For the past few weeks I’ve been pondering Victoria’s thoughts on blogging trends. Though she spoke mostly to the homogenization of fashion and the impact fashion blogs have had, it got me pondering some bigger thoughts about blogging in 2012.
When blogging began (about a decade ago?) there were few people doing it seriously. Since then the progress in content, images, and general sophistication of the blogging community has exploded. Even since 2009 when I began MML, I sense a remarkable difference between the blogging prowess now and then.
With the advances in social media (Twitter, Pinterest, and even Facebook), digital photography, and web design, getting an extremely professional looking blog is easier than ever before (though definitely not always cheap).
And the boom of bloggers have been swiftly upgrading and improving their skills in all of these areas – which has led to a larger volume of high quality blogs.
However, readers still have busy lives and only have a limited amount of time to devote to blog reading each week, thus making them more selective in what they read.
There is an increasing number of great blogs, but still a limited amount of time for a reader to consume them.
So when people are now looking to find and select the blogs they want to follow, they have become more selective out of necessity. They don’t have all day for blogs, so they have to pick the ones they want to read the most. They have become better editors of their own content consumption.
And what blog readers are looking for, I believe, lies in the pyramid I created above. Though there are exceptions to all of these levels, I think that they majority of successful blogs have these elements in spades.
Though I will return to the bottom three levels later, today I’d like to focus on what I believe now truly separates the biggest blogs out there from the pack. And ultimately, these are the things that I’m focusing on personally to continue to grow myself.
To me, value and uniqueness are what really now define blogs with significant followings.
When a blog reader visits a site they are doing so with a purpose: to get value. The value can be anything; beauty, humor, inspiration, ideas, advice, and information are all forms of valuable content. To cultivate a large, dedicated readership there must be great value in the content.
And when the value of the content is lacking, readers may find themselves disinterested.
Which also leads to the tippy top of the pyramid, the thing that I think differentiates us all as people: uniqueness.
When a blogger is able to tap into their own authenticity and be completely themselves, magic happens.
This of course is most easily shown through original content. An inventive DIY project, touching personal story, reaction to a current event, funny thoughts on motherhood, or stunning images are all unique and can have far-reaching effects.
The homogenization of blogging, if that is indeed happening, perhaps lies in a lack of trust in our own authentic value. We are perhaps a bit too focused on looking at the person next to us rather than within.