On The Evolution of Blogging
I’ve watched the evolution of blogging closely for a decade and have observed how blogs have gone from personal journals and casual style diaries to thriving businesses. A good blog can generate publicity for a small business more effectively than a professional publicist. Many bloggers are also still making a living strictly from their blog alone, thanks to partnerships with brands and advertising.
However, there have been downsides to the monetization of blogs themselves: disingenuous endorsements of products, aggressive product peddling, lackluster enthusiasm from bloggers who are just going through the motions and a complete breakdown of etiquette and morality in some cases.
While blogging is no longer fresh and new, it is evolving. Longtime bloggers want to break free from convention. Tech companies are creating software to innovate content delivery. Clever entrepreneurs are discovering remarkable new ways to genuinely leverage blogs to generate passive income. Web designers are reimagining their look. The point – blogging isn’t dying, it’s thriving.
As bloggers we should remember that we can make our own choices and that we are all individuals. No model or mold needs to be adhered to; we don’t need to let blogging trends sway us. We don’t need to fold under the pressure of sharing only perfection. Nor do we sign an invisible contract that says we are required to share every aspect of our lives.
My Blogging Journey
Over the last ten years I’ve started six different blogs. I’ve since deleted all but two. This one, and one that I no longer post to but still like looking at, are all that remain. The rest had to go. Even my undeniably successful lifestyle blog that supported multiple revenue streams, and received over 1.2 Million page views in its short lifespan was put to rest.
I learned a lot from that blog. Most of all I learned not to create and post content you aren’t inspired by. It didn’t take long before I was incredibly bored and eventually even embarrassed by my “successful” blog. I fell into the trap of monetization and content creation for an audience. I felt stuck and pigeon holed into a niche I didn’t feel connected to which ultimately led to my decision to delete it. I wanted a clean slate, I didn’t want someone Goggling me and finding a snapshot of my lunch or a craft project instead of my fine art photography work, which was the reality at the time. It was also exhausting, as keeping up a charade can be.
I delayed deleting it for a long time because I didn’t want to give up the income or publicity it generated for my small business. In the end I let it go. I knew if I built a successful blog once, I could do it again. So I deleted it without regret (If you’ve ever tried permanently erasing online content you will know it is actually impossible. Traces of my former blog will live forever.)
As a result I became so jaded by blogging I thought I could give it up altogether, that I didn’t need the creative outlet or the promotional platform blogging provided. But I couldn’t deny the power of a good blog either. I was torn. So I’ve continued to share intermittently, whenever I’ve felt inspired. I did this so I technically wouldn’t be giving up on blogging, but as you can see from the 5 posts I’ve published here in the last 21 months I have seriously lacked inspiration. However, it is reassuring that after 21 months I still find the content I’ve shared to be genuine and I don’t have the overwhelming urge to delete it.
Of course, I know this is not the way to leverage a blog as a promotional tool, which I believe is the ultimate goal for most bloggers. The only way a blog can thrive is to put the time and effort into creating quality content on a regular basis, in a specific niche, on topics that are helpful and/or inspiring to your audience. I believe this can be done in a sincere way, that is neither soul sucking for a blogger nor will it lead them to becoming a fictional character.
I have reached a point in my life where I feel ready to devote my time and energy to both blogging and entrepreneurship once again. I want to leverage this space so I can experience more financial freedom and ultimately more personal freedom in a way that leaves me feeling satisfied and proud.
My life and my mindset have changed considerably over the last few years and I’ve spent part of that time strategizing how to use and market my skills in a way that will bring me fulfillment and an income. Basically trying to figure out what I REALLY want to do with my life. My ideas aren’t fully fleshed out yet, but I decided that I don’t want to wait any longer to start, even though I am slightly terrified.
I want to share the things I learn, my triumphs and tribulations, because I personally find it incredibly discouraging when people appear to be too perfect on the Internet, or an overnight success (even though I think we all secretly want to be perfect overnight successes). I also realize the evolution of my business will take many small steps and at some point I have to actually start taking them.
My first step, blog regularly. My intention is to create an online hub for myself, where I can share both my expertise as well as my experiments. A place that feels true to who I am and I hope will ultimately attract others who can relate. I miss making friends and connections online, which is hard when you are so rarely present.
I’ve decided to only post on topics that interest me but I also want what I share to be useful to others. Topics I believe will fit those criteria are photography, ecommerce, antique collecting and curation, styling, lost and dying arts, art education and my own milestones. I expect the content I share to evolve, to change a bit based on what is both well received and what I am enthusiastic about. This time around I want to blog with a purpose and a direction that is guided by authenticity.
I also intend to create a newsletter that subscribers look forward to receiving. It will include a link to my latest blog post along with a few extras, like behind the scenes photos and resources. Subscribers will also be the first to hear about my latest projects and life events. I like the idea of thanking people for allowing me to email them directly with exclusive content and sneak peeks. Join me by signing up below.