People often ask, “Why don’t you write for your own site anymore? You never seem to pen anything for yourself that’s more than 140 characters or not very vague threats and misconceptions about the world from any of your schizophrenic Twitter accounts.” (Quote not verbatim.)
And the answer to that is yes and no. I’m writing all the time actually, more than I ever have–just not on a site that I know has plateaued.
Like all good (or in this case, painful) trends, blogging is on its way out. Or at the very least, personal blogging is. I was lucky and old enough to hop on the digital soapbox when it was still a somewhat novel idea, and its initial intent was as pure as a virgin, white van with the words “free candy” hastily scribbled on the side.
My first blogspot was a way to let my family and friends know I was alive the summer I spent in London when I studied abroad, and after checking the site analytics and realizing a surprising number of people were either stalking or hate-reading it, my blog became more of a bastardized amalgamation of thoughts and satire you see today.
Why is blogging dying? Well, let’s think long and hard for a second. When was the last time you heard of a cool, new blogger who’s “blowing up”? You haven’t. The earlier–and in most cases, better–bloggers moved into brands and magazines. Their blogs did their job and got these people employed as editors and tastemakers in their respective interests.
Then there are the other, larger bloggers who blog for a living through selling ad space, promotional content, and using affiliate linking sites. Part of my job working in social media for a brand is connecting and collaborating with some these bloggers, and the difference between them and the other imitation blogs that seem to pop up like gophers in the deepest, darkest parts of cyberspace is that they actually know what they’re doing. They have a plan, long and short term goals, and most importantly, they have the time to do it because it’s their job.
The other reason why I don’t “blog” like I did in college is, well, who the hell am I to give lifestyle or fashion advice? As I learn through experience about the way of life that’s generally perpetuated on the Internet (I specialize in the delusional neo-prep department) I realize how much more I need to learn before going on a tangent about it. If you’re not an expert in the field, sit the fuck down. And no, your Pinterest board on chevron doesn’t count.
That said, I don’t regret the hours and years I’ve wasted on my site. It helped me get my past two jobs at some of my favorite brands, and it has led to cool opportunities, allowing me to rethink my priorities–mainly, not doing things for free anymore.
If you have a personal blog, don’t think of this as an attack. It’s merely my two cents on what’s happening in the digital realm. As things continue to move from print to digital, the market will become even more saturated and only the better branded and stronger sites with advertising dollars behind them will survive.
I’m not out of the game, just working for it.
And trying to write that stupid, stupid book.