Merry Monteleone
Merry Monteleone

A few weeks ago, there was a discussion on one of my friend’s Facebook threads about blogging.

I started blogging back when “normal” people thought it was just a fad… there were jokes about people blogging in their parents’ basement and pretending like it mattered.

Well, lookie here, it mattered.

Blogs have pretty much changed the whole model of publishing. Your favorite magazines and newspapers are all online and those articles are essentially blogs.

But what happened to the old bloggers of yesteryear?

Back In MY Day…

About ten years ago… yeesh, it was maybe a bit longer. I started blogging in 2005. But back then, I was pretty much surrounded by other writers through blogging. It was a great way to build a writing circle, find critique partners, talk about craft, etc.

And the really awesome thing about it was that it gave me a place to talk about the books and industry stuff I was interested in and meet other professionals to hear news. Yay, interwebz.

You’d post a blog, link to other blogs where the same topic was covered, hop to other blog pages to continue the discussion, and respond to all the comments.

The comment section was pretty much a virtual party. It wasn’t uncommon to have blog posts that spanned 100 comments or more. And it was thoughtful discussion. That’s not to say there were never any trolls, but for the most part, people were there to have an intelligent conversation.

The Changing Tide…

I couldn’t tell you exactly when the paradigm shifted. Steadfast bloggers we all followed slowly weaned away from posting. We all got busy with the work of writing or the work of life. The circle I initially built shifted and changed and most of our original blogs were left out in the ether, without fresh posts.

I do still have a blog – obviously, you’re on it. But this one isn’t the same old blog from yesteryear. I haven’t added a blog roll yet because I’m really not following anyone any more. A lot of the people blogging are doing so for monetization.

I wonder a bit of the whole business of blogging is what changed the way it worked. I’ve talked to other bloggers who preferred that medium to Twitter or Facebook. The conversation then just seemed better.

Now it’s not uncommon to post a piece that has no comments and very little traffic. Everything needs SEO. Everything is intended to sell something or market yourself.

Priming the Pump or Scratching the Itch…

There was one thing about blogging back when we were all doing it because we liked it, without any real monetary pay off. Writers found that blogging regularly did one of two things:

It either scratched the itch.

Or

Primed the Pump.

Some writers found that the act of blogging regularly primed the pump, or let them get in the headspace to write professionally with more ease.

Some writers found that it scratched the itch. You wrote something with a bit of zip, pushed publish, and your waiting readers stopped by to comment on what you were saying. It essentially gave you that voice and platform that writers crave but it didn’t further your professional aspirations in a meaningful enough way.

I was probably more in the second camp. I was writing professionally back then but my professional work is far more productive now that I’m not blogging regularly.

Forward March

I’m kind of wondering what the path would look like if I committed to blogging three days a week. I do want to keep fresh content on this site, though I have no real plans to monetize currently.

I went back and forth over the type of content, too. Most writers blog about writing. Seems like a no brainer… and I love talking about craft. The thing is, I don’t want to write a “how to” about freelancing for writers or business owners… there are a million of those and I don’t really want to sell to writers because, well, there are other sources that are great already.

I’m also kind of wondering if any bloggers want to go back to the old days of blogging. Visiting each other, linking in blog rolls, running blog book releases and otherwise treating it like a big party.

Because that would be hella fun.

If you’ve read this far and you’re interested in rejuvenating your blogging, comment below with your blog location and posting times. Let’s see if we can get a healthy blog roll going.

Blog, Blog, Revolution
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15 thoughts on “Blog, Blog, Revolution

    1. It worked perfectly, Mindy! LOL.

      I had to keep comment moderation on because I get a ton of spam… I guess that’s the other new thing with blogging… spamming the comments section with garbage.

  • Hmmmm. I’ve gone back to blogging – sort of – but not on writing. I wanted a place to collect the recipes I’m working on so people could hop around and find what they needed. Took all of my pre-existing posts back to draft and wrote recipes and food info instead. On the blog I’ve gotten only one comment. Since I share the blog post on FB and Twitter, I’ve gotten comments on FB.

    The number of hits has steadily increased over time. Still not a lot, but I like the idea that more people are checking it out. I’m choosing to not go for money on these recipes – yet. I don’t know about the future. I’ve had people ask me to create a cookbook, open a bakery, sell my cookies in stores. As if I have the time to do all that. *sigh*

    Since I get very few shares on FB and no retweets on Twitter (that I can remember), I don’t know how the word is getting out. On a popular recipe, I can get nearly 50 hits in the first hour. The most, so far, is 127 on my flourless cookies. That may yet climb a little more but I think it’s about reached its peak. I also don’t repost recipes yet, so that’s from a one-shot deal at publicity.

    Lots of rambling here because I’ve been thinking about whether to keep on blogging them or to pull back and create a cookbook. But I need a platform, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    So yeah, I’m blogging, but not about writing fiction.

    1. Recipe/cooking blogs are one of the markets they tell you to write for… so I guess that’s a good niche to build.

      But yeah, not a lot of commenting like we used to do on any blogs, really. I’ve had a pretty healthy readership on some of these but almost no comments.

      I think I’d kind of like blogging about fiction and literature again… but not so much about freelance writing which is how I actually make money. There are some great resources on that but there are also some that turn me off on the subject… I feel like some of them are really only making money selling to writers… if their methods work and educate, fine but I think a lot of them are kind of full of it, too.

    1. I added the photo through Gravatar and then updated my information on wordpress to get the display settings right.

      That was a while ago. I’d have to go look at it again to tell you how to do it… You can probably Google it, though.

  • I completely agree that the motivation behind blogging has nearly evaporated. During my biggest lull, I was still posting once a month. I aim for every other week right now. I’m in a once a week spurt at the moment. I do admit my biggest motivation is to keep posting new content for the google scanner bot things.

    I’m melaniehoo.com/hoosblog

    1. I can’t even blame you, Melanie… I’ve been terrible at posting and following.

      Hopefully we can get some of the old bloggers going with some fresh blood… it really was a lot more fun than the other social media platforms.

      Adding your blog to my blogroll… which will be added to the sidebar when I re-figure out my template. lol

  • I’ve considered restarting my blog. All it would require was telling my web person to reactivate the link and add the button. I miss it in many ways. I think if I did it now I might whine less about writing and talk more about others things, or experiment more with serialized fiction. I did that with my novella Dire Straits, then published it afterwards and felt like it was a pretty rewarding experience overall.

    My son has started blogging and I think it’s part of his way of making sure he does something creative, because his new job is a bit more techie than he expected.

    1. I think experimenting with fiction on a blog would be fun.

      I’m missing the camaraderie with other writers more than the process of blogging, I think. We have some good conversations on Facebook and in other venues but it’s not as in depth as blogging used to be.

  • I’m definitely interested. I let my blog go dormant about four years ago, but on the website I’m creating I plan to return to blogging. I don’t plan to blog about the craft of writing because it would basically be plagiarism or death by over-quoting others, haha! But I’m planning five blogs, each with a different focus, and I plan to post to each once per week. Topics include women’s issues, collecting and preserving family stories and memorabilia, vintage recipes and music relating to my historical fiction though not limited exclusively to that, and surviving the aftermath of a suicide in the family and support for those on a journey out of a traumatic past and anxiety. So, put me on your list and I’ll let you know as soon as my website goes public.

    1. Wow, Beth, all of those sound fun to read. And really time consuming to create. Are you going to have separate blogs for each or one blog with different days associated with different topics?

      And of course, let me know as soon as you have a site and I’ll blogroll you.

      1. Yes, I have separate blog pages for each blog focus topic. I may have to scale back after I see how much time has to be devoted to each one, but that’s my plan at this time. This is part of an overall marketing plan for a service based business (support for trauma/suicide survivors) as well as a place to showcase my writing. I mainly want it to be an interesting, safe, healing space that’s also fun to browse.

        1. Personally, I’d love to read any of the vintage recipes or women’s issue posts.

          The suicide and trauma issues are important ones, and very timely. I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t been touched by suicide or severe depression.

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