I have been thinking a lot about my blog lately. I created Naptime Natter way back in 2015 when I was a first time mum to my boy Leo. Blogging was a way of sharing my parenting experience and getting to know other mums; I have never been very good at baby groups so it was comforting to know I could meet other parents without having to make awkward small talk in church halls. A lot has changed since then, I now have two more children and a lot less time. What started off as a bit of fun and a creative outlet, later merged into a sort of job and then became a source of therapy. Writing, and blogging in particular, is something I really enjoy. I love writing stories, sharing my experiences and writing with complete honesty in the hope it helps other mums feel less alone on the hard days. Over the past couple of years blogging has been pushed further and further down my list of priorities, the words ‘write blog post’ rarely making it into the top half of my daily to do list. I still enjoy writing about motherhood but motherhood is the reason I rarely get to write. The busy mum life and the work from home juggle is not the only reason I don’t show up here very often, I have had this niggling feeling for a while that blogging (in particular, reading blogs) isn’t something people still really do in 2020.
We need to talk about blogging…
It is difficult to pinpoint an exact moment in time when I started to notice blogs beginning to fall off the relevance radar. I know news blogs and websites in niches like crafts and food still do very well – there is always going to be someone who wants to know how to bake chocolate chip cookies or knit a scarf – but parenting blogs like mine just don’t seem to be as popular anymore. Please don’t think this is some bitter rant about declining page views and stagnant follower numbers because I honestly don’t even check that stuff. I just mean, I don’t feel like many parents read other parent blogs anymore. Once an avid mum blog reader myself, I now can not remember the last time I read a blog post just for the love of that particular blogger. There are plenty of bloggers whose writing I enjoy, there are bloggers who have felt like friends and have shared so openly I would turn to their posts for parenting advice before seeking it out from friends and family. If I want to catch up with these bloggers though, I turn to Instagram and with that confession, I think I have found my answer to why blogging is no longer as relevant in 2020 as it was five or ten years ago.
Let’s talk for a minute about attention spans. We all know that technology has basically ruined the human race (as well as connecting us all and making daily life easier and blah blah blah). I can not watch TV properly anymore, there are too many programmes to choose from and when we do settle on something to watch I spend most of the episode scrolling on my phone anyway so what even was the point? Speaking of scrolling, I watch half a YouTube video before wondering what else I could be watching, I skip through Instagram stories, listening to the first few words of someones sentence before moving onto the next close up of someone I don’t know talking to their iPhone. I love reading but I now even struggle to read a book properly, half my brain concentrating on the page while the other half is visualising all the red notifications on my phone that need checking right this second.
Technology has fucked us all over really, we think it’s made life easier but really it has made the things we found easy to do before, like picking a movie to watch and finishing reading a novel in less than a month, more difficult. Our concentration has been severed by our smartphones. This is why I think people aren’t reading blogs so much anymore. Why read a blog post like this (which, to be fair, is turning into a wannabe dissertation) when you could find the same information in an Instagram caption or, better yet, a tweet. Everyone is busy, everyone has too many apps that need checking in on often and fed with endless attention like tiny digital toddlers . Free time is scarce and it seems less people want to spend theirs reading blogs. In a weird contradiction of self, I don’t dedicate my free time to reading blogs but as a blogger I want other people to take some moments out of their day to read my words. What is it people say? If a tree falls in the forest but no one hears it then did it really fall? That’s what blogging feels like when you feel like no one is reading. Am I just shouting into the void of cyber space, all these words destined to only be read for the final time during the last proof read?
Why get your information in long form when you can get it bitesize? That’s what I think is happening, social media is king and blogs have been exiled to the borders of the internet. It’s fine, who am I to stand in the way of what the people want? I’m just a small time ‘mummy blogger’ (cringe) in an ocean of thousands of other mummy bloggers. The saturation of the blogosphere hasn’t helped matters. Yes, we all have our own unique voice and writing style but no one wants to read an online version of your diary and there are only so many parenting topics to talk about. It is an inevitability that often content between bloggers will overlap. We’re not copying each other, it’s just most babies struggle to sleep through the night and lots of children get the chicken pox and lots of parents are sharing their advice and experiences on the same things. The blogging world is like Netflix, there is so much choice but only a few real gems are there to be found after your hours of searching; for every Oscar winning film there are fifty others rated one star that you would struggle to watch all the way through even if someone paid you.
Despite all of this, the fact there’s too many bloggers and not enough readers and the harsh reality that blogs are becoming ancient relics of the online world, I am not ready to give up on mine yet. The blogging community may feel more competitive than ever, things like link up parties and twitter chats may be dwindling and page views continue to sit in a flat line on Google Analytics, but I am going to keep blogging regardless. I started this blog because I love to write and that hasn’t gone away. People may wonder if a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it then did it really fall at all? Well, I say yes. My blog is the tree. My blog exists and is here proudly owning it’s corner of the internet, even if no one if here to read it.
Are you a blogger? Have you noticed blogging change over recent years and content shift more to social media? Have you considered stopping blogging and embracing Instagram or another avenue instead? I’d love to hear your thoughts.