Monday, 2 June 2014

The Blogging Culture

I recently completed my portfolio for my journalism course, which included ten pieces on whatever topics we fancied! One topic I chose to focus on is the blogging culture, as through blogging on here I found lots of interesting ideas and quirks from it, I guess! It's quite a long one, but I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it! Let me know what you think too :) 

The blogging culture is wide and varied. Millions of bloggers upload content every day with their own unique way of writing and blog reflecting part of them. Although, of course, there will always be positives and negatives to the blogging culture.

Being a ‘blogger’ is now considered as a job, rewind ten years and the blogging heavies Wordpress and Blogger were still in their baby grows on the internet. 23 years ago Tim Bernes Lee launched the World Wide Web for free and in 1946 the first official ‘computer’ was made. Since then the internet has exploded with social networking sites ranking in billions in revenue with millions of people using it across the world 24/7.

Although it’s not a traditional career choice, bloggers are becoming widely accepted on the internet by readers, who play a significant role in their success. Starting off with a small following, simple design and bucket loads of enthusiasm, it’s a long road to becoming financially able to be a full time ‘blogger’.

Deriving from the meaning of web log, its origins are diary based, where you can share your thoughts on the internet. Bloggers have described it as having their only little creative space on the web. However, there are benefit to having a blog, namely the community and interactivity bloggers get from their readers. Countless comments and followers bumps up your blog and, consequently, your confidence.

Sites like Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr and Weebly create the basis of the blog, whilst you, effectively, add the decorations. You choose the name (arguably harder than naming a baby…), the logo and general appearance of your blog, then all that’s left to do is post your content.

But with any positives comes the flipside. Setting up your blog with millions of other creative minds in the world doing the same, means your blog will have to be the four leaf clover in a field. Masses of blogs, all creating the same or similar content to yours, creates such a saturated market that it’s almost impossible to get yourself heard.

Josie from Josie’s Journal explains why she loves to blog: “I blog because I needed a hobby other than shopping and as a space to talk about fashion! None of my friends are that interested so it's nice to have somewhere where I can be like 'Oh my God, look at these shoes!' to likeminded people.…. I think that people who read my blog are actually a great support network for me as well. It's also good to have somewhere to ramble on about whatever I want, especially anything to do with cystic fibrosis...I think to actually talk about it in real life would be so awkward! I like raising awareness of it too.”

The key to becoming a successful blogger is promotion. Social media sites erupted onto the scene in the 2000s and only the savvy bloggers knew that through self-promotion on these sites that their blogs would soon become one of the top dogs. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are crammed full with aspiring bloggers on a range of subjects spanning from traditional beauty and fashion blogs to a love of VW Beetles. Part of having a blog is the interactivity, and the bloggers who have been running the joint for a long time know how to manipulate social media to gain the maximum interaction with their followers.

Bloggers also gain first hand feedback, whether it be from a product or an idea, readers have no obligation of loyalty and just give their honest opinion.  Blogs are also useful for sourcing information; complicated subjects can be broken down easily and are handy for readers.

Of course there are pros and cons when it comes to blogging. It’s extremely time consuming, with all the hours designing the blog, coming up with original content and figuring out the best ways to promote it. It can seem like you’re a tiny ripple in the Pacific Ocean, especially when it’s more than likely that you’re chosen subject has already been covered with millions of internet users across the globe.

Starting a blog is almost like being in the ‘honeymoon’ period, having your own personal creative outlet on a website, designing it and then getting your first follower but continuing as you mean to begin is harder than it looks. Maintaining your following and posting original content constantly, means you’re handcuffed to your laptop and sofa in whatever spare time you possess.

PR companies quickly caught on to how fast particular bloggers were becoming successful and what a strong influence over readers can mean. Effectively working as the middle man for readers and companies, bloggers can be asked to review a product or promote a company and give their first hand opinions on it. This can prove difficult ethically when creating a balance between being honest and satisfying your sponsor.

Jess from Gingerly Pale said: “In an ideal world, everyone would continue on writing to their heart’s content, and I would keep on reading until I’m happy. However, I think that technology will outstrip all of that, and that in a few decades youtube will be the new means of blogging – simply because people will have less and less time to write and to sit down and read as much!”

It’s common practice to be wary of anything online nowadays as ‘trolls’ gain hefty negative media coverage, and bloggers are no exception to this. Readers trust that what bloggers upload is the true reality of the situation and not just fabricated in order to gain more views or followers.

Despite all the negatives, blogging is still proving to be a successful career option and growing by the day. People choose to blog for different reasons, meaning there is an abundance of blogs and aspiring and dedicated writers waiting for their voices to be heard. Designing and creating the new media movement, bloggers have proven that they are are not only the now but also the future

A special thank you to Josie from Josie's Journal and Jess from Gingerly Pale for their help!
Hope you enjoyed this article and let me know what you think!
Rhiannon xx


  1. This is such an interesting article, I completely relate to feeling handcuffed to your laptop! I feel like I'm staring at a screen 24/7, but blogging is so rewarding :) and just as a side note, I have that Blog Inc book too!

    Claire x |

  2. Really interesting read Rhiannon! I can't believe I had never considered where the word 'blog' came from... Web log seems so obvious. What a wally!
    Faye |

  3. Fab article Rhiannon! Really interesting, I never even knew where the word 'blog' came from haha! Glad I could help ;) x

    Josie’s Journal


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