The direction of blogging

The direction of blogging 2016

It’s been a while since I wrote a post about the blogging world and if I’m honest, I’m starting to see cracks. These aren’t little baby hairline fractures in a community either, these are up there with those mental sinkholes that keep cropping up everywhere.*

*It can’t just be me who’s scared of being stood in precisely wrong spot when one happens, can it?

Also, in all honesty, if you’re not a blogger or a PR, you probably won’t find this interesting. Just y’know, a heads up as this is a long one for anyone who doesn’t give a shit about blogger politics.

Anyway. I know this is probably going to get a load of people on me saying I’m a hater and the like, but right now, I think a lot of bloggers are doing it for the wrong reasons. I think there are a lot of bloggers who have sold out and I’ll happily admit that I think those who aren’t following best practices/have common sense are ruining it for those of us who are.

There, I said it, someone come tell me I’m nasty or whatever.

On one hand, we have the bloggers who write because they love it. They’ve put time and money into making their blogs fabulous, they’ve built followings, learnt new skills and have readers who come back for more because they produce regular, good quality content.

These are the right reasons to blog and I know one hell of a lot of bloggers who do this and I include myself in this group. These blogs are so much more than just a website. They’re a sounding board, source of inspiration and they’re entirely owned by the writer. They’re full of opinions, passions and conversations.

On the other hand however, there are the bloggers that are doing it because they want stuff. You can tell a mile off who has a blog because they want the freebies as they’re the ones consistently spamming #PRRequest and Response Source with their shopping lists. They’re the blogs with glaringly obvious keyword linking and every post has ‘review’ in the title. There’s no personality and you don’t actually learn anything about the writer as a person.

I can’t help but feel these are the bloggers who are letting the side down.

I read blogs because I want to read opinions, to be empowered, be inspired and allowed into their world. I don’t read blogs because I want to be sold to. I genuinely don’t mind sponsored posts, as long as they fits nicely inbetween organic content, some personality and are entirely honest,  but all the time? It just stops looking genuine and is no longer about the writer.

Inever wanted to be that person who says ‘that isn’t a good blog’ but sometimes, it’s just true. (And I can say that as someone with experience from the SEO and PR side, not just being opinionated for the LOLs). A blog shouldn’t be an advertising platform or a way to get as much ‘stuff’ as possible. And if that’s the purpose of your blog, then it makes you a bad blogger.

Blogs like that, which are spammy and are supported by social media accounts which do nothing more than beg freebies, are the ones who put PRs and SEOs off working with bloggers entirely. They may be well and truly ‘PR Friendly’ but it stops PRs wanting to be blogger friendly. Oh and seeing a large number of blogs doing nasty keyword linking? SEOs hate that. And what’s more, it makes them think that every time they work with bloggers, they run the risk of getting bad links that do more harm than good.

As ever, I’m not one to pussy-foot around a subject for fear of someone disagreeing, so I’ll happily say that I don’t think entirely sponsored blogs are even true blogs. Blogging should be about having something to say, not what the next thing is that you can be gifted.

There are incredible bloggers out there, who stick to best practices and don’t just take what they can get. They’re the bloggers who only take the opportunities that they think their readers will love and turn down the rest because they only want content that fits with their blog. Yes, these bloggers are out-numbered, but they’re still there. And you know what? They’ll be the ones who are still writing whether or not they have authority with Google or a freebie or two arriving with the postman occasionally, and I for one, intend to be one of them.

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