I’ve been thinking. A dangerous game to play in these ‘ere parts of the world wide web, but thinking has been done and conclusions have been drawn. Or, not quite conclusions, because that would indicate final results since I’m not one to leave hypotheses hanging (unless we’re talking my dissertation, which is something I’d like to revisit on a much larger scale at some point), but I’ve elected to draw a metaphorical semicolon.
The blogosphere has changed; and before you tab out and sigh heavily that urgh another one has been bitten by the ‘ew change’ bug, hear me out.
The blogosphere has changed in the way of numbers, yes there are way more individual sites than there were however many years ago, and although Kendall Jenner has deleted her instagram account, if you’ve got a decent following, you’ve got some decent opps coming your way. Everyone’s more attuned to numbers and analytics and conversion rates and that wasn’t a thing for me when I started. And I only started in 2014 so I’m a veritable toddler here. (Seriously, this started off as a year abroad blog and some of the posts pre-2015 are total cringe but hey.) Game plans happen when hobbies become an industry and then a legitimate career, so the even though the goalposts are constantly changing, tracking what you can becomes imperative.
It’s also changed in the way that numbers are so important to some that you have the issues of fake followers and bots and cheats and shortcuts to escalate to the upper echelons of internet fame that for those doing it the organic way, the frustration is real.
But the blogosphere has changed in a more subtle way that I’ve only really come to define to myself recently. I feel that, overall, it’s a pretty positive change – and I’m an advocate of positive change in all aspects of life – and I’m seeing increasing numbers of bloggers, vloggers and content creators embracing it with so much enthusiasm that it’s really nice to witness.
See, you have your standardised niches: fashion, beauty, travel, book, fitness, health and wellbeing, parent, lifestyle, and various combinations between them and many more. And now I’ve found that within those niches, there are subcategories.
Inspirational, Aspirational, Attainable, and Relatable.
Not necessarily for all niches, or even for all blogs, and some definitely are cross-categorised, but I’ve found I subconsciously assign most of the blogs or creators I read and watch almost daily a place in one of those four groups. Discount Sorting Hat style.
I have the inspirational blogs I follow that really motivate me to do things and better myself creatively, pick me up when I’m feeling low or stuck, and oil the idea gears. The think pieces that really make me question things, combined with new ways to present content that actually cause my jaw to drop.
I have the aspirational blogs that I follow that show me fabulous trips, products and generally a lifestyle that I kinda can’t afford right now (#brokegrad), but make me want to work hard to get some of that in a ‘treat yo self’ way. I find that as I reach different periods in my life these change as I try and work out what my end goals are. They’re generally always glossy, though.
I have the attainable blogs that I follow that I can legit buy the things I see I like from (and use their aff links because I like helping people), and have the similar experiences of, if I wanted. The ‘this could be my life but I’m maybe slightly playing myself’ blogs.
I have the relatable blogs that I follow that I can see myself in, either because they write so damn well it’s like a post came straight from my own soul, or they’re at a similar stage in life and it’s nice to know I’m not alone out here.
None of these categories hold any more or less weight than each other, and none of them are in any way a bad thing. Most blogs hit all the aspects in one way or another, I guess, but it’s like a personality test where you’re labeled as predominantly more extroverted or something.
|attempting relatable while my camera lens saves you all from the fact I had pizza earlier in the week and my skin is Not Happy About That|
And it made me realise that I don’t know where I’d class mine, really. And this isn’t some sort of ‘woe is me, plz tell kthnkxbye!!!’ post. It’s actually a very long winded way of saying I’ve been feeling really lost in what I’m writing and making, recently.
Like, I’m going through the motions, but I’ve been creatively constipated for a while now.
(Let’s move that visual along.)
This year I’ve written some of the posts I am really, truly, proudest of. I’ve created videos I’ve really liked. But I also feel endlessly frustrated that I haven’t managed to achieve things I’ve wanted to achieve yet because I physically can’t. I don’t have the manpower or funds, and at times it really kills me because I’m letting the content I want to create slip through my fingers. I have reels of bit-part attempts at ideas that I’ll probably never do anything with.
Ok so it’s ‘woe is me’ a bit.
I started this platform predominantly to share my life as a year abroad student in Seoul, and it’s morphed into a fashion-lifestyle hybrid as my circumstances changed and I found more (or less, really) of a focus in what I wanted to write about. Or just started treating this as a platform I could use to write on, and get feedback. I think most of you guys who read here regularly haven’t jumped that far back into the archives, and are content with what I do now, but my main drive has always been to share information and tips. I have a bit of a hardwired desire to help constantly.
I’ve weathered the collective ‘sphere pushes to advance the industry that have happened so far, and adjusted at my own speed (pipdig theme, better quality photos, better staged photos, outdoor locations that aren’t just my parent’s garden or secluded spots around uni), but I feel there’s been another drive recently and I care more about not moving with it?
Not in a ‘gotta have the marble/rose gold/cacti/copper’ sense, but a ‘wow the content has really been stepped up a gear’ and I feel like I’m stagnating somehow.
It’s time to refocus, I think. Not in a drastic way; I don’t want to limit myself. I hate boxes and labels and people telling me I can’t do things because ‘it’s so’. The regularly scheduled content shall remain regularly scheduled.
But I do want to challenge myself. My creative eye. Talk about important things and things important to me, in a way that’s sort of growing up with me. I want to be a little bit inspirational and mostly attainable, I think aspirational is a long shot, but I hope I’m writing in some sort of relatable manner. And I want to actually do the things I want to creatively, regardless of if I have people to help all the time, I will find a way.
So yes. Semicolon.
Initiate gear change?