I received a notification the other day to tell me that I had signed up to WordPress six years ago.
For the most part, it has been a life-changing, generally amazing experience. I hit the million views last year (which was insane), and it has seen me through getting engaged, getting married, quitting my job and starting my own Social Media Management business and provided me with a whole host of wonderful people, events and opportunities that I wouldn’t have thought possible when I was filling out my details and hastily deciding on a name for my own little space of the internet.
I tried to think of a suitable and hopefully useful topic to write about that focused on my blogiversary, but it proved to be a little more difficult than expected without repeating the same things that I have talked about many times. While I absolutely love the Social Media Management and freelance writing, I’m undoubtedly struggling with my own blog.
The thing is, blogging isn’t the same as it was even a few years ago and even though I generally still enjoy it to a point, it’s a different type of enjoyment with different goals. I find it more difficult to think of content ideas and the content that I do create sometimes often takes hours as it feels rather forced – I will (more often than not) put out a post about something that I am mildly interested in because I know that it will do well over a period of time, rather than the short-lived life updates that I prefer to write, and it goes against everything that I have ever felt and discussed about authenticity. It has felt like a shift to the dark side.
Blogging is far more competitive, saturated and as a result it is certainly far more unpleasant than it ever used to be, and I have also struggled with that. Admittedly, there have been more than a few occasions over the last eighteen months or so where I have considered walking away for a while or finding a different direction to go in, in an effort to try and get the enjoyment back into it that I once had.
I read a fantastic post by Ms Bren Says – The Good Old Days of Hobby Blogging, and not only appeared at just the right time, but it struck a nerve.
Blogging was so much more fun back then. I’ve missed it so.
I didn’t follow any rules. Heck, I don’t know if SEO and keywords even existed back then.
We slapped together what was on our mind, dumped a bunch of personal photos onto it, and hit that Publish button.
In the early years of blogging, my main goal was to get therapeutically rid myself of my daily frustrations and a wonderful and unexpected by-product of this was the community that came with it. I didn’t think much about what I was writing, focusing more on the act of writing than the content itself and as a result I had a great time chatting away with people from all over the world. Now, I put thought and careful consideration into keywords, tags, categories, hashtags. I spend lots of time creating posts and images. I keep note of algorithm changes across social media. I have checklists and schedules and trackers. I don’t have the same level of time to remain in contact with the community of people that I want to talk to.
I do indeed miss the good old days of hobby blogging and writing for myself, and I think that’s where a change needs to happen. I want to start writing purely for the fun of it again, without the worry of stats and numbers and algorithms and hashtags and SEO and…
So, while that doesn’t mean that I will stop doing the evergreen content entirely, I would expect far more of a random (and inevitably pointless) set of posts to appear in the near future…
You can also find me on Twitter @suzie81blog and you can also find me on my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks