Sunday, 10 September 2017

// thoughts on blogging in 2017

 

I started a new job up in London last week, and its got me thinking about where blogging might fit into my new routine over the coming months. 

I don't blog as much as I used to these days, and only do so when I really feel like it. I used to focus a lot more on the number of followers I had on all platforms, but now I don't feel so worried about having a huge presence in the blogging world. It seems to have become increasingly difficult to stand out unless you are willing to open a massive window into your life for your audience to peep through. So many of my favourite bloggers seem to live and breathe social sharing, which I know is necessary to stay relevant. But this is definitely something I struggle to do myself. Trying to curate my life for the entertainment of others on social media, whilst I'm still trying to work out what I want that life to look like in actuality, is not an easy task; and isn't one that I think I will ever be totally willing to undertake.



Not only that, but so many parts of blogging have become such a minefield recently. As much as I love blogging and sharing pretty snaps on Instagram, some of the fun seems to have been taken out of it slightly. I'm constantly reading tweets pondering how we can beat the Instagram algorithm, and how much we should be paid to work with brands. The relate-able element of blogs seems to have disappeared slightly, as bloggers have become potentially hugely influential international celebs with agents and rates and media packs and professional photographers. It all seems to have become so, well, serious.

Don't get me wrong - there are so many career bloggers out there whose posts and feeds I absolutely love, and who I know put so much work into making their content interesting and original. The sudden professionalism of blogs is for many an extremely positive and career-defining opportunity. But it is a big transition to make for those who, like me, never had their sights set on the big time. It has become all too easy to become totally irrelevant unless you can fully keep up with the biggest and the best, and there doesn't seem to be much space in between for the small to medium bloggers to keep it real (and slightly sporadic) yet still enjoy some influence and retain a captive audience. 

Could it be the case that in a few years' time, the less-polished authenticity of the micro-bloggers' voice will win out over the well-planned and professional voices of the biggest influencers? Is there room for both in what was once such a tight-knit and supportive online community? I certainly hope so.

I don't want to sound bitter in saying all this. I am all too aware of the distinct lack of time and effort that I put into growing my blog consistently, so am completely not expecting tons of people to read it and for lots of big brands to want me to work with them. Not only that, but I realise there is a lot more to gain from blogging than just paid work and a dedicated social following. But part of me wonders whether my own lack of consistent interest in blogging recently is partly a result of the fact that I know how difficult it would be to really get myself noticed these days unless I seriously stepped things up and committed lots of time and effort. It is difficult to stay motivated when the bar has been set so high.

Ultimately though, if you're in the game for the right reasons this shouldn't matter too much. I am definitely not out to bash the hard work of those at the top who have paved the way for bloggers' being extremely well-respected for producing high quality digital content. If the bar is high and people want to reach it, they've just got to up their game. And doing some hard-work to get where you want is never time wasted.

A great thing about the internet is that there is space for everybody, no matter what you're there for. Maybe in a few years' time I'll eat my words as I get a redesign and try to make it as a big-time influencer... but until then, amymace.com will remain my small internet space that I will use in whichever way I see fit, regardless of the size of the audience my sporadic blog posts attract... and I think that's alright.





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