It seems like at least once a week I read articles or tweets discussing the demise of blogging. Lately I’ve heard that:
- You have to write lists because people don’t read paragraphs.
- No one reads book reviews
- You have to monetize your blog
- You have to make every post a Pinterest-ready how to with graphics.
- You need to do x, y, and z to make sure that you are growing your followers.
It is crazy making. If people are trying to follow all the advice that is out there, no wonder the average life span of a blog is about six months.
I admit there are times when I get distracted by the hype. I start looking at posts about “I made $20 gabillion this month on my blog!” and wonder what I’m doing wrong. Or I start reading about 5 Strategies to Increase Your Blog Followers and start to feel the pressure of needing to increase numbers. But then I stand back and ask myself, “Why?”
I started blogging back in 2004. I started because at the time I was married to a person who was not interested in any opinion I had. I started blogging as an outlet for my thoughts. It was an online journal. If people found it and interacted with me that was a bonus, but it wasn’t and has never been the point.
If no one ever read what you wrote, would you still write?
If you can answer yes to that question, then you will probably stick around the blogging community. If you aren’t receiving intrinsic rewards from the joy of the writing then probably any extrinsic rewards like stats or money isn’t going to be enough to keep you going.
For me blogging is not a money maker. I’ve deliberately not monetized the blog except for Amazon links. I don’t want that kind of pressure. I’m fortunate in that I’m financially secure enough to be able to pay for my blog hosting fees and some giveaways without having to make the money up on the blog. I’m not against people making money on their blogs but I find that whenever I think about it, it takes the joy out of the hobby.
I post book reviews because I want the opportunity to download the book and my thoughts about it out of my brain. I write travel posts to highlight fun places to go. I write discussion posts to vent. I write less personal posts than I used to mainly because my life is pretty drama-free at the moment (Dear Universe, that is praise and not a complaint!). I post less about quilting because I’m a slacker. I don’t want to ever think, “If I post this, will it drop my numbers?”
This blog has never been particularly popular. Maybe if I restructured it according to all the “rules” then it would be. But it wouldn’t be me. It would be me conforming to what the experts say I need to do and they aren’t the boss of me. So I’ll be over here writing about whatever comes to mind knowing that those experts will probably be gone soon and a new crop will come along with different rules that I’m going to ignore too.