From Sarah, With Joy

Writer querying two novels and some other word babies. I tend to effervesce.

New post every Monday

Monday, December 9, 2013

Is Blogging Stuck in a Loop?

I'm gonna start with a caveat.

I love blogging. Adore it. I especially love the generous, supportive and intelligent people in the blogging community. I have learned more from the blogging community about the publishing industry than anywhere else. I've made tighter connections here on this blog than I have anywhere else online, and every time one of you amazing people leave a comment, I smile and my day gets a little brighter. I plan on being around the blogosphere for a long time to come, whether you want me or not.

That being said, its no secret that blogging in general has been in a bit of a steady decline in popularity almost since I started. But I think that maybe, from my perspective, blogging has reached its sort of plateau. The serious bloggers still around are staying, and the drop in blog readership has leveled out. I could be totally wrong, that's just my perspective, and who knows what will happen to blogging in the future.

All that's not really my concern, though. I don't care if blogging is no longer the most popular social media outlet around, I love it anyway. The thing I've been thinking about lately--and I'm going to be totally honest here--is that as I've been doing my reading, as fun and enlightening as each post is, I'm seeing the same topics discussed over and over again. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Hearing important advice in new and fresh ways, repeatedly, is how we learn. The key lessons need to be repeated. The danger--the thing I'm worried about--is that I feel myself getting repetitive.

This isn't just a case of hearing similar lessons from various bloggers. I know it's just a function of being around the blogosphere for a while, but I'm more and more frequently at a loss for intriguing and useful topics that I haven't discussed already.

I want this blog to grow and evolve. That is important to me. I want to be as informational and entertaining as possible. What I've been thinking about lately is how to do that. How to keep this blog from getting stuck in a loop, as it were.

The way I see it, there are two main categories of blogs that I personally find interesting. The first is on the more business, informative side. Examples of this type of blog would be The Business Rusch by Kristine Rusch or Anne R. Allen's blog. Both these fabulous ladies have incredibly valuable insight and inside info and experience in the industry. The second category is a more personal, humor-focused style. Two ladies that have found pretty wild success with this are The Bloggess, Jenny Lawson and Allie Brosch of Hyperbole and a Half.

I would love this blog to be equally enjoyable and informative as these ladies' blogs, but the thing is, I am way behind Kristine and Anne in intelligence, experience, and insight and am nowhere near as hilarious and witty as Jenny and Allie. I am doing my best to take lessons from these wonderful ladies, and all of you other amazing bloggers, but as the indomitable Walt Disney said, you can't beat pigs with pigs. These ladies do what they do brilliantly, and nobody can do what they do in the same way. I need to evolve in my own way, continue finding my own voice and niche.

All this is a rambly and round-about way of asking for your input. Do you agree that bloggers need to evolve to avoid being stuck in a rut? What do you believe is the best way for them to do it?

And also, what other examples can you give me of bloggers who have succeeded in evolving their voice and niche in this new world of blogging?

Sarah Allen

21 comments:

  1. This is difficult...trying to keep it interesting or being bombarded by a book your. It can be overwhelming and is time consuming...blogging all the way around.

    Do your best and God will do the rest.

    Hugs and chocolate!

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  2. Hmm...that is a tough question!!! Sometimes I even find the informative blogs I once loved are becoming a little stale.
    And yes, blogging isn't the most popular as it once was, but it is where I find I get to know people the best.

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  3. Finding something interesting to write about is difficult, I agree. Not sure about the rut though. Difficult question.

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  4. After four years, I admit I've seen a lot of the same writing topics repeated. There are still new ideas out there, and Anne's site is a perfect example of that.
    What's the second type of blog you enjoy? Really hoping it's entertainment...

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  5. passion attracts...that being said, i think many forget the social aspect of blogging...they think their content or art (writing/poetry/craft/whatever) will draw people in...and it will on a very large scale...i think as the writer you have to constantly evaluate what you are doing...be willing to try new things....

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  6. I don't get a chance to read many blogs anymore, but the ones I still read are the bloggers who are genuine, witty, and make me feel as if we're just a bunch of friends having a conversation over some coffee and cupcakes. For me, the subject isn't nearly as important as your opinion on the topic.

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  7. Yes, I definitely agree that I hope to evolve as a blogger. I still don't really know what I'm going for/doing yet ha. And it's been a lot more work than I thought it would be. But you're right: the community is amazing.

    I love the Skunkboy blog (Katie). I think her blog is adorable and she's so talented.

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  8. I decided early on that blogging about writing wasn't ever going to be my focus. I saw there were plenty of people out there doing a fine job and I had little to add. Oh, I've posted a few things, but mostly my blogging journey has been about learning, about sharing a few stories and about meeting a whole bunch of wonderful people.

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  9. I'm at the point where I use the blogosphere not only to share my love for reading and writing, but to experience the way those things make others feel, too. There are some blogs I continue to follow because I know I'll learn from them, business wise, but really my main reason is the social aspect. And I'm completely okay with that.

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  10. I find that even though topics do spiral and return, they resonate with me at different times depending on where I am in my writing. A post I may sort of blip over one month I'll be bookmarking and pouring over the next.

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  11. I think there was a dip around the time Google Reader closed down, probably people using that as an excuse to duck out. It can be very time consuming so perfectly understandable.

    mood
    Moody Writing

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  12. I love Hyperbole and the Bloggess. I'll check out the others you mention. I sometimes feel a little down about blogging. Why am I doing it? To build a platform for a book? Keep my skills sharp? Get attention? Is it worth it?

    But then I realize I don't need a reason. There's just so much awesome stuff that wants to come out, and the joy of turning a word almost perfectly and mulling over it until you get it just right is what matters.

    Thanks for the opportunity to reflect on this. I needed it this morning. Happy to have found you.

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  13. I love blogging .... but with honest, fun people who fit in the category of "real." Blogging is a complete education. I learn more from bloggie friends than from any other source.
    I'm delighted at your enthusiasm for blogging

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  14. I've just been blogging for a little over a year. I'm still just kind of all over the place. I try to be witty and funny and write stuff that puts a smile on folks' faces.
    I'm trying to cover the goofy-Southern-engineer-nerd-mom niche.

    http://psb1969.blogspot.com/

    Sarah, I really appreciate your recent comments and visits to my blog! Hoping to make your blog roll soon.

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  15. I used to love blogging and did more than I do now. But that was back when I had a blog that focused on writing and the publishing industry. When I lost my domain to a troll, I decided to start anew and focus on my target audience. But it's not easy. Before, I would visit any blog I wanted (granted they all belong to writers) and comment. Now it's trickier. Not everyone will be interested in my blog posts because they deal with my book or NA/upper YA/romance.

    So now I don't blog as much....

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  16. It is quite possible for certain blogs to go stale.

    I know with my first one, it was becoming a mixture of becoming stale, irrelevant and tedious. So I took a step back, gathered my thoughts for a moment, and relaunched myself with a brand new blog.

    I know it's not gonna be easy to recultivate a readership after 5 1/2 years of blogging, but I'm up to the challenge of doing it.

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  17. Blogs can go stale. But I believe that a person can too. I haven't posted in months, yet it's not been because I haven't had good ideas to post, I've got loads in fact. However life has prevented me,time wise, to post but as above its good to step back and gather yourself. January is my new revival.

    As for blogs going stale and views in a plateau, my blog personally has increased despite not posting. This year has seen it blossom after 4 years. I believe that you're right in your concept of repetition but for me I feel that the earlier, even rougher, posts still hold a draw for people searching. This I honestly think is key. What originally showed promise, the spark, within your writing. Find it keep it and let that evolve, revive and push future writings around it.

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