This is a question that has been on my mind a lot lately. I often wonder: is the industry too saturated? Is there any room to shine? Will anyone care about my blog? Will I get noticed?
I think the same goes from being a YouTube creator or any kind of influencer. It’s become the go-to job among under 25s because it means working from the comfort of your own home, being your own boss, gaining celebrity status (if you want it), and a whole bunch of followers. It looks like fun, and so people naturally want to be a part of it. Some bloggers have been running their blogs from over 10 years. Others started last week and already have a cult following. So is it all down to timing, luck or fate? Is it too late to start right now?
It’s never to late. You miss 100% of the chances you don’t take, so it won’t kill you to take a chance at a dream career. But I do think the blogging industry has become a complex machine, that is difficult to jump into. I think parts of it are over-saturated, but I still think there’s plenty of room to be an individual and succeed.
Let’s start with the blogosphere itself. It’s a fragile network with no real rules. There is a CAP Code put into place by the ASA and a huge amount of influencers still ignore the guidelines. The industry was by it’s employees rather than one CEO. It has always been down to the individual. It’s not like there’s a HR department you go through before creating a blog. You just create a domain name and you’re off. There are unwritten rules out there, but again, it’s up to each person as to whether or not they want to follow them. Each blogger does their own thing, and because there’s so many, it’s difficult to control or keep track.
While the blogging industry is a nice place to work, things like cancel culture and witch hunts still exist. There are cliques, haters and spam accounts. There are people who cheat, lie and steal content just to reach “the top”. This does make it more difficult to stand out in an ill-balanced race with no referee. For example, there could be a blogger who has worked tirelessly for a year only to reach 1000 followers, while another skips the work, buys a bunch of followers and lands all the sponsorships for their blog. It does work out this way from time to time, which is frustrating for sure.
So because there are so many people doing their own thing, does that mean it’s too late for you to do your own thing? No. There’s space for everyone, even if it doesn’t look like it. There are blog genres out there that haven’t even been discovered yet. It’s an industry that evolves and grows over time. Bloggers who are at the top of their game right now, may not be in the same position a year from now.
As a blogger, the entire world is your audience. Not every person will be into the same things. There could be some hardcore book blog followers who haven’t a clue who the biggest fashion blogger is. Does that make either blogger any less successful? Obviously not. Over a billion people use Instagram worldwide, no one has a billion followers. It’s clear that there’s enough internet to share, and plenty of room for fresh content to be created and enjoyed.
There seems to be this preconceived idea that you have to live in a glam city, own the latest Apple products, buy the most expensive DSLR and have a network of photogenic besties you’ll shoot straight to 10k blog readers and land a book deal within a week. That is 100% not the case. I’m not bashing those that do live that life, but it’s not an essential to be a content creator and you certainly don’t need the newest gadgets to run a blog. There is a demand for high quality content, but it doesn’t always require the most expensive equipment. A friend of mine kept holding back from launching her blog because she was afraid she wouldn’t be able to create something is crystal clear as a blogger who’s been working hard for the past five years. That’s the definition of comparing your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 20 and it won’t bring any joy.
For me, the thing that draws me to a blog is the personality behind it. And this isn’t always the actual person, there are some anon blogs I follow and still love. It’s the unique content, photos or videos that make a blog worth following. The main reason I don’t think it’s ever too late to start a blog is because the thing that makes an individual stand out is their individuality. You are the only person who can do you, and that is what makes you special.
However, I do think there’s a lack of original content out there. I’ve seen a crazy amount of repeat blog posts (mine included), and that just comes with more than one person having the same thought. The title or theme could be the same but the message might be completely different. I also think it’s way harder to be noticed now than it was 5 or 10 years ago. If you’re a tree, the best place to hide is in a forest. At the same time, being a blogger means being lumped in a group with other bloggers, meaning it’s difficult to always be seen. Being a blogger takes great effort. It takes dedication, patience and creativity. Starting a blog with a goal in mind is the best way succeed. If you start just to make money, you’ll soon get bored when it doesn’t start pouring in around two months in.
The world is more digital than ever. The average person spends 24 hours a week online. Social media, blogs and websites are the new ways people learn information and keep up to date with the topics they love. While it comes with it’s downsides like everything else in the world, creating content and having an authentic audience is always worth the hard work.
If anything 2019 is a great year to start a blog or a YouTube channel. There might be plenty of people doing the same thing, and it might take a little longer to reach your goal, but it will so be worth it.