I have been blogging for so long that I actually can’t remember when I started, or what my very first blog was called. I’m pretty sure it was around 2009 that I wrote my first blog post on the go-to platform back then “Blogger”. Early on I blogged as “Lipgloss Mumma” (yes I still love lipgloss, and I’m still a mumma), there was a stint at “The Scribble Den” which was my first attempt at combining blogging and creative writing, and I even blogged for a while under a pseudonym at a location never to be disclosed!
It wasn’t until October 2012 that I decided to blog under my own name, and since then, I have evolved both as a writer and a blogger.
Back in the early days, “Mummy blogging” was the biggest thing going around. Bored mums and housewives whiling away their days banging out blog posts about mummying and life. Apparently that was what we were doing. The reality was, most of us had jobs or businesses, and just wanted a creative outlet to share and connect with other like-minded people.
Since then, blogging has evolved.
In Australia, there was the rise of the big bloggers. The bloggers who had amassed huge followings and were starting to build their blog into a (minor) form of income in one way or another. Then everyone (well not everyone but let’s just go with that) wanted to jump on the bandwagon. Monetizing your blog became the thing to do. Sponsored posts and advertising banners were being thrown at blog readers faster than you can say problogger. If you weren’t monetizing your blog and jumping on the problogger bandwagon you were behind the times sister!
That was until it became very ‘uncool’ to do so.
Parts of the blogging community were up in arms about other bloggers not disclosing whether or not they were being paid for their opinion on certain posts. Those bloggers who’d jumped on the bandwagon were attacked for ‘selling their souls’ and ‘ripping off loyal readers’, and online spats ensued. Bloggers were accusing each other of losing authenticity, some begged to be taken seriously because they were real writers; professionals. Others called bullocks on that one. It seemed everyone had an opinion. Everyone (including me!)
It got ugly. For a while at least, and then everyone began to calm down and realise that it was just blogging. It wasn’t life or death! Everyone came to respect bloggers who chose to do sponsored content, and those who didn’t, and basically everyone just got on with blogging and reading.
So, what now?
For a couple of years there’s been talk that personal blogging is dying. Comments, interaction and page hits are the lowest they have been since the dawn of blogging. Many are sprouting that authentic, quality bloggers are a dime a dozen and that no-one even has time read blogs anymore. (I mean, they’re too busy writing their own aren’t they?) It seems the blogging industry has reached saturation point. Many long-term bloggers have hung up their blogging hats and turned to other pursuits, while some of the big guns continue forward with book deals and blog-spin off ideas. And good for them!
So where does that leave little ole’ me? What point have I reached in my blogging ‘career’?
It’s a question I’ve been asking myself for a while. There were many paths that I could have taken with my blog, but honestly, they were either already taken or I wasn’t 100% passionate about them. I never wrote sponsored content. I only ever wrote to share my own experiences and relate to others – which at times, I did really well. I read back on my vast archives of posts with a mix of emotions ranging from the eye-rolling why-did-I-publish-that? to the Wow! Did-I-really-write-that?-it’s-pretty-awesome.
I’ve had great interactions with readers via comments, personal messages, and emails. Many have supported, and continue to support me on my writing journey towards publication, and many have subscribed to my monthly newsletter. Others are here solely for the writing tips and advice, which is truly fabulous.
Well, I think my blog has evolved to the point where I need and want it to be focused on writing. With 2017 being my year of FOCUS, it’s highlighted the fact that to focus on my fiction writing, something has to give. And that thing is personal blogging.
I’ve never been a great personal or mummy blogger anyway. I don’t share pictures or stories of my kids as I’m very intent on respecting our family privacy and sharing my stories, not theirs. And I’m simply bumbling along on my mummy journey, falling at most hurdles, but dusting myself off and continuing nonetheless. Do I think personal blogging is dead? No, I just think the landscape is evolving. And so am I.
Now, my focus needs to be on getting my manuscripts finished, polished and submitted. And repeating. Again. And again.
That’s not to say I won’t throw in the odd personal post here. I am inherently a navel-gazer and personal development is high on my agenda, so I probably won’t be able to fully hold back my introspection from you all.
But many of those posts will be now hosted on my HuffingtonPost blog profile and on Medium.com where I plan to practice writing more polished pieces for a wider audience. Not necessarily for recognition, just because I feel that is the next step towards where I’m going. I’ve thought long and hard about the stability of those platforms, so each post will be archived on my own cloud. Not that I think those platforms are dying soon, but we all thought that about blogging didn’t we?
Maybe we are all too busy to read personal blogs these days. Me included. Or maybe it’s just the feeling that if we read we feel we have to comment. And that takes time. I’m not sure what the future holds for personal blogging, but I think it’s at a crossroads. And this is the turn I’ve decided to take. Will it be the right one? Who knows? And I don’t want to know. I just want to follow the road and discover what lies ahead. It could end in a dead-end, or it could lead to another junction across valleys and over mountains. I’m looking forward to finding out.
So, where will I be?
I’ll be here regularly posting writing updates, advice, and tips.
And I’ll be making more of an effort to put forward a more personal spin on my monthly newsletter just for subscribers only. You can sign up here.
I’d love you to stick around and follow the next part of my journey, but I also get that it might be a bit of ‘out of sight, out of mind’, if I’m not posting what you want to read. I’m okay with that.