There was a quite a lot of drama over the weekend, and I’m not talking about the fact that I didn’t eat half as many eggs as I’d planned to (hope everyone had a lovely Easter by the way!). I’m referring to a bit of a hot talking point within the blogosphere surrounding the whole ‘buying followers/using bots’ issue, and it made me think about the problem with blogging.
The Problem with Blogging
I’ve only been blogging more seriously for just over a year now, but even within that short period of time I’ve seen and heard quite a bit of ‘behind the scenes’ information which makes me think that there is a problem with blogging these days. Part of the problem though, is that the actual ‘blogging’ part has taken a huge back seat to accommodate for social media; namely Instagram. Instagram is fast becoming the bane of my life lately, and I’d love to know whether there are any other bloggers out there who feel the same as me on this.
Basically, it’s a never-ending cycle of posting photos to gain more likes, followers, ‘influence’ and all-round social-media Girl Boss status. At least that’s how I feel it is within the blogging community. When I first started blogging I wrote family and lifestyle posts centred around being a mum with two little kids. Literally a toddler and a baby (there’s only 15 months between my children- it’s a little hectic sometimes but I love it, mostly).
My Instagram feed was filled with row upon row of gummy smiles, toy-filled floors and squidgy little hands around my neck or pulling my hair. I was so proud to be a mum that I shared everything online. And then something happened within me and I suddenly got so private about the content I was putting out there about the children that I deleted the blog and every single picture of the kids. My feed went from over 1000 pictures to just over 100 once I had wiped the kids pics from there. Wowzers.
I started beauty blogging because I still wanted to have a blog, but I wanted something safer to write about which I wouldn’t get bored of. I often write pretty long posts like how this one is probably going to turn out, and I worry that I might alienate some of my readers by waffling on for too much. But I feel that the beauty of blogging is that you can make the content whatever you want. Some girls prefer to write really short and image-heavy posts, others like to waffle on like I do. It’s entirely up to us and that’s why I love it so much. I love writing. Period.
The problem with blogging these days though, is that Instagram has really started to affect my blog; and by that I mean I’ve almost taken more of an interest in my feed and followers than I have with my blog content. Which at the end of the day is a bit of a shame. I think I spend so much time trying to create a nice feed because I hope that my followers will then go and visit the blog, and I must admit I think a lot of my traffic is from Instagram. (Not that I’ve ever even attempted to look at Google Analytics though).
Gaining followers on Instagram feels pretty good. But here’s the punch line. They have to be REAL PEOPLE to make it count for anything and to make it all worth while. This whole shit storm over the weekend about famous bloggers buying followers and using bots really annoyed me, as I’m sure it did for a lot of bloggers, because it totally undermines what the vast majority work so hard to achieve; an organic following.
I’ll never forget when I hit 1000 followers on Instagram quite recently. It felt amazing to think that many people were interested in seeing what I posted and wanted to continue following me. Obviously we all get dips and declines in followers; that’s totally natural and part of the unpredictable joy that is social media. But you just deal with it and plod along.
Finding out that some of the big-name bloggers and influencers (who are paid a pretty penny for sponsored posts and brand collaborations) are doing dodgy dealings is not cool. I kind of feel cheated, annoyed and weirdly proud at the same time. The latter being the fact that I would never stoop so low as to buy followers or use a bot to generate a ton of likes. I mean honestly, what the hell is the point?? I find it’s so obvious. What I don’t understand is why the PR’s and brands aren’t doing their research a little better before working with certain bloggers who are clearly cheating the system. The joke is surely on them when they find out that the blogger who they have paid to create sponsored content for her 10k-plus followers might only have a fraction of that. Not so much of a reach then is it?
I don’t really know where I’m going with this post to be honest, I’ve literally typed out almost 900 words on this now…..
I think I just want any other bloggers reading this to know that no matter what your following, whether it’s ten, 100 or 10 thousand, be proud of the fact that YOU alone have achieved that figure. You are responsible for those people wanting to follow you and see what you post, and that’s a pretty special feeling.
I think the main thing for me to focus on following this whole ‘Insta-gate’, is to really concentrate on the blog as opposed to Instagram. In the early days of my blog, I’d take the blogging as a priority over Instagram. Sometime over the past six months or so though I think the tables turned and I became pretty fixated on Instagram.
The problem with blogging, for me at least, is that I’ve neglected it in favour of social media. It’s time to regain some perspective and remember why I started blogging in the first place. Not to gain followers, but to have a voice, and share it with others.
Well that was a bit deep for a Tuesday evening! I’ll be back with a review post pretty soon. If anyone has any thoughts on this issue though, whether its to agree or disagree, then please drop me a comment, I’d love to know your thoughts on it all.
And if you fancy reading something a little more light-hearted about blogging, then check out this post.