Photography: Kaye Ford | Words: Zoe London
Dissecting the latest blogging buzzword phrase…’the death of blogging.’
Everywhere I look on social media at the moment I see more and more think pieces about whether or not blogging as we know it has died a death. Well, today I’m adding to that tidal wave with my own two cents. First up, let’s ask a sub-question to that current question and ask – Zoe, is your blog dead? No. It’s not. Currently? Yes, it’s been embarrassingly quiet. But dead? Hell no. I took most of July (ok and a lot of June) off from blogging, and you can probably see that my last post went up on 6th June. Ugh. Less than ideal. What’s going on with me is I’m currently in the very final throws of wedding planning and organising, with just four weeks to go until we leave for the big day. Unfortunately – something had to give and for me it was how much time and labour I absolutely love pouring into this blog, but unfortunately could not (and still can’t to be honest) give time for at this present moment in time. But ultimately is my eight year labour of love blog dead? Absolutely not.
So why is everyone getting all up in each others’ grills about blogging supposedly dying out at the moment? I factor it down to two things. The natural migration over to YouTube which has been a slow and steady process for the last few years as one, and secondly the fact that overall young people are giving less and less time to blogging and reading blogs. Combine these two things together and you get yourself a bunch of stressed out bloggers wondering why views are lower than usual on the ol’ analytics, and wondering why time retention on reading blogs is down. It was never going to last at the very top of it’s game forever. However is it totally dead? Absolutely not. (sensing a pattern yet..?)
Where I stand as an old school blogger is that blogging has never, and will never die. Blogging was huge before we even opened our blogger.com accounts, with people writing online diaries for years before then. The reason why we perceive blogging as being ‘better’ than it is now, is because there hit a point where blogging was suddenly currency. It was on the news. It was talked about, referenced in our favourite TV shows, bloggers were suddenly well known, stopped in the street – and companies knew that a bloggers’ recommendation was often more powerful than a magazine. It turned your average Joe into an overnight star. It peaked really, really quickly. We all know what happens when something peaks quickly like a viral video – it becomes tomorrow’s chip paper. Suddenly YouTube came along and we liked it because we could visually see the people who we read about, how they lived and how they spoke. Then, Instagram came along and we liked it even more because it gave us a chance for escapism within micro-blogging that didn’t take up as much of our time, and could be seen easily on our phones. I knew all about my favourite bloggers within 60 seconds of opening their latest Instagram.
Where does that leave blogging in 2018? Well, like anything, it will always have a place. But it must always catch up and evolve. It’s already evolved so much from rubbish photos to glossy magazines, but I think personally it is down to the author of the blog to recognise where they must adapt to their strengths. For those who’s audience love beauty reviews? Prioritise beauty reviews. For those who’s audience love fashion? Make fashion even better than ever. You know your audience better than anyone, and it’s even easier than ever to give them the content they want. Look, people will always watch YouTube, and they’ll always watch Insta stories, mindlessly scrolling and scrolling. But what they will always Google search for, and come back to – is a good old fashioned blog. Also reading numbers are up and up every year, with more and more people turning to books. So become a digital book. Be even more powerful than you were before. It’s being proven time and time again by blogging powerhouses like Victoria of In The Frow, or Ree of Really Ree just to name a couple that there will absolutely always be a place for blogs.
One of the most powerful things your blog has that no other platform has – is ultimate freedom. You’re not defined by numbers, nor controlled by an algorithm (whether you believe in that or not, not sure if I do really) and nor reliant on subscription boxes or downloads. Your website, will always be there. It will always be google searchable, and it will always stand strong by itself. Remember that if you’re your audience member, think about how they would find things. I find myself constantly frustrated trying to remember things mentioned in Instagram stories that disappeared the next day, or searching back for that hotel recommendation an instagrammer stayed at two years ago. The power of the blog lies within the power of the search, and if you always remember that – it will absolutely never die.
Five years ago or so, we were the kings and queens of blogging. It’s growth knew no heights. Things always drop off a little bit. Don’t beat yourself up about that. Remain true to yourself, do what you enjoy, and remember the reason why you even started blogging. Because there is always a place on the internet for everyone. There is a place for you. There always will be.
I’m def bored of hearing about how ‘dead’ blogging is. Let’s prove the naysayers wrong, and keep blogging fresh and cool. For me? Look. I can’t apologise enough for taking those six weeks off. Thankyou if you stuck by me. I also cannot promise you things won’t go back to normal until mid September/post wedding. What I can promise though, is that if you think after eight years of hard work on my blog I’m about to throw that all away, you’re wrong. While I wish I had either a twin or a second body to do all the stuff I want to, I’m very determined to keep the blog going. Plus… I have so much wedding content it will be taking us all into 2019 very easily…!