My blog's birthday is coming up.


Every year, when I get the domain renewal notification, I think man, already? I've been writing in this space for almost four years! When I first started, all I knew was that I liked writing, I liked taking pictures, and I wanted to keep some sort of record of my life, and no social media platform fit my needs. I wanted to control how my layout looked and how my content appeared.

I remember the days I would come to this space and have to restrain myself from posting all the pictures in my camera roll. I would take all the pictures of all the things and let my camera do all the story telling. Things are different now in this sphere of the internet, and I know I'm not the only one who's noticed that blogging has really changed over the past few years.

I never used to tell people I have a blog. It wasn't a big secret, but it wasn't something I openly proclaimed. Now I just whip out my camera in public spaces, say "it's for the blog," and people instantly understand. So many people have blogs now, which is great for people like me who love to read snippets of the next person's life. It's not so great when all of the new blogs I come across focus more on aesthetics than substance.

Lately I've had a mishmash of thoughts in my head and posts in my drafts with nary a photo to accompany. I've turned into a big ball of opinions, but with the way blogging is set up these days, everything is expected to be cohesive and visually compelling, so you can grow your "audience" and sharpen your "brand." The marketing lingo has wholly consumed blogging culture.

There are unspoken rules on "the best days to post," rules on consistency, rules on what time of day to schedule a post, etc. And now, there are so many blogs about blogging that it's become harder and harder to find people who actually write about their life. I was browsing the Lifestyle section of Bloglovin' and all that kept popping up were dedicated posts on boosting your social media following, and how to make a press kit, and how to drive traffic to old posts, etc. There's definitely a time and place for this kind of content, but the fact that they're taking over my feed makes me just want to close my laptop.

I guess the whole point of this post is that I miss the days when you could really get to know a blogger through their blog, not just know what brands they're sponsored by. My bloglovin feed reads more like a magazine issue instead of a collection of journal entries, so I'm doing some early spring cleaning to whittle it down. Reading other people's personal stories, be it tales of victory or defeat, are what push me to share my own, and I just haven't felt much nudging as of late. I get that we all need to learn to motivate ourselves, but everyone benefits from a steady stream of inspiration, right?

I understand the idea of getting paid to do what you love, so I'm not knocking bloggers who partner with companies for sponsorship. I appreciate blogs who work with brands while still holding on to their authenticity. The ones who stay as loyal and true to the page as they were on day one. I'm sure it's a tough balancing act, but there are bloggers out there who walk that tightrope with the greatest of ease.

 /end rant

8 comments

  1. I completely feel you. I was just thinking of how blogging has changed the other day as well. The push toward images versus content has been steadily increasing. I believe it has a lot to do with the money being in Instagram now days. Money drives the industry, and since people are being paid more to have aesthetically pleasing Instagram feeds with 100k+ followers a lot of people are focusing less on their blogs in general, and when they are their emphasis is on imagery. Even beauty blogging, which use to include such in depth reviews and opinions has transformed into how well you can create a flat lay while only including a few lines about the product.

    I hate browsing through the Bloglovin' Explore page, because it's all just posts on how to improve your blog and rules to follow. Also it's typically all white bloggers, but Bloglovin's issue with diversity is a whole other topic.

    I'm wondering how blogging will evolve in 2016. I feel like 2015 was the year of branding and aesthetics, so I'm wondering how the focus will shift this year.

    Z | hellozauni.com

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    1. I really hope we get back to authenticity this year, or at least shift in that direction. I miss blogs that actually documented life, and many of my favorite bloggers who got personal just dropped off the face of the internet :(. Don't ever leave me, Zauni!

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  2. I miss the good old days of what it means to blog. Back then, it was mainly sharing personal stuff, no matter how mundane it sounded. (LiveJournal, I am thinking of you.) But at the same time, it's also cool to see some blogs thrive in the creative business field. Blogging has truly evolved in so many levels.

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    1. I forgot about livejournal! I never had one, but that's when bloggers actually cared about writing the real stuff - not just the fluff. We shall see what the future holds.

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  3. Man if you aren't speaking the truth here. Personally I don't care about having a big readership or anything of course it's a plus but my main goal is I just want to document my ramblings and share some dope photography and let people grow along with me as I do. I love anything visual and I'm also still working on how to incorporate youtube into all of if because now I have a thing for editing videos and thats where my shift has been then past month along with other adult duties lol.

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    1. Adult duties really get in the way of the fun stuff, lol. I seriously miss the days when "grow with me" was not only the goal, but the key to a solid readership. I'm all for letting brands join the ride, but the brands would never be the whole purpose of my little space here in the net. Can't wait to see your videos! Are you vlogging or doing more themed/planned vids?

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  4. Girlllll, the post is sooooo speaking to my soul. I had a moment a couple weeks ago where I was scrolling through my bloglovin feed and had to close my laptop for the very same reasons. There's so much commercial noise that I sometimes have to take a moment and remind myself what my purpose for blogging is for (working on a post about that too). So many posts these days keep emphasizing that you should blog according to what your readers want and based on engagement but that just doesn't work for me because first and foremost, I blog for myself. Obviously, to each their own since everyone has a different blogging journey but it's really important that I never forget why I started blogging in the first place.

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    1. I feel you, honey. I looooove finding new blogs who actually post about their life, but those blogs are getting harder and harder to find. Especially on bloglovin. I got so irritated that I emailed on of the staff members, like "why don't the small blogs get any love?" Her reply was basically "we're working on it."

      SMH

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