what it means to be "a blogger" in twenty thirteen

Sunday, December 30, 2012
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blogging - the future is ours.

You know, blogging actually dates back to the nineties. Back when I was still dancing around my living room at the age of 5, in the grand year that was 1994, the first ever blog was recorded. Blogger.com then launched in 1999 and history wrote it's own path. Blogging was originally designed as a web-log, a sorta online diary, if you will. You made your own and you wrote about your life, much as you would in a traditional pen and paper format. These days, blogging has become so advanced it is now a career for some people, and it's completely evolved and progressed with the current need for information and technology. You can read a blog on the train on your iPad, on the plane on your Kindle or even in your bathtub on your Android.

But you know what still makes me the most nervous when I hit publish? Those blog posts about me, about my life. You know the ones, where I pour my heart out, instead of reviewing a lipstick. It's the very core of blogging, the very meter of a blog's independence and individuality, yet also predominantly the most nerve wracking to set live for the world to see. I don't really think I get too nervy in life, but telling the world how I feel, sets me off like a spark. Actually, that's a lie, first dates get my heart pounding - I learned this very recently, but that's another story.

Twenty thirteen is yet another year in this decade we call home. It's not going to live up to it's big sister of twenty twelve, a glorious year of Jubilees and Olympics, but it's ours for the taking, and ours for the making. We are the generation to shape the future. A lot is going to change, I can feel it in the water. Blogging is a serious business now in the world of beauty and fashion, there are companies that look after bloggers, agencies that sign bloggers and every single beauty brand on this planet is clamouring over each other to get their products in the hands of bloggers. Cue catfights, guru trashing forums, tumblr hate, twitter bitch fests and general envy, hatred and lack of support. There's nothing you or me can singlehandedly do about this, for it delves far greater than bloggers themselves these days - I firmly believe most users on *that* forum aren't bloggers, but readers.

What can you do about this? Well, not a lot. You must never feed the troll, delete hatred and ignore tweets, but don't take it to heart. Your blog may have 10 readers, your blog may have 10,000 readers, but due to the Internets anonymity access, we are all a target. In the last six months my attitude toward this and blogging in general has changed incredibly drastically. I used to care a lot more about what people thought of me, I used to cry over nasty tweets. I used to be naive about bloggers using other bloggers as stepping stones and companies using bloggers for free promotion. But now I have seen the much clearer picture, the truer reason to blog and it comes in the format of happiness. I simply don't accept things, or blog about things that feel like a chore to me, a slug, a long drawn out process of making my blog a space where it's not really me, and it's been upsetting me of late. I hate that in December I published only 5 blog posts, that's not what i'm about, but I would open my blog up and just want to delete it all in one go.

I think for the future we all need to take a step back and re-evaluate who we are and what we do. While right now, blogging as a sub-culture of online journalism is great,  don't ever underestimate the value of your readership. They might love you one day, but stick yourself in a rut or re-blog press releases and you'll see them dwindle. Also, a holier-than-thou attitude is never going to go down well, some may be classed as "big" bloggers and others as "small" bloggers but don't ever forget the basis of the appeal of a beauty/fashion blog - the fact that you *arent* a celebrity, and are just a real person.

What I learned when I had my phone stolen - and I do genuinely believe the theft was fate - was that i've been taking my life far too much for granted. Good god, you would not believe how glued I got to that thing. Have you ever looked up in London? Like, really looked? I hadn't until I lost my phone... I was stopping, gawping, looking, watching - taking in the sights and smells of the world around me. I know it's precious and incredible to have memories stored on a little device, but once in a while you just need to pop the phone down, and enjoy what's happening infront of you. Live off the grid, live just for you. It's not easy, I feel like i'm weaning myself off it at the moment, as it's incredibly addictive and beyond satisfying, but I believe there are some things in life we need to enjoy on a basic level, not as bloggers, but as humans.

I never really like to be like, heed my advice, but I think success in blogging next year lies firmly in staying incredibly true to yourself and blogging your life as it happens. Speaking personally, I love to see the latest lipstick, but i'd prefer to see it on you in your local pub on a Friday night. Because you are real and you are you. No one on this planet is you, and you must never forget that. There are an estimated 150 million blogs in existence right now, why the hell would you ever want to be just like everyone else and blend into that statistic?

Whatever happens, don't compare yourself to any other girl. Whether you're just a blog reader or a blogger yourself, blogs are inspiration. Don't follow suit with blog posts, write your own, make up your own tags and haul videos. If you see a style blogger you like, don't become a carbon copy, take inspiration and create your own style bubble. Explore your own little world, and every single day be proud of you and your little corner of the Internet.

Dive into blogging, and dive into life. Create the future - for it is ours for the taking, and it will never be again for as long as we shall live. This year is important to our generation - don't waste it away.

Everyone and nobody is a blogger. Blogging is a state of mind. And a state of undress. And just cos you blog it doesn't mean it'll come. - @mikediver
Love, Zozo
x

47 comments:

  1. Loved this post Zoe :)
    People sometimes need to step back and learn to love, not hate. We're all different, we all write differently, and we all have different things to write about. One of the saddest things for me to read are the hate comments given to people who definitely don't deserve them. We should all just support each other in our endeavours.
    Happy New Year!
    Louise xx

    www.confettiletters.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. Here here! Amazing post Zoe! Xx

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  3. This post was seriously amazing Zozo! I couldn't agree more. This year is going to be the year of blogging, and I think a lot will change.

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  4. Love this post! Gives you so much to mull over and think about, yet brought a huge ass smile to my face! xxx

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  5. This is a fabulous post, I love it. :)

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  6. I loved reading this! I try to just do my own thing on my blog, but it's nice to have people who inspire you when you're just starting out! I love reading blogs where personality shines through, like yours.

    I only just found that rofl troll forum a few weeks ago, I think I spent all day reading it and just thinking 'really? people have the time to sit and post stuff like this all day?'.

    Touch wood I've had no 'hate' so far, but some of the lovliest people do and I just hope they don't take it to heart too much.

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  7. Beautiful post Zoe! I think a lot of bloggers could learn a thing or two from you. I blog because I enjoy it and for me that's all that matters.

    Happy New Year! X

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  8. Loved reading this! Agreed with everything you say

    Have a good 2013

    Fiona

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  9. As a fledgling blogger who is struggling to gain readers this post is really refreshing and inspiring.
    So thank you and I hope 2013 proves to be an even better year for you

    http://oflambsandlace.blogspot.com

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  10. Wow this post is so inspirational! Loved reading every single word of it, thanks for the encouragement. Have an awesome New Year x

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  11. I loved reading this post :)xx

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  12. Fab post, well done! Trolls just make me so sad/mad, even though I've not had to deal with any on my blog as yet - I experienced some online "hate" as a model, and it hurt so much that I put off starting my blog for a long time because of it... We all know it says a lot about the people who do it, and next to nothing about the person it's aimed at (except that they are worthy of making small people feel threatened), but it's not that easy to dismiss it when it's about you... I wish we could stamp it out, but at least there is a hugely supportive community out there which is definitely winning the battle...

    Sam Muses xx
    £250 Boohoo Giveaway

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  13. I absolutely loved reading this. I recently started my blog back up, after quitting a few years ago because I never felt 'good enough' and my perfectionist side came out and I compared myself with others far too much. This post couldn't come at a better time! So, thank you ever so much for making me realise why I'm giving it a second go.

    xxxx

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  14. Probably the best post I've read this whole year. Nothing beats being honest and true to yourself, people appreciate it and can see when you're being anything other than that x

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  15. Lady, you are such an inspiration. Every one of your posts recently have been so motivational, and totally frank and honest. Thanks for this post and for reminding us all what blogging is really about. Happy early new year <3

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  16. This is really lovely. It took me ages to find my feet but I think I've finally got a sort of blogging style that I feel comfortable with and which will hopefully evolve over time. I've grown to really love blogging. I think it's sad when you see girls trying to be something that they're really not; their blogs never quite ring true and would probably be so much better if they were true to themselves. I also think it's sad that some people feel the need to tear others down. Happy new year xx
    that-bird.blogspot.co.uk

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  17. A great post has earned you a new follower x

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  18. this is fantastic. very well said x

    emmasalter.blogspot.co.uk

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  19. Fabulous post, you've just made my mind race with what I'm going to do in 2013!

    Jade
    Xx

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  20. Wonderful post, and so inspirational! I couldn't have put it better myself! :-)

    rachelpan xo

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  21. This article is fantastic. Good job. I've never read your blog before, but now you have a new follower :) me!

    Don't let anyone bring you down. If somebody you don't know hates you, then all that proves is you're fucking fabulous and someone to be jealous of.

    Much love!
    xoxo Julie agirlcalledjulie.com

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  22. Well put, brilliant post! xx

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  23. So inspiring and beautiful! :') thank you for insight

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  24. I agree with the post. But I also think that a lot of bloggers lost their sense of readership when they take their readers for granted, do not interact with them etc.

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  25. What a brilliant post. I love the way your write, feel's like you're talking to me and not a screen.x

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  26. This is an ace post :) In 2013, I'm definitely focusing more on the way I want my blog to be. It's quite disheartening when a post I've genuinely put thought and time into gets barely any comments, and a couple of paragraphs about a lipstick gets loads, but I'm remembering I started my blog for ME, not for comments or loads of traffic. So 2013 will be about blogging the things I really love and enjoy, and hopefully those who like that will stay around! x

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  27. Wow, so inspiring x

    cllrs.blogspot.com

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  28. 2013 is for very important for our generation, I completely agree. It's so exciting! Thanks for this really inspiring post Zoe, it's confirmed a lot of things I've been thinking about my blog recently :).

    e x

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  29. I'll drink to that. What a wonderful post. I just found myself nodding along with everything!
    x

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  30. Thank you so much for this post Zoe! As a "small" blogger, it's so frustrating when you feel like you're writing to nobody. I move to London in 2013 and it's going to be such a huge change that I have to remember to just be ME. x

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  31. I really love reading this and couldn't agree more :) I feel very inspired right now..bring on 2013! xxx

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  32. I just found your blog and I can't get over how much I've fallen in love with it. Your writing style is fantastic. THANK YOU x

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  33. This was a great post, so inspirational and you summed it all up perfectly! :)
    I have just started a blog and would love it if you came to check it out!
    www.bloggerofbeauty96.blogspot.co.uk

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  34. I love this post and thankyou for writing it.
    I think sometimes it's so easy to get carried away in thinking about whether other people will want to read the things I've written instead of writing the things that I really want to.
    I found the same thing when I had my phone stolen, I suddenly actually ahd to look out of the window on the bus or wait until I saw someone face to face to find out about their day, it was a bit refreshing really :)
    Hope you have a lovely new years!
    Rosalie x

    rosaliejayne.blogspot.co.uk

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  35. Amazing, well thought out post. Thank you for sharing this with us. I often struggle to blog as I'm wary of what people think, I always think that I should be blogging about the same thing everyone else is but why? Noone wants to see the same post 100 times over. You are an inspiration in your own right. Happy New Year xx

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  36. *High Five!* I took Xmas period to have some time off and I actually enjoyed the break, gave me a new focus and drive. So many things are and need to change not only in the bloggers community (there's not enough blog love out there it depressing) but in my own life as well. Happy New Year Zoe, you fully deserve a bright 2013 xx

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  37. Wow, this was such an amazing post!

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  38. This was insanely inspiring! I love my little slice of the internet, because it's mine in this massive bustling online culture, and i'm sure many other bloggers feel the same.
    Thankyou zozo! x

    viastyle.blogspot.com

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  39. Zoe certainly never delet your blog because I love it so much! As a "nwbie" blogger advice like this is taken on board do much, it really was so inspirational! Blogging should be more about living youre right, I really loved this post, I would love to visit London and get to see the sights so its frustrating when people living there take it for granted but then again Im sure I take my city for granted as well! Going to take this on board so much for 2013, Hope you have an amazing year, filled with love, happiness, success and everything you need/wish for!

    http://alittlebitunique.blogspot.co.uk/

    x

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  40. Another new fan here, purely on the basis of this post :) Wishing you a great 2013! <3

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  41. This post is seriously interesting and as a newbie blogger myself its really got me thinking about how I'm going to fit into the crowded industry and make my own mark. I hope I can do it! Another super-awesome post, and I love the new direction your blog is going in. Have a great blogging 2013!

    Sophie
    www.anarrangementofnotes.wordpress.com

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  42. I agree with a lot of what you've said here- my favourite point is about bloggers using (or trying to use) other bloggers, and companies using bloggers. The epidemic of people desperate to gain followers at pretty much any cost, endlessly flirting with brands on twitter to get free things and taking generic and repetitive PR compliments seriously rather than realising it's their job really frustrates me. The brown nosing of bloggers they think they can use as a stepping stone to become more like them rather than blogging in a way that's natural to them and about things they get most enjoyment from. It makes me pretty gutted that so many people now use blogging as a way to achieve some sort of self-validation through increasing follower numbers (and end up totally living through their blog) rather than as an extension of their life, celebrating the things they love and making friends along the way.
    Here's to a better 2013 full of more original bloggers!

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  43. I wish I could high five you over the internet! Well said!

    - Bryden

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  44. This has actually been really really extremely helpful.
    I wish that I was able to get my point of view across the way that you just have to me.
    Feeling very optimistic for 2013 :)

    Emily x - prettypleaseprettyplease.blogspot.com

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