Today I came across a sobering article in the NYTimes about the decline of blogs. It was actually quite refreshing since this is the first article I’ve read from this angle. Ever since I started blogging 5 years ago, the hype of blogging had just grown exponentially, but I guess like the economy, it grew out of proportion and now the blog bubble is deflating too. The article suggested that many people started blogs with lofty aspirations — to build an audience and leave their day job, to land a book deal, or simply to share their genius with the world, but then were eventually disappointed or lost interest and decided to stop. It cited examples of the regular mom, Mrs. Nichols, trying to make it without success, and successful bloggers like Cromulent/Salad Days, who temporarily quit from the lack of privacy and fashion blogger, Fashion Robot, who just had enough. My first reaction was to commiserate with Fashion Robot- I’m not alone! My second thought was that a decline sounds right. I don’t know about the rest of the blogosphere, but for me the fashion blogosphere grew so fast in the past few years that I’ve lost track a long time ago. I know that it should be the more the merrier, but a reader only has so much time in a day and they must use it wisely- the exponential growth was unsustainable.
The problem is that people started blogging for the wrong reasons. As with every job, only the fittest survive. You cannot expect to register for a blog, randomly write something and expect instant readership/revenue and an upcoming book deal. You must have something to offer to readers, network in the blogosphere and be consistent and constantly refreshing to build a readership. Trust me, it is no easy task. The most successful bloggers are those who are most passionate about what they write.If you get into blogging with the mindset to simply share your thoughts with other like-minded people rather than notoriety and cash, you’ll have a much better time of it.
Wise words! I think it’s important to see your blog with clarity and without illusions. If you’re going to try and turn it into a business, you have to treat it like one. Personally, I never expect to make a dime on mine, and I’m okay with that.
I agree that there are way too many fashion blogs out there to keep up with! I have about 50 bookmarked. The ones I check often? 3 – yours, The Sartorialist, and Garance Doré.
Pink Sun Drops said:
Interesting. I blog as a sort of online journal, not for any other reasons. Still, sometimes I feel burnout from the expectations that are put on blogs these days from the ones that accidentally ‘made it’ from their consistency, location, unusual circumstance or otherwise, but when I blog for my own reasons, like you said, I don’t care!
pearls and green tea said:
Interesting article. Its definitely easy to just want to quit blogging…
I have been blogging since I was 11, and I agree with both what you and the author of the article said. People that expect something to happen overnight might as well just try out for American Idol. Writing’s never an overnight success, but I do feel so much better when I do. Thanks for the article.
I love this topic. I so remember the blogging boom and I witnessed how bloggers were snatched up for book deals and tv interviews. I was so inspired by this, I thought I am a part of a new movement in American pop culture. I was so inspired that I started my own blog, though I am not looking for any book deals. I strongly believe that a passionless pursuit is meaningless, flat, and lacks substance. Though I have not put in a lot of work with my own blog, okay maybe I have not done anything in the last year or so, I intend for it to have meaning and substance. Thanks for the blogging wisdom!