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The State of Blogging: It’s No Longer Fun

AS AN AMAZON ASSOCIATE I EARN FROM QUALIFYING PURCHASES

This is kind of a hard post to write but I have a feeling I’m not the only one feeling this sentiment. This isn’t a post that’s ‘woe is me.’ This is basically how I view blogging these days. It’s quite simply: The State of Blogging.

I’m sure a lot of seasoned and long-time bloggers can agree with me. Food blogging, and blogging in general, is not like what it was 10 years ago. Everything has shifted towards fighting algorithms, writing for SEO, and how to make money fast. We all have hired virtual assistants. If you had told me ten years ago that I’d be hiring an assistant to help me with social media and managing my blog; there’s no way I’d believe you.

There is barely any authenticity anymore. It’s all writing robotically to make sure your content gets seen. It’s all so over-saturated. I miss the fun in blogging.

It’s a double-edge sword. You want to be creative and you want to create beautiful, unique content and why? Because you want to share that with everyone. You want to inspire people. How can you share that with everyone with algorithm shifts and Google Panda updates strewn in, what seems like, every other week?

I’m not gonna lie. It’s deflating. I often feel I’m in an uphill battle with social media and the rest of the blogging world.

Because of this, I have lost all passion in blogging and creating content. Things have been awfully quiet around here (you may not even have noticed, it’s okay…NBD, honestly). I have a bunch of recipes that I haven’t posted. I have a handful of new videos I haven’t posted. I don’t know if calling it a “rut” is a good description because I don’t think that’s it. I think it’s the passion that has dissipated. It has gotten to the point that I have even considered hiring a ghostwriter to write for me. YES. You read that right.

Call me a pessimist but it’s deflating when you devote so much time and effort into something and you’re constantly pushed back — sometimes even further than where you started. At some point, you just give in. Throw your hands in the air and take a break.

I started this blog as a creative outlet from my full-time job and while it definitely has been that way for the past seven or so years, lately it’s becoming more of a second job. Trying to keep up with all the technological changes (hello, GDPR and SSL), hashtagging on Pinterest, SEO changes, Instagram and Facebook struggles, everyone doing video and having to hire out for video or be left behind, and brand work coming to a halt and/or not worth my time anymore because of the insane demands from clients. Like, beyond the scope of what is in the contract and quick turnarounds and little to no pay. Or what’s worse is the fact brands just give you a script these days and think you’re a walking advertisement for you. Or they micromanage the shit out of you because they don’t trust you. And yet they came to you (the creative) for work because that’s what drew them to you in the first place. There’s just a disconnect and it’s just all too much. There’s no FUN in it anymore. It’s keeping up now.

Hey, brands. You want exposure? Pay for it.

Gone are the days that influencers accept product for payment.

I know this may shock some of you but a box of pasta doesn’t pay Wells Fargo my mortgage. And a bag of granola doesn’t pay for my electric bill. I know, what is that shit? People should love food instead of money! /sarcasm

I might be fooling myself but one thing I’m doing is getting a big redesign of this blog that’s supposed to launch at the end of September. I’m hoping with a brand new site, I’ll get reenergized again? I hope so. Or maybe I’m completely fooling myself — like couples who think having a baby will solve their marriage woes.

This is definitely one of those posts that I don’t think many people will read or care for because of its “negativity,” but it’s the damn truth. I know some who are reading this right now are probably nodding and sighing and reminiscing of better days. I can look on the bright side and be all positive but there’s no point in trying to fool myself or be fake about it. This is the world of blogging as we know it now. I could own it and ride it in stride but right now, in this season, I’m choosing this route.

Oversaturated.

A part of me thinks that the blogging world has gotten oversaturated because of all the, “I made over six figures in six months” type of posts. I’m sorry, but that shit takes time. Those that did hit six figures in blogging in six months — good for them. It took me four years before I hit that and it was hard work. I’m not saying those that did it in six months or a shorter amount of time didn’t work; they probably hustled and worked their asses of and had a way better business strategy than I did…but a part of all that is also luck and networking.

Ah, networking. I miss the days of Twitter chats with friends. I miss real conversations with “Internet friends.”

Anyway, back to the “I made over six figures in six months,” talk. I feel that gave everyone the false sense of hope that it’s easy to blog and make money. That it was quick money. It’s super unrealistic.

And now all I’m reading is, “I have been blogging for over a year and I still have yet to have the traffic and money that was promised to me.”

Yeahhhh….

Why is it always a numbers game?

I’m so sick of the numbers game.

“How many pageviews did you get today?”

“How many sessions did you get last month?”

“How many Instagram followers do you have?”

“How many likes did you get on your last post?”

Your success isn’t measured by numbers. Brands like to make you think that it does. In fact, everyone seems to make it seem that way. “Omg you have one million pageviews a month?! You are such a big blogger.”

It’s just like your weight on a scale doesn’t matter. It’s how you PERCEIVE yourself and how you love yourself.

Which is why I’m choosing now to just love my blog no matter which direction it goes because you know what? I’m pretty sure that is what is going to make the blog shine even more. You can tell when someone isn’t into something. Their writing, their creativity…everything is just lacking.

Shorter attention spans.

Another very frustrating part of blogging these days is the attention span battle. Blogging has always, in my eyes, been a collection of memories and stories but the shift towards getting content as fast as you can now has reduced blogging about life to a rubble.

I get so many comments about, “I don’t care about your life, just give me the recipe.” Scrolling has become such a HARD task for people that bloggers have started to implement “jump to recipe” buttons at the top of their posts.

Dude, that’s bad. I don’t even think it’s an attention span thing. I think it’s a lazy thing and everything being handed to you.

If you’re interested, this article from the NY Times is a great read. The Tyranny of Convenience — basically that everyone expects convenience now.

“The growing expectation of convenience exerts a pressure on everything else to be easy or get left behind.”

Convenience vs. lazy. Very fine line these days. I can see the convenience in ‘jump to recipe’ but I can also see the laziness in it especially when you have the audacity to write to me and offend me and yet still get the recipe for FREE.

Turn that frown upside down.

Some of you reading this may be thinking, well you can do something about it and stop your bitching. Turn it around.

Yeah, I could.

But at the same time, I am not sure I want to? That’s my internal debate. It’s not my full-time job. It started out as a passion project. A hobby. People can drop hobbies, right?

Looking back, I am proud of myself for understanding the business side of things and not quitting my full-time to blog full-time. You have no idea how many people (and still today) ask me, “when are you going to quit and blog full time?”

I can’t even imagine the stress with that, especially given my current mindset on blogging — although, some may argue that if this were my full-time…would I be feeling like this? Hard to say. I guess if this is your bread and butter, you would definitely be trying to climb that hill no matter where it takes you. So I guess it’s all a matter of perspective.

I will say…the fact that blogging has changed so much has forced a lot of us to dabble in different niches; which I don’t think is a bad thing. I think it opens up the creative outlet more and not everything has to be about your niche that you started out as just because you’re primarily a food blog or fashion blog or whatever. People change. Interests change. I’m definitely not the same person I was when I first started blogging and I don’t necessarily love the same things I used to.

I do think that experimenting is fun and it makes it less “robotic” and more “real” — which is what I strive for on a daily basis. So, I will say that even though there is this negativity going on with me and blogging…there is also an opportunity for me to dabble in other niches and give the blog the chance to figure out its direction.

In conclusion…

All this to say…I’m not necessarily stepping away from the blog. It’s just going to be quieter around here. I’m trying to regroup and see what direction I want to go. There will likely be more lifestyle posts. Recipes will be thrown in here and there. I won’t necessarily have a set schedule anymore so if you don’t want to keep checking the blog to see if I have a new recipe, I suggest signing up for my email updates where it’ll tell you every time I have a new post.

I’ll still be around on Instagram Stories (come say hi and see my uncurated life)! Oh, and if you haven’t joined my private Facebook group set up for a sense of community; you’re missing out. I’m on there more often than here (haha, kind of funny) and we have monthly cooking challenges. You def. want to join us!

One beautiful thing that blogging did gift to me is friendship. I have met so many amazing boss ladies through this little space on the web and I can’t take that for granted. This was a predominantly negative post but I’ll end it on a positive note: I’m not alone in this sentiment and I have a set of really good friends from when blogging was more about conversations and interactions.

I also have cake. Always cake.

Your thoughts?

I’d love to hear what you guys think — both from readers and bloggers. It’d be interesting to hear from both sides.

As readers, have you seen the shift? Where more personal blogging has taken a shift and it’s sounding more ‘robotic’ and repeating the same stuff over and over again? What about blogs in general? Are they “just another website” to you now?

As bloggers, are you drowning or swimming with the tide? What are your feelings on blogging these days? Am I just jaded?

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Sree

Monday 3rd of August 2020

I feel you and do agree that people don't "read" anymore - they scroll a bit and then jump off :) Videos posts get all the attention - even when a blog has all the details - the "I cant see it " comments are the first - most likely due to "skip reading" - Anyway reading this here made me feel better - I'm not in isolation :) Please continue the good work - if it makes you happy , then definitely do it!

Fifi

Thursday 14th of May 2020

Very insightful post, thank you! I’ve been thinking about starting my own blog for the past decade but haven’t made the time for it until now. I’ve traveled a lot and love to explore new places or the backyard, snapping pictures that are meaningful and fun and worth learning about. And I’ve always wanted to put this out into the world, kind of like a diary/journal, about all kinds of things I’ve seen and experienced, whether it’s the beautiful flowers growing on the street or a cathedral I visited in Italy and want to share information about it and what I experienced there. It’s been discouraging lately to google “creative blogging for fun,” for example, and get results that pertain mostly to making money off your blog in ten easy steps or how to advertise strategically or even how to cater your writing content so you get the most traffic in a month... I thought people blogged for fun like a hobby but it’s become such a money game of strategy and efficiency now. However, this still motivates me to do it for fun like I’ve always planned on doing - just write for myself as if writing in my own journal, add in photos I’ve taken that I feel proud of, and hope that whoever reads my posts will enjoy them and maybe learn something new or see a picture of something they haven’t seen before - and that’s all I really want from a blog. But I’ve had a tough time finding articles by bloggers that address this. Can’t we do something for fun anymore and not have it turn into work or be something revolutionary so as to change the world?? I believe we can :) we just have to remind ourselves of why we started blogging in the first place.

Shannon Walker

Sunday 19th of April 2020

This is the first time I happened upon your writings. I really wanted to get more info on the Thieves I found in my cupboard. I remember I used it every day while working at at a school but my memory has been faulty lately. I was intriqued by your DIY article and began reading others. While I found myself entertained, my heart sunk to read the words of your sorrow. I fely complelled to tell you to cheer up. You are creative, articulate, and probably saving A LOT of money on therapy through written expression. Can I join your email, facebook group and/ or any newsletter you reccomend?? I truly hope my comment conveys even, if unspoken, how much I was enjoying these articles. Keep chin up!! Shannon Walker

Julie Wampler

Monday 20th of April 2020

Thank you! You can sign up for my email newsletter here: https://www.tablefortwoblog.com/subscribe/ and here is the private facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/tablefortwoblog/

LinAtkinson

Sunday 28th of April 2019

Dear Julie, Yes I have noticed a slight downshift and wondered. I hoped it wasn't trauma in your life.... I'm glad to hear from you whenever and however. Some of the things I have most enjoyed have been you sharing your life, your humor, your adventures, and your passions. I've lost my joyous exploration of blogs as the things you've described became apparent to many of us reading them. I've discontinued several of them as they have lost their unique voices. I honor your courage in writing so honestly and I will miss you if you choose to go but I will support your choice. I will hope you find another viewpoint, angle, niche, whatever that again sparks your joy and creativity wherever and however it takes you. As for the ugly, rude or demanding well, that's what "delete" and "block" are for, and you don't have to look them in the face and argue your position or your "right" to feel the way you do. You invited us into your house, you don't owe the ugly a thing. We all have the right to "un-invite" those we don't want in our homes. Be strong, clear your mind, step back and ground yourself in your own life again. Just please, let us know if you decide to go. Thanks for the wonderful influence you have been in my life.

Julie Wampler

Sunday 28th of April 2019

Hi Lin, this was written in May 2018 and while I still feel the same about a lot of things with blogging, I'm sticking around. I have a bunch of recent/new recipes and I have kept my voice and still make it informational. To see the latest recipes, head to the homepage: https://www.tablefortwoblog.com/ - I'm not sure where you are finding these old posts (maybe opening old emails?) but all my new posts are here: https://www.tablefortwoblog.com/

Ali Larsen

Monday 4th of March 2019

This article is honestly a breath a fresh air. I cab hear myself as I read your words. I see so many posts that glorify blogging and talk about traffic and marketing and blah blah blah. Real blogging, what it started as, was sharing ideas and opinions with people who shared similar interest. It was a numbers game, still. But it was more genuine. It was networking manually and curating friendships, rather than views.

I lack any motivation for my own blog, largely because it's a front. I have a freelance writing service, writing content for other people. My website is just a resume, not something I work 24/7 on for views and subscribers. I often wonder if I should even bother.

But the writer in me wants to share nonsense with anyone who wants to read it. Like I would back in the days when it was fun. Glitter graphics and gifs. Rainbow text. Whatever I want to do. Because at least when someone comes to my website, they can clearly see I'm a genuine human being. I'm not trying to trick anyone into anything. I'm just, sharing with friends.

Thank you for writing this, really. It's not easy to be real and open yourself up to criticism. But I'm glad you DJ. I think you've reinvigorated me.

Julie Wampler

Wednesday 6th of March 2019

This means a lot to me. I'm starting to get more personal on the blog again because, like you said, it was more genuine when that happened. I think you should share the nonsense. I truly think in this world of fake, people will enjoy it because it's real and creates a connection; and that's what people are looking for in this world anyway. We are constantly staring at screens and not connecting enough...but people just need us to reach out and connect and feel feelings.