When I saw the title of your post recently, I knew I had to read it. As someone who is completely invested in the world of social media and blogging, your thoughts struck a chord with me just as your girlfriend’s comments did with you. So, let’s talk about this!
Before there was Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube, there was blogging. In the early 2000s, blogging was one of the most authentic outlets for any newbie internet user. Whether it was home gardening, cooking, crafting, drawing, painting, or yes, even fashion, so many people started creating homes for themselves online. In doing so, a good number of them unconsciously built a brand for themselves over the years, amassing a great following and loyal readers. Some have even built business empires! All this, just from sharing their thoughts on a topic they love with total strangers online.
For many years, being called a blogger meant you were cool for always being in the know and getting first dibs on everything. Don’t you think so? As long as you kept doing what you did best, which was creating valuable content consumed by an authentic audience, you get to be among the chosen few to be called bloggers.
Then came social media that gave birth to “digital influencers.” And man, these digital influencers came like an army of White Walkers. They (rather, we) are aplenty! Since social media came onto the scene, the focus wasn’t just on the blog anymore. Content was created everywhere, from Instagram posts to Snapchat stories. Everyone who could post a great flatlay, pull together a cool OOTD, or make a charming vlog had the potential of becoming an influencer. Instead of playing around with your WordPress layout, the game was all about making your Instagrid look curated.
Suddenly, likes, shares, and views seemed to be more important than page views, reader comments, and site traffic. But was the ubiquitous blog really left in the lurch? Is blogging really dying in favor of the new wave of social media superstars? I’m sure you have asked yourself many times—does my blog even matter anymore?
The thing is, I think it still does. Call me optimistic, but I think that no matter what happens, blogging is going to be a constant in the world of online content. I agree that some may see social media as a blessing and a curse to blogging, but I think they can work hand in hand in creating your online persona.
David, I can totally see why, in the fashion blogging industry, you feel the way you do. I am with you that visual platforms like Instagram capture your audience quicker. True, social media has created a lot of noise on the web. But at the same time, it provides the opportunity to create connections with people you haven’t even reached yet. For a fashion blogger whose goal is to get a ton of readers who has the same style he/she does, social media opens up a lot of ways for that blogger to reach a new audience. She can use helpful hashtags on her Instagram posts, target a particular audience set on Facebook, and even join groups and forums of like-minded people.
Blogging, however, keeps the existing audience engaged and provides greater insight for newbies. When social media platforms disappear as quickly as they came, your blog is still gonna be there—still searchable on Google and still shareable on Facebook. All the hard graft you put into curating content for your blog doesn’t go unnoticed nor unappreciated. After all, how much of your hard earned knowledge can you share with the world in an Instagram caption or a 140-character tweet—all of which to be drowned by new posts in a few hours or days?
My point is that your blog is the center of your online ecosystem. Social media is there to support your blog and help drive traffic to it. When it comes right down to it, it doesn’t matter how many selfies or OOTDs you have on Instagram. The most valuable content you offer should be on your blog, and social media can’t capture the same value your blog content has. I seriously think that having a blog reiterates that you are a credible source more so than how many followers you have on any other social media platform.
Even as social media is ever expanding now, I believe it’s still important to have your own real online home. We never know which socials are here to stay. Take the case of Vine, which shut down earlier this year. More than a handful of social media influencers on Vine lost the best platform they had for their type of content, and found it hard to gain the same success elsewhere. It’s a lesson in never putting all your eggs in one basket! We have to keep in mind that we need to adapt to changing online behaviors of our audience.
At the end of the day, followers can fluctuate, social media platforms can disappear, but quality blog content lasts. Do you not agree, David?
As one content creator to another, I applaud you for staying faithful to your readers and promising to serve them quality and innovative content as long as they will have you. This is what bloggers are here for, and it’s what their loyal audiences expect from them.
David, I really think that as long as there are people like you who know that at the very heart of what we produce is the passion to talk to our readers, blogging is never going to die. It may need to slightly adapt or shift to changing times, but as long as there are people blogging and people reading blogs, it doesn’t have to be the end of an era just quite yet.