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.
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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