Is blogging dead?

Is blogging dead? No, is the short answer to that, and here's why... | SusannahConway.com

 

No, I don’t think it is, is the short answer to that question. My 10-year blogiversary is fast approaching and I’ve been noticing posts asking whether blogging has had its day. And while it’s true that blogging — as a platform and the way we use it — is evolving, I don’t think it’s about to suddenly disappear. We simply have more options for sharing our words, images and opinions online and where once the blog was the be-all and end-all now it’s just one of many.

When I started back in 2006 my blog was my only home on the internet. These days I’m sharing more consistently on Instagram and Facebook and the community-feel in both places reminds me of the halcyon days of that first year, back when I was doing it as much to connect with others as I was to (re)connect to my self. My online life has always been about creative expression in one form or another and when I launched my first course in January 2009 that creative expression ran parallel with the organic growth of my business. It was definitely “easier” to maintain my blog when I only had one course on offer. Now I have six running throughout the year and I always prioritise my course peeps and our groups over anything else. When I’m in the creative cave making something new I have very few brain cells left over for blog posts, so I truly admire those prolific online mavens who seem to have an endless supply of succinct sentences. Seriously — how do they do it?

I don’t believe in dialling it in, so if I have nothing to say I don’t try to force myself to get something on the blog just because it’s been silent for a few weeks. There’s enough noise online without me adding to the clamour. In theory I do want to be in this space more — I miss it! — but I also really like that my bean-spilling is being saved for my monthly Love Letters. It’s a transition that’s gradually happened over the last year or so, and even though I’m sharing with 20,000+ people each time, it really does feel more intimate. I’m not broadcasting it for general public consumption and I’ve been moved to tears by some of the tender replies I’ve received. In theory I could keep my personal sharing for the Letters and write more generally for the blog, but that’s not really how I write (all my writing is personal sharing, let’s face it ;-) Besides, I’m not a huge fan of the sort of sermonising blog posts that create a distance between the writer and reader. They make sense in a newspaper article or book but feel odd on a blog. I’m old school, I guess — I like my blogging to be personal.

There are hundreds of blog genres, which is why we can’t make any definitive statements about the future of blogging. There are so many different reasons why someone starts a blog in the first place. If I was to start all over again right now, would I set up a blog? Yes, absolutely. If you’re sharing your work with the world I truly believe you need a home on the internet and a static website just isn’t enough. While all those other social media outlets are “easier” to use — sharing a photo on Instagram takes a lot less effort than writing an 800 word blog post — having a blog as part your website gives you the space to express yourself on your terms.

Many of the posts discussing the possible end of blogging are only viewing it through an entrepreneurial lens — blogging as a hobby is not going anywhere. It’s where I started and in many ways it’s where I’d like to return. Creative expression is its own reward — even if I never ran another course I would continue to share online because I love it. Imagery, words, thoughts, inspirations. It’s the stuff that gets me up in the morning, quite frankly. If I hadn’t started a blog when I did my life after bereavement could have taken a very different path. Starting a blog brought me back to myself. It brought me community when I needed it and possibility when I thought I had none. Blogging will change and social media will evolve, but the community at the heart of it will continue to be the most important part for me.

So if you need me, I’ll be hanging out on Instagram and Facebook. I’ll be sharing my heart in my Love Letters. And every so often, when the muse strikes, I’ll be here, too. Blogging is far from dead for this blogger.

* * * * *

Now over to you — if there is anyone still reading my blog I’d love to know if your online reading habits have been changing. Do you still read blogs? Or are you hanging out on other social media platforms more? Maybe a mix of both? And to my fellow bloggers — are you still feeling the urge to blog? If not, what’s changed that for you? x

80 responses
  1. Alauna

    I just started blogging last September. I only blog about once a month, always following the community women’s circle I facilitate. I feel inspired and deeply connected after sharing sacred space with women. I think I blog cause I find it cathartic. It’s also allowed me to discover that being online and visible is safe. It’s amazing to look back on some of what I’ve wrote, sometimes I don’t know how or where the words came from. And while my following is small, they are loyal. I feel deeply grateful for them and as such tend to disclose more via email rather than on my blog ?

    ” It’s also allowed me to discover that being online and visible is safe. ” — i love that! <3

  2. Arjenna

    Thanks for all your lovely posts, Susannah! One thought that has come up frequently for me this past year is that I find the AMOUNT of writing on the internet much more overwhelming now than I did ten years ago. There are so MANY inspiring, interesting articles, blog posts, pictures, links, that if I were to read everything that I wanted to I would never leave my cave! Sometimes I find myself reading online more than I find myself actually “doing”. That’s something that I really feel has changed over time – wonderful, but overwhelming. Sometimes I question whether I, myself, really want to add to the overabundance of words out there. That said, I’m glad that you HAVE chosen to. And I love that you follow your heart in posting, rather than feeling forced to just get something out there.

    Thank you, lovely! And yes, i agree — there really is so much MORE out there than there was 10 years ago. Lots more good stuff, but also lots more noise :-) x

    Arjenna, I can so relate! I LOVE reading blog posts and for years felt guilty about it as it always seemed so unproductive. Now I see it as a hobby and view it in the same way I would if I was playing the piano or a sport. Some could argue that with those hobbies I’m learning a “skill” however, I learn so much through reading blog posts, I now try to view my Feedly feed as a never-ending anthology of stories of all varieties. Besides, I simply enjoy it, in the same way I enjoy reading books.

    I also feel the same about blogging, I frequently ask myself if I want to add to the “noise”, especially as I can often feel overwhelmed with the amount information out there, but I also really enjoy blogging. I also want to leave something of myself behind when I’m gone – even if it is just a few random words about nothing in particular. So what I’ve begun doing is sharing other people’s posts, so rather than adding to the noise if I feel I have nothing to say, I simply share information. I also participate in writing “challenges” and have dabbled in writing prose, which keeps things interesting.

    Susannah, with regards to the question, is blogging dead, I’ve been pondering this recently and even begun writing a blog post about it. For me, Instagram, Twitter and the like can be overwhelming and often frustrating for me as everything moves so quickly. I believe that as things always come full circle, there will be people who will eventually long for something less rapidly changing and will find comfort in blogs, giving them the time and space to digest information in a more relaxed way.

  3. Lauren Tober

    Thanks for another lovely blog post Susannah. I do read blogs, although perhaps in a more haphazard way than I used to. I’m hanging out way more on social media (which is incidently how I was directed to this post). I blog, but like you I only do so when inspiration strikes, I don’t have a blogging schedule or editorial calendar. Thanks for showing up again today <3

  4. Linda

    Such an interesting post. I used to blog about 10 years ago about my knitting and it was such a great thing to do as I was part of a lovely community of knitters. We all knew each other and it felt like we were a group of friends. It was easier then to get around all the blogs I liked as there were fewer of them. Last year I started to blog again …. it is so hard now! There are too many blogs to keep track of, I feel like I can’t connect properly with anyone and there are so many blogs that I think are friendly but are really so commercial and just want you to sign up for stuff. I am torn between blogging and Instagram and am still wandering a bit lost between both!

  5. Carol Cassara

    I do enjoy your posts. The problem with also being a blogger and participating in comment exchange groups is that we read so much crap. I don’t even know why I participate in these groups to be honest, except that in about year I have a business to launch and I’m establishing a presence and marking time. But I do like to spend time here on your site.

  6. Sandra Pawula

    I’m so glad you posed this question and shared your perspective with us, Susannah. I do get the here-jeebies when popular bloggers start crying out that “blogging is dead.” I have seen a difference from when I started blogging 6 years ago. There are far fewer comments and it’s much more challenging to get people to the blog. It takes more time and more commitment to social media, but even being on social media doesn’t necessarily magically drive people to your blog in substantial numbers.

    I’m much like you in the sense that writing is my creative outlet, I care, and connection matters to me. This is one reason, I’m here in this world – to share myself, my knowledge, and my experience to help and support others. It’s always possible the form will change as blogging does feel “harder” than ever, but time will tell!

    I’m so glad you’re still on board and I love your “love” letters too.

  7. Kelly Bauer

    Blogging definitely isn’t dead for me. Reading the blogs I subscribe to is part of my self-care routine! I love settling in with a cup of tea, logging into my blog reader and seeing what my favorite bloggers are up to. In addition to that, I started blogging just last year, and it is definitely an element of my self-care in that way, too. I, like you, write when the mood strikes and never maintain a regular schedule. I’m afraid that introducing too much rigidity into blogging is what would kill my love for it.

    I am also a regular user of Instagram and Facebook and an intermittent user of Twitter. I like the mixture of platforms, as they each bring their own spirit to the connections that I make online. Glad to see you across many platforms, as well!

  8. sara

    Blogging is not dead in my opinion, and I love reading yours.

  9. Anna

    I do still enjoy reading blogs and try to slow down and enjoy the reading and viewing of them. I have continued blogging for a tiny to non existent audience. Although my posts aren’t always perfect or widely viewed, I still appreciate the practice of writing and sharing.

  10. Kerstin

    My blog has been my free online therapist for 11 years and I still love it! Writing and reading. And I’m so glad that people like you are still blogging and that you have stayed true to yourself over the years and that your very personal writing style and way of sharing hasn’t changed much. I still love a well designed blog for its look and feel. Having said this, lately I’ve started subscribing to people’s blogs by email, this way I don’t feel overwhelmed by all the unread blogs in my feeder and just get a ‘personal visit’ from those I care about the most :)

  11. Marcia at Organising Queen

    I’ve been blogging for 10 years too (on the 29th) and it has definitely changed. In the beginning it was definite connection for me, it still is, but these days there’s less of that because no one comments anymore. Which makes it really hard for someone like me.

    On the bright side, I’m less attached to my blog for that very reason which also means I have much more balance in my life.

    I’m only on Instagram apart from my blog.

    PS I do love your love letters :)

  12. Kymberli

    I actually find myself reading more blogs recently! In my ever-ongoing quest to live more authentically, I have been slowly tuning out noisy, frivolous social media; however, blogs still feel personal to me. I like being able to read about others’ experiences and thoughts – I get to learn new things (often about myself) and I can interact with others if I chose to through comments. In an instantly gratifying, drama-filled world I find it’s still nice to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea and fluffy blanket and read blog posts like I read personal letters.

    Kymberli – I wholeheartedly agree. Reading the few blogs that I do seems like curling up with a stack of letters, maybe not written to me, but written for me. I do not have a blog, and I do participate in Twitter and Facebook as a way of seeming to be connected to the rest of the world.

  13. Star

    I’ve been reading here since almost the beginning (Sunday Scribblings, Poetry Thursday?, etc.) and will continue to follow along. It’s been fun to watch you grow and come into this new you as an auntie (and soon to be X2!) and full-on entrepreneur and author.

    I stopped blogging years ago and my online reading has morphed time and again since then. From the first time you wrote about culling the things you choose to read, I’ve pruned many many times. Almost all of my blog reading is done through a feed reader, and I must admit that I really only click through to those few blogs that have been on my list since back in the day when I was blogging (they seem like old friends). It especially annoys me when a blogger only posts a paragraph and requires a click through to continue–I get it, but it feels push to me and those feeds don’t last long in my reader.

    My view on the state of blogging is similar to yours; I don’t think it’s dead…just flexible. Instragram is a joy (until they mess with it not being chronological) but beyond that and a few Periscope follows, I prefer the personal nature of blogs.

    Thanks for your years of sharing here and in your newsletters, Susannah!

  14. Guylaine

    I still read blogs. Every week i check yours for the *something for the week-end* inspiration. On my own i find it very difficult to discover new things. I look at instagram , even tumblr! I am a visual artist and i like seeing things and read. facebook is weird for sharing, except for private groups with a course. No twitter. I think a blog is where you can explain yourself with words and images, instagram is like a resume in one picture. Short and fast. I think that right nom, blogging is in a cycle of renewal. Renewal in the form and in contents. Many bloggers recycle other peoples ideas, so i tend to stick with the best. I have to say that i discovered a lot of good things on your blog and i look forward to take your next oracle cards class. Take care and go on!

  15. Beth

    when i mention that blogging has changed or is dying, people roll their eyes. what i mean is that it’s just NOT like it used to be and i don’t think it will ever go back to how it was. how it was, was that we were making connections while blogging, through comments and readership. the commenters have disappeared and i know so many people who say, “who cares, i blog for myself, i don’t care if nobody is reading me” and i call bullshit on that. yes, you do care if you are being read, noticed and/or appreciated for what you have to share. i don’t think blogging is keeping an online journal, as i have heard so many times…or if that is what yours is, you enjoy sharing your life with others publicly and hope for the interaction with others…and don’t tell me you don’t. otherwise you’d be writing all your thoughts in a paper journal. deep down, we all want to be noticed when we’re writing online..and then shared…and then noticed some more, by more people…that’s how blogging works. sorry to spew, but I’m tired of people not acknowledging that blogging has changed, because it has, a lot!! {so thank you susannah so very much for saying that it has} i’m on my third blog, as i so often just needed a change, and just recently went way back to see that often times i had an average of 30 comments and now, just a handful…so where is everyone at that used to visit? facebook and instagram. please don’t think I’m bitter. i’m just a bit sad. i miss the old days. the old connections. the personality that blogs had. the humans behind those blogs. sorry, and even though i’m on facebook and instagram, they just aren’t the same thing…instead they’re just easier. faster. and, sadly that’s because that’s what people like now.

  16. Caroline

    I agree that it’s different. I started my first blog back in 2006 and have various incarnations since, and I still love it. I don’t strive to post every day, like you said. I post when there’s something useful to contribute.

    As for the balance between outlets, I’m probably tied between FB and Instagram with twitter a very distant 3rd. I use Pinterest, but I don’t feel very social on there- that’s more a visual diary. I have made lots of great connections through Instagram and I do share personal descriptions as captions, so it feels personal and good. My blog is for book reviews and slightly more curated topics. But I love that it’s there. I’m sure things will change, but I more than anyone believe that people will always be on the lookout for something good to read.

    Keep it up, love! You’re still sharing so much beauty here. And in other places, too. But the blog still matters.

  17. Sandra

    Interesting article. I’ve definitely noticed a difference in people’s blogging habits blogs have been closing down without a word from their ‘owners’. I still enjoy blogging after 5 years and I still very much enjoy visiting all my favourite blogs. My own blogging has evolved as now I write more too. I do not use other social media like facebook or instagram. I don’t like to feel dispersed in all different directions as I have many other interests too besides sitting here at a computer. I do blog entries about every 7- 10 days and always announce if I’m going to take a break of several weeks (usually about 3). I have noticed that visitors leave comments less often than they used to a year or so ago. I never force a new blog entry if I’m not inspired.
    This is an interesting subject, thanks for bringing it up, Susannah!

  18. Sophie Playle

    ‘Many of the posts discussing the possible end of blogging are only viewing it through an entrepreneurial lens — blogging as a hobby is not going anywhere.’

    My blog is a part of my business, so this idea worries me … What are your thoughts about the changing landscape of blogging for business?

    I think a blog is still essential for a business. Obviously it depends on what sort of buiness you’re running but if you’re selling online and your peeps are coming to your site a blog is a such a great way to share information and inspiration, and build a relationship with your customers.

  19. Suzie

    I’ve been reading you since Ink on my fingers days. I started blogging in 09 but called it in a couple of years ago as I went from great conversation to speaking to an empty room. It became a chore. But I started my own website last year and realised I missed blogging so I started up again. I get very few readers, mostly friends I made back in the old blog days – several have become great, real-life friends. Would instagram or my facebook page have made these deep, meaningful connections? I very much doubt it!
    So yes I still write because I enjoy it. I’m frustrated by lack of readers but my topic and lifestyle are very niche! I love to read blogs and open feedly daily. When my favourites like you have posted I get excited and there are others, usually more business driven, I swipe past. I blog a mixture of both work and personal as I just write as I feel, no plan or schedule or ‘blogging strategy’. Please don’t ever stop writing here :)

  20. Niki

    Blogging sure has changed through the times. I first got into a serious blogging habit back in 2003. It was very personal and a way to get my thoughts out of my head and into something else. It’s changed so much since then.

    At one point there was a big hoo-ha when people found out you can earn money through blogging. Those who were making money off their blogs were viewed as not genuine and all that. But now, money and blogging seem to go hand in hand, or at least it’s not frowned upon anymore.

    I feel that blogging has become more transactional. There’s always a call to action and writing blog titles is becoming a science in order to get more traffic. I miss the good ol’ days of personal entries; less about listicles and, like you said, sermon-like posts. I guess this is why I have always loved the way you blog.

    Now, I don’t have a blog but I continue to have a website. I’ve taken a leaf out of your book — or should I say, blog — wherein I share more personal stories via a newsletter. This year is my first foray, after a LONG time, into writing again and it’s been brought about by my turning thirty this year. I hope that after this exercise I’ll be more inclined to be more public about my thoughts but for now, I like to keep it as personal as I can. Kind of like how blogging used to be back in the day. (Oh man, I sound old saying that, eh? Hahaha.)

  21. Preeti

    I have only recently started blogging (a bit late to the party!) but find it such a wonderful way to connect to myself as well as others. Reading other people’s blogs makes me feel that sense of connection too. It’s lovely to know that there are so many like-minded people out there, particularly as an introvert like myself who prefers this method of communication. I love the whole process of writing and find it a very mindful activity.

    I have learned so much from you Susannah through taking your courses and just wanted to say a big thank you!

    Xx

  22. Fil

    I still enjoy reading blogs as it feels like a way to connect to real people and what they’re doing. That being said, while I started blogging to add another level to my business, I’ve found it totally ineffective in the music business and am now trying to find a reason to continue blogging – other than the fact that I enjoy keeping a record of my travels and work and it gives a live feel to my website.
    Otherwise I’m on Facebook and Instagram and occasionally Twitter – all again mixing business and friendships – and none of them ultimately any use for work, but absolutely brilliant for keeping n touch with friends and family.
    I enjoy your writing very much :)

  23. Bella

    Still blogging, 11 years later, on the regular. I think when Google reader died, I lost interest in reading blogs. That is until I discovered Bloglovin. I have found so many new to me blogs that I love to read and keep up with. I’m not so in it for the friendships or connections because I have built some solid circles of the years, although it is still nice to connect with new people. Now, I’m in it for the inspiration it brings me ~ as well as giving the words, stories, and photos a place to live.
    Hey girl. Good to see you back blogging again. xx

    “I’m in it for the inspiration it brings me ~ as well as giving the words, stories, and photos a place to live.” – Love that! :)

  24. Alison May

    Dear lovely Susannah…
    As always your words echo my thoughts. I have been wandering around the internets recently seeing so many posts declaring blogging to be dead… but then I visit my favorite blogs, the women who have been blogging for as long as I have and have weathered the social media storms and have kept on writing throughout it all and they are saying the same as you: that blogging has its place and that long form writing matters…

    For to me that is what blogging is about. Yes my blog has by necessity had to become more commercial over the years, but each morning I still wake up with words tickling my fingertips, feelings I want to share if only to know I am not alone.

    I can’t do that on Twitter. And I don’t want to do it in Facebook.
    I want to write in a place that feels like home. A place those who love me will find me. A place that is all my own and never subject to the whims of those with only pound signs in their eyes.

    I love my blog. And I love yours. Let’s never stop writing what matters…x

    Alison – I just returned to personal blogging on the weekend, and you expressed why so beautifully here. It’s a place that feels like home. My own space to simply share from the heart. I love that many people are feeling the same way. xx

  25. Muddling Along

    I’m an old school blogger (Jan 2009 vintage) and still going strong but more sporadically than in the past – I miss the community if I don’t get involved and that, for me, is still the best thing about blogging – the wonderful people that I have met

  26. Tawyna

    I still check in here frequently. I follow you on instagram and receive your love letters and always enjoy your writing :) I love the blog platform and the personal connection I feel with it is much more than I feel on other social media platforms. The storytelling is what draws me to blogs. I go back and forth on facebook breaks (especially during an election season here in the US, when I often want to cry and hop a plane on a search for sanity, love and kindness). I blog, and have struggled with making it a consistent thing. I write when the urge hits me. I write when something moves me that I feel strongly to share. I might post once a month or so. I would like it to be more but I haven’t made that happen yet. Writing is a huge part of me and the one area I make time for the least.

  27. Amy I.

    I agree with you. Blogging is evolving, not dying. I still read and love blogs. Part of my morning routine is to open Feedly and read all the new posts from the blogs to which I subscribe, including yours! I enjoy reading the thoughts and musings of others as much as I enjoy my own blogging adventures. I also love your Love Letters. Keep it all up as long as you enjoy it! Thank you!

  28. Cherie

    I do still read blogs now & again. I prefer to read about snippets of other people’s lives in different areas of the world, see what their everyday is like, what their neighbourhood looks like and feel connected. Like I’m sitting down with them over a cup of tea & catching up on the latest. I love your Love Letters for that! I’m a seriously old school blogger, hello Livejournal all the way! I set up so many different blogs over the years. I still have a blog, although I haven’t felt like writing in a long time. I just don’t know where the words have gone. Maybe I feel weird about people I know stumbling across it or whatnot so I feel censored right off the bat. I do keep a paper journal … so maybe my thoughts are more about processing & private stuff right now. I’ve used IFTTT to cross post my Instagram posts to my blog so it doesn’t feel too lonely & neglected.

    However, in some blogs that I used to go for inspiration or intentional writing have shifted toward a platform only meant to sell stuff, instead of connect or create community. It’s tripped me up more than once. I feel all cozy & yay & jazzed with what I’m reading & then BAM, the message at the end of the post is ‘buy my stuff.’ It feels like the rug is pulled out from under me. Also, I swear, whoever taught bloggers to hide their pricing for whatever they want people to buy (whatever that may be) under eleventy five click throughs needs to be given paper cuts all over their body. ALL OVER. I want the details, clear, concise & upfront. Nobody would think to hide the price of a dress or bag but some bloggers do about their non-corporeal products. If I have to hunt for the pricing, then I’m not interested. It’s not always obvious to discern between a blog that is meant to create community & connection & a blog that is only a means for selling the latest thing. I just don’t engage with those blogs which is perhaps one reason lots of articles come out about blogging being dead … maybe those bloggers aren’t selling their product as effectively as they used to via their blog.

    Nodding my head here with all that you say … and wow “I swear, whoever taught bloggers to hide their pricing for whatever they want people to buy (whatever that may be) under eleventy five click throughs needs to be given paper cuts all over their body. ALL OVER.” YES! Laughing but sooo true. While it is wonderful so many have been able to make a living online, I too feel like I’ve been duped when humming along with a lovely blog “conversation” only to realize it ends in a sales pitch and seems will always only end in a paypal button.

  29. Marilyn

    I still blog (almost 8 years), but I understand that sometimes it is the ebb and flow. When I don’t have inspiration I keep taking pictures and they inspire me. Then I remind myself that I started it for myself, as a place to put my thoughts, things I write, and to encourage me to keep taking pictures. Then pretty soon the flow comes again. Sometimes I find it harder to visit my online friends on their blogs and I miss them. They have become friends.

  30. jo

    Blog. Bluetooth. Instagram. Aarrgghh! From my Baby Boomer Brain, those words can scare me like “platform” and “partition”.
    However, I have discovered that blogging can be a true lifesaver for me.
    I joined a blog with an online class that I found through mindlessly looking at websites and their myriad of links to more links. This was during the time I was lost and drowning in grief over the sudden, unexpected loss of my husband of 33 years, searching the library, websites, magazines or whatever so help me throug my grief.
    Through the One Little Word (Ali Edwards) blog and your Find Your Word workbook, I found the most amazing, non-judgemental and kind support. I’d been a skeptic about blogs, Facebook, etc., mostly due to trusting the privacy of the internet; but I found that the support, creativity, kindness and caring of strangers was a positive source of healing for me.
    I continue to use my Facebook timeline cautiuosly, but I eagerly go to the private, closed blogs I am part of for the support. I have found that I can share and give there, which helps others in their healing as well.
    For now, I will stick to what I know and the blogs are my safe, supportive place to go.

  31. Meredith Shadwill

    Yes, I still read blogs. I’ve whittled some down a bit, but mostly I subscribe to feeds that deliver to my inbox and get filtered into a folder to minimize inbox clutter. (Your Love Letters come so infrequently that you have been granted the privilege of inbox then file later.)

    I definitely do seem to share more on Facebook with a more intimate group. I’ve lost the desire to check Twitter regularly, and Pinterest is more of a visual feast than a means of social expression for me. Still, I love sharing on my blog. It’s definitely more of a hobby than a means to building a business at this point, but I enjoy it.

    I feel like I need to keep my presence on the blog going so that I don’t fade away when and if I finally get my business operational. However, I feel like my creative energies have been zapped, so I’ve gravitated towards sharing photography. My camera’s not the best, and I’ll have that nagging inner critic shouting out me not to share them; but, I still click publish and share anyway.

  32. Janet M

    I have only been blogging for about 3 years. I started with a 365 picture-a-day project and while I didn’t blog every day, I did manage to get all 365 pictures up. I, too, have wondered not so much if blogging is dying but if I really had anything to contribute. I am a crafter and I love sharing my latest project, but there are a lot of crafters out there. Then I realized, through taking your April Love challenge last year, that my voice is unique. I was amazed by some of the different perceptions that came from a single word. I am looking forward to taking the challenge again. Thank you for sharing what you do!

  33. willow

    I still read blogs each day, many I have been reading for 10 years and I miss the sense of community from back then. I have a very tiny blog, a few years ago there were comments, not so much these days but it is still a place to share thoughts and photographs.
    When I started blogging we read blogs on our computers and laptops, now we use phones, it is easier to “like” than to post a thoughtful comment. Things often turn full circle, there may be a return to the slower activity of blog reading and commenting in the future.

  34. Lauren

    No, I don’t believe blogging is dead either. I consistently read blogs/social media pages, as well as watch YouTube videos. I believe that there are many different forms of blogging, but I would say that the traditional way (found here) is my favorite. I feel like it’s the modern day form of letter writing to friends, and I don’t think it will ever truly fade away.

  35. Vicky

    Funny as i was wondering about blogging possibly becoming a bit old fashioned these days, but then i decided that if that’s the case it’s exactly what i like about it! I LOVE Instagram, but even though i don’t have tons of followers etc, I still sometimes find it a bit too ‘fast’ and overwhelming, and so i’ve been thinking about spending more time sharing via my little blog.

  36. Michelle

    I agree that blogging has so many uses in so many different fields that it’s difficult (nay, impossible!) to accurately predict the future, except to say perhaps that people will always find reasons to share something in this way, which provides more flexibility than a Tweet or note on Facebook. Your readers don’t necessarily have to be a member of the site to see your blog and having that openness/availability is very important to a lot of people, regardless of whether or not they run a business or sell creative things. I’m studying distance education and blogging platforms for educational use has come up as a topic in more than one course. It’s a fantastic way to get students/young people to write (and learn to enjoy writing), while at the same time helping them develop their online/digital identities. Imagine all the possibilities and the ways each of those students might be influenced to continue to blog in the future :)

    I also think it’s essential to think of our mobile habits and how they have evolved the way that we approach the Internet and sharing. I still consider myself “old school” and prefer getting on a laptop but at the same time, it can be fairly distracting and I know if I’m reading a blog on my phone, I’ll get through the whole entry without stumbling into some other world. Also, it’s a lot easier to keep up with my blogs using a feed reader app (I use Feedly) than it ever was clicking through links or relying on email updates, especially since I try to minimize the amount of emails I get. But you spend that much time on your phone… I don’t want to make broad generalizations about what happens, but suffice to say your routines/habits change. I find it a lot less encouraging to get on my computer just to write something, but I also dislike writing on my phone.

    Personally, I’ve been on/off blogging since 2000 and I don’t think I will ever stop, but I’ve also completely lost focus and recently gone through a weird anxiety-filled phase of feeling super over-exposed and vulnerable. I currently keep three blogs (although one is for school), so as I get back on track I’m seeking my focus. That said, I don’t think I will ever stop reading as long as people have things to say and are willing to share their lives. I try to think about that when I write, because I can’t be the only person who feels that way.

  37. d smith kaich jones

    Oh man. I am blogging so much less, and also reading fewer blogs, but I’m still reading. Life – as it sometimes does – has thrown a couple of hard curve balls my way, and, like you, I like my blogging to be personal, but lately that personal involves people who want to remain private. A very sick friend. A suicidal brother (I have more than one brother, so I can say that much out loud). It’s just one of those times – it will pass. I am writing, but just not publishing as often as I once did. (And did I mention my broken camera? Lol!) I know this will change. Just like life.

    Thank God blogging isn’t going anywhere. I have an old phone that doesn’t do Instagram (and the on-line version is just . . . well, just isn’t . . . ). Insert smile right here.

    I forgot my 8th blogiversary last month – but when I remembered it, it made me smile. Still here. Still here.

  38. Lisa

    So lovely to read your words here and to open up this conversation. I remember a few years ago a friend/blogger/online entrepreneur said to me “no one is reading blogs anymore” to which I replied “It’s not that people aren’t reading … it just that bloggers aren’t writing.” Or so it has felt to me … and I am speaking of the kinds of blog writing that feels intimate, direct, and not pushing a product or a service. I blog and for me it is a form of self expression, accountability to my creativity and for connection. I agree there is so much more out there screaming for our attention but honestly in the past year I have found myself shifting away from online outlets like Facebook and Instagram, cleaning out my inbox of “letters” and visiting only a course classroom or a favorite blog. I do find myself searching for something to sink into … I remember the days when finding a new blog meant I could sink into the archive and immerse myself in another world and perspective. It was like snuggling in with a good book … I miss the sense of a growing intimacy that the early days held when conversations took place in the comments section. I have several dear friends made through blogging and now we keep in touch mostly through snail mail letters! So yeah, I appreciate the pace of blogs and blogging and now I will put in my plea for you to continue to share your link loves as good blogs – blogs maintained out of a love sharing, questioning, inspiring and connecting – are a rare treasure these days. I think many are searching for them.

  39. Grace

    Hi Susannah,

    I began blogging two years ago, after taking your Blogging From the Heart course. I began a blog for a number of reasons. After retiring from teaching because of my cancer I found I missed having a creative outlet; blogging filled that need and had the unexpected bonus of developing a community of online friends. I also thought it would be a space where I would be able to express myself honestly without fear of judgement. I have learned how not to worry about statistics and how many followers I have; I don’t even use the ‘like’ button, except for the occasional photography challenge. I even now allow my blog to be posted on my Facebook page.

    Blogging has made me more self-confident than I ever thought I would be.

    I still enjoy reading blogs because I feel that I can never stop learning from other people’s blogging styles. There are so many wonderful writers in the blogging world; I gravitate to those bloggers who have a strong writer’s voice and whose writing touches my heart.

    I still look forward to your posts, Susannah! As the years go by I am on Facebook less and less so am always happy to see you Love Notes and blog posts in my mailbox.

    Cheers!

  40. Tess The Bold Life

    If you thing you’re going to make money by just blogging think again. Like Chris Guillebeau says in his article the Gold Rush is over. Read more about it here.

    http://chrisguillebeau.com/new-new-economy/

  41. Jenna

    No, I don’t think blogging is dead. After having gotten away from it for a while, I’ve recently refocused my energy on improving my blog, adding new content, new features and moving over the a more business-friendly platform. I’m preparing to pay someone to migrate 8 years of blogging from Blogger over to my own domain with WordPress. It’s an expense, but it’s a move I feel I need to make at this time. Not only to do I hope to create content that my readers enjoy, but I like that I’m leaving this journal of my life behind … someday my children will read it and know what I was thinking as they grew up. They will know what an amazing role being their mother has been. And maybe, just maybe, I blog about something real enough that I connect with someone else going through something similar. Knowing I’ve had the privilege of doing that has made me very happy in the past. I look forward to more moments like that. I still read your blog and look forward to your courses. I’ve had the honor of participating in your Unraveling course and took so much away from it. I’m now giving serious consideration to taking your blogging course next week. Keep doing what you’re doing. It works!

  42. Mel

    Dear Susannah, your writing is always so beautiful and it overflows from your heart. Thanks for sharing :-)

    I started blogging back in the day with HTML and Frontpage — 1999, or something like that? I still remember the thrill of getting tables to work, buying graphics online and being able to add falling snowflakes on my site. (Oh dear re the latter, ah well … ) Certainly it is “easier” these days to set up a blog and website – and it’s more commonplace, no one stares at you in a strange way when you say you have one anymore … but ironically I find myself missing how I had to WORK at making things look nice before, and how much I paid attention to the websites and blogs I used to somehow have time to read with focus and joy. I think the benefit of these times we live in is that it no one seems inaccessible anymore – but by the same token, genuine and lasting connection is getting harder and harder to find. I really cherish this now.

    Change seems so much more chaotic and fast these days. But reading your words (I hardly read blogs these days and I have started unsubscribing from most e-newsletters) I am reminded of the everlasting things: the joy of being human, and loving, and experiencing stuff, and connecting with other humans and the divine. For as long as what you do helps you to live a life of connection and integrity … do it I say! No matter what. You have inspired me to journal this morning, to admire the trees outside my window, to look into my heart, to think about what to cook for dinner tonight with gratitude and not dismay. Thank you xx

  43. Stephanie

    I think blogging is still alive – especially as an outlet for personal writing. I do agree that there are a lot of posts out there talking about blogging dying – but I disagree. I don’t blog to make money – I do it to share my photos and thoughts. My site is my creative place.

  44. Susanne

    It’s not dead for me. I enjoy reading blogs in the same way I prefer to read real books — because they’re meaty & substantive. I loathe social media because fb & Twitter & the rest seem to be mainly people babbling about the most banal bits of their lives & I’m simply not interested. I like ideas & discussion & conversation, not a dozen unrelated tweets that are supposed to be clever & rarely are. They seem to be aimed at people who have the attention span of gerbils on speed, but I like a slow & deep conversation. Not that I think blog posts have to be deep & meaningful & “important” — some of my favorites are about the simplest & silliest of things! It’s just the difference between sitting down with someone & chatting over a cup of coffee, or trading hurried greetings through the open window of a passing car. I can make a real connection with the one; the other is barely worth the effort.

    Susanne, I agree completely. Whether I am reading a blog about Gothic literature or one about how to bullet journal, it is precisely the depth [and even length] of the post that I like. On Twitter, to name but one place, those 140 characters very rarely convey anything other than self-centredness and, you know what, I’ve got my own dry cleaning to worry about, I really don’t have time, nor inclination, to read about yours!

  45. Angela

    I enjoy reading blogs, and have felt a bit sad to see most of my favourite blogs trend from blog, to business, to social media as business marketing tool.
    My top 4-5 favourites still offer authentic and unique content via social media (which keeps me following/reading), but I do miss the depth of blog posts along side the more instant social media posts.
    I suppose it’s easy to forget – as a reader – that the people behind the blog need to spend such huge amounts of time and energy to generate the content, and it must get exhausting.
    In some ways my favourite bloggers feel like personal friends. When they move on from blogging after so many years, it can feel a bit like a dear friend moving to another country. You keep updated to some extent through social media, but you can never get that same depth of story-sharing, and even though you want them to be happy, you secretly hope they’ll move back home one day.

  46. Candace

    Blogging isn’t dead, imo. That said, I do read fewer blogs than I used to. Mostly because there are so many that I find interesting but it’s overwhelming from the standpoint that I simply cannot keep up. So I decided that those posting more than twice a month (ish) I don’t have time to read and largely have unsubscribe D from them. Anyone that emails now a week or more I just can’t do. I will follow some of those people on my SM of choice thigh (mostly Instagram, some Pintrest & a few FB). I really only keep up with the blogs that post once a month or so, or the two of three (like this one) that I really lol forward too. All the others tend to become background noise at some point.

  47. Candace

    Please excuse all the typos above. ?

  48. Alexandra

    I do love to write on my blog and share our experiences and reviews AND I still love to read blogs too! I am more selective now than I was maybe, but I do enjoy visiting other people’s blogs. I find I get more out of a blog than just a photo on instagram or facebook..even if I do really really like those platforms too.
    I do continue to blog as a hobby. The only compensation I get so far is in the form of free books in exchange of honest reviews. I am happy with that :)

  49. Steph

    Sus, and everyone, I think that blogging isn’t dead at all but I also think that the query is raised by those of us who have been doing it for many years. I started in 2004 on LiveJournal, then moved on to Blogger and TypePad and SquareSpace. Blogs 2, 3, and 4 still all exist merely because they all serve different purposes. Number 2 especially was my way to concentrate the mind when I was doing my PhD by developing a very strict [5 posts a week or else] writing practice. By doing so I found that, not only could I get supposed *inspiration* on tap but focus as well.

    During the heights of blog number 3, I recall feeling a little vanquished by everyday life if I was not writing at least 3 times per week, until a friend of mine [extremely successful published author and blogger] told me in no uncertain terms that ‘nobody gives a shit Steph whether you write every day, once a month or once a year!’. She pretty much phased out her blogging a few years ago on the back of the arrival of three little darlings one soon after the other but this hasn’t made her less prolific.

    I still love to blog but it isn’t, and never has been if truth be told, a measure of success or ability for me, rather I use it as a benchmark of discipline. Social media will never replace blogging for me not merely for the obvious reasons [and… I am not on Facebook!] but especially because I have noticed that, the more zingy and straight-forward the medium, and the more feral idiots who frequent it seem to be. Twitter has become a tankard of shit in which people seem to relish the lack of a ‘social manners’ filter and Instagram too is displaying more and more all the signs that humans’ greatest enemies are other humans. And you know what? I have learnt never to respond to provocation and to walk on by like those characters in first-person shooters… the last human alive observing a mass of zombies through a window tearing themselves to pieces. My blogs [no comments also, very important!] feel like a zen paradise by comparison.

  50. Grace

    Hi Susanna,

    Thank you for an interesting read. I also want to thank you for when you are sending us newsletters, it is genuine and truly that you have something to say rather than it is a ‘scheduled blog post’ and I love that. Writing is such an intuitive thing and it has to come from the heart and you know when it does, people can also feel it.

    Im only just start blogging and actually my website is about to go live on 29th March, so Im a new kid on the ‘blog’. :-) And Im literally going to start your course today (Sydney time), so excited. Looking forward to this journey together.

  51. Laura CD

    Interesting post! I love reading six or seven specific blogs and plan to continue to read them, yours included (in addition to the love letters). There are a few blogs I only read occasionally. I also heard blogging was dead due to saturation, maybe from Chris Guillebeau. But, I don’t have a blog, at least not yet. I use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, with very little overlap in audiences so post completely different content but I’m not fully satisfied with any of them, each has their own restrictions, real or perceived. So, I feel compartmentalized. It will be fascinating to see how this all evolves.

  52. Kelly N

    I’ve been a regular reader of blogs for a long time, including yours since the second session of Unravelling (Something for the Weekend posts are my favorite). While I still read a few blogs on a weekly basis, there are fewer now that appeal to me that five years ago – maybe five that I check in with weekly.

    I still have my blog up but haven’t posted for 2 years. I look forward to blogging again someday when I don’t work full time.

  53. Madeline

    Yes I’m still reading blogs, and yes I’m still (occassionally) blogging myself. I used to read blogs every day, now I catch up once a week – a weekend treat. I’m on Insatagram daily but I do like the slow, considered reading of my weekend blog catch up
    xxxx

  54. Vickie

    I still do both read blogs & post on my own blog.
    My reading tend to go through stages – sometimes I’m really up-to-date with the blogs I follow, other times I don’t look at them for ages. I am blogging less often than I used to, both because I’ve let go of the (self created) pressure to stick to a frequent posting schedule & because my posts have always been more image focused & sometimes tumblr is just easier/feels more like the place.
    Instagram is my (mostly) daily social media/sharing place – facebook not so much.

  55. SweetMarie83

    I’ve missed your regular blog posts over the last little while, but anyone who follows your blog knows how busy you are, and I absolutely agree that it’s better to be silent than to post for the sake of posting. That’s not who you are, and I think most people would prefer something genuine than space filler. I enjoy your Love Letters, and I’m always happy when I see you’ve posted on Instagram or Facebook.

    I’ve been blogging for a little over five years now; it started as a personal blog, but then I discovered the book blogging community and knew that was my home. It’s perfect for me because I love to read and write, and I’ve met so many fantastic people who share my love of the written word. I’ve attempted a more personal blog, but I have nothing interesting going on in my life, so there’s really nothing to talk about there. I still blog regularly and I read blogs (book blogs, personal blogs, and travel blogs mostly), but I’ve been gravitating more toward Instagram lately. I don’t feel comfortable on Twitter anymore, and while I post occasionally on Facebook, there’s just something about Instagram. I’ve been experimenting with photography, which I’ve wanted to do for ages, and the community (particularly the bookstagrammers) have been very welcoming.

  56. Moira

    Dear Susannah
    I absolutely still read your blog and your love letters, they are one and the same to me. Your blog/love letters include so much that interests me, photography, advice, magic and so many helpful things like all the items in your inspiration library, love love love it.

    I used to follow loads of people but now I only follow blogs that add value to my life, they need to be either uplifting/inspiring me, teaching me something or even just pure eye candy also works!

    I am still blogging after 4 + years for the first 3 years I had no direction and didn’t know what I wanted the blog to do for me so I was all over the place but I definitely have some direction now. It is hard work though. Being a photographer, I try not to be too wordy, people are busy and don’t have time to spend more than 10 minutes per post. I try to put out 2 to 3 posts a month and I have committed to making at least one of them an educational post about photography, the other two feature a favourite poem with images or a personal post. Please keep writing whether it be love letters or blog posts I don’t care but keep writing. :)

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  58. Dawnri

    Funny. I never read a blog until a year and a half ago and now I’m obsessed with them. I get giddy when I see a new post from my favorite bloggers.

    I used to think blogs were created by people who sat in dark basements venting about obscure topics so I stayed clear of them. Now I see them as ways for people to meaningfully connect with other people who share the same interests. And my favorite blogs are the ones that are like outsider art. The photos are not slickly styled like glossy fashion magazines or blatantly promote products and services. They tell stories about lives and hobbies and have a sense a place – like new zealand or kansas.

    My only criticism of today’s blogs is that I often see comments left unresponded to by the blog writer or have trite responses like, “thanks, Ann!” While I recognize it would be difficult to respond to every comment, I do think blogs would come back in popularity if the authors interacted more frequently and in a meaningful way with their readership base.

    I recently started a blog. It’s in its infancy, but I hope one day it builds a community. Until then, I am happily expressing myself in a creative and uninhibited way.

    The comment-reply conundrum is one all bloggers face. In ye olde days of 2006 commenting was how we all got to know each other — these days most interaction happens on other social media outlets. For a while I replied to every comment but that’s actually really time consuming and when comments get missed the guilt kicks in. So at some point in the distant past i decided to do my best to reply when asked a direct question (often replying via email) and to let go of the rest. Your blog is your own little queendom and you have to decide what makes sense for you. Chatting with your peeps on FB, Instagram and the like is actually a faster and more efficient way to interact, often done in “real time” which i quite like :-)

  59. Liss Buchanan

    Dear Susannah
    This post is sooo timely, thank you. When I first discovered blogs and this online creative world I knew it was for me. But – as you may remember (I used to call myself Melissa Jaine :) – I’ve struggled, struggled, struggled.
    I’ve finally worked out why, and you mentioned it in your post. The whole monetising thing. I desperately wanted to earn a living online (still do!), and that is the very thing that got in my way over and over.
    Just this past weekend I started up a personal blog again. But this time – no agenda. It is just for me, to share what I love, what I’m thinking about, and if people want to join me and read and share along that will be wonderful. If not, that’s okay too.
    I really miss the old blogging days, and I hope that connection across the world via personal blogs will return. As others have mentioned I too have noticed the lack of comments on posts lately – I love that at the time of writing your post has 66. Haven’t seen that in a long time! xox

    Send me your blog’s address, would love to stop by… d7edwards@gmail.com

    Clicking on Liss’s name in her comment above will take you through to her site, hon x

  60. Claire Baker

    I’ve been blogging for just over three years now (a newbie compared to some of the seasoned bloggers in this thread!) and even in that short space of time, it has changed so much. When I started using my blog to advertise my coaching services and eBooks / online courses, the way I blogged did shift. I’m on Instagram and Facebook quite a lot, and I love using them to connect.

    Blogging definitely isn’t dead over here. I love writing and connecting and sharing way too much! I was only thinking yesterday though, ‘what would happen if I sat down and just poured my heart on the blog like I used to?’ Not in article form or ‘how to’ or anything even remotely useful for the reader :)

    I’ve been feeling the same about sharing more intimately via my emails to my community, but I’m still navigating just how that is going to look. I love your thoughts on this. It’s all an evolution and I think the idea of blogging being ‘old school’ is pretty cool – and enticing! xo

  61. tanya

    I’m the girl who reads and absorbs the book in one day but waits to be called on rather than raising her hand in class. I don’t comment much and don’t have a blog but I journal a lot, yet I am so grateful for the beautiful words and brave sharing I’ve been silently a part of the last 5 years. My blog roll definitely seems more sparse nowadays–just a handful of blogs and newsletters now. Some bloggers I followed have gone on to do bigger and brighter things, and although I am truly happy for them and inspired by their success, I admit that I sometimes scoff at the nth perfect layout of their new product(s) or project and wish they could share a bit more of the heart–like they used to. I crave for more revelation, more “confessional” (although I don’t care for that term), heartfelt writing. I’ve been buying more books on essays, but the beauty of the blogs I follow is watching and learning how the heart journeys through time and feeling part of the journey. Thank you, Susannah. You’re still one of the handful.

  62. Sarah

    I enjoy a handful of blogs I’ve been following for many years, and to a one, they are the ones who have a distinct point of view, who have balanced the need to make a living with preserving their authentic voice, and who write in real paragraphs and not the 10 Ways to XYZ Your Life format.

    Quite a few of my favorite blogs have gone silent over the years, and I miss them like you would an old friend. I’m quite grateful that you’ve popped back in for a real blog post and am feeling cautiously optimistic that more may be forthcoming! I receive your love letters, but email is a chore for me, while I visit blogs only when I have time to savor someone else’s world.

    “the 10 Ways to XYZ Your Life format” — that olds after a while, eh? ;-) I will be back… promise xx

    I am looking forward to it! :)

  63. Kathryn S

    I still read a few blogs (including yours!), but I reduced the number of blogs I read in order to focus on cultivating my offline life. I found that as I was connecting more and more online, I noticed a shift in myself; I was connecting less to myself, less to others in person or via telephone or personal letters or emails, less to my own community and tribe. So I gently looked at (and still look at) connecting online with what resonates closest to my heart while also creating more space to connect offline. I still have a great appreciation for blogs and other online places (instagram is my favorite online place), but I have become more soul-centered in choosing to read and keep up with only those that really speak authentically and bring me into connection with others and, though that connection bring me back to myself.

    Beautifully put, honey, i love that <3

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