The 'Death Of Blogging' & What It Means For Me.
I know I know, another blogger banging on about the death of blogging as we know it. It's a topic being thrown about left right and centre over the last few months and to some extent I think we all believe it's true.
There's no denying blogging is changing and maybe yeah, it's dying a death in the way we know it. I don't know if there's anyone saying it's exactly the same as when they first started and I think the chances of most of us achieving the dizzying heights of Zoella or InTheFrow is very unlikely. They got on the bandwagon at the right time, they paved the way for the rest of us, they honed their craft and nailed their content and we are hanging on their coat tails making a name (and maybe a bit of money) for ourselves as best we can.
So let's get into the nitty gritty then. Here's what the apparent death of blogging looks like for me;
Everyone says blogging is dying but we're all jumping to social media.....
Is it just a bit of a hype? Is the fact blogging is dying just a bit of a trend now? We're all talking about it, we're all bitching about it, we're all tweeting about it - hell, we're all writing about it. Of course, yes, we're all right in some ways and blogging is altering and social media is growing and the two are a bit of a fuzzy grey area blurred together now.
Are you a blogger if you write one post a year and put the rest of your content on Youtube? Are you a blogger if your site hasn't been updated since Christmas but all your sponsored posts are on Instagram? Where does the term blogger turn into the term influencer? And are we all guilty of contributing to it?
I'm sure a lot of us are more concerned these days with our Instagram following than the amount of followers on our blog? I'm sure plenty of us are watching the sales on our affiliate programmes rising quicker than our DA scores. I know loads of us are more likely to get the swipe up feature before we get a book deal for our writing.
Can we expect blogging to be growing at all when we're spending more time on apps and less time on people's websites?
Is it ironic we're blogging about blogging dying?
I mean yeah, I think we all agree on this one. I can't tell you how many blog posts I have read recently about the death of blogging, whether or not people agree, whether or not people are bothered and also whether or not people are going to do anything about it.
And here I am writing one as well. We all have a lot to say on the matter and yeah sure, we could pop it on Instagram, we could maybe chat about it in our stories but instead, we turn to our blogs to write about it in depth. We're literally talking about blogging dying by pouring hundreds of words onto our blogs because we want to get our point of view out there, and our blogs are still the best place to get it out there.
A few weeks ago when the words for this blog post first started forming in my head I held a series of polls and questions on my Insta stories to see if my opinions matched most of yours.
Here's what I found out....
Worth noting here that only 2% of the people who responded have a swipe up function enabled on their Insta stories. I had always wondered if not having the ability to send readers directly to your latest post would hinder people promoting on their Insta stories but appaz no, not you lot.
I also asked you what your opinions were on whether or not blogging was dying....here are some of your responses:
"I hope not but it does seem quieter"
"To an extent. I think it's more that other platforms are growing in popularity and people are choosing them"
"Mine is at least!"
"No, I think people are becoming lazier when looking for or taking in content"
"No but I think it's becoming more casual, which isn't necessarily a negative"
"I think it is kind of. My engagement has reduced a lot and my motivation to post has"
"No, just changing"
"Nope! I think it's really silly when people go on about the death of blogging. It's evolving"
"No, just changing. I've seen this claim made a tonne of times over the years and it never dies, just shifts"
"Not good quality blogging. People may start thinking they'll get a huge audience and ad revenue though"
"Yes, shifting toward Instagram"
I also got pretty self indulgent and got people to message me with WHY they still followed my blog which I highly recommend you do because it gives you a fab insight into who your audience are and what content they are after.
What my research made me realise;
Ok no it wasn't dissertation worthy research, my sample size wasn't massive but the opinions were varied and I think actually pretty much cover the board when it comes to most of our feelings.
I think as many people who think blogging is dead, there are as many who think it's just evolving and just as many who think it's absolutely fine. But I think the most important point that was clarified from my polls was that we, as content creators AND consumers are changing the way we blog and the way we read blogs. Social media is playing a much bigger role, we don't engage as much as we used to and basically, most of us could be doing better.
What the death of blogging looks like to me;
Yes, for me I would say blogging is dying and that is 100% down to my own faults. Blogging has always been my side hustle and a hobby all rolled into one and it's always been a motivating factor in my life. I always slightly scoffed at people who said they didn't have enough time to blog or the lack of motivation because I loved mine so much and prioritised time for it I just kinda thought they weren't working hard enough.
And then my life got busy, and then I didn't have the time to blog as much, and then I didn't have the daylight hours to take bullet journal photos, and then my regular posts started feeling stale, and then I started job hunting, and then I lost all motivation, and then my sats started falling, and then I started full time work and REALLY found out what it was like to have no time.
My blog statistics are falling faster than they ever have, I am posting less than I ever have and when I have a free five minutes I head straight over to Instagram. I think I am a typical blogger of 2018, we are all running in the same circles and forming the same habits and I would lose count if I thought of the amount of blogs I used to read regularly that have dropped off the face of the earth.
But. And there is a bit but. Slowly but surely my motivation is returning and my ideas are forming again and I am actually looking forward to going home and letting my hands flow over the keyboard. And actually, when I am super busy I feel sad I don't have the time to blog. And in the same breath I am wanting to blog and I am thinking "but what's the point because blogging is dying?"
New bloggers aren't dying;
Think of the last 'new' blogger you followed? A blogger who started up in the last year say? Chances are if you go on their social media they're following is growing by the week. They're super active, super engaged and maybe even take part in Twitter chats weekly. They blog every other day, they promote their tweets every hour, hell maybe they've even started a new community.
New bloggers are as excited and motivated and inspired as we were 2, 3, 4 years ago when we started. Blogging isn't dead, blogging is a new and thrilling and intriguing. Blogging has opened doors to them they didn't know existed and introduced relationships and communities they had no knowledge of before.
And we are that community. The 'old hands' and the even older hands who have been doing it for longer. The community they log onto Twitter to find all of us complaining blogging 'isn't like it was back' in the day.
Older bloggers are finding new ways of creating;
And it's not just the newbies who are full of inspiration and the thrills of blogging. If you scroll the Instagram feeds or visit the websites of the biggest bloggers out there you'll find they're still smashing it out the park and still finding new ways to create mega content and keep the rest of us on our toes.
Those who made a success of themselves before the world really knew what had hit them are creating some of the best content of their lives. Their community is strong, their following is even stronger and they show no signs of stopping just yet.
Blogging is dying in the way we know it;
I definitely think this is the case. Nothing can stay the same forever, and the form it's taken at the moment has to change. When I first started tapping away on Squarespace I remember seeing comments from people saying blogging had changed since they first started out, and yet here I am professing the exact same thing a mere 3 years later.
Blogging has changed since I started. I was producing content 7 days a week for months on end. My bullet journal posts were going viral every time they were published. Sponsored content was a grey murky area nobody was talking about and payment certainly wasn't widely advertised. My stats were growing by 10K per month, my following was rising by 100 people a day and I was taking part in multiple Twitter chats at any one given moment, engaging with people and finding new pals.
We have to adapt;
The world is changing and the way we consume online media is too. I think a few years back Youtube was a much bigger platform than your traditional blog and then for a while it shifted to the written word and traditional journalism is almost 6 feet under.
Social media has always played a part in growing a blog because you're growing a following and essentially a brand. Having a Twitter account and a Pinterest account and an Instagram account has always been a must have but now I think it's more important to an extent than the formation of the words you put on the screen. You can be shit blogger and be a fabulous influencer. You can be a fab blogger and have an Instagram following of just your family.
It's no secret and no surprise that the money in influencing is shifting and people are cancelling all sponsored content on their websites in favour for the money they can reap from their online following. You can build a career on Instagram and whether or not you bought those followers to start with is almost here nor there.
Fashion is fast, the news is fast, the way we digest content is fast and only moving faster. We live busy lives and when we only have 5 minutes to devote to indulging in other people's content we'd sooner scroll Instagram or have a flick through Insta stories and catch up with the latest gossip and ASOS sales than we would read a piece of well crafted English.
Something will give;
Blogging will not die a death for good, but I am absolutely sure it's in for a change. Something has to give, something has to shift and I'm not quite sure what it is yet. Maybe Instagram will give us the catastrophic new update to end all updates and we'll all flee from the platform and leave our followers behind but I doubt it. Maybe there'll be a new social media app that we move everything to and put our focus into. Maybe the trends will just change again and we'll all be so sick to death of fast consumerism we'll crave the normality of a 5000 word post and we'll all go back to how we were.
I don't know what it is but I know we'll probably all go with it.
So in conclusion, what do I really think about the death of blogging and what it means to me?
I think we're all our own worst enemies.
We all berate the loss of following but we never go looking for new accounts to follow.
We all complain about the lack of stats on our blogs yet never spend time reading anyone else's either.
We all moan about how it's not like it was back in our day and how nobody is inspiring and creative anymore yet we read and produce the same content as 99% of influencers out there.
We all trash social media for killing the blog yet spend all our free time on Instagram anyway.
We all tweet about how the community isn't the same anymore yet never join in chats and spend our lives sub tweeting about drama.
I think we should be taking a leaf out of the new kids on the block and the old hands. We should blog with the enthusiasm of someone who's just discovered it and with the professionalism and creativity of those being paid 10K for an Insta snap. We should be engaging with the community, following new people, shouting about those we love and looking out for new favs to follow.
We can't complain about the death of blogging if we're doing nothing to help it's reserrecttion.