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

Comments (80)

2015: The year in review

2015: The year in review | SusannahConway.com

 

First, the year in stats:

Number of websites created: 1
Number of first dates: 10
Number of second dates: 2
Number of surgeries endured: 1
Number of fibroids removed: 14
Number of weeks spent recuperating: 6+
Number of new courses created: 1
Number of trips abroad: 2
Number of years on the planet: 42
Number of personal realisations: ALL OF THEM

2015 has been a year in three acts: first came the surgery in January and the subsequent months of recovery. Next came my summertime flurry of yoga, dating and website building. And finally the licking of wounds before holing up in the Creation Cave for these final three months. While it’s been far from a fallow year, I feel I’ve been preparing the way for more to come in 2016 and beyond. The new website holds the space for more courses and books, the surgery and yoga cleared out a LOT of stuck energy, and the dating got me back on the horse, a wildly uncontrollable horse I may never tame but at least I’m trying.

I’ve barely blogged this year, preferring to share my heart in my monthly Love Letters, a space that’s felt so much more intimate. I’ll be celebrating ten years of blogging in April and in that time I’ve seen the social media landscape change so much. There are so many more places to stay connected to my peeps — I love Facebook and Instagram particularly — but the honest truth is I’ve missed my blogging mojo. I miss writing and I want to do more of it in 2016. I have an idea for my next book I plan to start fleshing out, and I have things on my heart that I feel ready to share.

I usually pen a more thorough assessment of the year but I’m not feeling the need to do it this year — I want to focus on what’s coming. I honour 2015 for all the lessons it brought me. It’s been a good year, all things considered, a year of preparation.

I am so ready for you, 2016.

 

2015: The year in review | SusannahConway.com2015: The year in review | SusannahConway.com2015: The year in review | SusannahConway.com

 

Favourite books of the year: The Rivers of London | Big Magic | Yes Please

Favourite music of the year: Flor | Lucy Rose | Dustin Tebbutt | Rae Morris | Fickle Friends | Vaults | Kina Grannis

Favourite tech (re)discoveries of the year: Spotify | Audible | Basecamp

Fave moment of the year: finding a certain unicorn card on my doorstep

Fave posts of the year: The myth of perfection | My house of belonging | The real inner circle | How I learned to live in my body | Lessons learned from nine years of blogging | The power of kindness | On opening to love (again) | One hundred words of now

Other years in review: 2014 :: 2013 :: 2012 :: 2011 :: 2010 :: 2009

Welcome to the new site!

SusannahConway.com

Last December I mused in my journal that maybe it was time to revamp my website. It had always felt like such a mammoth task I’d been putting it off for years but for some reason, as the year drew to a close and I looked forward into 2015, I knew it was time. So I reached out to a designer I admired and asked if she’d work with me. To my delight she said yes, igniting what’s turned into a seven-month mission. Along the way I had a photo shoot with a photographer I adore and we found a developer who’s been utterly charming and a delight to work with. Ideas were collated, pages were rewritten and a new vision for the site was birthed. It’s been fun and challenging in equal measure!

My intention for the new site was to create a space that feels deeper and softer and more delicious than ever. A place that’s elegant and stylish, user-friendly and thoughtfully put together. A place that’s an expansion of who I am in this online world, while still feeling unequivocally like me.

I think we’ve achieved this :)

Rather than create loads of unnecessary new stuff we’ve simply reimagined every page and added one significant new page: the Shop. There you’ll find teasers of the four courses I’ll be rolling out over the rest of the year — in feedback from a recent survey you guys overwhelmingly asked for some shorter courses so now the site’s done I can’t wait to get started on those!

We’ve also given two of my most read blog posts — The Art of the Polaroid and How I shoot with my iPhone — their own pages, and I’m deeply in love with the new e-courses page. And the media page. And the about page. Hell, I love all of it :)

So do have a look around and please know that we’re still ironing out any kinks!

I hope you like my new digs xo

{With big smoochy love to Chelsy, Michael and Kristin — and to Rachel for connecting me with Chelsy in the first place xo)

Lessons learned from nine years of blogging

Lessons learned from nine years of blogging | SusannahConway.com

My blog turned nine on Sunday. Nine years of sharing my heart online — can you believe it?

Back then blogging felt like a friendly chat around a kitchen table. There was no concern about tweets and likes and shares, although we were still pretty keen on comments. In April 2006 Facebook was a two-year-old toddler and Twitter only a month old. While I’m sure there were plenty of business-driven blogs, our corner of the blogosphere consisted of personal bloggers sharing their stories and interests. We loved words and poetry, photography and craft. We commented on each others’ sites and our blog rolls spilled off our sidebars. The online world really did feel like a smaller place back then.

I remember when everyone was up in arms about adverts popping up on blogs — now no one bats an eyelid at blog monetisation. When I first offered my Unravelling course in January 2009 (and over 100 women signed up!) it never even occurred to me that it could be a sustainable business — you know, doing stuff online. Each time I offered the course I’d think “maybe this is the session that will bomb” and would quietly freak out whenever I saw someone else offering a course, fearing the marketplace would become saturated. The irony is the marketplace is now most definitely saturated, but that also means doing stuff online has become so normal.

I often wonder what my online life would be like if I’d have had access to the bells and whistles we have now. I imagine it must feel rather intimidating starting a blog, website or online biz with all the razzmatazz out there. Nine years ago I didn’t know I was stepping on to an entrepreneurial path… I just wanted to connect with others and exercise my writerly muscles again. I wonder if my 33-year-old self would have signed up for B-School and jumped in feet first? (Answer: highly unlikely.)

One of the loveliest parts of being online is the community that’s grown around me. So many of you have been here from the start, witnessing my journey and supporting me all these years — thank you so much for being here! It’s a blessing to have such kind-hearted peeps in my tribe. These days I may blog less but I hang out on social media every day and cherish the connections we share. I still get overwhelmed by all the noise (hello HSP) but as long as I filter mindfully I can usually keep my head ;-)

My online persona is pretty close to my off-line persona, though in the 3D world I’m far more sweary. I don’t share all my dirtiest laundry here but then I never have done. Even in the worst of the grief I was still a year out from the blast when I started blogging, so the white hot pain was kept to myself. I share what I would be happy to tell you to your face, and I really am truly HAPPY to share — it’s an honour to have this space and reach as many people as I do.

There were never any long-term plans when I started blogging because I had no idea what was possible — the possibilities hadn’t been imagined yet. But if I’d had a plan where I am right now is where I would’ve hoped to be…. still connecting with others and exercising my writerly muscles.

A few things I’ve learned through blogging:

1. People are amazing. The kindness of complete strangers has blown me away thousands of times over the last nine years.

2. Everything will change. Social media sites will come and go and domain names will be reimagined, but your voice will always be yours. Hone it, use it, appreciate it.

3. Never underestimate the power of story. Sharing our stories helps others feel less alone and teaches us how to live even better endings.

4. Nine times out of ten a post will be improved if you sleep on it and look again with fresh eyes in the morning. This can be applied to most situations, I find.

5. There will always be someone bigger, brighter, more successful. Someone with whiter teeth and shinier hair. Do your best to tune them out and keep your eyes on your own page.

6. DO YOUR OWN THING. Do your absolute very best to not be a watered-down version of someone else. There are a lot of people online and after a while they all start looking the same. Proudly stand out in your own way. Be YOU in all your messy fabulous glory.

In a completely unplanned turn of events, Blogging from the Heart is currently enrolling — we start Monday May 4th :)