I’ve been blogging for almost a decade now, and lately I have to say that it feels a lot different than it used to. A decade ago, or even two years ago, when you blogged, it felt like your voice mattered, Maybe just to a few people–it’s not like I’ve ever had tons of readers or subscribers–but even if the numbers were low, it at least felt like a few sets of eyes might read all the way through a post and either love it or hate it. It’s what made blogging worth the extra effort beyond just furiously scribbling away in a journal, day after day.
Then “content marketing” became a thing–THE thing of the moment/year, it seems–and writing for the sake of writing kind of got lost. Or at least it feels like it to me. Maybe it’s because now I am more of a marketer and my thought/writing process has just evolved away from personal to business. Admittedly, I used to care a lot less and wrote about whatever I felt like, however insignificant it might be. Now, in an era of “personal brand” and “online presence” as key factors in getting and/or keeping a job or building a professional reputation, I feel a lot less free to just write for the sake of writing. Depressing. But true.
But I’m wondering if it’s not just that–if blogging has evolved to be less about expressing one’s thoughts and feelings and more about content marketing–writing with business goals in mind, even if you’re not really a business. Now every company has a blog–or multiple blogs–and that content gets shared on multiple platforms. Twitter is still my main source of referral traffic, then Facebook, Pinterest, and, finally, Linkedin. The same probably goes for most blogs, maybe in slightly different order, but the point is that blog posts are everywhere you look now–how is it possible to stand out in all that noise? Is it possible that people actually read what bloggers write these days, or do they just do a cursory glance-if that–then retweet, +1, like, and share without even reading? And ultimately, does it really matter? I guess my point is that, as a “content creator” formerly known, to myself at least, as a writer, it does matter to me, and reducing the whole writing process down to a numbers game is just kind of depressing. Not to mention not really creativity-inspiring.
Fellow bloggers–what do you think? Do you feel less inspired to create these days now that blogging seems all about numbers and not so much about thoughts and words?