Blog vs Instagram.
I’ve had this chat, debate, asked this question and been asked this question a lot recently.And as much as there is no right or wrong answer – it is essentially about what works for you but I think it is actually about the why.
Why did I start blogging?
I started blogging for two reasons. 1. I love to write and I love memories, and I decided my blog would be my ow online journal that I could look back on for years to come and 2. To connect with there bloggers and build meaningful friendships around the world. I love people and I love getting to know and interacting with people. When I first started blogging, I was already reading so many blogs (mainly American ladies) and it was wonderful to watch them grow their blogs from a start up, to getting married, having families and new careers.
Why did I start an Instagram account?
Because let’s be honest, it was the new craze! Haha but also because I loved the idea of sharing photos with friends and family, another simple online keepsake and to follow other inspiring people and accounts that I could draw inspiration from (parties, teachers, home decor etc).
Blog or Instagram?
Now this is a question that for me, doesn’t have a straight forward answer. I love both but for different reasons – one is my online photo album and one is my online journal. I don’t write lengthy captions on my Instagram posts and I don’t just post photos on my blog. And that is why I think the two go hand in hand.
One thing I am sad about is that so many bloggers have now become influencers, and they don’t blog anymore or not as regularly. Essentially, they have chosen images over words – which is something that is awesome for certain followers, markets and brands. But I love the words. I love reading through paragraphs and posts of how someone feels, what they have experienced and what is going on in their life. I am inspired by their words and stories, and not by pictures of themselves or products (don’t get me wrong – I love paging through images of friends, family, their holidays and milestones etc). I connect with someone by reading their blog post about adjusting to life with two kids vs one, picking up their life after losing a loved one or the rollercoaster of struggling with their weight and emotional eating. I am inspired by someone by reading their blog post about their capsule wardrobe, planning and hosting their kids birthday party or the way they decorate their new classroom and fun printables. And I am more likely to purchase a product or book a holiday after reading someone’s blog post of their positive and negative experiences, a product I know that I have used by purchasing it themselves before it was sponsored or reading their do’s and don’t of their recent holiday trip.
Do I consider myself a blogger or influencer?
Yes, I am definitely a blogger. I have a blog and I write blog posts. If I had to label myself, I would consider myself a lifestyle blogger because I blog about all things about my life – not just parties, not just parenting and not just food or clothing – a little bit of everything. I also blog my feelings and experiences – I do this as therapy for myself, putting pen to paper or typing it out and as a way to record and come back to the post or feelings later on in time. What I have found is that someone who reads my blog may be feeling the same way, they may be going through the same hard time or they may be making the same life-altering decisions – and my words may touch them, resonate with them or inspire them. They may also comment or email and strike up a conversation or questions or advice about the topic – and the engagement is something I really appreciate.
No, I am not an influencer. I may post about products or services that I have enjoyed or purchased and a reader or follower may then be inspired to purchase it themselves, therefore being influenced but I don’t want to or expect to be paid for my opinion or influence. I love sharing new ideas, places or products with people that I know but I do this because I genuinely love the product etc or because I am supporting a small business or person that I respect, admire and would love to see do well and be successful. I am so proud of the beautiful women all over my blog and Instagram feeds that have built themselves up, become brand ambassadors and worked hectic hours and put in the hard work to make their blogs and social media their businesses. But I really struggle with the people who expect to be paid way more than offered, accept all the free items that they don’t even use, giving raving reviews for products that they didn’t like but felt pressured into and lastly, who start to lose their own identity and sacrifice their family and friends, for this public, online life and persona.
In saying the above – I don’t ever want to bring down the worth or value of someone being paid for their post or review. I love that blogs have become businesses and social media has become a great source of advertising and marketing for brands – I couldn’t agree more that it works and it is effective. If it is real, genuine and authentic. Even if someone is being paid.
My blog is not my business and I will share products and places etc that I truly believe in and would like to support. I am very grateful for the press drops that I have received and the brands and businesses that have reached out to work with me. I am always honest that if I don’t believe in the product or I wouldn’t use the product, I will decline the invitation or delivery. A few examples include: Saint & Summer shoes – I have bought at least three pairs per range since they opened their doors because I love their shoes and both owners are two of my very best friends, Macaroon stationery, gifts and labels – I have been using these products for years, use their labels for all my birthday gifts, purchase their diaries and planners for friends and teachers and visit their Joburg studio whenever I am in town, Clever Little Monkey – I have bought a few kids toys and decor online and then worked with them on fun kids activities and because I was about to purchase one of their bright rugs for our playroom.
Do I care about my number of likes and followers?
Yes and no. My accounts are all private so I can control who I accept and who can follow our lives. I also like to interact with the followers/readers that I do have and often follow them back too. I obviously live receiving comments of friends and family who have seen our girls or milestones, and I engage and reply to the lovely people who ask questions, s eek advice, give their advice or send messages about something that they resonated with or that inspired them. But no, I don’t keep track of how many likes and followers I have, I don’t search or go looking for more and I don’t get upset if someone unfollows – we aren’t always going to be everyones cup of tea and I appreciate it when someone chooses not to follow because something I post is not for them.
This is an on-going debate that everyone has their own opinion on, I would love to know your thoughts and opinions on the above as a follower, reader, blogger or influencer.