Why we still love blogging

It’s a new year, and with it comes a renewed sense of purpose across the Internet, with everyone determined to add more good to their lives and get rid of the bad. We chase after lofty goals, commit to new hobbies, and try to get on top of the latest trends.

Like any other pursuit, as time goes on, the practice of blogging inevitably changes — and, naturally, at this time of year, people question its continued relevance. Maybe that’s why every year seems to start off with cries that this will be the year blogging officially dies.

Well, it hasn’t died yet — and we don’t think blogging will ever go out of style. And if our reader response says anything, you agree! (Psst — we asked our readers and customers their thoughts on this topic; you’ll find a few of their responses throughout the post below.)

Personally, after six years of a mostly love relationship with blogging, I began to feel disenchanted with the practice. What used to be a non-negotiable in my calendar turned into an annoyance, and eventually something I continually postponed until I found my blog gathering dust for several months at a time. While I’m still working on incorporating blogging back into my regular routine, I have noticed something — I am much happier with my work when I make time to blog. More specifically, I am much happier when I blog because I have something to share, and not just because it’s what I’m supposed to do for my business.

I love being able to look back at old posts and see things I used to worry about that have eventually worked themselves out! I also love being able to get all my thoughts out or share encouragement in one place. Sometimes Twitter isn’t enough! – India Hill, booksandbighair.com

There’s a certain magic in getting your thoughts out in black and white. I think at its core, blogging helps you connect with the world around you. Sometimes that’s through making sense of your own thoughts, and sometimes it’s through finding others who share your thoughts and experiences. Sure, you can connect through social media, but those spaces are increasingly noisy. On your blog, you control the conversation — it’s your platform.

My co-founder Victoria notes that she doesn’t really enjoy Instagram anymore. Interestingly, she browses it more like she read blogs in the old days, going straight to the profiles she loves the most rather than sorting through a feed manipulated by crazy algorithms. And, speaking of crazy algorithms, they seem to turn the blogging industry upside down every couple years. First, there was Facebook, and people who built massive followings on their pages suddenly tanked in traffic. Then there was Pinterest, and making a living solely through pinning affiliate links became a thing of the past. Now it’s Instagram’s turn — and a lot of bloggers are realizing, yet again, they can only control what they own. All signs point back to the blog — having a home base for original content is always a sure bet.

We also believe that blogging is, and has always been, the place to be experimental, honest, and real. You aren’t limited by the restraints of a specific platform, in the sense that you can only write so many characters or add a certain number of images to your post. You aren’t competing with thousands of other voices in a feed. Sure, you can be real and genuine in an Instagram caption or story — but the conversation is often one-sided. People may be leaving less blog comments these days, but they tend to be more thoughtful and discussion-oriented, rather than fly-by “love this” type comments. Instagram just doesn’t foster the same sense of community as blog comments, where readers can have a focused discussion.

I started blogging as a creative outlet from my career as an accountant. My friends were always asking me where I got my clothing and I loved sharing my finds with others. I’ve been blogging for over four years. As my life has changed, so has my blog. Now as a stay at home mom to two young children, ages 1 and 2.5, I continue blogging because it helps me retain part of my pre-child identity. I still love sharing, but now it’s just as much about sharing my motherhood journey as my favorite jeans. I certainly haven’t hit it “big” and my posts are more inconsistent, but there’s nothing I love more than escaping to a coffee shop and writing for a few hours. I return a better mother and partner. I also love the blogging community. Contrary to what some say, I have always found it to be inclusive and welcoming! – Erica Kartak, luvinthebubble.com

Of course, the frustrating part of blogging is that ultimately, no matter why we blog, we want our voices to be heard — and getting people to click over to a site when they can get everything in one feed becomes increasingly harder. Social media is never going away and will continue to be a distraction. But time and time again, as social media changes, people always come back to good content. That’s the one thing that never changes. Good content helps people connect on a deeper level and keep coming back.

I think that the quality of content will have to strive to keep up as we are all lead by visual inspiration due to social media. I think it’s the era of quality over quantity. No one has time to read your 5-6 posts a week anyways, so why not put your effort into 2-3 REALLY STRONG pieces of content?

The struggle is real between blogging and social media platforms. People love the instant gratification of social media & sometimes will never take that extra effort to click on the link to view the post in it’s entirety. Social media has made the blogging industry way more frustrating which leads me back to creating content on the blog that is quantity over quality. It has to be good to get people to visit your page and stick around to read your content that you worked so hard to create. None the less, blogging isn’t dead! – Kristin Mansky, modishandmain.com

Ultimately, we’ll continue blogging for as long as we have something to say and share with the world. How about you?

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Do you still love blogging? Why did you start blogging, and what keeps you going? We’d love to hear what you think, let us know in the comments!

Last Day for Migrations!

We can’t believe we’re already at the end of January! That means two things: we’re 1/12 of the way through this year, but more importantly, tomorrow’s the LAST day to save on your Blogger to WordPres migration! Through tomorrow, enjoy $25 off all WordPress migrations! That means for just $300, we’ll move your blog from Blogger to WordPress. And, you’ll even get a shiny new <em>press theme as part of your purchase, so you can put your best blog foot forward.

Ready to migrate your blog?
Simply head to this page and fill out the simple form to get the process started. After you submit your migration request and payment, we’ll get in touch ASAP to begin your migration process. It couldn’t be easier! Be sure to use code NEWYEAR to get $25 off your migration service. The code will be good through Jan. 31!

Everything you need to get started on WordPress

everything you need to get started on wordpress

Thinking about switching to WordPress but not sure where to start? We got you. Below, our co-founder Lisa is sharing a checklist for everything you need to get started on WordPress!

1. Choose a domain name.

We discussed it earlier this week, but just to review: think of your domain name as your address on the Internet. A domain is the string of letters you type into a web browser to get to a site. An example of a domain is google.com, or empressthemes.com. It’s pretty important (obviously!).

Of course, half the battle is coming up with your blog name. We love these creative tips from Melissa Cassera and Melyssa Griffin, and don’t forget to check out our key questions to ask yourself about your brand vision for a little extra inspiration. Our number one recommendation when naming your blog is to check for domain name availability (we use Domai.nr for this!). While it’s important to choose a name that fits your content, your name won’t do you any favors if the only domain name available is hard to type and remember! If possible, we recommend purchasing a domain that follows the title of your blog, without hyphens, at a .com address. See our help desk article for more things to consider when purchasing a domain name. Once you’ve chosen a domain name, scoop it up as soon as possible! We purchase all of our domain names at Namecheap. Learn more about purchasing your domain here.

Above all, don’t stress too much about your name. One of the great things about blogging is it can take you to unexpected places, and it’s perfectly normal to outgrow your first blog name. You can always rebrand in the future.   Keep reading “Everything you need to get started on WordPress”