You may wonder what this is, coming from a plant blog. I hope you’ll stick with me.
I mentioned before that I decided to come back to blogging after being trapped at home during COVID-19. Tinkering with a website, taking photos, clarifying my thinking through writing, and learning more about the things I love the most while doing so, was always fun and often a distraction from less pleasant things. A host of personal/family type issues finally won out over blogging, but I had started to miss doing it. Was it worth getting back to, though?
The decline of blogging
Besides the personal reasons, since 2010 or so blogging seemed passe. Facebook and Instagram had changed where and how we all socialize online. RSS feeds and comments slowly dried up. Traffic shifted to big companies’ sophisticated websites. People stopped hanging out with bloggers on blogs and moved all the conversation elsewhere.
Several years of feeling ‘blogging is dead as a doornail’ happened
During the break we’ve all had since March, my thoughts about this started to shift. How could blogging be dead as long as people have questions they want a person like them to answer? With search engines (once you’re indexed), readers still show up to your blog or website every day looking for exactly what you wrote about (or photographed). You hope you did a good enough job on the post they land on that they will stick around for a while and return later.
Every day is a fresh opportunity to reach new readers through search and give them something they want or need
Something like images of plants, in my case. Photos can help with identification of plants. You’ve looked at Google images to identify a plant, haven’t you? I know I have. That’s one of the reasons for my Folium, and many of the visitors who come to my blog come through those photos. Expanding your media options with videos and podcasts is the future according to most of the experts I checked, and is becoming necessary for bloggers who want to make money.
Blogging for personal satisfaction
Of course you can blog for your own satisfaction, as you might keep a journal or diary, and never even consider making money or whether anyone but your family reads it. (If that’s you, you’re probably not reading articles on whether blogging is dead.) Some of the most heartfelt and relatable things I’ve read — often during my oh so fun insomniac episodes — are posts from an unpaid someone else dealing with the same issues. Having those posts available 24/7/365 is such a gift.
Blogs connect us with other humans in all sorts of ways, from the very practical (recipes, how to), to the very personal (health, psychology, sexuality)
How many Google, Bing, Yahoo searches would you say you do every day? There are more than 5 billion Google searches every day. What is it that we are all looking for? Well, it’s some version of who, what, where, when, why, how, and how to. Not necessarily in that order. And we like to know how others get along in certain specific situations and circumstances.
Blogging hasn’t died. It has simply changed from what it used to be…
Alex Nerney of createandgo.com says, “Blogging hasn’t died. It has simply changed from what it used to be, and it’s still changing today. As bloggers, we must continue to evolve with it in order to stay relevant.” His takes into account the entertainment value of social media and suggests we leave entertainment to those venues, making our blogs more about education and the sharing of experiences that could help others feel connected or understood. Finding someone with your same health diagnosis and getting your information from that real person rather than a website like Women’s Health would be a preference for most of us, wouldn’t it? I have to agree with him on all points.
Renee Groskreutz’s podcast, “Just to Cheer up a Blogger” actually did cheer me up. She mentions the many times we look for information online and wind up on a blog that someone has written. What if those blogs didn’t exist? She believes, “you are making a difference in this world because you decided to blog.”
That’s an inspiring thought.
If you have a blog, feel free to leave your link in the comments. If you don’t, start one!
Here’s a great place to get started: How to Start a Blog by Amy Lynn Andrews