The internet is the home to millions of blogs and that number is on the rise every day. Many businesses have noticed the trend and have set up blogs in order to portray their products in a good light which is a very a effective tool currently within PR and marketing industry.
But in all honesty, I’m much more accustomed to the blogs that are written by girls just like me. Blogs give us as individuals the chance to have a voice on the internet and the opportunity to let others know our opinions, thoughts and sometimes secrets.
For years now I have been an avid reader of blogs. You name it, I’ve scoured its pages for hours reading about bloggers’ ‘OOTD’ (outfit of the day) and about their latest beauty buys and favourite nail colours.
The more I read about trends and the newest beauty products, the more I find myself wanting to buy into them.
But are all people influenced as heavily as me when it comes to blogs? And how much can we really trust what they are saying?
The main aspect that appeals to me when it comes to blogs is that they are relatable. They present products that I can afford and trends that I can easily recreate.
They also often present new trends before they appear in magazines and they always list where their items can be purchased which often influences me to go and buy a certain item.
They present British street style at its best and show just how accessible fashion and the newest trends can be without having to break the bank or buy designer items.
Sophie Halouva, a fashion design student studying at De Montfort University, Leicester said, “I find blogs to be one of the most influential tools out there at the moment when it comes to fashion. I spend hours looking at fashion blogs in order to predict the big up and coming trends.”
She went on to say, “blogs are free, available at the touch of a button and if I’m ever struggling with a design project I always turn to blogs to inspire me!”
I also asked a few of my housemates about their thoughts on blogs, one said, “I love blogs! Being a student I tend to have very little disposable income so when buying a beauty product I always look at bloggers’ reviews to ensure I’m not wasting my money.” Another of my housemates told me that she had never knowingly read a blog in her life, but since showing her my favourites she has become addicted .
www.llymlrs.com is one of the most popular fashion and beauty blogs in the UK. It is written by Lily Melrose a 21 year old Graphic Design graduate from London. It has had almost 12 million views and has allowed Lily to make a career out of blogging since starting it in 2010.
When asked how her blog became so popular her usual reply is:
“I really don’t know, It just sort of happened. I hardly had any followers (about 100 or so) at the beginning of 2010, and it all sort of exploded from there! I just found my niche and then ran with it!”
Seeing as her blog is so successful she gets to enjoy some perks of the job and often gets sent products by companies for her to try. “Typically PR’s just get in touch with you and ask you if you want to attend events. I don’t know how to get noticed by PRs; most of the time they contact you out of the blue.”
I find Lily’s blog is extremely reliable and I completely trust what she says purely because on her disclaimer page she writes, “Any items sent to me will be received on a “consideration” basis, if I do not like the item I will return the item. From August 2011 all items that are sent to me for consideration, paid for with store credit, giftcards or with press discount will be marked with a asterisk (*).”
Lily manages to keep her blog interesting by blogging on a wide variety of fashion and beauty topics and only blogs on products she likes in order to be trusted by businesses as well as readers.
So is blogging becoming a more trusted source of information than the media?
Bloggers tend to be extremely passionate about whatever they choose to write about, meaning they most probably know a lot about that topic whether it be fashion, sport or films. Another thing about blogs is that you usually know who is behind them and you can usually get to know them and their personality by reading their ‘about me’ page or from quickly scanning through their blog.
On the other hand the media is often faceless; you don’t know who’s behind the story or even if it could have been a tool used by a company to promote their products, create a buzz and persuade you to buy something. Media is often used to persuade you to purchase something whereas most bloggers aren’t there to make you buy the product they just want to give an honest review or supply information on a topic they are passionate about.
The public relations industry is embracing the power of blogs, often sending products to popular bloggers in order for them to feature the product. A lot of companies have also set up their own blogs. Blogs give individuals a voice as well as giving companies the chance to talk extensively about their most interesting happenings.
But with the world of social media rapidly changing, will the blogosphere continue to influence us so heavily? And will it continue to be an useful tool within the PR industry?