Why 2019 is the Year of the Blog
Instagram has reigned supreme for several years now, while many people discuss if blogging has had its day. Yet, increasingly over the past few months, I’ve noticed a growing frustration with Instagram and plenty of talk about blogging making a comeback. Influencers are realising that they need to invest in the channels that they have control over, rather than succumbing to the changing algorithms and updates that Instagram enforces over us all. Your blog is your own place where you can share whatever you want, presented in whatever way you like. Yes, blogging has changed and evolved over the past ten years that I have been part of the scene, but change is good - especially if you want longevity.
I wrote about the evolution of blogging last summer, discussing how this funny little online world has changed since I launched my first blog in 2008. The blogosphere is a completely different place now, and it does seem like most of the lifestyle blogs that I used to adore have ceased to post in favour of sharing their content on Instagram. The internet is still saturated with blogs, but they all feel a little glossier than they used to. It also feels like blogging has become quite elite - I see so many fashion bloggers with huge followings and impressive brand collaborations, but hardly any smaller bloggers like me, doing this just because they love it.
Despite not being as ‘successful’ as the huge career bloggers that dominate this online world, I have never been tempted to cease to post on my blog and put all of focus onto growing my Instagram. I love Instagram, as I love taking and sharing photos and the community on there is so friendly and supportive - but I also understand that I don’t own my Instagram feed. It can change at any moment, as demonstrated over Christmas when a technical glitch changed many feeds and Twitter was flooded with complaints. We had no control over this change, or any more permanent changes that Instagram may throw at us. Consider the algorithm, and how much more difficult that one change made it for our growth. What if Instagram started charging users, or made a change so drastic that a large number of people stopped using the app? If you are relying solely on Instagram for your source of income, imagine what implications this could have.
Over the past few months, this is a subject that has often come up when I’ve been talking to fellow content creators. Those who have built up a following solely on Instagram are planning on launching blogs, those who have neglected their blogs over the years are planning on investing in them again, and those who have successful blogs are planning on spending even more time refining their blog content. Among old school bloggers like myself, who have been blogging since the medium first became popular, there’s a lot of chat about bringing back the old way of blogging and investing in the blogging community. Comments on blog posts are on the rise, as bloggers start to understand the importance of bringing the conversation away from Instagram and back onto their own websites. After all, you can say a hell of a lot more in a blog post than you can in your Instagram caption.
There’s definitely a trend at the moment for deep and meaningful blog posts, dissecting important topics, sharing personal information and delving into subjects such as body positivity, race and the environment. This is great, and it’s amazing that so many bloggers want to use their platforms to raise awareness of important issues, but please don’t let this discourage you if this isn’t what you want to write about. If you’ve amassed a huge following on Instagram by sharing photos of your daily outfits or house renovations but don’t feel confident with writing long form content, don’t be scared of starting a blog. Blogs can be picture heavy, they don’t have to be focused around words if that isn’t your thing.
It’s not just the desire to invest in your own channel that is causing this shift of more people picking back up their long forgotten blogs or embarking on blogging for the first time. I’ve noticed several people announcing that they will be investing more time in their blogs this year simply because they miss blogging. They miss the freedom of being able to write whatever they want, and the space to create content in a longer form that on Instagram. On a blog, you don’t have to edit your words down to an easily-digestible chunk, or select just one photo to share from your shoot - you have the freedom to make your blog posts as long or as short as you wish. You can post whatever you want, without worrying about being edited.
I’ve also found that my blog serves as a portfolio for my writing work. Many of my clients have either found me via my blog or confirmed that they’d like me to write for them after reading a couple of posts. Whenever someone asks my advice on how to get into freelance writing work, I recommend that they start a blog and start writing about the subjects that they’d like to get paid to write about. Not only does this give you experience and a space to refine your writing style, but it serves as the perfect portfolio. If you’re seeking your very first paid writing job and get asked for examples of previous work, you can explain that you’re trying to get your first paid gig but they can see your blog for examples of your work.
Further more, if you’re seeking a slower life, blogging offers a much slower way of absorbing content than Instagram. Instagram is, well, instant - you scroll, double tap and occasionally comment, but it’s content is usually consumed at a fast pace. Blog content can be absorbed at a much slower pace, allowing you to settle down with a cup of tea and read an article in the same way that you may read a book or magazine. Stopping to read a blog post forces you to slow down what you are doing and to concentrate on what you are reading, rather than scrolling through Instagram at the same time as having a conversation or watching Netflix.
This year, I’m hoping that more and more people start to invest time in their blogs. I’d love to see some of my favourite Instagrammers start to blog, or for some of my favourite bloggers to post more frequently. I’d love to see more people commenting and starting conversations on blog posts. I’d love to see people sharing each other’s blog content, and attempting to drive traffic through from Instagram to their websites and the blogs of others. Once I finally hit that coveted 10k, I’m planning on sharing weekly round ups of my favourite blog posts in my Stories, with swipe-up’s making it easy to consume the content.
What do you think? Will you be blogging in 2019?