I’m not good with rules, I never have been. I understand why we need to have them but sometimes they are so rigid and boring. I wouldn’t say I am a rebel but I always like to push right up to the boundary of what I am allowed to do just so I can see how much I can get away with.
There are many guides and rule books to blogging, and just like any saturated market some are useful and some are, frankly, nonsense. I look at other blogs all the time for tips or to see how someone achieved a certain look, photographic style and what the hell the latest SEO term means because I want to be constantly improve Emma Inks. Though I draw inspiration from other blogs I like to think I take that knowledge use it in my own way.
Recently I feel that there is a trend emerging where some bloggers seem to not only be taking inspiration, but following the most common ‘blogging rules’ so rigidly that they end up creating cookie cutter moulds of one another resulting in lots of the same content, in the same style.
One of the reasons I fell in love with blogging was that it was a place to express myself and though I understand that many people who start a blog have similar interests surely we are not all clones, so what’s up with the cliché ‘blogger’ style?
I think with the blogging industry becoming more popular people want a quick fix to gaining followers and getting content seen. Which is understandable. Blogging takes time and effort and as a creator you want as many people to see your work as possible. It’s the expectation that everything will come overnight that I think is the major issue and has lead to the creation of this mythical rule book.
There is definitely a formula you can follow that will get followers fast, but my question is: is there really any longevity or reward in creating a persona that is popular but not truly who you are?
I think blogging as a business and creating a brand vs being yourself is a difficult balance that many of us struggle with. Even YouTube star Sprinkle of Glitter has just brought out a video expressing her need to change her channel as it was no longer who she is but who she thought people wanted her to be.
So many of the bloggers who are popular now did not reach these huge numbers quickly and got there by making their own rules because when they started the bloggers guide book had not yet been written. I also believe that there was one other major factor has lead to the success of many top bloggers, and that is personality!
What people search for in life, as well as on the internet, is something to connect with; whether that is because you are relatable or aspirational it comes from putting yourself out there, not by being an imitation of someone else.
It seems that due to pressure to ‘succeed‘ blog ownership has been taken over by an invisible force of rules, driven by numbers and statistics. Far too often I hear people saying that they need to: post more, start doing different content, join YouTube, periscope, snapchat or whatever else instead of actually wanting to.
I suppose I am writing this because I am getting a bit fed up of people advising me on what I should do with MY blog when I have not asked for their opinion. I know it would probably help if I had a more regular schedule or decided on a niche or wasn’t such an obvious mess (and a million other things) but I am not willing to create an internet personality to make me a more sellable package. I am a person, not a brand, and that is the way I would like to stay.
I am not closed to getting advice about my blog, I ask questions all the time and am so appreciative of the blogging community members and friends who are willing to give up their time to help me out because I know I have a lot to learn. It is the unsolicited ‘help’ that people throw my way that drives me crazy. I am sure that it comes from a good place but I am just putting me on the internet and if that is not your style there are literally thousands of other bloggers out there who might be more to your taste.
As always, I want to make it clear that this is not a stab at anyone who has a different aesthetic from me, I love reading all types of blogs written by different types of people, my issue lies in the fact there is an underlying expectation of what (or who) a ‘blogger’ is meant to be.
On the internet we have the opportunity to do whatever we want (within reason) so why are so many doing exactly the same without even crediting the original or putting the effort into adding their own spin on things?
The people who personally inspire me are those who say fuck the rules and are true originals. So, sure, my blog might never grow and I not saying that I am doing everything right but I feel that at least I can say I am doing it my own way.
Rant over, I would love to hear you thoughts….