My Honest Thoughts on Blogging

13 Jan 2020

After 8 years of blogging, I can't comprehend how a small hobby that started out as a diary-like outlet has turned into such a big part of my life that I always come back to. Over the years, my content has changed in many ways and I've had so many different blog-related experiences that I love sharing with you. However, after sticking around for so long you tend to see the changes within the community; the underlying blogging politics and so much more. I've had a few thoughts about this and I end up going round in circles as to my answers to some questions I have. Today, I thought I'd share them with you in hopes to not cast negativity on the blogging community but open a discussion about where people think blogging is going, how it's changed, is changing, and ask "is it really what it used to be?".

Full disclaimer: This post is not meant to be negative, instead it's intended to offer my honest opinions. My opinions are just my own and even if yours differ on anything I say, I would love for you to leave it in the comments! 

Is blogging what it used to be? and other related Q's

In short, my answer is no. It's now over 8 years ago that I started my blog. A place to share private thoughts, but after seeing the positive community around blogging, I couldn't help but join in. 

I remember when blog views were more organic - you didn't search for the readers, they came to you. Now, as the online world becomes saturated with more and more bloggers due to the influence of names like Zoella, ViviannadoesMakeUp (Now the Anna Edit) and so many more - is it really the same supportive place as it once? Are you blogging for readers or just yourself?

Of course, everything evolves and changes but sometimes the changes aren't always for the best. 

Where's the moral support?

It's little and rare to see creators truly supporting other creators - not just giving them a shoutout on Instagram to someone of the similar following for mutual gain. Where are the sincere comments on posts? Commenting because you want to and not just because it was from a twitter comment thread. 

We should be shouting more about the small creators we love and supporting the unique content they create and showing them how great the blogging community really is. 

Gone are the days of friendly twitter chats made to be just that - a chat - and not with the sole purpose of promoting your blog but a way of making friends, having a conversation with like-minded people and maybe discovering some new blogs in the process. Instead, timelines are filled with promotion threads as it's one of the only ways so many bloggers are now getting their interactions. 

How has it become such a numbers game? 

Ok, so it's always been like this but more now than ever. In the job I'm in now and just from general reading of blogs, I've seen so many bloggers not linking to brands or sites unless it's a paid link. What happened to blogging being fun? Being about creating content and not about the money content brings. It's amazing that we can make a living from blogging but have we started to put the money first and the content second? Shouldn't it be the other way round? 

I don't necessarily mean in terms of monetary reward as well. There are so many metrics that others from our industry and beyond base a 'good blog' off and I feel this can cloud the judgement of what really is good content and not - followers, likes are all a great indication of reach, interest and performance but shouldn't actual interactions of comments, returning readers be something that really shows the influence and interest a blog has? 

Have we stopped sharing what we truly want and now sharing what brings in the numbers?  Are bloggers opinions as trustworthy as they once were?

Who am I even blogging for anymore? 

When I started, blogging was for me and no one else but as people started to read and I realised what blogging could become, I shifted my content. But now, more and more, I feel I'm writing to no one, not even myself. If anyone's leaving comments it's other bloggers as part of comment threads (see the above point). I don't want you to think this is me seeming bitter about not getting the blog reactions like others as of course, your content may not be attracting the right audience. It can be easy to feel you're not reaching anyone and that you're only blogging for yourself but not getting any self-gain out of it because the content is aimed for others and not yourself. 

Why am I blogging still? 

Honestly, right now I don't know but I can't stop! Because, blogging has been in my life for 8 years (did I mention that?) and I can't see myself parting from it any time soon. I've learnt that the saying "you do you" is very fitting for blogging and everyone's reasons for blogging is different. 

For me, while I fail in verbal communication, I make up for in writing and my blog is an easy place to share my thoughts in writing. I'm so happy with all the doors my blog has opened for me already and I feel I'm returning to a place where to answer the question "who am I even blogging for?" I'm blogging for me. "Why am I blogging still?" just for me! 

To end this on a positive note, blogging has found me so much great inspiration, friendships, confidence and opportunities. While it is changing into an industry and not so much a hobby, I think it's important to remember the positives of blogging and why you blog in order to stay motivated and pleased with all you share. 

There was a lot of questions posed in this post and I'd love to hear your thoughts and answers to any of the questions.

I hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x

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