Blogging In 2018; Do We All Have To Be “Influencers”?

The title of this post makes me sound old and, in the age of social media, I basically am. When I was 12 I discovered Livejournal. I’d spend hours reading blogs about bands I liked later progressed to documenting my cringe-wortby teenage years on the platform, all whilst wanting to be older and much cooler like the other Brit girls on the platform (oh hey, Alice).

Fast forward a decade and I’d have quickly learned I’d never be cool, Myspace pages are crazy hard to delete and that wearing braces with my jeans really was a phase. But those early days of being a lonely only child really shaped my career. At Uni I had a real passion for all things digital which I’d demonstrated successfully via internships where I’d create full on social media strategies, be let loose on the Tumblr accounts and teach much more experienced members of staff how to write clever SEO copy. I’ve spent the last 12 years of my career in digital in various forms but those early days of blogging using a CMS powered by dial-up hooked me in and I’ve been lucky enough to work for some incredible publications and companies who allowed me to constantly work on innovating their digital offering.

So surely it would make sense for me to be blogging in 2018, right?

To feel like a duck to water as I re-launch The Navigation? And to know exactly what I’m doing? The answer, in all honesty, is no.

Professionally I can create and implement successful content strategies and I could come up with a whole year’s worth of content planning, KPI tracking and social media campaigns for The Navigation but it just doesn’t feel right. I’m blogging again because I want to. I partly feel the pressure to ‘lead by example’ in terms of what I produce professionally and what I put out there on a personal level but I’m not suited to today’s picture perfect blogosphere.

The recent upset around the Cosmo Blog Awards 2018 has proven that I can’t compete nor want to in today’s blogging world. I just want to write and hopefully have people enjoy it, which is what blogging was about before Zoella proved we could all live in Brighton mansions and have bath bomb deals if we wanted to. I owe my career to those early days of blogging but sat here writing the first post of The Navigation, I’m under no misconception that I’m going to turn into a one-million-uniques-per-day sensation overnight. The Navigation, for me, is a personal place of stories of my travel adventures, falling in love after being perpetually and utterly single and feeling comfortable in my own skin after 27 years of self loathing. And if other people enjoy it then spank me and call me Ruby (seriously).

Will I use the wrong hashtags? Absolutely. And show photos taken on a cracked iPhone? You betcha! I’ll forget to tag all the blogger RT accounts on Twitter, I’ll take the photos against a pink background but I won’t like any of them so I’ll never post them. Do expect selfies featuring a killer lipstick and exhausted eyes, tips on solo travel and how to look confident despite wandering down dodgy Norwegian streets and actually shitting yourself, and what to do when you find out you’re accidentally on a date with a Tory politician (hint: run)

It can be terrifying if you’re tempted to blog in 2018, or have been doing so for a little while already.

There are so many incredible women out there making huge business off their blogs and social accounts, killing it with their Insta game and bringing in thousands of readers daily. But that doesn’t stop you – or me – doing your own thing. You’re the only person with your voice and that’s worth more than 10k Instagram followers any day of the week.

So this is The Navigation; the blog I’ll fit in between my full time job, writing my first time novel and annoying my boyfriend by filming him on my Instagram stories. If you already follow me on Twitter or Instagram and have an idea of what you’d like to see from me, do let me know.

Who knows, I might be in a L’Oreal ad this time next year. Or I might be sat on my sofa in a towel staring into space despite getting out the shower 20 minutes earlier… I’m not the only one who does that, right?

 

9 Comments

  1. Such a fresh voice, and a great message! Thank you! We don’t have to be influencers, all of us *breathe out*.
    And hey, I’ve been on Livejournal too! For 10 years already, with some stops. I never knew it was popular outside of the Russian-speaking world. Every respectable person in Russian culture has been on LJ πŸ˜†
    And hello from Norwegian streets 😊 how did you call them? πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

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    1. Thanks for the lovely comment. Livejournal was popular with people in the UK around 2001 onwards but I think people then moved to social media and blog spot, wordpress and youtube.
      I think people put too much emphasis on their blogging success only being thousands of followers on Insta, tons of PR freebies and picture perfect press trips when success can actually mean different things. We don’t all have to be the same. I’m glad you liked this post and hope you carry on reading as my blog progresses πŸ™‚

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      1. I will definitely be glad to hear more of your voice, so keep on writing!
        LiveJournal was very popular in Russian speaking world too, every journalist and writer was there. But now they do insta-blogging, like there many who view their IG accounts as a blog, writing long posts and doing content plan.
        I find it important to remember that we ourselves can define what success means to us. But oh so easy it is to fall into that trap of following the conventional view of what blogging success means. Good to have this conversation about blogging and its meaning βœ‹πŸ˜Š

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  2. I started out on Livejournal too. Then I had my first blog from 2005-2011 and mostly wrote about my life. My life is pretty boring now, so I tend to post a lot about beauty and bath products, and sometimes other things. I still try to keep it personal too and include bits of myself and my life here and there. I’ve gotten some items free to try and review, but I’m still just a small-time blogger and not an “Influencer”. It’s so weird how blogging has changed since my first blog. There weren’t really any big-time bloggers making tons of money back then like there are now. I was a bit shocked when I came back into blogging this year. I always enjoy the smaller blogs still anyhow.

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    1. First off, I doubt your life is boring. Secondly, I totally agree with you. So many people now start blogs with the intention of “making it big” and making money which is absolutely fine but I miss the days when people blogged their own way and people’s blogs didn’t all look, feel and read the same as everyone else’s. I love the fact people are making huge businesses out of their blog but I also miss authenticity online.

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  3. The idea of making a living from blogging is the dream! I think having other things (like your job and other writing outlets), it keeps the pressure off blogging and makes it more of a fun hobby again! Lovely post xx

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