It took me a while to come up with a clever title to sum up my current views on blogging. I don’t know if that’s so that it gets more views (which I doubt, b/c it’s not exactly SEO-friendly*) or b/c I love writing and playing with words. Probably/hopefully the latter. *Isn’t it funny how bloggers must care about adding SEO to our thoughts and opinions now? NOT EVERY POST HAS TO BE FOUND ONLINE, dang it.
(And no, before you ask, I’m not leaving blogland. I really enjoy it! However, I enjoy living my life more than reporting on it so I don’t come here as often. I know, I know, I’m nevertheless working on blogging more. Promise. XO.)
So what’s the current state of blogging like? If you’ve been blogging for, maybe less than two years, you may not have noticed any chances because the way blogging is now is probably what you “grew up” with, so I’ll enlighten you: Blog posts nowadays are too perfect. Too sponsored. Too selective. Their images are too staged. Too Pinterest-ready. Too fake.
“Back in the day,” blogging was imperfect, not like it needed refinement, but rather like its “flaws” made it what we loved. People were free to share whatever they wanted, SEO didn’t matter, tutorials weren’t so commercial-looking, images were more “quaint,” and stuff wasn’t filtered (but not like people shared everything–but what they did share felt very open and RAW).
There were the annoying linkups that required tons of follows and the awful group giveaways that required dozens of follows (or maybe they still exist?) but at least back then people enjoyed being open with us, their communities, their “friends.” These linkups also at least introduced us to new blog friends and not the me-too blogs of nowadays.
And speaking of communities: Back then, we just wanted an audience; we loved our little, more (again w/this term>>) quaint communities where everybody knew your name. We were “friends”–not followers or readers you needed to get good sponsorship deals.
And speaking of sponsorship, I’m in Marketing, so ironically I get the importance of having integrated sponsored content. but today, it’s become ridiculous: How do trash bags help me celebrate a better… Mother’s Day? What do batteries have to do with Father’s Day? And how do those brands expect me to connect them naturally? It’s like brands are overreaching and trying too hard now and bloggers who are in it just for the money grab those opportunities and have given all bloggers who like writing sponsored content a bad name.
Also, speaking of sponsorship: I take sponsors! So isn’t it hypocritical that I’m criticizing the whole Sponsorship model? Yes, A little, at least. I try my hardest to not be a sellout, to not be like a Kardashian who does spots for Skechers–aka shoes they’d never wear. But sometimes the compensation for opportunity X is tempting, so I take it on. I hope you don’t notice any sell-out tone in that kind of post b/c I genuinely try to take on things that have a true fit w/my blog, but if you do, let me know!
I wish this post was an original idea, but alas, like with everything everyone ever does, it kinda sorta wasn’t: I mean, no one besides yours truly thought of ^all that^ but the motivation to put ^all that^ out there arose from two posts by bloggers I like: Confessions (Life by Nadine Lynn) and What Happened to Blogging (Two Thirds Hazel). And I’m glad they inspired what you’re now reading because it didn’t let my blog go on too long without content :).
Lastly, speaking of recommended posts, The Freckled Fox has for years shared the good and the bad, such as her adorable kiddos and her husband’s (shocking) cancer diagnosis. She’s someone who’s fostered a growing community and values and treats blogging the way it should be treated–i.e., the way us long-timers have tried to in the wake of an increasing number of sellouts–and as such, she’s one of my faves. I bring her up not just b/c she fits in my posts so nicely, but also so that you send her family prayers and good vibes (b/c of that diagnosis I mentioned a few lines back).
OK, now let’s finish this rant, shall we? I’m on it. But not before I ask you: What are YOUR thoughts? Where do you think blogging is going and how do you think you’ll adapt? And what other (lifestyle [NON-tutorial] bloggers do you recommend or think I/others would enjoy?
PS: Enjoy :)