I sit in front of the computer, with a “new post” tab open on WordPress and my coffee next to me. Just like I ever do, when I am ready to write a new article to go up on the blog. But this time it is different: I have a list of posts I want to write, thoughts running through my mind non-stop, yet nothing seems to want to come out.
When the weather gets colder outside, I often cannot write as much. Not because I don’t want to, but because my Fibromyalgia flares up and my rheumatic pain on my joints makes an appearance which sometimes turns writing on a keyboard torture. But that isn’t what’s happening at the moment. So what is going on?
It takes a while for me to see what is right in front of me, the answer being so crisp and clear.
I have been unmotivated about blogging
Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging. I started in 2006 and have been doing this consistently since 2011. To me, blogging was a form of liberation, of getting my thoughts into “paper”, getting some control over my thoughts and feelings.
I didn’t have anyone to talk to about beauty products, so I started doing reviews. Fashion was extremely interesting to me, so I wrote about that. And about everything in my life that I wanted to share or didn’t have anyone to talk about with. My blog quickly got some followers, some of them who still stick around to this day.
When I started having the first cooperations, I was proud – someone thought I was good enough to write for them that!
Changes in the blogging world
Now, I don’t know if this is something happening only in Austria, but since 2013 things have started changing. A lot. Not always for the good. Since the beginning of 2014, I have noticed how things in the blogging world went from being authentic and unique to being all the same.
What I liked about blogging so much was exactly that: uniqueness, authenticity, passion for what we were doing. Now, it seems everyone is running ad agencies! Every other post is “sponsored” or an “Ad” for something. And sure, I also write sponsored posts, but I still put my own content above the paid content. I also always stay true to myself when writing sponsored posts.
Last year I went to my first blogging conference, where I met some other bloggers for the first time. Most of them were pretty cool and we keep in touch. But like everything in life, there are also a few who aren’t all that authentic. Which is a shame, since sometimes it is exactly them who end up having the most followers and therefore cooperations and visibility. I don’t want to sound like I am hating, that’s absolutely NOT what I intend to do. I simply feel like, especially in the Lifestyle Blogging sector, that it is divided into two different types of bloggers: those who really like blogging and those who simply imitate bigger and successful bloggers in order to get ahead.
Is imitation really the best form of flattery?
Where is the limit between imitating someone and losing your own self? I’ve met some of the people who do this (and no, I will not say any names, because like I said this is not a hate post!) and seen their evolution from small to big bloggers. Seen their content change. Not the content itself, but the way they present it and themselves. From the layout of the blogs to the way, they write on social media and the way they dress!
Sometimes people tell me “all bloggers are the same” and I cannot blame them for saying that! Why? Because if they only follow a certain amount of bloggers, that is exactly the impression they will get. But not all of us are equal, not all of us wear the same brands, go to the same restaurants or have the same style!
Stop focusing on the followers and start focusing on the PERSON behind the content!
Social media has gained a lot of weight in what being a blogger is concerned. Unfortunately, that means the blogs are often looked over and ignored. Sure, if a brand wants to work with someone solely on an Instagram basis, then the following of said person is of importance. But if they want to work with a BLOGGER, then the importance should rely primarily on their BLOG. Or at least look at the whole package (social media + blog numbers).
I use social media as a way to promote my content, but my main focus is my writing. I’m not a photographer, I don’t want to make it big on Instagram. Having a ton of followers there is cool, but if none of them reads my blog then it’s for nothing! Over 50% of my traffic here comes from Instagram, I would be stupid not to use the platform, don’t you think?
But I am not an Instagrammer, I am a blogger. My main focus is THIS platform.
Yet, a lot of agencies seem to not really get that. I have been told to “grow my follower number because the brands we work with only want to work with big accounts“. Which, to a certain degree, I do understand. But isn’t it much more interesting for a brand to work with someone who has “only” 700 followers? Who publishes real and honest content, instead of someone who has over 10.000 followers, but doesn’t really put quality content out there? I feel, especially in this industry, it is important to work with people who are passioned about the subject, who really have something to say.
Being a blogger in this day and age is harder than ever before
Unfortunately, this is very true. Because so many people start blogs on a whim, contract photographers to take their pictures and imitate the bloggers they like the most. Those of us who really love writing are often overlooked in favor of the bloggers who all look the same and write the same. And that unmotivates us sometimes.
You want to know what the difference is between us and those who simply want to be successful?