On Blogging Then

June 30th, 2015

Last night I was thinking back over my experience with blogging and realizing how long I’ve been doing this and how much things have changed in that amount of time.

When I started blogging, Twitter didn’t exist yet and Facebook was only available to college students. If you wanted to promote your blog, you had to email the link to people. Or get mentioned on one of the much fewer famous blogs at that time. So basically, your option was to email people. I maybe got 30 hits on a good day. Maybe.

At that time, I wasn’t blogging about student affairs or technology (or at least, only rarely). I had a strict no-work-blogging rule after hearing about people getting fired for blogging about work. If there were student affairs blogs at that time, I don’t know who or where they were. Again with the limited social networking for promotion capabilities. Instead, I blogged about my life – I blogged about having a baby and working on my house and my depression (even then) and just whatever I felt like writing. I had no niche, and it was amazingly freeing.

I also blogged more regularly – like five times a week, every weekday. We would put Aedan to bed, and I would pull out my computer to start writing. Most of my posts took me at most a half-hour to write, although sometimes it was longer. At the time, I figured the consistency would be good practice for someday being a writer. Now I miss having that much motivation and that many ideas. Or maybe I’ve just gotten bored with writing about myself so much. I transitioned to three posts a week several years ago, and now I just blog when the muse strikes – which isn’t often.

Sometimes I’d write my posts over my lunch hour in a notebook and type it up later. At the time, I still wrote some posts by hand. The feel of pen on paper is one I still crave, but I don’t think I can even do that anymore. The only time I can break my writer’s block is looking at a blank blog post instead of a blank sheet of paper.

It’s both amazing to me that I’ve been doing this so long – this “side hustle” that doesn’t pay a damn thing except satisfaction in my writing – and that things have changed so drastically from that first blog post way back in the day. Then again, when it comes down to it, it’s still the content that matters in blogging. So I guess not everything has changed.

What has changed since you started reading/writing blogs?

  • Jennifer

    I remember journaling from 5th grade on and then when I got out of college it just stopped. When MySpace was blogging I really kinda got back into it and then branched out of MySpace and wrote one called Life in New Orleans. (I know, totally clever. Ha!) Then I got tired of it and really didn’t blog much again until I had the pleasure to join you with Women Talk Tech. I am the worst though and even with a website/blog I rarely find the motivation to write consistently anymore. I agree that the addition of tags/hashtags has been amazing for blogs. So easy to find things now a days and leads people to my site that never would have before.

    • Kristen Abell

      Tags and hashtags definitely help people find my site more, but I also think there are just that many more people out there blogging, too, so I think my readership has decreased a bit with that. But it’s interesting to me who has stuck around and is still blogging and what they’re blogging about. I think that will always be interesting to watch.