I started this post in July and never finished it because I couldn't really articulate my feelings on the subject. So I put the idea in draft to sit until I was ready to finish and totally forgot about it until yesterday when I read Marilyn's post over at Ink & Coffee (Here's a Blog Tip: Stop Telling Me What to Do). I felt like I had written something about this before but couldn't remember if I did or not. And when I went back, there it was, in draft in July. So here goes:
When I started out online, all the people I were meeting were also new online, and many were stuck in their lives: home with young kids, bored at work, had just moved and weren't yet working, etc. And then we all got busy, and we moved on to new life things. It's the same story- things have changed, I don't have the time, I need to spend more time with my family, etc. Some of the bloggers stopped blogging, some blog less frequently, some continue to plug away but the content is totally changed from where it started.
With the introduction of Pinterest, it seems like everyone felt like they had to get in on the game- make your posts Pinterest-worthy, make them pinnable, clickable, pretty. The more clicks and page views you get, the more money companies will throw at you to blog about their products! Money and free products! And suddenly everyone was trying to monetize their blog, throwing authentic content out the door for somewhat authentic but somewhat filtered content. It totally works if you have a great partner whose products match perfectly with yours, but if you are blogging about toilet paper, you are going to lose me- unless it's a story about how you walked around with toilet paper stuck to your shoe all day, in which case you have both my attention and my sympathy.
With this came the "rules for a clickable, readable post" - tutorials, DIYs, things that start with a number (5 Ways to Make Yourself Happy!). Again, there is a place for this- there are some huge blogs with a staff of writers who may actually be experts on a subject who have a place posting these types of things (hello, Martha), but for the average blog, these types of posts can lose their shine if that's all that's ever posted. And for the average reader, it can get really frustrating when someone whose posts you love to read takes a sudden turn down a new path you weren't ready for.
So bloggers, I know you are out there. I want your real content. I want to hear your voice and what you think and what's happening in your day. I want to see photos you take and places you go and I want to hear about what you are interested in. And in return I promise to read your posts and leave you comments. I have started to do this already, because I appreciate what you're writing and sharing, and I realize that if I want you to keep it up, I need to engage you. Happily, I see that with the start of the new year it seems that there is a push back to authentic writing and I hope to see this trend continue.
Do you know of a real, authentic blog that's a great read? Share the link in the comments!