A Travel and Lifestyle Blog
You know the drill, get the kettle on, pull up a pew……its cuppa and a chat time.
This post was inspired a few weeks back, as there was a bit of negative energy around the bigger bloggers on twitter. There has been a lot of rumblings that bloggers are all self indulgent, self servicing, and constantly trying to sell sell sell to the masses. (We all remember the Zoella drama at Christmas too, right)? This post is not about “influencer marketing’ but more the way we view ourselves as bloggers. In my case, very few of my friends etc know I write a blog, because I feel a little embarrassed. I personally think the negativity this industry attracts is unfair, but thought we could discuss! Lets chew the cud my lovelies….
Lets start with the blogger staple, Selfies – the very name suggests what it is. A photo of ourself, by ourself. The amazing cameras that we now get on our mobile phones have seen the amount of selfies being taken on an hourly basis, reach colossal heights! We have all done it and seen it, people standing in front of their desired backdrop, spinning slowly to get the right light, changing facial expressions a gazillion times per minute to get just the right look they are going for. Its both fascinating and slightly weird to see someone in full selfie flow. A habit that was reserved for the youngsters, has now grown into man woman or beast taking photos of themselves to share on whatever platform they desire. You scroll through Instagram and more often than not, see many wonderful faces looking back at you, all sharing whatever it is they are feeling needs sharing. Does that mean they are vain? Self obsessed? Egotistical? As is usual with my brain when left unattended, it got me thinking………
As I have said before, I write my blog, first and foremost, because I love to write. It was started as I was doing a writing qualification, and our tutor told us we must write as often as possible, daily being the ultimate goal. I have been a reader of blogs for many years, so thought blogging would satisfy my desire to write, and I could combine it with my obsession with make up. Job done.
But, when I think about it, what makes me think that what I have to say is of value? Im a beauty/lifestyle blogger, but what makes me think that my opinion on a certain foundation or skincare item should be valued? Why does my suggestion on what mascara to buy hold any weight? Am I full of self importance? Do I think Im an expert? Well, no, but I do think that I can give honest feedback on things, and like to do so.
I suppose, if we analyse it, as bloggers, we are probably all a little self indulgent. We did start our blogs after all, because we felt we had stuff to share. Those of us that blog as a lovely hobby, with maybe a few little lifestyle enhancements (items sent to be reviewed, the odd complimentary meal etc) blog on the most part, because it satisfies some need in us. I don’t by any means consider myself an expert, but I do think I have a huge amount of knowledge in skincare for example, (it is my job after all, and Iv spent 20 years working and studying skin). However I would hope that I never come across “preachy” and I do reserve the geeky, nerdy side of me that gets passionate about skincare ingredients, treatments and skin conditions for my clients in my job. I keep it toned down on here people!
Having said that, I am seeing a worrying amount of bloggers/Instagramers etc give recommendations on things, that if used incorrectly or, for example, on the wrong skin type, could cause the user issues. It frustrates and worries me! Have we all become “experts” because we have a following on our accounts? Im not going too much into that side of things in this post, I know the whole “influencer marketing” subject has been written about a gazillion times lately, but it is a concern isnt it. (to be fair, is probably my job makes me more paranoid about that side of it)
I do feel as a lifestyle blogger I have a slightly easier ride. I am not a fashion blogger, so photos of me are not really required (thank god) so I am lucky that I can get away with just posting a photo of me occasionally, just to give my feed some personality. I think the fashion bloggers get a much harder time on that front. They tend to feel the responsibility to post a photo of themselves daily. Imagine that, 365 shared images of your face! That in itself sounds pretty self indulgent and vain when you think about it dosent it? But is it???
More confusingly, more often that not, many bloggers claim to be “shy” or “introvert” (I think many writers have this personality trait). Does this claim of shyness amongst the selfies, confuse people and help fuel the way people think we bloggers are insincere? If we look at it objectively, and from a non-blog point of view, if you are posting a gazillion photos of yourself online, for all to see, can that ‘shyness” claim even be the truth? You can see why people may think differently. (For the record, I actually think it can be true. I struggle with posting photos of myself due to confidence issues, yet I do still post one now and again).
I have told very few people amongst my friends/family that I write a blog. I think initially, because I felt self conscious that they would think “ark at her”, and mercilessly take the mickey out of me. (my family banter for sport) I suppose I did feel a little embarrassed. Why? In part, perhaps because of the ways bloggers can be viewed. Iv got better now, but still never put anything related to my blog on my personal facebook or Instagram accounts.
So, what do you think? Have you ever encountered any negativity towards writing a blog? I think to write a blog, to put ourselves out there for others to read, means we all have a little bit of self indulgence about us, but is that always a bad thing? We are writing to satisfy some need, so that is in itself self indulgent, but why is that negative?
Do I think that my opinion is valid? Well yeah, I suppose I do. However, if something features on my blog, its because I have road tested it fully and have fallen in love with it. I want to share that with the lovelies that follow my blog, exactly the same way I would talk to my friends about something amazing I have found. Not because I think I know it all, but because I have purchased something, (I do feature stuff gifted to me occasionally, but my opinion is still an honest one) think its amazing and want to share it with my online buddies. Im not telling you all you must buy it, but I am sharing because I think it is worthy of you hearing all the details of it. We are all just sharing the love eh!
I really hope this post is coming across the way I hope it will. I think you all know by now, Im passionate about the blogging industry, as a reader and a writer, so feel a little defensive of it and the way bloggers are viewed! Id love to hear what you think?