Is Blogging Dead?

Is blogging dead writing creative
My gorgeous friend Liv wrote a very thought-provoking piece the other day (which you can read here, and give her a follow while you’re at it). She discussed a topic that I’ve seen floating around more and more often lately, in regards to the ‘blogging community’ and whether such a thing exists.

Let me start with one thing: I love blogging. In fact, I have been blogging in some form or another since before blogging was a thing. Such a hipster, I know. Like many of my peers, my teens were spent creating Piczo sites about myself and my friends, with obnoxious fonts and glittery call-to-action buttons. As I grew up and got more ‘mature’, I would post long and angsty diary-like entries on Livejournal, describing my mundane day at school, which boy I was obsessed with at the time, and how no one could possibly ever understand me. And of course, there was Blogger, where arguably it all began for many online influencers. Like many others, I jumped on the beauty and fashion bandwagon because, well, there was nothing else going on at the time. Sure, there were small groups of people writing about different things, but blogging about make up and clothes was the new ‘it’ thing, and as someone who was a late bloomer when it came to all things make up, I just wanted to be involved and talk about my new passion.

Though I loved writing about the new make up I was discovering and getting creative with my OOTDs (outfit of the day, for those not in the know), I eventually realised that my heart wasn’t in it. That I loved beauty, and fashion especially, but I just didn’t have the budget for a vast make up or skincare collection, or to keep up with the latest highstreet trends. In my second year of university, I did a feature writing course, and I posited the idea of a blog with no particular ‘niche’ to my tutor, who was quick to dismiss me. “No one will be interested in a blog without a niche,” she said. After a long, long, long break to gain some perspective and figure out just what I wanted to put out in my online space, I thought, fuck it. I don’t need a ‘niche’, I just want to write about what I want, and people can like it or lump it.

So in December 2015, after actually having the blog and domain for a year without posting anything, Whimsicella emerged into the world wide web like a glorious phoenix rising from the ashes. I was ready to take the bull by the horns and tell anyone and everyone who would listen (read) what was on my mind.

Back then, I wasn’t really aware of the ‘blogging community’ per se. I knew there were other bloggers out there, obvs, who became friends with each other because of their shared interests, and got their follows by… I don’t know, tweeting a lot? Taking bomb-ass selfies? Sheer force of luck and good karma? I wasn’t quite aware of the epicentre that was the ‘blogging community’ that hosted literally thousands of other bloggers, just like me, until about February or March of last year.

And initially, I thought it was great, and still do to some extent. I think it’s great that people can get together to share their interests and lift each other up, and how there’s not only one large, catch-all blogging community, but also tiny little subsects, depending on what specifically you write about, or y’know, your ‘niche’.

Mid-late last year, I felt myself burning out. Feeling unmotivated and not ‘good enough’. I tried so hard to be a part of this community that I loved so much, admired so many other bloggers for achieving such great things, that I felt that I was drowning. I found that a lot of what I was churning out, I wasn’t really passionate about. I was trying to fulfill a certain stereotype that came with being a blogger, such as doing a blogger tag post that I wasn’t that fussed about, but just needed some content for that week. I even tried keeping up with a consistent Instagram theme for a while. But none of that was me, and I quickly realised that to be happy in blogging, I need to write about stuff I wanted to write about, not just what got me views and got me accepted into this community. Essentially, I was back to square-one after beauty blogger-gate.

So where does that leave me now? I quickly found that there isn’t really a genre that encapsulates people-who-like-writing-and-just-want-to-put-their-writing-out-there. Except there is, because a lot of the people I’ve made friends with through blogging are indeed writer types like me, who prefer writing long form posts over two paragraph product reviews. And though they are fairly prominent members of the blogging community, only few of them ascribe themselves to the label ‘blogger’, but rather ‘writer who happens to have a blog.’

I have also noticed more and more of the bigger bloggers actually distancing themselves from the ‘blogger’ label, leaning more into titles like ‘social influencer’ or ‘content creator’. If this community is so great, so welcoming, so empowering, why are many choosing to disassociate themselves from the term ‘blogger’, and instead being ‘creatives with blogs’?

Writing tends to be a very solitary activity, whereas blogging is quite interactive. If you’re not really concerned about stats, or buying a big expensive camera to take those perfect blog photos, and hate scheduling your tweets 100 times a day, blogging can feel kinda draining at times. You just want to write and get your voice heard by similar minded folks. Where is the community for us who don’t write about make up or clothes, who tend to lean into more controversial topics, or who hate seeing flatlay after flatlay on Instagram? I’m sure there is a place for us somewhere, I’ve some people here and there, and you’re damn right I’m gonna keep looking and building that community.

I’m very aware blogging isn’t actually dead, but maybe my, and many others’, interpretation of it is.

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24 thoughts on “Is Blogging Dead?

  1. joannefung says:

    This is such a lovely post, and I appreciate it so, so much. Before starting my blog, I fretted over what niche I would be a part of, what theme I needed to generate. After a long time of mulling it over, I simply realized it’s best to write what I love. I think this post is such a thoughtful piece, and not written to fulfill a specific niche, but to fulfill your personal desire to write.

    Liked by 2 people

    • whimsicella says:

      Thank you Joanne, I’m glad it resonated with you ☺️ it definitely feels like we’re in limbo and like there’s a pressure to conform to a niche, for us who think of ourselves primarily as writers over bloggers

      Like

  2. Tina says:

    I love this. I started mine years ago too, and didn’t know a ‘community’ existed except for those who found my blog on WordPress.
    I call mine a lifestyle blog, just because it seems to be a catch all, but really, I just like to write and anything and everything that’s on my mind. I think sometimes certain niches and blog styles are so popular that I just don’t slot into that world. Other times I so do! Looking forward to more posts x

    Liked by 2 people

  3. unicornprincess245 says:

    I adore your post!

    I’ve only been blogging “for real” (like with my own domain, etc.) for about a year. I haven’t been really active in the blogging community because I was unaware of it, like you until last year. I wasn’t on twitter, or I guess I had one, but never really used it. I mostly just blog/write to satisfy my own creative needs and share with friends. Though I have got a good following for not putting in much effort. Like you I started out as make-up review, but quickly found that was not for me, and settled into just posting what I wanted to. If people liked it that was cool, if not thats cool too.

    I hope you find peace & direction with your own work, that settles your heart and feeds your creativity. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jaswoah says:

    Girl you actually spoke straight to my heart here! It took me so long to get anything I wrote out there because I just felt as if my heart wasn’t in what everyone else was writing. I felt so pressured to make posts that were expected, and not ones that I actually wanted to write, and it got me really down for a long time. I’m starting to find my flow though!! I’m happy that I’ve found your blog, and do you have any others you could recommend along the vein of yours?

    Jas, jaswoah.WordPress.com
    Xx

    Liked by 2 people

  5. ThinkFeelStrong says:

    Very interesting post. I hadn’t given this much thought, I’ve been blogging for about 2 months now and I have seen the same stuff you pointed out, successful “bloggers” titling themselves as social influencers and such. Blogging can be draining, there’s a lot of behind the scenes work that I don’t think many people realize. I’m hoping in the end, I’m doing this for me and for the happiness blogging brings me.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Jessica Emily says:

    You are a really talented writer! I love your style. I don’t have a niche either – I write about everything that matters to me! I love writing for the sake of writing too. Thanks for sharing this xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Serena Reidy says:

    Interestingly post. I’ve been blogging on and off since the piczo days and I agree that it has changed a lot in recent years. I wouldn’t say that blogging is “dead” but I hate that it’s become more about stats and advertising products.

    Liked by 2 people

    • whimsicella says:

      People have definitely become more caught up in number since blogging because a viable career option. And there’s nothing wrong with making your blog a career – it’s just making sure you stay true to yourself.

      Like

  8. BlackPistachio says:

    I definitely want to connect with bloggers and writers whose main niche is meaty subjects. I do love a good beauty post but I agree that for a modest budget/lifestyle keeping up with every new release is not possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Riss says:

    I literally was just having these same thoughts about a week ago. I’m glad that I’m not the only one and that I can still have success and enjoyment as a newbie to this world of “blogging” although I am not blogging consistently about beauty and fashion and scheduling posts. Thanks for the reassurance. I really enjoyed this. Thanks a bunch! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Ratri Anugrah says:

    I feel you. I’ve been blogging for years but never satisfied with one blog somehow. It’s all because of niche. I just created a blog which I’m going to fill with personal details. I don’t really care about SEO. All I want is genuine and honest thought that will be heard by others. But yeah, my other blogs already have their own niche. Still, writing for specific niche can be exhausting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • whimsicella says:

      I have definitely felt more fulfilled writing what I want and not caring about whether my blog ‘conforms’ or not. And I’ve found that I’ve gotten way better response and engagement from it, too!

      Like

  11. shortsharkshop says:

    Another fab post! I’m relatively new to blogging myself and my initial plan was to write about my day every day for a year and track myself as I try to get to where I want to be in life, but then I panicked and felt like I ought to be writing about make-up instead and suddenly I was like “crap, I can’t do this without a niche! Quick, think of something!”. Literally one post in and I panicked because I didn’t know what to write or how to make it good. I wrote a weak-ass post about some eye make-up I did which got one view and I ended up scrapping it and just ended up emptying my brain out onto WordPress and that’s what my blog is now! Occasionally I will mention make-up within posts but generally I just write about my life and my thoughts and I am so much happier knowing that I am writing for me and not to fit into a category. Also I have friends who read it and find it funny and that means so much to me.

    I did – and sometimes still do – feel a bit left out on Twitter because everybody was reviewing the same stuff and everyone responded to the same few people and I felt like an awkward newbie, but now I’ve just stopped trying to fit in and decided to roll with it and it’s so much easier. I am totally with you on not caring for scheduling tweets and all that. It’s way too time-consuming and doesn’t really interest me. If I get a particularly good day of views on my blog it makes me happy but I don’t go all out to promote it because I simply can’t be bothered! Like yourself, I write for me and good stats are a nice bonus.

    I am so sorry for writing yet another long comment! I need to learn to be more concise :’) But your blog is quickly becoming one of my faves so thanks! 😀

    Lozzy x

    Liked by 1 person

    • whimsicella says:

      No need to apologise, I love reading long comments because it means that something I wrote really resonated with someone enough to want to tell me their thoughts – and that makes me over the moon!! I really do think you have to be in it for yourself when it comes to blogging, sure you can write about make up and what’s on trend, but the be all and end all is that it has to make YOU happy.
      And don’t worry, we’ve all been there with feeling left out on Twitter. Hell, I still feel left out a lot of the time! But you just have to hang tight and find the community that is made just for you, because believe me, they are out there ☺️
      Thank you so much again, Lozzy! Xx

      Like

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