Is Blogging at Crisis Point?

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I feel like it’s been quite a while since I’ve done one of “those” posts, and by that I mean a post that isn’t about anything to do with an outfit or product but a post that is slightly controversial and one that will hopefully open up a dialogue and discussion. The world of blogging has changed a lot over the last few years and frequent conversations with other bloggers and content creators has lead to me thinking that we are at the precipice of a crisis and over saturation.

Everyone is vying for the same jobs and press trips to luxury locations and everyone is vying for more likes and engagement. This has lead to the recent furore and the realisation that many of my peers (no good friends I might add) have been using bots to up their following and engagement. This has astounded me, if people are using and paying for a programme to like and comment on their behalf (and follow and unfollow) in order to accelerate their growth does that leave me (and others like me) feeling proud of their integrity or a bit of a fool who’s not “with the programme”. I’ve stayed relatively steady in my growth and that is something that has irritated me at times but never upset me. I get the opportunity to work with wonderful brands and I feel like I have a loyal, genuine and engaged following. However, it still irks me when another blogger gets an even better opportunity because they have over 200k followers when it’s easy to see that around 150k of those followers have been acquired from using these sites.

It’s a little bit like being a small business owner selling cakes and noticing that the guy across the road with a competing company is both undercutting you and selling his cakes to faceless robots who don’t even eat them, but his surge in sales gets him more attention and he’s seen as the more successful business owner. It’s essentially meaningless but the value these people get from the perceived growth is where the issues start. The blogging world has baffled me for a while and I feel that year on year and month on month things are ramping up.

People are now over editing their photos to oblivion and altering their bodies to make them look taller/leaner but what projection is that showing the rest of the world? And what good can that have on that blogger’s mental wellbeing. I’m all for face tuning my acne scars and smoothing out my limbs on my Instagrams, and I’m always down for a good VSCO filter, but I would never go beyond that. It makes me question what audiences will start to look towards, as bloggers become just as unattainable as model’s in magazines who will the new influencers be? I think the tides are turning and we will see a rise towards the less edited and the more “real” girls, brands like Glossier are already championing a new type of beauty and the Instagram queen Kim Kardashian lost a shocking 100k followers in a day following the release of un airbrushed images of her most famous asset (no pun intended) leading her core fans to feel betrayed at the photoshopped images they’d seen prior.

The realisation that perfection doesn’t ever truly exist and that filters and fillers will only get you so far is certainly starting to seep in and I am intrigued as to what will come next in the weird and wonderful world of the internet and what will happen when the bot sites are eventually closed and Instagram does a recall of all the falsely acquired followers…what will the landscape look like then?

Out of interest I’d love to hear your thoughts whether you’re a content creator or a bystander and which bloggers/influencers you look up to and enjoy?

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11 Comments

  1. April 28, 2017 / 9:53 am

    As a blogger, it’s a shame that this is happening. It does taint the industry a little and sometimes makes you question someone’s success. However, the whole bot thing is easy to spot and I think people are becoming more savvy about noticing it. It’s so much more satisfying to build your own success so I’ll never be able to understand the whole bot thing anyway. Blogging to me is still more honest than most industries and I hope that doesn’t change.

  2. Gaya
    April 28, 2017 / 10:06 am

    Hi Tijan! I always like these kinds of posts you make. I agree with you, people are now looking for authenticity in bloggers and youtubers; I know I do. It’s also something that I’ve noticed in the comments on youtube videos. I find it appalling that content creators would resort to such means to gain more opportunities. I think that the truly successful content creators are the ones who have a passion for what they are talking about and it doesn’t matter if they don’t reach a certain perceived good number of followers in that sense because the people they do reach are way more engaged. Over the years I have found that if I am still following the work of a content creator it is because they have a point of view, are authentic, funny, knowledgeable and inspiring. There’s for example Caroline Hirons, Lisa Eldridge, Ruth Crilly, Anna, Amelia, Sam and Nic Chapman,Wayne Goss… and you of course. I also like to follow people coming from different parts of the world because, that way, I get to discover other cultures and ways of thinking.
    I hope you have a nice day Tijan!
    XX

  3. Megan
    April 28, 2017 / 11:46 am

    Hi Tijan 🙂 I completely agree with this post, and I love the bloggers that have stayed authentic & true to themselves. I have been following you for a long time now & love your blog/YouTube/Instagram (your style is gorgeous!).
    xx

  4. April 28, 2017 / 2:07 pm

    Same thoughts exactly. I only just started blogging but it is disheartening to feel like there’s a missing component in me that’s not drawing people into my content when sometimes the missing thing is a lot of bots in the mix. I wish instagram would do something about this. It really takes away from people like you who have grown their following organically. Thanks for being honest as I am sure more of us feel this than not. As usual, you’re an inspiration!

  5. April 28, 2017 / 2:11 pm

    Thanks for writing this, Tijan! It’s exactly why you have loyal followers because you are honest! It’s absolutely SHOCKING how many people are using those fake likes/followers! And so many of them! I like Selena Gomez as much as the next girl but girlfriend is most definitely buying hundreds of thousands of followers & likes. It’s hard not to see growth but it feels so much better to be proud of the work you’re doing.

    http://www.speakathometonight.com

  6. April 28, 2017 / 5:14 pm

    it makes me sad that people are looking up to bloggers who clearly do all the things you mentioned.
    i received an email from “RealFollows” telling me that buy a package to boost my following! I was mad and frustrated. being a blogger i want to be truthful and authentic, because thats what i would want to see.
    I look up to bloggers like you Tijan. thank you for always being real ❤️

  7. Antigone
    April 29, 2017 / 4:36 pm

    I agree with this, Tijan. I used to follow a lot of bloggers on Instagram but as a lot are over editing their photos, I really lost interest in seeing always the same stuff and so I decided to stick just to a few content creators who seem still authentic and enjoy what they are doing. I do prefer to follow and watch videos like yours or for example Valeria Lipovetsyks or Anna Gardners. I don’t need perfection, I just want to follow people who inspire me and seem real. Thanks for this post and for inspiring me! 🙂

  8. April 29, 2017 / 9:56 pm

    I think it is such a shame, that people are gaining success by such means. As a fellow blogger who works hard for every new reader and instagram follow, it is disheartening to be in an industry where this is how people are getting ahead. I hope you are right in your predictions of the future, it would be so refreshing! I entered the blogging world because I love the relatable aspect of bloggers. As it begins to stray further from that authentic approach I find myself (and others) losing interest.

    xx
    Sheila
    http://levoyageuralamode.blogspot.ca

  9. May 1, 2017 / 10:44 am

    I love to read honest and engaging posts like these. I have a blog myself, and also work in the industry – so this is what I’m surrounded by all day, every day.

    I find it frightening that people go and by followers and then act and almost fool themselves into the fact that their social media platforms are “growing”. It’s like they’re living their own lie to the extent that it soon becomes reality and truth to them. I find it a must for me to stay distant sometimes from social media. Reading blogs and scrolling down Instagram gives me inspiration and a bit of escapism, yet – it’s important to remind yourself that this is not real life, this is how their life was staged at this very moment.

    I have to constantly remind myself of this all the time, and try to remind my 15 year old cousin of this, too. Especially to her. Because for her, social media is sometimes more important than real life, and the fact that that is how it is for her truly frightens me.

  10. Lucy Honeychurch
    May 2, 2017 / 11:24 pm

    Hi Tijan,
    This is an interesting topic. Coincidently just this month I went through my subscriptions and stopped following a number of people. It was a re-evaluation of life moment.

    I admire people who can blog about their particular interest but also maintain the ability to convey a well rounded approach to life. For instance I really like that you have talked about your Russian language lessons, topical issues, shared times and photos when your skin isn’t behaving and how you have dealt with that. It’s nice to know that you have occasional days when sweats and chocolate chips are the go. That’s what keeps it real and makes me as a subscriber want to return.

    I find that I am increasingly repelled by the documented excesses of wealth, the false reality, and narrow scope of life that many blogs/vlogs regularly convey. Life has to be more than the acquisition of ‘stuff’ and this seems to be pretty much what blogging/vlogging currently presents. I have seen enough blogs sharing luxury trips and handbags funded by viewers such as myself to be frankly put off.

    In contrast I really like that you are as equally happy to wear zara, or something from last season (very french 🙂 and look great in it , as you are in something more expensive.

    Somewhere in all of this I wonder if the bloggers who stay in thousand dollar hotels and eat a meal with a price tag that would feed some families for a week, consider the ethics of what they do.
    Do they consider whether it is actually okay to be buying thousand dollar handbags almost weekly, purchasing clothes with pricetags unattainable to most and then presenting this to to young girls and struggling families who have no hope of affording such a lifestyle? Have they thought about the financial pressure and expectations this creates? I can’t help but wonder. Maybe I just over think these things.

    I’m not suggesting people shouldn’t have nice stuff or that when bloggers work hard that they shouldn’t reap the rewards, but when people are going hungry, or in need of fresh drinking water and medical supplies, the excessive documented materialism and fakery all seems a bit grotesque. I must be getting old!!

    So thanks for keeping it real Tijan, your blog and vlogs are a pleasure to read and view, as are your mothers. You remain on my authentic bloggers list 🙂 …..which includes people like The Anna Edit, A model recommends, Justine Leconte, Lily Pebbles etc

  11. Tracy
    May 3, 2017 / 11:20 pm

    I’m sometimes shocked to find how certain YTers have so many subscribers and views, when I find their content sub-par and even questionable, which leads me to question my judgment. But then again, all those views and likes could just have been bought.

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