Friday, 17 March 2017

Should We Celebrate Numbers in the Blogging World?

I've seen this topic discussed more and more frequently in recent months, so of course I had to give my opinion. There has been so many discussion, arguments, debates, whatever you want to call it, over whether numbers matter any more in the world of blogging. When I say numbers, I mean stats, followers, subscribers.

In short, my answer is yes. Of course! Bloggers should have a right to celebrate the fact they have hit a certain milestone of followers on a certain social media platform, whether it's 100, 1,000 or 10,000. I feel like it's the 'bigger' bloggers who are weighing in on the topic saying that numbers don't matter anymore, but that's easy to say when you've got half a million and are being jetted off around the world on press trips and showered with designer gifts from various PR agencies. 

As much as we would like to think we are judged and contacted by brands based on our content, and not our followers, it's not always the case. Do you think PR's really have time to read through alllllll our recent blog posts and discuss how good it is? No. I work in marketing myself, and when we look to reach out to bloggers we check a couple of recent blog posts to check the layout, photo quality, and actual content, then go straight to the social media channels to check out the followers. Massive following and decent content! Great! One quick email later and a collab is on the cards. Would this really happen to someone who produced amazing content but had 20 followers on Twitter, no Facebook and 90 on Insta? Course it wouldn't!

Even blogging collaboration sites such as The Blogger Hangout and The Blogger Programme specify that you need a certain amount of followers across your social platforms, or they won't even consider working with you. Your DA score is a deciding factor as well, but if you have a high DA score and low follower count, how are you getting your content out there? I'm not the most experienced with SEO, but in my experience, it's lot easier to gain exposure through social media than trying to rank highly on Google for certain things, especially as bloggers have a high tendency to blog about certain products- the ABH glow palette for example, or Kylie Lip Kits. So chances of being on the top pages for Google are slim (to non!)

Growing a following is TOUGH. Yeah, you might think you write amazing content, or take the best photos, but there are so many factors getting in the way of getting your content actually in front of people to actually read/watch it. You need a dedicated following of readers and subscribers or how else would they get notified or see that you have a new post up? Because they follow you on Twitter, that's why! They follow, read, comment, share and that's how your blog gets more views. And thus your follower count goes up. (and you should be extremely proud of yourself!)

Yeah, we all know how easy it is to buy followers, but why should this ruin our excitement about growing our following organically? (and what kind of legit blogger even does that?) As bloggers, we can spot a faker a mile off. And even if you do have 1983832 followers, is it going to give them a verified tick? No. And it's pretty obvious if they have 100k followers on Instagram but only rack up 15 likes per photo with no comments, so we know to just disregard it because the fact the person has bought their followers just crushes any slither of legitimacy or trust to their site (and their content is probably terrible.)
Be proud of your milestones, celebrate each one, no matter how small, or how big. It's YOUR blog. Your tiny space on the internet, which you have every right to be excited about hitting that next milestone. There is SO much competition in the world of blogging, so instead of competing, and slagging off another blogger because they've 'only just hit 1k', why not help them to hit another? Tweet them congrats! RT their latest post! Share the ❤️!

'Let's root for each other, and watch each other grow'.

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