Thursday, 27 February 2014

The Future of Blogging, The Future of Us



As featured in some of my previous posts, the one thing which seems to terrify me to my depths and excite me simultaneously, is the future.

2014 has already been full of the most insane ups and downs, and in these past few weeks I've found that my trepidation has actually been pushed aside, and I have been more excited about things that I have been since it all began.

After blogging for just over a year, in the past month alone, my readership has increased by 82% since January. I feel like I have finally found my 'thing', and the unbelievably wonderful feedback I have been receiving has been humbling and awe-inspiring in equal measure.

I've become impassioned, motivated and constantly inspired by this rapidly-evolving industry and the networking, creating and progress is honestly addictive.

But still, I can't shake this little niggling fear.

Although things seem to be going pretty well, it feels as I'm almost stumbling blindly through this cyber wilderness, and by sheer chance happen to keep finding the gravel footpath beneath my feet.

In essence - I don't really know how I'm doing this or what I'm expected to do next, but I somehow seem to be kinda stumbling in the right direction.

And it wasn't until I attended a Social Careers talk at London Fashion Weekend, that I was inspired and enlightened, and suddenly all that I was so uncertain of before, came clear to me at last.

*

The talk was held in the Vodafone Lounge at Somerset House, and Charli and I had only come across it by chance. We took a seat in the front row, and as more and more people began to trickle in, we quickly realised that we'd secured pretty decent seats for one of the most highly anticipated talks of the day.

The talk was hosted by Abisola Omole, blogger at Abimarvel and founder of creative hub The Apartment. The guest speakers were Serena Guen, Editor-in-Chief of Suitcase Magazine and Shini Park, blogger at Park & Cube.

Once the talk began, I instantly wish I'd bought a notepad and pen, and in an attempt to share the inspiring words said, began to live-tweet as many quotes as I could.

Very quickly, Shini touched upon a subject that has always frustrated me about the blogging world.


Which I think was one of the most important things said all day.

The blogging world has become so massively popular, with millions of users creating their first blogs daily, and sometimes it seems that some of the more recent joiners are perhaps doing it for the wrong reasons. 

I know there's no such thing as 'right' and 'wrong' reasons to blog... but I find there is nothing more painfully obvious when you first read a blog, than a lack of heart. 

Regardless of the type of blog, it's instantly noticeable when a person is just kind of throwing words at a page without any real thought or opinion, and it just makes me wonder, if they don't care, why are they doing it?

And the unfortunate answer is mostly because people are starting to see becoming a blogger as a quick route to fame and fortune, attempting to emulate the success of established and recognised bloggers who have got to where they are now from years of hard work. I can unfortunately think of a few in particular that are absolutely shameless in their ploys for free gifts and invites and it's kinda disheartening to see. 

In my opinion, the purpose for anyone to start any type of blog should be an outlet for your passion, a space to speak freely and express your personality about things you want to say, your own little space to entirely mold and form your own little world.

Not to get a few freebies and some ill-attained bragging rights.


And I think with true heart comes personality, and with personality comes originality.

A little later on after the talk, I was entering Covent Garden Tube Station when I saw written on the board 'Today you are you, that is truer than true, there is no-one on earth, who is youer than you. - Dr Seuss'
And it just seemed so wonderfully, beautifully apt. 

In a world absolutely crammed full of blogs and bloggers, true originality can be hard to find, and sometimes not immediately obvious.

I've spent way too long in my time trying to figure out what are the distinguishing features of Scarphelia, if any, what makes me supposedly stand out against the next blog, or even what category this all fits under. But I've never really come to any conclusions.




And for me, then, it suddenly hit home.

Maybe that's where my sense of individuality comes from - the fact that you can't quite really sort of put what I do into a box.

I've tried my hand at beauty and fashion blogging, I've tried to narrow down my focus in an attempt to remain consistent, or conform to what other bloggers are doing, but I've never really felt like it's my 'thing' y'know.

Although my future is totally ambiguous to me now, I do know what I want to achieve.

I want to make changes, I want to make people think, to inspire people. I want to open minds, to be someone who to which others say: 'Because of you, I didn't give up'.

 And most importantly of all, I just want to write.

And the truly magical thing is that I do not appear to be alone in this. After passing to 100,000 hits mark and getting through to the finals of the UK Blog Awards, it seems that there are so many other wonderful people who relate and understand with exactly what I write about.

Things are changing.

Blogging is such a young, diverse and rapidly-evolving industry, that we as creators have the power to shape the future of it, through our own creations.

There are no boundaries or limits on where blogging might take us, and who knows what role in society a blogger will have in future generations. For now, still in the honeymoon stages of its inception, we are granted boundless creative freedom with our blogs, each of us to explore where we can take our own little worlds, and where these worlds will subsequently take us.

I always seemed to have it so stuck in my head that I was only going to be a 'successful' if I was a fashion or beauty blogger, because that is all that has happened so far, the only examples to seek guidance from.

But as the fashion and beauty blog market ever-expands and ever-saturates, with newbies facing a real struggle for recognition, it feels like the time could not be more perfect for something entirely different to emerge, something to make us reconsider this preconceived idea we have of the 'blogger'.

If there's one overarching truth that I took from the Social Careers class, is that the possibilities in blogging are truly endless. And to be successful at this point, you need to really push the boundaries on how creative you can get with that.

Today, female bloggers have become something of a positive role model for young girls, but I think in the not so distant future, it would be incredible to see multi-content bloggers, not only the tall pretty girls and the in-depth product reviewers, but those who can think and write and create, spreading positive and powerful messages, standing up there regarded with the same esteem and recognition as the others.

And my goal is to make that happen.

So, I might not not know exactly where I'm going, or how exactly I'm going to get there, but I know what I want to do.

I want to make a difference, to create a little world that makes people think. I want to seek out the unexpected extraordiniaries of the world, and share their tales for all to hear and learn from. I want to travel and discover, adventure and excite, to illuminate a whole new perspective on life and to make the most of every day spent alive. And I want to try and fill others with this same passion and enthusiasm that I sometimes feel is on the brim of overflowing from my very bones.

The world is changing.

And I for one, want to be a part of that change.


                    


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43 comments :

  1. Little London Girl27 February 2014 at 04:47

    You write so well...what a thought inspiring blog. I have only recently started blogging and am struggling with the same thoughts as yourself, what's my unique selling point? There are so many blogs out there so it seems impossible to get yourself noticied. For my first few weeks I've been writing about places I've visited, enjoyed and want to share with the world and I'm loving it. So if the enjoyment is for myself alone I'm quite happy with that!
    Many of my friends have been sugegsting I blog about certain brands or products so that I can get free stuff but that is really not why I am doing it. I don't know anything about beauty products so I'm not going to start pretending I do!
    Keep up the good work - love the blog :-)
    Little London Girl xx
    www.littlelondongirl.co.uk

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  2. You're so right, with the millions of blogs out there its so easy to slip between the cracks and go completely unnoticed, but I do think the only way to combat that is staying true to your material, however frustrating that might seem at the time!

    Because soon enough, all of these identical brand-loving blogs will get lost in amongst their own sameness and fade away into obscurity, and that's where you will be left standing, with your perfectly unique curated little universe, that is unlike any other out there :)

    Keep doing what you're doing girl! xx

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  3. What a lovely read. I think you get so caught up writing posts and taking pretty pictures that you forget about what your USP is, what you want to achieve and what makes you different from the rest. I agree, there are so many blogs out there and you're right some are in it for the wrong reasons. Someone told me that there were a few bloggers that actually set up a blog just to get freebies! The quote by Katie Oldman how blogging shouldn't be seen as a way to get famous is so true. People see the glamorous side of blogging and get so sucked up in it and forget that it's taken those bloggers years to get to where they are. It's something to think about.

    Mary

    popgoesfashion.com

    xx

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  4. Just to clarify, I'm Katie Oldham and it was Shini Park who said that quote! :) But yeah, it's such a shame when people do stuff like that because it not only lowers the credibility of blogging as a whole, but also makes the whole thing redundant. Legitimate, honest product reviewers are getting lost in amongst all these bloggers who are just saying they love everything in the hope that they will get freebies, and so the point of the whole 'look ignore the ads, this is what its really like' becomes pointless x

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  5. I had to sit for a couple of minutes taking that all in, because you are so right! I can never understand fame hungry people especially in the industry that we're in, it can eat you alive if you're not careful. I write because of what I love, and every comment and email is so precious to me; it's so lovely to hear from people who share your views. You've really inspired me just from writing this post, so you're definitely on the right path! I don't think we need to be categorised in what we write; I want to act, and even though it doesn't 'fit' into the fashion/beauty category I still write about it anyway! You've made me realise that its okay to be individual in what I write about, so thank you! xx

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  6. Oh wow thank you so much Georgie!
    I think creators with heart and passion will always have stronger roots than those who create carelessly for personal gains - even if it seems as though they are receiving all the benefits at the moment and the rest of us are just lost among the rabble!

    And in terms of thinking about being unique and originality, I've often found myself thinking 'Oh I wonder if I could incorporate that into the blog? Oh, but that's not the 'done' thing, bloggers don't do that' when really we should be thinking 'Yes! I can, cause no-one has thought of doing that before!' and I think your acting is a perfect example of that :)

    Keep doing exactly what you're doing and being yourself, I'm excited to see where you'll go!

    Katie xo

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  7. I love this post too much to put into words. I think you are só right about everything you say, it is so inspirational. I think blogging first and foremost has to be a hobby of yours before it can, maybe, possibly, a career. And I think it's so important to stay close to yourself and put out there what yoú like, not necessarily what you think other bloggers do. Again, you are so right. Thank you for this article. xx

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  8. That's okay! Exactly, the underdogs will rise up! I know what you mean! You see so many people doing the same thing, but I just sit and think 'That's just not me!' Thank you very much!! :) xx

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  9. Loved this post! So inspiring. And your writing is so fluid, normally I get put off by posts with too much text, but they way you write leaves me wanting more and I actually wish your posts were longer. It's great that you stay so true to yourself and have come so far you truly are an inspiration to others. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you have said in this post. Thank you for such an inspiring read :) x

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  10. You've totally hit the nail on the head there! You're so right, blogging, at the end of the day is a hobby, and any kind of career prospects or perks are nothing but a bonus. It's like getting the lead in the school play and demanding your own private limo chauffeur!

    Thank you for reading :) xo

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  11. I massively agree with you here too. I have to admit that I've found myself in the past, especially about half way through my first year, starting to churn out really vacuous stuff that not only would anyone reading not care about, but I really didn't care about either. They'd take me like 20 mins to write in total, whereas posts before (and posts now!) usually take around 4-5 hours to craft in total.

    As a new blogger its tough to try and ignore the pulls and lures of what all these brands/PR's/blogging networks promise, I just really hope that the truly good ones are strong enough to resist the temptation to sell out!

    Thanks for reading :) xo

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow this is such a lovely message to receive, thank you so so much!

    I definitely don't think there's anything wrong with photo-based blogs or fashion and beauty blogging - most of my favourite blogs are those types! I think the flaw comes is when people do this kind of blogging 'cause they feel they have to in order to get noticed, or to attract the attention of higher ups.

    I absolutely love looking at fashion, beauty and all kinds of blogs when it's evident that the creator has taken a lot of time effort and heart into making their creations wonderful. I only hope I come across as the same!

    Thank you so much for reading and your lovely comments :) xo

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  13. Eeeee gosh this is lovely, I genuinely cannot thank you enough! That's like the biggest compliment ever haha. I was worried that I was going to come off a little preachy or know-it-all in this post when really I can't comment cause I'm still a vastly unknown blogger, but it just felt like something that needed to be said! And the thought that I could inspire anyone else on from this is just wonderful, thank you! xo

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  14. I agree, it's been a learning curve for me too!

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  15. Oh crap so sorry about that! Exactly I totally agree. They do it so that they're in the PRs good books. It's such a shame to be honest.

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  16. this is so great. i haven't been blogging that long and i think the trickiest thing is finding some sort of theme for what i write. i'm not into beauty or fashion at all. i initially started my blog with a theme--i was going to write all about love--but it sort of broadened because i was interested in so many different things. i remember adding categories like "artlove", "booklove" and "citylove" because i wanted to write about art, books and travel. i eventually merged my blog with my personal website and completely changed everything around, so i could write about art, books, travel, love, music, crafts and any other thing that popped up into my head or happened in my life. sticking with a theme is just so hard for me and it's always great to stumble across other sites that don't necessarily have a sort of theme to them.


    i sometimes feel that people think not having a theme to your blog is "blogging the wrong way" when in reality there is no right or wrong way to blog. i read all these "blogging 101" or "how to start a blog" posts by other bloggers and the majority of them say to find your theme or central topic for your blog. and for a while tried to do that until i gave up on the theme completely and starting writing whatever i wanted. i totally agree that your blog should be your portfolio of sorts. it's like your own personal museum of visuals and ideas and you're the curator. it's definitely encouraging to see that there are successful bloggers out there who have embraced their no-themeness and just blog because they love it. i know i blog out of a nagging need too. i started my blog primarily because i had lost my dad and needed a positive, healthy outlet to express all my thoughts about love. it's just so interesting how it evolved and became something completely different and new to me.


    god, i love post like these. they always make me stop and think and self reflect. you have a great message here and i definitely think you are heading in the right direction with your blog. it's so great!

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  17. I think we've almost been told over and over again that you need originality and you need an angle, that... it's totally quashed true originality. True uniqueness is not going by what other people tell you today and let your own thing develop and blossom naturally!

    Thank you so much for reading xo

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    Replies
    1. I agree with this SO MUCH. It's not something you can just make and call it original. It's something you create therefore it's YOU.

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  18. Wow, this was incredible. I almost cried. I relate to this on unrealistic levels. I don't even know where to begin. I love your writing & I'm so happy that I found your blog. Everything you wrote are all the thoughts I have before going to bed. I truly love writing, photography and blogging but never thought it was possible for me (a girl who doesn't do beauty posts) to really make much out of it. I still love doing it though. I'm glad to see someone like you, who I can relate to so much being completely yourself. I love this, k? You're great! :)


    x leah symonne x


    itsleli.blogspot.com

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  19. It's such a wonderufl feeling when you can finally say and feel exactly what it is you want to do! I haven't gotten to that point yet, but I'm happy for you. Congratulations on your success! xx

    http://ferdies-place.blogspot.co.uk/

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  20. Such an inspirational post, Katie. It's always a pleasure to be able to read your blog, I just love hearing what you have to say. Your thoughts on the world are so interesting and insightful, you make me a little jealous to be honest! I'd love to be able to think the way you do.

    I think you're right in so many ways, I love the quotes you've included. There are so many blogs out there now and we're late to the game relatively speaking. So for new bloggers it's all about making a mark, standing out and generally making a name for yourself in whatever way you can. Can't wait to see more posts like this from you, it's completely different to everything else I'm reading at the moment but in an unbelievably good way! xx

    Jade | skinsweet

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  21. I love this post so much, everything you said was so true. When I first started blogging I decided I was going to be a beauty blogger and was going to focus on review and hauls etc. But now I have the urge to blog about my life, food, thoughts, fashion, the list goes on. This post had made me re-consider my blogs purpose, perhaps it is not somewhere where I post reviews on beauty products, but somewhere that I can share my thoughts and anything else I want to write about. I now feel that I don't have to fit everything I write into a certain category, I can be free and write what I want. Thanks for the inspiration xx

    Katie,
    beautyandkatie.blogspot.co.uk

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  22. Thank you for writing this post! This is something that I definitely needed to hear because I often feel like "one of the crowd" and struggle to find where my personality and uniqueness come from. But I think you're right, it comes from passion and pursuit of what we love to write about. Thanks for this encouraging post! Excited to read more!

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  23. "It feels like the time could not be more perfect for something entirely different to emerge, something to make us reconsider this preconceived idea we have of the 'blogger'." What an inspiring little quote to read - thank you!

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  24. It's incredible how much I can relate to this post! I can say it gives me a motivational kick to create beautiful messages through my words. You are already an inspiration and I'm sure not only to myself but to so many others!

    ReplyDelete
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