Why Does Everything Feel So Forced In The Bloggersphere?

Blogging. What was once a time-filling, creative hobby that anyone could get into, if they had the words and a Blogspot account, has transformed into a lucrative self-making industry. And how amazing is that? Creators are publishing VOGUE-worthy content, hiring professional photographers and brunching at the world’s most glamorous locations – just for the ‘gram. But in 2018, when EVERYONE wants a part of the success filled pie, why is everything we do feeling so un-natural? Why have we all stopped hanging out in our hoodies, taking part in #chats and sending cat memes and started pods, plotting and imitating?

forced blogging


I can’t refresh my feed these days without proclamations of ‘exciting emails’ and ‘secret collaborations’ from blogger after blogger. But instead of it feeling like ya gal has just smashed something epic out of the park and is being rewarded for her incredible hard work, it kinda feels like ya gal had an email from Co-Op and is being sent a new hand wash but feels the need to make it sound amazingly important so that she can keep up with the blogging Joneses.

I bloody do it too! Having been sent a River Island bag and declared across social that ZOMG I HAVE A COLLABORATION WITH MY FAVOURITE HIGH STREET BRAND, I can see the temptation to force these announcements so we can keep up with those who ACTUALLY have big things happening.

I did this all because I wanted people to think I was doing as well as others were doing.

Where as we once used to see Sally from the Saturday night 7pm chat announce she was going to be heading to Thorpe Park for a blogger day and we all got excited for her, now we feel like WE need to post about a, ‘ZOMG AMAZING PRESS TRIP TOMORROW’, so we don’t feel left behind.

It’s not just declarations of amazing news that is being forced out across my feed, it’s friendships too.

When I began blogging, I loved connecting with others over Twitter, joining in chats, sharing tips, asking questions and retweeting every compliment I was ever given. But in 2018, the Twitter blogging community feels forced, in parts.

Where I still have my faves and friends who I tweet, retweet and sling a ‘YASSS QWEEN’ on every selfie I see or new people I discover and like to pop them a compliment to say that I’m digging what they do, it’s starting to feel more like sucking up.

I bloody love going to events, hanging out with people I’ve known for more than 4 years and meeting new people who I virtually interact with on a daily basis. What I don’t love is cliques of gals riding on each other’s coat-tails,  appearing at these events together – only to not say more than a sentence to each other before posting all over social media about how they are blogging besties.

Before this was just reserved to brands like Benefit, ‘zomg can I please masturbate with your new mascara’, we’re now seeing other bloggers with great opportunities, growing audiences and engaged followers and slinging them tweets, wanking over their latest output.

Is it because the seemingly only way to grow nowadays is to be seen with a ‘bigger’ blogger or to get a shout out from them? Is that why everyone and their Nan is creeping into mentions, DMs and blog posts professing their undying love?

I’ve seen a huge emergence of blogger cliques and bloggers who bounce from one to the other in the name of social climbing. Declaring their undying love for each other when previously they’ve never said a word to each other, or if they have it’s been an unkind one – for what? A rise in popularity? A slice of their pie? A quarter of their contacts? A fraction of their following?

Maybe because I’m old AF in blogging terms but I just don’t have the time to force a friendship because it may be in some way beneficial to me. If I connect with you on a layer that isn’t just our follower base – maybe it’s our mutual love of Salt and Vinegar McCoys, WWE or an intense drive to work hard – then you’re never going to get rid of me and I will forever send you a complimentary GIF every time you post but if all you can offer me is a PR contact or some gossip about someone else – I just do not have the energy.


forced blogging


Twitter is not exclusive when it comes to content and people that feel forced. We ALL see posts on our feeds daily that are artistically over-styled and over-filtered. And this can be a good thing! Instagram IS a visual platform after all and to REALLY grow, your images need to be absolutely outstanding and different.

But what if your content, for whatever reason – talent, money, time, CAN’T be individual and original? Well then ya force it.

Whether it’s buying followers, using bots, joining a pod, recreating someone else’s theme or even trying to force yourself to stick to a theme when you just can’t (HI ME) – all of these methods are forcing growth or engagement.

I’m definitely one to be like – JUST NEED TO GET SOMETHING ON INSTAGRAM TO MAKE SURE PEOPLE DON’T UNFOLLOW ME and it leads me to force content that sometimes isn’t as good or as well thought out as I’d like just because I’m making myself get it out there and have my voice heard.

I also do that thing of asking the boyf and friends to take a million pictures of me smiling the biggest grin even though I’m forcing back the biggest grimace – just for the ‘gram. However, I have to say, where I stop is the faux modest caption.

Perhaps you’ll know what I’m talking about. Perhaps you won’t. But with successes like Hannah Gale, Em Sheldon, Chloe Plumstead and Grace Victory – who all talk about the nitty gritty of life, who give you a backstage glimpse of their lives behind the incredible content – inevitably we start to see emulations of their ‘real-talk’ style.

Those who were once used to dining in a 5 star restaurant, wearing a £200 dress and eating a £36645 steak and owning it are now so terrified of being seen as unrelatable that they must caption the above image with a few words on how they spilt their £15 Bearnaise sauce down their dress and fell over and banged their head on the way to the table. ‘CEPT YOUR DRESS DON’T HAVE A SAUCE MARK AND YOUR HEAD AIN’T GOT A BUMP.

This is certainly on the rise and it can be difficult to distinguish from those who genuinely, ‘tell it like it is’ and those who force relatability in the name of trying to grow.

It’s a frigging jungle out there. Publish your VOGUE-worthy content and get blasted a fake, or out of touch or a snob. Publish your chin spots and have 1235 unfollow you. Or worst, publish a post proclaiming your chin spots when your face is glowing like an Anastasia highlighter palette and just look like a big forced, fraud.

forced blogging

Blog Posts

Writing is bloody tough. It’s even bloody tougher to develop a style that is completely your own. When I first started out, everything was so monotone and boring because I didn’t know who to be. I was forcing myself to be those bloggers who could write about anything and make it big.

It was only when I stopped caring and started to write like me and how I speak (and hopefully anyone who has ever met me can vouch for the 36 C-Bombs I drop within 5 minutes just as equally as how the word ‘vagina’ will roll over my blog post) that was when I developed my writing style.

So now, when I see people who write blog posts in the style of how other people write blog posts, I can’t help but cringe. I am not exempt from this, I once dropped a ‘blimming’ because Hannah Gale dropped a ‘blimming’ in her Regina George (must buy the same sweatpants) kinda way. But it felt so forced and so unlike me. So now I just say ‘fucking’ and be done with it.

But this forced writing style seems to be on the rise and again it feels like a shortcut to trying to be successful.

So what’s the problem here? Can’t people just write in a fake style, post faux modest captions and bum-lick whoever they like all for the sake of KEEPING THINGS POSITIVE?

Sure. I’m hella certain that I’ll see myself and others drop a ‘blinking’ when the F-Bomb isn’t working or DM an Instagrammer because I hope they’ll give me a shout out (I won’t actually do this) or tweet about my OH SAUX RELATABLE DAY OF BINGING ON CHOCOLATE FINGERS UNTIL I’M SICK because at the moment, it seems to be working.

But can we all just stop for fucking (frigging) second?

What is it all for? Popularity? Success? Friendships? Engagement? Freebies? Is it because we’re unhappy with ourselves or what we can produce so we emulate and force different styles so it doesn’t feel like us? Or can we just have a word with ourselves and reassure ourselves that what we are doing is good enough.

Can we just reassure ourselves that we don’t need to force friendships, styles, captions or words to get where we want to be but that we can get there (perhaps less quickly) by being our 100% authentic selves?

Here are some steps we could ALL take to make things feel less forced:

Be Yourself

Stop writing and posting like others. Instead use the time to discover and hone your own style – you’ll get noticed for your talent, creativity and originality and not for being the person who copies whatever is successful at the time.

If it’s not coming, let it be

Rather than sling up content that isn’t your best – take a step back and let the creativity come naturally so that when you do post, it’s a belter.

Don’t be a creep

Yes we all want to congratulate creators who are killing it – and we should – they deserve recognition. But stop sliding into that blogger’s DMs every 5 seconds because you want what they have or what they might be able to give you. Especially if they don’t engage back in a natural way.

Use your energy to big up your actual blog friends, the ones where the relationships are mutual and the only thing you want from them is them not to eat all of the donuts before you’ve photoed them rather than their contacts and opportunities.

Buck the trends

The faux-relatability, the brunch at whatever spot is coolest, the style of flatlay, the aspirational theme – whatever everyone else is doing because they think it’s trendy, DON’T DO. This goes back to being yourself – sure if you’re pink obsessed with a massive sweet tooth, pitch up at Peggy Porschen and never leave but don’t do all the things because you think you should.

Whatever your writing style. Whether you’re relatable or aspirational. Whether the latest ‘hot’ blogger is your best friend or someone you detest. Or if you just want a fake-ass caption because your real-ass life is abysmal that day – can we just do us? And not the forced, fake us… not all the time. Just the ‘US’ that we need to become happier and more content with so that everything feels less forced again.

Oh and don’t force sponsored posts either – just wear the item of clothing nonchalantly around your pad and get your boyfriend to take pictures in between games on the Playstation. Like I did, with NICCE, here.

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  1. February 14, 2018 / 9:11 am

    Yess, I loved this! Everything you said is spot on. I wish we could rewind 4 years ago(same year I started blogging too) when everyone was nice, joining in those #bbloggers chats every Wednesday and Sunday and there was no animosity or a need to ‘copy’ others. What happened to those chats eh? Fab post! Xx

  2. February 14, 2018 / 9:16 am

    Vix, loved this post. In a really non-sucky up way, lol.

    Now cringing at all of the “Vix Meldrew Super Fan” comments and messages I’ve sent you, but I mean it, you’re a gem. And I don’t want anything from you…lol.

    Ultimately, you’re only ever going to have success in this world if you are original in whatever you do. If you truly have a voice that the world wants to listen to, you need to be able to differentiate from taking inspiration from others and being 100% influenced by their writing style to the point where it becomes imitation. It’s so transparent when you read something that doesn’t feel natural or original. I tell ya what though, it’s tough sometimes when you relate so much to others that you whack a non-you “blimming” into a blog post. I swear, sometimes shit like that just slides in through the subliminal.

    I’m constantly checking myself to think wait…is this real, is this how you would talk to a friend? If not, the why the hell am I writing it, and it can get in the bin.

    Keep doing YOU BOO
    Abi x



  3. Immy May
    February 14, 2018 / 10:09 am

    Was really looking forward to reading this post as I have been feeling the same feelings for a while now, it all seems the saaaaaaaaaaaaame. I worry that I am going the same direction but each time I do, I just scroll right back to 2k14 and remind myself why I love writing, taking snaps and posting on my blog. I wish we could go back to the days where I thought Instagram was a private photo editing app, where I would post 5 underwear photos in a row without a care in the world, lolz. Thank you for your honesty, it’s needed. Immy x


  4. February 14, 2018 / 10:44 am

    Really loved this post, you’re not wrong though, the world of blogging has changed so much! I think it’s great to get back to basics and not forget why we started writing in the first place 🙂 x

    Sophie | https://sophieschoice.co.uk

  5. February 14, 2018 / 11:02 am

    What an interesting and well thought out post (and there’s an irony in even writing that I feel somewhat like I’m perpetuating some of the stereotypes you mention).

    I’m a new blogger, or at least I will be when I actually start the bloody thing, and I think one of the things that holds me back is the desire to NOT be falling into any of the traps you mention. But where do you draw the line? If someone has a similar writing style to another does that mean they’re emulating them? Even if it’s entirely unintentional. I’d hate to run the risk of someone reading something I write only to think ‘well x successful blogger said something similar so they’re undoubtedly copying’.

    I’d love to get in on blogging circles (if such a thing even really exists), but when you try and connect further through any social avenue you feel a bit like someone that’s walked into a party full of friends that you weren’t even invited to. What the hell are you doing there get out until you’ve been to at least 8 shops covered in flowers.

    It definitely is a minefield.

  6. Laura
    February 14, 2018 / 11:32 am

    Not sucking up to you (ok maybe a bit) but this post was spot on!

    The exciting tweets are so infuriating and yet we all do them – definitely trying to keep up appearances and make sure everyone know that we’re doing just as well, if not better, than them! I think it’s a pandemic

  7. February 14, 2018 / 11:36 am

    Okay but the salt and vinegar McCoys really are to die for.

    Lilly xoxo

  8. February 14, 2018 / 12:02 pm

    I’ve only been blogging since November ’17, but I feel like I’ve seen the full spectrum of what blogging has to offer. I am trying to be unique and bring a different voice to the blogosphere but it can be difficult! I’ve fallen into some of those traps, but ultimately when I remember why I started blogging in the first place, I’m able to just be myself and not follow the crowd.

    Great post as always!

    Ellie | elliekblog.blogspot.co.uk xx

  9. February 14, 2018 / 1:04 pm

    This was such an honest and really great post. And I really enjoy your writing. I am sure I will be returning to your blog for more.

  10. February 14, 2018 / 1:52 pm

    This post is so relatable and so fricking/frigging/fucking true. Everyday I see people guilty of the exact things you’ve talked about here (myself included) and I don’t know why I bother trying to keep up with the Jones’. I blog because I like to, and the content I write/photos I take are for me and me alone. I completely agree that the blogging community can feel forced, and I don’t know why it’s suddenly become some massive gloating lifestyle choice rather than plain and simple FUN. You absolutely hit the nail on the proverbial head with this post!
    Gemma x | HiddenLittleGem.com

  11. February 14, 2018 / 3:04 pm

    I was really looking forward to this post when you mentioned it on Instagram. I’ve been reading blogs for a few years now but only started blogging myself last year and I’m already thinking about giving up! lol! It does feel like I’m always seeing the same thing and all the fake niceness. I can’t handle that in real life let alone in a digital world…and I don’t want people thinking im a miserable bitch cause I may say something slightly negative and not covered in fairy dust.
    I’ve always loved your blog because your honesty and relatability ( not being a stalker ) I just wish more bloggers still appreciated the writing rather than not even bother to read something cause the picture isn’t perfect.
    Thanks for keeping it real!!!

  12. Trona
    February 14, 2018 / 4:59 pm

    I’m actually taking a break from blogging (still doing my instagram though) because of many of the reasons you mention. Blogging is just getting worse and worse, more than ever people are buying followers/using bots and they get sent shit loads of stuff from PRs and are making a really good living from it. I’m increasingly uncomfortable being part of it. I’m so glad there’s people like you blogging though but there’s so much noise that genuine bloggers are being drowned out <3

  13. Charlotte
    February 14, 2018 / 5:08 pm

    This seems to be a big theme at the moment, with blogging as well as Youtube, everything is flashy images, expensive brand deals and youtubers with videographers and editors. It makes me sad to be honest. As happy as I am that everyone is doing so well, I miss authentic bloggers and being able to just babble about topics that you feel strongly about without worrying if it will gain traffic. Personally, I follow people who are more down to earth. I love swearing in a post because it sounds like you are having a real conversation rather than an edited version. I don’t know, it’s a tricky one as you say, but I hope that my blog remains a place without bullshit.


  14. SarahJane
    February 14, 2018 / 7:13 pm

    I only started blogging about 5 weeks ago. I have about seven followers, I do Insta etc. I just wanted to write about stuff and now i’m in my forties, i thought I may have a slightly kooky perspective on things. I also work in marketing for a ftse 100 company although not in the sphere that any social media “influencer” would be interested in. Your post hit the spot for me. All I see at the moment is either girls with so much contouring make up – they are going to cause a plane crash from blinding a pilot when the light hits their cheekbones… To “give me your email address so that I can give you the secret to getting 10,000 followers from Pinterest.” Everything looks the same?!?!? Its all too cutesy and manufactured, look I’m not against the use of filters and the use of lovely photography but just can they not post another flat-lay with a latte, stack of magazines and a MacBook in it as they all blend into one.

    My Instagram has a theme “its called life”, I can’t do the rose gold or personal branding colours that are advised by all these “influencer gurus” whose own blogs have now taken a massive step back and they only post about once a quarter as all their time is taken up with their new marketing e-book and online course.

    There’s nothing wrong with any of it of course. I think the market will sort itself out. But I am slightly embarrassed by the writing stuff on the internet (or blogging) at the moment especially after Elle Darby and a few other recent Scandals….. Love the blog, it would seem I am starting to enjoy Twitter. You’re the second person I’ve found there that actually seems to be unique!

  15. February 14, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    Love this post! It’s so true that things feel forced these days – everyone is expected to always be positive and saying anything less than ‘yasss you’re incredible’ is labelled as ‘blogger drama’. I have a similar post in my drafts about how influencers are becoming less and less relatable.


  16. February 14, 2018 / 9:07 pm

    YES TO ALL OF THIS. I started my blog purely to give myself a showcase for my writing. I don’t promote things, and I’m not worried about followers – I just want to tell funny stories.


    Maybe once a month I’ll crack and look at my stats page, have a breakdown, and then compare myself to every blogger under the sun. I always manage to completely forget that while I am glad some (mostly) total strangers are doing well for themselves, I have no desire to follow in their footsteps. And then I have to have a gin and a word with myself, and then I carry on like before, but I’d have so much more time for writing if I just didn’t do the self-doubt bit in the first place.

  17. February 14, 2018 / 9:36 pm

    Can I just say “Yaaaaas Queen!” *Slow Applause*

    This post sums up exactly how I am feeling. I have tried to be someone I am not and it was so hard. I swear when I talk about something I am passionate about, so why wouldn’t I incorporate that in to my writing style? Because I was scared someone might get offended.

    Instagram scares me sometimes. I felt the need to force content out that I am not 100% happy about. I decided to stop that and post what I want and when I want and I feel happier. I even took the whole month of December off from posting blog posts to give myself some personal time, I felt guilty for a whole week and then thought – fuck it, this is my tiny corner of the internet, they can think what they want!

    My friend Amey sent me the link to this post because she knows I feel the same way. So thank you so much for creating this post. I am now going to be a creep and follow you on everything because I just love your vibe – God, that sounded cheesey!!

    Much Love,


  18. February 14, 2018 / 10:42 pm

    Fuckin’ love this post!

    I totally feel like I don’t ‘fit in’….my insta has no theme, my Twitter isn’t all the fabulousness all the time….I like to think I give another blogger or any woman a compliment as I say what I feel….it’s not forced just what I think.
    I don’t fit the ‘trendy’ blogger look online with my social media either and sometimes I give myself a hard time about it, it gets me down.

    So thank you for making me feel a bit more ok with how I am.
    That’s why I love following you….the honest & no fucking about!


  19. February 15, 2018 / 11:04 am

    Love, love, love this. As a relatively new blogger still trying to make it in the blogosphere, I’ve already noticed a number of shall we say, habits, you have mentioned. I will say though, it is still a supportive community and social media has certainly helped build my blog. You’ll always find this girl in a hoodie though in the heat of a Texas summer it will be swapped out for a tank top and gym shorts!

  20. February 15, 2018 / 11:38 am

    I really enjoyed reading this. It’s SO easy as a blogger to try and emulate what you’ve seen work for other people – their lifestyle, their phrases, their writing/photography style… sometimes I don’t think people even realise they’re imitating someone else? But we should all try to find our own styles, and celebrate when we do. Great post as always x


  21. February 15, 2018 / 7:46 pm

    Vix I love this and related all too well. I recently decided to create all new social media and even a new blog I know I’m fucking crazy but I’d got. So off my own track I couldn’t claw my way back. So I thought fuck it be you do you for you and so far I’m loving it.

  22. February 16, 2018 / 10:09 am

    The reasons listed above are reasons why I took a step back from blogging in terms of having blogger friends. Don’t get me wrong there are lots of amazing bloggers with great personalities but I can’t force it for the life of me. It’s draining faking it and I don’t have that energy. Great post


  23. February 17, 2018 / 12:37 pm

    I feel like I don’t have a place in the blogging world because I’m not fake or a brown noser. I write what I want, post what I want, read what I want and if it doesn’t fit with me as a person, I just bloody well don’t bother. It’s all about numbers and connections these days instead of honest to god friendship, sincerity and a love of content. I don’t get all the fakeness and forcing.

    Steph x

  24. February 20, 2018 / 11:32 am

    YES. THIS. I LOVE this post. ALL OF THIS POST.

  25. Charlene McElhinney
    February 26, 2018 / 8:20 pm

    Yes, yes, yes, 100 times yes!!!!!!