UK Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

My Predictions For Blogging In 2016

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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.

 



57 comments so far.
  • Kat

    Love this post, and your blog! Your writing style is real and that’s why I kept reading the first time I came across one of your posts. I really only like following blogs like yours! The other ones (rich girls with no job and the most expensive “bargain” clothes EVER) are boring and ridiculous and honestly? I can’t stand them.

    Keep on, keepin’ on!

  • Such an interesting post, here’s hoping it will get better from here on out! :)

    Thank you for the new blog suggestions, I’m gonna check them out now! \o/

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

  • I completely agree with everything you’ve written – so many bloggers now are completely unobtainable and they’ve lost the relatable aspect that made us fall in love with their blogs in the first place. The super expensive holidays that are circulating some blogs at the moment made me sit up and think “yep, we’re worlds apart now…” And that’s boring.

    As a blog reader, this is a HUGE reason why I’ve fallen in love with your blog lately, because you are so relatable and interesting. Don’t stop posting the way you do because it’s so so refreshing and I really look forward to your posts.

    Hope you’re feeling okay,

    Lois | http://www.aworthytrend.blogspot.co.uk

    xxx

  • This post connects with me on a personal level!! I first started blogging a few years ago but got scared because my blog was nothing like the glossy magazine-esque blogs I saw everywhere and I was like nah gurl I can’t do this. However, I decided to try again this year and my first post basically said ehhh just expect my boring life on here actually soz not soz, but I’m doin me now and feel happy.

    You’re the coolest.
    Emma | http://www.unf4bul0us.com xx

    • I know what you mean. I was so worried about my blog not looking like a glossy e-zine with a fancy template, but now I don’t care. I like the fact that my blog looks like a blog, because that’s what it is: a blog. Plus, I feel as though the glossy ‘blogs’ take away from the relate-able element of the blogger.

      Chichi
      http://chichi-writes.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Me and the makeup tutorial shot in my work loos I put up this morning really hope you’re right about this…

    (you’re one of only two blogs I read every-damn-day, and that’s for exactly the reasons you say – you’re relatable and NOT a magazine. LOVE the content, love your plan for next year <3)

  • Yes Hannah! I so hope you’re right about this. This is exactly what blogging should be about; keeping it real! x

    http://www.wonkylauren.com

  • I couldn’t agree more with you girl! Reading this post was like a breath of fresh air. The diary style blogging you speak of (sharing bargain outfits and having all the LOLZ at how stupid and fantastic life is at times) is exactly how I started, and exactly how I mean to go on. I’ve been blogging for around 7 years now, and I totally lost myself just over a year ago. Overwhelmed with the influx of amazing high profile bloggers with their glossy magazine looking sites, perfect outfits and professional cameras. I tried to keep up and failed miserably, well, because it just wasn’t me. When people read my blog, I want them to feel like they’re catching up with a girlfriend over a cuppa. In the last 12 months I’ve tried to bring my blog back to what I love and know best. Here’s to that continuing! Thank you for sharing this post, you’ve made me smile and feel excited for next year :) xx

  • Yes, yes, yes! You’re so right. Blogs are / were ace because they’re not magazines (and the editorial is not swayed by advertising content) but now blogs are trying to be magazines (with a commercial bias?) and it’s all a bit samey.

    I agree that the big draw for blogs is the person behind it. Keep doing your thing Hannah, I love reading your tales!

  • Lor

    This was such an interesting read! For me personally, I love reading blogs about people’s lives and just how they go about their day-to-day simple routines. For me, I find that more interesting than the latest beauty product or fashion trend.
    By the way – I LOVE your sweater! :)

    ~Lor @ cozycomfyhome.com

  • I love this Hannah, and i really hope you’re right! My blog started out as a journal, a place to write about how I was (completely consumed by anorexia). I barely knew anything of the blogging world, the photography or the cameras.. and hell, i still don’t. But I do love to write, it’s the one thing I keep blogging for.. but like you, I’ve recently fallen out of love with it. I hope it returns to how it used to be next year because they it would be so much less pressure xx

    Sam // Samantha Betteridge

  • This is a lovely post, Hannah. I hope you’re right, because those are the types of blogs I want to read. Those are the girls I want to keep up to date on 😉
    Laura | collectinglabels.com

  • YES YES YESSSS. You have it spot on. I really do hope next year, blogging goes back to how it used to be. I’m fed up of seeing unrealistic posts and pictures!! x

    http://www.beckieeschle.com

  • I’ve been sat pondering this too and noticing the lack of comments coming in on blogs this month, I thought was a flook due to it being Christmas and people being busy etc but you’re right – blogs become glossier, people try to one-up themselves and it feels we’ve all hit a stagnant wall whereby we all need to rest, recharge and see what we can do to make our content, our words and our passions as unique and loud as we all hoped for.
    Seriously fab observations Hannah, really interesting to think about :)

    Lauren x
    Britton Loves | Lifestyle Food Beauty

  • Emma Blythe

    I’m so glad I found your blog, it’s honest, witty ,personable and really relatable and normal. Glossy flashy blogs bore me and make me feel 100 miles from the blogger. Yours is beautiful, bright, shiny happy good kind of glossy and downright hilarious. You’re not afraid to show the bad things going on in your life and your honest with everything from emotions to reviews and what’s going on with you. Also having really affordable posts about things is so inspirational when I’m looking to update my wardrobe or my flat I always think ooo Hannah posts awesome things check her blog/vlog out and sure enough! So thankyou, for being you and sharing you. You’re awesomes.

  • Rachel

    I LOVE this post. I’m an avid blog reader and have increasingly become selective in what ones I choose to follow. While there is nothing wrong with fashion posts, writing about life, things that make me think, and things that inspire me to try something new are the type of posts that really seem meaningful, and they are always the ones I open first. Your posts are definitely on that short list. Please don’t change – in my humble opinion, you’re doing blogging just right!

  • Hell yeah Hannah!! Totally agree with you on every point. You’ve made me feel so much better about my shabby little blog where I suck at fancy photography and can’t for the life of me make a good bloody make up selfie. This is why you are one of my favourite bloggers – you actually keep it real. Keep doing what you do gal!

    http://www.sartorialscot.com

  • I totally agree with some some of the points you have made in this post. I understand how photography is an important aspect of blogging and that a low quality image will make people less inclined to visit your blog, but I seriously do not understand the need for fancy-pants cameras and lighting and expensive props etc! I take all my blog photos on my iPhone 6 and edit them using free software, and they look fine!

    Laura | Lala London: Beauty & Lifestyle

  • Sarah Wilson

    You are SO inspiring. I am just getting into blogging after following yours for a while and this is exactly the problem with blogs nowadays. They feel manufactured just like pop stars. I hope you’re feeling better. Thanks for another great post.

    http://www.sarahnity.com

  • Yes yes YES! So relatable, so true. So many blogs seem to just sell a lifestyle these days that’s totally funded by PR companies. I am totally in agreement about a need to go back to basics again.

  • Hey Hannah, I think you have a great blog, and I always look forward to reading it! Don’t give up, you’ve come so far.
    I believe if you follow your heart, and write about what you honestly enjoy and love, your love for blogging with return :) x

    http://travellingthroughmytwenties.blogspot.co.uk

  • Sue

    Honestly, Hannah, I wouldn’t worry too much about what the others are doing as long as what you’re producing is true to your own values, as that’s what bought you so many fans in the first place. You’re right that a lot of blogs are going super glossy right now, but that they’re also losing sympathy because people just can’t quite relate to them. Your website and posts are glossy in the right way – slick production but honest content. Keep doing what you’re doing :-)

  • Ornela

    Hey Hannah, just wanted to say that you are doing a great job and please don’t stop blogging!!!
    Your blog is great and so original… I read your blog on a daily basis so just keep on going!
    Greetings from Albania

  • Great post Hannah and I’ve said before I love your blog so keep doing what you’re doing! I love other blogs, the ones that show you the dream lifestyle etc but I always come back to blogs such as yourself that are so much more relatable!

    http://www.ohsobecky.com

  • I love how real you are! Don’t give up on blogging!

  • Love you and love your blog! I have only been reading for a short time, I’m still quite new to blogs generally

    But yours is amazing! So funny, so cool, so honest and real! Keep going, you have a real talent for being awesome ?

    Carli xxx

  • I am a new blogger and so far I have found that my posts with the highest page views are when I just type out random shit I feel like saying and hit post, without reading it over twice.

    The reason you are my favourite blogger and have been since the first post of yours I ever read is because how relatable you are and I never know what post I’ going to see next.

    http://www.justbeingbrooklyn.com

  • Rhiannon

    Thankyou for this! I feel like my blog is so unpolished, so imperfect but for me it works – I’m not about fashion (plus size clothing is expensive) but I am about lists and cute stationery – so many similar blogs are doing constant sponsored posts and everything is so professional it kind of takes away from the simplicity of what a blog post is! Xo

    http://Www.studentpaperie.wordpress.com

  • Very interesting post… I’ve never thought about the whole phenomena, I thought it was just me… But it’s true that I’m not reading anymore lots of blogs I used to read before as I found them less and less interesting. I cannot relate anymore with the girls writing them… They seem so faraway from reality…
    Anyway, thanks for this post! :)
    Umberta

  • This is so true! I totally agree. However I ‘try’ to not get carried away with the thoughts ‘What if I do this ? or what if I do that? Then people will read it more. At the end of the day You are the owner of the blog so your blog should be the way You want it. It is not about having the most followers. Instead it is about you enjoying what you are writing/blogging about. The right audience will come to you, you don’t have to search for the audience.

  • HEREHERE!!!! I fell in love with blogging because it was different I could be me and didn’t feel I needed to fit in. Now. Bloody ell’ it’s like if your blog ain’t looking profesh you might as well delete it all. Ain’t got photos on a white background? BLASPHEMY. it’s boring. And I can’t say I haven’t fallen in to the trap I have. But like you said next year it’s time to go back to basics and make my content more relatable.

    Bonitarochelle.co.uk xx

  • Lizi

    I couldn’t agree more. Genuine bloggers are fighting against the people who jumped on the bandwagon hoping to get a freebie and if I’m honest, I’m sick of defending myself. I’m sick of people thinking that the only reason to blog is for the free stuff, that every blogger is represented by the minority of #prrequest-ers and it’s tiring. It’s tiring trying to explain that just sometimes, people still do things because they enjoy it.

    I think 2016 is going to see brands cutting back on working with bloggers who aren’t the elite/full time/established and if I’m honest, I think it’s going to get a bit redundant for the mediocre/new bloggers who think they’re entitled to the worlds. I don’t see that as a bad thing either as those who truly deserve the sponsored posts and the freebies will get them because they’ve given up everything for it and everyone else… well we’ll see how well they do keeping up a blog without any incentives.

  • Mel

    I think you’re 100% right, bring on the new generation!

    Mel ♥ everyword.meljwills.com

  • Lord I hope your predictions are true! I am not a glossy person in any sense and I much prefer reading blogs like yours that are relatable! I was approached by a website that sold super expensive clothes to feature on my blog and I’m like are you mad?! nobody can afford that shit i’ll stick to primark taa!

    Let’s all be something that the next generation can look up to and relate to in a good way, to let them know that it’s not the end of the world if your hair is not on point or your skin is in turmoil… it happens to us all and we aren’t afraid to show it!

    xx

  • Lizzie

    Hannah you are so right in this post. I became an avid blog reader around a year or so ago and it was specifically for that reason. I wanted content I could relate to. I wanted to read about someone who bought clothes that didn’t cost an entire years salary (I’m looking at all those bloggers carrying around Chloe Drew’s!!!) I want REAL LIFE. I love your blog for this very reason. You blog about things I want/ could buy. You talk about real emotions and the reality of life. It’s all well and good to see a picture of someone eating macrons in Paris at laduree but its not real. I have a job and a life and I can’t jet off to Paris every 5 minutes in brand new louboutins and a £500 dress.

    It makes me so sad that blogging has morphed this way as some of my most favourite blogs are now ones I avoid. Girls who were once ‘like me’ now live lives so far removed from mine that they just aren’t interesting any more. It’s like reading about celebrity lives, it’s nice for a bit but then you get bored. I don’t want to rubbish what these bloggers are doing because I am sure that content is popular and does appeal to lots of people but I think you hit the nail right on the head, it’s not what blogging started out as.

    Thanks for your blog Hannah. You are refreshing and don’t change any of it (except the being down on yourself stuff because girl, you are AWESOME).

    x

  • Great post and I love your predictions! I have been following Anna for years now — since she started doing hair and beauty videos on Youtube. I love her blog as well and seeing her kids grow up over the years. She is so real. Have a great day Hannah :)

    http://www.mintnotion.com

  • I totally agree!! I fell totally out of blogging a year and a half ago and I’m only now starting to dip my toe back in the waters. Trying to stay true to myself and not get swept up in the mad, shiny pics and expensive stuff.

    Xx

  • I actually go embarrassingly red when you’re so nice to me in blog posts. I know our lives are pretty polar opposite, which I’m fine with because it makes me think of polar bears and I like them. But I also feel exactly the same about your corner of the internet. You remind me of who I am sometimes. If that makes any sense? I get very caught up in motherhood and you remind me that I’m just like you – but with a less elastic vagina. Went too far then didn’t I? xx

  • Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! I completely agree and i really hope your predictions come true, because whilst I still adore writing, i’m finding myself becoming so uninterested in blogs that i used to love because they’ve lost their passion and it shows so much through half-assed content. People just want people to be real, it’s so so simple yet so so overlooked xo

  • Well, I’m the latter. Completely unpolished, uninterested in monetization (How is that even a word?) completely unfazed by the glitzy, brainless, polished content. To tell the truth, I’ve developed a complete allergy to any posts which start of ____(fill in number)___ of things you have to do to ____(fill in goal)___ And don’t get me started on Photoshoped content. I make my living as an editorial photographer and so know exactly how untrue some of those candid photos are. I’m sorry you feel/fell in the rat race for more and more popular, but feel happy for you for seeing a light at the end of it all. I don;t read your blog and you just popped up on my bloglovin suggestion, but now I’m curious about you so will go have a peek at some of your posts. 😀

  • I know the feeling! :)

    I love reading (print) magazines and I love reading blogs, but it feels as though blogs aren’t blogs anymore, and I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way. I also miss the ‘realness’ element of blogs. I like the fact that my blog looks like a blog, not an e-zine.

    Here’s hoping that when 2016 blogs will go back to being blogs! Plus it would be nice to see some new bloggers on the blogging scene! :)

    Chichi
    http://chichi-writes.blogspot.co.uk/

  • What I always loved about your blog (and YouTube channel, might I add) is your raw honesty. I feel like you write your posts so much more relatable than others do. It’s in the way you write, your wording; sometimes, other blogs might tackle the same topic but your post will always be the one I enjoy reading the most. So I guess no matter what changes 2016 brings to your blog, I’ll happily go through them with you, because you’ll still be Hannah, whose writing style and personality are one of my favourites on the internet :)

    Lisa x

  • I’m very glad to read this.

    I started reading your blog when it was in the ‘working too many hours and hair disaster days’ and, to be honest, have drifted away a bit when it started to become quite glossy and fashion orientated. (Although I guess you need to do these posts to get the sponsors in and pay the bills and that).

    But nice to read that you’ll be going back to basics a bit more.

    Lots of Love and Best Wishes

    Greta

    • *disaster days’ stage.

  • Lynn

    Great post, Hannah. I’d love to see you return to your roots. In fact, I much prefer your old blog design. This black and white look does feel very formal.

  • Great post Hannah. I feel exactly the same. I’ve been blogging since 2009 and things have changed so much it’s difficult to know where I fit in now. I’m taking some time to reassess and take things back to basics I’ve unfollowed any blogger that makes me feel self concious or jealous and going to just blog what I want in the way I want to and not stress about stats or opportunities like I used to.

  • Wow! 350,00 page views in the space of 24 hours. That’s incredible :O Well done! I’m also looking forward to what’s in store for your blog in the New Year X

    http://www.thefashion-junkie.blogspot.co.uk

  • I hope you’re right! I think the blogging world could do with a re-balance and go back to its authentic roots, which is why we all fell in love with it!

    Inma x
    sunshineandglow.blogspot.com

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  • This is a fab post, I definitely think that a lot of content is recycled and unoriginal, I might try to make one of my New Years resolutions to be to focus more on original honest content!

    I look forward to seeing what you write next year!

    Love
    Briony

  • I completely and wholeheartedly agree with this Hannah. I recently wrote a post on the problem with having a blogging niche. A year ago, I was writing what I wanted, then all these people I got speaking to said “You have to have a niche”. Since I tried to have a niche it’s sucked all the fun out of my blog. I want to be my niche and I want to write about what I want to write. Here’s to 2016 and more honest blogging and injecting a bit more fun and personality into it all!

  • I loved this post! And I completely agree! I started my blog to be myself not to be a magazine.
    Proof of this is how popular daily vlogs and YouTube channels such as the Saccone Joly family are! We like to relate to normal people and I predict we will go back to that and brands will want that: honest, personal content.
    Great blog! Happy new year!
    Alex

  • I do hope desperately that you are right! I starting blogging for the connections and jeez louise, it’s like fighting tooth and nail to get a comment or an e-mail. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head when you say that people want a best gal pal telling travel stories or giving tips. That is what I want so badly but oftentimes not what I find. Here’s to 2016 and getting back to what’s good about blogging!!

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  • This is such an important post. I started blogging in late 2014 and loved it. Last year, when I hit a rough patch in life, I didn’t feel like I could keep up with the Joneses of the blogging world and be honest about what was going on in life at the same time. I stopped blogging altogether to get my head on straight again about what I want my blog to be about and where to draw the line between inspiration and comparison. Thanks for giving me the courage to be real, be myself, and be unapologetic.

    xx

  • Ok, this is a really old post but I see that comments are still enabled.
    You are so spot on and write so well about this, and I agree about everything! Sadly it’s already September 2016 and it didn’t happen. But maybe we can hope the same for 2017?
    I’ve tried to describe why I’m so disappointed with the blogging trends and you really put it well: that I like to read about real people, not the magazine perfectly edited stuff. It’s real people with the good and bad that interests me. I hope the trends will change soon…

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