PERSONAL: A Few Thoughts on Blogging

As I’ve been trying to spend more time doing ‘real life’ things and staying away from being constantly glued to my laptop/social media, I’ve been thinking about blogging. I’ve been blogging for three years in May and I think the landscape has changed a lot since I started. It’s a lot more competitive, there’s more distrust and yet it remains to be a very supportive place (if you talk to the right people). So, in today’s post, I’ll run through a few topics I’ve been pondering recently in the blogging world and I couldn’t stop typing so I apologise in advance.

Was This Sponsored? | I’ve seen a lot more questions being raised recently in the blogging world about sponsored content and there seems to be a general air of distrust. Since the regulations of having to say a video is sponsored in the title/main part of the info box, I’ve seen comments go from their usual half trolls/half actually supportive vibe to being outright nasty. People seem to really dislike the fact that they now know something is sponsored and feel like it’s given them more of a platform for negative comments because of this. I saw one comment saying a particular vlogger should remove the ‘ad’ disclaimer as they’d rather not know. I wonder, maybe they’re mad because they realise how much was previously sponsored and they were unaware, or maybe their trust has been diminished because of the new regulations?

Now, I’ll be honest, I’m not so fussed if a post/video is sponsored or not. I know a lot of people blog/vlog full time and it pays their bills, so it’s perfectly reasonable (hell, it’s necessary) for them to do sponsored content and brand work so they can, you know, live. It’d be silly to expect these people to provide everything for nothing and I completely accept that. This blog is essentially my part time job, so I fully understand the need to occasionally take on paid for work. Along the lines of disclaiming, I know a lot don’t like the ‘some of these products have been sent for review’ disclaimer, which is fair enough, but I personally don’t like seeing *’s littered across a blog. That’s just my preference, but I’ve seen a lot of critique on social media recently for those who use the former. What do you think – do you trust bloggers as much as you used to?

The Rise of the Blogging Tips | As you all probably know, I write tips posts quite often on this blog. Sometimes once a week, sometimes once every two, but they are a regular feature and have been for almost a year now. Recently, I’ve noticed a massive rise in people writing blogging tips. I’m not sure if people have cottoned on to how popular these types of posts are or if they see it as a trend or if we’re all just feeling darn helpful, but every single time I click on bloglovin’ there seems to be about 10. Now, I like reading other tips posts, especially on photography, SEO, behind-the-scenes kinda tips and any others that catch my eye, but what I have noticed is they seem to range from brilliant to very, very bad.

I often get comments on my posts saying how people have read others and find them so confusing, or find them to be too bossy and saying you have to do this and that to be a successful blogger. That term, successful blogger, is one I dislike in itself as usually this is followed by ‘I hit xx number of followers recently, so I thought I’d write this do and don’t post on blogging’. Sigh. I know numbers do equal success for some and that’s ok, but it’s not the only thing to focus on in blogging. As I’ve been blogging for a while now, I’ve come to realise that numbers mean less and less to me. I mean, sure, it’s nice to hit a milestone and I will always be grateful, but content, engagement and improving my skills as a writer/blogger/photo taker will always mean more to me than a number on a bloglovin widget.

So, in terms of these tips posts: Filter out what’s useful and take a lot of it with a pinch of salt. Some are, of course, brilliant and if you need recommendations for bloggers who are genuinely so, so helpful then please do ask me, but (and this is just my advice) go for tips that would make your blog more well rounded and help you grow, as opposed to the ‘how to gain followers’ get-rich-quick style posts. What do you think about tips posts – do you find them helpful at all?

Are Blogs Becoming Review Sites? | Now, this is just me pondering and evaluating the types of blogs I read and enjoy the most, but does anyone else feel like some are just becoming review sites? I always remember Terri tweeting about this a while back, as she felt she had done too many reviews and didn’t want her blog to become like this because it’s rubbish. And, while reviews are nice to read, I was inclined to agree with her general distaste for it.

Samples seem to be more commonplace than ever in blogging world these days and there’s an abundance of brands wanting to get their products or new releases into the world. Blogging is one of the biggest (and often cheapest) ways to do this, so, as bloggers, we are inundated with the potential to review. I’m not saying people get flooded with offers or anything, but the potential as a collective group is definitely there, so it’s understandable that reviews will be plenty (as it’s the basis of a lot of blogging genres, especially beauty).

I’ve come to realise that the blogs I read the most are ones filled with personality, who think of a different way to present a product and create a full post around it, rather than just a simple review. Don’t get me wrong, reviews are very helpful, but I’ve found my taste in blogs (and the ones I read the most) to have changed a lot recently and I’m leaning away from those who have morphed into review sites. What do you think about this, do you agree or do you like reading lots of reviews?

I would adore your opinions on these topics and I’m sorry for how long the post is! Oh and check out my blog sale if you get the chance!

Helen x
ps. Check out these blogs: Abracadabra Girl, A Dash of Ginger, Gyudy’s Notes of Beauty and Adventures of an Anglophile