Getting off The Hamster Wheel of Blogging

Do you ever get that feeling that something has changed but you can’t put your finger on it and then weeks or months later it appears that everybody is feeling the same way? It’s like dropping a pebble into the water and then watching the ripples get bigger and bigger. It happens to me a lot. I guess it’s what we call our gut instinct? A trend or colour you feel drawn to for months, suddenly starts to appear everywhere. Is it instinct or has it been subtly prodding our conscience, around us everywhere, but we just haven’t acknowledged it?

I had this feeling about blogging, or rather my blog whilst I was away on holiday and had time to think. I’d been feeling, for ages, that it had become like a second job, a chore even, to constantly be writing blog posts and what had once been a hobby, and something I loved doing in my spare time, had become almost a necessity, a race even to keep up with the constant stream of other bloggers.

It all started when I went to my first bloggers convention earlier in the year. It was my first acknowledgement to myself that I wanted to take this blogging malarkey a bit more seriously and to possibly even make some money out of it. Perhaps I naively thought, I could write contributing articles about design, being an interior designer and interior stylist? I would like to say,firstly, I thoroughly enjoyed the meeting and met some lovely and very talented bloggers, who were and still are a complete inspiration, but I also left aware that to gain more traffic to my blog, it was perhaps beneficial to offer readers free gifts, giveaways which could be provided by companies if I endorsed their product. A “If you scratch my back etc” philosophy. However, after doing this a few times, although yes, it did have the desired effect and I did gain slightly more traffic, I was left with a bit of a flat feeling that this wasn’t what I really starting blogging for. I will say now for the kind people who have offered free giveaways, I never did fall into the trap and anything I have endorsed in the past has been genuine.

Back in 2011 when I started writing my posts, it was simply a collection of thoughts, ideas and sharings. Anybody that knows me, knows I love to chat and share recommended places of interest, films I’ve seen, exhibitions I’ve been to and likewise I love to speak to people about things that they recommend, another great reason for reading so many other blogs? Some of my favourite blogs are just people connecting and sharing knowledge.
http://christinawilson.wordpress.com/
http://www.aquietstyle.co.uk/
It feels at the moment, that that bubble of lets share things and connect, has burst a little and going round the houses a bit, it appears that it is what lots of other bloggers are feeling. I have read several posts just in the last few days all saying the same things.
http://www.designsponge.com/2014/09/bloggerburnout.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/25/garden/when-blogging-becomes-a-slog.html?_r=1

With all this in mind, I have just read about a new social media site Ello, who are a no advertising site for creative like minded people. There is, it appears, a change in the air regarding the future of blogging and I am excited to watch how that will evolve. Although I applaud the very many talented pioneers of blogging who are now making a handsome living from their skills, there are still many people who just want to blog to let off some pent up creative steam or simply to connect with like minded people and unless you are endorsed or sponsored by a plethora of companies, you seem to get lost in the slipstream.

So with a big sigh of relief, I have decided that my blog posts will be fewer and farther between but I will not stop wittering, it’s in my DNA and for everybody who has read my blog, continues to read or would like to read, thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart. It is always lovely to know that when you hit publish, somebody out there is interested enough to read, follow or comment. You can’t keep a chatterbox quiet for long!

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8 Comments

  1. vanity andme 6 October, 2014 / 10:34 pm

    What a great very honest post this is Karen. I am new to blogging, and my main frustration is trying to get whats in my head transported to the pc!. I am not pc literate at all and find it a battle, sorting post, trying to advertise (unsuccessful thus far) stressing that I haven't posted for so long, worried about content. By the time I have mastered it all I will most probably be bored with it!.Is it really worth it?.

  2. Karen Barlow 7 October, 2014 / 8:00 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to reply. Blogging is something I still love and I would encourage anybody who has an interest in writing or sharing their thoughts to not give up and give it a go, but bare in mind if you are looking for advertisers, sponsors or product endorsements, there is a lot of choice out there for retailers now.I think your blog may be successful though as you are specialising, something I never really pursued as I didn't start it with a business plan in mind. if you are going to try to run it as a business, it will take as many hours as a full time job to gain the readership and therefore the endorsements, time you may have, but which I don't. I'm not giving up though, just taking stock of everything and even tonight I had 2 or 3 things of interest, to me, that I could have shared. The temptation is always there 🙂 I wish you the best of luck and I hope you continue to enjoy blogging for whatever your reasons x

  3. Anonymous 8 October, 2014 / 4:07 pm

    Hi Karen,

    I always follow your blogs and absolutely love the content. I was able to reply and comment under anonymous but just lately things have been a bit topsy turvy for me and will continue for the next few months and so I am so sorry that I haven't posted comments. I know that you are a very hard working girl with a family and I honestly don't know how you fit everything into your busy life. Anyway rest assured Bloglovin will still pop up in my inbox and anything that you have written will be read and enjoyed.

  4. Karen Barlow 10 October, 2014 / 5:41 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to get in touch, even though things are difficult at the moment, I really appreciate your supportive comments. I will still be blogging, just not as regularly.Hopefully although the content will be less frequent the quality will improve, thats the plan anyhow! If I had more time to work on my blog, I know exactly how I would want it to be but as you have said, I am juggling a lot of plates and unfortunately something has had to take a place at the back and for the time being, until I can devote more time to it, it will have to be the blog. Thanks for hanging on in there with me though and I hope things starts to improve for you quickly x

  5. Indianna 12 October, 2014 / 7:44 pm

    Great blogpost Karen. Food for thought.

  6. Emma 11 November, 2014 / 8:35 pm

    Hello! I've finally got round to reading your blog, and firstly a big thank you for including me here, I'm so glad you like the blog. Secondly I wholeheartedly agree with you, I think it's so important to maintain your integrity and remember why you started blogging, I get approached quite regularly about collaborations now, but so far have only done one with a brand I like and would buy stuff from. It might grow your readership initially but if your readers are like minded they will not appreciate you 'selling out' in order to make money, after all they started reading your blog for your style not somebody else's! Right off my soap box now, I look forward to reading your future posts, however few or many there are x

    • Karen Barlow 18 November, 2014 / 3:29 pm

      Hi Emma, Thanks for reading and I hope you continue to enjoy my blog posts as I do yours. After my sabbatical, I'm enjoying blogging once again, I feel after my little soapbox drama, I can relax & get back to blogging for all the right reasons.

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