Sunday, 23 July 2017

Is blogging dying?

Everyone seems to be saying that blogging is dying, these days. This news is sad, surprising and honestly quite...confusing. When did it begin its decline towards death? Who fired the kill shot? Did all the best URLs run out? Did Blogger and Wordpress finally throw down and battle it out in a back alley, both coming off fatally wounded? Ooh, or did it all kick off when Blogger deleted their app and spurned endless hate from users (still not forgiven them, tbh)?

Oh wait, I actually have an idea about what could have done it. Y'all may not like it, though. I can't help but wonder...is content the cause of death? 



I recently got an Insta message, complimenting me on my almost constant content. Now, my blog has always stood apart from others (not saying it's better, hold on) in that it's not run like a factory. Wait, that sounds bad too...what I mean is, I don't post things if I don't desperately want/need to. I work hard on each and every post, and to be quite honest most of them I post for me, not for a captive audience (although I do love you readers and all your gorgeous captivity, yay). 

I guess what I'm trying to say is...I take time. I am currently writing this post in a local cafe, running a tab at the bar and deliberately not asking for a wifi code as I know that will distract me. I do this a lot – switch off the internet and write write write, then edit, add links and publish later on. Although sometimes I'll need to come off flight mode for Googling/gif browsing, of course. Can't be helped.

I only recently, after 7 years, started scheduling posts for certain dates and times, and thinking about when this or that would be most appropriate to post, or best received by followers. After my recent experience with digital marketing when interning, I have dabbled in scheduling tweets too, but via Tweetdeck rather than Buffer or any more professional sites. That's been mostly positive, especially as I'm trying to take chunks of each day away from Twitter (it's hard!!) and focus more on writing work/reading.
I also recently took a stab at doing some popular tags, almost all of them bookish, of course. Posting those was fun, it felt like sharing love with other bloggers as well, tagging some of my favourites to do the same thing. But then I worried that it would seem like fluffy filler to some people – like I didn't have much scheduled for the blog that week and needed something to help it tick over.

When I attended one of Laura Williams' excellent writing workshops back in March, there was some talk about blogging and questioning its current climate – it perplexed us all that some bloggers these days can write 5 posts in one evening and schedule months in advance!? 

So, is it dying out? Are the label-driven content-creating stats-obsessed companies killing us all off? 'Us' here meaning the old school bloggers who started up in the noughties and are struggling to keep up with the fast-paced nature of the blog world these days – wait, just me? Okay.

I would say, here and now: no. Blogging is not dying. If anything, it's thriving. It's coming into its own, really. In a way. Last Wednesday night I was at a Goldsboro Books party, organised by DHH Agency, and when the big CEO-type speech was given (atop a little step ladder in the shop doorway) there was a special shout-out to bloggers. 'You go above and beyond...you're not credited enough...we're so grateful' gushed DH, while we book bloggers beamed with pride from the little pocket we'd created just to one side of him, amongst the agents and authors and publicists whose work we so admire – and are able to work with now!
I have so many author pals who have said at their launches, on panels or just over drinks in the pub; we book bloggers are invaluable to the industry and help out massively with sales and publicity.
And just generally, bloggers really are a huge help to companies, campaigns and communities. Whether a woman is testing out skincare products and sharing their best qualities; a man is trialling a new dating app in the city; a YouTuber is sponsored to do a classy bar crawl with friends...we're helping everywhere and in every way. 

But also, bloggers can create their own businesses from their blogs, now. Every day now at least one blogger will be quitting their 9-5 in favour of running their own company from home, online. What!?! That is beyond awesome. 

Of course I'd never considered becoming a freelance writer or content creator back when I started this blog in 2010, as an angsty 16 year-old in need of a safe space to vent, but goddamn I'm kinda crazy happy it's worked out this way. I do keep the personal in with the professional though, I think that's important. That's one of my key rules for blogging: Never lose sight of yourself. If you're offered a pretty hefty gig with a company you'd never normally go for or maybe condone their activity, then don't feel bad saying no. You don't wanna force anything, or change your principles. I was once asked to participate in a blog tour thing for a famously cruel makeup brand, and said no due to being an animal lover. No regrets, tbh.

So, to summarise: blogging is not dying. And content is not its killer. Content for the sake of content can be taxing and tiring and stale – but content you believe in, love and champion is a life force.


4 comments

  1. Great post! Good to read something so positive about the future of blogging instead of the usual doom and gloom. X

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    1. Thank you so much! I definitely have hope for the blogging world and line of work - it can get dark and miserable at times, but there's so much potential we have yet to uncover! ;D x

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  2. *cheers* you're right! Content is king!

    Mel ★ http://www.meleaglestone.co.uk

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  3. Oh, Grace, everytime I read something from your blog is like talking to a friend. But on the post now. I loved it. It is true though, blogging is not dying. As long as there are people out there who still want to connect with others and share something personal or a review or raving about a book, then blogging will never die. The only thing we should pay attention to is to stay true to ourselves and don't sell our souls for some "dollah dollah bills yaaaaa'll!". Write about something you love, something that makes your heart race. Write for yourself first and then if people see themselves in your words, that's a bonus that can't be replaced by money. Am I right or am I right? ha!
    Love ya!
    Your twitter & blogger friend
    Marylou

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