So something exciting is happening my end.
I’m not allowed to talk about it yet, nor do I want to tempt fate and say it’s definitely in the pipeline. But I’m *jump up and down* excited about it – and this, among with the many other opportunities blogging has brought my way has inspired me to write this post.
Blogging has been around longer than we all think. I wouldn’t exactly credit the blog’s humble beginnings to Carrie Bradshaw (although I’d like to think that’s where it all started) but the ‘web-log’ rose to popularity about a decade ago. I’ve been blogging since 2011 and in that time, it’s changed immensely.
When I began, I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t even know what blogging was. I set up a ‘website’ (or so I thought) documenting my opinions, likes and dislikes. The first few posts have been deleted because they’re ridiculously cringeworthy, but essentially – I started it as an outlet to practice my writing and have a place for all my creative stuff. Because Microsoft Word and Photoshop just wasn’t cutting it anymore. Neither was Facebook.
Fast forward a year and I was invited to my first blogger event. In fact, I think it may have even been the Cosmo Blog Awards (where I was nominated for Best Newcomer). My eyes were opened to this whole new, emerging and exciting world of gorgeous ladies who knew their stuff about make-up and fashion. I was hooked.
I can’t say I’ve ever had a special talent of piecing together a FAB outfit that looked incredible from the offset (photographic evidence above – circa summer 2013 – errr, Scarlett? Posing with a beach ball was definitely the then ‘done thing’) , nor do I have the ability to apply make-up like a pro – I just loved writing and being creative. And being in a community of like-minded people was incredible.
We’re now in 2016 and the blogging world is COMPLETELY different to my blog beginnings in 2011 and 2012. A lot has changed. Although we’ve previously been criticised for being ‘non-professional journalists’ or even worse ‘narcissistic’, brands are starting to take us seriously. They’re realising that there is more to the blogging industry than they thought.
I’m proud to say that many of the girls I knew or met at the beginnings of my ‘blog career’ have seen so much success. Em for example, who accompanied me on my first blog-trip to Paris (having met at the first Cosmo Blog Awards), has fronted a campaign for Adidas and worked with top brands, while a little shy girl I nervously arrived at a Rimmel event with, is now known as none other than the blogging phenomena Zoella.
It’s an exciting industry to be involved with and I can’t wait to hopefully make it my career too when I graduate in June (with a bit of luck, despite the looming dreaded dissertation I have ahead of me). 2016 has already presented me with some incredible opportunities – and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store.
Although there have been some whispers that the saturated nature of the community means that there’s only room for bloggers with a ‘niche’, I truly believe that there’s space for everyone on the internet. Your blog is an extension of you, that’s your niche. I read blogs because I like having an insight into other peoples lives. As nosey as that probably sounds. Real women, just like me and you. With their own interests and their own style. It’s so lovely watching bloggers grow.
So whether you’re developing your blog as a hobby (and what a fab hobby to have) or hoping to take things further, don’t be bogged down by what other people are doing. Take inspiration from the fact that bloggers are finally getting the attention and recognition they deserve! We are one big community after all!
The only negative is that I do think that celebrities are stepping a little too close to the blogging bandwagon. Attempting to cash in on their fame in yet another manner, many are setting up their own blogs and ‘influencer accounts’, which I feel a bit uncomfortable about, since many of them are rarely independent from commercial ties and they target their content at impressionable young girls. However, whether this surpasses or even comes close to the ‘real’ blogging community will be interesting to see (somehow, I don’t think it will).
If you’re interested in taking your blog further in the New Year, you might be interested in coming to one of my 2016 events (sign up here), where we’ll be running masterclasses on photography, monetisation and social media. Once the information becomes available, you’ll be the first to know if you’ve left your contact details on the page.
And with that in mind, I thought I’d share a bloggers TV advert that I spotted recently (and some of my favourites appear). You may have seen it – as it’s for Avon and follows the traditional unboxing format.
One more step to conquering the world!
Go team blog!
And for more inspiration on the amazing bloggers who are turning their hobbies into fully fledged businesses, I’d love for you to check out a story on ‘Blogging Empire-esses’ below:
Check out The Blogger Empire-esses!