That’s a double-edged observation, especially coming from someone in their ninth year of blogging. I’m actually surprised this blog made it into 2015, to tell you the truth. I’ve been sort of not-so-into it for a couple of years now, as the three of you left reading this blog must know. Some days it feels like just too much effort compared to Instagram, which is definitely my favorite place to lurk and share.
Blogging, for many years, was the preferred channel for inspiration, whether you were into fashion, beauty, or home decor. As the blogosphere matured, however, new channels for creativity and social interaction emerged. Facebook was there practically from the beginning, and some bloggers learned to leverage it quite successfully as an blog adjunct. When Twitter ramped up, it made sense for bloggers; it was a channel to promote new posts and a place to chat in real time. Pinterest became the new, more user-friendly Tumblr, but nothing really put a dent in blogging (and blog engagement) until Instagram dropped in 2010.
I’m not going to bother quoting stats here, because we all know Instagram was a major game-changer, and a quick Google will reveal a plethora of articles and numbers to support this theory. But why? Well, in the beginning, it was pretty simple: A fashion blogger’s currency is a great outfit shot. Instagram made it insanely easy to share gorgeous photos, without the expense of a DSLR and the hassle of serious photo editing. It was free and still is, and it capitalized on the fact that we have become a society with a smart phone literally in hand, up to 10 hours a day.
That number is no exaggeration. According to the recently published, You Won’t Believe How Many Hours You Spend on Your Phone Each Day:
“…researchers at Baylor University polled 164 college students on their cellphone habits. They found that the women spent 10 hours on their phones per day, men spent eight, and 60 percent of the whole lot admitted to being addicted to their devices (getting agitated when their phones weren’t in sight, etc)…And—get this—researchers found that Pinterest and Instagram are among the most addictive activities.”
Fashion and lifestyle bloggers clearly like sharing and trolling pretty pictures on their phones. That fact was not lost on Amber Venz Box and Baxter Box, founders of RewardStyle, the smashingly successful content monetization platform that enables publishers to earn commission on products featured on their blogs. Eventually the Boxes took RewardStyle mobile, making it possible for fashion bloggers to monetize Instagram posts using LIKEtoKNOW.it, and the rest is history.
Since 2012, Instagram has become a micro-blogging powerhouse. Really. Where else can you share images and video with no character limits, enjoy hashtag cross-pollination, engage through commenting, re-share posts, and make money off featured products…on a free platform with very few issues, that’s always within reach? Instagram isn’t just a game-changer. It is brilliant.
Enter the New Social Media Persona: The Fashion Instagrammer
As Instagram has matured these last few years, a new social media persona has developed: The Fashion Instagrammer. These ladies (and gents) clearly got the “micro-blogging” memo…they have no website (or hosting and domain fees) to accompany their Instagram accounts. All their drool-worthy outfits, accessories, flat lays, and travel adventures are delivered exclusively via Instagram, often in conjunction with LIKEtoKNOW.it, but not always…which is a key point, I think. Overuse of LIKEtoKNOW.it is extremely irritating, but that’s another blog post.
That aside, Fashion Instagrammers are seriously giving me pause. I wonder, more often than ever, why I continue to blog here. Why even have a web-based blog? I know I’m not the only one of our circa 2010 circle that’s wondering what the point is anymore. There are lots of you who haven’t folded, but also haven’t posted. Why?
That said, if you’re wondering why you should have anything other than an Instagram account, check out a few of my favorite Fashion Instagrammers. Take a look and you might just be converted…
What do you think? Kill the blog? Go to Insta? Have you done it? And what are your thoughts on using LIKEtoKNOW.it?