Lake Atitlan, Panajachel, Guatemala

“Reading and writing are acts of empathy and faith. Guard that trust carefully — in this rapidly changing business, it’s the only sure thing.” ~Erin Keane
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it."
~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Hang On to What You've Got

A recent post here on Book Marketing Buzz states that WordPress has 65,000,000 blogs (!!!) with 100,000 new ones created daily. Tumblr has over 102 million blogs. LiveJournal has 63 million. Weebly, 12 million. Blogger isn't mentioned in the article, although surely it would have similar numbers if not higher.

Lately, people are saying they're burned out on blogging and blogging is dead and what's the point and it's no fun anymore. I've wondered the same things myself. The numbers, however, say blogging is not dead. The big question remains: is it dead for you or for me personally?

In 2014 with all the changes going on in my life, I let this blog slip. I have an author website as well and I figured if Coming Down the Mountain languished it wouldn't be any great loss. People could find me via my WordPress site, and I could still post there whenever I felt like it.

After settling in a different country away from friends and family, I got more active here as part of my need for social interaction with English-speakers. Visiting and commenting on posts, even when I wasn't posting much myself, I realized how many of you on Blogger are my friends. I don't want to lose track of you.

Sure, anyone can find out about me and my books from my website. Sure, there'd be no great loss in the world if I stopped posting on Coming Down the Mountain. Life goes on. Only the truth is, I need blogging. It connects me to people who love to read and write like I do.

So whether it's for a writing outlet, or to have an online presence for marketing purposes, or because blogging can be an enjoyable, effective way to keep in touch with other people--if you've started a blog and kept it up for years, why stop now?

I think it's definitely worth hanging on to what you've got. Then again, if the purpose of one's blog has ended, perhaps it's time to move on. What do you think? Is maintaining a blog worth it to you, or not?

47 comments:

  1. I enjoy blogging, and reading other blogs. Like you, it helps me connect with people.

    Every year I hear blogging is dead. Most likely, the people saying this are people who just don't want to blog anymore. If anything blogging is very much alive and expanding. Many people drop out, but even more jump in.

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    1. Maria, It's so funny how the blogging is dead pronouncement comes and goes. As long as there's nothing else just like it to push it aside, I think it's here to stay.

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  2. I still enjoy it, although I've been around long enough to see many come and go. But it's my preferred mode of social media and I intend to continue for a long time.
    Plus there's this little thing called the IWSG. Can't quit that!

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    1. Alex, I really enjoy those IWSG posts on every first Wednesday. That and the A to Z Challenge are the blog events I get most involved in, although I haven't done IWSG myself for some time I like to read everyone else's.

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  3. Blogging is my favorite social media. However, I'm making some changes this year because I need more time to write fiction. While blogging is my favorite, it's also the most time intensive. I'll still be at the Tiki Hut, just not as often.

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    1. Carol, I enjoy Twitter a lot but don't get much reward from it, meaning personal interaction, like I do with blogging. Posting only a couple times a month seems like enough for a blog this days, I think. Although I like to visit blogs a lot more often than that.

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  4. Some people may be burned out on blogging and they are the ones who are most visible to those who have been around like we have, but blogging as a whole I think remains strong. Also, there are so many types of blogs and a blogger who stays in a particular niche sees so little of what's out there. This is one aspect where the A to Z Challenge can fulfill a need--connecting bloggers who may have not encountered each other before.

    I will continue to maintain my blogs though I may not always immerse myself in the often time-consuming activity of blogging. And when does the purpose of blogging end? When one dies? Unless a blog is related to a business that we abandon or something of that nature, why give it up if it relates to something that interests us? Especially writers who plan to keep writing, their blog should remain as one conduit for connecting with audiences as well as those within the community who can help us and provide us with various forms of support.

    I do agree with what Carol has said though. Time is an important commodity to consider.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Lee, I've found so many interesting blogs via the A to Z Challenge. It definitely helps to expand my horizons. You've done an amazing thing creating and building it. I'm looking forward to it again this year.

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  5. For me, it's worth it. Blogging is one of the social media outlets I actually enjoy. So this is a wonderful way for networking but also seeing what's going on with the rest of my writerly buds and friends, as well as discovering new ones.

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    1. Same here, Angela. When I realize how much enjoyment I get from blogging it makes sense to put a good portion of my social media time into it. I'm all for doing what I enjoy!

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  6. You've really hit on a lot of points I agree with, Karen. I, too, let my blogging slip throughout 2014. For some reason, it seems as those this past year has been tough for a lot of us. I've made a commitment to myself to get back into the swing of things, but I'm taking it slower. Normally, I set really high goals for myself. But with most aspects of my life still in a bit of disarray, setting such high goals will only lead me to feeling crappy about myself when I don't reach them to my full potential.

    I blog because an online presence is important, but also to keep my skills fresh and to continually hone them. And of course, I just can't loose touch with all the wonderful writer friends I've made.

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    1. Shari, your blog is one of the most inspirational and informative ones around as related to writing and publishing. Glad you're back on board after a hectic year! I found slowing down on blogging doesn't really hurt and can help keep things active when otherwise the temptation to quit might be strong. There were months last year I only posted once, but it didn't seem to hurt my views or comments. The blogging community is forgiving that way!

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  7. I have considered quitting my blog, because I've been blogging for almost five years now and truth be told, only a few dozen people actually read it on a regular basis. But it still means a lot to me when people take the time to read my blog posts and leave comments, and like you, I would miss the sense of connection that I get from being part of a blogging community. So as long as I can still come up with ideas for more blog posts (which shouldn't be hard, because I'm always obsessing over something), I'm going to keep blogging, at least for now.

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    1. OMIGOSH you can't quit. How would I ever find out what happened to you, career-wise and dating wise and with your obnoxious neighbors? I think I've been following you most of those 5 years :)

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  8. Even though it is time consuming I so thoroughly enjoy it. I can enjoy reading about film, writing, fun stuff, poetry and card making. I think the people who may say it's dead are the same ones who go for whatever is new and "in". The fad. There are some who just don't find it fun or useful any more and that's fine but I make up my own mind and will be on this for a long time

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    1. Birgit, I'm always delighted to find a blog that's well-written and creative and deals with something beyond authorly stuff. Glad I met you through the A to Z Challenge!

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  9. I know I'm having a hard time remembering to post on mine these days. I think, truthfully, that fb has a lot to do with that - too easy to get instant gratification and even though it is way more superficial in some ways - it satisfies something. Caught my blogs up today and am getting around a bit. Trying not to be hard on myself (I have plenty of more deserving faults!) and just will blog when I do.

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    1. Jan, I'm glad you caught yours up, as your posts are ones I always connect with. I'll put you on my recently updated blog list so as not to miss any!

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  10. I left blogging for awhile and decided to return. I have found out that so many of the people who I knew are not blogging now.

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  11. I think that, if there's still joy in it to you, that one should continue blogging. If you've lost the joy though, perhaps it's time for a break...

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  12. Blogging has become a good writerly discipline for me. What began as a prompting to have "more web presence" is now simply something I like to do.
    I think it's an effective marketing tool for very few. But I find that not only as a writer, but as a reader as well, I have become attached to visiting with and hearing from bloggers I follow.
    And what trip it's been to follow your sojourn to the other land downunder. So glad to have been on that ride.

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  13. I really enjoy the connection with like-minded (as in writing) folks.

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  14. Although I don't post as often as I should lately, due to writing projects and tasks that have deadlines and some wonderful things that have been happening in my life, I enjoy blogging. I enjoy reading about others' lives and interests, sharing my own, and connecting. It really widens my world.

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  15. I only post 1-2 times a week, but after 10 years of doing this, I'm not about to quit. I've made friends and had so many great opportunities because of blogging.

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  16. If you enjoy it - do it! I can't see the point of blogging if you don't find it fun, or need it to keep in touch with people far away. Life is too full of things we ought to do. But blogging obviously works for you - so there's not problem!

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  17. I started to blog when I retired and was quite active. Now I post irregularly. But I keep in touch with the people that I have come to know and even meet face to face with a small group of women bloggers once a year for the pat three years. I still enjoy it and often wonder what happened to some of my favorites that have quit.

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  18. I can't imagine not blogging, but still, I question it every now and then. Those numbers are interesting, Karen.

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    1. Karen, I found the numbers extremely interesting since all I hear about is people saying they're burned out with blogging. In fact, if it weren't for the numbers I wouldn't have written yet another post with the "is blogging dead" theme.

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  19. Having just done a revamp of a blog that started in 2006, due to lagging readership, I've asked myself these very questions! But I think it's worth it to at least try, since we have been around for almost a decade.

    And speaking of that blog (which led me to yours!) You were the winner of last weeks comments drawing!! Congrats - please see todays post on The Blogck (ldswritersblogck.blogspot.com) for instructions on how to get your prize! And thanks for coming to visit our blog!

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  20. I'm not considering giving up blogging any where in the near future though I have seen a slow down. Glad you decided to keep this one going.

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  21. When my husband built my blog for me he said this, "Be yourself and just have fun with it."

    So that's what I'm doing.

    But I do think maybe for me, it's a tad more fun because I'm not trying to tie-in book sales or promote my products. I don't see blogging as something to maintain. Nor do I subscribe to the pressures that I read other bloggers put on themselves, in both regards to publishing posts and reading posts.

    I never really understood why so many women bloggers (mostly women), make blogging so much more difficult than need be.

    It's a blog. Have fun with it.

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  22. To blog or not to blog? For me it's a no brainer. I'm a blogger and I know it. That said, I also enjoy the many other aspects of my life, and sometimes those things require more of my time, which has to come from somewhere, so blogging, gardening and a few other things might get lapsed on occasion, never to the point where I honestly believe I would actually quit gardening or blogging for good though.

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  23. Thanks for visiting! I was just thinking about this the other day....whether me starting back up again on my blog this year was smart or not....I realized that it really needs to keep going no matter what. Thanks for the reminder of why others do it!

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  24. Wouldn't be without my Blogger blog - although I have changed focus on it recently to it being more of an author's web site with blog.

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    1. Simon, I really like how you transformed your blog into a website. I wasn't able to do that and as a result have a Wordpress website and a Blogger one as well. It works for me so far. I've managed to not feel overwhelmed as each one has its own function. That one is more professional, this one is more interactive and casual.

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  25. Wow, those numbers are interesting. I'll keep blogging, but only once a week on each of my blogs. Set days for each blog have been working for me.

    Karen, I've nominated you for an award. If you stop by my blog, you can pick it up.
    http://susannedrazic.blogspot.com/

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  26. I think blogs need to grow and change with their creators. So often, people come up with an idea for a blog, that particular idea runs its course, and so they quit blogging altogether. But a blog can change--it can evolve, and so it should.

    When I first started blogging, it was to hold myself accountable while I trained to fight in the ring and worked on getting a book published. Once I had achieved those goals, I lost my focus. My blog became a hodgepodge of writing advice, inspirational "best life" stuff, and personal stories. Now I'm attempting to tailor it to future readers with unsolved mysteries, creepy facts, supernatural stuff, etc.

    I think feeling burnt out over blogging is just a sign that the blog needs to change. We wouldn't want to eat the same meal everyday for years, would we? (Well, some of us do. But most of us like a little variety now and then.)

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    1. Really good point, Holly. I think that's how I've managed to keep my blog going for so long is I'm not afraid to change the focus or even the title. When I first started it, the name was Coming Down the Mountain: From Insecure Writer to Published Author or something like that. I've changed focus several times as my blog has grown and evolved along with my career and my interests.

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  27. This is true, Karen. My Adventures in Writing blog was once a substitute teaching blog. I only wish I knew at the start that I could blog about any topic on one blog. I made 2 blogs: one about Camping with Kids, and the other about substitute teaching. But after I wrote the first draft of my memoir about attending college as a mother of five, I changed my substituting blog to memoir and writing, keeping my Camping with Kids blog the same.

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  29. I love blogging and connecting with my writer and reader friends through blogs. But, unfortunately, when life gets busy, blogging is one of the first things to go. Right now, I'm in the process of moving across the country and releasing my second book, so blogging is a bit lower on my To-Do list (but still important to me.)

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  30. I am definitely a small fish in an ocean full of colorful sea life. But I like the connectivity. Even if I can only swim in the blogging world intermittently because of other obligations.

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  31. I look back at how long I've been blogging and re-read some of my first posts and I would never let it go. If anything it lets my family know what I'm up to.
    New follower by the way from Pearson's report.

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  32. There IS something about blogging, which I mention in a post I just published. I felt the urge to "come back." Limited, of course. But I want to reconnect with some "old" Blogger friends. Yes, a fresh blog, a fresh focus...important. Change, moving on, moving forward...something to keep one interested in/connected with life. I had to get a new blogger address...think I messed the other one up because of email changes...something ??? I just can't get into it to do anything. The Authors on WiDo still links to it. Maybe it can be changed to the new one?

    Fond memories of blogging....you got me started almost 5 years ago with people to connect with, and I still remember many of them. You, too, as a blogger, have evolved over the years...and we're still going...yay!! (I hope you don't change your header photo too soon....I think this one is stunning.)

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  33. My blog still isn't sure what it wants to be when it grows up. It's only been 5 years! To me it is all about the people. People sharing who they are, what they do, and what they are interested in. Even if I didn't have a blog, there are some I would continue to follow and comment on, because I like them, or I like what they blog about. That is the nice and fuzzy part about blogging.

    The other side is all about work. Blogging isn't all that easy. Create, edit, add photos, read comments, reply to comments, visit other blogs, comment, start over... Seriously, I have enough material and photos to post every day. I have so many posts in draft form, that I won't be able to remember what they were really about. Of course, I may never get to them. We just got back from a two week trip a few days ago, we went to places and saw things that can easily warrant four or five large posts. We're leaving on another two week trip on Monday. We are on the road at least as much as we are at home. I'm buried...
    I have more to post than ever, but I have less time to do so. Somehow this comment morphed into a rant about me doing the things I love to do. Go figure!

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  34. I love blogging, reading everyone's posts and commenting!

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  35. I'm in awe of the people who manage to write new blog posts every day. I started out doing it six days a week then dropped down to three, and now it's on hold at once a week. It can be a huge time commitment, but I still enjoy it very much. I've met so many wonderful people all around the world because of blogging, and some of them have become e-mail pals, as well. Yes, it's all about the connections, the wonderful connections.

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