Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Blogging for Fun, not Profit

Last week I posed the question, "Where have all the bloggers gone?" and boy did I get an earful! It seems that we all agree people are dropping off the radar and throwing in the towel. Some of you have abandoned blogs because, in the words of several people, "It just wasn't fun anymore."

I've been there.  I have been blogging since February of  '07 and I have hit some dry spells too. Mostly when I was busy with my "real life" in a way that made finding the time to blog a lot harder. "Back in the day", way back in ought 7, things were a lot different. Blogging seemed relatively new, we were all so excited to see inside someone else's home and share creative projects of pretty things made from junk we found, or a cute craft. We hopped from blog to blog and left comments, and made real life friends and it was really just like coffee with the girls in the morning.  Giveaways weren't $1000 visa cards, they were aprons and your favorite coffee mug. 
Then people started making rules.  The blog police came out and slapped hands.

It was "rude" to not reply to every single comment you received every single day. 
You should make sure you had a "theme", you had to "define yourself", are you a mommy blogger? A craft blogger ? a homesteader?
Make sure you post on a regular schedule or people won't come see you any more.
Do this, do that, or you won't be "successful"
Blogging became a job.
And we bought it.  What began as a fun hobby was a competition, a chore, a mad rush for "meaningful" content.
As the all wise Pinterest is known to say, "Comparison is the thief of Joy". Amen to that. I know that I suddenly found it discouraging.  The "successful" girls had companies backing them and began showing off the new sofa's, rugs and decorative items that those companies gave them to decorate with. Who wouldn't be tempted by that? I was. I started to think of my blog as a failure. I wondered why anyone would care what I had to write. I contemplated walking away several times, but the friendships I had made and the love of having my own little creative corner to do and say whatever I wanted kept me from leaving.  I finally sat down and asked myself why I started, why I continue, and what I hope to get out of this blog.
I came to realize that...
1. I didn't start this blog for profit and I didn't want to make it my job. That is a really big realization. It took me off the comparison treadmill and stopped the constant question in my head of whether I wanted to advertise or monetize, or sell out to some big company.  I will buy my own furniture, and rugs , (or continue to find them by the side of the road thank you), because I am just ornery enough to not want some company telling me what to write about. I recognize that a lot of the big bloggers started their blogs with the idea of making it their career from the start.  I recently saw one of them say that when she started her blog she had a professional photographer do her photos. I was speechless. That was the moment I realized we weren't even playing in the same ballpark. It was a freeing moment for me because it freed me from the competitive nag in the back of my head. We both "blog" but after that it's like comparing apples and oranges, and that's ok.
2. I will post when I have time and/or something to share.  There I said it. I think this is  maybe the number one thing that burns people out. It is the thing that takes the fun out of blogging. When you feel that you have to come up with fresh content every single day whether you have anything fascinating to share or not it becomes a chore. It eats into your time, time that you should be spending with family, friends, outdoors, dreaming. Stop the madness. Most of us have feeds and when you post, I'll see it. I promise. Don't' apologize either, you don't owe anyone a certain amount of posts.
3. I won't define myself in a narrow category and feel that I have to stick to that.  There  is so much more to all of us than the latest home improvement. Good golly, truth be told there is so much more that I would like to say about life in general, some of you would agree with my views, some of you wouldn't. I don't want to make this blog my personal soap box, but I truly hope to have the courage to put a little more of myself out there some day. Some of the things I write about may not interest you on any particular day. That is ok. It really is! You know, just like real life friends we are often kindred spirits but that doesn't mean we have all the same interests in everything or agree on everything.
4. I may not comment on every post you write, and I want you to feel that freedom too.  That was a tough one to write because I love comments, but once again, real life calls. Over 7 years I have built up a pretty hefty blog list. I love you, but I just don't always have time to do more than quickly stop in. I can literally spend hours a day visiting blogs but I'm not sure that is the best use of my time and life.
5. I am blogging for myself.  There is still a lot to be said for the blog as an online journal.  I have mentioned before that I have completed putting one year of my blog into a hard bound book.  That may be one of the best things I ever did. I made a copy for myself and one for each of my girls. I know that my oldest daughter shows her friends. She is able to look through it and find recipes, memories of important family events, and projects.  If everyone suddenly found me too boring to stand, I would still do this. For me. For them. So that my some day grandchildren can know a little more about me! I have to find time to finish putting each year in print. It gives me some security that the work I have put into this blog will not some day disappear into the ether and the cost is minimal compared to the hours of creative work I have put here. You have worked hard on your blog too, saving it in hard copy is a gift to yourself that you will never regret.
6. Just because I am not making money with my blog does not mean it isn't successful.  It serves my purpose, which is to have a place to share and to find encouragement, and to encourage like minded friends. And on the subject of friends, I have met the loveliest people from all over the world through this blog! I can honestly say my life has changed because of the advice, and encouragement I have found through blogging. I have always been a creative person, but the positive comments and kindness I have found here have given me the confidence to put myself out there creatively in a way I would have never done without you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your comments and kindness. How can that not be considered success?  The greatest success in the world is not how much money we make or how many followers we have, it is the connections we make with people!  Because of those connections, can I ask you to do something? If you do decide to quit some day please don't just disappear, say goodbye. Even if it is just "goodbye for now, I'll let you know if I return".  Your faithful readers want to know you are alright and that you aren't disappearing because you were in an accident or something.
Bottom line? Do what you want. Do what pleases you. Blog without rules! But do please blog.
I would love to hear your thoughts. What takes the fun out of blogging for you?
How can we put the fun back in?


  1. Oh Kathy! This hit home so hard for me today! I have almost entirely quit blogging. Many of the people I first met blogging have abandoned their blogs completely. Yes, I do still see then on Facebook but I so miss the early days and the sweetness blogging had. I cherish the friendships mad through blogging and am so grateful that most of those people are still a part of my daily life. I was, for a time, still making trips around blog world but it wasn't always easy for me to leave comments. Between lack of time and difficulty doing so via my cell phone as I am most often on the go. I started seeing "rules" that visitors MUST leave comments, and all manner of other rules that simply took the fun out of it. I also had no desire to make a blog a money maker. It got so many blogs were awash in advertisements that it was hard to decipher what the post was about.
    You are so right that it is the connections we make with people that matter. I love your blog, always have. I regret that I don't always have the time to leave a comment but I usually get by to "see you" every week. I have many of your beautiful hearts and pillows in my home so I think about you often and with a smile when doing so.
    I think about getting back into blogging with more regularity but since I can not adhere to the "rules" so many have set up now I wonder if I should. *sigh*
    But I am grateful for all blogging brought me.

  2. Sue, rules were made to be broken! I don't know who decided they were qualified to make those "rules" but I don't blog on other people's terms I blog on my own. I would love to see you return to blogging!

  3. I agree with you 100%! It seems some bloggers have lost their way!
    Please don't change or give up! Love you just the way you are!

  4. Well said Kathy, well said. I'm encouraged and inspired by your thoughts...I agree wholeheartedly! I will continue to visit your inspiring posts and check in from time to time and say hi. And when I can, I will write again on my own blog...I miss it very much. I love what you said about keeping it in hard copy...will definitely consider that. As one of your "oldest" blog fans, I thank you for the years of treasured girl talk. Hugs & Blessings, Becky

  5. Hear! Hear! And a hearty amen, too! (Though I begrudge no one for trying to make some money on her blog in these challenging financial times, I'm ornery like you and turn down most offers of giveaways and free stuff for the joy of not having a "sponsor" who dictates content.)

    Hope to return to a Point 2 place one day. For now, I'm just happy to be gone.

  6. Well said! You've put my thoughts into beautiful words. I'm here because I love the friendships I've made. I was part of Beth Moore's Live Simulcast last weekend where one hundred and ninety women around the world had registered. She said something so important about the need to have girlfriends. I thought of you. 'We need girlfriends. Not just followers - we need connections. Girlfriends who will rejoice with us, cry with us, laugh and share with us.' I thought of you and a few other girlfriends who have become a very real part of my life through our blogs. Some I have met and have formed very strong in-person relationships. Others will have to wait for Heaven some day to sit and chat in person. I blog for the reasons you shared. Thank you for putting it out there for those of us who want to blog. In.real.life.

  7. Amen Sister!! I 100% agree with everything you said. I started blogging 6 years ago and have seen all the changes you've talked about. There's not a week that passes that I don't think about stopping because it doesn't feel successful. But I would miss the girls that have always been around and some new ones too. When we moved to our new house and had so many new projects to do, I considered really trying to make a $ making go of it. Then I read an article or two about "search engine optimization" because those were the buzzwords for awhile. Gag! I really couldn't care less about any of that and if that's what it takes then no thanks. It does make me a little sad (like high school) when some who were really friendly have gotten big and no longer communicate. That's life though and for some it is their income. That's ok for them but not me.

  8. I think your post should be read by all who are even thinking of blogging, as well as those of us who stagger on, wondering why we do it! I find it so hard to think of something 'different' to write about, and wonder if I should stop blogging. Like one of your other commenters, it is a lovely feeling to think of 'girlfriends'writing to each other. That's surely how it should be, rather than writing for praise or recognition.

  9. I agree with everything you and your commentors have said! I started blogging because I thought it would be fun. A way to show how proud I was of our home and what we do. I love to decorate it for my family and make it a comfy place for everyone. But, I felt a certain competition on how pretty I could make it, how good my photos looked, how often I could get out a likable post for someone to hopefully say something positive back! There's something wrong with that.....it became not fun anymore! I have several blogs that I stopped looking at because I tire of Xing out of all the ads. I get bored with another "sponsored" post. I do enjoy most of the photos, because their homes are beautiful. But without all the sponsors, they would be normal homes just like ours. I as an average blogger can not compete with all the bloggers out there who are sponsored. All the bloggers that made me want to blog in the first place! I also can't afford to fly somewhere to attend one of their expensive blogger workshops! I mean really whats that all about? I better stop, I agree with your post! Thank you!

  10. How much I love what you have written........I feel the same way and yes, I have missed so many that I used to "visit" including you,.........I used to stop by your blog all of the time, and somehow, I lost your blog along the way.........I rearranged my side bar and I guess I didn't put you down..........anyhow.........your blog is beautiful as always and I now have you on my side bar once more! I blog not for profit or attention.....I find it as a way to connect with others who have the same passions and interests......like you stated........almost like getting together over coffee. Have a great week ahead!

  11. Kathy,

    I love everything you said. This conversation has really hit home to me the past week and I'm thankful for the reminder again of "why I blog". I certainly count you as one of my blogging friends I'm so thankful to have "met". Hugs - Dori -

  12. HI Kathy, Appreciate all of the thoughts you have expressed here. Wouldn't it be great to sit down over a pot of tea and discuss it all! I love blogs where someone's personality and interests shine through and yours definitely does. The world of blogging has definitely changed but I suppose, like you, mine remains as it did since I began - turning down ads and sponsors and keeping my photos and content my own. Above all, my favorite part has been the many friends I've made. It would be so wonderful to get to meet them all one day.

  13. Hi Kathy -
    This is such a wonderful post. I love the reasons that you blog and I was thankful to read each reason as it was a good reminder to me of why I first started blogging. Thank you for the encouragement!

  14. You really nailed it with this one Kathy. I miss sidebars on blogs that introduced us to other bloggers that we might have commonalities with. I still click on your friend bar and Stacey's every time I visit you two. When I think back of my past posts I see my life, the good and the bad and I know it is there for my kids and grandkids to read as well. Love this post.

  15. YES!!!!
    I agree with all you have said. As a matter of fact, you echo a gripe I just had with myself over the weekend. I hate popping over to a blog and find all theses loud and obtrusive ads when all I want to do is read and admire some pretty pictures.
    I too blog for pleasure.. a journal of my thoughts and d├ęcor.. my luv of family and life.I post when I can, when I have something to share... and luv like minded people who do the same. I blog for pleasure not profit!
    My goal in life is not to rack up a LOT of viewers and followers and crow about it. But to find sweet friends who share my interests.
    Whew... that being said... thanks for this post!

  16. I agree with each point you wrote on your list. I have not done any soul searching about it, that is just the way I roll. Maybe because I am retired and continue to have fun with blogging, since about 2007. I pay no attention to the silly rules, just enjoy my blog friends.

  17. This is so true!! I am one of those bloggers who blog for fun! I started when I was a mom and was looking to record what was happening with my life and my family!! I am so empowered by reading your blog!! Thank you for your timely post. I started in 2007 and I don't have a lot of followers, but the ones I do have, I love dearly!

  18. Such a valuable post. It's so important to reflect on why we do activities like blogging and what we hope to get from it. When we adjust our focus, satisfaction follows. Going back to the roots of blogging, I think the originals had the best ideas...and maybe the most fun, too!

  19. Such a valuable post. It's so important to reflect on why we do activities like blogging and what we hope to get from it. When we adjust our focus, satisfaction follows. Going back to the roots of blogging, I think the originals had the best ideas...and maybe the most fun, too!

  20. I blog for me..I personally do not like all the advertising on blogs. That isn't blogging to me..anyway...it's their blog and they can do what the want. I have met a few bloggers and developed friendships with them.

  21. PERFECT! Thanks for your good thoughts. I'm a teacher blogger. It can be hard to keep up the good teaching and good blogging. Hugs for your honesty! Jayne
    Smart Kids
    ABCs of Reading

  22. Dear Kathy
    I am standing cheering! Bravo! You expressed my thoughts exactly!
    What you wrote is like a bloggers emancipation proclamation!
    The part I enjoy about blogging is just expressing myself when I have something to say. I packed it in for awhile because of work but I missed the creative outlet and the wonderful people I met, like you for example!
    I am just going to continue my little blog, without free furniture etc. However if someone wants to give me a couch, that would be fine :)
    ((hugs)) Rhondi

  23. I love when a blogger stands up for what they believe in and you did yourself proud! It's not too hard to separate the girls that want/need to make a buck and thus have ads, and the ones that just seem to have that magic touch in decorating that garner the attention of magazines and companies wanting to promote their products. I believe women should support women so I wish these ladies all the best. I love getting ideas and simply reading some of their blogs because many have great personalities and are fun. But I have a feed, and I can click on or keep right on going!

    Other than when I first began blogging in '09, I didn't have expectations, I wanted followers, of course! My happiness lies in writing and it makes me even happier if people like what I'm writing about. Otherwise, I am not very concerned with number... followers, stats, whatever. I've also slowed down on blogging a lot because at the beginning I loved it so much, it was such a great outlet and lifted me out of a two year funk and of course when you love something, you do it a lot! I've learned to be disciplined, there is more to life than trying to read blog after blog because you feel obligated.

    I am going to post today...I was approaching a subject similar to this, more about some personal ideas I have for changing my blog that I may implement.

    Thanks for giving us to something to chat over the fence about today!

    Jane xx

  24. Kathy
    As so many others have said, "You sure hit the nail on the head"
    I enjoy blogging when I want to share with my 'friends', but it has at times began to feel like a job.
    I have even thought of taking a break just to remember what life without blogging was like. Maybe I will get more accomplished!
    Again, thank you for your honesty.

  25. Hi Kathy,

    I love what you wrote. I think that we have been blogging for about the same length of time and have watched so many blogs change. I also gave myself permission to post when I can rather than make blogging a chore.

    I have always loved your blog because I enjoy seeing what you, Earl and your girls were up to, and to see your beautiful photos and handmade things.

    It always feels like I just had cup of coffee at a friend' home and had a chat.

    Thank you for writing this, because now I can remember the definition of having a successful blog...it is simply having a platform to find friends like you.


  26. I just love your honesty! I know that some of our blog friends need to money coming in from advertising and won't fault them for doing so, not at all. HOWEVER, I do feel the same way as you, that is why I did a post about getting views on advertising on blogs.

    The days of "easy" blogging are gone. I remember the excitement of discovering blogging and making my own blog right after that. We have made wonderful blog friendships, and several blog friends I've had the pleasure of meeting in person. Without blogging, this would not have happened. *maybe someday I will get to meet YOU*

    So I say keep it simple. I am not going to advertise because I simply do not have the free time to blog as much as before. Life is full for everyone and who needs the added stress and pressures? I cannot be successful in my business if I am glued to a computer all day.

    hugs to you, dear friend...

  27. The question is WHO are you going to listen to ?? Also those people who need you to define what kind of blogger you are , you need to tell them If they need that kind of blog they can go elsewhere and get the heck out of my site !!!

  28. Very well said! I appreciate your wise thoughts. <3

  29. So very well said, I just got back into blogging for that reason, It became a job to me. Now I'm loving what I do, I'll blog when I have time and find joy in all that I do.

  30. Umm, yes, yes and yes! Of course you knew I'd agree, right? This could have been written by me. I started my blog for me and I'm keeping it that way. Also, I feel that when bloggers post out of obligation, it comes across and I don't enjoy reading it. It's manufactured. It's not genuine. I love real blog posts by real people when they have time to post. You hit the nail on the head!

  31. I reached your post by doing a Google search for "blogging for fun, not for profit." I didn't expect to find a post that was exactly what I was looking for, but I did! Unlike you and many of the ladies commenting, I haven't been blogging for long. I really just began putting time into it earlier this year. It's a fun outlet, even though my blog is a tiny bit of a thing. I don't want to blog for profit and I'm not interested in connecting with those mega bloggers who are sponsored and their sites are filled with ads. I would love to connect with others who are blogging just for the fun of it. I've realized that I need to do more reaching out, and put more effort into trying to make some connections. Reading your post and the comments here has been very encouraging. Now, I'm going to spend some time looking through your blog as well as those from other like minded ladies who have commented.

  32. Want a different perspective? Good, because you're going to get one.
    You see, I'm an 81-y-o male. I've had a newspaper column called "A Cook's Kitchen: Anything that goes on in your kitchen and mine." It was published for three years in three different newspapers (one even paid me!) and over 90 articles published in Space Future Journal focused on space based solar power and space tourism. Letters to the Editor without number. Written and self-published two books, most of which I gave away to family and friends.
    In all of this "literary" activity, I never once really wanted to make money. Is that somehow un-American? Actually, "A Cook's Kitchen" would now be considered a blog, and maybe I'll post it that way. I always wanted to just share some of the fun things that happen in ordinary kitchens.
    Now I've started researching and thinking about a new blog featuring how and why my son-in-law is so successful in what's now listed as "backyard farming." I thought about using it to make a few bucks with click-thru ads, but it seems like that would take a huge amount of research and photography, neither of which we can pull off very well.
    So what to do? Re-read your wonderful post and all the comments and warm up the keyboard (and my aging mentality) for a new venture--for fun, not profit.
    BTW, my wonderful wife is a quilter with a couple dozen quilts made for kids and grandkids. She's been urged to make them for sale, but she steadfastly maintains that that would take all the fun out of it!
    Yes, this is a long post that I hope will get some response, but if not, well, I said it and I'm glad. Thanks to you and all the respondents.


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