In February 2022, I passed a blogging milestone. WordPress informed me that I’d been blogging for eight years! But that notification asked me questions while I looked back at those eight years.
Eight years? It doesn’t seem that long ago that I started to blog. I know of bloggers who have been blogging for much longer than me and who continue to write and publish posts full of interesting content that are always of the highest quality. Not only do they care deeply about what they write, but what they publish. That makes all the difference – knowing what to publish and what not to publish.
I’ve seen thousands of bloggers come and go in those eight years. Some disappeared without a trace, while others hung up their blogging gloves and announced their departure. The ones I felt the sorriest for were the ones who stopped blogging because they couldn’t get the engagement or the number of hits and followers they craved.
Some came here solely for making money, while others came here more for collecting numbers rather than engaging outside their blog. They don’t last long and end up cluttering the world wide web with abandoned blogs in the blog graveyard. It’s a sad sight.
From the beginning
I can count the number of bloggers on one hand who have been with me since that first year. I often ask myself why they’re still reading my posts and leaving comments, but that lack of confidence in myself isn’t something I will dwell on here. All I will say is that I must be doing something right.
I’ll be honest: I have unfollowed many blogs over the years. Why do some bloggers not like talking about unfollowing blogs? It’s as if it’s a taboo subject.
Unfollowing blogs is something I witness many shy away from speaking or writing about. It’s as if it’s a ‘hush-hush’ subject. Something that gets swept under the carpet. But not me, no. I’ve written about it and had great discussions about it in the comments section of those posts, but never on other blogs. Perhaps I’m looking in the wrong places?
Why do I unfollow blogs?
For many reasons, but mainly when I lose interest in the content.
One of the biggest mysteries is the bloggers I stop hearing from because I unfollowed them. I probably stopped following them because I was no longer interested in their publishing content. That’s a simple enough reason. But why then go silent? Surely not for the same reason? Or was it a coincidence that we simultaneously lost interest in each other’s content?
The different faces of bloggers
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting some bloggers face to face. For me, that’s been one of the highs of blogging. However, I know that some bloggers like to remain anonymous. And they’ve every right to remain anonymous. Being behind a screen can feel like a safe place, but it isn’t always that way. I won’t talk about the trolls here because trolls like being discussed.
Ups and downs
I’ve had my ups and I had my downs with blogging. It’s like being on a rollercoaster that some bloggers can’t get off. I’ve alighted the blogging rollercoaster a few times when taking blogging breaks.
Some of those breaks lasted months, while others lasted a few weeks. But they all had something in common. They helped me step back, take a look at what I was doing, how I was doing it, and most importantly, helped me change the way I blogged. I always came back refreshed and, despite what some say, readers do not stop following you because you’ve taken a break.
Barbara, who blogs at Book Club Mom, has evidence of blogging breaks. She recently wrote a terrific post about taking a blogging break. Read it here.
Like everything else in life, blogging changes. It would be a very dull place if it didn’t change. Can you imagine what life would be like if it never changed?
Since I first started blogging, things have changed massively. I’m talking here about the WordPress platform. I was never a fan of change, but I’m confident that the changes I’ve witnessed here on WordPress have made blogging much more fun and enjoyable. Blogging has finally moved into the 21st century.
Those changes helped propel my blog to an even wider audience. Unfortunately, some bloggers got left behind, but I didn’t want to be one of them. There’s too much at stake when remaining stagnant.
At first, the changes looked like they were going to cause problems, but rather than complain about what I believed were problems, I adjusted to the changes and saw vast improvements for me, other bloggers and readers. It’s like climbing a ladder. The higher you get, the more you see and learn, and the more you can make a difference.
When I look at some of the blogs I’ve been following for years, I’m amazed by the changes that have taken place. That shows me how far they have all come on their blogging journey. They’ve adapted, welcomed change, and become better writers and bloggers. But they have also updated and improved their blogs. It’s made them blogging figureheads with their readers and in the blogging world. They have my utmost respect.
They continue to adapt to changes and continue to roar on their journey. That roar is one of achievement rather than the cry of complaint while refusing to adapt to change.
Change can make some problems frustrating, but you become stale by taking no action or hoping others will tackle your issues. Don’t allow your sparkle to dim by not adapting to change.
The biggest blogging trap to look out for
Most of the people I have encountered in the blogging world are friendly. However, some don’t help themselves. By this, I mean that some bloggers seem to believe they have to be everywhere all the time to not upset anyone. It’s one of the biggest blogging traps bloggers fall into that can turn blogging upside down, inside-out, and become something that causes stress or a feeling of guilt. It’s a horrible place, yet it is easy to escape – if you allow it.
Many bloggers fall into the guilt and stress trap during their first few years of blogging. I was one of them, yet some don’t seem to learn the lessons of falling into that trap and continue slipping through the net, making blogging a not-so-lovely experience.
Some bloggers apologise for dealing with life outside of the blogging world. I don’t know why they believe they need to apologise, but it’s sad to see. Some apologise if they publish a post a few minutes late. It’s as if their readers’ lives depend on those posts going out on time; otherwise, something awful will happen.
Of course, the truth is that nobody cares if a post is published a few minutes late. Nobody cares if a post is a day late. But if it goes over a week late or your absence is out of character, care becomes a concern. Another lovely element of the blogging community is looking out for each other.
It’s my life
Something I’ve never been comfortable with on my blog is revealing everything in my life. Why? Because there are so many scammers out there looking for information they can use when they steal your identity. Plus, do people really want to know every detail of my life? Would I give that information out to total strangers?
Those are tough questions, but I decided to only give out a limited amount of information, most of which can be found on my ‘Meet Hugh‘ page.
Some bloggers pour their hearts out on their blogs, telling readers every bit of detail of their lives. Years ago, life was different, and many of us wanted to keep our lives private, but now it seems to have been turned on its head, and people complain if nobody reads their blog. I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw this tweet.
Be careful when giving information out about yourself. You don’t know everyone who reads your blog and the information you are giving out on it.
That’s my quick look at the last eight years. There will be more posts like this because I’ve lots more to share.
How long have you been blogging? Is blogging all that you want it to be? Let me know in the comment section.
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