If there was a post I always dreaded and didn’t look forward to writing was the “I quit blogging” kind that comes after a blogger’s semi-long hiatus. In my case, it’s been over four months. And I honestly don’t regret it.
Whenever I saw someone else write about their reasons for not blogging anymore, I always thought, “That’ll never be me. I love blogging too much.”
But then blogging changed. Two years ago I wrote about a new breed of blogging, the sponsored kind, where every post was an #ad, every picture was perfect, and everything was sponsor-approved. A farce, basically. It gave good ol’ fashioned blogging a bad name.
I admit I even chewed off the poisoned apple and sold my blogging soul to the devil a couple of times, all for the sake of future opportunities.
“My next big sponsor needs to see that I worked with this other big sponsor,” I’d think, not realizing how ugly it’d really get. (The money was GREAT, though.)
At some point between 2015 and 2017, Facebook and Instagram changed drastically as they both stoped displaying posts organically, meaning, as they were posted. Now one basically has to pay to play–pay with wither time or money only to increase visibility, follower count, engagement, and other metrics.
This led to a nasty rat race in blogland, where former nobodies with a good camera and no writing talent all of a sudden EXPLODED in popularity because of their outfit pictures, nonsensical essential oil sponsorships, unrealistic recipes, picture-perfect (but really unwise) kid photos, listicles, etc. Experienced bloggers were shoved aside for the sake of these new “influencers” and suddenly brands no longer cared about just putting sponsored content out there, but about choosing the influencers with the most followers.
Anyways, back to me and my quitting blogging.
A few days ago I came across Jordan Page/Funfreeorcheap.com for the first time, and I fell in love with her family’s no-nonsense approach to, of all things, budgeting. I wasn’t looking for budgeting tips at all, though! (Funny how life works.)
In fact, I thought I was doing OK. But now that I’m married**, even though we both make good money, I wanted us to START well so that we never had to go back and wonder where we went wrong. I wanted us to develop a good FOUNDATION early on to always be able to watch our backs financially.
One of the first posts that I read on her blog was from late 2016, in which she discusses why she was going to quit blogging. (“But I just met you! How could you have stopped blogging?” I thought, before realizing it was almost a year old :P.)
As I was reading it, I couldn’t help but feel as though this woman had somehow gotten in my mind and read my thoughts verbatim–almost one year earlier. Scratch that: My last post was written in July, so I’ve had this particular post brewing in my head for months, at least.
I identified with what she wrote so much, in fact, that I want to use her help for pointing out why I’m “quitting” this blogging thing and what I intend to do instead:
When I first started blogging in 2010…[e]veryone and their dog (literally) had their own blog… Free for the taking, easy to start, fun to do. A creative outlet that anyone could enjoy, and it was a fun new hobby for the rest of us to be able to peek inside the lives of people we were curious about.
I, too, joined in right around that time, and I really liked it. I enjoyed being able to share my life (to an extent) and interesting goings-on in my city or other resources. As a writer, marketer and writing tutor, I found that people found value in my tips and contributions.
Jordan then goes on to discuss how she began by sharing coupons but quickly grew to hate it, however. (I never did that because I also knew I’d hate it, haha.) After a while she switched gears and developed another side to her site that soon after started taking TOO much of her away from her husband and their family.
But they agreed quitting all that wasn’t an option. Instead, they worked out an arrangement of sorts where she decided to no longer do the things that she wasn’t passionate about:
[My husband] had me cross off things that maybe I didn’t hate, but that weren’t as important to me…giveaways, sponsored social media posts, and product reviews.
You guys, those things really do SUCK–especially giveaways (incl. group giveaways, loop giveaways) that assume people are idiots.
I’d add another item to that list: Living IN social media and sharing every minute/hour of my day without a care in the world for my future kids’ or my husband’s privacy. All for just some likes or followers. No thanks.
Then Jordan and her husband had her circle things that she LOVED so much she’d do for free (or would “die and go to heaven” if she could get paid for them).
I’d add website development, writing for the heck of it, and public speaking of some sort to my list of things I enjoy doing.
Her closing words are key for me. Stay with me a bit longer:
Back in 2010 I blogged for me. For my soul, and for any other person who happened to stumble upon my little corner of the internet and somehow, found some tiny form of inspiration from it.
Over the last few years, this blessing has became a curse at times. The deadlines. The rules. The analytics. The “pay to play” game that every.single.social media channel is forcing us to play. The emails. Oooooooh the emails. …
I’m done. It’s enough. …
Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere. I’m just committing to change things.
Like she promised she would do in Dec 2016…
I’m TAKING MY SITE BACK:
No, I won’t do things just because an algorithm, or blog conference, or class, or person tells me to.
No, I won’t [care] to see how many likes and comments something gets. …
No, I won’t follow a schedule that everyone tells me to follow, …
No, I’m not going to follow the damn rules!
If blogging rules are clouding what I WANT to do, then it’s about time I take control and follow what I WANT to do.
I’m going to write about WHAT I feel like, WHEN I feel like it. (The “when” is key.)
For a while I haven’t cared about what “all the other bloggers” are doing, and I plan on continuing this trend.
For a while I also haven’t cared about my analytics (be it blog stats or social media stats), and I plan on continuing this trend.
For a while I even haven’t cared about what Google or social media trends want me to talk about, and plan on continuing this trend.
In other words, I plan on blogging more about the stuff that I enjoy, random happenings, and resources for you and for us all! You know, the good stuff that I took so much pleasure in before.
I’m not going to lie, I’m a little afraid. Sticking my big middle finger to the “blogging monster” is never an easy thing to do. But I believe that the world needs a few more rule breakers, and a little less conforming.
And with that, I bid this new worthless breed blogging, a well-deserved FAREWELL. Time to go back to basics.
**As I was writing this, I remembered that I haven’t even posted pictures from our Wedding or Honeymoon on here. (I got married in September, everyone!!) This led me to realize that I really could care less about followers or any of that anymore. Someone else would have shared tons of photos within minutes of either of those events happening so that their blog posts didn’t look out-of-order, but for security reasons (and because I can’t stand the thought of living IN social media), I’ll share that stuff later when I want to.
So what if my posts will be a little disorganized and you might see those pictures after this post? I guess that’s one way of showing my commitment to “quitting” is alive and well!
PS- This comment on Reddit, describing “influencers,” nailed it, too: