating content that hasn’t already been done 543857435 times before, and I’ma just sit here and chain drink tea and wait for them to emerge.
For me next year? I’ll be all about taking it back to the basics – lists, raw posts on my emotions, growing up and what I’m up to, and the mundane every day stuff – the new pasta recipe that OMFG YES, the £10 dress that wtf looks incredible, and the IKEA haul that will make you feel so damn pleased you’re old enough now to enjoy it.
Over and out, future blogging champions.
OH, and if you are looking for refreshing blog reads, my current fave reads include Charlotte Taylor – who despite having an entirely different life to mine, manages to draw me in EVERY SINGLE DAMN TIME, Megs – who does a FANTASTIC emotional life post and, wait for it, Anna Saccone. I have slowly but surely found myself becoming obsessed with her daily life update blog posts. They’re not glossy or exciting and are only a few hundred words long, but somehow they have me utterly hooked and I ain’t even soz.