Friday, 3 April 2015

Why Blogs Don't Need To Be Perfect

There's no denying that bloggers have seriously upped their game, recently. Five or six years ago, most blogs were just a little page on the internet for people to have a bit of a rant, or post a few photos but, today, they are an actual career for many. Brands are vying to work with bloggers after realising the influence they can have and readers genuinely care what they have to say. This means that if you want your blog to be taken seriously, then there's definitely a certain level of attention and effort required. It's not a case of haphazardly taking a photo of a lipstick and telling the world you like it. People want more. But how much more is really needed?

I noticed recently, whilst browsing through Hannah Gale's blog, that she'd received a few comments from people questioning why she'd made a spelling mistake, or grammatical error, when her blog is her 'full time job'. I thought this was a bit harsh. Obviously, I understand that when a blog turns into a full time job, people are going to expect a certain standard. There's a pressure to make regular, engaging content, produce presentable posts and, ultimately, keep your readers returning (and your bank balance looking healthy.) But I don't think it's vital for their blog to be perfect.

My blog, like most people's, is just a hobby. Whilst I do take pride in it and like to make it look as presentable and professional as I can, it's nowhere near perfect. My photos are crap quality compared to most and there will definitely be one or two spelling/grammatical errors kicking around somewhere. But, as it's a hobby, I can let that slide. However, if it was my job, then I would be more cautious. I'd have the time to thoroughly proofread all my posts and take hundreds of images before selecting the right one. But, even then, I still don't think my blog would be 'perfect'. It wouldn't reach the standards of a glossy magazine, like Elle or Vogue. Why? Because it's just me running it. 
Magazines and newspapers have a team of people ensuring every word, every photo is checked over and over again until it's suitable for publication - blog's don't. So, in the case of any blogger - full time or not -whilst I wouldn't expect every post to be littered with mistakes, I can definitely be forgiving of some.

The beauty of blogs, for me, is their honesty. If I want to find out about a new moisturiser or mascara then I will be sure to google it and click on reviews on blogs, before clicking through to one written by a magazine. I'm more bothered about how in-depth and helpful the review is than the quality of the writing or photography. Whilst Glamour magazine might have a well structured paragraph and a pretty photo to match about the latest foundation, it's doubtful as to whether or not what they're saying actually has any truth it it. A blog, on the other hand, is much more likely to give a well-balanced, truthful review that will help sway my decision more than a magazine review would. This is one of the main reasons I don't think blogs need to be perfect. They might not use fancy words to describe a lipstick - I've read people describe a product as 'meh', before. Hardly correct, exciting vocabulary but if they tell me why, I don't really mind.

Blogs have clearly advanced massively over the past few years. You only need to browse through some of the 'bigger' blogger's older posts to see how much their photography and writing has improved. More people are creating them and more people are reading them and taking them seriously. But I think it's important to remember that blogs aren't magazines. Whilst some of them are pretty close, remember that those bloggers have probably been working at it for years - and even then, they could still have the odd mistake as there's no sub-editor double checking everything is okay before pressing publish.

It's clear that blogs are only going to get more polished and professional, in the future, due to the fact that brands now value them more than ever and they can become an actual career. However, my favourite thing about blogs is their authenticity and honestly. I like reading blogs with personality that inject a bit of fun into their reviews or post something completely out of the blue, just because. It's refreshing. It's different from magazines - and that's why I read them. If I wanted to read a perfect magazine, I would. But I choose to read blogs - that aren't necessarily written by trained writers or with images taken by professional photographers - because they're interesting, honest and actually show personality. I like seeing someone with windswept hair because the weather wasn't perfect when they photographed their OOTD and I like seeing that a lipstick bullet is slightly worn down because a blogger has actually used it. And little 'imperfections', like spelling mistakes or an over use of exclamation marks (I'm terrible for this!), just show that the person behind the blog is actually real.

What do you think? Do you think blogs should be 'perfect'? Or do mistakes not bother you?

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