Thursday, October 5, 2017

How Fashion Blogging Has Changed & What's Next

Here I was on my Birthday scouting out the cutest pastel walls I could find, all extra in my pearl skinny jeans from MissPap, a concept that my bf just couldn't get his head around *sighs*. They're jeans with pearls on them, DUH. Anyway.... I'm lucky that where I live I'm surrounded by so many pretty pastel houses, it's like I only bought my house because of it, like who would do that? Seriously.

Speaking of pastel walls, the typical Fashion blogger cliche for a picture, I think back to when I started fashion blogging and how much water has gone under the bridge since then. How many cliches we have jumped on, how much has changed and how I've gone back to how I did it before, and am happier with my content than ever before.

Back in 2014, Instagram wasn't at the height of it's global success that it is now, neither did bloggers use it so profusely as a way to promote their content and ultimately act as mini sales people for brands. Twitter was the most common way to share your content, engage in blogging chats and take your outfit photos in your back garden. EVERYONE did. Even Sarah Ashcroft did, in your street, garden, hallway - who cared? If the outfit was nice, the backdrop didn't even matter. People blogged then, and I mean blogged. For me blogging is writing, having an outlet, and having a space on the internet that you update regularly. 

As time went on, we adapted. Instagram took over, I scouted for better backdrops to take my outfit pictures. I was so far in, I even posted a 5 of the best places to take outfit pictures in Plymouth. It was as much about the backdrop/setting as it was about the outfit. Nailing the two together was impossible, and it often required lugging round my heavy DSLR in a crumpled up River Island bag on a day trip to the beach. It was effort. 

As it was harder to keep up than ever, I lost interest, it felt like a chore. Whilst trying to keep up, fashion bloggers were popping up from left, right and centre, most employing photographers to get those clear cut, lust worthy shots for the gram that you could only dream of ever having. As the divide between real life and reality started to become one, the words started to stop, and the rise of the influencer began.

By this time, on Instagram as a long standing fashion blogger, you couldn't exist in the same realm as the influencer. With 60k + followers, a full time photographer and an endless supply of free clothes. Most which you'd find on Depop the following month....

But I've always stayed true to myself. My love for writing and fashion is why I started, and part of why I continue to do so. It was never to make a quick buck, get a free pot of hand cream or bathe in the self gratification of 1,000s of Insta likes. Although, I guess that kinda would be nice. 

As I realise, and so many others have, Fashion blogging and being an influencer is two separate entities, you can't always be both. I've taken my fashion content back to the beginning as I've mentioned in a few recent posts. I only need a pastel wall now, a favourite outfit I feel good in and a willing friend who doesn't mind taking 100 + photos of me, plus some when I ask for more. AND the words are more, they mean something, they're not always tied to the outfit, but the outfit is there to guide you in and get you more engaged with my blog than you were with 'this top goes with everything'.

For me, the gap between fashion blogging and being an influencer is going to grow wider in the next year. More people than ever are seeking relatable bloggers, they want to look at content and be inspired, rather than deflated. Influencer fashion is unattainable for me, in the fact that when their pictures are taken there will be 3 outfit changes at once, not an outfit that could be worn all day, to work or into town. 6 inch heels never have been or are comfortable for a day in the office. We want to see outfits that are cosy, stylish and dream boat shoes that we could stare at all day, but probably won't ever wear. We also want to see the person and the personality behind the account. Which is where writing and blogging comes into play.

A few months on since my is blogging a dying trend post, I think blogging is very much something that we should still stand by, it's a skill and a hobby that a lot of people can't afford the time with. When I think about my content, I think, what do I want to read? Do I ever actually read peoples outfit posts, about their outfit? The answer is no. If I see an outfit on Instagram I like I will almost always stay there, and not swipe up or click the link in their bio to read more. What more is there to say? Fashion content is perfect on a visual level, but there has to be more to it in order to draw the reader in. I personally love writing lifestyle content and it's probably the most popular type of content I do, I've been adding it to my outfit posts for the last 2 months and I've noticed a big difference in blog engagement, views and the amount of time people are staying on my post. Ain't nobody got time for an 80% bounce rate...

BUT you have to do what works for you and what you enjoy, not others. Fashion blogging might be executed in a different way to what it once was, but it's here to stay whether you like it or not. I'm sure I'll be back with my 2018 predictions really soon.
Jumper - Topshop (last season)
Magic Pink Crush Velvet Sneakers* - Rocket Dog

What are your thoughts about fashion content and how it's evolved? Do you like this outfit?

*Products marked with an asterix (*) have been sent to me for review. However, all opinions in this post are 100% my own
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