The truth about long-term blogging

Happy 2nd Blogiversary

I have been reliably informed by WordPress that today is the second anniversary of me starting up my blog – 12th July 2013 – a momentous date. I believe there’s some statistic floating around out there that 90% of blogs that fail do so within the first 90 days and there are a huge number of blogs failing every day.

So why has blogging been something I’ve stuck with so consistently over the past two years? I generally get bored of most new fads in my life within a few months. I also get interested in things that I see other people pursuing, particularly if they are doing a really great job of it – a little voice goes off in my head “I could do that just as well, if not better” when in actual fact people that do things well just tend to make them look easier than they are. It’s generally when I realise that most things done well take a lot of time and effort that my interest begins to wane.

I guess the difference with blogging is that I started blogging without really ever having read a blog – I just thought it would be a fun way to have a platform on which to publish my own ‘stuff’ whatever that ‘stuff’ might be. I didn’t start from an assumption based on anyone else’s take on how to blog, what to blog about or who to blog for. And even now, after two years and all the ways in which you are sucked in to performing for statistics/traffic/kudos/awards, I still just love the writing process.

I think the fact that I haven’t really tried to monetise my blog also means that I haven’t had a direct way of measuring success or failure – only earning 50p in 6 months might have disheartened me somewhat!

I do tend to blog in different ways at different times – lately I’ve been trying to write funnier posts and really discover the humour and push myself in that way, but I also loved my photo-heavy entry about our little adventures at English Hampshire Lavender which allowed me to not only document the day but also practice my photography skills and show off the finished result.

Whilst blogging can be a solitary enterprise, I’ve discovered that it is kind of nice to feel like part of the parent blogging community and the friends I’ve made have had a huge influence in giving me the momentum to carry on even when I’ve felt disheartened for any number of reasons.

Because of all of these things I am still blogging and I really believe that I will always be a blogger – it’s just part of who I am these days.

Do you feel the same way? Or if you haven’t started a blog, do you think you would and if so, would you make it a success?

 

And then the fun began...

36 thoughts on “The truth about long-term blogging

    • Thanks Elfa! Not as active as you now I reckon and I haven’t been able to think about pursuing all the lovely opportunities that you have had either but I know that comes with a price of time and sometimes tricky scheduling! Xx

  1. Congratulations. When I read this I thought wow we have a lot of similarities. I have been blogging for only 9 months. I too started without any real knowledge of what blogging was and had barely read any blogs. I agree that for me it is the process of writing that is important. I don’t even know what is successful! I know that through links I am receiving more comments and that is heartening. I am trying not to get caught up in the statistics. Well done for sticking with it. And any tips would be appreciated!
    Catie recently posted…I’m forever blowing bubbles: The truth behind the photo storyMy Profile

    • I think the only tips I have are just keep on making the time to post at least two or three times a week and it doesn’t matter if you do a bit more some weeks and a bit less some weeks. As long as you are relatively active in the community (and I’m by no means a social media fiend but I do dip in and out – hence probably why I’ve never made it into the Tots100 top 500 ever whereas people blogging for a similar length of time were right up there within 6 months). It all depends what you want out of it I think. X

  2. I could have written this!! I’m about 6 weeks in and I’m quite faddy too. I wonder if it will last beyond the three months; who knows? I have my off days and my great days. Like you, I’m not trying to emulate anyone but I’m still trying to find my way which is rather tricky! Great read, and congrats on the blog-iversary!
    Jemma recently posted…The End of Fussy Eating ?My Profile

    • I think after about 6 months you definitely get to the point where you start to try and blog more strategically or with some sort of goal in mind anyway. That was the point that I suddenly discovered linkies (bit slow I know!) and began to get to know people. Thanks for reading X

  3. You are an old timer now πŸ˜‰ I like writing “funnier” posts – well I find them funny at least. The danger with monetising is that you lose who you are, but it’s the only way I can work with my husband working such long hours no other job would fit in. Last year when my MIL was dying I found I couldn’t really write personal posts, and funny was off the agenda. I still blogged but it was more recipes and reviews. It helped with distraction, but now I would like to go back to more writing for me. I just need to get better at saying no to people. X
    Louise recently posted…Goodbye Nursery 3My Profile

    • I have definitely found that my interest has waned in certain blogs which I used to visit regularly once they very obviously began monetising and writing lots of reviews and sponsored posts. That is one of the reasons why I feel so torn about going down that road myself although I absolutely love the idea of being offered days out and family experiences to review the way so many others are – I always feel so envious and *sigh* about my lack of ‘success’ in that area when I read about other peoples’ fab opportunities. I think there is definitely an element of therapy to it and it is just a nice way of processing your thoughts, feelings and experiences too. Thanks for commenting Louise X

  4. Happy blogiversary!

    It’s good that you’re experimenting with different post styles – I think that’s half the fun of blogging, trying on different clothes to see what fits, as it were. It’s good for keeping the enthusiasm going and for trying out new ideas. Eight years and five blogs later, I’m still experimenting with different topics and styles: blogging’s a great way of reinventing yourself every now and then.
    Tim recently posted…Not forgottenMy Profile

    • Wow, eight years Tim! Amazing. You really are in it for the long haul! Whilst it would be nice to feel like I have a clearly defined niche I think you’re right, experimenting with all the possibilities of the medium definitely keeps it fresh for me.

    • It’s been such a great way to make loads of new ‘virtual’ friends Mel. I’d love to meet up with you and Louise and ReneΓ© and Fiona again for a London girls get together too though (me being honorary ‘London’ as that’s where I’m from!) X

  5. Happy Blog Birthday Sam! Two years πŸ™‚ It goes fast, doesn’t it?! It is a bit like having another child… Love your blog, and your writing and I’m glad that you’re continuing to write for you. Only way to do it really, although it can be hard to stick to at times. The community really is the most amazing thing isn’t it? I never would have believed it before I found it x
    Sara | mumturnedmom recently posted…Review and Giveaway: Odylique by Essential CareMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Sara! It is like another child – in fact I feel a post coming on! Before I started this the idea of making friends out of it just wasn’t on the radar at all – I had no idea either! It’s been a massive benefit for sure πŸ™‚ Xx

  6. Congrats lovely! I definitely think you should expand to the funnier posts. The one about the Pantene was so funny. I’m the same and haven’t pushed monetising my blog. I like writing and I love the social and social media side so will continue to feeds those habits!! Xx #thetruthabout
    Sarah Howe recently posted…Hotel IpadMy Profile

    • That’s such a nice thing to read Sarah – I always think I’m so funny but unless someone else concurs it’s just all in my imagination πŸ™‚ It’s a nice thing to just enjoy as a hobby isn’t it? I always think there’s no cut off point or unwritten rule that you can’t start monetising at a later point if that’s what you decide to do – it’s totally up to us isn’t it? X

  7. Happy 2nd blog anniversary Sam! I agree, the non monetization thing really helps to keep it going…as its pure passion which is the biggest motivator in my book! #thetruthabout

    • Agreed! And as I commented to Sarah there is no need to feel like it has to be one thing or the other – we are allowed to change our minds about why we blog later down the line if that’s what we want. X

  8. Happy Bloggeversary Sam, I started the same as you (having not really read other blogs) and just write what popped into my head. I kinda go through phases when I love it and then really don’t have the motivation for a while. Those little breaks do help me to come back to it with fresher eyes. And the community that comes along with it is amazing! xx
    Not A Frumpy Mum recently posted…10 Signs It’s Almost The End Of TermMy Profile

    • I know what you mean Jo – I really fall in and out of love with it at times but it’s always something I feel drawn back to no matter what. And yes, it does help to have the breaks to keep motivated for sure. Xx

  9. Happy blogiversary(sp?), Sam! I definitely relate to the faddiness (SP?!) being the same. Starting things, then not following them through. For me, blogging hasn’t been that way. I had forgotten how much I love writing, and this is the first time I’ve written anything that was totally for me. In the past, any writing I’ve done has been for essays or application forms. Being able to write exactly what I want, in my very own style, has been refreshing and exciting, and something I’ve wanted to come back to over and over again. So over 18 months in, I’m still blogging. My blog is thriving and growing and this is a great feeling!

    That’s really interesting that most blogs fail after 90 days. Wow.
    xxx
    Fiona @ Free Range Chick recently posted…Camping with friends in CornwallMy Profile

    • I agree Fiona – I really have been able to re-discover my love of writing through the blog. I guess a lot of us must be very alike when it comes to true love of writing and expressing ourselves through the written word. So nice to feel like your blog is thriving Xx

  10. Happy 2nd blog anniversary to you! Well done for sticking at it Sam. It’s obvious you get so much from it. Since I re-evaluated the blog/life balance I feel it’s now something I can continue with for a long time too. I find it such a release to write and share thoughts. I always enjoy your posts and this is one of my fav linkies, so keep ’em coming. xx
    teacuptoria recently posted…Your Best Is Good EnoughMy Profile

    • I wonder how many of us have to have that re-evaluation point where we realise that we’ve overdone it and need a blog/life balance in order to continue? I’m really glad that you will be continuing Tor because yours is one of my favourite blogs Xx

  11. Happy 2nd blogiversary! I think enjoying the writing process is the best reason of all to blog and I love the blogging community too – glad that you still find it all just as enjoyable after two years and have managed not to get too sucked into boosting stats etc. Always love reading your blog and managed to keep going for two years is an achievement in itself! Thanks for hosting #thetruthabout – so lovely to join in again! πŸ™‚
    Louise recently posted…What it means to be a heart parentMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Louise. It is clear that you love the writing too. It’s also just so nice to have created something totally personal which other people are able to share πŸ™‚ X

  12. Happy 2 years of blogging πŸ™‚ , it soon flies by doesn’t it!.
    I think the whole process of blogging is capturing.
    And of course you get to meet some awesome new people along the way.
    Thanks for hosting x

    • That’s probably very true Ren – and maybe I’m just not ready to have it feel like work at this point even though I envy other peoples’ opportunities from time to time. It was definitely over-taking my life at one point but I’ve compromised a lot since that time. Xx

  13. Happy blogaversary Sam! I think it’s crucial to do what makes YOU happy, not anyone else. You don’t need tangible markers of success – you have a space to share your stuff, and a sense of belonging with your community. Interesting stat about 90% of blogs folding – wonder if that’s because they realise it’s not as easy as they think, it takes a lot of hard work, and they’re trying to be something they’re not? I always try to write from the heart, rather than a sense of obligation – works for me. Monetising a blog sounds like a lot of stress and hard work! Best to do what makes you happy I think. xxx #TheTruthAbout (sorry v behind on commenting!)
    Leigh – Headspace Perspective recently posted…Sunday Thought July 18, 2015: Don’t Wait for a Life-Changing Event To Change YouMy Profile

    • Thanks Leigh. I think the statistic is not that 90% of bloggers fail but more that of those who do fail, 90% fail within the first 90 days. I’m not really sure what those who fail were expecting from the experience – I’ve been hooked from the word go! Xx

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