Hi friends! How are your weeks going?
I’ve been meaning to write about this for awhile. Originally, I thought I’d calling the piece Why am I Still Blogging? Maybe I’m in the minority here (but I don’t think I am) in thinking that the blogging popularity bubble has come and gone. I’ve been blogging here for over five years. And while I still love, love, love everyone who’s reading these words, I’ll admit there are fewer of you now than there were last year or the year before that. More and more of the bloggers I knew (well, e-knew) in the beginning have stopped blogging.
Even I used to keep a much stricter schedule and blog more often. Marry Date or Dump on Monday, Top Ten Tuesday, Wordless Wednesday, Book Review on Thursday or Friday, and way back in the beginning Links for a Lazy Sunday. But my second year of grad school plus a diminishing readership made me loosen the reigns a little bit, and now I find that I get more readers when I blog a little less. And that’s okay!
I was at an author event recently where the moderator made an offhand comment like, “Well, no one blogs anymore anyways.” And at first I thought hey! But that was quickly followed by another thought true. So much of the book community has moved to twitter, instagram, and youtube. And a lot of my bookish ideas for content and writing time is being channeled into writing for Book Riot these days.
When I started blogging in 2012, everyone was doing it. A prime reason I wanted to start blogging was to learn WordPress for my resume, which seemed like a prerequisite. There was also a lot of buzz that having a blog was a prerequisite for having an author platform and getting a book deal. These aren’t true anymore.
So why am I still doing this?
It turns out a lot of reasons (hence my title change). I’m doing this because I like this community, however it grows and shrinks. I like checking your blog posts and talking to you about books. I like having people to help celebrate my writing successes and encourage me through harder times. Two of the most supportive people in my life are writers I met through blogging. They’ve given me advice about agents, edited my query letters, and answered my 2am freak out emails.
When I started blogging, I was such a baby-writer. I don’t think I even thought it was possible that I’d ever become a writer, let alone finish a book. So much of what I’ve learned has come from reading other blogs. So much of my belief that this dream will come true some day is watching other bloggers finish books, find agents, and get book deals. It might feel irrelevant…It might even be irrelevant but I want to give back into that tradition. And if just one or two people get something out of reading about how I wrote my query letter or how I became an outlining convert then I’ll be happy.
To this day a post I wrote about freaking out over word count in 2013 is more popular than the rest of this blog put together. I love hearing from people and commiserating over having a project that feels too long or too short.
So yeah, sometimes it feels futile when I see that my readership is smaller. Every now and then I’ll write a post that less than ten people read and it will feel like why am I even doing this?
But there *are* reasons. And I don’t know how long I’ll keep blogging. I certainly didn’t envision keeping this project going for five years when I started. But for now I’m still loving it, so I’m going to keep doing it. If the adage quality of quantity is true, then I’m still one of the luckiest bloggers around.
As a writer or reader, have you noticed blogging become less popular? Do you get book news from other platforms now? I’d love to know more about this in the comments, but if no one answers, you know what – that’s okay with me too!