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Is Blogging Superficial?


Bloggers and influencers get a bit of a bad rap. I mean, we have all seen the tweets and newspaper articles and comments that brand us all as narcissistic airheads who are ruining everything good in the world. And that is one thing. From the outside, it may seem like big money for little work. And, yes, the whole thing may seem superficial and fake to someone who doesn't fully understand how the industry works. But that isn't what I want to discuss today because most of those comments come from a lack of understanding of how the industry operates and what is expected of bloggers and influencers in return for paid ads or gifted items or, quite simply, from a place of jealousy. What I want to talk about today is these feelings arising within bloggers themselves. That nagging doubt in the back of your mind, as you edit yet another picture of avocado on toast, that you are wasting your life. Quite simply - is blogging a superficial job?

When I first started this blog back in 2013, it was borne out of my love of writing. I had dreams of breaking into print media and I thought a blog would look good on my CV (ok, I read it in Mizz). And it remained more of a hobby. I would drop all my unedited holiday pics into a blog post, slap a few funny anecdotes in there too, and hit publish. It wasn't professional. It wasn't meant to be for anyone other than myself to look back on really. But the industry started to change and it became more of, well, an industry in its own right. The concept of a full-time blogger became more prominent and Instagram influencing was born. So, of course, I felt the need to polish up my content a little bit. I started taking more care over how my pictures looked. I wrote more - and tried to make it a little more cohesive. I started getting into promoting on social media and pitching to brands. I started to see this blog as more of a business that I wanted to grow than just a hobby. And I think that is true of so many bloggers. What started as a hobby turned into a business they were actually passionate about and wanted to focus on growing.

But blogging in this day and age comes with a lot of strings attached. And, for me, the biggest challenge is the correlation between Instagram and blogging. I mean, being a blogger and not having a following on Instagram is almost unheard of. But that means you have to dance to Instagram's tune and create content that you know will go down well on Instagram because you want to grow your following there to increase your chances of growing your blog and securing collaborations.

And I think that is partly where my dissatisfaction lies. My blogging journey has gone from being a hobby where I have complete creative control, to being a business where I create content that I love but am also mindful of what will be well-received, to basically feeling like my content must adhere to a particular style to appease Instagram. Where once I was just snapping away pics of funky letterboxes in foreign countries and writing staunchly feminist pieces, now I am seeking flower walls and iced coffees to put on Instagram - and my blog might get thrown a post, if it's lucky.

It feels wrong. I feel like a bit of a sell-out. And like I am not making a difference or using my platform and following for anything meaningful. Yes, it does sometimes feel superficial. But is blogging in itself superficial? No.


The trouble is that my want to succeed has altered the content I produce. My expectations of what will be well-received hinders me from exploring different avenues and trying new things. That is what has me questioning whether blogging is superficial. It is not that the whole influencer industry is meaningless or doesn't serve a purpose past cute pictures. It is that I have allowed my own content to take that path.

There are so many amazing bloggers out there making waves and changing perceptions. People who are using their platform for good and discussing really important topics like mental health, the rights of marginalised groups, and the environment. And, in the same way, there are content creators who make 'feel good' content. They are an online best friend to all of their followers and, although they don't discuss politics or share their opinions on bigger issues, it doesn't make their content any less valuable because it is almost guaranteed that someone out there is having an awful time and just wants to watch a YouTube video or read a blog post and just forget the bad stuff for a minute.

Content creation is powerful and this industry has such a capacity for good. I love the feeling of community that blogging brings about. How it brings people together. And, from a business perspective, it is a huge deal. The influencer industry has changed so many lives and given opportunities to people who otherwise may have struggled to break into the media world - like mums of young children or those who have faced discrimination when trying to break into these industries.

So, instead of feeling like I am wasting my life just because I don't write for The Guardian or something, I want to try to change my perspective. I want to create content that not only serves my audience but serves me. Content that brings me joy.

And I need to remember that things that are worthwhile come in many forms.

What's your opinion on the blogger industry?

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