Can we talk about blogging? I’m coming up on my 15-year anniversary of blogging and boy, has it ever changed.
When I first started, it was shortly after we had moved from Arkansas to Pennsylvania and it was a good way to keep people apprised of our new life. I wrote rich prose about food, books, kids going to school… all the things that made a good blog good. That, my friends, is sarcasm.
Then somehow, other people started reading my blog and I started reading other blogs. These weren’t sponsored blogs. Nobody was making money. We just had something in common. Books. Kids. Cancer. Something to unite us. There were very few niche blogs at the time and the craziest thing happened. We built a community!
But we didn’t stop there. Some of us became friends through our blogs. Some of us even became very good friends through our blogs. Some of us even met each other in real life through our blogs!
And then social media and “blog experts” happened. The experts said we had to have a niche and be a good writer to have a successful blog. Social media was quicker and easier, but blogging started to take a hit. The next thing we knew, blogs weren’t about community anymore. They were about selling your “brand” and advertising and making money.
My mind bought into the lie. What had started out as something fun and pleasurable became something I was supposed to work at. I didn’t have a niche. Was I a good enough writer? Who would want to read about my mundane life anyway? So I stopped writing on my blog and pretty much stopped writing altogether.
This, my friends, is unacceptable.
I have gone back to my original way of thinking about my blog. It’s not to make money. It’s not to gain a ton of followers. It’s not even to write something pithy or important. It’s just to write whatever I want to write. Whether it’s about the weather or books or coffee or empty nesting or my breakfast or the dog, it doesn’t matter. And if nobody reads it? That’s cool, too. Because I have 15 years (minus the years I never wrote a thing) of my history in this blog and I enjoy reading back through it.
As I have said several times over the past 15 years, it’s all about me anyway.