Why Is It So Hard For Bloggers To Catch A Break These Days

Friday, April 07, 2017

Lifestyle, Blogging, Rant, Real Talk, flat lay, pink flatlay, flatlay inspiration

I just want to warn you right this second, that this is probably going to be one of my rant-y posts. I've been thinking of writing a post like this for the past week, and well this morning, I am sitting at my laptop waiting for someone to come and change our electric meters and I think now is finally the time to have a little finger vomit.

So just what am I going to be ranting about today? Well, I want to talk about blogging. I mean not just blogging in general, I want to speak out about how hard it is these days for bloggers to catch a break. It may seem like I'm throwing my toys out of the pram, which I guess I am in some retrospect, but to be honest, I'm frustrated and annoyed, and I'm not just frustrated for myself, I'm frustrated for everyone who has a blog, who works hard on it. I'm annoyed for all of us bloggers, and here's why.

You see that some platforms, have been making it increasingly difficult for bloggers to have their content seen. I've been a bit meh about the whole Instagram algorithm, which yes does annoy me but I've realised there is probably not much we can do.

Last year, Instagram changed the way you see content on your feed, so instead of seeing posts in chronological order, they changed the algorithm meaning that you see content based on the chances of you liking it and and your relationship with the person who has posted it. Because of the change, it has made it increasingly difficult for your pictures to be seen, with lots of people reporting that their engagement is down, because people are missing out on so much in their feed.

This has brought new pressure on, to ensure your photos are on point so that people interact with them so there's a better chance of people seeing them in their feed. I kinda thought that because it seemed like 99% of Instagram users seemed to hate this new change, that Instagram would change it back at some point. However, I am starting to doubt that this will ever happen.

It's frustrating yes, but I've always been like a bit like 'well what can I do?' It is, what it is.

However, the one thing that has really enraged me, and the one thing that has lead to me writing this post, is about something that I found out about last week.

Bloglovin.

Now, if you're a blogger, chances are, you probably know already what I'm going to say about the blog platform Bloglovin. However, if you don't, here is a quick overview.

So basically, Bloglovin is a blog reading platform, or well it used to be, it was a place to read blog posts, you could follow your fave blogs, save posts to almost folders so you could go back to them, and a couple of years ago, it was a really great platform.

I still use it pretty much every day, as I see it as the easiest way to catch up with blogs, however I am starting to limit my usage on the platform, after I found out that Bloglovin were essentially stealing bloggers page views.

Say what?? I know right?

For the past year or so, I have had a feeling that something wasn't quite right with Bloglovin, as my blog traffic has been low, really low. It's been making me feel very worried, frustrated and upset that I seem to have more followers than ever but my views are down. I couldn't quite work it out.

However, it's starting to make perfect sense and I am so mad.

So here is what has been happening, first of all is the Bloglovin frame, which if you read blogs on Bloglovin, you may have noticed yourself. It's essentially a frame which navigates you from blog to blog whilst reading posts. This frame means that your post is read on Bloglovin, rather than the reader clicking onto your blog. Now you can disable the frame from being on your posts, (post here on how to do this) and this is something I've made sure to disable.

However, this has been a problem for a while, but something came out last week which was a lot more worrying. It was found out whilst looking at a blog post html, that Bloglovin are setting canonical. Don't worry, I don't know what that meant either, but basically, it's a code that tells search engines where the content is from. Okay, so what's the problem with that then you may ask?

Well the big problem is that Bloglovin, are saying that THEY are the source. So they are telling the likes of Google that they own that content, not you. Now Google doesn't like duplicates, so Google would then possibly penalise your blog, which means that Bloglovin would come up higher in search engine searches, rather than you. This could have a huge effect on your blog traffic, and new followers finding your blog.

As you can see it's pretty worrying right?

As you can imagine, when this was revealed on Twitter, all hell broke loose. It suddenly explained why people's page views were down, and it ended up with many people angrily tweeting Bloglovin to remove their blog from their site.

Bloglovin replied the next day and apologised for this mistake and have now changed the code so this won't happen anymore. They basically had to do this, cause it's super shady and does inflict copyright law.

However, there is still something going on I am sure, as looking at my analytics, the views do not add up. Using yesterday as an example, my latest post on Bloglovin has had over 400 views, but my analytics show 6 page views from Bloglovin.

How does that add up?

I am getting more and more annoyed about the situation, as my blog is my job and I feel like this platform is stealing my views. My views are down which means when brands want to work with me, it may harm my possibility of getting jobs, and it makes me so angry that someone else seems to benefiting from my hard work.

I've been biting my tongue about this, because to be honest with you, I've had this weird idolisation with Bloglovin over the past couple of years. I use Bloglovin every day, and loved the platform for reading blogs. I loved the popular pages, and when I first started full time blogging, the popular pages really helped me to build a following and helped my posts to be seen. I was incredibly grateful for this.

Bloglovin, used to be great at helping bloggers out. The popular pages were always full of different bloggers, and I found so many great blogs to read on those pages. They would also do a regular newsletter with blog post recommendations and I used to always hope that one day my blog would be on that newsletter.

However, over the past few months, the site doesn't seem to be as pro blogger anymore. They started their own blogs called The Bloglovin Edit, where they post about beauty, lifestyle, food, etc... and these days those great newsletters are full of recommendations to their own posts.

I've just looked at the past few newsletters and to be fair, they are getting better at recommending other blogs, but still, there are always a few links to their own blog. And the newsletters are always promoting the same people. I know this is just how the world works, people with loads of followers are going to be promoted more, but I think it's a shame, as those newsletters used to be more diverse.

I've almost been scared to say that I'm annoyed, cause I was worried I'd perhaps be blacklisted but you know what I don't even care anymore. Why am I idolising some platform when they obviously don't have a lot of respect for bloggers. The site seems to have turned into making money a priority.

You can now also blog directly from the site which I wouldn't recommend anyone to do, and I just think that the old Bloglovin that was a great platform to find new blogs and read your faves has gone. It's about promoting themselves, getting traffic (probably yours) and shouting out their favourites.

I am done.

I'm not going to say that I'm going to take my blog from the site, or stop using it, but I am making a more conscious effort to read blogs, through going to their blog directly or reading through a link on Twitter. I'm going to stop depending so much on Bloglovin because it hasn't paid off for me.

I'm annoyed that I've allowed myself to feel so down and disheartened about my blog, I feel a bit stupid, but I wanted to speak out, for 1. in case you didn't know what was going on and 2. to be honest with you guys.

You know, people seem to think that blogging is easy, but it isn't. It takes so much time and effort to create blog content, and it's really frustrating for something like this to happen.

Although Bloglovin claim the issue has been fixed, I'm not so sure. I think when payday hits, I'll be moving my blog over to Wordpress as you can control things such as codes a lot easier and I think this will hopefully mean I can start to build my page views up again.

I would love to know your thoughts on the subject, I just feel really frustrated, and when it's already so hard to get your blog noticed, it really annoys me that these platforms are making it increasingly harder for your content to be seen. It shouldn't have to be this hard.

Don't let this get you down though about your blog, if anything, it's made me want to work even harder on my blog.

Are you up to date with the news on Bloglovin? Are you changing the way you read blogs?

Useful posts to read:
Are Bloglovin Stealing Your Page Views?
The Problem With Bloglovin
Could Bloglovin Be Doing A Disservice To Your Blog?

Disclaimer- I hope this doesn't make me sound like a spoilt brat cause I want my blog to always be promoted, I'm just annoyed as Bloglovin used to promote a diverse range of blogs, and although it's great for bloggers to be featured at all, it would be nice I think for some other blogs to get a look in to make things a little more fair.

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