I’ve noticed a small but growing trend over the past several months. More and more bloggers are burned out on the professional side of blogging and are expressing a desire to return to what I would call old-fashioned blogging.
If you were in the blogging world in 2005 and 2006, you will know what I mean. That was when blogging really took off and people were loving the opportunity to connect with others online. Comment threads were lengthy, full of friendly chatter and the making of friends.
Social Media Took Over Old-Fashioned Blogging
Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram turned it all upside down. Non-bloggers loved how instant it all was. For bloggers, it became all about followers and Pinterest worthy images and SEO and all things social media.
To be sure, some people never quit blogging in the traditional sense. But I’ve been so immersed in the business side of online work with this site, my printables business, and the business I own with my husband that supports our family that during the past ten years my reading of blogs for pleasure dropped off to virtually nothing. Between parenting, homeschooling, health, and business… That was it. Add to it the decision to finally and reluctantly join Facebook primarily the sake of business and reading regular blogs pretty much dropped off my radar.
Until this summer.
Rediscovering the Joy of Old-Fashioned Blogs
One evening I was restless with all of the online “stuff” that I’ve been contemplating for the better part of a year. I started surfing around via linky parties. (Do you remember those? Professional bloggers will tell you they are waste of time now, but I’m not convinced.) But do you know what? I found that there are still lots of bloggers who are blogging the old-fashioned way. It blessed me and made me homesick all at the same time to read their blogs. As much as I love what I’ve accomplished with my website and I’m thankful for the way it provides for our family’s needs, I felt a
tiny bit lot envious when I saw an extensive blog on Blogger with the same theme I started with in 2005.
One of the blogs I “happened” across is Afternoon Coffee and Evening Tea. Billie Jo wrote Bring Blogging Back in August and when I read it, I knew that my hunches and musings were not just my own wishful thinking. In reflecting on what she likes about blogging versus her experience on Twitter and Instagram (in particular), Billie Jo wrote:
Blogging takes place in a slower paced world. I feel at ease when I open a favorite blog and read a post. I sit down and even drink a cup of coffee as I spend some time visiting. And if I miss one? I visit later, when I have time. It may be me, but I find blogging to be mindful and cozy. Please note, I am not against Instagram. I am simply putting out a plea to others to not view it as a replacement for blogging.
She’s so right about the slower pace. There are some traditional blogs I found this summer and when I read them I can actually feel my body relaxing. It doesn’t have to do with whether or not they include Amazon links or ads. Some of the blogs I like to read have both. One in particular has a lot of ads, but I enjoy the content so much I don’t care. (I also understand how much it costs to keep a busy blog going and the money has to come from somewhere.) Blogs are cozy in a way that Facebook can absolutely never be.
The Future of Blogging?
I’m not sure where blogging is headed. Social media is both a blessing and a curse. I have a partially finished post about why it’s so difficult to quit Facebook so I’m going to address the Facebook phenomena separately. (Finished post is now here.) But I do know that there is a shift happening. I can see it. I’m just not sure yet what is going to develop from it.
All that to say is that I plan on doing more old-fashioned blogging mixed in with the other posts I write. Posts where I don’t worry about SEO and perfect images and whether or not the topic fits with the overall theme of my site. I’ve spent the last five years in particular chasing all the “right” ways to do things according to the blogging professionals and, in the process, I feel like I’ve lost something of beauty along the way.
And hopefully you will stop by with a cup of coffee or tea and feel your body relax while reading. 🙂
I found a new-to-me blog recently that was so beautiful, I had to check it out. However, when I started reading through it, the content was a couple paragraphs that didn’t really say much under a beautiful photo. Every post was that way.
I’m with you, if someone has a lot of ads but they say something important, I continue reading. However, a lot of blogs these days don’t build community because they seem to be put together for Pinterest and Instagram.
I stopped reading the “how to build your blog” articles long ago because I disagreed with the advice. It wasn’t about building community but jumping through so many hoops that it would no longer be enjoyable at all.
Coffee tea books and me is my favorite blog 🙂 I have my coffee and sit down for a nice visit, come away inspired and like I just visited with a friend. I started reading years ago when I was a young woman starting In my career. Now I am a stay at home mom with young girls and I feel like I have a mentor and friend there. I love it.
I agree. Brenda is a treasure. 🙂
You are absolutely right about most of the “how to build your blog” advice out there. Even the “building community” aspects builds a different kind of community. It’s weird. I don’t regret the time I’ve spent learning about blogging from the “professionals” but I’m ready to figure out how to take some of the good that I learned from them and apply it to authentic blogging that isn’t a program for everything related to numbers.
I do enjoy blogs with substance and bloggers who are real and honest. I don’t mind ads, but I hate the pop up variety. I used to really enjoy blogging, but the thought of focusing so much on monitization kind of killed it for me. I felt my blog was a failure because I didn’t earn a cent on it. I hated having to remember to post links on my FB blogger page as no one ever visited it or talked about my blog there anyway. In all honesty, I met some nice fellow bloggers in the process of blogging, but I didn’t like the restriction of being focused on one topic alone to keep traffic flowing. I want to write about family, homeschool, my faith, nutrition, recipes, crafting, etc… I have recently been considering blogging again, but maybe just for the fun of it. How lovely there are still some bloggers out there that are blogging in the traditional fashion. Maybe blogging will come full circle and people will return to it once again.
I’ve tried multiple times to develop a niche and every. single. time. I just hated it. I know it works well for some people and they are very successful with it. I can’t do it. I’ve tried more than once. Blogging should be enjoyable and when the business side of it sucks the enjoyment out of it, then it’s hard to keep going. I’m determined to find that sweet spot where I can write authentically, develop community, and still help provide for my family.
Blogging is a lot more introvert-friendly than Facebook, not just in the slower pace and in the possibility of building deeper community, but also in the sense of having an online “space” (or even “home”) that feels like it belongs to the blogger. With Facebook and the others, it feels like the space is owned by the platform, and is dominated by the platform’s branding.
YES! YES! YES!
This website is my home on the internet and I want to invite people into my home. I want to interact with people in my home. Facebook IS dominated by the platform branding and how they structure everything. You have ZERO say about any of it. And, YES, as an introvert it is tiring to even leave my online “home” to go somewhere else to meet up with people to socialize. It sounds crazy, but you are absolutely correct. There is always the tyranny of the urgent when it comes to social media as well. You feel compelled to respond to comments on Facebook because the pace is so much quicker. So, in the end, I end up not responding to people who actually leave comments on my site because I invest/waste so much time on Facebook. How stupid is that?
I’m still writing my post about Facebook and social media. It’s taking time because there is just so much to it. But I’ve found lots of resources that I hope will help people either to think about how they use the platform (and social media in general) or will confirm to them what they already figured out on their own.
I think the Amish are right in thinking that even technology that’s as simple as buttons for your clothes can radically affect how you actually live. It’s a challenge with each new technology to find out what it’s good for, and what it isn’t. I was reading recently about the rise of novel writing and reading in the 19th century, and how George MacDonald got into writing novels as a platform to combining his storytelling with his preaching.
I would say that eclecticism is a big part of your individual niche, by the way. You keep turning up people and ideas that I’ve never heard of before.
That’s an interesting thought about the eclecticism and I think you are correct. As I’ve been going over old posts while working on the site’s categories, I can see that the eclectic nature of my blog/website in the past has been a draw. I can also see that in the survey I put up a few weeks ago. Eclecticism is the absolute antithesis of all the “blogging wisdom” out there right now and probably why I constantly battle against said wisdom every time I try to submit to it. I do love sharing new ideas and people on my site. 🙂
Thank you so much for mentioning my thoughts here on your wonderful space!
I am honored.
I am also excited to visit often.
Have a cozy evening. : )
Hi Billie Jo!
Thanks so much for stopping by and saying hi. I truly appreciated your blog post and felt like God used it as one of the little nudges I needed in some decision-making this summer and fall. 🙂
So I was right! Here are some people talking about this very thing a few months later…
On Social Media and Its Discontents
Beyond #DeleteFacebook: More Thoughts on Embracing the Social Internet Over Social Media
Key Themes and Trends from the Social Media Marketing World Conference (See #7)
It’s everywhere, especially for those who have been blogging a long time…
“I cried because I don’t know what to do with myself, because I miss blogging the way blogging used to be”
“I grieved… For the writer I was before BrocanteHome began to feel like a corporate entity of my own devising.”
From “I Want My Life Back” at BrocanteHome (now deleted post)
She had one of the blogs that I thought was so much better before it was monetized!
Monetization is such a tricky thing. I’ve really struggled with the ads thing, but our family likes to eat.
I actually really like her Salon membership area idea and just joined this afternoon to try it out. This is something I’ve been thinking about working toward for my website over the next few months. There is so much I want to do here and it all takes time and money. I have so many ideas of helpful things I would like to create for people…
I’ve seen a number of bloggers also move toward including Patreon options on their site.
There are no easy answers. It’s something so many bloggers are wrestling with right now.
Blogs have been my main source for finding fellow unschooling families online. For me, social media just doesn’t have the space or format to easily communicate the ‘larger than meme’ ideas that I’m looking for: other people’s experiences, tribulations and triumphs. I hope blogging is coming back because for unschooling, it’s my preferred platform!
It’s nice to meet you. I so agree with what you said about blogs offering space for communicating bigger ideas. There is so much to learn from one another and I appreciate other bloggers who inspire and teach me.
Thank you for taking the time to comment!
This is so deja vu! I’ve been around since blogging started back in the early 2000s and most of the bloggers I knew back then have either disappeared or morphed into pros. I love that it has opened up career possibilities for people, but surely there is still room for us Old Schoolers. Link parties, oh my gosh! I had forgot about those. I recently migrated by WordPress blog back to my Old School favourite, Blogger and am actively looking for like-minded bloggers. And may I say, I’m so pleased to have found you!
I’m so glad you said hello and shared your comment. It’s amazing to think of all the bloggers who have come and gone. I mentioned in a group a particular blogger who was very popular around 2005-2008 and the group of bloggers I was discussing blogging with had never heard of her. It made me realize how long I’ve been at this. LOL!
I’m glad you found me too! I look forward to getting acquainted!
I have had a blog for a long time,considered deleting it, it would seem all the bling and swag of fb etc was luring folks away, low readership and followers. I kept my old blog, dusted it off and am intent of continuing…it is is a place of comfort, creativity, and a way to stay out of the mainstream fray and impersonal relationships. I am glad to hear there are others who are coming home again to blogging.
Us..( ahem) seasoned bloggers welcome you. The linky parties,crochet alongs, and simple creativity of creating your own space, and the friendships made over the years are just some of the perks.
Nice to have found you Faith. I stopped by your pretty blog just now and joined your Followers list.
Thank you for stopping by, I’m so glad that you talked about this, I think the blog has a long shelf ahead of it….it’s simple and your creative juices and personality make each one special and different.
I agree that there will always be a place for blogs. They might not be wildly popular like they were when they first came out, but there will always be a segment of the female population that enjoys the slower blog pace of visuals, words, and friendly interaction. That’s simply not found anywhere else.
thank you for this!!! i have seriously thought about leaving blogging for the very reason that it seems like peoples attention spans are getting shorter and no one wants to read true and authentic blogs anymore. Like you said, i don’t mind blogs with ad links in between but when it comes to advertising posts all the time, i lose interest and do not want to come back. I want to write not for advertising purposes but to create a community even if it a small one.
I do believe there are people out there who still enjoy old-fashioned blogging. The key is finding them.
Did you see this post I did about Cozy Bogs I’m Reading? I wrote it after I went looking for more old-fashioned type blogging.
I never thought I’d ever hear the term, “Old Fashioned Blogging,” but I love it! You are right. The old fashioned blog that is focusing on having a sort of “home” online is so charming and much needed.
Hi Mrs. White,
I really do like the term old-fashioned blogging. I think there are many people who want to see less emphasis on social media and more personal interaction on blogs. Not everyone, but many.
Thanks for your comment. I always enjoy visiting your blog and watching your videos on YouTube. 🙂