Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Small blogs vs. big blogs

Hello again friends,

This is going to be a long one, so settle yourself down, put your feet up, and get comfy. :)
The first pair of converse, as mentioned in this post :)

I think the thing about the Internet is that it is unimaginable. In the same way that the Big Bang is unimaginable, or the vast distances in space are. We just can't wrap our heads around it. And that leads to the dehumanisation, or misunderstanding of it I think. The Internet is just so massive, and there are so many people who have access to it, that all of a sudden, it gets to a point where none of those people can be thought about on a human level, and they become numbers and statistics.

So we create little communities, within our friend group on Facebook, amongst fellow bloggers, and with the like-minded people we follow on Pinterest. And now we are amongst people again, and we know who they are, or we at least recognise their name. We can imagine them.

I have around a hundred followers, over all the platforms that people can follow this blog on. And I feel like I know most of you. I recognise your name, I probably went and checked out your blog if you have one, and if you've commented I have read and almost always replied to your comment. You are a person to me.

But I don't really want this blog to be bigger (well, not vastly bigger). Because I am wary of not having that human connection with my followers. Bloggers aren't so bad for this really, I think it's harder for vloggers. Some bloggers who are bigger still have an amazing connection with their audience. Take Rosie from Cider with Rosie, she has thousands of followers, yet she replied to this comment of mine (yes I screenshotted it, it was an exciting moment)
and she took the time to email me back when I had a question I wanted to ask her. And Joanna from a Cup of Jo structures her posts in such a way that she interacts with the commenters, and often posts about reading what they said at a later point, and she has I don't even know how many followers.

The thing is, I love having a small blog. And I love reading small blogs. There is a style of writing on small blogs that there just isn't in bigger blogs, because their posts are made to go viral, and be shared. Not that there is anything wrong with that, at all. I am a huge fan of those sorts of posts at the right time, but they are completely different to the blogs that the people that I know write. Big blogs (with a few exceptions) seem to all have post titles like 5 signs that you're on the right path, and, how to be more productive, and, the perfect fall cheese platter. They are interesting, and informative, but to me they seem ultimately pointless. On the Internet it is easy to get stuck in a spiral, reading content to get you motivated by speaking about motivation, or about how to know whether you are on the right path by reading about it rather than experiencing it. There is just something empty about those posts. I don't go away and think about them later. They don't make me question things.

I think smaller blogs (well, the ones that I read) are almost a completely different style of bloggers. We share thoughts and ideas, but in a completely different way. We share experiences, and decisions, and celebrations and woes. I think the important word here is share. Because big bloggers, while they are sharing their knowledge, it doesn't feel the same. And at the moment I just can't quite put my finger on why.

ps. I'm sorry I haven't been a very active blogger lately, at the moment I just need the writing side of blogging more than the community side of it, but I will be back with the comments soon. :)


  1. I see where you are coming from. I know Rosie is the sweetest, had a chance to talk with her while I was advertising my own blog on her site. Such a cool person and definitely not spoiled by how big her blog has become :)

  2. I totally get what you mean Emma! There's something about small blogs that makes them feel like you know them and they know you too at some point. There's engagement, communication and connection. There's a certain depth to them. I think many bloggers/vloggers that made it really huge have been terribly busy which makes it all the more admiring for those that were able to maintain their deep sense of connection to the community. I have been reading blogs for a long time now and I have realized that those that I have religiously followed for years now have made that connection. I appreciate how even if they get hundreds of comments on a post, they still end up replying with more than a simple thank you. There's thought put in and heart too. Sure they can't possibly do it all the time but for most, they do. I also share that same feeling and "screen caption" moment loads of times. It's fun to know that I'm not the only one who does that. Haha. I have had that experience too of emailing certain bloggers for questions and stuff and it is very thoughtful of them to respond with so much enthusiasm. I guess the real point here is making connection with people, inspiring and motivating. That's the part of blogging that I wish would stay forever.

    PS: I totally got talkative in there. Ooops.

  3. oh my gooodness, so true! i totally agree with what you wrote. i've always thought it was a bit sad and a tiny bit useless to comment on someones blog when i fell like they won't even hear me. and i love what you said about not wanting your blog to get much bigger. i'm like that too. i've clicked on everyone who follows me and looked at their blog and traded comments and stuff. i don't want to loose that.

  4. It's interesting isn't it. On one hand I want my blog to be bigger, I want to earn money from it and inspire many more people and be a 'blogger' by trade but on the other hand I am so in love with the idea of keeping it small. I don't know where my blog is going to take me but I value you keeping yours small. I know I don't always comment but I always read your posts. They're beautifully written and inspire me (p.s. I love the advent calendar you made)

    I hope you'll stick around no matter where my blog goes :) x

    1. Sam, of course I'll always follow your blog!!! You are such a wonderful person, and your blog is a reflection of you, so I know it will always be wonderful. :)
      And I think that it can be such a dilemma, because for where I am in my life at the moment a small blog suits me, but your blog is connected with your photography, and so there are other reasons that it would be awesome for more people to be able to see it. :)

  5. You've got a point. A real good one too. I tend to gravitate towards blogs that have under 300 followers and I feel like it's because I know I will have the chance to connect with them on a personal level than what I would with someone who has over 100 comments on their blog. But in the end, I guess those who do have over 100 comments on their blog do try their absolute best to interact with their readers and that goes for me too. Even though I only get 15 to 20 comments on my posts and I don't reply to each and every one, I do appreciate every comment left on my blog. :)

  6. Excellently put Emma. It's just really nice to hear that someone feels so similarly! I think about this from time to time, and stare at the numerical figures that are apparently readers on my blog. But then I realise, each individual is a living, breathing human being and I've managed to reach out to them. To possibly have even affected them, in any way, is something I marvel at. I've thought about monetizing the blog but couldn't possibly think of it still taking an as personal, genuine path after that.
    I love this community of small blogs we share, and couldn't be more content. Meeting people from it whether it be online or physical, is just astounding. It's very important of you to have brought this up and you've essentially said what needs to be said. Again, I'm just in awe of how well and clear you articulate your ideas. :) Well said, again.

  7. I agree! I never want my blog to become so big that I ignore people who visit. It may take me a day or two to respond to comments because I'm busy and can't get onto my blog every single day, but I do read, appreciate, and respond to everyone :) And I love visiting other folks' blogs! Thanks for writing!

    1. Oh, and I'm totally going to find you on Instagram because I just got a smartphone for the first time last month and have very much been enjoying that new media platform!

  8. I so agree with you, there's something about small blogs - I think it's the way they make us feel like we're friends who actually know each other on a deep level! :)

  9. I wouldn't categorize those big blogs as big, more like they are more commercial, rather then personal blogs. plus most of these big blogs has advertisements and they make money off their blogs which is why they have posts that attracts readers but doesn't necessary relates on a person-to-person level. of cause, not to say some of those big blogs aren't personal but they just seems to be want to reach a wider audience, I suppose.

    I think it's rather hard to be on a person-to-person level with a reader but we can all try to anyway. and besides, that is what blogging is really - to reach out to people who otherwise we would not reach without a blog. but then again, there is social media but that's a whole different topic.

    there's definitely something about belonging to a small group rather than a large one, which I also like because I like knowing where and who the comment came from but I would always welcome new readers.

    I could ramble on and on about this if I don't stop.

    I hope you have a sweet day.

  10. Wise words Emma.
    I think you're spot on. Whenever I am really busy and have blogs to read, I always mark the big blogs as read and just save like yours and other bloggers to make sure I read them because I really don't feel like I've missed something if I miss a big bloggers post but you guys are my friends. And reading your posts is like talking to you on the phone or catching up for coffee. It's important to me.

    I am so grateful for all the followers I have on my blog now, and at times I've thought about ways I could grow my blog, but to be honest, I am in no hurry as I want to give you all the time and thought that friends deserve because that is what you've all given to me :)

  11. I agree completely, Emma!

    I have started blogging very very recently, but in the two months thats I have, I have spent a vast amount of time looking for and reading new blogs as well (as you do, when you're a blogger, haha). What I noticed was that I found myself coming back to and further exploring the smaller blogs with much more interest, than the bigger, so called commercial blogs.

    They all may have excellent production value, and I agree quality in terms of images is important, but the writing in the smaller blogs is really what fuels the connection. You get the feeling that they are talking to you, as an individual, and not to some generic audience.

    I immensely enjoy keeping up with their daily ups and downs. In our world of social media, where everybody just presents a very rosy picture of their lives, it is comforting to know that people everywhere in different countries go through similar stuff, and if they can pick themselves up, so can you.

    When I need a tutorial for say, making a cushion cover, I choose the best tutorial I can find and move on, very rarely keeping track of the blog I found it on. But when I connect with somebody's joy or anguish through their blogpost, I am quite likely to return.

    This is what I adore about your blog too, Emma and I wish you all the luck at uni. ( I have been binge reading all your posts, lol ) Good on you for having the courage to choose a field you have a passion for.

    Love from India ( and apologies for the rant )

    Minna xx


Thank-you very much for commenting, you just brightened my day. <3

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