I post less and less about what happens in the blogosphere because I feel it’s unfair on readers who don’t blog but I’m just slipping in a quick over-view of what I think has happened in blogging this year.
First, and most obviously, the PRs are overwhelmed. There are SO many blogs and all demanding exclusives (for the record, I rarely ask for exclusives; I’ve often done the research well beforehand and have been in the position of showing PRs products that even they didn’t know were on the horizon so it’s not often that I really need to). Clearly, it’s not possible for the PRs to meet every need and, believe it or not, many are working on budgets that have been slashed so there are fewer samples available across the board.
Blogging has smartened up; I’ve done an overhaul of my site and many others have too. Blogs look slick and professional and a long way from their homely, real-girl roots.
Competition is all; the friendly nature of blogging has dissipated hugely – I genuinely think true friends in blogging are few and far between because it’s almost impossible to be all chasing the same information and keep an open friendship. However, cross-pollination is the key to everything (vloggers are brilliant at this); sharing content, re-tweeting, recommending; all those things that used to be part and parcel of blogging were the things that kept more blogs in the public eye. Competition means many bloggers are reluctant to send anyone to another blog.
There are lots of brands who still don’t understand how to use social media effectively. Brands who shout out but don’t talk back are a massive no-no – don’t be on a social channel unless you are prepared to be social. It’s like walking into a party and shouting, “I’M FABULOUS: DO YOU UNDERSTAND? FABULOUS.” Cue silent room.
The Vloggers have gone HUGE! I’ve watched a lot of YouTubers go from homespun to ultra-sleek with massive, massive audiences. The top Vloggers do what they do incredibly well with thousands of followers (millions in some cases) and I think that it is only going to get bigger in the year to come. Google is investing massively in ‘YouTube Talent’ so you can expect more of the best.
New bloggers and vloggers are finding it very difficult to get audience share; people tend to stick with their favourites, bank them up on BlogLovin and because what they already have fulfils their needs, people don’t search around so much for newness. However, at some point, us ‘oldies’ are going to seem stale; nurturing new blogs is a wise thing to do.
I’ve said before that bloggers and vloggers are the gift the beauty industry has been waiting for and yet, in many cases, they’re still considered ‘bottom rung’ on the media ladder.
Relevance is now more important than numbers. I honestly can’t tell you the last time I looked at my Google Analytics. I just don’t care anymore (I have a rough idea from WordPress stats but only a view basis, not a unique basis) because we’re all relevant for different things and no amount of numbers will change that. It’s where you fit in across the social media board; so Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Beauty conversation makers across social media channels are doing far more current and relevant things than just blogging. It’s a whole picture now and not an individual one.
Blogs and Vlogs are now far more commercial (my own included although lots of us try and do it in a discreet way) although that is the one area where stats may still be relevant. However, treating numbers as the only benchmark is becoming less and less common. Blogs have become such an integral part of the beauty industry now that it is generally perceived both by brands and readers to be more acceptable. Blogs that keep their integrity and don’t ‘love everything’ carry far more weight for commercial activity. How you work commercially is duly noted across the beauty board and it pays to be cautious and selective.
I did my first ‘selfie’ this year. It was terrifying! And also my first YouTube videos – equally terrifying..in fact, in my first one you can see my jaws are actually clenched. However, when people can see you, they can relate to you much better. It’s a more rewarding experience for the reader if they can make their own impressions of you as a person across several channels rather than just one static place such as a blog. So, the more bloggers and vloggers expose themselves and the more channels they cross, the more people will relate. This can work both ways – it will put some readers off – but the majority will connect better with a ‘live’ version.
Blog bashing in many ways has diminished in other forms of media; however, I still get the impression blogger love comes through gritted teeth ;-).
There are less trolls! There really are. Possibly because people with negative opinions are more aware of sites that exist purely to pour out their feelings about bloggers and vloggers and partly, I think, because they just got bored. However, comments in general on blogs are down because there are just so many other places to connect.
If you have anything to add, please do.. this is just my impression of how things have changed this year but all comments are welcome. What changes have you seen this year, either as a reader or a blogger?
*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.