Let’s Make Blogging Fun Again

I started blogging seven years ago in 2011. A lot about blogging has changed since then. Honestly, some of those changes have started to suck the life out of my interest in this space and the online spaces of others. When I first starting sharing online, I did so after being inspired by what I saw from a handful of creative people. I loved the stories I came across and all the interesting photos accompanying them. I loved having a peek into someone else’s life and marveling at both how similar and different we all are.IMG_20180826_142648_734.jpgBlogging has made me a better writer and photographer and given me courage and inspiration to share when I previously would not have done so.

But then, as with all things it seems, someone figured out you can make money with these spaces — be it through ads, an online shop, affiliate links or however you choose. You can brand, build a platform, attract a huge audience and following, and in the process, create an image completely your own. You can (and are encouraged to) curate and color coordinate your image feed, your home, yourself, and your whole messy life into a visually attractive color scheme. We document and share both everything and nothing at all.IMG_20180826_142758_185.jpgWe try to be “real” and “raw” while also being positive and uplifting. We want people to know our lives are not perfect or easy, that they’re messy and complicated, but also magical and sprinkled with beauty throughout. So we do our best to share the hard stuff but also to balance it out with all the good. We take in mountains of beauty through the images and stories of others and struggle not to compare our own lives and stories with all the many bits and pieces we see each day.IMG_20180822_165935_270.jpgWe admire the house remodels and exotic trips, the stylish clothes and curated lifestyles, the gourmet food and fruffy coffees, the love stories and darling families, the book launches and success stories — it’s all good — we know that. But there’s just so much of it and sometimes we wonder where we even fit in anymore. What do I have to offer in a world already so full of both beauty and heartache? Hasn’t everything already been shared and said?IMG_20180823_222036_004.jpgIt’s like those rare times when you stumble across something truly interesting and unique and it seems at first that no one else even knows about it — a sweet little coffee shop, a book or song, a little store that sells the coolest stuff. You like it because it’s different and you like it because it’s yours. But then other people start to realize how good the coffee is there or that book you loved is adapted into a movie for the masses and some of the magic is lost.

The little shop you loved gets bought by a big corporation and though they can now mass produce the same results at a fraction of the cost, the unique quality of it is lost. It’s not yours anymore; it’s everyone’s.IMG_20180823_222352_445.jpgThat’s how blogging, and social media in general feel to me now. Where once I read every single post featured on “Freshly Pressed” and truly enjoyed so many of them, I hardly open any of the ones featured now. Why? Because they feel like “big business” now. Political. Corporate. How To — grow, build, expand. I miss reading normal people’s normal little stories. I miss the days when Facebook really was for staying in touch with friends and family rather than selling something or growing a following. I miss photography that was good but didn’t feel quite so professional and curated. I miss the good old days of blogging.IMG_20180823_221837_900.jpgAm I alone in this? I’m genuinely curious how others feel on the matter. Do you like the changes or wish we could go back to the way things were ten years ago?

Obviously I can’t change what anyone else does or how social media operates at large, but I have decided for myself at least to do just that — to go back to the “good old days.”

I would like this space to be my own and not driven by the stats. I want to get back to sharing the stories from my heart and the normal, every day photos that accompany them.IMG_20180823_221713_403.jpgThis week I made a conscious effort to pull my camera out more often and document what was going on around me. Not just for the sake of having something to share online but for the sake of creating and remembering. I want to notice and remember what our life was like, every day, in between — and not just the big trips or special occasions. So the photos in this post are just that — our week. The evening at the park, our Sunday best, snuggling after long days and temper tantrums — all the normal moments of all our normal days. Next week I hope to do the same and the week after that too.

I hope in a year when I look back over this space to have a week-by-week documentation of our lives and all the ways we loved, grew, and changed. Memory and reflection of how our lives and family and story were written and built one normal day on top of another.IMG_20180822_165713_064.jpgMaybe you will join me in taking our blogs back to the inspiration from which they once sprung. Here’s to recapturing some magic and rolling our eyes at the corporation. Fist bump 😉

17 thoughts on “Let’s Make Blogging Fun Again

  1. My first blogging experience was when I was 15 and trying to navigate an eating disorder (2005). In those days blogging felt like the internet’s best kept secret. It was a place to relate to others but still retain your own identity. The crowds were small, so to speak, but certainly more personal.

    I took about a decade long break from blogging and since returning last year I can definitely see the differences you’re mentioning. I think the benefit of blogging in this day and age is reaching more people when you truly have a message to share. But that being said, there’s a lot of extra “stuff” out there to wade through.

    I hope you stay encouraged in your blogging journey!

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    • Exactly. I’ve hardly been on Instagram at all lately for that very reason. Someone is always promoting and trying to sell you something. I already have a million things in mind I’d like to have and don’t need help adding to my list of wants lol. The thing that annoys me the most is when someone actually shares something really beautiful and insightful and all the comments are, “omg where did you get that necklace?!” Everything has been reduced to “stuff”… buying it, wanting it, selling it 😦

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      • Hahha so sad. Most of the time, people don’t even READ captions. And then they ask you questions about what you previosuly wrote in the caption. I daily hesitate on closing my main (bigger) account and only using my writer page.

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  2. There are different boogers with different agendas.I don’t what was the scenario 10 years back because I’ve started blogging recently.But I’ve seen many blogs who are here to share their stories and many true writers. Blogging is also used for business purpose depend on what you want to share and what you want to get.

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  3. Hi Kari!

    You are so right and I was thinking about this topic recently as I was evaluating my own journey with blogging when I recovered old posts and an abandoned blog on wordpress. Funny because the blog I recovered was where I started and reading my old posts made me sad a little because I thought of the direction I took with blogging since then. It is so easy to get caught up on all the IG perfect photos and we forget why we even started to begin with. My personal blog was always my favorite. I saw posts I wrote when I had my first baby and it made me so happy that these were still here. That’s when i blogged because I simply love to write. Thanks for the reminder.

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    • Same here, Deb. It’s so easy so get caught up in the numbers and all the directions we could go with these spaces but I’m really trying to stay focused on what matters to me and what I want to enjoy and remember when I look back at this space. Will I really want to look back at product recommendations and giveaways or would I rather have a virtual scrapbook of my family and our story over the years? The answer is probably different for everyone for different reasons but for me, I want this space to be about story telling and memory… not just fluff and stuff. Thanks for the comment!

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  4. Kari, I totally echo your thoughts. Due to an extreme family/work demands my writing has fallen behind but I will never give up blogging.
    I, too, have lamented the direction of Facebook and blogging in general. I was especially saddened when WordPress ended the Daily Post; and it was sudden, too. The Weekly Photo Challenge was a spark of inspiration. And now it’s gone. I can kind of see why they did it. It was getting “clogged” with meaningless posts just to get your link on their site. Thus, scrolling through to find quality, authentic posts was difficult.
    It’s really tough to see how corporate has hit WordPress and Facebook. They’ve taken our little coffee shop and franchised it. Sad, but like you, I will press on and get back to it.
    P.S. Your family is adorable!!

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    • Exactly how I feel too. But like you, I love writing and blogging and want to keep going even if the platform itself has sadly changed. And thank you about my family… I love the little savages…though my writing did fall off this summer in direct correlation to my son’s no longer needing a nap 😉

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  5. Kari, once again you put my feelings into words! You’re so good at that! I started my blog over 10 years ago to share our one year of teaching in Japan with friends and family back home. I’ve always loved to write, so when that year was up I kept the blog going. I write about different things now… travel, faith, fashion, my battle with cancer … whatever strikes my fancy and whatever I think might interest my readers, but I want it to be genuine, authentic, not commercial and not self aggrandizing. I quickly tire of blogs that are sugary sweet, never dealing with the nitty gritty of life (no one’s life could be that perfect) and ones that are sponsored and all about generating revenue. As far as Facebook is concerned, the only reason I haven’t given up on it entirely is that it still enables me to stay in touch with people that I actually know and to see their photos. It drives me crazy having to filter through so much junk to find those tidbits though! So, please keep sharing the real you! And I must say, the photos of you and your kids are adorable, especially the “kissy” one. The looks on their little faces are absolutely priceless!

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    • I agree. There is so much potential to platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and blogging but sadly they all seem to be overrun by advertising and the numbers. It’s discouraging and I’ve contemplated giving up on it all together but I hope by doing my best with the space I’m in that I’ll at least be able to enjoy the good parts of these spaces without getting caught up in the bad parts.

      And thank you about the photos… my kids had been sick all week and fussy and it was a nice moment of just being silly and snuggling them that I’m happy we captured and get to remember ❤

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