Gone are the days of blogs containing honest raw opinions, genuine think pieces and life ramblings. Blogging is now a booming industry centred around materialism and narcissism. And I can’t stand it.
Part of me feels like a hypocrite, having had a beauty blog for about 2 years from the age of 16 reviewing a whole variety of things, some I bought myself, some were sent to me for review purposes from brands. Since then, I’ve grown up, seen the blogging industry from a different perspective and I know that I don’t want to write about that anymore. As cheesy as that sounds it’s true. The blog market is so oversaturated and has officially become boring. Granted, my readership was higher on that blog than on this one. Why? because nowadays, people are embarrassingly materialistic.
I don’t tend to read product-led blog posts regardless of whether they’re PR based or not. Frankly, I don’t find them particularly interesting and all a bit stale but marketers can’t get enough of bloggers and social media opinion leaders these days, so these types of posts are everywhere. To be fair, if I was marketing a product, I’d be more inclined to hit up bloggers rather than using traditional promotional methods. The audience is captive and sales are more or less guaranteed. It’s easy to see why brands are so keen to work with bloggers more so than using methods such as celebrity endorsement, for example.
I’d be lying if I said a blog post hasn’t led me to buy something before. I have fallen victim to this online phenomenon many a time – it’s likely that you have too, regardless if you realise it or not. Somebody raves about something until we believe we need it too. Blogging creates want and we’re not satisfied til we’ve bought exactly what we’ve seen in 4 identical blog posts.
We’ve developed this insatiable appetite for ‘stuff’. Stuff we don’t actually need but stuff that we’ve been forced to want. We associate the product with the person that’s pushing it to us. We associate it to their lifestyle, personality and appearance. We buy it in search for that ‘something’ that we want but don’t really need to fill some kind of void. We buy it because we’ve had it waved in our faces and told we do truly need it – the reality is that we don’t. Blogging is contributing to this wealth of hyper-materialism and it’s horrible to watch. Particularly amongst younger readers of blogs. Those mesmerised by popular online bloggers – I’m sure you know of the sort. Launching their pocket money at things their online heroes are dangling in front of them unaware that the money is going straight into the pockets of the people that they follow obsessively.
Blogging isn’t authentic anymore. It’s become more about having things than having thoughts. I’d rather read someone’s opinion on a current issue or that they taught me something. That they were being true to them and sharing their views or perspectives. I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle with a post like this. I don’t know if bloggers have maybe just lost their direction and been tempted by the financial gain. I don’t know if I’m the one who is in the wrong by not participating in it. What I do know is this. I don’t want to participate in this popular style of blogging. I don’t want someone to pay me to write something somewhere that is for me to share whatever I want to write about. I don’t want to be so void of blog post ideas that I rely solely on PR/paid content to keep my blog going. I want people to read my blog because they enjoy what I write, not what I’m being told to write.
The popularity of blogging isn’t going to subside any time soon. However, I hope that this surge of sponsored and PR sample based content does subside. Blogging is something that is meant to be authentic and a means of expression. Not a space online to manufacture materialism.