I’ve been blogging on and off since 2005. When I first began blogging, there weren’t that many people really doing it outside geeks and tekkies and writers. Of course, writers. When you have this need inside of you to write, pretty much any medium that allows you to unfurl your words into the world is a good one. That’s why I began all those years ago. You would think that as long as I’ve been doing it I’ve figured it out. Ummm, nooooooooooooo.
When I first started a blog and excitedly sent the link to my friends, at least 75% of the email replies were “What’s a blog”? Can you imagine how you would look at a person nowadays if he asked such a stupid question?
I remember in those early the days my blog was an online diary because no one as really watching or listening. I was bummed at the time, but now I realize the freedom I had to learn about the medium in near silence. I kept that one for a while and then shut it down. I took a break and then started a new one with a different focus. After a while, I grew bored with that one and shut it down because I had changed and the focus I was so passionate about at the time became much less important.
When I made the decision to start showing my visual work as an artist/designer, I began a new blog for my business. My poor little blog suffered terribly because I was writing and maintaining another one with my current business partner and her former business partner. I poured my heart and soul into the company blog. The business changed, and I’ve since been maintaining this one.
Now I’m at that point again. The precipice of a cliff I’ve been at before and have always chosen to jump, ie. shut it down and take a breather. Why? Blogging is work. Yes, there are a lot of craft bloggers and others out there whom are making money from their blog and spend a lot of time maintaining it, but I’m not one of them.
I’m not sure if the general population actually gets how much time goes into great blogs…lots of time spent on things that happen long before they’re published all pretty and perfect. Time spent thinking up subject matter, time spent making the projects or art or vignettes or whatever, time spent photographing them with good lighting and great angles, time writing it and then time promoting it. Many of the best blogs these days are no different from magazines, and that’s what makes them successful. We love pretty pictures and free information. Who doesn’t? Sure the advertisements are annoying, but that’s how these hardworking folks get paid for all that time and creative energy. Advertisers who want our eyeballs.
Facebook changed blogging and so did Twitter, as they introduced the concept of microblogging to the world. Engage an audience in 140 characters or less, and that includes a shortened link to a pretty picture. Speaking of pretty pictures, let’s look at how Instagram and Pinterest are changing blogging yet again.
What I’m saying is that the cliff I find myself at is so familiar because with each new generation of social media, what I first began seven years ago is starting to feel very old school at this moment. The question I keep asking is this: If I’m this busy in my life right now raising a family and working, aren’t there millions of other people in the world feeling the same way? Aren’t they trying to juggle their social media along with their lives and feeling just a wee bit frustrated as I am?
Sometimes I envy my husband. He’s a brilliant computer geek with a great job where he does programming and puts out fires in the office. He’s never blogged. He doesn’t Facebook or Tweet. He is as tekkie as they come, and yet he doesn’t buy into the whole sharing your life with strangers movement. His work is so cutting edge that sometimes I think he drives a time machine to work, and yet his style is decidely old school. Man, I love him.
While I sound like a curmudgeon, please don’t mistake my musings. I don’t plan to shut down my blog. It’s never been one to get a ton of comments, but my stats show it’s not like the early days when I was the only person to read my blog (other than my mother, of course). I’m just re-evaluating my time and asking questions. I tend to process things out loud and then let it simmer.
What do you think? Do you blog? Do you enjoy it? Do you think you would lose business if you went to microblogging only? Be honest, do you really have the time to read other people’s blogs the way you used to? Inquiring minds want to know.