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
Write your posts as and when you feel the fervour to write Suzie.
It keeps it from being a chore, to fun again.
I’ve never worried about the numbers, SEO, algorithms… Apart from when I first started.
And its made my experience a much happier one. Xx
I agree – I set a goal a few years ago and worked hard, and now is the point where I can chill about a bit and just enjoy it for what it is
Best way to view it nowadays I think… Unless it us your business!
I think that’s the problem – it is
Yeah… For you. We’re gonna have to make it fun again 😊
For most of us, blogging is an avocation which includes me. I do struggle with content as my blog is so area specific. Sometimes I wanna toss the towel in on the blog world. You have to do what is right for you Suzie. 🙏🏻😎🤙🏻
Thanks John – What is it that makes you want to walk away?
The ridiculous Editor. I see two different editors smashed together, then WP created that stupid Block Editor. Ludicrous! Repair the Legacy Editor, have only one.
Also, WP has no way to block undesirables like Instagram does. WP is way behind the times and technology. I refuse to allow businesses to follow and remove them daily. Tired of the nonsense…
I still just write what I want, of course I only have a small amount of followers and if I have 50 views of a post I am ecstatic, so I am still like the old days! I love your blog, it is an encouragement to me and makes me laugh at times and smile always. Cathi
I love your blog too lovely, thanks so much for making me smile!
I’ve often NOT posted because I was so concerned if anyone would read it. Or what if someone didn’t like it. But now I don’t even care anymore. I write for me. For the love of writing and just to exercise my writing skills. Maybe it’s time to go back to those times where you wrote for you and for no one else. 🙂
I can totally relate… I’ve had to censor myself on more than a few occasions because I was worried about how it would be received. I’m going to adopt the same approach that you now have and see how it goes…
Interesting points…I hit my six year anniversary at the end of last year, and more than 2,500 posts. I have continued to learn about what I need to do in order to expand my reach, but also how broadening the subjects also diffuses the point of some of it as well…an interesting time for sure…great post!
It certainly is – how have you managed 2500 posts haha! You’re a writing machine, John!
Thanks! Even I look back at some and think “I posted about THAT!?!?!?!”
Your post reminds me of my recent struggle with publishing. I’d love to go back to those halcyon days when I assumed if I wrote a good book it would naturally sell. LOL. That grind of sales and reviews and managing marketing, too much for this girl.
It’s a lot to deal with isn’t it haha! I have a lot of author friends and I had NO idea how much goes into it!
You know a good bit. Same work to market whether a blog or a book. Same pressures to remain true to your vision or modify to sell.
It hasn’t hurt Simply Nailogical! 🙂
I do miss her nail videos, but now I can’t say What do you think? without saying it ten times and yelling Beeeeyyyyyn every time I pass a Starbucks haha!
I watched her cutting her hair vid and was disappointed she didn’t cut off more. I really miss her nail videos! SIMPLY PEEL LIKE NO BIG DEAL! People still love her, though. Beeeyyyyn!
Hahaha! I have terrible nails but I bought some peel off base coat and a glossy taco because of her
Happy Blog-anniversary! 6 years is a big accomplishment 💜 I agree that blogging has changed so much and at times I find myself also trying to create a post that may generate more likes than usual when I definitely started for the writing aspect. It’s hard to find that good balance. Wishing you lots of luck on whatever direction you decide to go!
Totally agree – that balance is so difficult to get right the longer you do it! Thanks lovely!
I’ve been blooging a good while. I have yet to give a damn about SEO, tags and all the other stuff I’m supposed to care about. I don’t monetise my blog and couldn’t care less about trends and blogging fashions. I’ll reach the million mark shortly, have over fifteen thousand posts on the blog, post every day… and I still love blogging. Even though any time the dog blogs, she gets twice as many views as me 😉
Maybe taking the goal posts down allows you more freedom to play and keeps it fun.
15,000 posts? How have you found the time to write 15,000 posts haha! I agree – removing the goal posts makes it more fun
I often wonder than myself 😉
I’d stop blogging if it stopped being fun.
Wow 15000 posts.. i too am clueless about seo and all that stuff. I dont blog on fashion etc.. i love what i blog about and i remain clueless about the whole process even though i am 3 years old..🤔🙄
I don’t blog on fashion and stuff either ( though I may occasionlly rant about it in poetry 😉 ) I know SEO and a lot of the technical stuff, but as I don’t blog to make money, I don’t see why I should worry about it.
Great that the dog helps you out 🙂
She gets a far better response too 😉
I think we all do, or have, enjoyed blogging for a variety of reasons , when it stops being fun time for a break or change. Congrats on 6 years )
Totally agree – a break is definitely necessary at times!
I’m always going to stick to hobby blogging – it keeps it fun, keeps it as a leisure activity rather than work 🙂
Ooh thanks Ruth! I find it interesting to see people’s ideas of what their blog is used for
Hey Suzi! What a surprise to see me mentioned here! You rock, girl! As you know, I miss the good old days. Nonsense blogging that people could relate to. Random rants and Wordless Wednesday posts that made people giggle or cry. That is why I came back with a hobby lifestyle blog. I have a business blog. It’s boring to me. The same old blogging and social media stuff everyone is talking about. But you damn sure can’t copy my life and what my experiences are so that is unique blogging to me. Hobby blogging. Fun blogging. And blogging that allows me to keep my voice without a care in the world what Google thinks. Can’t wait to see what you throw into the mix, girl. Keep true to yourself! xox
Always welcome lovely – and thanks for such a great post! I can relate to so much of it!
6 years that is so impressive. Happy Birthday. Keep on going your posts are great whatever you do.
I turned 3 in March. I think i am still a hobbyist with a bit of a direction. I never got seo or the algorithms, and i dont really try. But, i feel i ran out ideas a while back, made a tonne mistakes and failed a great number of posts at being evergreen. I would love to earn money but dont know how. Lol.. i remain a hobby blogger still figuring it out.. lol.
Always fun to read others stories on blogging.
It’s a massive learning curve that never ends really – once you’ve figured out how to do something it all changes again, often overnight!
Now, I’m glad I never figured out all that SEO, right tag stuff 🙂
Looking forward to the random posts 🙂
Haha! Thanks lovely – they will certainly be random!
You and I started blogging the same year. WordPress has not ever, not once, sent me a note congratulating me on my anniversary with them. I’d say you’re in the upper stratosphere of the blogging world. Congratulations, Suzie.
That’s really odd lovely – I don’t think it applies to a following or something – there must be a glitch there!
I think the glitch is my technical know nothing. It’s my fault entirely, but I still resent being forgotten by WP.
Have you messaged them? It’s not anything to do with your technical abilities, honestly – it’s a mistake on their part…
I’ve been blogging for nearly 9 years – eek! Although not on the same blog. But I go through phases, and give it up for a while. I’m currently back in the flow of it. But I’ve never put much thought into it beyond sticking in a few hash tags. I do find though that my best blog posts are the random ideas that pop into my head in the shower and follow me until I write them. The ones where I write a long list of things I should write about? Those blog posts never end up being published because they just don’t flow properly. I hope you find your blogging mojo again and find a way to enjoy it and continue 🙂
Ooh I can relate to that – my most popular posts are usually the last minute ones that have suddenly popped into my head and I’ve just quickly written up!
I have hundreds of ‘pointless’ posts on my blog too! I totally get what you mean and I have yet to understand SEO or get sucked into writing to any sort of formula. I think I’ll always be purely a hobby blogger, hanging out just for the fun of it. But along the way I’ve met some great people like you, who have taught me loads. I love reading your thoughts and this post was no exception. Thanks for your honesty 😊
Thanks lovely – ditto! I’ve been able to meet people in person from all over the world which has been amazing, yourself included!
I admire your ambition and dedication. I understand that things change. But 6 years is an amazing accomplishment. Happy for you!
Thank you! Here’s to (hopefully) another 6!
I gave up on view targets years ago, never bothered with SEO or any of that and have managed to working for Penguin Random House, another couple of small publishing companies, make the acquaintance of a HBO researcher who liked a blog post on Chernobyl,, and gain a wife too. Blogging gives so much, especially the free books too! I think random is good, people like random, like gay astronauts from the ghetto, there just aren’t enough of that sort of thing!
Hi lovely! So pleased you’re doing so well for yourself. I need more info on the gay astronauts from the ghetto now…
I’ve always been struggling with blogging even though I’ve been doing it for years. I haven’t managed to stay in one spot long. However, I think I struggle because I don’t compete well. My blog is mostly just personal lifestyle stuff. I don’t do well with tips or tricks. I don’t do well with providing any useful information. I’m still pushing publish but I do feel like I don’t know why I do it often.
I hope that you will find fun with the hobby part of blogging again!
Thanks Jess! Who do you find that you compete with?
And guess what, Suzie? That’s perfectly ok. It’s your blog and it should reflect what makes you happy. I appreciate your social media posts but I also like learning about the person behind the blog. So, I welcome those future posts.
I still enjoy blogging as a hobby and a way to promote my books I don’t take it too seriously at the time. Happy anniversary to you I hope you find an abundance of kind people in the years to come.
Thanks lovely! Looking forward to seeing you soon!
And you too Suzy. :)x
I’m with Sue V. Although I think about view counts, and shove on a few tags that might appear in Google searches, I don’t do it ‘properly’. I’d rather write about something I want to write about than think about what will get me lots of views. I believe that being authentic is the key to getting read a lot/having people interested in what you do, anyway. The best example of this is something I wrote about on a writer advice post, about ‘brand’ building – new writer Bjorn Larssen has developed quite a following and achieved way over the usual average sales for a self-pub debut novel. He is very honest and writes about stuff that he loves. Yet he told me he read a book about ‘author platform building’, and didn’t think he was going to be much good at it. Didn’t realise he had already done it, without trying!
Haha! I see a lot of bloggers doing the same thing!
Something is always more fun when we do it for fun 🙂
So we’re going to see more fun Suzi stuff? 😀
Fingers crossed 🙂
One can never go wrong taking the path that feels right, Suzie.
Good luck to you.
I struggle with where my blogging is going too, Suzie, though I don’t pay attention to algorithms or SEO. I don’t want to take it too seriously and I want to enjoy it. I retired in November and the last thing I need is another job. Sometimes blogging and all that goes with it interferes with my writing. I’m thinking about taking a month off and doing nothing but writing to see how that goes. It’s great to have choices!
Ooh that’s exciting Molly! What will you be writing?
I wish I knew!! Haha!
Let me know how you get on!
I don’t blog as much as I used to. I post when I feel like it/when I am able and I don’t pay much attention to stats etc.
I am still surprised when folk visit my sites. And even more surprised when they like a post or follow my blog.
I will continue to blog so long as I enjoy it. The first time it becomes a chore, I will stop.
I love your blog Suzie. Just do what makes you happy. X
Thanks lovely – really appreciate it!
Seems a shame that you’ve lost your blogging mojo a bit. Lots of pressure now to succeed and tick all of those social media/blogging boxes. We just post about our life and don’t worry about any stats or seo and we love it more than when we started 4 years ago. Perhaps you need to just try and go back to the innocent blogging-newbie that you were all those years back?
That’s the plan haha! I’m really pleased that you’re enjoying it!
Hi Suzie, six years eh? I just hit 5 and I remember reading yours back when I started – it’s amazing how the time flies!
I understand what you are saying. You aren’t the same person you were 6 years ago. Your life and priorities have changed, and that’s alright.
Keep doing what you’re doing, in whatever way works for you. All the best…
Hi lovely, how are you? Great to hear from you! Congrats on your blog anniversary too!