Blogging has definitely become competitive and a rat-race. The number of bloggers, especially fashion bloggers born everyday is umpteen. The more I browse link from link, the more I come across talented/not-so-talented amateurs and some super-popular bloggers' blogs. It's always fascinating to see how some blogs have over a 1000 or 2000 followers. These numbers used to amaze me. Then there's a column of blog-awards. And another column of sponsors and advertisers. More and more widgets are coming up that tell you how many visitors your blog gets, or where your visitors come from or how many profile views your profile has had and etc. It was all very impressive to me initially. Not until before a few weeks was I so impressed by these numbers that I too wanted them all! I wanted my blog to get more and more followers and more and more comments and what not! I was doing a major mistake...of misunderstanding the numbers for quality.
Well, while numbers definitely do represent the reach of a blog, and popularity too, to a lot extent, I realized that the vice versa is not really true; i.e.; a blog that doesn't have many followers is NOT a bad one. I realized that a lot of bloggers earn followers by requesting other bloggers to follow them or something like that. For a certain time-period, I did it too. And now, I only feel ashamed that I did. It may not be wrong to get your blog out there, but to "ask" people to follow you is a little too much. I think the strategy should be just to visit a blog, comment what you feel and follow if you want and period. If they see your comment, visit you and follow you, that's appreciable. Hence, I decided to stop chasing for numbers. While I love my followers, I think the true "blogger-friends" are those who really "read" and comment genuinely.
Women are really critical beings and when they do nothing but just appreciate others' blogs, it seems too good to be true! I'm not being pessimistic. I'm just trying to say that it's very normal to not like some posts and some styles and that it's not compulsory to appreciate the blogger every-time, even if you actually made a face and popped your eyes out when you first saw the post. A genuine (not rude) comment should be made, if at all and that should not hurt the blogger. Sadly, the fashion blogging scene looks far from that and all I see are "Oh lovely post, honey!" (What does that say about the post at all? I know you did not read it) or "I like the scooter!" (What scooter? Oh that one in the corner of the photo which can be identified only via a magnifying glass? I know you didn't like my photo) and such. I understand it's hard to return compliments at times. Then what do you do? To lie just to return the favour is ridiculous. Just wait for another post from that blogger or go through some old ones and then comment if you like. Sigh but who goes through so much, right?
When I first started blogging, it was all about rants and scribbles. It was all about words. And even today, I feel that a real post ought to have some words, little or more of relevant writing. Now I know this one doesn't much apply to fashion blogs and does not apply at all (mostly, if you want) to photography blogs but it's the fashion blogs we're talking about. So, it's not really a problem if you're posting your outfit and not writing much. That's legit and makes absolute sense. However, when you are just picking up pictures from somewhere and posting them flat on your blog, sorry but it's not telling me much about you and not making much sense either. Although, this blog characteristic doesn't hurt, it's always good to get some background on the pictures.
There are fashion bloggers all over the world and increasing. US, Europe and Australia seem to be from where most of the bloggers are but a happy change is a whole lot of smart bloggers coming up from India. Although these bloggers love playing with colours, they have their own eclectic mix of styles which incorporates the Indian ethnicity and Western geometry. The best part is that they don't have a million followers or a hundred publicity strategies and yet, they're earning the recognition they deserve via Indian press. Isn't that wonderful? I'm really happy that blogging is
becoming has become a major trend in India too.
While I have many more things to say, I will just stop right here for now and let you all ponder over these confessions for a while. I was seriously considering stopping blogging on French Leave and I still do get those moments when I think "Umm, why? This is all too superficial."; but talking to friends and well-wishers makes me reconsider. Knowing that I have many "non-following", "non-commenting" readers is definitely a boost. So, I will continue French Leave, but rather than getting stuck in the rut and not liking it, I'll call it a Lifestyle blog rather than a fashion/design blog.
Do not misunderstand me for being too negative in my outlook. There is also a lot of positive side to each of these attributes that I talked about here. Probably I'll write up about that later sometime but till then, these confessions are what I have.