Bloggers, Blogging, From The Heart, Ramblings

From The Heart: A Blog Is Only Dead When You Are

September 23, 2015

Call me dramatic but I believe this strongly — your blog is only dead when you, your content, your zeal for it, dies. It’s a strong statement but it’s worth chatting about for a moment because there is lots of talk online about the future of blogs. I see many of my favorite blogs changing, stagnating or simply selling out (I define this as when a blogger does things for fame and/or money that others find questionable or that they hide because they know readers wouldn’t support them). Due to some of these things, I often wonder if the practice of writing a blog purely out of pleasure has become a lost art. Other times I see certain bloggers who make me proud  – they are full of fire and life, they say what they want, their words aren’t diluted or disingenuous so as to please sponsors and clients, they are unfeigned and they don’t give a damn.

From The Heart: A Blog Is Only Dead When You Are

Those are the bloggers that convince me to carry on — they astonish with words, ideas, photography – some or all.  I rely on their voices and go to them when I need a dose of humor, reality or to really think and feel something again. I don’t look to Facebook updates or random photos posted here and there on apps and websites. These blogging voices remind me that having a blog can still be relevant, fresh and invigorating when the people authoring them are. Blogs can still electrify.

I’ve been busy and unfocused lately when it comes to blogging and truthfully, even ambivalent. A colleague told me that my blog has become boring over the past few months. I was mildly offended at first but then realized the truth in her words because it even bores me, which has lead to my highly irregular posts. Many bloggers are struggling currently, have you noticed? Content is boring, posts are few and far between, content is constantly sponsored, passionate opinions are few (or gone)… Many bloggers feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of social platforms that exist now. Others are struggling to make money since blog ads aren’t pulling in the cash that they were years ago. How do you maintain a blog and find enough time to produce engaging content on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, LinkedIn? How can you also make money blogging when the entire revenue structure has changed?

I guess this is why I’m writing this post. To say that all of us can fall into the boring rut but whether we remain in it is up to only us. And I have decided to get out, and I’m starting with this post because it’s been awhile since I really said anything here.

It can be soul-crushing to stay fresh on every social channel while also trying to reply to those who want to network with you via these platforms, too. It can be hard to turn down a company with products that don’t interest you when they’re offering you thousands for a blog post. Blogging becomes all about survival, all about numbers – number of fans, number of dollars, number of page views, number of followers on other platforms. While some massive blogs thrive on numbers and love the push, the rest of us just don’t function that way. I personally have to believe in and love a product before I’ll take on a sponsored post but I have other ways to generate income that have nothing to do with my blog so I don’t feel pushed to accept every offer I get. I can’t judge those who do and who have families to support. I get it. But this all has changed blogging and how we once felt about it. .

Blogging, for many, gets pushed in the background because posts take time, in fact more time than posting a quick photo on IG or an update on Facebook. I loved blogging before massive online communities where everyone seems to throw out whatever pops into their mind without a single edit. All day you are bombarded with streaming random thoughts from “friends” which amounts to a lot of information that you really didn’t need (or care) to know about.

Then there are places where you only post and share imagery. And those places end up just showing the most edited, perfect, beautiful scenes imaginable. And they are at first inspiring but later, end up making you feel like you have to pump out equal or better content and if you don’t, you’re lame. In my opinion, there are two negative extremes online within these communities –  unedited oversharing and massive role playing (portraying your life as perfect).

Okay, maybe there is another negative and it’s called content overload. There is so much happening online making it impossible to focus and truly appreciate the hard work bloggers are pouring into their content. You find one great post and a second later, you’re reading ten more or liking ten more and so on. Same goes for the beautiful photography produced and shared on Instagram and Pinterest. In this sense, staying in a constant state of feeling oversaturated can be negative since studies have proven that too much choice stamps out creativity, causes depression, creates family stress and even alters our personality – we go from being humble sharers to hungry attention seekers at the cost of even our very own family life.

Limitation breeds creativity. My husband says this often. Being selective in what we’re taking in matters because it impacts our own work and voice. Which leads me to talk about this thing called power editing – not perfection, not role playing, not oversharing – power editing. Using a measure of self control in what we share to maintain both joy and sanity.

I sat in a bar recently in Amsterdam across from Leslie Shewring having a good chat. Her firm belief in power editing is quite inspirational. She believes that you have to power edit your life and not allow excuses or people or anything else to hold you back from doing what needs to get done. Leslie is all about power editing. And some of the book authors I read are into mindfulness, slow living and creating value. All good things.

With power editing, you ask yourself who are you the spending the most time with? Are they good for you? What are you doing for a living? Is it fulfilling you? Stuff like that. You really make your life choices intentional. For things that won’t work for you, that drain you, that aren’t rewarding – those are the deal breakers. You have to root them out or put your focus elsewhere if you can’t make them go away. And as for blogging, maybe we can all work to do the same. Only share what is left over when you’ve filtered out the loads of content you have taken in during the day – share what mattered the most to you personally. It’s a lesson in editing, that’s for sure – a lesson in holding back, in having self control. But that’s the good stuff and that’s why I will continue reading blogs – if I can tap into gems like that.

Power editing is also about making better choices for yourself quicker and with less emotion attached to the process. We crave intimacy, a sense of belonging and the motivation that only others can give through sharing how they’ve navigated their own struggles. You don’t get that by looking at pretty photos all day. You get that from conversations. You also don’t get that from overthinking everything to the point of paralyzing yourself. Blogging could easily become more creative, meaningful and special again if we all worked on this approach. Even therapeutic for us and others.

Power editing isn’t about being fake and presenting only the good, it’s about being genuine and presenting what matters most to you personally even if it ruffles some feathers. In fact, that is the only way blogs have a future in my opinion – if we start blowing minds again. If we break ourselves off from what’s comfortable, popular or trending… If we individually rise up and use our voice to create emotion, stir thoughts, stimulate creative thinking… Then blogs aren’t dead at all because we are very much alive.

What do you think, has blogging lost value? Will blogs eventually fade and die? Do you still read blogs? How do you think power editing can apply to bloggers in general?

(photography: holly becker for decor8. That is my little boy in the top photo examining the mushroom he found last week. Isn’t this something to do more as adults, to inspect what we are finding and value it? Maybe the same can be applied to the content our friends are sharing online. Take a moment to appreciate what treasures you find before you move quickly to the next thing.)






108 Comments

  • Reply Yvonne September 23, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Yes. Thank you for writing and sharing this, it was exactly what I needed to read today. ‘Limitation breeds creativity’: so very true. New social media platforms do seem to pop up every week now. I’ve long lost the will to join all of them and even left a few I didn’t really like (goodbye Facebook) which freed up a lot of time, not to mention space in my already busy head. But then writing those blogposts… Considered a short break to reflect on what it was I was trying to purvey again (haven’t not posted since January 31) but maybe I just have to start (really) writing again. Set aside all those epic blogs (which can be intimidating because everything you put out has to stand out, right? *coughs*) and just write about what touches me. Sorry about the rambling, still thinking this one through ;)

  • Reply Didie September 23, 2015 at 11:47 am

    Dear Holly, you know what happened with my blog without really knowing it upfront? From writing about fashion and design (six years ago) I went outside in… With topics like motherhood, loneliness, fears and even.. death. And no worries, I am not depressed. No, my (Dutch) blog is all about mindful joy, but I am just honest about the topics that cross my heart (instead of my mind). And it feels like I am adding value. At least to my own life and hopefully to that of many others.
    I just want to ask you – as a former BYW student – to continue teaching. Online or on location (e.g. The Netherlands ;-) because we need you to continue our blogging journey.

    • Reply Holly Becker September 23, 2015 at 8:17 pm

      @Didie – Oh thank you for that comment and I will, I love teaching so much and plan to do workshops in 2016 on location and online. You are so sweet, thank you for the encouragement!

  • Reply Emma F September 23, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Well said. I applaud your honesty. I have been thinking exactly the same for a while now, watching my favourite blogs turning into selling platforms that I no longer recognize, and pushing products that do not fit in with their own ethos. I get tired of seeing the same ideas over and over again. I’ve left FB as my own friends began using their accounts to sell, sell, sell. I still read a handful of blogs that are honest and interesting, but I worry that they too will sell their souls before long.

  • Reply Jessica Rose September 23, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    I think more blogs will be created, I don’t think they will fade away any time soon. I feel it’s the print publications that need to worry more!

    http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk

  • Reply Silvina from Tazas y Cuentos September 23, 2015 at 1:28 pm

    Oh…such an interesting post!! I agree with everything.
    Besos from Argentina!
    Silvina
    (a blogger that has been trapped by Instagram because real life and full time job don’t leave me time for my blog… but I miss it…)

  • Reply Jub September 23, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    Yes, I also see a lot of blogs being less and less interesting. Their owners prefer facebook or instagram because it’s quicker. I don’t think it is the same. A blog is more like a nest, someone’s place, to show pictures and to write about anything.

    But maybe the owners don’t have the time they use to have (to write and post), or they have changed. It’s only sad for us, the readers, who feel abandoned !

  • Reply Lesley Myrick September 23, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    Great insight, Holly. Even though I’m a blogger myself, I’ve stopped following a lot of the blogs I used to. There’s just so much NOISE out there that I’ve had to “power edit” the blogs that are influencing me. It’s helped with the comparison trap issue. (There is nothing more discouraging as a blogger than reading ALL THE BLOGS and feeling like you’ll never compare. Because you won’t. And I’m learning that that’s okay!)

    I love your longer essay posts. I really appreciate your strong and knowledgable opinions. xx

  • Reply Bethany September 23, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    This speaks to me in so many ways, thank you for posting it! I don’t think blogging is dead, but I have grown more and more bored with reading the same types of posts/projects/fashion and sponsored posts in my feeds and haven’t found much that really inspires me anymore. I post on my own blog much less than I did years ago, and this is part of the reason why (the other is having two toddlers at home now). Things change and morph over time, including all types of media, and I’m looking forward to what it becomes next – hopefully a return to more variety and more imperfect beauty!

  • Reply Miranda September 23, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I so agree with your thoughts! I miss the bloggers, the ones that posted beautiful words, pictures and most of all their hearts. I have a hard time finding them, when I come across a blog I want to follow, it’s so rare.
    I do love Instagram, there is so much to love there. Somehow there is a gap between blogs and Instagram.
    I get tired of sifting, sifting through content. I like the concept of power editing. I do think some blogs will stay, the sincere ones. Many are dying every month, and I think it’s because social media is faster; easier and more instant.
    My blog is about our life and it’s for me to capture and keep the beauty that surrounds me everyday. I don’t have the time to put into it like I would love, but we have been together for 7 years and it’s very much a special place for me. If no one else reads it, I’d still write it and I think that’s the heart of an authentic blogger.

  • Reply Sally September 23, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    What do you mean- “And I have decided to get out…”
    No more Decor8 blog?

    • Reply Holly Becker September 23, 2015 at 8:15 pm

      Hi Sally… I said, “I guess this is why I’m writing this post. To say that all of us can fall into the boring rut but whether we remain in it is up to only us. And I have decided to get out, and I’m starting with this post because it’s been awhile since I really said anything here.”

      Get off of the rut, not blogging! :)

  • Reply Sarah September 23, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    This really spoke to me. I wondered about the state of blogging myself with all the oversaturated content on social media. I love the concept of power editing. I feel if we stay true to our focus and the reason we started blogging, we’re not so easily swept up by the pressure to produce. Our blogs are reflections of us, and as we change and grow so do our blogs. I think that’s what makes many of them inspiring and unique. Your post is very real, honest, and thoughtful, and that’s what draws me in to the blogs I read.

  • Reply Katie September 23, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    I have seen a few ‘blogging is dead’ pronouncements over the years, and I guess they have become diluted because so many people have them. But I still read them and love them, and love finding content that moves me and new voices that inspire me and people I want to meet and hang out with because of their blog. So from my point of view, long live the blog! I think the idea of power editing is great. Don’t share everything, but be genuine and try to share the essence that makes you, you. Lovely idea x

  • Reply Suzanne September 23, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    I really enjoyed this post and totally agree with your sentiments. I too find that oversharing and the burden of too many social networks overwhelming to the point of paralysis.

    Instagram is like quickly leafing through a magazine, lots of pretty pictures but no substance.

    I try to power edit. I’ve always been keen on telling my personal story, not the one that everyone maybe wants to hear, which of course the search engines would prefer. If there isn’t anything personal 99% of blogs simply cannot keep me engaged.

    I’ve always tried to write the blog I’d like to read, it hasn’t made me successful, but it has enriched my life.

    bisous
    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

  • Reply Vancouver reader September 23, 2015 at 4:29 pm

    I agree with you totally & find myself deleting blogs from my feed as they turn to far too many sponsored blog posts or far too many posts, most of which have little to say. The ones that I treasure & save to read are the ones that are thoughtful & well written & often post only weekly or less. Maybe that doesn’t generate the hoped for income but it may actually draw far more readers in the long run, readers who will pay attention to what is being said.

  • Reply Jessica Rose September 23, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    Wow, I really enjoyed this! I am actually really excited to see how some of my favorite blogs evolve. I feel like change is on the horizon and I’m certain you will still get it right, as you always do. :)

  • Reply Cla September 23, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    I still read blogs and I love it when there are individual voices, not the usual pleasing comments so near the comercial Buy me! look how great I am! Decor8 have been a wonderful place and I hope you continue with it.
    Boring is also a part of life, so I accept it while thinking boring for someone is not always boring for other people. That’s what is so special about humans, isn’t it?

  • Reply Julie September 23, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Wow….did you write this for me? Kidding aside, I had to read the post twice. I will probably read it again later. :) Thank you for your raw insight and thoughts on blogging and the future of blogging. I feel blogging will always be around but like you said, substance, maybe not so much. I love the idea of “power editing”. Over the last year or so I have been apply some of those principles I just didn’t know it was called something…lol. Thanks again for the post Holly. FYI…..your little guys is getting so big. He is over the top cute!

  • Reply Kristin September 23, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    Real things I’ve been ruminating over lately.

    I have a blog, and I love it. It’s not my job, and I don’t pursue any partnerships or accept any products for review. A few of the rooms in our house have been featured in other places – one magazine and one very popular blog, which brought a lot of quick attention to the space – far more than just the small circle of friends and family that read there before. But those sort of surges always fade, and I’m grateful for that. It widened the net a little bit, and I feel like there’s a smaller, tighter knit community of friends that read it, even if we’ve never met in real life.

    I’ve struggled lately with writing, mostly with redundancy. I’ve been blogging for almost eight years, and really before that in an earlier platform. In the beginning we had so much going on – we were renovating an old, old house, and the stories were so interesting. We are now in the early stages of planning for an addition, which I also think will be fun to document there, but in the middle is just real life. All of the regular things we do in our days that add meaning and joy and beauty – they matter to us, but they aren’t always new and fresh and different. I also think it’s important (yet difficult) to talk about all the other things that make up this life, pain and discontentment and for us, right now, deep, deep grief. I took a few weeks off from writing to really think about why I write, but I came back to it because it matters to me, and it matters to my family and friends.

    I’m very turned off these days with sponsored content and blogs. I think people came to blogs in the early days looking for community. I know I found mine there, and I treasure the short list of blogs that I consider a part of my community.

    I loved the title of this post – to be honest, it’s why I read it and why I commented. When I stopped writing for a bit, one of my online friends pointed out that the beauty of blogs is that they are always there and always ready to come back to whenever we need them to be there. I have a dozen other schedules I have to attend to daily – work and school and family and the kids, etc. Writing is both my escape and my connection point, and is free from the constraints of a schedule.

    Thanks for writing this and for giving me the opportunity to connect to you over coffee this morning.

  • Reply Franca September 23, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    Dear Holly,

    Very well spoken, I feel the same way. You’ve inspired me! Thank you

  • Reply Janet September 23, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    “Limitation breeds creativity” – in this full-on social media swamped world, thank you so much for reminding me of that. I remember my favourite tutor at art college told me the same thing. And it is so nice just to sit back for a while and ponder over a generous blog post like this one – I look forward to more.

  • Reply Kimberly September 23, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    “…really make your life choices intentional.” Thank you for saying that. Perfectly timed and as always, wonderfully written. The point you make about being “genuine and presenting what matters most to you personally” really resonates and is why I continue to read the blogs I do. I’m delighted when I feel the author is sharing and not always “showing”. I don’t mind a great tutorial or recipe but I want to know why the blogger is writing about something- do they like it (not are they getting paid to like it)? What inspires them to share it? Like a great book, a well written post takes me to a different and sometimes new place or reminds me again of the value of the one I am in. Thank you for this thought provoking and conversation starting post.

  • Reply Vicki September 23, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    This is a beautiful message and beautifully written. Thank you for sharing it. I need to take a lesson from this. Thank you!

  • Reply Amanda Ehite September 23, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with this. I believe there’s too many bloggers blogging about every single thing that happens. I’ve restricted myself to a niche area (giftwrapping) and will only blog tutorials or talk about related products. I don’t think my readers need to know about my holiday so I won’t blog about it however tempting it might be. Hopefully I’m doing the right thing!

  • Reply Alysha H. September 23, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I know Decor8 used to be one of my favorite blogs, but I find myself checking it less and less. I know my reason for drifting away from your blog isn’t just the lack of posts, but the changing types of posts. I used to love the way you would curate amazing homes, tips for decoration, and new decor, art, and Etsy shops I had never seen before. Your blog was a bit like Pinterest before there was Pinterest, and I’ve always loved your style. I think sustaining passion is a struggle in any long-
    term situation, including a long-running blog like yours. Looking forward to where you go from here.

  • Reply Ann September 23, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Yes, I still read TONS of blogs — decorating/design/fashion – and anticipate doing so for a very long time. Instagram is great/fine, but it’s not enough.

    I’m an artist/painter – so I need inspiration! From all over! And I do get that from blogs, shopping sites, Pinterest, Etsy, wherever — the point being, tons of it coming from online sources…so I do like to tool around the ‘net and find random stuff.

    Yep, I’d say I’m definitely a “power editor” if it means questioning your life, where you’re at, who you’re with, who you are, where you want to be etcetera. I’m constantly in that mode…perhaps even a bit too much.

    I LOVE your blog – so don’t you ever entertain the idea of stopping it, k…? :)))

  • Reply Natalie September 23, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    Wow, what a great post! You touched on so many great thoughts. I too agree that blogging has lost a bit of its sparkle. Many of the blogs I follow (and loved!) have been doing more and more sponsored content and I always feel kinda let down as I’m reading when I clue in that it’s just a sponsored post. Ugh. I used to feel this strange anxiety to post so much, even when my heart wasn’t really into a specific topic, but now, like you, I’m just posting when I feel like it. I’m trying to think of blogging as being more for me than for others.

  • Reply Melanie September 23, 2015 at 6:45 pm

    Thank you for this article. These are all questions I have asked myself over and over. You have inspired me not to compare and drown in over-saturation, but to hold out for that real voice. I am only on Blogger but I feel intense pressure to get on other platforms because it’s-the-thing-to-do. I started out blogging as a purely creative outlet, but there is the pull to monetize that, which would be great, but it convolutes my mind(!, heh). I also feel it’s hard to get someone to read a whole post any more. I do know that those who take the time to read are my real audience and even friends.

  • Reply LeeAnn September 23, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    I’ve edited many of the blogs I read over the past year. I’ve actually cut out the ones that post multiple posts per day. Too much clutter! I honestly still look forward to seeing a Decor8 post pop up in my feed. I have always found your voice authentic and I love how you currate design in many different ways. I consider reading blogs just as entertaining as reading my beloved magazines. As with any task you do long enough there will be fatigue. You can’t be afraid of change or it will die. Writing and people wanting to read will never go away. I don’t know why bloggers don’t consider themselves authors. That’s how I see you and when I read a blog I want to read what YOU have to say.

  • Reply Heidi September 23, 2015 at 7:01 pm

    Really great post, Holly. I worry about blogs dying and feel sad when I see changes in the ones I’ve followed over the years. It’s like the creative joy of the online community is fading away and being replaced by…I’m not sure what. But we all seem to be getting a little tired and jaded. You’ve given me a lot to think about. Thanks.

  • Reply Sue September 23, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Hi Holly, perfect timing. I am also in a blogging rut and today was thinking of deleting my blog. I still like reading blogs, but maybe there are just too many around now. It is hard to find good ones. I guess we are also used to instant gratification and therefore we move on quickly if the post is too long, or does not appeal. I read today of some queen of mummy bloggers giving up blogging due to over demanding advertisers and agressive trolls. I do not know what will come next, but maybe it is time for social media and blogs to evolve.
    It would be a shame if you stop though, and I do not think you will. I can imagine however that it is very hard maintaining a flow of quality posts.

  • Reply Ariana Sparkle September 23, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    I completely concur with everything you said. I still love reading blogs, but it seems as if my old standbys are all about sponsor posts and they aren’t talking about anything new and fresh. I think that turning your blog into a successful business has become so much of a focus that ppl are forgetting to be authentic with their audience. In my quest to gain more readers, I too feel like I’ve just put out BS content just for the sake of it and because I’m still trying to find what works for me. I think at one time or another we all get bored with our own words, but thats the nature of the beast. Blogs may not be as popular as in the future as they are now, but I think that as long as there is information to be learned and shared then blogs will be around. Really loved this post btw!

    -A. S.

  • Reply Anna September 23, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing this Holly. You’ve said it so well.

    Blogs are definitely not dying. They’re just transforming. I do think the “golden age” is over, though.

    I’m not a huge blogger and have only earned a small bit of money, but money definitely changed the way I approached blogging. Like you said, it becomes a survival game. And I stopped enjoying it.

    I finally started saying no to crap opportunities. It was hard to get over the flattery of someone wanting to pay for little-old-me to make something. Blogging for myself (as originally intended) is so much easier, funner, and fuller. It’s a passion again. So what if I earn even less. I’d rather pay myself with the joy and experience than sell out for something that makes me feel stressed out and unfulfilled. Better fitting opportunities will come.

    You could call that power editing, in a way. I’ve been trying to be more deliberate about what I want from life. It’s easier to make decisions when you know where you’re trying to go.

  • Reply Kristin September 23, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    I think blogs have started to look the same visually and sound the same in content in order to fit that certain “successful blog” criteria. There’s nothing really new and innovative going on anymore it seems, and that’s what’s made blogs boring. Personally, I now have all my feeds on a short, headline view because there’s no point in scrolling through all of them anymore. I only open what looks new, interesting, or different. And sometimes that means opening 6 posts out of 50. That’s…sad.

  • Reply Juliette September 23, 2015 at 8:17 pm

    Great post! I don’t think blogs are dead, but I do think there’s some serious refining going on. And frankly, that’s a good thing. I think there are seasons for creativity expressed via a blog, and I also think there are certain zeitgeists that may tap into blogs more or less. So it’s really about deciding how you want to express yourself and finding the platform that fills that gap for you…and you having realistic expectations about what you’ll get out of it. (Link to my stalemate blog above; my current creativity seems to be mostly offline now, but I also toy with going back to the blog, so I get it!)

  • Reply KimiWho.com September 23, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    I was just talking with a friend of mine today about something similar. She’s always wanted to blog and has a love of writing. Thing is, she’s not the kind of blogger we all know to be successful. She wants to blog on whims – not in a scheduled manner. She wants to write about whatever she wants to write about and that’s probably going to mean a lot of self-centered posts, fiction and non-fiction stories, and posts without pictures. Where does someone like her fit in the grand scheme of things? Why would anyone ever want to read her blog?

    I didn’t have the answer for her. I’ve written those types of blogs before and found that I had a very limited audience that wasn’t really engaging in conversation with me about my content. What’s the point of writing if no one is reading? Again, I don’t have the answer. I see nothing wrong with the idea of writing for yourself because you want to and it makes you happy. But she sees these other blogs with their perfect images, their sponsors and highly engaged audiences and she knows she’s not any of those bloggers. Does she even belong?

    I don’t think blogging will die any time soon – so long as it’s working and there are people who are enjoying doing it. But I do think there will eventually be a shift in content.

  • Reply Münstermama September 23, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Dear Holly, first of all:great post! Love what you wrote and had to re-read a few times to make sure I get your point. But I have one thing that still strikes me… aren’t you one of the prime examples of blogs that show only the good and beautiful or did I miss something? I wonder how you want to incorporate what you wrote in your own genres…

  • Reply CHARLOTTE September 23, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    This constant need for sharing only what’s popular, comfortable and trending is running everyone down a social media hill that not even Catilyn Jenner would win. If gold medals were awarded for blogging then Decor8 would win.

  • Reply Elisa September 23, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Thank you for clarifying, I was getting sad that you had decided to opt out, of blogging. Your little guy is really growing up, just beautiful!
    Glad to hear you’ve decided to stay.

  • Reply Judy September 23, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    Thanks for sharing that, Holly – and all those who commented, too! I am a total “newbie” to blogging. I started for three reasons: 1. I now have time; 2. I love to write; 3. I’d like to have some income of my own. But I am totally overwhelmed and wonder if I made the right decision – maybe I should have just started writing a book! I share on Facebook only because that’s all I’m connected to & I won’t add any others. But I am so overwhelmed with the bloglovin updates that storm my inbox! And, as for making money … well, you’ve scared me a little with that – I won’t advertise anything I’m not okay with. Does this limit me somewhat when I get to that stage? Anyway, I’ll continue on my journey for now as I have friends who actually want to see if I do make any money!

  • Reply Laura Ruiz September 23, 2015 at 11:17 pm

    This was my introductory post into your blog and what a welcome it was. It’s refreshing to read an honest opinion on the blogosphere. The issue I’ve seen goes with bloggers with a very young audience, such as preteens or even teens. They’re so easily swayed into purchasing and doing everything they’re favorite social media bloggers are doing without really questioning where the posts are coming from. You definitely see this when reading about vloggers’ “meetups” where their fans begin crying and such. It’s a lot of power, and should be handled carefully.

  • Reply Cheryl September 24, 2015 at 2:14 am

    I am sorry to hear that you will be walking away from blogging…yours was one of the first blogs I found and one that has always inspired me. I agree that blogging has become very different. My blog is small and those who follow are mostly friends and family, along with a few who have found me through link parties. I started my blog as a creative outlet to document our home projects. I have had a long time passion for home decor that started when I was very young. My posts are sometimes sporadic because there is not much going on here DIY-wise and I find it hard to create a post just for the sake of posting something. I have stepped away and stopped following many of bigger bloggers who are sponsored, simply because it made me feel inferior. I have never written a sponsored post or received money for my blog and I get frustrated by those who have “sold out” to the masses and push products. Thanks for sharing your views and best of luck to you as you follow your heart!

    • Reply Holly Becker September 24, 2015 at 12:11 pm

      @Cheryl – I never said that – I have NO plans to stop blogging. Where did you read that anyway? I read my post a few times and am not sure how you would have extracted that. :)

  • Reply Tina September 24, 2015 at 2:33 am

    I totally agree with you! I don’t like sponsored posts but I see them almost everywhere, on small and really big blogs. I understand that the bloggers need / want to make money but I’m always thinking that there must be a better solution, not just trying (sometimes desperately and not very successfully) to make it work for your content and your blog. I oftentimes find myself not even clicking on a post that says it is sponsored! Instead I’m always waiting and looking for personal and longer essays on all sorts of topics: motherhood, relationship, business, anxiety, blogging – you name it. These are the posts I read, comment, relate to, think about, save and share with my own blog readers. And these are also the posts I try to write on a regular basis. As you said, this is hard work and very time-consuming. But I don’t make any money with my blog and with focusing on quality rather than quantity I’m still trying to find MY niche and MY reader. I’m only very very slowly growing my readership. But it feels good!!! And I really hope that blogs don’t die! I love to be a blogger, be part of the blogger community and read, share and create great content! 
    As for your blog, I don’t think that it got boring but it was obvious that something was going on behind the scenes. I’m so glad that you don’t stop blogging and that you are going to keep inspiring the blogging community out there with your work, your thoughts and ideas! Thank you, Holly! 

  • Reply Lish Dorset September 24, 2015 at 3:16 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for such a thoughtful post. I’ve been a blogger/writer for years now and after a particularly challenging summer found myself at a loss for what I wanted to do. For my own blog, I’m calling the shots – I post about what I want to and I love it. I like having a journal I can look back on for some of the moments and topics that mean a lot to me. I really appreciate your honesty because we have all been there and will definitely be there again.

  • Reply dawn September 24, 2015 at 3:21 am

    hey miss holly, i have said it before, these are the posts i like most from you … your thoughts, words and insight … i am always drawn to blog posts that connect on an emotional level which i agree seem to be in many ways few and more far between. i only read a small handful of blogs (about 6) as i can never find ones that i really want to stick with for the long haul … i am pretty sad at blogging myself and have thought more recently that i should just start sharing more from my heart, as those are the posts i enjoy the most anyway … looking forward to hearing more from you :)

  • Reply mel September 24, 2015 at 7:31 am

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately because I’ve been noticing less comments on blogs (including mine). I feel like people are hanging out more on Instagram , like you said, it’s easier to post one nice picture and a paragraph of thoughts than editing an entire post. I wonder about the future and then I write a personal post from the heart, or share a home tour that I photographed myself and boom people notice and comment! There’s too much choice out there and quite often it’s the same, so there needs to be a point of difference. Interestingly Megan Morton the stylist is a big believer in having one work day in the week where none in the office is allowed to be on the internet, it’s often those days that they have the great, “out there” ideas. Great post Holly! Mel x

  • Reply Mrs Ford September 24, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    I agree with all of this and particularly like the idea of Power Editing – in all aspects of Life! I don’t follow that many blogs, but those which I do follow are full of the blogger’s individual personality; so reading and commenting is like a warm and interesting conversation with friends.

  • Reply Marisa September 24, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    I still love read blogs, inspite of I didn´t write a lot in my own. When I see a blog full of publicity , usually I don’t read it.

  • Reply Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer September 24, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Less is more, has been my thinking for some time. We can’t keep up. So it’s better to stay real. I take no notice of the loudmouths anymore. I perk up when I see someone who hasn’t said anything for a while.

  • Reply Julie Kirk September 24, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Oh, it’s a comfort to know it’s not just me feeling the disconnect lately. I put it down to me changing my blogging focus [and possibly losing my original network] …. but I’m beginning to feel it’s a larger issue than that.

    Last week I decided to do something about my personal blogging situation with a somewhat rash [and RSI inducing] challenge to start leaving more blog comments [Hello there!] to see if that could jump start *something* for me http://notesonpaper.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/why-im-leaving-300-blog-comments-in-30.html

    It’s definitely not a sustainable answer! And its excessive nature is almost ridiculously in opposition to your ‘power editing’ paring back approach but still … today someone who read my post told me to come and read *your* post – so, if nothing else, my challenge did that much for me!

    Great food for thought.

  • Reply Julie Kirk September 24, 2015 at 1:05 pm

    Oh, it’s a comfort to know it’s not just me feeling the disconnect lately. I put it down to me changing my blogging focus [and possibly losing my original network] …. but I’m beginning to feel it’s a larger issue than that.

    Last week I decided to do something about my personal blogging situation with a somewhat rash [and RSI inducing] challenge to start leaving more blog comments [Hello there!] to see if that could jump start *something* for me http://notesonpaper.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/why-im-leaving-300-blog-comments-in-30.html

    It’s definitely not a sustainable answer! And its excessive nature is almost ridiculously in opposition to your ‘power editing’ paring back approach but still … today someone who read my post told me to come and read *your* post – so, if nothing else, my challenge did that much for me!

    Great food for thought today, thank you.

  • Reply Domestic Goddesque September 24, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    For two long years I have been struggling with feeling like I lost my way with the blog and only last week I came to the same conclusion.. Thank you for articulating my thoughts. I feel I have been reinvigorated.

  • Reply Maria September 24, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Holly, I have gotten a lot of motivation from you and your blog. I have also connected with people through your platforms. I really thank you for that. As far as blogging, the problem I see is that some bloggers I follow have stop sharing their very own ideas and struggles in their blogs. Instead, as a reader, I feel their posts are driven by actions that generate the most revenue for them and by what is trendy at the moment. Is like the individuality and that fresh sparkle of reality and imperfection is lost. All blogs start to look the same. I also feel some bloggers have a lot of pressure and are scare of sharing their real point of views, or their real struggles because that might not be very appealing to a company that are collaborating with, or becasue they are scare they will loose followers, or becasue they think it will look “off topic”. As a reader I love content that is based on real life experience, and its driven by thoughts and struggles similar to the ones I live everyday. Readers need to relate to the blog content. We have Pinterest and Instagram and Houzz to see all kinds of beautiful houses, and decoration, and trends. These social platforms offer fresh curated content every single minute, we can find there very easily any thing related to fashion, decoration trends and recipes, and beautiful visual inspiration of all kind… but what we dont find there is real thoughful content, real life experiences. This is where bloggers come in… so I would say a blog is only dead when it looses its individuality. When it is not real anymore.

  • Reply sophie hérolt petitpas September 24, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    thank for this very personnal post. your blog is still one of the best on the web, still very professionnal but also personnal
    sophie

  • Reply Anni September 24, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    What an interesting topic! I started my blog 5 years ago and over the last 2 years I didn’t have that much time to post, so there was only the eventual post every one or two months. I really feared that I would loose a lot of readers but that wasn’t the case. When I was talking to a friend wondering about this, she predicted that the blogging world would come back to only a few but meaningful and valuable posts every now and then. I don’t know if that will be the case, but I really hope so. Like you said, over the last years many of the blogs turned into ad-sponsors without creating real value for their readers. I don’t really care if someones sponsoring a product as long as it really fits into their scheme and I as a reader don’t get the impression, that they only did this post because they had an agreement with the company. Because when I started reading blogs, I did so, cause I wanted an individual and honest opinion.
    I think the biggest problem might be that most of the bloggers started their blogs as a hobby and after a while they figured out that they could make a bit money with it and thought: “Why not get paid for something that I would do anyway?” And then the blog became business. And a business needs a clear strategy to tell what products fit the scheme and what products do not.
    Also they tried to follow the lead of the “big bloggers” in trying to have their blog look the same and cover the same topics to also get that popular. But to really get popular you have to be different than the others.

  • Reply Pat@BPM September 24, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Thank you for this post. Mine is one of the tiny, non monetized blogs. For over 8 years I’ve blogged about our adventures and lifestyle. Just when I think about stepping away I receive emails encouraging me to continue. I am 72. There aren’t a lot of bloggers my age or older. I write about this and that and use only my photography. I am always surprised there are folks interested in what I have to say. Now and then I have to remind myself we need a voice too and I continue. This year has been filled with changes. We downsized to a smaller home, nearer our children and medical professionals. We are enjoying the transition. I’ve written about it and have heard positive feedback.
    I’ve been in the world of blogging long enough to see all the changes and yet I continue to plug along.

  • Reply Suzanne September 24, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    Hello Holly,
    I have wondered about how people are feeling about blogs…I miss the community that I found when I began my blog in 2008, and yes, my posts are random and sporadic. I agree with everything you wrote as I was just logging on to write my own post. I even disabled comments this past year because I wanted to focus on what I posted without being concerned with how many people read it or commented. Perhaps if those passionate bloggers, such as yourself and those who left comments above, continue writing blogs will become in “fashion” once again. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    Ciao,
    Suzanne

  • Reply Rochelle September 24, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    Great post – and all great comments too. I’ve been working through my blogging purpose lately in an effort to get out of my own rut (A LOT of work!) – and though I’ve not quite distilled my thoughts down a few good nuggets of a personal mantra that I can live by, there are a few things I’ve come to realize — first is that I do think that blogging as a unique profession is dead or on it’s way out (I’m curious if you would agree?). When I started blogging I did it for my own inspiration and to help encourage my design business… I was never short for enthusiasm – over time (like you) I mostly gave up the design business and just blogged – with the idea of being a blogger for a living. But as I’ve progressed, I’ve taken on projects that I’ve not always loved or been super proud of, and generally lost sight of things that inspired me to blog in the first place. I’ve come to think that just blogging (as a sole profession and thereby requiring an income) doesn’t have a future because you can’t make a living doing it while not selling out in some significant way. And selling out is soul crushing for the blogger and not a sustainable business idea that readers want to support. I do however think that blogging (as part of a greater business – my business being a design writer) or purely on a personal sharing level is alive and well – and many of us need to rediscover these deeper reasons for doing it. I don’t think of myself as a professional blogger anymore – in fact, I am a writer, author, speaker/teacher, designer, publisher etc… these are things that support me financially – the blog is a tool to be creative and try things out, have a conversation with my audience, learn from them, and share the other stuff that I do (this is the really hard part – getting back into a healthy mentality where I can stop feeling like I need to have all the answers, or I need to be perfect and polished, and maybe just, instead, start a converation or post about my own creativity, work, etc.). It was easy to be this way when I had a designer menality – for me, it has become impossible when I have a ‘blogger-for-a-living’ mentality. I have evolved to find other avenues of income – related to and supported by my blog – and I have totally given up on the idea of blogging for a living. It is freeing and is really helping me get back to the reasons why I loved it in the first place – because I could express my voice and my creativity (for myself first – and secondly for anyone who wanted to join the ride). Thanks for a great post – here’s to re-inventing blogging! Oh – And I’m going to have to think on this power editing idea… I like it, but conversely one of the great joys of the early days of blogging was discovering new voices…. power editing seems to discourage that….I miss the days when we all had blogrolls where we could find new cool things/ people… while I agree, editing is a must… I’m not sure how to have my cake and eat it too on this subject.

  • Reply Liz Piccione-Volger September 24, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    I don’t think blogging is dying at all and I have “power edited” from the very beginning (2011). I think the discontent from a reader comes from not having a diverse enough list of blogs that one follows. My list is all over the place. And I follow quite a few. Besides too many sponsered post the one thing that can turn me off is when a blog has many authors writing it (one doing recipes, one doing book review, one doing a travel section, etc.) I don’t mind a sponsered post if the author seems actually excited about it!

  • Reply Bai Yang September 24, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Dear Holly,

    Thank you for a lovely, thought provoking post! I don’t think that blogging will die, I believe blogging will continue to be an important source of inspiration and community for a long time yet. However, the number of blog post these days, empty of meaning and integrity, can be overwhelming and tiring. I’m looking forward to where you are going from here!

    This is probably the paragraph that creates the impression that you will quit blogging:
    “I guess this is why I’m writing this post. To say that all of us can fall into the boring rut but whether we remain in it is up to only us. And I have decided to get out, and I’m starting with this post because it’s been awhile since I really said anything here.”
    Reading quickly, it is possible to miss that “… I have decided to get out,” doesn’t mean that you will stop blogging, but points back to the previous sentence, where you talk about the boring rut in which we can remain or not.

    Love from Bai Yang

  • Reply No Fear of Fashion September 24, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    A very heart-felt blog post. I agree that the nicest blogs are the genuine ones. Workin in advertising I can so easily detect dishonest content to please the sponsor. I don’t earn my living with blogging which allows me to not do anything commercial on my blog. A very luxurious position.
    My aim is to amuse and entertain as many people as I can (so I like a large audience) with my blog posts. Which is why I try to make people smile or laugh. Or I tell them all about my beauty surgery (I am vain. A shortcoming.) So far I seem to do good. But it is early days. My blog is only alive for nearly three years now.
    The best thing about blogging for me, is indeed the contact with other bloggers. The joy to meet them in real life too. Even though Vancouver was quite a long way away from Amsterdam haha.
    Keep up the good work.
    Greetje

  • Reply Melissa September 24, 2015 at 10:33 pm

    I could not agree more and this was something I needed to read today to understand why I had felt quite a great deal of melancholy and lack of excitement to when I had been writing blogs, so thank you.
    http://www.melissaxbelle.blogspot.com

  • Reply LadyNicci September 25, 2015 at 12:33 am

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. Since I’ve gotten more and more into blogging I’ve become overwhelmed with the amount of platforms and developed an obsession with stats and a worry about figures. Something that never even entered my head when I first started (slowly) blogging. Since I’ve started reading more and more blogs I find there is a huge amount of vacous content, of posts for the sake of posts – of little of depth. At the same time, I’ve discovered wonderful writers, clever people whose style and personality appeals to me and who I really enjoy reading. There is a future, the blog is not dead, but what kind of future, I’m unsure.

    I will take this line with me:
    we go from being humble sharers to hungry attention seekers at the cost of even our very own family life.

    I want to remain a humble sharer. That’s for sure.

  • Reply Susanne September 25, 2015 at 12:35 am

    Dearest Holly,
    You hit the nail on the head- does one say that in english? In German: du hast den Nagel auf den Kopf getroffen. Yes, and even I am by no means an experienced blogger- I only took two of your courses and started recently putting myself out there a little bit, I see totally what u mean and couldn’t agree more. Thanks for not giving in or up. Thanks for being honest. Thanks for being self-critical and open minded. You are a great source of inspiration to me.

  • Reply Carolyn September 25, 2015 at 12:57 am

    Hi Holly,
    I’ve read you blog for quite a while now and agree that many blogs are very different from when they first started, yours included. I find most blogs are not sharing what they used to (their personal thoughts & lives) because once the blog becomes popular, they start doing more things outside of the blog – creating books, going on book tours – so they no longer have any time to focus on what got them where they are now in the first place. Not really a bad thing, just different & yes, sometimes boring. I would love for you to talk more about your life in Germany – about lifestyle, mothering, entertaining, travel….you could really show us what is going on in a different part of the world – what is different and what is the same. I would love to hear about schooling in Germany, how they treat the young and old in their society….the real world too!

    • Reply Holly Becker September 25, 2015 at 9:10 am

      @Carolyn – Great ideas, but this is a blog about decorating with some personal essays from time to time, but it’s not and never was meant to be, a personal blog. I don’t want to share my personal life publicly, I like to have something private and special for myself and my family. I also do not like to talk about my expat life on decor8 in great detail because I’ve been here for over 6 years now and I no longer feel like an expat, I feel like this is home, so I don’t have much to say on the topic as I did before. :) When it comes to being a mom, I definitely don’t want to talk about my son on decor8. I feel strongly against this for many personal reasons but mainly, I respect the privacy of my family life.

      However, I do like the ideas of talking about lifestyle, entertaining and travel and had plans to speak more on those topics so I definitely will!

      Also, I think it’s important to sometimes look at everything a little differently. You said something though that was interesting, “because once the blog becomes popular, they start doing more things outside of the blog – creating books, going on book tours – so they no longer have any time to focus on what got them where they are now in the first place.”

      While I agree that it’s still important to focus on community and the blog, I also think growth is extremely important and also really what drives human beings forward – if we all just stayed in the same spot or stayed in the same spot because others were more comfortable with us staying there, then what happens to the creation of other great things. For instance, if I didn’t write books and do e-courses, how could I still write a blog and support my family financially? How could I still inspire myself enough to keep writing a blog if I wasn’t doing other things? Also, I wasn’t new to careers when I started blogging, I had already spent nearly 10 years working with designers and architects in space planning and floor redesigns for large corporations and I had gone to design school and also had clients in Boston for 2 years in addition to spending 10 years working on home renovations, apartment renovations and other projects for myself and others. The blog was just a space for me to talk about what I was doing and also to break into magazine writing – I wanted to blog so that I could be noticed as a writer and that was my ultimate goal – because when I started blogging wasn’t a career choice or goal, no one was earning money from it and there was no fame attached to blogging – if anything, bloggers were laughed at. I remember magazines I pitched to hanging up on me saying, “What’s a blog?” or “Who cares about blogging, it will never result in anything”. I could go on and on. So while, from the outside, a reader may think a blog got a lot of us to where we are, in reality it was a stepping stone but popular bloggers weren’t made popular simply by blogging – we got there through endless hours of working, hustling, networking, building our skill set, taking classes, spending thousands of dollars on equipment, it’s all quite a long and challenging road – but also very fun and rewarding.

      I guess in the end, it’s important that none of us hold back the progress of others for our own pleasure. It’s more comfortable that we all “just stay the same” but it’s not going to make a majority of us truly happy. If I was still only blogging and only focused on blogging, I would not have had the wonderful chances to travel, teach and meet so many readers who have become close and dear friends. I also want to be an example to my son. I want him to see a mother who isn’t afraid of change, who is open-minded and who likes to grow and move in new directions.

      I guess in the end we bloggers who are doing other things just hope that our readers understand and respect our decisions to pursue our career dreams in addition to having a blog, too.

  • Reply Nicole Nicol September 25, 2015 at 2:12 am

    I just always love these type of posts from you. Your blog was one of the first of two i started following from round 2007-8 and i guess the biggest thing that has changed is that you don’t share so much so much about you or your opinions so much anymore. of course it makes sense as your business has exploded you don’t want all your personal stuff out there but i think what most drew me to blogs was the subject matter but also i got to know the person a bit too.
    I feel that most blogs are quite slick and more commercial looking and even the social media platforms are going that way that people are still searching for real voices and connection. Maybe its like a tipping point where we reach saturation and then the trend goes back to people seeking out the slower more authentic voices. I do know that Thorsten is so wise in that advice…i find days when i just say no to checking my phone, emails work stuff and just be me or have a ‘good wife or mum’ day where i cook, organise, do things with the kids , that the business stills goes on and I feel less torn. Less voices in my head.
    I only have a small add on blog to my shop but Ive also been thinking about this lately and hope to take some time to write about things that my customers might find interesting..like the myth of the work home balance, starting an online shop etc. I don’t think blogs are dead but i think the tide is turning back to more considered opinions…. like yours. Oh and please continue teaching..sometimes i just do a course for the whole vibe and to meet people..keep my creative juices flowing. nicole x

  • Reply Lisa September 25, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    I think blogs are still relevant. In fact, your blog was the first one I read regularly and came to love. In time, I started my own. There is nothing like a blog post for putting down your fuller thoughts on a project or idea. I find your words an encouragement to keep going and being real. Blogging has also been the best medium for me to share creative projects and the positive feedback has encouraged me to make more. It’s also held me accountable to making more. It’s hard to describe, but it’s still valuable to me. I think you should be encouraged.

  • Reply Carolyn September 25, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Hi Holly,
    Sorry if my comment came off as a personal attack to your blog, that was not my intention at all. I was just trying to say that some blogs in general start off more personal and then turn into something else or that they don’t even post much anymore. I know your blog is about design and from reading your blog for years, I know you work very hard and are a working mom which I applaud. Did not mean to make you feel like you had to defend yourself, I’m sorry. I just think you have a very interesting life, being an American living in Germany and would love to hear more about that. I love your blog and books and am inspired by you. The people who read blogs do respect and I understand your decisions to pursue your dreams….I was only commenting on how things have changed on “blogging”.

    • Reply Holly Becker September 25, 2015 at 3:43 pm

      @Carolyn – Oh goodness NO not at all, I didn’t take it that way!
      Have a nice weekend, it was good talking to you. :)

  • Reply Wrenaissance Art September 25, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    This summer, I’ve been enjoying Instagram and your feed has been so interesting. You’ve been sharing all the exciting and inspiring outtakes from the travel and photo shoots involved in your next book, plus cool little moments of inspiration in your daily life. On the other hand, your blog has indeed lacked a certain freshness this summer.
    I just thought: Your current creative focus is on your upcoming book, so you have less time and energy to also write blog posts that are unique and different from the book topics. No worries there! It’s to be expected that a creative person involved in many projects will have seasons of ebb and flow as they work in different areas.
    This blog post really confirms some thoughts I’ve been pondering regarding blogging. It seems to me that there are blogs that *are* the creation–digital magazines where the author has gone to a lot of trouble to research photos, interviews, write, photograph, edit, etc, etc to create an article or photo-essay as an end in itself. But is that model of blogging really suitable for a “maker”, a person who creates art or craft pieces, or design projects?
    It seems to me that a “maker” needs to prioritize their time offline in the world of making their creative objects or projects and use their blog as one arm of their outreach program introducing themselves and their work to the world. A pure portfolio blog would be pretty boring–probably every creative needs to find the way to blog about themselves and their work in the way that suits them best. But they need to be spending their time in the analog world, or else their digital offering won’t be much to speak of!
    So glad to see you’re back and ready to share some of the unique approach you have to looking at the design world and your thoughts on how it all fits into the bigger picture!

  • Reply Rach September 25, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    Hi Holly,
    Thank you for taking the time to write such an inspiring post. I started blogging many years ago to share all the wonderful ideas for DIY I had because I just loved making things – I grew up creating projects and loved the blogosphere as I could finally share them with more than just my mum. By accident my blog became big (before there were a lot of DIY blogs) and I started to work for other big blogs and then I ended up travelling all the way from Australia to the U.S. to attend a big blogging conference. It ended up being life changing as I just couldn’t connect with the push from everyone to commercialise blogging. Everyone I met seemed disingenuous and the bloggers I had idolised and worked for barely spoke to me. One who I had been working for for over a year ignored me in the lift when I said hello. The conference was such a loud, over-stimulating, hyped up wonderland, it felt like blogging had become a big product, not a place to share, listen and grow. I felt at that conference there was only a tiny handful of amazing people I met amongst the thousands that were there who weren’t panicking about sponsored content and who were actually interested in making connections with people, not brands. My vision of this wonderful blogging world where we all connected to share life was shattered and I came home feeling saddened and uninspired – I just stopped blogging. This post has really made me feel hopeful that blogging can be revived away from the plethora of sponsored posts creating DIY projects using big brand products and move back to that inspiring, edited sharing I used to enjoy creating and loved reading. Thank you for giving me hope again!

  • Reply Kelly September 25, 2015 at 11:30 pm

    Gone are they days when one could manage keeping pace with blogs and keep current on twitter and Facebook! While the internet has done so much good opening doors and fostering connections worldwide its left us as in a constant state of info OVERLOAD. Glad to see I’m not the only one trying to figure out where on earth to spend my time, which channels I like best and as a business owner where we can connect with our audience the easiest. Blogging is most certainly not dead and it only takes a long post like this to prove your point! I’m trying to envision what kind of image you could have posted to Facebook to garner the same response from all the lovely folks above and #+@ or scoping wouldn’t have remotely proved the point :)

  • Reply Chloe September 26, 2015 at 11:00 am

    Really interesting to read this blog. I have been thinking about the concept of ‘limitation breeds creativity’ a lot recently.

    Thank you for this, it has inspired me to give my blog (not quite neglected, but not very well used) a bit more attention!

  • Reply Yvonne @Quilting Jetgirl September 26, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Thank you so much for such a refreshing viewpoint on blogging. I believe so much in the community that can be cultivated through a blog and have been finding myself confused that others don’t see the same value and import that I do. I should realize that I need to listen to my gut and knowing that others, like you, are going through the same thing was the reinforcement I needed to read.

  • Reply Mnêmosunê September 28, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Holly,
    Well so many interesting things in this article, I don’t even know how to start my comment !
    I’ve been blogging for almost ten years now. My blog is not well known, which doesn’t bother me as I’m looking for sharing experiences and discussions.
    But these past few years, I noticed that, maybe because of the huge amount of readings available, there are less and less comments : how to start a conversation, how can you understand the other one behind his screen if your can’t hear his voice ?
    This was a big struggle for me, and then I noticed I was doing the same : reading lots of blogs, not commenting them because it was too time consuming – or maybe this was my excuse to not feel guilty ? – and at the end of my readings, I still felt empty, like something was missing.
    The heart. The core. The passion.
    This is what I felt missing, and then I started to redirect my readings towards topics and authors that really inspires me, fuels me. Maybe it sounds a little bit egocentric – maybe it is ? – but I feel it is what you are saying there : blogging for passion with your own voice.
    As a result, I’m reflecting on my own blog, to see what I can change / improve to fit in this path…
    Do I really need to add how much I enjoyed reading this post ?
    Have a nice day Holly !
    PS : Oh and I can’t resist finishing this huge comment by celebrating the cuteness of your baby boy with his mushroom <3

  • Reply Elizabeth September 28, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Thank you Holly for your beautiful honesty. I’ve always loved your blog for the sheer amount of blood, sweat, and tears you’ve poured into it over the years and how generous you’ve been in helping others to understand this world of blogging. Unedited posts drive me up the wall! There’s so many times I see people write a great post title with an excellent premise, only to click through and there’s maybe 2 ideas when there could have easily been a dozen. And it’s hard to see beautiful images being preferred over good writing. Sometimes I’ve felt like I’m back in high school competing with the cool kids, and those have been the moments that I’ve had to step back, invest myself back in the people who know and love me, ground myself in the truth of the Gospel and stop looking at others for my approval. The harder I’ve worked, not paying attention to competing with others, the happier I’ve been. Perhaps I’ll never be a giant blogging rockstar, but if I make a little money doing something that I love and getting to write about it (an activity whose process I have always loved), then it’ll all come out in the wash.

  • Reply Fran September 28, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    I like this post and only saw it now as I only pop by here about once a month and not – like I used to – several times a week. This does not have anything to do with your blog being boring (I do not find so), but I changed my habits about 1,5 years ago. After many years in which I spent about 1-2 hours per day reading blogs I realized what a waste of time this was.
    Now I only dedicate one evening per week (or a rainy sunday afternoon) to reading blogs. There are about a dozen I follow, and no: I don´t follow anyone on Instagram. Since I reduced the time I spend reading blogs I really enjoy blog reading again and now don´t consider it a waste of time but a nice treat and a real pleasure. Instagram however is in my opinion a huge waste of time. People posting photos of their so called lives has nothing to do with being authentic but is purely vain.

    I also understand that some people feel they must do sponsored posts to make a living, but these often are boring and sometimes they even turn me off. I feel these people should maybe find a job that pays the rent, but I am in no position to judge anyone. I do not blog myself and therefore do not know all the details on earning money as a blogger.

    I do not find your blog boring and I like you for honesty like in this post. Sorry for my mediocre English, it is not my first language!

    Cheers, Fran

  • Reply Tracey Fletcher King September 28, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    This was a perfectly worded post… My attitude to my blog changed dramatically two years ago when I was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and given a dire prognosis… It changed my whole life in a moment, and through 2 surgeries, 28 massive doses of chemo and 40 doses radiation my blog kept me going… Making myself get out of bed to paint and post was the best thing I did, and the support and caring I received from my online community was extraordinary… But more than that it have me this sense of relief that it was there for my daughter, that if I didn’t make it through she would have something there at the click of a button that recorded our lives in my writing and illustrations… Happily I beat the sucky odds they gave me and am healthy again and my thoughts recently turned back to relaunching back into work. I have just set up my illustration and teaching business website and etsy store, but have purposely kept them seperate from my blog because I hate the lack of personality in so many blogs now… I don’t want it to be about business or subject my readers to a barrage of marketing… They are my friends and it is a community that gave me such support and showed such thoughtfulness and positivity through my treatment and I need the blog to be my space to be open and not be thinking about clients seeing it etc… I don’t want my business to edit my blog so to speak… So this post spoke to me… I considered not blogging anymore… To make sure all my attention went into my illustrations etc, but the thought of not having a place of open expression was just too sad, so blogging continues along side my business and people can opt in and out of either or as they please… Thanks for being and open voice in the conversation… It is appreciated

  • Reply Mary Beth Wallace September 29, 2015 at 1:28 am

    What blogs do you enjoy reading Holly? What ones do you feel are still true to themselves and are about writing thoughts, dreams, ideas, beliefs ,and are staying creative? I’m so tired of the same “lifestyle” blogs where all they are really doing is “tooting their own horn” as my Dad used to say.

    • Reply Holly Becker September 29, 2015 at 9:39 am

      @Mary Beth – I only read Garance Dore when she writes the post, I read Emily Henderson when the post is about parenting and I read Oh Joy when the post is something from Joy that she wrote from her heart about a topic. I will check in on The Freckled Fox to see how her husband is doing and I like to visit Griottes to see what she is up to and I try to translate the French the best that I can. I stopped reading so many because they became very boring and commercial – I honestly do not care to read blogs that only post contests and content that they were paid to write. A few posts a month like this (max 1 per week) is fine with me, but some are almost daily and it makes me feel very bored. The only thing that was sponsored that I did love were the Garance Dore “Pardon My French” videos. I was addicted to them. I am still gutted that she discontinued those. I don’t understand it at all.

  • Reply Susan { Palazzo Pizzo } September 29, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Wow! What a fantastic post! I just found a whole new Decor8 website – with no blog?
    I always visited your blog regularly to see what is trendy – not in the design world – but in the blog world.
    I am surprised, really impressed and thankful about your powerful blog post.
    You are announcing you are “out” of it. – What a big step! And congratulations to the decision.
    It is a trend I think that successful bloggers built bigger businesses around their blog or out of it, and need a real website. With this step blogging becomes kind of a side job, and probably became boring even before because we are blogging for so many years (a decade of blogging?!).
    On top social media are requesting more speed, less content, and are overflowing us with a big pulp.

    In a book about unblocking blocked artists and one task is NOT to read anything for a weel. No book, no newspaper, no FB, no emails, nothing … in order to be forced to listen to your inner voice, your own way, ideas, your life. Of course I did not follow completely, otherwise I would have not been reading your post.

    I myself am not drawing a clear line. I still post from time to time, but do not get the pleasure out of it anymore. As you said it: I feel I am not really saying anything. However, I still love writing – and reading, e.g. blog posts like yours. Who knows, I suspect that books, real books, “book books” will be the next trend. People will feel tired of the social media. Stressed of the speed and superficial pulp. Books will be cool again soon – as will meaningful blogs. My guess ;-)

    Power editing? Just a new term for having priorities, I guess. Yes, with all the stuff beeping and blinking and notifying upon us, it is a necessary skill.

    • Reply Holly Becker September 30, 2015 at 8:02 am

      @Susan – This IS a blog, not a website ;) I am not stopping my blog!

  • Reply Kathleen September 29, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Hi Holly, I have enjoyed your blog for a long time and although I’m a fairly seasoned blogger, I find that it’s so hard to keep up with the ever-changing face of the internet! I need to take a step back and find the vigor I once had for blogging. I find myself getting depressed and getting the, “nobody likes me” attitude when I work so hard on a post and then I get no likes. Is anyone even out there? And on the other hand, it’s a full time job just keeping up with social media and finding out where my target audience resides! I’m in it for the long run because I love writing and I am passionate about the topics I discuss. Still, it’s discouraging, feeling like I’m preaching to myself. :) Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts and making us feel like we aren’t crazy. :)

  • Reply Simone October 2, 2015 at 10:16 am

    This is such a wonderful and timely post. I have been blogging since 2008 and often wonder what to blog about. I still read blogs and am attempting to leave comments on 300 over the next 30 days! I have never got paid for writing a post. I don’t know what that says about me? Not commercially viable? Not having enough traffic? I am not on instagram or facebook and continue to update my blog at least weekly.

  • Reply Amy October 2, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    My blog never really took off. I had decided that when my son started playgroup last month that I would have time to concentrate on it and try and be a regular high quality content poster. Then I had a check up at the doctors where I discovered I had very high blood pressure. My plan switched completely and I gave up my blog to try and relax more and spend time playing with my son. I’ve barely been on Instagram and Twitter and I have to say I am so much happier.

  • Reply Eva from Waldfriedenstate October 3, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Dear Holly,
    Again – a great post and one that I read from start to finish. A rare thing for me, as I am always in a rush and in a hurry and my reading habits are so influenced by my social media consumption. The quick and easy reading of a Facebook post / Pinterest Pin / Instagram Feed without texts makes me over time a little nervous when I read long blog posts or even magazine articles. Do you know what I mean? Of course, it is all together way too much and the content doubles and triples throughout all the channels. Is it really so necessary to be present on ALL the available social media platforms and run your blog at the same time? I find this so annoying and regarding my blog puts so much pressure on myself.
    I do read blogs. But I rarely really READ the posts. I look at the pictures and only scan for really interesting posts that I then might read through. I then I am so angry with myself that I can’t even bare to sit down and spend 20 minutes with one blog and really read it. I so believe that this phenomenon (which a lot of my friends suffer from, too) comes from the “über” content offering in general and the acquired quick scanning reading habits from social media. You have to limit what you are reading otherwise you just go crazy. This might sound strange, but it makes me happy when a blogger decides to slow down a bit and puts out less posts but greater ones. It is a relief, because that gives me more time and then I might really enjoy reading the blog without feeling the urge to do ten other things at the same time.

  • Reply Marie October 3, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    What a great post. I love to follow blogs on my RSS reader. To me, blog posts are the right amount of reading material while commuting or waiting around. I’ve tried social media but it’s not my thing. When bloggers say they’re going to concentrate on FB or IG, I just don’t keep up with them as often.

  • Reply Whitney Shortt October 3, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Such a great reminder and post! I’ve recently had the the opportunity to pursue my blog and photography business full time and this is just what I needed to hear. I want to make a difference in people’s lives and the only way I can do that is by being genuine and original, and sometimes that’s hard when you’re trying to crank out content and appeal to your audience.

  • Reply debra @ 5th and state October 3, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    no sponsors, never will be. i write from my heart with the perspective on each post teaching, guiding, questioning and provoking my readers. i do not have a huge following but enough. i still find joy in sharing and sourcing like minded blogs
    great topic holly
    debra

  • Reply Gray October 4, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Thank you so much for that great insightful essay. I actually took notes. When I first began wanting to write a blog, it was 5 years ago and I had a store with two partners that took up all my time. That blog would have been about being 52 and our version of fashion and decor and everything that the 20 somethings post about. Now that I am finally getting around to creating one, it will be very very different. And I am spending all my “blog creation” time trying to figure out just what I want to talk about. I have lost my younger brother, my younger sister in law, my beloved dog, and my only child. SO…this will be a very different blog – but just what will it consist of? I am doing my best to figure that out. I still like all the trivial pretty things I did before. But I no longer sail through life unaware. Thanks for the food for thought and to everyone for the interesting comments.

  • Reply Sharee October 5, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    Beautifully written! Thank you for posting…

  • Reply Jess October 6, 2015 at 4:26 pm

    This post sums up not how I feel about blogs, but exactly how I’m feeling about my LIFE right now. Like you climbed into my head and put down on *paper* what I’ve been ruminating over and over about in my head. For that, thank you xx

  • Reply Julia@Cuckoo4Design October 6, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    I’m really feeling this post and struggle with the same thoughts. I have tried to power edit in every aspect of my life and it is hard and it is very hard to make a living as a blogger these days. I could write paragraphs about this now but see that mostly everyone has already. I truly hope that blogs aren’t dead and that I will be able to continue what I love while remaining to have my own voice and style.

  • Reply Sue Schlabach October 13, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Bless you. Bless you. Bless you 1000 times Holly. In the past year I moved, sold my home of 17 years and have only now found my soul catching up with my body. I just couldn’t write publicly during this time. But am slowly, surely, starting to feel ready. Not dead yet. xox

  • Reply Nathalie October 13, 2015 at 11:50 pm

    Thank you for writing this. You read my mind. Over saturation is a huge part of it – the line between seeking inspiration and being overloaded can become fuzzy. Just loved this post, a right kick in the bum – the good kind :)

  • Reply julia I mintlametta October 18, 2015 at 11:59 am

    oh – you caught my thoughts! blogs will die when there spirits get lost – as long as there is something special (the kind of pictures, the style of writing, the soul of telling) they will not disappear … and although I am struggling with my blog at the moment I know for me it is still the right way to “communicate” … – all the best, julia

  • Reply Miriam Kaye October 26, 2015 at 4:17 am

    Totally loved the concept of Power Editing :) and I personally so prefer authentic blogs to just looking at photos, each has its place. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • Reply Preeti October 27, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Wow! This is a beautiful post! I have a blog that gets almost no visitors other than my husband and a few close friends and relatives. I post irregularly. Sometimes I even wonder if it’s worth the cost of hosting. Most of my social network accounts are private, so no ‘viral loop’ over there. But every time I post something, it makes me happy. And that is worth all the effort and the cost!
    Thanks for this post.

  • Reply marlena October 29, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    true story! nowadays blogs are not so real anymore. from each side surround us blogs that contain almost the same content, images and the same sponsor. where is the real life and real stories?
    i started my own blog not so long ago. i’m new one in here and i have to learn a lot but i want my blog to be real and true. i want to share our slow life in the countryside, nothing more! my photos are not so good and content is rather short but is authentic. and i hope it will always be like that, just showing the real life and real stories!

  • Reply Steve November 21, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    Great post! I think a lot of writers/bloggers have been soul-searching the last few years, especially if they’ve been blogging long enough to see how the online landscape has changed. Many of us have become jaded and overwhelmed by content whether it be Facebook, news, or blogs. You just can’t read it all and a lot of it is just pure distraction, so sometimes you just need to step back and hit the reset button. That said, if you enjoy having a blog, do it for that reason!

  • Reply Aimee December 9, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    This was a very thought-provoking read! I am new to the blogging world (well, for all intents and purposes), but I have been reading a couple of blogs for years now. Lately, I have become disenchanted with the blogging and social media world in general because it definitely seems to be more money-oriented. When I started my blog in August 2015, I just wanted a place online to connect with my family and friends and host my photos and memories, as I embark on traveling, getting married, etc. I made a conscious decision to make my blog very personal, and avoid materialism. I’m not looking for ways to make money with my blog. I just want to connect with people who are posting other real thoughts and life experiences. I also avoid social media like the plague, but that has been true for a long time. Too much Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc makes it hard not to compare my own real life with the cover story others are presenting, as you talked about in your post. I avoid those blogs that make me compare my life to those that I know nothing about their behind-the-scenes story. I’m just going to continue blogging for myself, and hope that I get an opportunity to connect to a few amazing people throughout my blogging journey.

    Aimee

  • Reply Yolandi North January 26, 2016 at 11:53 pm

    Love this post. Thanx for sharing. xxx

  • Reply Kerstin June 7, 2016 at 10:40 pm

    I still love reading blogs in their original form, simple truthful story telling. No advertising. No selling out. Just sharing our thoughts and experiences in a way that feels genuine and from the heart. Not many of those out there anymore but I don’t think this form of journalling is dead at all. I’ve been blogging since 2005 and even though my blog names have changed a few times I still blog ‘old-school’ style, sharing stories and photos from my life. I don’t have a huge following but blogging has nonetheless changed my life, I made some amazing friends with it and it also led me to starting my own successful business as a web designer. Which is pretty amazing in itself because I am in my early 50s and finally found my passion thanks to blogging! I loved this post and now I have to go research the concept of power editing a bit more! Thank you :)

  • Reply Elizabeth June 11, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks for this post Holly. I very much agree with what Kerstin has said above. Interesting pictures and stories are what keep me reading blogs, but I have to say that I have been self-censoring when it comes to my own blog, feeling like what I want to say doesn’t fit with who I am in my blog. Time for me to do some thinking and realign my blog with my true self. It’s true that everyone seems to want a quck hit nowadays and I’m sure that our attention spans are shrinking, but I hope things will come full circle and blogs will once again be sources of inspiration, good writing and interesting images.

  • Reply Marianna July 26, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Dear Hollly,
    i used to come over to your blog randomly for the nice homes, the design and beautiful pictures. I just recently found this series of yours “from the heart” and i am blown away with the amount of “heart” you put out here for all of us. Thank you so much! Your words are balsam for the soul.

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