The blogging world has become MASSIVE. It’s pretty exciting to be living through it. To go from something two years ago that was niche, a side-line hobby, and not really valued, to an industry where writers, creatives and beauty enthusiasts are making full-time incomes from their words, photos and digital hubs on the internet. Bloggers collaborate on Twitter, make digital connections and friendships, and find inspiration in each other’s words. And that’s welcomed! There’s a huge collection of bloggers who come together, support each other, and inspire each other.
I began blogging when this community of bloggers didn’t exist. I barely even shared my blog – it was just a way of making sense and documenting my journey to try so hard to get that full-time job in journalism. I didn’t read other blogs – I explained why here – and my inspiration came from what happened to me in the day, what stage I was at, what work experience I was doing, what I was learning. It was all very structured and practical. My posts weren’t really thought-provoking or a place that enabled me to write out what’s going on in my head. But that’s all changed a bit.
Now – now, the community of bloggers is overwhelming and the one incredible thing from this, is how willing bloggers are to share comforting advice, inspiration, confidence in each other and their stories. Digital friendships are made simply through sharing blogs, reading them, understanding them and identifying with them. I can scroll through my Twitter feed and find so much interesting content to read and I’m like GET ME TO MY LAPTOP NOW. It’s not copying, and that’s the best thing about it. You see tweets such as ‘Here’s my post on X, inspired by my favourite bloggers: X, X and X”. The sort jealousy and envious feeling that so many girls often possess when seeing others doing better, has turned into support and encouragement to blog too!
I have my favourites. Those blogs that I love reading, where I get excited when there is a new post. And they’re doing pretty damn good for themselves – they’re either blogging full-time (making a SALARY out of their words? How good is that!), or they have so many Twitter followers that they could be practically verified. But also they’re not the obvious ones, the ones that EVERYONE reads and everyone talks about. And their success doesn’t make me jealous or bitter, it eggs me on to do more, to write more, to increase my online presence and build my brand. I feel this sense of urge to keep pushing myself with my work when I see how well they’re doing, and how great they’re posts are. It’s encouraged me to write more and more posts on my blog, and I’m getting feedback that is making me feel great about my work and my words.
So I think this community is creating stronger, more confident writers. We’re seeing others being incredibly successful – whether they’re becoming self-employed or publishing their own books – and it’s encouraging us to do the same. It’s not creating bitter or snide remarks (although sometimes it does), but, if you’re anything like me, it’s pushing us to do more, write more and aim really, really high.
And that’s pretty special, don’t you think? That normal people on the internet are allowing us to break out of our comfort zones and imagine ourselves doing things we never thought we would in our career, like getting paid to blog, or becoming our own boss or going freelance.
There’s is so much negativity around social media and I completely agree. Sometimes it makes me feel crap about myself, because you only see the best bits about other people’s lives. It wastes God knows how much time when we’re scrolling through our newsfeed, or reading blogs, or constantly refreshing Instagram. We all know that, and we deal with it because we do it too, we post the best bits of our lives and the nicest pictures and make out our life is an amazing bubble of FUN. What people aren’t talking about is how social media and the blogging community is inspiring so many people to do their own thing, and have the confidence to do that simply from the internet.
I know my dreams and aspirations are changing, and I’m completely and utterly inspired by other 20-somethings in the journalism, blogging and publishing industry who are doing really, bloody well for themselves. Good for them.