As some of you may know, I first started blogging in March 2014 (read my first ever blog post here!), with my blog names Books, Tea and a Onesie’, under the alias of ‘An Overthinking Teenager’. Several name changes later, I took an unplanned break from blogging from around summer 2016 until, well, now – GCSEs made me busy, then I never really got back into the flow of it and then I started studying the IB at college, which meant I was seriously limited for time and honestly just wanted to collapse in front of Netflix when I got home.
But now I’m back, and attempting to get back into blogging regularly – partly because I enjoy getting thoughts out of my head and into the internet, partly because after finishing exams in May I’m honestly getting quite bored and also because I like having it as a kind of time capsule of my life right now, to look back on in however many years.
After two years away though, I’ve discovered the blogging world is quite different to how I left it. During my unofficial hiatus, I’ve only really kept up with reading a few ‘big’ blogs – namely Hannah Gale, Vix Meldrew, Sophie Cliff and Chloe Plumstead – and occasionally chatting to some of my OG blogger friends on Twitter. Turns out, a lot has changed without me noticing, especially amongst the ‘smaller’ blogger community that I always felt I was part of.
Some of the bloggers I used to be good friends with or a keen follower of have stopped blogging, either with a stated ‘goodbye’ or just a gradual tailing off of posts and online presence, like me. Instagram is no longer the golden platform for bloggers it used to be – the general consensus (or at least what I can glean from Twitter) is that Instagram is just not friendly to small bloggers, it’s incredibly difficult to see meaningful growth and engagement and, frankly, it’s just not worth the effort. I can relate to this – as much as I like the visual aesthetic of Instagram, it really doesn’t seem worth the effort to build up my following and spend so much time on social media just for aesthetic purposes – I can do that with my personal Instagram account, after all. Twitter has a much nicer, more engaged community in my experience, and is just so much more rewarding for the effort you put in. It also feels a lot more real – Instagram is full of filters and staged photos, compared to Twitter’s unfiltered thoughts and conversations.
Another big difference is the form of the ‘small blogger’ community itself. When I was starting out (*leans on walking stick and peers through glasses* back in my day…), there was a community of blogs with small followings, building them up slowly and almost all with .wordpress.com or Blogger domains. Now, people seem to be starting up blogs and getting thousands of Twitter followers within a month, or going self-hosted right from the start – all at the age of 15+. This is obviously great – who doesn’t want bloggers to be successful, and I ‘ve always secretly dreamed of going self hosted – but I have no idea how people are doing it? I’ve had my Twitter account for around three years, and have just under 500 followers (though admittedly it’s only recently I’ve become really active on there) (PS follow me @mixomuseblog). People are getting hundreds of views a day after just a couple of months of blogging, which is just unimaginable to me. Maybe it’s something to do with the way the internet’s evolved over the last four years, or maybe people are just putting a lot more effort and time into promoting themselves, but it’s definitely something that surprised me.
There’s another difference about my blogging in 2018 versus in 2014 – one related more to me. I still have no idea what my blogging ‘niche’ is, or what I’m doing generally, but I’m a lot more confident in what I’m doing as a person. When I was younger, I was terrified of people finding out about my blog, and although lots of people still don’t know about it – I’ve told a few people over the years but I have no idea if they still read it (hi if you do! Tell me!) – I’m not totally opposed to telling people about it. Depending on whether I actually keep this blog going on a long-term basis, anyway…
Also, does anyone actually use Bloglovin’ or the WordPress reader anymore?
Has anyone else been blogging from 2014ish? Have you noticed much change in the blogging world? If you’re a new blogger, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter, @mixomuseblog!