Back To Blogging Basics

Stylonylon | Fillipa K denim jacket | Hereu bag | Gap jeans

To think that when I started my blog, I aimed for a post a day! Six years later (thanks to the behemoth that is Instagram) things really have changed, and blogs are updated so much more infrequently. Such a shame, but I’m rekindling my love for blogging and looking back at what I loved so much about it in the first place…

The good old days

Back when I started blogging… were things so much simpler then? They were definitely slower, in some respects. There was time to publish a blog post a day, the thought of which in today’s current climate makes the eyes boggle. That is, if you’re still a one-person team – which many still are, though others arguably have done the sensible thing, recognised their publishing platform(s) for what they are and built in support for it, paying a team to help them create, much like a magazine.

That was never my intent – forever the inveterate control-freak freelancer! Ideally with as little responsibility as possible while retaining full control over every aspect – lol! Not ideal but works for some. 😉

What’s really changed is the focus from blogs to social media and a lot of us have abandoned or slowed down (guilty as charged!) on the blog content as Instagram takes over completely – essentially an all-encompassing micro-blogging platform which you need never leave (excuse me while I just need to pop up this morning’s Insta post!).

But I really cannot forget the absolute pleasure I took in the early days of muddling through publishing online, figuring out how to use Blogger, gain a vague understanding of SEO and the eventual joy of $70 blog templates! The joy of creating imagery and not boiling it down to the single best one for the ‘gram! It was fun and utterly consuming – and not in the angsty way of Instagram and its nowadays punishing & fickle algorithm.

Stylonylon coffee shot from above | Panzer's Deli
A photo I never get tired of taking!

Coffee & pastries at Panzer’s Deli, St John’s Wood, invited (‘invited’ – this seems to be how food Instagrammers are describing complimentary meals as it does seem kind of strange to describe food as gifted, right?)

It’s a new world baby

These days, while the power of the blog wanes in the face of the ever-growing social platforms, the advent of the ‘influencer’ – which bloggers were just one of the nascent forms of – means the industry continues at a high pitched scream: we know ‘influencers’ can work very effectively for sharing and promoting brands, and the ASA and CMA are now having to catch up to ensure advertising rules are properly met now that gifting and payment are part of the day to day norm.

After the initial ASA/CMA flurry a month or so ago – caused by the generally quite confusing ASA and CMA documents more than anything I’d say – the bloggers and Instagrammers I know seem to have settled in quite happily to also declaring gifting on social. Declaring gifts on blogs has long been the norm for many bloggers, and extending this to Instagram makes sense, when you accept that social is just as much of a valid platform as your blog – although in the early days it didn’t necessarily feel that way; I was always a bit dismissive of social media, viewing it merely as an outpost for my blog content, oh I how miscalled that one!

Stylonylon mirror selfie | Whistles blazer | Saltwater sandals | Redone jeans
The love of sharing…

Sharing outfits – these days typically made up of pieces I’ve bought myself (last of the great shoppers, me!) and pieces I’ve  been gifted: back at the beginning I denoted gifted and review items with an asterisk  but now use the words gift or gifted for review to make it clear what you are viewing. An asterisk denotes an affiliate link, which as I’m sure you all know, means that if you click through and make a purchase, I make a commission, usually around 6%.

Outfit 1: Denim jacket* gifted by Fillipa K, jeans gifted by Gap, Hereu basket* bought.

Outfit 2: Whistle blazer* bought in sale, sandals gifted by Saltwater Sandals, Re/Done jeans bought at Bad Denim with a press discount.

Things to focus on

So while we’ve been blogging less and essentially distracted by putting more and more energy into Instagram, for some (read, me), the pleasure of creating content for the blog has been obviously lost. But the writer in me (and I was a writer way before I was a photographer!) loves to witter away paragraph after paragraph and I’ve been essentially denying myself that joy. When I start to feel not myself or a bit low, I can often put it down to the fact that I’ve and expressed myself in the written form  – and then of course, add in the further joy of combining words with imagery, then toiling away with proofing, inserting links & alt tags until the time has come to hit publish… and well, it’s the whole bundle of blogging which has always so perfectly suited me!

So my (a bit late, yah) new year’s resolution is to get back into the swing of publishing more often. To return to my blog being a bit more of an online diary, a documentation of outfits and other things, even the things that might not be of much interest to anyone but me…! Cue lots of bokeh-heavy flower photograph in black and white… …

I hope you enjoyed this! There is a Part 2 to this post which will be looking at the love of sharing and the push-pull between showing and selling for content creators…

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