| are blogs the only future of publishing and features ? |
Helloooo everyone !
So I had a thought, and it’s a thought I think many people have probably had; ‘what if blogs take over magazines in popularity ? will the circulations cease to exist as we become more dependent on the internet for information ?’
I have a friend who works in Marketing and PR and networks with bloggers on various releases. She made a very strong point which triggered my whole thought process; ‘If you start thinking about what the point of magazines and advertising is, and how blogs are providing the same information, it becomes quite a dangerous place as the whole industry could collapse.‘
With this in mind, it makes me question whether our online presence is causing magazines to become redundant, or will magazines always survive with their long-standing heritage of selling lifestyles and ideas ?
Let’s step back and see how this whole argument came about; Magazines have been the main source of information for many years in various areas – the biggest being women’s fashion and lifestyle, but let’s not forget technology, men’s and sports magazines too which are also strong niches – however since the late noughties blogs have grown to become more influential and prominent in the fashion and beauty industry.
Blog honesty has drawn in millions of readers, giving a new angle to reviews and even daring to slate a product in the name of a fair viewpoint on a purchase. Bloggers are all for discovering the best new products – and of course indulging in a hobby that excites and can bring many rewards – and making sure people are buying something that works.
Even those who move into YouTube videos create monthly content that shares the ‘Best and Worst’ of the month, year, since they started buying skincare, giving tips and references to finding dupes and what is best for your skin tone or type.
Say you read in Cosmo about this great new oil which will give you sleek hair and that you need to buy it now, you don’t know necessarily that this product will suit your hair type nor do you see it working in action. Chances are that a beauty blogger or vlogger has also bought this product, tested it out for a period time and compared it to other products to give the reader a better idea of whether it will work for them, how it works, and if you can find something cheaper or similar.
But how do bloggers fund this lifestyle ? Most of us know the answer but for those are only beginning to explore the online presence of blogs, most are working full/part-time in retail or other sectors and use their wages to fund their hobby of beauty, fashion, lifestyle, travel etc. to later blog about and share with audiences on various platforms. ‘Big’ bloggers who have been curating their work since 2009 luckily call blogging and YouTube their job; they earn a living off advertising, product reviews and also for those with big success – such as Tanya Burr, Zoella and even John Green – earn money off products and original work they have created, because their exposure to brands has allowed their skills to be noticed without working up the job ladder and using a degree.
You may find this unfair, that some people can skip university and go straight to the top to earn money and gain exposure, however these people have worked as hard as those who want a Law or Journalism degree. They may not have found university the right path for them, or found that certain barriers kept them back from succeeding in other areas i.e. Zoe Sugg has openly spoke about her anxiety and how it made it hard to her be in busy places. Talking to a camera about what she enjoys allowed her to interact with millions without having to actually be surrounded by them, giving her the chance to show the skills she does have without fear of becoming distressed. Others have used their degrees to push their careers forward online, such as Sammi from BeautyCrush who did Fashion Styling and has worked with Missguided, L’oreal and also The Body Shop to go backstage at LFW; Megan from PagesByMegan has used her fashion based degree to go straight into a job at ASOS whilst still managing to find time to win Highly Commended Personal Style Blog in the Company x Missguided Blog Awards.
Not all bloggers earn mega cash, but the money they do earn comes from sponsorship and advertising which is the same as a magazine except you don’t have to skip through about 20 pages to reach the contents page, you just click on it if it’s relevant or skip by it as you would normally. As Helen from TheLoveCatsInc in her recent post said, just by clicking on one advert you could be helping someone earn a living to help feed a family, not just some preconceived idea of a perfect lifestyle.
Although this may so far seem like some massive magazine bashing, magazines have had a longer standing heritage in the world and also in my life. I’ve probably read magazines longer than I have blogs – although I’ve most likely read more blog posts than magazine features, I could trawl all day – and the magazines have helped shape my teenage years, approaches to fashion and beauty, how to care about my skin and what new things are coming up. Granted, blogs have helped me decipher my skin type more and what products are more suited, but magazines have equally given me the tips of how to style new trends, what to do to prep my skin for summer, what celebrities are being celebrated at award shows – the Glamour Awards are my particular favourite.
Even better now, magazines and blogs are coming together to celebrate the change in publishing and how influential people are online, and how they can influence more through an influential magazine. COMPANY Magazine holds an annual blog awards, and were the first to put a YouTuber on the cover; SugarScape makes loads of online content with emerging social media stars, and regularly mention bloggers in their ‘Most Fashionable’ features, heck even Nickelodeon Teen Awards and the Radio 1 Teen Choice Awards have created a category for bloggers and YouTube stars to celebrate their influence !
Magazines may look from the offset that they are going to collapse, but their ability – in some magazines – to catch onto a movement quickly keeps them fresh and involved in a progressive internet world. Every month, more and more bloggers emerge, are created, noticed and become successful, and magazines are working hard to feature them so that their audiences also grow and showcase the equal talent of those who worked to earn a job in a magazine and of those who worked from scratch to create a self-made brand.
So, the future ? I believe magazines will become more online reliant and based, but there is still the indulgence of buying a few glossy holy grail magazines, fawning over the amazing photography and lifestyles being shown. Bloggers in my eyes will continue to influence all my purchases, as it’s common now to find people who have the same needs as you online who have access to more products, giving you a wider range of knowledge in skincare than before, but magazines will always be there to truly put the blog talent on display through features and promotion.
Bloggers use initiative, passion and self-motivation to make themselves and their work into a brand, and magazines have had the same stance since Vogue in the 1920’s. Magazines will always be relevant to those who have grown with magazines, and love the physical feeling of something to read, and blogs will continue to grow until creativity has run dry – hint, it never does.
Both will constantly be in existence, as being ‘famous’ online doesn’t mean much until you are exposed to mainstream publishing. You see it with Anna and Lily when they were interviewed for Channel 4, they are just working to do what they love and to be noticed by a big information scourer is something mind-blowing.
Blogging allows those with writing skills, fashion skills, beauty knowledge and those without a degree of ‘real’ experience to hone their talent – I for one have developed my cooking skills, my appreciation of good skincare, writing about topics that mean a lot to me (although I still don’t know if they’re any good, but the fact I enjoy it means enough.) and also networking with those with similar goals constantly makes me work harder for what I want without the ‘usual’ route of work.
Magazine publishing will continue on as long as they keep up with the movements in ours and future generations. Featuring those who are influencing you and me now will allow a whole new audience to open up and discover new talent, just as Blogger and YouTube did for us.
What are your thoughts on the Blog V Magazine stance ? What is the future of magazines to you ?
Lots of Love,