The consensus among fashion fanatics seems to be that the golden days of the blog are long gone. Many argue that it’s no longer easy to find original content that has the same delightful blend of humorous and high fashion-related posts that propelled Leandra Medine’s Man Repeller to prominence or channels Tavi Gevinson’s honest and compelling teenage musings on Style Rookie.
It’s no doubt that blogging has become an industry of its own. And like every other industry, there are those who hold much more influence than others. For instance, top bloggers like Chiara Ferragni, Danielle Bernstein and Aimee Song have broken down the barriers separating personal style bloggers and the larger fashion industry by landing sponsorships, receiving exclusive invitations to fashion week events and getting interviewed for numerous publications. In fact, some bloggers are reported to make six-figure incomes annually.
Blogs were initially created as a reaction to the exclusivity of the fashion industry, providing an outlet that anyone can utilize. However, bloggers are increasingly attempting to mold themselves into their own brands, often sacrificing their niche interests which drew followers to them in the first place. This raises the question of whether or not the strategical branding defeats the purpose of blogging in terms of being relatable and interesting.
Nowadays, a quick scroll through almost every blog will have picture upon picture of a blogger in similar poses sporting trendy outfits that most of the time are priced well beyond a young reader’s budget. Not to mention, with the impact bloggers have on their audiences, some would argue why wouldn’t they use this to their advantage by promoting companies and bringing them business that, in return, would serve as their sponsors? While sponsored posts don’t necessarily have to be a bad thing, it’s understandable how this can cause a bridge between bloggers and their readers.
Another reason why blogs aren’t as popular as they used to be is that the market is simply oversaturated. What used to be viewed as a hobby for the creative, the trendsetting and even the bored has turned into a business for the savvy, making it a challenge for anyone to stand out let alone make a long-lasting mark. With new blogs constantly popping up online and articles recommending the best up-and-coming bloggers being published on a weekly basis, people just can’t keep up. What seems to be an infinite number of blogs vying for attention is quite overwhelming.
And the attention of the bloggers themselves is being pulled in several different directions. In recent years, bloggers have turned their focus away from blogging to launch their own shoe lines, publish books and sign modelling contracts. With famous bloggers gradually drifting away from blogging, audiences are beginning to follow in their footsteps.
So are blogs dead after all? Not necessarily, but if the blogging scene wants to survive, it’s definitely in need of reinvention. Encouraging creative freedom, relatability and evolution as a blogger is easier said than done, but with enough effort, the magic of blogging can be restored.
Sherah Ndjongo is a Contributing Writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.