I've been blogging regularly for 4 years now. My blog is actually my main source of memory-keeping, along with sharing of my scrapbooking and crafting adventures. I have loved sharing on my blog and loved the community and friends I've made because of my blog. If you look at the "About Me" page above, you can read what I'm all about. I love writing, scrapbooking, paper-crafting, running, eating, and my friends and family. My blog has been all about these things and more. Over the last 4 years, I've made blogging my priority and have put in a lot of time and effort into regularly writing posts for my blog.
This past week, I almost quit blogging. At least, I thought seriously about taking a hiatus. Over the last couple of months, I've noticed that blogging had become sort of a chore. I wasn't getting as many comments as I used to get on this blog. While that is certainly not the over-riding reason why I blog, it was fun to have feedback about the different types of things I blogged about. Lately, I had been getting the feeling that I've been talking to myself. And really, talking to yourself is no fun! I've talked to other bloggers about the diminishing comments, and they have experienced the same. We have discussed some possible reasons why blog commenting seems to go the way of the dodo bird. Some reasons mentioned were Pinterest, reading blogs on mobile devices, shorter attention-spans, etc. I think all of these are contributing factors to the diminishing blog comments, but there's really no solution to them in general.
As a regular blogger, I'm putting content and sharing my life out to the blogging universe. Most bloggers who blog are sharing their projects out of the love of sharing and the community. Most bloggers don't actually make any money off of their blogs. So the love of our craft, love of blogging, and the community that blogging creates, is all we have. We do it because we love it. We spend time taking photos of projects, processing them, and writing our posts. This is time that could be spent doing something else. For me personally, it was time that I had to find during the evenings and weekends, since I work full-time as a financial analyst. What made my blogging worthwhile to me is how much I love going back to read my own posts and all the memories I've made and kept on this blog. It's also very gratifying that my husband Todd loves reading my blog. Another thing that makes it worthwhile is having readers who provided feedback and comments on my posts. I don't make money off my blog, so the intrinsic value for me is intangible. It is simply that I need to feel like blogging is gratifying to me in some way or another.
And lately, it hasn't felt gratifying. I feel like I spend time and effort on my blog and I just hear crickets. I felt very discouraged. Is anybody reading? Why would anyone care about my blog? I had a discussion on my Facebook wall this week amongst my scrappy friends, and here are some things that were brought up.
"I hear ya, I definitely have had more than a few posts where it feels like it's me...hanging out, by myself, with only the crickets, LOL But I don't know if you can necessarily blame Pinterest. In a lot of ways it's like digi galleries - the views are never going to equal the number of comments because there are lots of people who won't comment for a variety of reasons. That's true for even really really huge blogs. They may only have say 100 comments when they they have tens of thousands of page views. It's just how it goes."
"It seems to me the only thing you can control long-term is yourself. If you want to continue to enjoy blogging, you need to control how you think about it - separate the process from the praise - and not worry about anyone else. There can be intrinsic value in continuing to blog, if you allow there to be. Even though you don't have comments, you have page views. It means people are seeing your posts (or your stuff on Pinterest) and liking it. You built a reputation for being creative years ago, but you're continuing to maintain it now. Additionally, you're helping other people to figure out how to do something they didn't or couldn't do before. Knowing that you're touching those readers' lives, whether or not they express their thanks, has to feel good inside. You are improving the world by putting more good things out into it than bad."
"People don't comment as much as they used to. Myself included. I used to comment on almost all of the blogs I read but don't anymore. I also don't read as many blogs as I used to. I always ready your blog. Most of the time I'm reading from my phone and it's a pain to comment using my phone. I normally will go back and comment later when I'm on my laptop."
After the discussion with my friends, and my husband this week, I had almost decided to quit blogging for a while. They are right. The only thing I can change is how I myself feel about blogging, even if nobody is reading or commenting. And I just wasn't feeling gratified when I felt like I was talking to myself. That was Tuesday night.
On Wednesday morning, I received an email from a reader that changed my mind. She isn't a Facebook friend (yet) and I've had some casual contact with her in forums in the digi-scrap world. She wrote:
I am so one of those people that read (and still reads) your blog regularly and doesn't comment. I believe I may have commented once. I want to comment, I think of awesome things I would say but I usually am grabbing some reading in little snippets and run out of time for the good intentions I do have.
But I love what you share and I looked forward each week to see what cool thing you did on your Project Life pages. Honestly, when I saw you had posted a PL post, I worked some time on my computer with a cup of coffee or tea to see what fun little touches you did. So sorry for never letting you know how much I really love your work. But I break out of my not commenting trend to reach out to you and see if you are still doing PL because I miss seeing them, since your last post I have been checking weekly hoping they would show back up. Or that you were busy and would post a bunch at once.
I can't tell you how much the timing and content of this email encouraged me to keep on sharing on my blog. If there is one person out there who silently reads my blog and is inspired by my projects and posts, surely there are others who are the same? I'm not spending time and effort putting it out there in vain. Even if not many people are commenting, I imagine there are many who do read my posts. And pin them to Pinterest. Perhaps even one person might read a post and it inspired them to pull out photos or crafting supplies and make something. That is worthwhile to me. Do I wish more people would say hello and comment? Of course. Every blogger wants to feel like they're making a difference, and want to be part of a community where there is feedback and discussion. But I can't make people do it. I just trust that you're out there silently reading, enjoy that cup of coffee, and thinking about your next project, or what to eat, or dreaming of a vacation to San Diego. :)
PS - the subject of Project Life warrants a whole post by itself, coming soon, I hope. :D