I’ve decided to start a blogger series called Blog Trends #20blogtrends that will focus primarily on creative blogs so design, art, food, entertaining, floral, craft, decorating, wedding, you get it… With a new year approaching, it’s a timely topic for us to not only examine the current state of affairs but because doing so will help us as bloggers to plan out a fresh, new approach for the year ahead. You can count on this column to appear once weekly on Mondays for the next 20 weeks. If any of these topics hit you as interesting, or you want to start your own conversations about them on Instagram, Twitter, etc. please use hashtag #20blogtrends so we can pool our thoughts and have one big global conversation.
The first blog trend I want to talk about is called Slow Blogging or, quality over quantity.
This trend is a biggie but it’s met with some fan and advertiser/sponsor displeasure, that’s for sure. It’s when a blogger consciously decides to start producing quality content on a consistent basis but not at a frenetic pace as was the case in the past. Posts go from 5 times a day to 5 times a week or less, for instance. More thought travels into what’s being thrown out into the world. It used to be that blogs were esteemed if they churned out streaming content 24/7, the time when posts were scheduled to go live every few hours (I remember being a fan girl to some blogs like this). Currently, such blogs are at the top of field earning crazy revenue dollars but to the rest of us who read blogs for what we can learn and find inspiring, blogs like that come across lately as tiresome to keep up with, old school, uninspired and muddy/unedited. Some readers want streaming daily content and get upset when their favorite blogger slows down. But many of us have a lot of responsibilities in our life and just don’t have the time to read blogs for hours each day.
I love a good, slow blog.
I frankly can’t read blogs that post more than once or twice a day because I use Friday afternoons to indulge in catching up on blog reading for the week and if a ton of posts have mounted up from a fave blogger, I am instantly overwhelmed. I then half-heartedly scan the content and don’t feel that excited because it’s just too much to take in. Even worse is when every post is “Click here to read more”. I don’t have time for that if I’ve missed the last 20 posts and they are all good! Whereas if I only have maybe 5 or 10 posts to look at from my favorite blogger after a week’s time, I feel excited to read them. Even better is if there are only 3 or 5 quality posts because then I savor and even share them. And for the really great blogs that I have to stay on top of each day, I simply subscribe to them to be sent to my inbox if they have this option so they get read along with my daily email.
Quantity (number of posts) was key when I started blogging 9 years ago but today quality (posts that stand out) opens doors to bigger things: book writing, magazine work, lecturing, working with advertisers, television, video, etc. It also increases exposure and helps you get your name circulating much faster. Hustling has begun to look desperate in my eyes at least. I don’t think you need to hustle to make it in this business as much as you need to have an opinion and voice it and if you can create other things outside of great words, like photos, DIY projects, videos, recipes, etc. then even better.
When it comes to frequency of posts, it’s the difference between dinner out at your favorite Michelin star restaurant vs. an all-you-can-eat buffet for $7.99. At least to me. While there is nothing wrong with either and some who comb blogs for a living (magazine editors and publicists for instance) seek out the buffets, I personally want to dine on blogs that take time to craft each meal (post) – either with thoughtful words, a great how-to, an instructional video, an interesting series or column, beautiful photography, recipes or a combination of some or all.
Oftentimes, my favorite posts are those that have great story telling. Beautiful photos abound online but those stories of love and woe, parenting issues, travel tales, home renovations and the problems encountered, health issues and how one feels (told in a frank way), behind-the-scenes of how a blogger did something interesting, that’s all content that I get into. Of course, every blogger has a different mission, some have advertisers to please, and not everyone has a great story to tell daily or even weekly.
The web is filled with distraction and noise – and a lot of junk. There are also a ton of copycats and things that look all look the same lately – including the stuff on blogs. Which is only normal because we are all inspiring one another – it’s impossible to not find similarities between us. Similarities in aesthetics isn’t the problem though, the problem is when voices all begin to sound the same.
Imagine squeezing tubes of acrylic paint onto a palette. Individually they posses a district color. If you blend them all together you are left with one big brown pool of muddy paint. This is what happens when we all claim to think the same way and like the same things and keep the real stuff we wish she could share behind the scenes. But those things we don’t share are the gems that help us to carve out our niche. We love people like that, who follow their own beat – like Zooey Deschanel and Iris Apfel. Even Jenna Lyons, she definitely does her own thing and has created an iconic American fashion empire in doing so. When we follow protocol too closely, take a formulaic approach, walk the easy road and stop taking risks that becomes the greatest risk.
Note: The Slow Blogging trend is not for everyone, especially pro bloggers who make their living serving millions of hungry readers each day. But I think even a pro blogger makes that decision – no one is forcing us to pump out a billion blog posts. Usually this comes from an overwhelming need to succeed coupled with fear of losing readers, fear of losing advertisers and worry that you’ll no longer hold the spotlight. Is this what blogging has to come down to though? Is this all that matters? I don’t judge either way, I only know what feels right to me and that’s a decision each blogger needs to make without regret.
What are some blogs, in your eyes, that have a blogger behind them who has a strong vision and voice? Which bloggers do you think have great photography and styling? The best videos? I’d love to also hear what you think about this topic in general. Comment below and remember, if you comment elsewhere online or want to extend this conversation, please use hashtag #20blogtrends
(image: holly becker for decor8)