The marble epidemic!? Four observations about the blogosphere
Marble backgrounds, copper accessories and white-washed Instagram feeds. If we all claim to be creative individuals; why does our social media look the same?
Until I launched my blog, I had no idea how manufactured blogging had become. There are thousands, literally thousands, of white-washed blogs adorned with minimalist flatlays, copper-wired fairy lights and cactus graphics (including my own). As much as I find this combination visually appealing, why are the majority of bloggers conforming to these aesthetic standards? Are some simply searching for the quickest way to receive free PR samples? Is it from a lack of confidence or, worse, a lack of creativity?
Whilst no one is going to read a blog that is inaccessible and overwhelmingly ugly, fewer and fewer people are going to bother with copy-cat blogs that share identical content. As a new blogger, I’m trying to find a balance between taking what’s best from the current blogging trends (for example, clean, minimalist photography) with more original (but potentially more niche) blog ideas that fulfil me creatively.
Whatever is going on, we are definitely in the midst of a marble-epidemic that doesn't seem to be slowing any time soon!
The numbers game sucks
As much as I told myself I would not focus on how many people read my blog or followed me on Instagram, there is a real temptation to get sucked into the numbers game. Initially, my plan was to boost my readership by building my Instagram following. Four days in, I am now just under 100 followers. This audience was built by painstakingly following hundreds of accounts and, as my good friend at Mollipop.co.uk advised me, getting stuck into the community via commenting. Trawling through hundreds of accounts was not why I started blogging and, evidently, not particularly enjoyable. Similarly, my domain host has an amazing metrics tracker. Whilst this is super helpful for exploring the popularity of certain blog posts, it is easy to get depressed if you spend all day on it! I’ve spent a lot of time on this blog but currently have just over 200 page views. Ultimately, I’m going to focus on my content and enjoying the process of creating, instead of getting bogged down in numbers!
High quality photography is really difficult
I started blogging because it encompassed many of my hobbies: writing, beauty, fitness, web design and social media. As much as I enjoy a good old Insta, I am a far cry from a blog-worthy photographer and this is definitely the most challenging aspect about blogging for me. As a self-confessed perfectionist, I always want high quality photos to accompany a blog post or decorate my Instagram. Taking photos in the evenings is not really a possibility because the light is so bad and I’m not ready to shell out for a fancy light-ring (…yet!). However, I don’t really have time to take photos in the day because of my job.
Solutions include taking photos on a Sunday in advance of the week ahead, relying on my wonderful boyfriend (who has dabbled in semi-pro photography) or using stock photos. None are completely ideal, but it’s a working progress!
Blogging is pretty expensive
My final observation may not come as a surprise, but blogging is pretty expensive. Sure - you can do it on the cheap by using a free domain & host, settling with poor quality images and using bog-standard blog templates. However, I decided that I would invest around £60 of my hard earned cash to create an original website that (hopefully) looks really professional and is heavily customisable. This means that my content is situated in an environment that I’m really happy with. This, however, is just the beginning. Without restraint (and before you have a following at all), you could spend hundreds of pounds on camera equipment, flat lay materials, graphic design, new products and travel - all in the name of your blog. In terms of investing, I plan to see how much enjoyment I receive from this website, as well as how much my readership grows over the next couple of months.