I started my blog in 2012, but due to the demands of a creative degree at university I couldn’t quite focus on it as much as I would have loved to. Having studied English Literature at A Levels I have a love for reading and writing and I simply wanted a place where I could express myself with words and showcase my personal style. We live in a digital age where everything is either a click or a swipe away and due to the temporary nature of said digital age, I believe that everyone should have their own website or blog (at least).
In case you missed it, last week instagram “shut down” and it was pretty much a digital apocalypse. Nothing was uploading or refreshing and if you logged out, you couldn’t log back in. People came over to the only relevant and functioning social platform to share their plight, using the trending #InstagramShutDown. As a social media influencer this affected me in one way. I usually synchronise my blog and instagram posts, so when this shut down happened, the post went live but I couldn’t alert my instagram followers that it had gone live. Now the danger with this is that there are a lot of bloggers and businesses that have put all their eggs in the instagram basket and when the app shutdown, so did their blog and business.
Although this was only momentarily, could you imagine if it was permanent and it disappeared with all your followers and stats forever? Quite scary if you take your business seriously. Before the shut down (and probably still now), a lot of people live comfortably with the mentality that their social media is ‘popping’, they have thousands of followers and that’s all that brands want to see. Well the brands won’t see a thing if it’s all gone tomorrow and you’ll quite literally go from Cinderella at the ball to Cinderella after midnight.
As great as social media is for promoting our businesses and blogs, it really cannot be the ‘be all and end all’. Wonderful, you have 100k followers and people comment sweet nothings under each of your perfectly filtered pictures, but all that could go in a blink of an eye. Unless you or I own company shares in a social media platform somewhere, the fact is that our social media does not belong to us. We will forever be battling algorithms and the like, so if last week’s shut down has taught us anything, it is to never place your blog or business’ success in the hands of a social media platform who’s number 1 priority is NOT you.
The best way I know to be in front of this is to build an e-mail list. With an e-mail list you have complete control over your content and it will never be filtered so that only a select amount of people see it. Also, email lists help you engage in a more intentional way with your audience, and you never have to worry about your content being taken down or removed at a moment’s notice without your discretion.