My blogging “career” started in 2010 with an anonymous, underground blog which offered me massive personal support & comfort. I enjoyed it so much that I started a public lifestyle blog as well. Blogging back in those days seemed a lot more innocent – for me anyway, it was born out of a pure desire to share my story & experiences & to connect with like-minded people. I had just moved to England from N.Ireland & did not know anyone in my new area. That soon changed – meeting people from the blogging & Twitter world & developing real, lasting friendships. Certainly, in my first few years of blogging “influencers” were just not on my radar. It was all about community, support, friendship, learning new things, sharing my story & life.
I remember going to my first blogging conference & being intrigued & surprised that there was such a thing as being paid (cash or items) to promote brands or products. It certainly opened up a whole new world for me. I started to introduce some sponsored posts to my blog – some which were not really aligned at all (I think there was a random one about a carpet company!) & some which were (I received a free psychic reading which I loved & helped kick start my spiritual journey). I will admit, sometimes it felt a bit “icky” – sharing for the sake of it & not because it was truly in my heart.
For one reason & another I let that blog wane…. And developed a love for Instagram! And I’ve only recently re-started my journey into the blogging world again. I miss writing! But my, has it changed! My first thought was, “Wait – do people even read blogs any more?!”… It seems they do, but it has grown & evolved. There seems to be less “beta” blogs – just people genuinely sharing their lives. And more polished, content-driven blogs with ad after ad. It feels a bit sad in a way. And a bit intimidating. Is there still room for me to share my truth & interests? Will people still want to read my lifestyle posts if it’s not advertising something? Will my blog design be good enough, sleek enough for any companies to even want to work with me?
Certainly, for me it feels a little overwhelming. I am also excited about the changes & can see it opens up a whole new world & many opportunities for earning income which simply didn’t exist 10+ years ago (or were less common). I’ve decided the best way forward for me is to continue to share my journey & the things that genuinely bring me joy. I am happy to work on projects & with brands but only for things which I am excited about & truly want to share from an authentic place. I don’t think I will ever be a famous influencer! However I do love a bit of Mrs Hinch (!) & another influencer who I really admire & enjoy content from is Jessica Bishop.
Also – do brands even care about authenticity & ethics? Or is it simply a numbers game? Do you have to have a massive following before you start to get opportunities? So many questions right now & I guess time will tell as I dip my toes back into the blogging world in 2021! I was heartened to read this post about how brands are starting to choose authentic advocacy over hyper-visibility! Phew!
I’d love to know if anyone else has been blogging for a long time (with or without a break)? How do you find the new blogging influencer world? Exciting or overwhelming?