What Happened to Blogging?

And what happened to me? You probably didn’t notice (what with the world going upside down and all), but I haven’t been around. I had been disheartened for a while with blogging . . . and then 2020 happened and I truly grasped the meaning of being disheartened.

It is bananas out there. 

I don’t like it. I don’t want to deal with it. And in the words of Gollum from LOTR, “We hates it!” I’m a very sensitive and empathetic person, so internalizing all the sadness and darkness that is happening all around us comes natural to me. Like many people, I’ve been down. And when I’m down, I take a step back and hide. I’ve been avoiding social media as much as possible and enjoying the little moments with my kids. Because love conquers all (you know how that goes). 

But anyway, that’s not what I wanted to talk about, so I’m moving on. Back to blogging.

When I first got into blogging in 2008, it was because I loved the idea of using it as a journal. As a way to connect with people who were going through the same struggles and as a way to encourage AND find encouragement. I wasn’t alone, and neither were they. It was the first time I had the courage to write for others to read. At the peak of my journey, I thrived and remembered what it was that I loved about words: they have the power to unite, to inspire, to connect, and to give life.  

What I’ve noticed, however, is that blogging now is . . . different. 

There’s an obsession with numbers. It’s all about making money and gaining numbers: clicks, followers, shares, comments, sales, etc. If you don’t use SEO across your whole post, use the exact title and subtitle font for Google to track, take an 80-hour course on keywords . . . and update that knowledge weekly, then you’re “blogging wrong.” There’s obviously nothing wrong with it. I’m just accepting it is not for me (though, I never tried hard with this because #boring).

You must write professional content. There’s an expectation that a blog post must serve a purpose: educate, inform, inspire, sell, or entertain. All good! It makes perfect sense. Most posts (sadly) are “recycled ideas” . . . things someone read five minutes ago and decided to put their own spin on, and then someone sees that person’s topic idea and runs with it to sound like an even bigger pro . . . and so on. (Not plagiarism, just writing on the same topic with the same purpose of informing/educating.) That’s a whole other thing, but as far as purpose, I keep seeing “educate” & “sell” more often. What do you see? 

It makes me feel that if you don’t write popular “articles” like a professional writer does in a magazine or newspaper (remember the paper kind?), then you’re doing it wrong. I admit, I got caught up in trying to write article-like content for a while and did like it (I just dislike the pressure to get it perfect) . . . because as with anything else, there’s nothing wrong with it. I’m just accepting it is not for me.

You’re trying to just . . . talk? Like a journal? On a blog? Whahhhh? No. No. If you want to just write about your day, week, share your journey of ANYTHING, or vent . . . well, that’s not blogging. Didn’t you know? You must create a YouTube channel for it. But even that is now old . . . so instead, you must go on Tik Tok and do your thing there. Or live stream them and share them on your stories. But you’d better be super creative (so you can grow your numbers), because otherwise . . . you’re doing it wrong. I considered it, but you know what? I’m just accepting it is not for me.

You must be an expert. In combining the above points, it is all for nothing if you can’t prove you know what you’re talking about. And if you say it, back it up. Makes sense, I’m all for it. I love reading blogs from experts in their fields. (Personal exaggerated opinion coming up.) It just seems that you have to prove you can talk about things with complete experience and expertise or . . . you’ll get canceled. I’m an author, but I’m always learning and looking to better my craft. So I feel like a fraud when blogging about writing because I’ve seen too many people called out for sharing their experiences (in various topics/fields) if they don’t have a million awards and titles and certificates to show for it. I can’t even, but even so, this one actually, is still for me. BUT! I won’t put pressure on myself anymore to write about writing or being an author ALL the time.

So there you go. Those are the reasons I’m disappointed in blogging. I had more but can’t remember them. And since I want to write with no pressure, I’m not going to stress over what I forgot. Heck, I’m not even sure if I want to continue blogging. I’m a writer and I have books to sell, so you’d think I should keep at it for when I have to market my work . . . but nah. I don’t want the pressure of hitting all the right points of “how to blog properly” so it can keep messing with the love I do have. And the love is simple: put words down. 

With blogging, I’ve been feeling like I have nothing to say. Or rather nothing worth saying. That I have nothing others want to read or care about. I got caught up in the expectations. A lack of likes or comments, the wrong use of keywords, the lack of expertise on any specific topic, the lack of “article writing” passion, and the fierce insecurity to be in front of a camera for video content. They all got to me. And I let it.

The trend says those are the things that need to be done . . . otherwise you’re doing it wrong. And hey, I admire everyone who does it . . . it takes a lot of energy and creativity. I’m just accepting it’s not for me. 🙃

What’s for me? Well, glad I asked . . .

My words. My thoughts. My path. My journey. Which, if you really knew me, you’d be scratching your head because I’m not one to get personal. I like my privacy and I never want to share too much. I just don’t need to. But that’s probably been my problem . . . In making a conscientious effort to protect my privacy, I haven’t infused enough of me into my posts for me to feel great about it. I suppose that’s why I miss podcasting; it was more freeing. Either way, within reason, if I continue blogging there will be more of me.

Look! More of me:

96294940_1590941451086753_4070297028465262592_o
A picture taken a few weeks back because I didn’t want to comb my hair today. 🙂


And if you tend to follow all the blogging rules,
I’d like to ask you . . . you, the person, not the public persona:
What other things would you like to write about?

 

14 thoughts on “What Happened to Blogging?”

      1. ps, glad to see NY is doing much better now…are the restrictions still high? Even here in Maine we have a number of them still in place. -Hope you are well.

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  1. I too can’t really be bothered about stuff like SEO and keyword research, but I do appreciate the need to present your work in the best way possible. Still, I fail to do that most times so I guess what I end up writing about is little snippets of my life with some entertainment thrown in, in the hopes that someone else would enjoy it. I loved this. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, absolutely! I agree with presenting your work in a proper manner. We can’t always achieve perfection, but we can at least care enough to try our best. It took me a long time to realize that my love of blogging didn’t actually die. I just don’t connect with the newer popular rules that it has transitioned into. I guess I’m now giving myself permission to follow your steps and write about little snippets of life with some entertainment. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I write a post when I have something to say, and need to get it out of my head.

    Right now, I’ve had a series of posts about living in a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). We’re in Independent Living, but we have, in the same building, higher levels of care for those who need it now or later, as we’re here forever.

    Because we’re in the vulnerable cohort for covid-19, we’re on a very strict lockdown. And now that we’ve had a couple of cases (1 staff, 1 Resident couple), anything that was opening slammed shut again, and we’re back to getting dinner delivered every day.

    We still go out – I ride my trike on the greenway a couple times a week – but the nice social life is down to very short exchanges between masked strangers (strangers because I challenge you to figure out who someone is when she has a hat, dark glasses, and a mask covering the lower part of her face – and one of the non-descript short gray haircuts).

    I have things to say about the minor annoyances – so it gives me something to write about.

    I’m also working on the middle book of my mainstream trilogy, and that makes me learn something new periodically – which I then lock down in a blog post so I don’t forget the details.

    But I AM blogging less – because the novel is going well, and when I can write fiction (a higher-level function of the brain), I don’t blog. The isolation is helping a bit with focus.

    If it’s not fun for you, don’t bother. But with 12K followers, I’d say that you shouldn’t give them up easily, or without thinking seriously about how long it took to have that many people find and like you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it definitely isn’t fun to try and keep up with the new style of blogging. Or rather the popular style that has to follow all the rules I talked about in the post. But like you said, “I write a post when I have something to say, and get it out of my head.” does sound more appealing. It’s how I was used to blogging. There’s a time and a place for all types, and I may bring in some more serious posts now and again, but for now there’s no need for that pressure. Luckily, I’m not the only contributor on the site so our followers will still get content to read.

      As far as your challenge, I think I’d have fun turning it into a game lol. Some people are now printing pictures of the lower half of their face on their masks, or their full face on T-shirts, so play the game while you still can! Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I love this post!

    And, your list is exactly why I don’t blog more. I admire those who take the analytical route – it’s a lot of work – but like you, it’s not for me. I don’t know who came up with the concept of blogging or what their intent was, but I always believed it to be a more personal undertaking.

    I’m also annoyed by the serial Likes and Follows. When I come across a blog with 100+ Likes and three comments, it makes me wonder if the post was even read.

    Will I ever blog more? Yes. No. Who knows? We’ll see. 😀

    Stay safe and remember to smile. Don’t allow 2020-Life to steal your joy. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Felicia! I hope you blog more! I enjoy your posts, though most times I read from my phone and . . . I’m terrible at remembering to come back and hit like and comment. I’m bad! 😦 But yes! I liked blogging a lot more when it was more personal. You can see transitions of people gradually turning into expert sellers . . . still fun, they have good voices for it, but it just puts pressure on the rest of us to follow along. Either way, I hope you don’t give up completely either!

      And look, here’s a smile for you:
      😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m journaling again and my three adult children are pushing me to blog. They think I’m funny. Don’t tell them it’s dementia! 😀

        As I work my way back to center, still not sure where I’ll land. Our society is angry and uninformed and I’m over here on the sidelines watching it all with an unhealthy amount of coffee. We’ll see what happens. 😉

        Many thanks for the encouraging words and the smile. Enjoy your weekend. 🙂

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  4. I guess a lot of people feel strongly about you continuing to blog! We’re selfish like that, and we like hearing from you. I’m one of those people who pays a lot of attention to the SEO and headings and formatting, but that’s because mine is for my business, which involves words. It kind of makes sense.

    But when I want to write about something that’s NOT writing and editing, that’s where my Medium account comes in handy. That took the place of my personal blog, which I could never seem to make the time for. Medium allows me to write about whatever I want, and if people want to read about what I wrote, they’ll find it. The important part to remember is to be your creative self and write about what you want, in whatever style you want, because that’s the reason people followed you in the first place.

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