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Blogging Crisis - or How I Almost Quit Blogging
Submitted by Pam on Mon, 07/11/2011 - 21:30
This post has been a long time in coming. And there were days when I decided I would not share. And others when I felt compelled to share. But how? And why? And what?
Before I begin, let me say right up front, it is not my intention to offend anyone. And if I do, it is unintentional. I simply am sharing my own personal quest to find answers and then sharing the answers I found that work for me - not necessarily anyone else. I am not judging one blogging style over another. And I am withholding any personal opinions.
In February, after participating in a Craftypod Blog Tune-up Class, I embarked upon a journey through the crafty blogiverse with the intent to learn more about how other's are blogging - their content, frequency of posts, number of subscribers and whether or not they support shops or ads and sponsors with their blogs.
The purpose - to better understand why some blogs seem to gain rapid growth in readership and others (especially some that I personally feel are more than worthy) not so much.
At the same time I wanted to explore the blog landscape to determine if my own blog needs to be adjusted to make it more relevant and useful.
For several weeks after completing my journey, I can truthfully say that I wished I had never embarked on it in the first place! Dark, dark days, I tell you. I nearly gave up my blog all together.
This blog means so much to me and has become an outlet for personal expression of my creative nature and an opportunity to share the creativity of others. Besides the obvious delight in celebrating seasons and especially Christmas, my dabbler nature has been very useful in my quest to encourage people of all ages and skill levels to make beautiful music with their own two hands. Creativity is within the reach of everyone - it is an inherent part of being human. In fact, in my opinion, it is one of the very things that makes us human.
So - in the face of the rapidly growing "new" tendencies toward blogs almost exclusively based on what I call "sound bites" and "re-posts", I suddenly found myself feeling totally irrelevant - especially after becoming aware that many of these kinds of blogs were enjoying very large numbers of readers.
I understand that these blog styles are prudent when the goal is making money - but why do they generate such large numbers of readers? My own reader is populated with content heavy blogs, so I was surprised when venturing outside of it that so many blogs that enjoy so much attention are relying more on reposted content than original content.
Like I said - dark days indeed. But thank goodness I have in Diane a wise - very wise - and loving daughter who very quickly put things into a much better perspective for me. She helped me to understand a little better what is going on with many of these blogs and why the landscape is changing. Certainly social media and the tendency of so many people these days to use hand held devices instead of desk tops and lap tops changes how people read.
She helped me to understand that my blog is unique and different - it has a place and a worthwhile purpose.
And then, shortly thereafter, Carina celebrated her own blogiversary - her 5th! And during that celebration she shared these very wise words.
" If you are new to blogging, I would like to give you a wee bit of advice: Follow your heart / your passions. Don't feel like you have to blog in a certain way or about a certain topic or that your blog should look a certain way. It is YOUR blog... and if people like it they will stick around. If they don't like it, it is their problem, not yours."
Just the words I needed to hear - again! With the help of Diane and Carina and conversations with Chris and Erin and Steff and Dawt I have come to a very good place! Thank you one and all for your help in putting the pieces of this shattered picture back together.
I like my quiet little corner of the blogiverse that celebrates life and creativity and the seasons and the celebrations they bring; and I hope you do too. Through these past two + years, I have gained a family I am thrilled to know and extremely grateful to be a part of. It is the quality of my readership that I value most.
My research has lead me to make a few decisions, however. I am going to make an effort to make some posts shorter since I know many of you are reading using hand held devices.
And since my original theme was Christmas after all, I am thinking perhaps I will try to make a post related to my roots once a month.
I will continue making tutorials because sharing creativity is a big part of who I am.
I will continue supporting Indie shops and the crafty blogisphere and hoping like everything more of you will follow suit. For me personally it has so far been a gratifying and very enjoyable adventure.
Give yourself permission once a month to buy something you don't necessarily need from a fellow blogger. It won't hurt a bit! In fact it is invigorating!
And finally, I would love to hear from you! Won't you chime in with any thoughts, suggestions. Anything you want more of or less of on gingerbreadsnowflakes. Anything to add? Anything to subtract?
Are the tutorials on gingerbreadsnowflakes useful? Suggestions for improvement?
How do you feel about the short "sound bite" posts? Why do you think they have become so popular? What is their value?
Why do you feel tumblir type blogs are gaining popularity so quickly?
Anything, any thoughts, observations are so welcome. I hope you will share.
Thank you for sharing this tiny bit of the blogiverse with me. I love having you here.
Added 7/14. O my goodness! You have all been so wonderful and kind and full of thoughtful input. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have tried to respond to each one of you and express my appreciation.
But I need to clarify one thing apparently. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Crafty Crow, One Pretty thing and CRAFT! As I wrote to one reader, these sites are most definitely responsible for my having at least half of my online "family". And I have the greatest respect for Cassi, Rachel and the staff at CRAFT for the dedication to consistently providing top quality content.
I am trying so hard not to step on any toes and in so doing, I worded my question badly. So I will ask it this way. We already have three of the best possible aggregator sites out there - have for some time now. How useful are MORE 're-post" type sites? Do we really need 100's more - as several readers said it - re-posting the same bunch of tutorials over and over and over?