5 Reasons Why I’m Becoming Disillusioned With Blogging

5 Reasons Why I’m Becoming Disillusioned With Blogging

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed I’ve started to share my distain towards the blogging industry a lot more. Although I only really gained what I would call a substantial readership in 2015, I have actually been blogging since 2009. So, I have seen the industry change and morph into what it is today.

For quite some time, I definitely tried to follow the crowd a bit. I don’t mean content-wise particularly, I’ve always had my niche. But I think I have incorporated certain norms or followed a few trends here or there however subtle they may be. After all, I’m partial to a flat lay and I did previously try to rock an Instagram theme.

However, I recently came to the realisation that I will probably never make it ‘big’ with this blog. And you know what? I’m okay with that. As my girl Lauren says“It gets quite cookie-cutter further up the food chain.” Unless you’re willing to buy followers, brown-nose influencers or push laxatives, let’s face it, you won’t make it big time. And by big time, I mean making thousands. I don’t doubt that some mainstream bloggers aren’t genuine, I do read a few. However, a lot of them have done stuff that would contradict their views now in order to get ahead. For example, one of my favourites has always been Leanne Woodfull. She has previously spoken out about how she has pushed products in the past that she now wishes she didn’t. I don’t think these people are undeserving, it’s just I can’t see myself ever getting there.

Sometimes, I feel like my feelings towards the industry are holding me back a little. I miss the days where I could just hit publish without hesitating. My ultimate goal right now is to get back to that place and write about whatever the fuck I want. So in order to re-focus my energy a bit, I feel like I need to get my thoughts out.

Without further ado, here are some things that are currently really annoying me about the blogging industry.

The hypocrisy of it all

Let’s just jump right in, shall we? There’s no point holding back. Bloggers/readers can be a real confusing and contradictory bunch sometimes. Since the beginning of this year, topics such as feminism and mental health have been getting more coverage. On one hand, this has been really great to see. I want to live in a world where we can discuss such things so openly, it’s the reason I started this blog. But on the other hand, I can’t help but feel a bit skeptic. As somebody who took a lot of shit – and I mean a lot of shit – when she first started blogging about such topics, I marvel at how quickly some people can change their tune.

Time and time again, I see smaller bloggers ganged up on for daring to have an opinion that strays away from the norm. A week later, bigger bloggers regurgitate what these smaller bloggers have been picked on for and are applauded. It’s absolutely soul destroying working hard to shed light on subjects that are considered ‘taboo’ and seeing mainstream bloggers hailed and celebrated when they’ve been covering them for a hot minute. These topics should be discussed all the time, not because it’s on trend.

The fact that there is no originality anymore

I know this point is going to ruffle some feathers, but it needs to be said. Nobody is original anymore! I scroll through Instagram and literally see variations of the same shot. In addition to that, nearly all of the bloggers I talk to have had their content copied at some point as well. In fact, Jess did a really good post on this issue within fashion blogging recently. I once had somebody with triple the following that I do completely rip off my content before. It wasn’t just a similar layout, but near identical images too. Images that I put blood, sweat, and other bodily fluids into. It can be so disheartening sometimes.

The lack of diversity

I guess this is a continuation of my previous points (and can be applied to a lot of other things too). There are a ton of amazingly talented non-white creatives and writers out there, yet it’s the same people who are being hailed. I think the best example of this can be seen within the ‘beauty guru’ industry. Mediocre and problematic white men are favoured over actual talented people. I see it happen in all sub-categories and niches as well, amazing bloggers with smaller followings are overlooked and don’t get to share the limelight with the current token bloggers.

Countless Twitter wars

I am the first to admit I have the tendency to get caught up in this. Even if I don’t participate, I’ll be scrolling through staying up to date. Lately, I’ve been trying to do this less and unfollow the people who actively engage in it. There’s certain people who literally seek out content that annoys them just to start shit. Somebody I once had an argument with dedicated a whole thread to taking down one of my videos months after our exchange. Who has the time? I recently unfollowed a ton of people whose timelines are just made up of snide comments and unnecessary threads. It’s possible to have a discussion without resorting to subtweets and insulting one another.

I think to some extent I used to be one of those people too. It’s kind of addicting having your thoughts validated, it can go to your head and make you feel like you have to voice your opinion on every single thing that annoys you. But it’s also super draining and takes up a lot of your time. I also think you can make a bad name for yourself as well, just look at Piers Morgan. Do you want to be known for being horrible online or for creating content?

The real nasty side of blogging that nobody talks about

Following on from the above point, there is a real horrible side to blogging that not a lot of people talk about. You post an opinion people don’t agree with and you’re subjected to seeing all these very public insults about you. (Again, I am not saying I haven’t been guilty of this in the past too.) You see people you thought supported you liking and RT’ing them as well. I had people who called themselves mental health advocates publicly tweet things about me that contributed to my bad mental health day. Granted I could have just ignored it and carried on with my day, but you live and learn. Just slide into your mate’s DMs to rant like a normal person.

Other things that annoy me

  • Bloggers working with brands who have no morals and clearly not taking the time to research them
  • Fucking algorithms screwing everyone over
  • People starting discussions but not moderating them or calling out problematic responses
  • People who don’t take any responsibility for their words or listen to valid criticism (again, I used to be this person)

 

If you made it to the end of this post, grab yourself something nice. You deserve a treat!

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18 Comments

  1. March 8, 2017 / 10:45 am

    I’m new to this blogging thing (I had a literary blog in 2011 but, as you said, things have changed) so I feel like reading this has armed me against the ugly side of blogging. I’ve not actually come across these Twitter wars etc yet and to my knowledge I’ve never been copied. I always tell a blogger when their post has inspired me and I leave a link to their post at the end of mine.

    I’ve got so much respect for you speaking out against blogging in this post.

    Zoe Louise

  2. March 8, 2017 / 3:56 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with all of your points! Blogging is a difficult thing to do, and sometimes I wonder why I keep bothering with it. I don’t make money from my blog directly, I don’t have a ton of followers and I probably never will, and sometimes it can feel really pointless. But I know I keep doing it for those few people I do reach, because I need a creative outlet and because I just love it. Still, there are a lot of things that really annoy me about the whole industry, too.

  3. March 8, 2017 / 4:28 pm

    Totally agree with you about the MH/Feminism segment. It’s awful for me to think this, I know, but I do wonder how much of people’s claims are genuine (I.e. When someone posts about having a bad MH day etc), and what is purely to gain interaction/attention etc. It’s impossible to call people out, of course, however I agree entirely that people seem to discuss these issues purely on the basis that they stand to gain popularity from it.

    I’m not sure I’ve articulated myself properly here, but still, I heartily agree and share your niggles!

  4. March 8, 2017 / 4:37 pm

    There are really great points in this post. I grew up blogging and often reflect upon how sharing my formative years online shaped me. There have always been haters and faceless people waiting to strip you down, but now more than ever there’s a bit of a mob mentality on Twitter that people get so caught up with. You know I love gossip and drama, and in many ways I think it’s very human to do so, but it’s just so PUBLIC now.

    Also +1 for the originality bit. I remember when our blog designs were made up of collages. They were like snowflakes. Obviously, there were still trends, but some days in the current era of blogging I feel like if you took the name off the theme it would be tricky to tell some blogs apart. There are a lot of really cool web design trends going around right now that focus on things looking a bit messy, using geometric shapes and overlapping text. Web designers got sick of being boring, sticking to the grid, looking the same. Now there’s this organised chaos that is just beautiful. I wish blog design would catch up. But it always lags behind.

  5. March 9, 2017 / 12:45 am

    Ah, I really feel you with that Instagram bit – everyone’s shots look so similar, it’s hard to find someone whose photos are different and original.

  6. March 13, 2017 / 11:24 am

    Totally agree on what you’ve said. Sometimes I think I don’t want to get famous in the blogging industry and just go with what I’ve been doing but people discover me which is also a good thing and a thing I’m grateful of. It’s just that when you’re already a “big blogger”, some people watch you all the time and if you make a mistake, they would take a screenshot on your social media sites or whatsoever. It’s scary!

    I also hate it when other bloggers do it for the free stuff, all posts are already sponsored, sort of a place full of ads. They wouldn’t even do their thorough research what’s behind the brand, the corporate social responsibility and all. When I bought my menstrual cup, I made sure that I’d be supporting a local brand and at the same time, which has a great corporate social responsibility and of course, a brand that I’m willing to show to my blog readers. 🙂

  7. March 14, 2017 / 5:10 pm

    I’ve only been blogging for a year, but over that year, I have certainly seen some of the things you mention in this post. Twitter drama, especially. What is with all the Twitter drama?! There’s just no need for it.

  8. March 15, 2017 / 8:10 pm

    yes to all of this! xx

  9. March 24, 2017 / 4:40 am

    Thank you so much for this post. I love writing and I love that my blog is a home for my thoughts but the blogging culture and society is more than a little stressful. I put so much hard work into my blog. I write my mental health posts from the heart and research a lot, but I never feel they get any traction. And this isn’t me complaining about views, I just get frustrated when I see posts like mine on other, more mainstream bloggers blow up. I also have this weird feeling that mental illness has become almost…mainstream? And as someone who’s life is affected every day by mental health this makes me very frustrated and angry. I also feel like unless your blog looks the part, it doesn’t matter how good a writer you are. It’s all about who you know, what your blog looks like and the like. I don’t want to sound like I’m whining, because I love blogging, but some days I feel it’s all futile.

    Thanks for writing this post lovely. I hope you know many people love and appreciate everything you write. xx

  10. Maria
    March 24, 2017 / 6:47 pm

    Hey lovely!

    I loved your point on feminism as a trend- I’ve always been an advocate of that and had so many arguments with people but now I just feel as though it’s a bandwagon you know? I’m so torn because I love that it’s being talked about, but it got to the point where someone went on my blog and commented that I wasn’t being feminist enough in my writing- what does that even mean?!

    I feel like blogging does have an ugly side- and I felt a little hurt when a blogger that I really supported previously got a deal with L’Oreal then proceeded to cull a number of her Instagram followers including me- I know it’s small but a number of bloggers I know are fabulous- it’s sad to think that some of them get so elitist.

    Keep doing you- I’m sick of seeing white flat lays and different angles of make up bottles tbh- I’m also sick of seeing fairly new bloggers dishing out advice on success- it’s all a matter of looks and luck to me x

  11. March 24, 2017 / 6:51 pm

    Hear hear to this! I recently had a little blog break as it all got a bit much. Especially with Insta as I was seeing the same kind of posts getting a million likes. I’m trying to be a little bit more original (again I agree – is there such a thing?) and please myself, saying true to my style. I have learnt to say no to collabs and brands I don’t feel true to.

    I also have had whole posts copied including images and chunks of copy, even the brand/outfit featured…and discovered it was a so-called friend. I had had enough!

    Sooooo…starting again on my own terms! And it feels greatly better than before.

    I too have unfollowed a lot to make my feed a happier place ?

    Thanks for sharing!

    Leigh at Fashion Du Jour LDN x

  12. March 25, 2017 / 9:12 pm

    I was just like ‘maaaaaaaate yes’ all the way through this. We’ve briefly DMd about the shit that kicks off on Twitter and since then things have become even more polarised I reckon. People are too quick to publicly shame each other. It’s almost as if bloggers are just looking for people to disagree with so that they can say ‘look at me, I’m not like them.’ maybe to feel better about themselves? Not to mention the need to ‘say it like it is’ – which people forget isn’t a licence to be a total dick.

    Secondly, it’s completely healthy to have skepticism and I think you’re right to question if certain posts are authentic. I too have felt the same and I do feel guilty about it in some ways, because you want to support the movement, but at the same time there ARE some people just flexing for the RTs.

    I can also relate to the content theft. I wrote a long ass gif post about Primark and this SHITTY blogger ripped me off. Used the same gifs and even almost word for word the same jokes. I’ve noticed her do it with a lot of people’s content actually, but what can you actually do about it? If you kick off you end up looking like a dick yourself most the time :(. Goes back to the Twitter war point you made.

    Can I be cringe for a minute before I stop rambling? Despite all this fuckery, please don’t leave the blogging community. It would be a really bloody shame.

  13. March 26, 2017 / 8:58 am

    This post is wonderful and really interesting. I only recently started up my blog (only published 2 posts so far!) and I’m quickly beginning to understand how it all works. I totally get your frustrations. I hope it doesn’t deter you too much. X

  14. March 26, 2017 / 1:29 pm

    I’ve been blogging for about a year and a half. I’m lucky enough to not have had much trouble but I’ve already witnessed a lot of what you talked about. It’s a real shame because blogging can be such an amazing thing.

  15. April 24, 2017 / 11:09 pm

    I could CRY I relate to this so much! Especially the point about bigger bloggers ganging up on smaller bloggers and then a few weeks later saying the same thing, this has happened to me recently and it was an absolutely awful time for me. Same with MH bloggers contributing to bad MH days! Some MH bloggers can be very nasty online and it almost seems ironic.
    Your blog is by far one of my favourites because of how real it is. You won’t sell yourself out and I love that about you.
    Love,
    Hayley X

  16. April 24, 2017 / 11:48 pm

    I totally agree. It’s really disheartening. I haven’t been blogging as long as you, just three years this summer, however, I’ve been reading blogs since I was 12 years old and I’ve always felt a part of this community. It’s so hard to progress these days, I feel like for every step forward, I have two steps back. Hopefully it won’t last much longer.
    Thank you for speaking out, I’m off to check out the rest of your blog now 🙂

  17. May 17, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    Hi! Sorry to hear that.
    Well, for me, as a blogger who is going back to this world (I used to have a blog back in 2007 but very different from what I want now) when I looked for feminine empowerment and something healthy, inspiring and real you came up.

    What is making it? Having a real positive impact on people- which in my personal experience you have -or making loads of money? Unfortunately, these things do not always go together.

    I realise too that the industry has changed quite a lot. I used to blog about handmade stuff and interview people who had a gift for it all over the world. Back then, blogging seemed more real to me.

    Now everyone wants to be a v/blogger and is a bit of a crazy world. It reminds me of the film “Idiocracy”. Have you watched it? All these worshipping of Instagram models masking again the use of as women as an object and as stupid consumers who feel the ever changing need to fit the bill of whatever is the trend more than anyone, but wrapped in independence and poisoned positivity.

    It is sad to see that we, women of the 21st century, are still playing the game to be dolls and sex toys whilst waving the flag of ownership of our lives. Our self-deceived can one possibly be…..

    We need more real, healthy women who speak out and who make us feel good like YOU

    Thanks for writing this, please chin up. You make a difference to many of us.

  18. June 19, 2017 / 10:26 am

    Everything you’ve stated here has needed to be said for a long while. It is bad to be 100% original, but there’s having your own twist on something, and then blatently copying. Your points about feminism and mental health are so spot on. As someone who does blog about MH, I do feel like it is difficult because you will get ‘shtick’ for it somewhere and it’s totally wrong. Also, if you say something remotely controversial, everyone hams on you like no tomorrow. It’s like you can’t have an opinion sometimes. The unnecessary dramas are what irks me so much, especially when they’re public. If you have an issue with someone, there’s a DM option for a bloody reason!

    – Chloe
    chloetommo.co.uk
    xoxo

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