I’ve been blogging now for over thirteen years and I love it. What began as a hobby now generates income and is a passion that fuels me daily. I have so many ideas for future blogs and so many things I want to write about, but blogging is tough. Do I keep going? Are you guys loving my content? or losing interest?
Because the stats speak otherwise. Over the last few weeks I’ve seen a dramatic drop in sessions, session duration and bounce rate. What’s going on?
What is blogging?
Blogging has been around now for years and mine for quite some time. I’d describe a blog as a kind of website but one that catalogues the bloggers life, journey and experiences. Blogs change often with new content being added as bloggers share what their new content. You can get lifestyle blogs, recipe blogs, fashion blogs, travel blogs, blogs about anything and everything really, but bloggers often give up blogging after a year. The reason? Because blogging is hard work, it’s a commitment and to be good at it you need to invest time in learning and be genuinely passionate about doing it.
There are apparently 600 million blogs out there, according to Create Go , a very successful 6 digit income blogger. Blogging is clearly still popular, but is the blog dead now that we have so many other platforms like Instagram, Tiktok and Youtube? Because trends are changing, people seem to want quick, short video content rather than the written word. Should I change what I do and create more video content and stop writing?
Why I love blogging
Discovering blogging, the whole process and the community I’ve discovered has been amazing. Here’s why I love blogging:
- It’s in my blood, I can’t stop now. I just enjoy the whole process of researching, crafting and polishing a blog.
- It’s my job; even though much of what I do here is for my own enjoyment and not bringing in income. I am trying to monetise what I do here with limited success.
- I get to share things I’ve learnt and help people live better lives with their health condition, whether that’s eczema, asthma, allergies or topical steroid withdrawal.
- I feel passionate about raising awareness about these conditions and blogging is one way that I can do that.
- I am always learning from others, researching and exploring new subjects.
- I love writing and it’s just a hobby now, blog ideas are always popping into my head and I have over 80 in planning at any one time which is a bit bonkers.
- It has lead to so many amazing experiences and opportunities from speaking at the Houses of Parliament to being on TV.
- I’ve met so many other lovely bloggers and one thing I love to do is have a blog trawl and support other bloggers by reading, commenting and sharing their amazing content.
- I’ve won awards – Definitely proves this blog isn’t dead! Check out I won the Free From Food Awards Hero Award 2021
- It definitely sowed the seeds for me writing my first took; Anaphylaxis – The essential guide.
So I think we can say that this blog is definitely not dead… not for me anyway. I’ll just keep on blogging and praying you guys are reading my content.
The downsides of blogging
But it’s not all good, it can be heart breaking, hard work and sometimes even a burden.
- Is anyone there? It can often feel like no one is reading or listening to the blogs I write.
- No comment – I rarely get comments on blogs any more. Why is that?
- Declining stats – Blog stats have been steadily declining over the last few weeks. I’m not sure why, the nice weather? people don’t have time to read? my blog is rubbish? I need to move with the times and do something new? all of the above?
- Free marketing – Many businesses expect you to blog and share their information on social media for free and rarely value the hard work that goes into making a blog look great and work well.
- Unsolicited begging emails – I get emails daily from people who have links I must include, requesting link insertions, asking me to share infographics, their own guest blog for free. It’s endless and I often now just delete these. I can’t reply to them all and I don’t owe anyone anything. A lot of these emails are completely irrelevant too and show that they haven’t learnt what’s important on my blog before getting in touch so I’m even less inclined to engage. It’s a no from me!
- Everyone wants a piece of you… and I generally love helping others share their work, get their survey completed, contribute to outreach projects, build advocacy, but these activities are rarely paid and come in thick and fast. It can feel like I am obliged to do all these things with no reward, sometimes that’s wearing. Other times I don’t mind because I’m helping others, but it’s a constant stream of requests.
- Time consuming – It does take up a lot of my time. I can spend hours, whole evenings tweaking, fixing broken links, planning future content, writing blogs. A blog can take me anything from 1-2 hours to sometimes days of editing and anguishing.
- Freebies with no payment – with the request of a blog but no payment doesn’t pay my bills. Sometimes it’s lovely to receive a free gift in exchange for a product review but for me, that requires payment too. Often that’s not on the table so I’ve started to say no.
- Demanding payment – I’m not very good at monetising my blog and find it hard to ask for payment.
So with all these negative aspects on the table, is blogging still a worthwhile hobby or business venture?
Should I continue?
For me, right now, I’m still enjoying it. And I really don’t think blogs are dead. If you’ve ever tried searching Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or TikTok for some content you saw the week or month before, you’ll know it’s not easy. Content is transient and passes out of vision pretty fast.
Is blogging dead or does it have a future?
I have to believe it’s not dead, but some kinds of blogs definitely are. Many of the bloggers I met back when I started have stopped and their blog has disappeared. There are also far fewer bloggers that I can name now. But there is content that people do want and need.
- Solving problems – Helping others navigate difficult challenges and sharing useful tips, helping hacks, advice etc. is not dead. People need this, want it and often thank me for it.
- Sharing products – Product reviews are still definitely popular. I share the things that I find that really help me in my daily life from brands that I love and believe in.
- Fresh content – Often I find that what I’m looking for just doesn’t exist. An example would be when I want to review all the oat milks on the market to see the ingredients in them, this took me hours, and then became a blog – Roundup of oatmilks available in the UK So if it doesn’t exist, and I think I can create it and it will be useful to some of you out there, I’ll put in the hours and create blogs like this. They take me weeks to do but I enjoy it.
- Video content – I’ve been experimenting with video so this is something I’d like to incorporate a bit more, but I’m not really going to go hard on that. There are many other vloggers out there and it’s a skill I’m not going to delve into right now. Writing is most definitely my thing.
- Monetising your blog – It has to generate income or pay for itself. I’ve kind of gone slow on this one. I have affiliate links that generate enough income to keep my stocked up on my favourite skincare and hair care products. When you’re living with a chronic skin condition that’s very helpful. I also earn enough from paid posts to cover the costs of running the blog. Mine has its own server now and I also pay someone to maintain it, keep it safe etc, as well as hosting and domain name fees. The income I make covers the costs of having this blog. I don’t make a lot of money from this blog but I’d love to do that a bit better, so that is one of my aims in 2022.
- Showcasing talent – as a writer it’s also good to have a blog to show that my writing brain is active and also so they can see the kind of content I create. This creates most of my income as people find me through my blog. It’s lead to a lot of consultancy work and brand work so in that way I am making money through the blog.
I think we can agree, blogging isn’t dead… not just yet anyway.
I found this interesting article, Is blogging dead in 2021? which is an interesting read if you’re still reading this! I also found this quote which sums it up nicely…
So what’s the future for the What Allergy blog?
With all that said above, the highs and lows, I’m still in this for the long haul. I love what I’m doing and I’m really proud of what I write, the awards I’ve won and how the blog is going. I know people do value it because I get lots of private messages and emails telling me this. But people rarely put these comments on the actual blog anymore? Why is that?
If you’re thinking of starting a blog, one great resource that I’ve used loads is Productive Blogging.
I know that I have many more years of blogging to come and I hope you’ll all stay with me.
Tell me, why are you still here reading this blog?
Do you read other blogs? What are you favourite blogs?
What would you like to see more of? What could be better?