There’s been a lot of talk lately about whether or not blogging is dead. I think it’s a natural question to ask when you see a lot of new social media channels that people put more energy into – like Instagram and Snapchat – but I don’t at all think that blogging will go away any time soon. As the Huffington Post put it, “…blogging isn’t dying. It’s evolving.” So sit back and enjoy, because I am going to get a little long-winded for today’s post…
I started blogging in some form or another over four years ago (if we don’t count the years of LiveJournal), and so much has already changed in the blogging world. At that time there were only a handful of “big” blogs and the rest of the market wasn’t yet saturated with bloggers everywhere. To think that a makeup brand would sign on a YouTuber rather than a celebrity would have been laughable. Fast forward to today, though. It feels like everyone you talk to has a blog or has thought about starting a blog. There are now agencies that represent big bloggers, fashion lines from bloggers independently (like the new Rachel Parcell line from the creator of Pink Peonies or Cupcakes and Cashmere’s line, which is sold in major stores like Nordstrom and on Shopbop) and in big-box stores (like Who What Wear’s collaboration with Target recently), and large brands are hiring influencer relations specialists left and right. (Actually, if a brand hasn’t yet engaged with a blogger or group of bloggers, they’re missing out! A couple of studies recently found that 92% of people trust recommendations from individuals, even if they don’t know them personally, and 74% of consumers use social media to make purchase decisions.) Why am I pointing this out? Because blogging may not be exactly what it was a few years ago, but it’s changing in a way that works for the consumer and works for the brand – aka consumers are finding what they need and brands are making money.
If I think about how I’ve read blogs, too, things have definitely changed. Instead of always turning to Pinterest or magazines for outfit ideas, I look to a few of my favorite bloggers to see how they might have recently styled a trend or what they might recommend for a nude lipstick. I’m now looking to other bloggers for helpful insight on blogging-related things, too, like managing social media accounts, rather than using my corporate knowledge. Where some things I’ve learned in the corporate world definitely help my blog, not everything does – and that’s where other bloggers and their experiences come in.
So back to new social media channels every time you turn around… I don’t think the emergence of new social media channels is going to make blogs go away. I actually think it’s quite the opposite – those social media channels are going to make people more engaged with a certain brand or blogger. Instagram tells a story in one photo, but a blog post has so much more to it (or, at least, it should). Snapchat gives a behind-the-scenes look and shows you the (somewhat filtered) reality rather than a perfectly filtered photo. Because snaps disappear rather quickly, bloggers can use the channel as a way to get quick feedback from their followers and to be more real than they can with something that will be online for much longer – and probably with a brand or two attached to it – like a blog post. (Snapchat is one of my new favorites because it feels more “real” than Instagram does these days.)
Whether you’re a blogger or not, I want to know: What are your thoughts on the future of blogging? Will it stick around? Is it just a fad that’s going to end soon?