I remember when I first started my blog, I wrote about design in the hope that someone would give me a job out of uni. When I finally got a job, I wanted to blog for fun and do something a bit more enjoyable so I decided to start a beauty blog. If I’m completely honest, I also thought that niche would get me more views. I didn’t know why I wanted more views, I just knew I wanted them.
I started blogging and within a few months I was attending blogging events and meeting a whole host of other people, who, like me, wanted to make a little piece of the internet their own.
There are two things that we all had in common, and those two things are what I feel, is what held us together as a community. Now they are lost, it seems we are all yearning for a time we probably wont get back.
The first thing was that we were all misfits. I’m really hoping nobody takes this the wrong way, but yeah, we all seemed a bit like we didn’t really fit in usually. We were introverts (not all of us but a lot of us). We liked different hobbies, we were never the popular girls at school, we liked alternative fashion, we did crazy makeup and we wanted to express ourselves online.
Blogging wasn’t a popular past time and we were all doing it because we loved having a place online where we belonged.
To me, blogging was an introverts game, you could make so many friends, be the most popular you have ever been, without ever leaving the house.
As time went on, and blogging became more popular and saturated, I feel like the normal everyday girl blogging from her room stopped being the ‘norm’ for bloggers. Everyone started blogging, and more typically popular, good looking and extroverted people started to blog too. Now I can’t scroll instagram or twitter without seeing something that looks like a magazine spread, designer clothes on what I would mistake for a model. Blogging is no longer a case of reviewing a random mascara you like, it’s being flown to fiji to experience a midnight fireworks display to launch a new mascara and be the first to write about it.
What once was the place we all went to escape the traditional media, has become a mirror of traditional media.
I keep seeing posts like this saying that we’re all going to turn our backs on the glossy magazine type blogs, and the raw unedited side of blogging will come back. Maybe one day it will. But I think I’ve accepted that we are in an age of glossy blogs and youtube and that seems to be what a lot of people, not bloggers, seem to like following.
The second thing was that we were all genuinely interested in blogging, and making this online space a community. We would all join twitter chats, comment on others instagram pictures and generally engage at a higher level that we currently do. Now, I feel like you have to ‘be somebody’ before anyone even bothers to interact with you online.
I tweeted the below recently and it got a lot of likes, so I think it resonated with a lot of people.
I’ve joined a few new facebook groups this year, one about pugs, one about disney and one about blogging. Whenever I post in the pug group, I get a bunch of replies and interactions, and I managed to plan a 2 week disney trip with recommendations and suggestions from members of the disney group. The blogger group however seems very different. Whenever I post, I swear a tumbleweed goes rolling by, because all I seem to get from there is air. The only posts which get any interaction are the ‘share your instagram links’ or ‘i’m a PR looking for bloggers’
I’m not here saying you should go and interact inauthentically, which seems to be something I see a lot of people saying recently. But I am saying, just think about why you interact and how often. If you are getting down about your instagram likes dwindling maybe look at your own habits. I know I rarely scroll my feed and like pictures like I used to.
Due to the over saturation of the industry, and the shift in who is blogging and how much they are interacting I feel like the community element which we once had, is no longer. It’s like we’re all in one big circle, shouting at the top of our lungs, but nobody can hear each other over us all shouting about ourselves.
What’s worse is that I don’t see a solution to this problem. This is just how the industry is nowadays, and I guess we’ll all have to either get on with it, or be the change we want to see.