Recently I was talking (i.e. ranting) to a friend about what’s wrong in the blogging world and thought it would make a great topic here.
Understand that this is heavily influenced by my own view of blogging because this site does not bring me income and has never been designed to make me famous, get sponsorships or support my lifestyle.
Which is why the selling out of blogs, specifically DIY and decorating ones, makes me ill. And as I recently cleared out my bookmarked folder of sites I made notes about the reasons I’m so disenfranchised with blogs lately.
Reason #1 Amateurs pretending to be professionals
Sometimes this is simple, in the form of bloggers who don’t proofread and make numerous, obvious errors in their writing. I’ve never claimed to be a grammatically correct fiend but when I publish for professional sites, every piece is edited by an expert.
Another symptom of this is the bloggers who disappear for weeks or months at a time because they’re “just not feeling it” anymore. Fine, whatever, if you’re not making this a professional endeavor. But for the rest of the blogs, do you really think a client or boss would allow you to just stop working because you weren’t happy doing your job?
Reason #2 Habitual racism, homophobia or discrimination
This one is a little harder because very few sites are blatantly discriminatory anymore. But it’s there and subtle and when it’s not just a single incident but perpetual then I just can’t. I can’t support bloggers who use their platform for exclusion and hatred.
For an example of my personal philosophy, there’s a bumper sticker I saw probably 10 years ago that had such a great message of understanding : “Straight, not narrow” and I love it. Because you don’t have to be a member of a community to extend graciousness and support.
Reason #3 Over sponsorship
Some sponsorships are just ridiculous. I don’t want to read about your super hard life as a stay at home mom in the most privileged nation in the world and how Sponsor’s pain pills helps you through your super hard days.
I’m sick of reading about how your recent remodel was “so affordable” or how you “splurged” on professional installation and then, wayyyyy at the bottom of the post is sponsored by in small print.
And “all opinions are my own” is just b.s. in my opinion because you can’t serve 2 masters. I’ve yet to find a blog that is authentic to its audience and simultaneously serving the needs of sponsors. It’s completely disingenuous to say “I’d buy this anyway!” because you didn’t. It was given to you.
I’ve seen this on everything from vacuum cleaners, mattresses, clothes and cars. Yes, vehicles worth over $30,000. Again: b.s.
It extends to giveaways as well, promoting flash sales or “curating a collection” and not divulging that when your readers click to buy you get a substantial kick back in the way of money or credits.
Reason #4 You’re boring
I shared this on Facebook recently but in any given year I can predict the subjects of articles all year long. Everything from resolutions in January, love your ____ (fill in the blank) in February, surviving Daylight Savings Time, blah, blah, blah.
It’s boring. Uninspiring. Tedious.
It’s one of the reasons I haven’t been blogging as much myself because when I fall into those traps I can’t stand to hit publish.
A subset of this is the blogger who perpetually does and redoes the same project over and over. Listen, I have decorating ADD sometimes too. I hang a picture and then want to move it pretty much the next day. But I really don’t want to read about how you’ve changed your kitchen island 47 times or how this basket used to be in the garage and then the toy room and now the living room! as if it’s some critically important aspect of life.
Reason #5 You’re weak on the details
This is specific to DIY blogging but if you post a project with no details then I’m unfollowing. If you post a “big reveal” and don’t share sources then I’m unfollowing. Inspiration is everywhere and Pinterest is a goldmine. But if you don’t provide the how or the where or the price then what good is inspiration? It’s a rabbit hole of research to find the answers and I’ve got enough to do, thanks.
Now, I understand that when something is secondhand or a gift or was purchased so long ago you don’t know where it came from those questions are hard to answer. But anticipate the inquiry and address it in the post, not in the comments, not in a follow up post “to come” months or years later.
Reason #6 Your site is obnoxious to navigate
Obviously I include sites that look like cutting edge 1998 design, with too busy backgrounds or flashing ads, popups and 170 sidebar boxes. But also sites that are planned intentionally to be annoying to the reader.
Here are my real pet peeves:
- sites that have 1-2 posts per page and 3,948 pages of blog posts.
- sites that when you click “next” reopen in a new tab. Stop. that. now.
- sites that have truncated posts so you have to “read more” and never take you back to where you were reading so you’re always scrolling around.
You know what these are? Tricks to increase page views and time on the site. And they’re foolish. Because more often than not I’ll just leave forever.
And so that’s what I’ve done on a large scale. I’m not interested in individually messaging bloggers about their sites, I’m just not investing my time anymore.
There are a precious few that I’ll follow and even more on my “last chance” list but since the beginning of the year I’ve removed at least 50% of the blogs I used to read for the reasons above.