Has blogging fallen out of favour? Are the successful ones merely slaves to clickbait and sensationalism? Are book blogs becoming a thing of the past?
I’ve been away from the world of blogging since the start of 2020. I fell out of remission and had another battle with cancer. The prognosis was very positive because we caught it early, so there was no looming threat, but I was in for feeling like crap for a while. I wasn’t prepared for the long slog after treatment. In the past I’ve bounced back fairly quickly. This time around it has been a completely different experience. I guess with my age playing a factor, and that I’ve undergone chemo treatment twice before in my lifetime, the body has more of a battle on its hands in order to recover. It has been frustrating, but I’ve attempted to stay in positive spirits. Which is why I’ve disappeared from blogging and social media for over a year. I wanted to remove any stress from my life and concentrate on my health.
I did try to return to blogging briefly in 2020, but did not count on the ‘brain fog’ that chemo gifts you. I was forgetting things, finding it hard to concentrate. Focus would drift away. So I made the quiet decision to put all online activities aside until I was firing on all cylinders again. It seems like 2023 is that year (after a prolonged fight against COVID-19 in Jan-Feb this year.)
In the meantime I was still reading blogs, following blogs, but have noticed a disturbing trend. The blogs I follow for years have either stopped posting altogether, changed their subjects (no longer a book blog, but either a travel, mummy, or lifestyle blog) or post sporadically and sparingly. The majority of authors I follow have lost their enthusiasm for the blog format and either given up or moved on to another medium like book-tok, bookTube, or bookstagram. There are new blogs being created, but I’m not finding the type of content I prefer: discussions and critiques around all things bookish.
I’ve also seen many blog articles complaining or discussing the fall from grace of the book blog. I do think that many are loving the shorter format posts of other media either due to shorter attention spans, or being time poor. We have so much more to pack into a day, and there is a plethora of content out there to consume… All of this is just me making assumptions from observation.
The book blog will live on. I don’t think it will die out. There is still a niche for those how love the blog format, who love the recommendations and discussions – who like to take the time to find out about books, because we invest a lot of time in reading and building our libraries.
I’ve also noticed the push to make money from blogging (not necessarily book blogging) and lean towards sensationalised headlines, clickbaity content. It’s frustrating because most of the time the articles don’t really impart any real information. It’s like I have to vet my feed even after the algorithms have curated my interests. Even many of the news sites fall into this category. I’m really needing to research the stuff I read now. Is it based on real facts or ones made up? Is it an opinion piece or an advertisement? Blogs are getting like this with long rants, exposés, and links to many other social media content- like it’s not really an original content piece, just rehashing what someone else has already posted. Recycling content.
The landscape of blogging has changed so much in the last ten years. An element of commercialisation and financially motivated users have entered the space. Personally, I enjoy reading articles from like-minded people passionate about the subject they are writing about. Well thought-out discussions, well researched articles that present a number of different viewpoints.
Sheesh I sound like an old fuddy-duddy.
I’ve toyed with the idea of entering the realms of video content either on YouTube, reels on Instagram, or on TikTok, but I don’t feel comfortable seeing myself on camera, and the demographics those platforms target aren’t really my audience. It would be possible to create dynamic content (without my face and voice) to tap into those audiences but the idea feels time consuming and more about branding and changing the direction of what I do… and I don’t think I’m ready for that. Plus I set myself a limited amount of time in my day dedicated to blogging and social media so that I have plenty of time left to write and read. Changing my social media content would mean losing my ‘work time’ writing. The whole point I got on social media was to connect with like-minded bookophiles and a writing community; flipping the script to a more marketing-styled presence does not seem to grow either of those goals.
What’s your opinion on the blogosphere? Have you noticed a downward trend? Has your feed changed drastically in the last few years? Are you finding relevant content? Do you have any good blog or reading recommendations?
© Casey Carlisle 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Casey Carlisle with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.