Monday, August 24, 2015

The Decline of blogging and Ways to perk it up!

Short is the new long. Quip or quit! Has the blogging ship sailed?

Nick Wilford talked about the Future of Blogging earlier this month and inspired me to write a long comment, and then even more - to write this post!

After blogging for six years, I have definitely noticed the disappearance of many blogger friends. Have you? Well, I have a theory or two why...

They got a book deal! - Like many writers, I started my blog to learn about writing, post my thoughts on the process, and get feedback - while giving the same in return. I met tons of blog friends and am continuing to meet more - some even in real life. But once you get published, the time you didn't have before completely disappears. Marketing and promoting invade your life besides trying to write the next one to keep yourself alive with your readers who are hungry for more. I cut back substantially - from almost every day to once a week. And I will keep with it until I don't feel it's productive anymore. But with many of my blog friends still active, it's still worth it. And as my title suggests, I always have something to say!

They ran out of time - Life will do that. Things change. And many times, blogging is the first thing to go. I know how thin we can stretch ourselves, and sometimes we have to make a choice, and blogging can be a luxury of time we can't afford.

They ran our of things to say - It's just not a priority anymore. When people post about not knowing what to post about, it's a good sign they're on their way to other things. And that's okay!

If you have to let it go, or just slow down or take a break from it - know that this blogging community will still be here. There are rocks that seem immovable (Like Alex J the Rockstar Ninja Warrior and L Diane the photographer and marketing genius, and so many more).

I have to make time for it because I want to keep in touch with my writer friends - we know what each other is going through. I'm so glad I started when I did - I've gotten so much from it and am still learning. And I hope others might still get something out of my articles, too.

In fact, here are some suggestions for a new blogging strategy to keep blogs alive and relevant:

  • Catchy, quippy titles - if you want to reach more people, you have to grab them with an enticing title. Give them lists, make them laugh, inform! Then,
  • Promote it on the quickie sites - Any social media will do. Use a cute blurb and/or picture... cute enough to make people click on it to read further! Make it easier by connecting your blog to Twitter or Facebook. It's amazing how many people are vying for each other's attention and the ways we can do it!
  • Be interesting - Blogging is only as good as what you put into it. If you want more, you must expand and reach out, padawan!

NAMASTE! (It felt right)

30 comments:

Heather R. Holden said...

I've noticed a lot of bloggers disappearing, too. It's sad, but understandable, since blogging is pretty time-consuming! My depression has even kept me away from my own blog lately, although I've been doing my best to catch up. Blogging is still one of my favorite forms of social media, so I really hope it doesn't fall to the wayside for everyone eventually!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

So many have fallen by the wayside because it does take time. Although book deals shouldn't be a cause, because you need to blog more than ever after that. And that was the reason I started blogging in the first place.
Believe me, I'll never run out of things to say!

Fifi Islaih said...

I noticed. I don't read as much blogs and I don't blog as much. I usually post my poems but now I'm saving them for my published books. I guess I fall under two if not all those reasons you listed. Yet I will try and keep going. I like keeping in touch with my blogging friends. Thank you!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

This writing business is often a lonely one, and the connections and friendships I've made through this blogging community help keep me sane (or as sane as I'm going to get.) I still enjoy blogging, and I hope my blog is still interesting and relevant! :)

SA Larsenッ said...

We have similar blogging experiences, blogging for approximately the same amount of time. It definitely got harder to find time to blog after I signed with an agent. The writing world and cyberspace are no different than the rest of our lives. They will continue to evolve and we'll either adapt or stop. I don't think I'll ever stop blogging completely, but I do think in the near future I'll have to revamp how I go about it. When I began, I blogged every day. After two years, that cut down to three days. Another two years and I cut back to two days. And now I'm down to one, or on occasion, two. I try to make that one post a week more meaningful or helpful to others. Not sure I've figured it out yet, though. :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I have lots of blogger friends still going strong but a few of my favorites are gone. Kind of sad but the time thing is understandable.

Susan Says

Chrys Fey said...

I'm not the best at catchy titles because my posts are mostly about writing, publishing, etc and it's hard to think of catchy titles for them. I also want readers to know exactly what the post is about so I keep it simple and straightforward. And I hope my blog is interesting. :) I have posts planned for next year already, so I won't be running out of things to say for a while. 2017, though, my blog will be changing...

Carrie-Anne said...

I've also noticed a number of blogs I enjoyed going incommunicado. I understand life getting in the way, but a post every so often would still be nice, or a post explaining there's about to be a long absence. It's important to think ahead, and have posts written and scheduled well in advance.

Patricia Lynne said...

There's been plenty of blogs that I used to read and now I don't see anything from. It's a little sad because I remember enjoying their posts and hope they are doing well. I'd like to think that anyone who stops blogging did so because of good things and not bad things.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I've slowed down too, even though I love blogging and I LOVE my bloggy friends. There are so many places online to try to remain an active part of- something has to go sometimes. And you're right, it's especially hard after publication because of the marketing and the work on the next book.

Sarah Foster said...

If I skip a blog post, it's usually because I've run out of ideas (forcing yourself to blog 3 times a week will cause that to happen sometimes). I do notice that bloggers tend to slow down or take breaks during the summer, too, so maybe it'll pick up a bit more next month.

Liz A. said...

Blogging is hard to sustain when you have nothing to say. But once you find that groove, you can go on and on.

Rena said...

Yes, some really great bloggers have left. For me, it's starting to boil down to the whole "feed my family" or "comment on these posts so I don't feel like a jerk when I post my stuff."

*sigh* life sometimes gets in the way like that.

Rhonda Albom said...

Gosh, I hope blogging isn't dieing. Good suggestions. What will be next, if blogging goes?

cleemckenzie said...

I still blog, but have cut back. It's a way I have staying connected with people, so I'll probably keep it up as long as I enjoy it.

I do miss some of the bloggers who have moved on to do other things. But, as you've written here, lives change. We have to expect that.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I'm on my 6th year and have noticed how difficult it is now to attract followers and comments compared to when blogging was new and exciting. I often ask myself if it's worth it. But it keeps me in touch with the writing community and with friends I've made through blogging. That's pretty much the only reason I blog anymore.

JoLynne Lyon said...

My blogging circle is a lot smaller these days. I think some of us were kind of hoping it would make money for us... someday... I've been thinking lately of the fun I had and how different it is now. I'm glad that many of my favorite voices are still in the game, though. We're a stubborn lot.

Nicki Elson said...

I'm one who's barely clinging on. I'm pretty much down to IWSG & promoting author friends these days. I don't get around to visit nearly as much as I'd like to. It's an issue of time management for me. But I AM going to get myself organized and schedule in at least one morning/afternoon a week to post & visit. I do still enjoy the community so I"m not willing to give this up entirely.

Michelle Wallace said...

I LOVE my blogging.
I don't want to stop even though I've slowed down... a bit...

Christine Rains said...

It's sad that so many bloggers have fallen away from blogging. I love it and the community. Your tips are great. I've been trying to stay short on words and be supportive, helpful, and hopefully sometimes funny! :)

Loni Townsend said...

Great tips! I am a horrible blogger. :D Before last year, I never even knew blogging was a dedication thing. I didn't post the last couple of weeks because life is overwhelming.

Melissa said...

First, Loni is not a horrible blogger. :P

I've been a victim of post-publishing blog slump. Writing is time consuming. Once you throw in marketing and (now) managing a street team and a participating in a genre-specific Facebook group, there's even less time for blogging.

I have to disagree with Alex somewhat, though. Blogging is not where I generate the bulk of my sales. I guess it depends on who's visiting your blog. Mine is a writer's blog and doesn't attract that much 'reader' attention. So, other than keeping in contact with my writer friends - which IS important to me - blogging isn't giving me much return on my time when it comes to income.

Being a working mom of three, I have to find a balance with it all. I don't plan to stop blogging, but I am going to keep it manageable and keep it in perspective with the big picture.

E.J. Wesley said...

It's funny, because many of the folks who have commented here would be on my Mt. Rushmore or writing bloggers!

All of the points here are extremely valid. (All of them!) Blogging has definitely 'changed'. It's no longer THE means of social interaction for our writing community. (When I began blogging 8-ish years ago it certainly was the best way to connect with other writers online--if not the only way.) We have many, many options now, and that has taken its toll on the blogging community.

The indie boom also drastically changed the nature of blogging. It changed how many of us spent our time online as well as our purpose for doing so. The old guard is still here, because we've held on to why we started in the first place: Interaction. Community. Support. (And I'll use 'we' loosely, because I've definitely fell of the wagon as far as my own blog goes. But I still read my favorites and occasionally comment--although I try not to quite as much because I know people will hop to my blog, and frankly, there's nothing new there.)

I think it's hard to bring new blood into blogging now because they don't see the return on investment in terms of audience. As someone mentioned above, it's much harder to grow a blog now than it was 5 years ago. Whereas Twitter, Instagram, etc. can all be grown relatively quickly.

I think you hit the nail on the head, Tara, with the 'short and sweet' advice. People love bite-sized information these days. The time when you could write an opus blog post and have it really draw attention is pretty much over imo (unless you already have a following). As you also said, it's very important that you make your blog cross platforms. Have YouTube content, Pinterest it, Tweet it, etc.

Good stuff here as always! ~EJ

Yolanda Renee said...

I think you listed all the answers, and definitely a few of the answers for continuing, I enjoy it, more than all the other options out there, so I'm trying to stick around. Flash Fiction is my new addiction, I just hope I'm entertaining the readers.

Kate Larkindale said...

I'm in the running out of things to say camp… I feel like my blog has become a place-holder almost, something I keep doing so I have it there when I get to the next stage of my career. So to streamline things, I only post 3 times a week, and I have 3 things I blog about weekly. It may be boring, but at least I know I can do it.

Mark Means said...

I needed to see this today...thank you! :)

Sandra Cox said...

Good post and very relevant. These days, blogging has some serious competition with Facebook and Twitter. You mentioned some great ideas for putting a little razzle-dazzle back into it.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Blogging is a great way to make connections with other people around the world, and it can be very enjoyable and worthwhile, but developing it into a truly interactive endeavor is also very time-consuming. For writers, I think it eventually comes to the point of having to decide: "Am I a blogger who writes... or a writer who blogs?" It's tough to do both, so something has to give. Even for bloggers with no aspirations to write or be published, life has a way of shifting priorities around on us. I'm lucky I can still squeeze in once-a-week blog posts.

TBM said...

I've noticed a huge change, but each time I think about hanging up my blogging hat, I think of all the friends I have and I would miss it. But I understand it when others stop. It's hard these days to find times to do the things we like.

Medeia Sharif said...

I've noticed several bloggers who deleted their blogs, stopped blogging, or rarely blog. I do miss them. I wouldn't want to give it up since I get so much out of it. I think it's great for promoting and making connections.