You won’t be blogging in five years

Posted September 10, 2015 by Emily in discussion post, personal / 37 Comments

If you’re reading this now and you’re currently blogging, chances are that within the next five years, you won’t be anymore.

I started my blog six years ago on June 1, 2009. I started it because I had recently finished The Hunger Games, and it rekindled my love of reading. I got a library card and a stack of books and I started reading again. Even though I was married and had a job, I wanted something else to do. Since my reading memory is pretty much non-existent, I thought starting a reading blog would help me remember what I was reading, and give recommendations to family and friends who were looking for their next read.

I thought I was so clever and smart for coming up with this idea.

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(my first ever header)

Turns out, I wasn’t the first.

I discovered the book blogging community on twitter and started realizing there were other bloggers, and ARCs and conferences and a whole community of people talking about books.

My participation in my actual blog has been spotty over the last 6 years. I haven’t put out a post a day, and sometimes it hasn’t even been a post a week or a month. But I’ve never been able to let this thing go.

But, I’ve seen lots of my blogging friends leave their blogs to the wayside to pursue other things.

A few years ago I did a feature called “Blogger Confidential” where I interviewed a mix of established bloggers and newbies. I asked them all the same questions and put their answers in a post every week. This was only two to three years ago and 80 percent of them are no longer blogging.

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It’s no wonder people stop blogging. It’s hard. It pays pretty much nothing. You feel like a tiny fish in a very big ocean.

So, one day you’ll look at your blog and say, I don’t know why I’m doing this anymore.

For some, blogging is a step into being an author, agent, editor, librarian or something else in the bookish world.

For others, school, work, or kids become a priority.

When I get asked what my number one blogging tip is, and I say, have fun, I mean it. Because, chances are, you won’t be blogging in five years, or even two or three. And since the statistics aren’t in your favor on this, you may as well have fun while you’re doing it. Write about what you want. Read what you want. Participate in blog tours or memes or whatever else it is you want. Request ARCs or get your books from the library.

Take this brief moment in the bookish world to create your own space. And don’t be sorry when or if you let it go.

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37 responses to “You won’t be blogging in five years

  1. So true, Emily! I’ve been blogging 6 and 1/2 years, but I took breaks to go back to school and then when I worked part-time, I rarely had the energy to sit down and write after chasing kids around for 4 hours. My blogging history is spotty, too. When I came back last year for more “full-time”, if you will, blogging, I noticed a good chunk of my friends were no longer blogging. Even since then, several more have called it quits for one reason or another. Others have taken breaks and may come back, may not. I miss reading their blogs a lot, but I’m thankful that most of them stuck around via social media so I can still keep in contact. I think once blogging becomes more of a chore than a fun hobby/interest, then it’s time to reassess things. I just hope that some of us will still be around in the future!

    • I hope lots of people will be around, but I definitely understand when they move on to other things. It’s an evolving community, and I definitely miss some of the older voices, and I’m always grateful when newer ones come around.

  2. Hear, hear! I’ve never posted as much on my blog as I did that first year. But I still enjoy blogging and the community and hope I’ll still be bumming around the book world in some capacity in 5 years!

  3. Amen! Having hit the 5 year mark in June I’m just nodding away. I’ve just kept this a really fun, low pressure thing for me — sometimes that looks like posting 5x a week consistently because I want to and sometimes that means not posting for a week and then coming back. It’s easy to care about stuff in the beginning like stats and arcs and followers and what have you but real quickly I learned like what actually do those things bring to my life? How do they matter in the grand scheme? Are they making this fun or stressful? I’m not making a living from this, though I have made some money, so why would I act like it’s a job. I always do say to people that the reason I’ve made it this long is because I’ve kept it fun and doing what *I* feel like the whole time. I don’t DO a lot of things that might be popular blogosphere wise or things that add to my stress because *I* know I don’t want to and it wouldn’t be fun for me. Idk the low approach blogging is great for me and I think is the key to longevity. It doesn’t mean I don’t take what I’m putting out seriously (as in I’m proud of it and I believe it to be quality/what I would personally want to read) but I just don’t let it be the end all be all and when I’m putting out things for the blog it’s because I just can’t NOT…because I genuinely FEEL like it.

    • There is definitely a cycle, and I know that in the first couple years I was way too hard on myself about growth, comments and followers. But, there has to be a payoff for blogging. So, when I don’t feel like reading or writing, I don’t. I only commit to blog tours or special things for books I’m completely excited about. It’s made sticking around that much easier.

  4. I stopped after 10 years and reading became a job. Lately with kids and school and work …I am enjoying reading more . Plus I can attest that blogging has changed so much in the time that I was doing it. I love getting mail and books 🙂 But I am glad to say that with my busy life something had to give ..and it was blogging. But today at my job, I was able to use the Google analytics and help them with their website 🙂 So for that I was glad that blogging helped and knowing both platforms too.

  5. First the Plague, then the divorce, then going back to work, then the MFA. All things that took my time and attention that I used to spend blogging. But I’m thinking one of these days there will be something I really want to say again, in long form. For now, I just use Instagram to feed my need for social connection. I love your blog!

  6. I’m just about to come up to 4 years of blogging and can relate to this post a lot. I was looking at snapshots on my blog on the Wayback Machine and so many of the memes/challenges I participated in were hosted by blogs that don’t exist anymore.

    Like you, when I started I had no idea there was such a community of YA bloggers or that publishers paid any attention to it. Although it is kind of nice to review an ARC I had been waiting for, I find the reviews I like writing the most are ones I’ve written on library or older books. I feel like I can have more fun with it.

    I hope I’ll be blogging for a while if only so I can remember what I read. I really like having a record of my reading.

  7. I’m an old timer with 10 years of blogging. I think I’ve stayed with it because it evolved with my life. Right now I blog mostly about books but before it was mostly about my life. I’m willing to let it evolve more as it wants too. Just keep it interesting for you and don’t worry about anyone else.

    • 10 years! That’s amazing. I have been blogging for about 8-9, but I’ve closed a bunch of the defunct ones that are full of teenage angst. Ha!

  8. My blog is turning 5 in December and I’m still loving every minute of it! I will admit when I started it was for the love of books but it also helped me get the job I have now as the publicity and marketing director at Month9Books. I have been very lucky and very blessed to be able to turn my love of books into a successful job and still keep blogging. I have seen tons of bloggers I respected and adored quit and it makes me sad but I get why.

    Great Post!
    Jaime

    • Yep! I’ve used my blogging skillz to get jobs as well. Not in publishing, but still! I’ve learned a lot about successful social media marketing.

    • I’ve been blogging for over six years too. But, the statistics are definitely not in favor of longer-term blogs. There’s no saying what blogging will be like in another six years. So, I still maintain that you should make your blog what you want for as long as you have it. Whether that’s six months or six years.

  9. I love hearing that there’s someone else out there who started their own blog before realizing there is a whole book blogger community! I did the same thing and it took me forever to figure out that there were others and I should visit their blogs and comment on them. But, I have to say that, had I known how many book bloggers there were and how great many of the blogs are, I probably never would have started my own.
    I agree with you that we have to be in this for the pure love of it to last any length of time. I’m a stay at home mom and this is my outlet to not go crazy….and to use my brain still. I really do it for myself, but obviously want to make my blog the best it can be as well!

    • I think having a blog is a great way to interact with other readers, regardless of how long you’ve been around. I hope you keep making it something you love.

  10. I consider myself an old timer too, and the number of bloggers that have come and gone (and come and gone) is pretty amazing. of course I was among those who came, went and am back. I love your advice: have fun, and it’s the only way to do it 🙂

    • Yep, there is a pretty much constant revolving door. There’s room for everyone, but make your blog and online presence something you’re happy with.

  11. Chrisbookarama lead to me to this post and as she and I are both book blogging ancients (8 years for me…think she might be a little older), this post makes me SAD! Though…it’s true that many of my blogging friends have called it quits over the years. Joyously, many many many are still around and have figured out a way to evolve their little bookish spots.

    Are we always relevant? Probably not…but you’re right that we just need to enjoy what we’re doing. For me, blogging has opened up many other doors–I’m crafting and quilting a lot more than I would have, I’ve met wonderful friends who I consider some of my best, and I constantly feel like I have a great support group now that I’m also a mother. I’m continually grateful that there are others who still stick around in this crazy little venture.

    • There are so many good things that come out of blogging that aren’t always directly related. So, it’s not a given that everyone will quit after a few years. Or, if they do, those friendships continue.

  12. I always honestly wonder how long I will keep blogging! I do LOVE it and love this community but truthfully, this maybe be one of my longest-lasting hobbies (outside of playing sports or doing choir in school — I don’t think organized activities count for me because it’s literally a thing that you really can’t quit at any time). So far I’m still in love with it but it’s amazing how many things have changed over the years and how much I’ve had to change what I’m doing to still enjoy it. I’ve always made sure I’m doing this for fun and that it stays fun and interesting — otherwise it’s just more work on top of my full-time job! This is like an escape. It’s my place to talk about the fun stuff. I hope I am still blogging in five years but I totally understand the burnouts and decreased activity to just reading or just having a social media account and not posting full posts all the time!

    • Lots of people transition into just talking about books on twitter, instagram, or goodreads. And there definitely isn’t anything wrong with that. A lot of what makes people successful at it is a willingness to change.

  13. I really hate admitting to myself that you’re right. Blogging is such an important part of my life. I honestly don’t think I’d still be here if I hadn’t started three years ago. I met my best friend/co-blogger because of book blogging—it terrifies me to think that I never would have met her if I didn’t blog. That part of me wants to completely ignore this post, but a bigger part of me understands.

    My life has changed incredibly since I started blogging, so I can’t even imagine how different it’ll be in five years. Stopping blogging doesn’t mean losing the friendships I’ve made, or suddenly becoming a ‘one book a year’ reader. It’s just a new chapter.

    • I’ve met amazing friends blogging. Some of whom no longer blog. And those relationships continue to last, though they have changed. For the ones I’m really close to, we had other things in common than just blogging. So, an end to posting regularly doesn’t have to mean disrupting those relationships.

  14. You have definitely given me food for thought, Emily! I am one of the older bloggers, having started in 2009. I guess I don’t really care anymore. I love writing for my website and have no intention of quitting any time soon. No, I am not writing reviews anymore, but I am still reading and still sharing what I read. However, I am more than what I read and therefore, I have tried to find ways to incorporate those as well. Perhaps this makes my site more of an online journal, but then again, who cares? I still have people who follow me and leave comments. I interact with friends and I say what I want to say. That is the most important thing, in my opinion.

    • I think a lot of the traditional reviewing has been replaced with more storytelling and curating content. Which is pretty cool! I love seeing all the different ways people write about their lives and their interests.

  15. I think 80% is too high. Most of the blogs I read are ones that have been around for a while, many over five years like me. But people do come and go, some sooner than others, and I don’t think many of us will do this our entire lives. As long as we’re having fun, that’s seems long enough to me.

    • I’m not sure what the actual statistics are for all book bloggers. The 80% number comes from the number of bloggers no longer blogging who I interviewed 2-3 years ago for Blogger Confidential.

  16. I’m an “old timer” too, I’ve been around since 2007, and I agree with most of what you’re saying here. Most of the first blogs I found in ’07 and ’08 are gone now, but some of them are still around and those remain my favorites to this day. I’m thankful for what blogging has given me, but I’ve definitely cooled off in recent years. Life changes and I’ve tried to evolve my blog along with life, but it’s tricky. I don’t plan to go anywhere though!

    • Finding the balance is tricky once the romance has worn off a little. But, it’s definitely not a given that everyone will let it go!

  17. If some of you are “old” I am ancient. I started my blog in 2003. And I’m still blogging, still enjoying it. I do think blogging and the Internet have changed the way I read, certainly the way I find new books to read. But I never did put a lot of pressure on myself to get a lot of followers or comments or even to post every day or so many times a week. I just enjoy writing what I write when I write it.

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