An ancient post by Helga Weber about the uselessness of lifestyle bloggers — and, really, lots of people on the internet and offline who think all bloggers do is perpetuate their family drama and share listicles on useless things (like how to spend your Saturday morning sans cartoons) — grinds my gears.
For years, not just recently, lifestyle bloggers have racked up a bad reputation because…why, exactly? Maybe it’s because of all the useless, click-bait-y posts created just because it’s what basic bitches will share — or maybe it’s because, as with pack animals, many of us have refrained from taking up space by posting anything potentially controversial because we didn’t want to stir the pot too much.
Which, ironically, is what sets one blogger apart from the other. I’m keen to recognize a post from Man Repeller or Dooce or Hey Georgie more quickly than I am a post by someone who’s using the same child theme — in different colors — as another blogger, who may keep me up to date on what the supposedly trendy nail colors are (so I can gauge how closely doing my own thing will match with what other people might be doing), but seldom displays bias towards the LGBTQ+ community so I don’t know where she stands (re: if she’d ever actually accept me beyond the minimum required to keep me as a reader).
Is it because the majority of lifestyle bloggers lean female? Because women are conditioned to be fearful of rocking the boat — to be verbal enough to conform with social protocols, but not so loud that we make the people — men — around us uncomfortable? Conflict is not abnormal.
I’m allowed to be angry, to express myself, to take up space. I’m not harming anyone, including myself, or destroying property — although Ashley Marin taught me the cathartic activity that is throwing (thus breaking) plates, and some days I feel like doing just that.
One of the things I’m really angry about right now: Lifestyle bloggers are still useless, while we are literally living through a pandemic that will be in history books.
We’re lifestyle bloggers. Of course we’re going to talk about ourselves.
I empathize with the feelings of limbo, but I also find myself opening my dashboard and just scheduling out the posts, after perfecting them, from my Pending post category, because I don’t want to post something super useless right now. Like, I am making changes in my life and a lot is happening, but I have life updates for that. I follow people like @aspireorganizing on TikTok, who is useful AF in a short amount of time, and then look at my blog post ideas and wonder what the point of some of them is — in that moment — because most of them were useless.
I was going to share my beauty faves this year, a lot, like every quarter or something, but now I can’t wear lipstick without it getting all over my face because face masks, and eyeliner is no match for retail + seasonal allergies + virus guidelines preventing you from touching your eyes.
Now is the best time, ever, to be blogging because loads of people are online, but I’m actually really tired of writing about how to start a blog because I feel like a lot of it is just old news when all everyone searching for that is looking for is how to set up a blog for the cheapest amount possible because they don’t actually want to commit to blogging. Sure, you can register a domain for cheap and host it for free-99, but are you going to take the small investment seriously or just let it fade away? Like, if you haven’t started a blog by now, maybe you’re more interested in the idea of starting a blog and not actually committing to it. Because there’s always something (lies).
I propose we stop just knowing better and start doing better.
What this means:
- Promise yourself right now that you’re going to start being a better blogger than you were yesterday. Your competition is yourself, not all the other bloggers out there. We have the power to move the world. Why do we spend so much time fighting each other instead of recognizing our strength?
- Stop rehashing what you read on someone else’s blog into your own words and look within your own life for something to post about. Finding your bra size, for example. There is legit a pandemic happening right now, and do you know how many people know not their clothing size for certain items — or how to find clothes that might fit them? Seriously. I work at a big box retailer, apparel department, and people can’t try on clothes. Brainstorm solutions and get posting.
- Public school doesn’t teach life skills. You know what does teach life skills? The internet. Drop the hacking and teach me how to use a drill without being scared of the thing. Or how to keep echeveria succulents alive.
- Don’t be useless.
Tips to be more useful
- Don’t half-ass it. Helps no one. Be detailed. Be proud of what you’re putting out there, because it will be someone’s first impression of you & your website.
- Source your posts — facts, science, studies, proof, everything you can think of — but be unique/original enough that your #1 source on your blog is YOU.
- Format posts with headers, ordered/unordered lists, mixed media, etc.
- Consider where you find the things most useful to you — Pinterest? Facebook? TikTok? Why are they useful? How have they made your life better/easier? What are things you do in your life that may be obvious to you, but could enhance someone else’s life?
As a lifestyle blogger, you are essentially selling your lifestyle to someone else. The three main reasons people read blogs are as followed:
- Inspiration – to be inspired to do something
- Education – to learn something
- Relatability – we want to know people like us exist
- How to find your ____ size
- Life skills
- How to sanitize your menstrual cup without burning it
- Bad ideas to avoid
- How to keep plants alive as if you have your life together
- Why you shouldn’t [insert popular thing here, like purging your book collection in the name of tidying up]
- How & why you should outsource life admin tasks
- How to make your car smell better
- How to keep your car clean
- [How do you use ____ for something other than its typical/suggested/etc. use?] (great for product reviews)
- How not to be a uselesss lesbian with zero chill & talk to women