“Who says nobody reads blogs these days?!” was the quite enchanting response I had from an agency I was working with on a project, in response to my click-throughs! That was last autumn; and it stays with me, because of course it’s lovely to hear something positive about the content you create…
The downside, of course, being the assumption that nobody reads blogs anymore – humph! Not like they used to… Cos Instagram, I guess. And social media in general where you can reliably catch up with the people you follow in bite-size small screen friendly chunks.
While I haven’t seen my readership go down – thankyou dear readers for sticking with me! – I will say I haven’t seen my readership grow in the way that it used to. As in before social media took over so gregariously! And nowadays discussion that may have taken place on the blog, now takes place on Instagram via the comments or DMs…
With little exception! To the extent that people will go and read the blog post (as alerted on Instagram) and come back comment on Instagram. Which is exactly what I find myself doing too! Because you just know that’s where the conversation is happening…
I’ve always considered myself a blogger first and my social platforms have always functioned as outposts where I can (hopefully!) entice people onto my blog where the heart and soul of my content is. More often than not, my Instagram posts are photographs created for the blog. Yeah so, you may ask?
Remember that many of the highest engaged Instagram accounts create tailored independent content specifically for their grid, which won’t be appearing anywhere else. And this truly can be a recipe for success as we have seen!
But two things caught my attention in this last week or so. First, a Stories regram on a couple of accounts I follow of an Instagrammer speaking out to fellow fulltime ‘grammers asking them whether they would have a career/income without Instagram! And if that was the case, to consider creating something outwith Instagram. Sorry, huge paraphrasing there, should have screenshotted it!
I thought it interesting, maybe a little curious, that this person felt the need to speak out like this! But maybe there’s more to it than I realise or maybe it’s just that I’m a let other people get on with their thing, while I get on with mine. But I guess the sentiment is correct, for people who are looking to create a freelance life for themselves out of this new influencer, social media platform driven industry.
I guess it’s something I’ve been aware of for a while. Not having a platform beyond Instagram could be kind of scary – especially as we lose more and more of our audience to Instagram’s capricious, but actually contrived revenue-driven algorithm. For the record I would happily pay a monthly sub, wouldn’t you? But the truth is now bloggers and influencers are beginning to wake up to the fact that they no longer have easy freeflowing access to their followers via this platform. And not being able to rely on a certain uptake will possibly effect their income in the longterm.
But I think it also depends on what your focus is – mine has always been writing and photography (what now gets bundled up as ‘content creation’ – although sadly this seems to have a bad connotations as the moment, but I’m not sure why!) and for me, setting up a blog five years ago was exactly the right platform for that.
The other thing that has bizarrely brought blogs back into the spotlight is a recent, unfortunate case of blogger plagiarism causing quite the Twitter storm. The accused claims poor writing skills and to be only taking inspiration – although unfortunately it seems to be a straight copy & paste job! Either way, my feeling is what’s great to see is a vibrant commitment to and perceived value of written pieces, be they opinion, personal or informative published on blogs.
And that is a good thing! I admit for myself it’s easy to get lost in images and sometimes I’ve felt my words – despite my journalistic background – to be just an add-on . But recently I’ve been reminding myself that a blog is a wonderful platform to share all types of writing and this is certainly something I want to re-focus on. Do you still read blogs? Do you think there is value in influencer content beyond social media?
I would love to know the type of posts you enjoy most? Outfit focussed writing, something more personal, styling/photography/life in general tips, or how about a short story perhaps? 😉 And how about the occasional one photo with a lot of writing, or a mini essay if you like? If you have a comment, do leave it below!
Blazer* | Paul Smith
Jeans* | Levis
Cap* | Amazon
Jumper* | Tu Clothing
Necklaces | Bear Brooksbank & coming soon #biancaXstylonylon
In Other News…
In other news, yesterday I popped over to see the Paul Smith HQ and Covent Garden stores, memories of a cherished teenage purchase of block heel suede loafers rushed to the forefront of my mind. And a 2007 beautiful pink striped suit for Myles worn to great effect for gigs and parties! It was a real pleasure to see the strength of the brand’s aesthetic going strong, with personality filled designs (from dreamscape forest prints to embroidered leather and rainbows – all about the rainbows, now and next season fyi!). I picked out this stunning windowpane check blazer (wilfully sizing up to a 40!). And then I popped in to see the Olympus crew with the new Pen E-PL9 where we took these high-up London rooftop snaps…
What I’m Reading
Just a reading note as I’m back in a reading phase. I powered through the new paperback edition of the raw, beautiful, intoxicating The Wild Other by Clover Stroud – out March 8th. Keeping loyal to my YA fantasy habits I’ve been enjoying Heart of Mist by Helen Scheuerer and Books 1 & 2 of Frostblood by Elly Blake.
Completely in love with this gorgeous Paul Smith blazer, checks and oversized – win win! It’s probably the nicest one I have ever worn – the price reflects the quality, but a beautiful investment piece. Planning to wear this a lot! I sized up a couple of sizes to get this bigger silhouette. I seem to be living in Levi’s right now; these are the brilliant new Wedgie straight style, loooove them! The jumper (just £20!) which has cute fringing on the shoulders is from Tu Clothing and the cap I found on Amazon.
Photos by Jay McLaughlin on Olympus Pen F and iPhone 8 plus!