I first dipped my toe into the world of blogging in 2010 and was immediately enthralled by the small spaces everyone had online, documenting their favourite items from boots, showcasing their new outfit by taking pictures in their room and giving their honest thoughts and opinions on beauty products, unlike the glossy magazines. The biggest appeal to me was that these girls oozed relatability. Stripped back, it was just your average girl sharing what new top they got from Primark or honestly sharing their thoughts on the new Soap and Glory body cream. Not only was it relatable, but it was also accessible. Attainable. Inspiring. So much so, I set up my Tumblr – that’s STILL going today! Albeit more an appreciation of others images now than personal posting. At the time, I was an unemployed 18-year-old looking for a form of escapism from at the time, my bleak career outlook and endless rejection emails. Blogging gave me a focus other than sending out 100 CVs per day and sparked excitement within me to want to do something.
As most other bloggers began to outgrow Tumblr, I quickly followed suit and set up a blogger account like the little sheep I can be sometimes. I used to spend hours, transfixed on the blogs of just normal, average girls like me, swooning over their Kath Kitson Esq layout/decor (remember that was a thing?), buying into blogger hype around certain products … hello, Essie – Mint Candy Apple and a skincare routine of nothing but Origins and most importantly, feeling like I was part of something. Unemployment made me feel like I had nothing to talk about. That I didn’t bring anything to the table but blogging made me feel like I did and despite chucking blogging only to start a few months later down the line, it will always be special to me for the days it rescued me from complete boredom and made me feel like I had something to offer.
Did anybody foresee the rise of blogging and influencers? Definitely not and I bet if you speak to most girls who started out back in those days with a tripod in their room, blogging every spare minute away from university, that they would now call this their full-time job and instead, be getting snapped in dreamy locations such as the Maldives as opposed to their loft conversions, they’d never of predicted their life being like this either without a giant lottery win. But is blogging becoming unrelatable? This is a subject that has sparked debate via Drama Central, Twitter, this weekend. I’ve been working on this post for a few weeks, conscious I do not want to offend anybody but I was able to see both sides of the spectrum from the issues being raised on good ol’ social media.
In the blogging world right now, whether you like it or not, there is a large divide between bigger bloggers and small, average joes like me. There are some influencers I began following for their Primark hauls but have now been replaced with fairly ostentatious hauls filled with nothing but designer goods that sadly, as much as I and so many others would love to be that bit more wealthy, no longer speak to me or my bank balance. There are insanely amazing press trips to luxurious locations and sit down Youtube videos that have been replaced by over produced videos using sophisticated equipment such as drones. Long gone are the basic photos using your iPhone 4 and filtering the shit out them using Instagram. It’s now all about images having a ‘theme’, that dreamy blurry background and sadly, some bigger bloggers even resorting to photoshopping the skies to include the entire constellation above the Eiffel tour and editing backgrounds to show views that aren’t real and come from stock images. Smaller bloggers feel they are not getting given the same chances anymore, with opportunities always going to the usual faces and I have to throw my hands up and agree with that. There seems to be backlash almost every day on social media but blogging has become so saturated, that despite being told in order to make it you should “just be yourself”, it doesn’t feel like it’s good enough. Smaller bloggers are frustrated and quite rightly so.
On the flip side though, although some of the bigger bloggers mentioned lead and promote a lifestyle that is totally unattainable for me, I’m happy they’ve managed to make a successful career for themselves and are out there, doing exactly what they love and being rewarded very handsomely for it. I think of myself getting a pay rise right now and I think of all the things I would do. Of course, I would upgrade my car, buy a nicer property, indulge in more extravagant purchases. It’s natural for their lifestyles to become much more affluent. I may not be able to relate to it and although I wish I could own a damn Gucci Marmont for myself, I respect their content. I know I don’t have to engage with it if I don’t want to. Everyone blogs differently, for different reasons. Some want to have a career in blogging and I see the appeal but for others, like me, it will always just be for fun with no expectations. I know I’m never going to be whisked off to Santorini and be sponsored by Net A Porter and I’ve made peace with blogging always being a hobby that yes, at times might frustrate me, but I want to just have fun with it.
I may miss the rawness of what it was like back in 2010 but blogging is such big business now, that it’s never going to revert back to those days. Like every industry, it progresses, makes changes that can divide its customer base but it’s up to us as individuals, to decide whether or not, we wish to be part of it. For every big blogger, there are 1000 smaller girls online, creating amazing content. I’d really encourage you to spend some time looking at hashtags on Twitter or Instagram, of people doing just that, to discover and support smaller bloggers and stop thinking this industry is just carried by those at the top. Each and every small blogger is valued.
It’s sad to say but the community is losing it’s ‘spark’ – due to our own self-sabotage. Don’t let our different views on content, expectations and personal opinions spoil the community that has been built on empowering each other, supporting one another and being able to give people a voice and a place where they feel they belong. What do you feel about this post? I think the community is very split at the moment and it’s understandable why but I would love to know how you feel about the current blogging climate, why you continue to blog or if you’re thinking of giving up. As always, you can comment below and I will respond or you can tweet/IG me at whatamydid. Thank you for reading – this was a loooooooong ‘un!