Web Analytics Made Easy - StatCounter
Forever Amber: UK influncer

What’s next for blogging?

I

n the 10+ years this blog has been online, I’ve written numerous posts talking about the “death” of blogging, and whether or not the so-called “bubble” was about to burst, and, in every single one of them, I’ve totally refuted those claims. Of course blogging isn’t dead, I’ve said, confidently. Of course people will always want to read personal stories and news articles, and weird anecdotes about someone’s cat – won’t they? 

Now, though? Honestly, now I’m not so sure. 

This, for instance, is my first blog post in a couple of weeks: which might not seem particularly significant to most of you, but which actually makes it my longest blogging break since… I have no idea when. Even right after I had Max, I somehow kept blogging: hell, back in 2015, I blogged every day for the full year – sometimes more than once. And, you know what? It wasn’t even that hard

These days, though, blogging is hard

It’s hard for me personally, because, well, Max, basically. Having a toddler hasn’t just reduced the amount of time I have to blog: it’s reduced the amount of time I have to do anything. At all. Seriously, most days I feel like I don’t even have time to think, let alone try to string a coherent sentence together, so it’s not particularly surprising that blogging has had to take a bit of a back seat.

I’m not the only one who’s struggling right now, though. Over the last couple of years, many of the bloggers I used to follow have either closed down their blogs altogether, or drastically reduced their output. Some are still around on Instagram, or elsewhere on social media, but others have dropped off the radar entirely: and while there are still newer bloggers coming along to take their place, it’s somehow just not the same, is it? 

S

omewhere along the line, blogging seems to have lost some of its sparkle. It feels almost old-fashioned to still call yourself a blogger in this age of the “influencer”: in fact, last week I went along to a casting call for a potential brand collaboration, and I was the only person there who even had a blog. Everyone else (That I saw, anyway…) was Instagram-only, and, as I sat there, waiting for my name to be called, I have to admit, I felt like a bit of an anachronism: a dusty old dinosaur desperately clinging on to a platform that many people now consider hopelessly old fashioned. 

Somewhere along the line, blogging seems to have lost some of its sparkle. It feels almost old-fashioned to still call yourself a blogger in this age of the “influencer”…

For the first time, doubts about the future of blogging started to creep in. I’ve always said that blogging won’t die, exactly – it’ll just have to adapt. I’ve argued – and would still argue – that it’s a mistake to rely solely on Instagram, or any other platform you don’t own, because it might not be around forever, whereas your own blog can be. The problem is, though, that I’ve been making those arguments for years now, and Instagram still doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. In fact, despite its many problems, and the many, many complaints it generates from increasingly disgruntled users, it just seems to be going from strength to strength. 

Blogging might not be dead – yet – but… well, it’s just a little unwell, isn’t it?
And meanwhile, its effects are being felt all over the blogosphere. Mothballed sites. Plummeting traffic. Posts with the dreaded ‘0 comments’ at the bottom of them. Blogging might not be dead – yet – but… well, it’s just a little unwell, isn’t it? Yesterday morning, I logged onto Twitter for the first time in weeks, just in time to catch another, “I’m closing down my blog,” announcement from someone I’d been following for years. And, sure, there are still plenty of people out there reading blogs, and there probably will be for as long as the bloggers keep blogging. How long will that be though, I wonder? Because, the fact is, the Instagram effect isn’t just limited to lowering blog traffic, and lack of comments: it’s also making it much harder to make a living just from blogging on its own. This time last year, most of my income came from sponsored posts and display ads: this year, the increasing use of Adblock has made display advertising much less lucrative, and many of the brands who contact me about collaborations expect to be able to pay me in products… because that’s what everyone else does.

So, what’s next for blogging, I wonder?

W

ell, I can only speak for myself, of course, but, just to be clear, I have absolutely no intention of quitting… even though I just this second realised that’s probably where this post sounded like it was heading: whoops! I’m still here, though, and I’m hoping to stick around for as long as you’ll have me, really. I do, however, think that, if things continue as they are, bloggers like me will have to think about making some changes if they want to continue to make a living online. And, with that in mind, here are a few of my predictions for what the future of blogging might look like… 
 

01.
Slow blogging rather than daily/weekly updates

My own shift to slower blogging might be partly down to the fact that I now have to juggle work with parenting duties, but that’s far from the only reason. While it used to be the norm to see bloggers updating their sites multiple times a week – or sometimes even daily – I think we’re starting to see a shift towards quality over quantity, with people posting less often, but putting more effort into it. In my case, I came to the realisation a while ago that, when I look back through my blog archive, I want to feel proud of every single post, rather than having to scroll past tons of ‘filler’ content, which I know I published, not because it added value to the site, but purely because I felt like I HAD to have something new to post that day. Slower blogging means taking the time to only publish the posts that matter – and it also gives me time to focus on all of those background tasks that so often fall by the wayside: things like updating older content, fixing broken links, and generally trying to improve the site as a whole. 

02. 
Personal branding rather than blog branding

Has anyone else noticed how many bloggers/influencers have rebranded lately, and started using their own name rather than a blog/brand name? At least half a dozen times in the last month or so, I’ve been scrolling through Instagram and had a moment of confusion where I’ve thought, “Wait: who dis?” only to realise that it’s someone I’ve followed for years, but whose full name I didn’t actually know until they suddenly started using it instead of whatever username they’d had before. This is, of course, all part of the switch towards “influencing” rather than blogging, but, even if you intend to continue with blogging as your main channel, I think it’s a pretty savvy move to think about how you brand yourself.

In my case, my blog name contains my own name anyway, and doesn’t tie me to a particular topic, so I won’t be changing it any time soon. If I’d chosen something very niche-specific, though, I would definitely be thinking about switching to my own name, purely to avoid being pigeonholed, and allow me to be open to more varied opportunities. The collaboration I was in London for last week, for instance (And which no, I didn’t get, just in case you’re wondering…) was only tangentially connected to my blog:  the blog was how the brand had found me, but the opportunity itself wasn’t blog-related, and while it required me to step way, WAY out of my comfort zone, and was something I’d normally have dismissed out of hand, I do think that, going forward, bloggers will have to be more open to opportunities that aren’t just about blogging. Speaking of which…

03.
Ebooks & other offerings

I published my first book three years ago (And was commissioned to write a book for a traditional publisher a year later), and have been working on another one, this time based on the blog itself. (So it’s not just Max who’s to blame for my recent silence: I’ve been busy behind the scenes, too!) I actually prefer blogging to book writing, because I like the more immediate connection with my audience that blogging gives me, but writing books provides an income that isn’t affected by Instagram, or other online trends, and which doesn’t require me to write sponsored posts, or display adverts, so it’s something I’m hoping to do more of. Now, I’m obviously not saying that bloggers all need to start writing books instead of blogs, but I have noticed a lot of people starting to offer other products or services, which are related to the topics they blog about, and I think that’s something we’ll start to see more of – especially if brands continue to think a tube of lipstick or bottle of body lotion is a reasonable exchange for the time and effort that goes into putting together a blog post!

04.
Paid content models

One of the best things about blogging – the thing that helped make it popular in the first place, in fact – is that it gives readers access to totally free content: and we all love free content, right? The problem with that, however, is that content isn’t free to produce: I wrote a post a couple of years ago about the costs involved in running a blog, but while I was busy talking about the actual costs of things like web hosting, and other services that you have to hand over cold, hard cash for, I forgot to mention the most expensive thing of all: your time. 

While I know there continues to be a perception that blogging is both quick and easy, the fact is that professional blogging takes up a lot of time – and, yes, a fair bit of money, too. (Right now, for instance, the hosting costs of ForeverAmber.co.uk amount to 50% of the site’s revenue – and that obviously isn’t sustainable.) For a long time now,  bloggers have been able to offset those costs – and even earn a living – through traditional advertising and sponsored posts, but as those revenue streams become gradually less lucrative (See: adblock / brands claiming to have “no budget” to pay for coverage…), I think the only real option will be for bloggers to find ways to start charging for their content – whether that be through ebooks or similar, as I discussed above, or by charging directly. 

Right now, for instance, the hosting costs of ForeverAmber.co.uk amount to 50% of the site’s revenue – and that obviously isn’t sustainable

Now, before you start panicking, I think we’re still a long way away from a situation where bloggers start putting up paywalls (i.e. charging for access to posts), so that’s not something I see happening anytime soon. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind, though, that something has to change if we want to continue being able to create and consume content online. The question is: what? 

What’s next for blogging?

 

WANT AMBER IN YOUR INBOX?

(Er, that came out a bit weird: what I mean to say is, enter your email below to be notified each time I publish a new post...)

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

47 Comments
  • Donna
    August 21, 2019

    I check everyday for a new post by you, and have been wondering if you and family are okay. Please don’t stop blogging! Forever Amber is the best!

    • Amber
      August 21, 2019

      We’re all absolutely fine, but thank you for worrying! I’ve just been really busy with Max/behind the scenes stuff, but I’ll hopefully be able to get back on track soon!

      • Kelly Glen
        August 22, 2019

        Ive also been worried that there was something wrong as you hadn’t posted for a while, but I’m glad to hear you are all fine. I always look forward to reading your posts.

        • L
          August 28, 2019

          I love your blog, it’s about the only one that I’m still reading. I would also love if you ever started a podcast where you talk about what you’re usually writing about, parenting, anxiety, fashion, well anything.

          • Amber
            August 28, 2019

            Thank you! I definitely wouldn’t be up for a podcast, I’m afraid – I’m just much too awkward to be any good at speaking (I don’t even like speaking on the phone!), and I hate the sound of my voice, which is why I’ve always been much more comfortable with writing, and also why I don’t do video/podcasting: it’s just not one of my skills, unfortunately!

            • L
              August 29, 2019

              💕

    • Hanka
      August 22, 2019

      Exactly my thoughts!
      I am sooo happy you are ok and writing again!

  • Anneke Caramin
    August 21, 2019

    I would miss blogs terribly. Most of the blogs I read are actually about sewing (you’re a bit of an exception) and even though a lot of people seem to be more active on Instagram, the traditional blog seems to die out a little slower in that group… I think it’s because a blog post is a way better format to talk about construction of a garment and show pictures of specific details than an Instagram post. I hope blogs stick around for a bit because I love reading more in-depth thoughts on what people are making, and more content than just ‘look, I made this!’. And I hope you stick around for a while, because I love those long posts 😉

    • Amber
      August 21, 2019

      Yeah, I can definitely see how it would be different for something like a sewing blog – much harder to switch to Instagram with that kind of niche!

    • Lisa I.
      August 27, 2019

      I’ve read Amber’s blog for years, and it’s an outlier for me, too! Amber, I confess: I am so Not Stylish that I actually have what I call “Dress Sweat Pants.” Those are the ones that don’t have holes and don’t have bleach stains. (Yes, I was indeed a trial to my mother.) I just enjoy your writing very much. But most of the blogs I follow are sewing related—or dog related. I’m very glad you have no plans to stop blogging. I recall a long dry period on your blog, when just a picture of you laughing was posted. Those were dark, sad days for me.

      • Amber
        August 28, 2019

        Oh wow, I remember that! I *think* that was when I’d decided to give up, because I’d been getting a lot of snarky comments at the time, and I’d realised I didn’t have a thick enough skin for it: I apparently did, though, because I eventually came back! I’m so impressed you remembered that: thanks so much for commenting – it’s really nice to know there are still some people around from the ‘old’ days 😄

  • Sarah Rooftops
    August 21, 2019

    Recently, I asked on Instagram Stories how many people still read blogs, and only 5% of the respondents did. Most of the people I’m connected with on Instagram, I met through blogging, so, for me, that makes me want to quit altogether. If people I have developed a connection – and sometimes a genuine friendship – with aren’t reading my posts, commenting, or writing anything of their own, blogging’s pretty much done for me. Add in concerns about the kids’ privacy and safety, and it’s a loooooooooong time since I last bothered to publish everything. I’ve switched all of my old posts to draft while I mull over what to do.

    Despite that, I MISS blogging. I MISS the community. I miss going into my reader and panicking because there were 200 unread blog posts and I actually wanted to read all of them – now, I check about once a week, and there are usually less than twenty posts and only one is actually something I’d bother to click through to. I know a few other bloggers who feel the same way, but we can’t figure out a way forward. How do you get that connection when it’s available much faster and with better privacy controls on Instagram, and when everybody’s older and busier and doesn’t have the time to write a post? I do want to know the answer.

    • Amber
      August 21, 2019

      Oh wow, 5%?! That’s so depressing, especially because it just confirms what I’ve long suspected 🙁 I totally agree with everything you’ve said, though – I miss it too, but it feels like an impossible task to actually get people to read what I’ve written (My Instagram followers are often surprised when I link to my blog from Stories, because a lot of them don’t even know it exists. It’s in my bio, obviously, but who even looks at that?) now, which makes me question the point of even bothering, really. I also used to struggle to keep up with the blogs I read, but now there are so few of them, and the ones who haven’t quit yet barely ever update. I really want to know the answer, too – I keep waiting for the Instagram bubble to burst, so things can go back to “normal”, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening.

  • Tracey
    August 22, 2019

    Well, yours is the only blog I actually read regularly, even though I don’t always comment. I’ve been here for years and will continue to be for the foreseeable future so please don’t stop Amber!

  • Rosie
    August 22, 2019

    So pleased to hear that you’re not quitting – you worried me for a moment there! I love blogs, particularly ‘old school’, diary type ones and would be gutted to see them fade away.

  • Jane
    August 22, 2019

    I have actually heard a lot of chatter lately about people going back to blogs because unless you have a large following on Instagram the changes over the last few years are hurting people. So influencers are realizing that insta alone isn’t the best idea. It depends on your content too. If all you were doing was posting pretty inspirational pictures sure insta is the place to be. But if you are posting helpful detailed posts that help answer a question the blog is still best. I am gonna keep blogging but I post when I post. Sometimes I have loads to say sometimes I don’t.

  • Lara Olivia
    August 22, 2019

    Interesting post! Blogging has changed so much so quickly, hasn’t it? I started mine nearly 3 years ago now… I feel like I came in at the wrong time, and with the wrong name 😛 I would rebrand… but… after all I think my blog will just remain something of a hobby and not a source of income. I don’t like where blog monetisation is going. That’s not me. I’m a writer, I blog to write, not to sell. xx

  • Julianne Mansveld
    August 22, 2019

    So glad to see your post. Was getting a bit worried about you and your family. You are very right about the internet changing. So glad to see you plan to carry on blogging. I love reading your blog. I am from South Australia by the way, so you certainly have a good range of readers lol

    • Amber
      August 22, 2019

      Ah, sorry! I’ve still been posting on Instagram, so I assumed people would see the photos at the bottom of the site and know everything was OK!

  • Alice
    August 22, 2019

    I’m really pleased this post didn’t end with you calling it a day! I still like blogs, whilst also being an insta-scroller-addict. I use blogs as short 5 minute breaks in my working day normally, light relief that is more engaging than pretty pictures, and so a shift to quality-not-quantity suits me. I also remember blog posts on all manner of things and appreciate being able to go back to refer to them, which is much easier than trying to do the same on insta (stories? TV? grid? Who knows). So if I know I’m coming up to the Edinburgh area for example, I’d come back to look at your posts on Outlander locations! If I need new skincare, I generally go and trawl Caroline Hirons’ site until I find what I need. Blogs for the win!

    • Amber
      August 22, 2019

      The ability to go back to older content is definitely a big advantage of blogs over Instagram – I know you can obviously scroll back through someone’s grid if you really want to, but content tends to have a much shorter lifespan over there: once it’s posted, it’s more or less forgotten!

  • Sandi
    August 22, 2019

    A year or so ago I was getting ready to launch a blog. I had a domain name, chose a host, etc. and excitedly told my millenial son about it. He gave me a strange look and told me blogging was on its way out. He said everything’s visual now – Instagram, YouTube, vlogs, and podcasts had replaced anyone reading a blog. As a lover of the written word, I was rather depressed by this pronouncement.

    I only follow four blogs, and two have been on hiatus for most of this year. It’s quite disappointing, actually. I am glad to “hear” you’re hanging in there with your blog, at least for the short term.

  • Wave to mummy
    August 22, 2019

    I think blogging will become more of a niche and it will be so much more about what type of content suits what channels and different audiences. You can’t really do long-form or in depth content on IG, or tutorials but it would be great for a blog, and then again, quick life updates fit IG much better. And other social media platforms have their own quirks.

    Personally I find I get asked about blog posts if I get any commercial opps- people are still interested in SEO value and reviews. I’m not talking about link selling or follow links as I don’t do that – but accessible seo friendly information delivered to those that search it still sells.

  • Jaclyn
    August 22, 2019

    What a brilliant post Amber! You are always so great at discussing these topics. It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently too and have definitely fallen into the trap of not blogging as much as id like (kids hey?) But I guess with that, I also feel like less people are reading. That could be because I’m not producing as much content or because people just prefer the ease and immediacy of social media instead. Or both! I agree that we will start seeing a big shift in how bloggers make money (I guess we have already) so it will be interesting to see how the industry evolves. I must admit that a lot of the blogs i loved and read regularly are no longer around anymore and yours is one of the few I check in with still, so in a way I know that even personally I’m not consuming blog content in the same way (I used to spend Sundays scrolling through my bloglovin feed and reading blog posts all afternoon!). Always love your writing so will be happy to read your posts however frequently you write them! Jac X

    • Amber
      August 22, 2019

      Same here – someone asked me recently which blogs I follow, and I really had to think about it: I used to read dozens, but now I’m just as guilty as anyone of scrolling through Instagram instead! Thanks for your kind words, thoug, Jaclyn – I really hope yours is one of the blogs that sticks around, too!

  • Michelle
    August 22, 2019

    I still read and love blogs!! I tried Instagram for a while and hated it – gave up looking at it ages ago. I’m a writer myself, and I love reading stories. I’ve seen blogs disappear, reduce frequency or change style over the years, but I keep finding new ones to read and enjoy.

    I can’t speak for the business of blogging, because I don’t have a blog myself, but I do see that it fills a space that nothing else does. And sometimes it can pay off not to follow the crowd. About a decade ago, my husband made apps for Blackberry phones as a hobby. He did ok. Shortly after he started, the iphone came out, and suddenly everyone dropped Blackberry and went over to make apps for iphones. My husband saw that market getting oversaturated, and decided to stick with Blackberry. Suddenly, he was doing REALLY well. He got a good few years out of that.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is if you love what you do, stick it out. Blogging won’t disappear entirely, but I do think it’s going through a winnowing period. Many will leave, eventually giving better opportunities to those who stay.

    Glad you are sticking around!

    • Amber
      August 22, 2019

      I really hope you’re right – I do think the blogosphere had become very over-saturated, so maybe it’s not necessarily a bad thing that it’s becoming less popular: I just hope my favourite bloggers manage to ride out this rough patch, if that’s what it is, and are still around once it’s over!

  • Justine
    August 22, 2019

    I hope you find a way around your dilemma, as I don’t do Instagram, Twitter, U tube, et al ,I would miss bloggers greatly. I look forward to your posts, and I also wondered if all was well with you as there had been a long silence !!! Glad to have you back !!

  • Amy
    August 22, 2019

    I’ve been blogging for years, never managed to make it a full time career but used to do quite well out of Ads, sponsored posts, gifted items and gifted experiences. Sadly all that has declined and it’s all about Instagram and numbers now. You’ve given me some food for thought, made me consider rebranding and changing the name of my site and Instagram, also, I’d agree with the slow blogging. I’ve been trying to get away from the daily outfit posts and into stories, sharing a story with each post. It’s hard and can’t always be done but it’s definitely the direction I’m trying to move my blog into.
    Always loved your writing style and exciting about your up coming book. I’ll have to check out your other books.

  • Mary Katherine
    August 22, 2019

    This is very interesting to me, as I just began following blogs and IG less than a year ago, and would like to start a blog of my own at some point, although probably not planning for any revenue from it. I think your writing is hilarious, Amber! I also love following the family antics of you, Max and Terry. I figured I’d use your wonderful travel reviews to plan my next trip to Scotland, and your tales of everyday life let me enjoy vicariously living there. And just let me say, the post about the Russian Eyelash Extensions ranks among the most entertaining reads EVER, and I’ve howled over it with I don’t know how many other people. We howled WITH you, not AT you, just to clarify…
    So hoping I’ve now established some credibility as a fan and One Who Wishes You Well, may I tell you my pet peeve? Never getting a reply to my comments. I totally understand if you don’t have time to reply to comments, but then set up your blog so that it doesn’t take comments, or don’t title it What Do You Think? I don’t think anyone expects (or wants) long exchanges, but when you just reply to the comments that show up immediately after your post, but not the ones that come in the next day or later, it feels kind of like I spoke to you on the street and you just kept walking and never even turned your head…
    It doesn’t mean I’ll stop reading, but I’ll certainly stop commenting. I recently stopped following a blogger who NEVER replied to one comment of mine in 8 months. Granted, most of her posts were just shopping links, but still – I have a finite amount of time for reading blogs, so I’ll spend it on the ones that I find most enjoyable.
    I hope you find a way through the current challenge of the industry and that you can always find an outlet (that I can always find) for your wit and wisdom. Thanks for being honest about it – this was a real eye-opener, especially for those of us who are just consumers.
    Bye,
    Mary Katherine

    • Amber
      August 22, 2019

      I totally agree that responding to comments is something I need to spend more time on: it’s partly due to lack of time (I might not get hundreds of comments on each post, but I do get a lot of comments every day, spread over the site as a whole, and also via Instagram and email, and it’s just not possible to reply to every single one, unfortunately, as much as I would like to.), but it’s also due to me just being a bit rubbish, really, and not always knowing what to say… it’s one of those things (like replying to emails) that I’m very guilty of procrastinating over, and, if it makes you feel any better, it’s something I feel really bad about, and will definitely try to improve. From my point of view, the reason I’m more likely to respond to comments that come in on the day the post is published is purely because I’m more likely to see them. Right now I don’t always have time to check the comments every day, but I do normally check when something new is posted, and that’s when I generally reply. (Also, my experience has been that most people don’t come back to check for a response, which means that I could easily end up spending a lot of time writing out responses that the person won’t ever see.) With that said, I never ignore anyone on purpose, and totally accept that this is one of the things I need to work on, so I will take that on board!

      • Mary Katherine
        August 22, 2019

        Hey – I really appreciate this! I do get the futility of writing stuff people won’t come back to see (never thought about that, did I?) Anyway, thanks for making me feel “heard”! Still a big fan!

        Best wishes to you,
        Mary Katherine

  • Amy
    August 22, 2019

    I really hope blogs don’t go away, I value the long form content and the stories. I value the attention and consideration and the sheer effort that goes into having a blog. I never saw the appeal of Instagram, Pinterest or similar. I had a Twitter account and I tried to use it a bit, but I found it frustrating to use and there were a lot of mean people on there. I deleted my account a few weeks ago and it feels great. I have a Facebook, but I insist on being actual friends with my friends, so it is very small and secure.

    I started blogging in 1995 though, so I think my expectations are very old school. I only stopped in 2013 and I didn’t even really mean to stop. I had a great collection of people I followed for years, then most of them had children and obviously the blog moved to a back burner and they went. I understand completely, but I miss them. I still wonder about many of them. I love having their stories and insights to lives I’ll never live.

    Your blog has been a great source of joy for me and I hope you continue writing in whatever way works best for you.

    • Amber
      August 23, 2019

      I hardly ever look at Twitter or Facebook these days either – Twitter just moves too fast for me to keep up with it (And I’m also really bad at sticking to the word limit, tbh…), and Facebook just seems to be people sharing things I’m not interested in, so I steer clear, other than to occasionally check for any personal updates from friends. I totally agree about missing the insight blogs used to give you into other people’s lives, though – that was the big attraction for me in the first place, so it makes me a bit sad to see people giving up on it!

  • Melissa
    August 23, 2019

    There is something about reading that is far more satisfying than looking at pictures. I like a bit of Instagram, but it’s pretty mindless. I’d rather read a well written blog. Maybe I’m getting old….

    • Amber
      August 23, 2019

      I do enjoy Instagram, but definitely agree – there’s no substitute for a good read!

  • Jess
    August 23, 2019

    I didn’t know comments were important. Feeling rude and slightly creepy as I’ve been reading since around the time you were married and I’ve never commented. I guess I thought they were considered annoying for bloggers to scroll through.
    Which in fairness, at a brand event I once worked, I had a large blogger tell me “I don’t read a single comment!”

    • Amber
      August 23, 2019

      I’ve actually had a few readers say the same thing (about not realising comments were important, or thinking they might be annoying…) and it’s really interesting to me, because it’s something I hadn’t even considered. Please don’t ever think you’re being annoying or creepy by commenting, though – it’s quite the opposite: comments are basically the only method bloggers have of knowing what people are thinking about their content, so they’re much more important than you’d think! (With that said, I’m terrible at leaving comments myself, so I do understand why people don’t always comment!)

      With very big bloggers, I think sometimes the reason they might not read comments is because of the abuse they often get. I’m just guessing here, obviously, but any time I look at the comments section of someone with a really big following (on Instagram mainly – even bigger bloggers don’t tend to get a huge amount of comments on their blogs these days!) there’s always a lot of really nasty stuff mixed in with the rest, and I think I would really struggle to deal with that. I do know of one blogger who’s been quite open about not reading comments for that reason, and, to be fair, the comments were really abusive towards her: I do think I’d prefer to just close them altogether than not read them, though (I don’t allow comments on You Tube videos, for instance, because people can be so nasty over there…) – it seems quite unfair to the genuine commenters to just let them keep commenting when you don’t have any intention of reading what they have to say!

  • Hayley Lawrence
    August 25, 2019

    I must confess that I’m a lazy user of social media and I prefer the instant fix of You Tube. I only read two blogs which are yours and the American author Jon Katz. I read yours because I like your writing style, high quality content and your photography and I read Jon’s because he lives on a farm with cute animals, his photography and his openness and sometimes controversial views. Jon doesn’t have adds but asks for voluntary contributions to support his blog but the blog is still free if you don’t subscribe. Jon is based in the USA so I’m not sure how that model would work if a blogger’s readers are mainly in the UK. I don’t mind adverts because I can easily skip past ones I’m not interested in. I have, however, unsubscribed from some You Tubers because they have become full on influencers and aren’t offering any other content other than what they have been sent by brands and here’s a code you can use or go to Like My Style etc. I appreciate that making You Tube Videos and blogging is hard work and time consuming and so deserves recompense but for me there has to be some balance between being influenced to buy and interesting subject matter. After such a long ramble I think I’m saying that I’d be prepared to pay a one off or monthly subscription for your blog.

  • Nithya
    August 25, 2019

    I’d pay to read your blog! Please don’t ever stop blogging. Untill halfway through your post I actually thought that was what you were going to say, and I was going “no, no, no” in my head.
    I’m a designer in Mumbai, India. I don’t know why the goings-on of a charming Scottish family are so interesting to me, except that you write about them so engagingly.

  • Andrew
    August 27, 2019

    Awesome post! I run a financial technology blog and I’d say the same experiences have been felt in this niche too. Most of the personal tech blogs I’d read have are all but gone and been replaced, especially in Google searches, by companies who have a blog as an addition to their main offering. These blogs don’t even need to be particularly well written or engaging and Google will still rank them high. I’ve been running my platform for over three years and I’d say that the age of blogging is coming to a close (sad, but true). I’ve even branched out into YouTube although I feel this will be met with a similar viewer interest push back. ‘Times are a changin’. Where we all go from here is anyone’s guess! I, like you, will continue to plough the now lonely furrow for the small glimmer of better times that, alas, may never arrive.

    • Amber
      August 28, 2019

      That’s really interesting, and something I hadn’t considered (about Google sending people to non-blog sites)! I’ve also wondered if the increased use of apps has possibly had an impact: I’d say I spend more time on apps now than just browsing the web – not sure how typical that is, though 🤔

      • Jess
        August 28, 2019

        This is another thing I didn’t mention in my earlier comment. The way Google is controlling search results and where they’re sending them is becoming atrocious. They seem to be sending us where they’ll get the most kickbacks instead of where we need do go. Typing in a brand’s official website, the place I needed to go was listed 34th! All the other results were stores selling it, two articles stating which celebs love it. So all the sending people to non blog sites is so true. I don’t like where it’s all going.

  • Nita Schmid
    August 29, 2019

    I’m so glad you’re still here, Amber! I think I’ll always keep reading blogs – maybe not as often, but I love the more personal stories and in-depth information i get from reading a blog post. I’m a reader, and while Instagram is nice, it’s just very fleeting and brief. I think a switch to slower blogging is good for the reader too – as much as I’d like to spend loads of time catching up on my favourite blogs, the reality is I’ve got other things to do, and it’s kind of disheartening when I check on one of my favourite blogs and see there are a bunch of new things I haven’t read and it’ll take me a while to catch up. I think one new post every one or two weeks is actually ideal, since that’s about as often as I check in on the blogs I follow. And I definitely prefer more quality over quantity – though even filler posts of yours are good reading, as you have such an engaging and funny writing style! I do hope there’s a way forward for online content to make money and stay sustainable, and I appreciate these kinds of posts from you for the insight they give behind the curtain of the blogger world. You’re always very up-front and keep it real, which makes your posts informative as well as interesting.

    • Amber
      August 30, 2019

      Thank you, Nita, that’s really lovely to hear! I’m definitely looking forward to being able to focus more on the quality of the posts, instead of constantly feeling like I have to keep churning out something new, even if it’s a topic that doesn’t particularly inspire me, so I’m glad to hear you would prefer that too!

  • Lena Duffin
    September 2, 2019

    I’ve had a blog for about 5 years now, and in the last 18 months I’ve been writing so much less frequently. I tend to only write when I have something decent to say, or something I really want to share. I just logged into Bloglovin to read blogs for the first time in months. So much more is just social media only, or youtube/video content, as opposed to long form blogging. I think people’s attention spans are sorter, there’s so much more content to consume online. It’s only ever been a hobby for me, so I’ll keep the site online probably forever but I doubt I’ll be writing much longer.

  • dubliner in deutschland
    September 5, 2019

    Yeah I’ve also noticed that the blog community doesn’t seem to be as big and as active as it once was which makes me sad. I much prefer reading a blog post than looking at Instagram! There’s just a lot more depth to blogging I think. Anyway, I’m glad to hear you are going to keep up with your blog, I also got a bit worried reading this post that you were going to stop! I’m always happy when I see you’ve published a new post 🙂 I totally hear ya on not having much time to blog though with a toddler. The only time I have a moment to think these days is when I’m in the office- when technically I should be focused on work stuff!

Previous
What’s the hardest stage of parenthood?
What’s next for blogging?