Blogging Isn’t Dead, It’s Evolving

I can’t remember the last time that I wrote a personal post about blogging. Actually, I don’t remember the last time I wrote a personal post at all. Sadly, the time and investment in crafting such articles had become so overwhelming each time I hit “publish” that I had to distance myself from it entirely. Moderating and replying to comments alone can be a full-time job.

So, I’ve been quiet for the most part. Sans the occasional Facebook status update or two.

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Instead, I try to go about each day with a positive attitude, do my best to create content that helps moms, provide for my family, be a good friend, use Facebook sparingly (a huge trigger for negative energy), and attempt to be the light in the places that I can be.

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BUT.

This past year?

Guys, it has been so incredibly heavy in our community and I find myself withdrawing more than I ever have. This is not part of my nature, either.

Not all of the internet includes this darkness, of course (which I will talk about later), but it’s been enough to rattle me and question why there is such a rise in negativity around “mommy blogging” (I really do despise this term). I poked fun at it recently in a silly video montage I did with Dr. Phil.

Part of me gets it. This space can be dark.

In the 8 years that I’ve been in it full-time, I’ve witnessed the underbelly of the online community firsthand from both bloggers and readers.

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I’ve been personally attacked by bloggers and readers due to the brands I’ve partnered with. I’ve received messages from bloggers asking why I haven’t covered specific issues on my blog and their disappointment in me not doing so. I’ve experienced PR firms and brands asking me to change my words to their words in my sponsored content and be okay with it. I’ve been snubbed, pushed out, used, and ignored more times that I can remember. I’ve been picked over, outbid, insulted, degraded, and embarrassed numerous times as well. I’m sure I missed something, too.

The dark side does exist in this community. It burns. It hurts. It’s discouraging. All of the bad things you can think of. It’s all of that.

Oh, I just remembered one… I was told that my blog was just full of fluff. That’s a good one.

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So, what am I to do when these things happen to me?

Quit? Hide? Complain? Feel horrible about my decision to bring blogging into my family’s life?

According to the bloggers writing these sensationalized “blogging is dead/my life was never real” articles that have been published within the past few weeks, I should feel all of these things. But, I don’t.

So, I have so many questions.

Why do I feel like I’m at the opposite end of the spectrum?

How have I been able to move past the negative experiences that I mentioned above, but still love what I do, as well as make a full-time career out of it after all of these years?

Why am I okay working with brands on sponsored content? Am I in some strange denial or is it because I genuinely enjoy it?

Would these bloggers be unhappy in any career path, based on their personalities?

What is the real issue that these ex-bloggers have and does it have anything to do with blogging at all?

I don’t have all of the answers (feel free to exit now), but I do think the recent disdain for blogging does have everything to do with the evolution of the industry itself. It’s not the blogging world that we once knew.

Bloggers have now been given the title of “influencer” with the actual blog being just a single slice of a very large pie of influence. In fact, you don’t even need a blog to be an influencer these days if you have an engaged social media presence somewhere. Video content is a must, though only a few actually utilize it. Snapchat (once considered the app for teens only) is one of the top social media networks that brands are using and hiring publishers for.

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Our old standbys, like Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, are changing so much so often that they are almost unrecognizable from the early days. Bloggers are producing bestselling books, writing for major publications, starring as talent in commercials, and creating viral content recognized by celebrities. Yup, I dare to say that this was not happening when I started my blog back in 2008.

Things have changed and will continue to change. While this new territory is exciting for bloggers like me, it’s a terrifying thought for bloggers who are stuck in comfortable routines that once worked, but aren’t propelling them forward today. Evolution is inevitable in any business, market, and industry. This includes us, too.

And I have even more questions for you.

  • Do you care enough to make changes to your current content/work routine?
  • Are you willing to evolve as the market evolves?
  • Do you want to continue your education with the latest social media trends?
  • Can you get past the fear of particular content and/or social networks because they are new to you?

Old blogging may be dead, but that’s okay. The evolution of blogging and social media is even better if you’re willing to flex and carve your own unique space within it.

It’s up to you, really.

At the end of the day, we create our own experiences in this community and with the work we do, even with all of the noise and negative clutter that surrounds us. We chose who we follow, what we read, and who we talk to each day. We choose to immerse ourselves in the problems of the community or shine brightly with a solution to help. I will admit that I’ve had trouble doing the latter too many times myself. I have work to do on that end for sure.

Saying that, surrounding myself with inspiring, smart, supportive, and positive people has been my saving grace in this career. If I were to recommend one thing of all of the words written in this article, it would be to find those people, too. Find them, but don’t build a wall up so high that you don’t let anyone else in. There’s much love and learning to be had in our space and it’s okay to spread that beyond your core group. The more love and positive energy you spread, the more you’ll attract the right people who have the same mantra back. You’ll learn important information from these people and you’ll teach them even more back. Then crazy opportunities will start to appear. Even during this “crazy blogging” phase. Yup.

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photo by Jessica Turner

I’m lucky to have a chunk of that support in my life. There is much light in our community if you look in the right places. You can be the light, too, especially when things are bleak and dark. You just gotta step up and be it.

Help when you can. Smile. Be kind. Listen. Learn.

Open your mind. Try new ideas. Explore. Be scared. Jump. Dream.

E V O L V E .

Nothing was promised to us in this line of work. Think about it…blogging and social media could have never avoided evolution – it would have gone against the very nature of what the actual industry is! We have to dip our toes into the same new trends and platforms that businesses, brands, and agencies do each day if we want to continue to connect with them, receive new experiences, create engaging content, and get paid work. This isn’t a scary thing, folks. It’s actually pretty exciting if we want it enough.

I do want it. Fluff and all. All of the tiny tips and inspiration that I can provide, in any form, media, or platform. I will continue doing so until the internet just doesn’t want me anymore. And if that’s the case, I’m opening up a coffee shop.

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Because coffee is pretty awesome, too.

[gifs from giphy.com]