Not much time and I will have been blogging for 8 years (10 to be precise, but this blog has existed for “only” almost 8 of them). Back then in 2009, blogging was different. After I started blogging about my daily life on a personal blog (and believe me, this wasn’t as interesting as it might sound because it was only about school and music and pretty sad all the time), I found out that there’s more – fashion blogs, beauty blogs, well, blogs about a special topic. One day, I was sick in bed (uh, tell me something new!) and decided that I wanted to do a fashion blog – but not a typical fashion blog. One that’s only about my outfits. And that’s how “Lu zieht an.” started.
At first, it was kind of weird. My few friends (half of them were men) were never that interested in fashion. They were pretty basic when it came to outfits, while I was rather “different”, extrovert and extravagant (hasn’t changed, right?). Of course, they left comments because they were my friends but – let’s be honest! – they surely weren’t really interested. I began to follow other fashion blogs – and beauty blogs. Commenting was the most important thing, interaction with other bloggers, with your readers – discussions and simply nice words. When you left a comment on someone else’s blog, people would come and check out who you are. And leave a comment. That’s how you grew your community, your followership – your reach. And it was worth a million because active followers are what keeps a blog alive, what makes a blog a blog and therefore something different than a magazine. Something personal yet public – a place to be for everyone.
Nowadays, that’s called “engagement rate” and it is countable. It’s calculated from the interactions of you (my dear readers) divided by the actual number of visitors or impressions. For example: last month, the most-clicked post on the blog was → this outfit. It had 1696 clicks in September. It received only two comments. This makes a conversion rate of 0.001%. And as you can imagine, this is more than disappointing. Another example: on Instagram, → this post (at the moment I’m writing this blog post) had 17,996 impressions, 1566 likes and 19 comments. This makes a conversion rate of 0.08%. Considering that I currently have 48.6K followers on Instagram (and probably substracting about a third of that because of spam accounts, fat fetishists and simply just followers who don’t interact at all [use Instagram just to follow but not to like or comment]) and don’t even reach 1%, this is extremely saddening.
Away from those cold numbers and calculations – even though they’re what I want to talk about. I’ve been asking myself why readers and followers (in my case: you) stopped commenting. Back in the days, my blog posts received around 20 comments or even more – today, when you’d think that it should be even more because of the growth, I’m glad when it’s two different people commenting. The same on social media – ten thousands of people follow me, but then there’s times when a Facebook post only gets one comment. Or an Instagram post (where you’re so many!) “only” 20.
I totally get that “consume feeling”, especially on Insta and Snapchat (well, I stopped using it because it wasn’t my thing anyway – but I’m talking about the concept of it): you open the app, see a picture, maybe like it and keep scrolling and doing the same over and over again. Sometimes, you leave a comment, sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you like everything you see, sometimes you just have a quick look and like nothing. Picture here, picture there – only short texts. Even though sometimes I get the feeling people don’t even read these few words – and then ask where the blogger’s clothes are from instead of simply trying to read the text or tap the picture once. People prefer to invest their time in asking (sorry!) stupid and unnecessary questions instead of opening their eyes and reading – or simply visiting the blog where you can find absolutely all details (because the blog is still my number-one channel!). I mean – if that’s already a problem on Instagram and Co., how are blogs going to survive?
Of course, comments like “nice”, “beautiful” and “cute” aren’t that useful, but at least they’re some kind of interaction. I already asked it once – “why don’t you comment?”, and many times the answer was that you had the feeling that everything was already said and done. Enough compliments and no need to add another one. I understand this point and yes, an outfit is hard to comment on differently than simply telling if you like it or not. But for example – when I write about beauty products (what I stopped doing almost completely because of that, among other reasons), my reviews don’t get any comment at all. In the past, when I was more of a beauty blogger than a fashion blogger, they received lots of feedback. Today, it seems to me that they’re the least interesting posts ever, and since I didn’t want to do the work for free anymore PLUS not receive any reactions, I quit them almost completely.
Today, most of it all happens on Instagram and Facebook. And that’s okay, we’ve kind of moved on from classic blogging to “influencing”. Even though I must say – and I can only speak for myself and what I feel (please consider that while reading!) – that I don’t like this development cause I’m a blogger through and through, I love writing and I love having my own opinion and standing up for it, and I believe that there’s more to being an “influencer” than just showing nice photos. I accept that this is where we are now and I recognize the work of all those “influencers”, but at the same time I’m sad that bloggers feel that they have to change in order to keep up with this development – that they have to stop writing too much because people don’t want to invest too much time in reading, to only post perfect pictures on their social-media accounts because that’s what followers want to see, to actually BUY followers and likes because that’s the only way to “stay alive” in this industry (because nowadays it’s only about the numbers). Because written quality had to give way to (fake) followers who want to consume as much as possible in as little time as possible – without having to do more than just swiping and tapping on a glowing surface. I guess that sounds a little more bitter than it was supposed to – and I have to say that of course there are enough readers and followers who actually look at and read the posts of their favorite bloggers. Funnily, that’s exactly what happens when I write about personal stuff, when my texts are loooong and nested and I actually feel that nobody’s going to read all this – these posts receive more clicks than others, more comments than others, more interaction than others. And that’s why I don’t really want to complain too much because this is something that makes me happy and proud.
But: why doesn’t this happen all the time? Why did you guys stop commenting and interacting with me? It’s much more fun when I don’t just talk to myself – when I see that my work (and yes, outfit posts are a lot of work!) is appreciated, that you’ve really seen and read it, and when you tell me that you liked it. Of course, positive feedback is the best thing to read, but negative comments – written in a fair way – that maybe give you a different point of view and maybe even new ideas are great as well. Anything is great as long as it pops up in my blog comment mailbox. And that’s why I want to ask you to start commenting again – letting me know that you’re here and that you read my posts. I kindly ask you to appreciate the work that I do with all my heart and soul. I don’t do it just for me, but also for you. To inspire you. To empower you. To entertain you. And to somehow change the world. A little bit. ;)