I’ve been blogging for a while now, I have a number of projects going on and I seriously love them and enjoy them so much! BUT, it’s not easy. You can’t just put content out there and expect that people will read it. Creating what you want, when you want isn’t enough.
That’s what a lot of fiction authors seem to completely overlook and it’s
kind of very annoying to read.
I recently read Zoe Sugg (or Zoella)’s Girl Online and Holly Bourne’s The Manifesto on How to be Interesting. They’re not really my usually kind of book – I like crime fiction, science books and graphic novels, but I’m a girl and I like to sit back and relax with a bit of silly mush sometimes. Be honest, who doesn’t? So I gave them a go…
Now this post isn’t going to be talking about Zoe’s clichéd descriptions of Brighton (I’ve lived there, it’s an incredible place but everything she wrote about it in this book made me cringe for some reason), or how Holly makes every teenager seem completely vile and dense (maybe they are..?!), or how both authors rely far too much on rich parents / some random benefactor to make everything in the story happen. I’m from a working class family – where are the books about a girl like me who had to save for weeks just to buy a new t-shirt? What happens when a girl like that wants a sudden makeover? Nothing, that’s what.
Anyway, no. Today I want to talk about how stupidly easy they make blogging look and how annoying that is for an actual blogger. Let’s just have a quick run through the plots for a second. Warning: spoilers ahead!
Girl Online – Zoe Sugg
Penny is a 15 year old girl who starts an anonymous blog talking about her life. She starts posting about panic attacks and anxiety and this attracts the attention of a whole bunch of teenage fans. She’s getting tonnes and tonnes of likes, comments, followers every day.
She does no promotion, she just posts her thoughts and her photographs, basically using the blog as a diary.
She falls in love with some guy, not realising he’s some famous musician. When some absolutely horrid fake-friends leak it to the press that she’s been seeing him and writing on her blog about him, her blog goes viral. She gets a bunch of hate. Then she posts what really happens and she gets a bunch of support again.
The Manifesto on How to be Interesting – Holly Bourne
Bree wants to be an author but she keeps getting rejected and can’t understand why (how about you’re only 17 and still have a lot to learn?!). She finally gets some harsh truths about how her writing is boring and self-indulgent, so she decides to flip her life upside down to make herself more interesting so she has something new to write about.
Of course she’s froma super-rich family so she can afford a whole new wardrobe, designer makeup, a new haircut… basically everything she could possibly need to buy herself a new personality and new ‘friends’ who she proceeds to manipulate and treat like some experiment who she constantly looks down on.
With the aim to make her writing less self-indulgent, she does the most self-indulgent thing she could do and sets up a blog all about her new super-interesting life!
Despite bing a child in the 21st century and constantly surrounded by technology, she’s also a girl so of course she has no idea how anything works… her blog has a front end?! People can read it?! WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?!
So over literally just 3 months she rambles on about herself, her new life, bitches about people – again it’s all very diary like – and despite her literally speaking directly to the audience via her posts (‘because you probably know people like this too’ etc.) and going out of her way to not name any names / blur photographs etc. she seems completely oblivious to the fact anyone is reading it.
Atfer 3 months or so, someone finally confronts her and says ‘OMG! ARE YOU WRITING THIS?!’ and her whole world falls apart. Of course.
Suddenly she realises ‘people can read what I post publically online?!‘ and finally looks at the front end of her blog. Her friend has to ‘download a program’ to view the blog’s stats (um what? really?) and they see she’s getting MILLIONS AND BILLIONS AND TRILLIONS of views. Or something like that. Once again, what a surprise, she’s gone viral – a favourite term of fiction authors apparently.
So again, she’s done no real work to research, edit or provide content of any value. She’s just rambled off what’s on the top of her head, done nothing to promote it and completely ignored her fans – even ones who reached out to her for help – and still people can’t get enough of her.
It’s Not That Easy
Or is it? Maybe I’ve just been going wrong all this time. Maybe I should stop tweeting my articles, connecting with other bloggers and making an effort to reply when my followers take the time to leave me comments? Maybe I should stop trying to be consistent and provide quality content?
Perhaps all you need to be a successful blogger is to be a pretty young girl with drama in her life? Hmm yeah, that’ll be it.
Sucks to be the rest of us then.