Writers Of The Internet: I Want To Feel Your Personality

A few days back Keiran and I found ourselves discussing our respective days in the kitchen, him washing up the day before’s dinner plates and me arranging an assortment of various freezer foods on a baking tray. We do this a couple times a week, where we reflect on what’s been happening in the world, which of our friend’s has the best gossip, what we’d like to do at the weekend - it’s our relationship round up.

It was during our chat earlier in the week that we got onto the subject of bloggers and influencers, and Keiran asked me why I thought some were more successful than others. It’s more complex than plucking a few simple answers out of the air, but I do think that there are some key factors which play a big part in an individual’s online accomplishments. Some are positive, and some not so much:

  • White, thin, able-bodied & blonde. This industry is as latently racist as any other, it’s just often hidden beneath thinly veiled ‘we’re all worth it’ campaigns, pushed by brands that only repost, work with, or champion women of one specific skin colour and body type. If you’re a thin white able-bodied woman, your privilege precedes you. (I want to write more on this in the future but I’m in the process of finding the words. I don’t want to speak over women of colour who’ve discussed this time and time again, but I also don’t want to be silent. I’m working on finding the right balance.)
  • Genuine creativity, passion and attention to detail. A lot of what we see online is keeping to the status quo. That’s why there are always trends with filters and styles of photography (it used to be all bright white walls, and now it’s grainy textures, warmer tones and street corners). I’ll put my hands up - my photography is not that creative, and I’m often inspired by what I see in some of my favourite magazines or from some of my favourite bloggers. However, I do hope that I’m creative with what I write, which leads me nicely on to my third point…
  • Having an opinion and identity. This. Is. The. One. It’s something I discuss regularly with Hannah (HannahGale.com) during our normal Monday morning work meet ups, and it’s something that I think can make such a difference to how engaging you are online. Our market is oversaturated. It’s impossible to be totally unique in a sea of women that are roughly the same age, have roughly the same interests and do roughly the same thing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make yourself stand out. What makes people follow you? Do you have a USP? (Do you need one?)

Whenever I explain what I do to someone outside of the digital sphere, I’m nine times out of ten asked that question. What makes me different? What makes me better, even? And often I say ‘not a lot’, because it’s true. I hardly defy conventions; I inhabit that ‘relatable’ blogger space that is becoming increasingly popular, I shop at Topshop and ASOS and I love a sugary latte. I do, however, have something that nobody else has.

I’m me.

~ We interrupt this broadcast to allow for an emergency vomit break, due to cliché levels exceeding the permitted limit. Normal programming will resume shortly. ~

I know, gross, but stay with me. Whilst I’m passionate about what I create and I l love what I do, I know that in an industry which is overflowing with like-minded people, it’s me as a person which is going to make my content memorable in any way. I want people to get to know me beneath the ‘Happy Hump Day’ tweets and midday outfit snaps, and sharing my personality is made easier by the fact that I always have something to say.

Laptop cover - Etsy

Bag - Gucci

I have opinions, values and passions outside of blogging, all of which shine through in all of my digital dealings. Anyone who reads anything I write will know my sense of humour, my passion for paranthesis (how delightful is a qualifying thought, right?) and precisely which swear words I champion above all others, and these slivers of personality are exactly the kinds of things that draw me to other women online.

Grace Victory, Megan Ellaby, Lydia Tomlinson, Hannah Gale, Karina Woodburn, Hayleigh Jade (Haleyigh what the hell does the M stand for??) - these are just a few of the ladies I love, and not least because I feel like I know them, even if only a little. They have individual personalities and styles to match, and I look forward to keeping up with their lives, laughing and crying along with them as they open up little windows into their everyday.

You needn’t be dissecting the latest political affairs (although cultural commentary is extremely interesting), but for me, having something to say beyond ‘these are my favourite jeans and why’ is kinda sexy. Of course, this is only my personal preference, but that’s what makes people engaging to me - that they’re real people, rather than a curated version of the Instagram explore page.

So what do you have to say? How many thoughts have you had in the shower or jotted down on a sheet of paper, before letting the thread go unteased or the idea go unexplored? How many times have you finessed a piece of writing to make it more palatable - more vanilla? Let’s have more swearing. Let’s have more blogging which isn’t about blogging. Let’s allow ourselves the freedom of more personality.

We can’t forget that these spaces we’ve created for ourselves online are in fact, still our own. Though we may be watered down by campaign briefs and brand guidelines at times, outside of that, let’s be more of ourselves. Swear. Talk about buttholes. Be angry about sexual assault and call out bigotry online. Let your personality shine through, and you know what? Your online identity will carve itself out for you.

Now fuck off. (Just kidding, until next time lovelies x)

  • LOVED this post! I feel like it can be so different in this industry but CHlo your personality is what makes your blog! I always LOVE it when you’ve posted a new post because I feel like I am having a chat with a close friend. I always love your blog- keep doing what you’re doing

    http://www.petiteelliee.com

    Ellie xx

  • Hannah McCreesh

    Chloe, I just discovered your blog through Karina’s Insta story and I just LOVE this post, it’s so refreshing! I honestly couldn’t agree more, I too have a category on my blog for “thoughts”, from posts about current affairs to things that are important to me personally. I think it’s so important to make your content about more than just “stuff”. Keep up the awesome work girl x x

    http://www.hannahfrancesmccreesh.com

  • I LOVED this post! I’ve not written a post on my blog for the longest because I’ve being so catch up in trying to make my space “fit” in to a mould that just isn’t me. I’ve been sat at my desk tonight thinking of ideas to discuss and when I had ideas of something that was a little more out there, I instantly went to water it down. Reading your post has got me thinking, why am I so scared to be myself online and to show me?
    Well, no more! Thank you Chloe, I don’t think you know just how much your post has helped me.

  • This is EXCELLENT.

    And I couldn’t agree more, it’s definitely something i’m taking on board. Six years of blogging down the line perhaps everything too curated now, so getting the daily grind back in the picture & the ‘everyday’ is definitely on my agenda.

    I discovered your blog recently and it’s absolutely your writing & personality which shines through and keeps me wanting to read more (and fab photography too).

    Mel x mediamarmalade.com

  • I love this post so much! Personality it SUCH a big part of blogging. I often find myself skimming over peoples words when reading a post with little to no personality whereas I’m completely invested when someone’s personality shines through their writing, these are often the bloggers I return to and look forward to their next posts.

    https://jasmineisabellaa.wordpress.com

  • Love this topic. I agree that it’s so nice to see blogger’s personalities & ‘the person behind the blog’, but my fear is that I share too much online, too much about myself which isn’t something I really want to do. I think it’s finding the balance between the two: allowing your personality to shine through but also being aware of what you’re sharing. Great post as always x

    Summer, http://www.thetwinswardrobe.com

  • Yes, yes, yes! this is so excellent! Even if someone’s content is really similar to 99% of other blogs, if they show their personality it instantly makes me feel more interested in reading what they are doing.

    I hope that 2018 brings us some “going back to the basics” in blogging; more personality, less perfection! x

  • Rachel

    Thanks for the post Chloe, I’m not a blogger but as a jewellery designer I really struggle with the question “what makes you different?” And I’m finding at the moment that I’m allowing it to stop me from sharing my work.

    You’ve really summed up the answer to the question, I get so caught up with thinking I need to create pieces and work with themes that no one has ever done before, and in my industry that’s pretty tough.

    Thank you for the reminder that just being me **should** bring like minded people my way.

    Either that or I’ll start just talking about buttholes 🤣

    Rachel

    http://www.rachelwhitehead.com

  • Thank you for sharing this! As a woman of colour in the blogger industry, it’s nice to know that there are others who recognise the level of racism there is in the community. There are times when I’ve received racial abuse on my blog, and then times when it’s clear opportunities lay with those who have privilege! Also, just wanna say a huge thank you for using your voice! There are so many who don’t acknowledge racism and it holds us back!

    I’m honestly so glad you published this post, so inspiring and uplifting!

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

  • So, I have a theory. The more editorial and curated your blog feed is, the less personal your content will be. I think it’s difficult to put so much time and energy into the aesthetics of your space, and then also pour out your heart in a post. If you care more about one of these elements, the other will naturally suffer. Those who truly love blogging for what it is, and are relatable *and* successful, are great at doing both; your blog comes to mind, along with The Daybook, Inthefrow, Posh, Broke & Bored. Unfortunately, I can’t name many “big” blogs by women of color here, even ones who have bomb aesthetics and are open and personable and feel like your friend even though you’ve never met them. Why? We know why. 👀

    Those high-quality posts with photos from full frame canon cameras and magazine-style layouts are are great… for magazines. But when I come to a blog, I don’t want to look at a magazine, I want a snippet of your life! If I was in the mood for something editorial with very little substance, I would’ve picked up a magazine, not clicked around through a blog.

    OH, and don’t even get me started to About Me pages written in third person. Are they TRYING to remove themselves from their readership? Because it’s working.

    Great post, Chloe.
    Xx http://www.TheActiveSpirit.com

  • I really like this and you’re completely right. I come to your blog because I like you. I like your opinions and what you write more than anything else. It’s what keeps me coming back even if I didn’t like any of the other bits.

    littlewhytebook.com

  • The blogs I always go back to are definitely the ones that allow their personalities to shine through in their writing, I completely agree. Excellent blog post xx

    Ioanna | Hearting.o.uk

  • that they’re real people, rather than a curated version of the Instagram explore page.

    FIST PUMPING TO HIGH HEAVEN HERE. Soooo often i read posts that are literally 1 million photos and a small link at the bottom with where to buy, im not saying thats not great every once in a while…but SO damn many people do the exact same thing that they all fade into one for me and i unfollow. id much rather read someones personal story, why they love the clothes, what they did that day in them etc. so much more engaging!

    katie. xx lacoconoire.com

  • Chloe, I freaking love this blog post. These are the exact thoughts and frustrations I’ve had when it comes to some bloggers! I refer to them as ‘distant bloggers’ because that’s what they are to me when I don’t get a sense of personality from their blogs xxx

    Emma | http://www.emswardrobe.com

  • This is so true and I freaking love that you wrote about this topic!

    Hannah | Wild At Heart

  • Here’s to more swearing!

    Belle in Black and White

  • Hayley Rubery

    LOVE this post girl – I’m often guilty of not letting enough of my personality shine through and this is something I’ll definitely try to share more of through my work! Hannah & Megan are two of my favs as well!

    Hayley xo
    http://www.frockmeimfamous.com

  • This is exactly the reason you and Hannah Gale are my favourite bloggers! I always love the content you write because it’s different and it’s relatable and it’s real! I love blogs where it feels like I’m chatting to a friend and I’m getting advice and insight into someone I really admire! And it’s reminded me to not try and sugarcoat my posts, Thank You for sharing Chloe!

    Daughter of An Air Hostess // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

  • veronica

    That was so inspiring. I love this kinda of post and for a beginner like me it was very helpful! I’m so afraid to show myself out there and talk about me but I will try to do it more, I’m just to afraid about what others think. Well done girl.

    https://styleandtellblog.wordpress.com/

  • Holly White

    YES Chlo! I totally agree! I want people to know ME and not just some online persona that I spew out on a daily basis! I love chatting about things that make me passionate and not just shoving an outfit in people’s face!

    I love all the ladies you mentioned too!

    Another fab fab fab post gal xxxx

  • Margaux White

    In fact whenever I ponder on what I’m making of my little blog that’s the main criticism I’m giving myself: my personality doesn’t show through, not enough, and thanks to your post I think it might be the right time to buckle down on that 🙂

    Margaux
    http://www.bonjourwhite.com


LATESTS VIDEOS

Read previous post:
I Won’t Say Thank You If Somebody Says I’ve Lost Weight, And Here’s Why

Unintentionally, my weight and my relationship with my weight has become somewhat of a hot topic on my blog. I...

Close