I follow a lot of bloggers on Twitter. It started with a couple of interesting people, then grew as a sort of attempt to dilute the larger world and its morbidity from my timeline. It might seem superficial to have more posts about photography and beauty products in my feed than world events, but I reached a point not long ago when politics and everything under its umbrella became too much to interact with daily. I muted the words ‘Brexit’, ‘Trump’, ‘May’, ‘EU’ and ‘Tories’, and suddenly things seemed much brighter. I highly recommend it.
But now I’ve become a blog reader, and have witnessed the ups and downs of that world too (it’s still a lot better than politics). People debate the pitfalls of ‘experienced’ bloggers a fair bit, but from what I’ve seen, experience is actually branded ‘established’, and it made me consider my own blog.
I’m not a ‘blogger’ by any means – I don’t try to make my posts a part of a brand or use it for career aspirations, but I am experienced. I began my blog in 2007 when I was asked to start one as part of a self-PR exercise at university. At the time, nobody was fully confident what a blog was, or what it was supposed to do. It was much like typing into the abyss. I opened a page on MSN Spaces, excitedly changed the standard colour scheme to pink and began writing.
I don’t think stats were even available at the beginning. I don’t remember checking to see how many readers I had, and I definitely didn’t get notifications of followers. But I did get a fair bit of interaction. I reviewed a lot of stuff – guest lectures, music, events – wrote some media industry posts and generally rambled on about life like nobody was reading. But they were, and I was made a couple of job offers during the first couple of years with PR companies.
In 2012 I put more of a focus on beauty (god knows why, I don’t even wear make-up now), and began being sent some products for review. I had no idea – nobody did – that beauty blogging was going to take off like it has, and I let it fizzle out. I was the proud owner of a free blue hair dye once.
My old little MSN Space moved to WordPress once I got the hang of things, and it has been one of my consistent interests. I love writing for myself and it’s lovely to think that I’ve still got this going on 11 years later. I hope that’s still a good enough reason to blog in an industry where others treat content production as a full time job. I’m never going to worry about photograph quality or schedules, but I’m happy to keep going as I am. I’m still working on consistency too, but I’m not trying to win any awards or reach any milestones so I won’t lose too much sleep if I’m blogging about freelancing one week and family the next.
If you are a blogger, whether that’s with a capital B or not, you only need to question whether you enjoy it, and how much time you want to commit to it. It doesn’t have to be competitive, it can be fun, and you might still get blue hair dye in the post. 😉