There was an interesting post on Problogger a few days ago directed at wily, grizzled blogging veterans: What do you miss about blogging? I’m bringing forward “Thursday Three’s” to Wednesday (largely because my Entrecard will be on Problogger today, and I could use a little linkbait ;)) to answer the question.
1. The Innocence
When I started blogging, and for 3 years following starting blogging, I never heard of linkbait, commentbait, SEO, advertising, CTR’s, or any other words and acronyms of a similar nature. Hell, when I started blogging, all you did was three things:
- You blogged.
- You commented on blogs you liked.
- You linked to posts you like.
That’s it, no mass digg submission, no stumble networks, no competitions. Blogging I feel has suffered because of it. Largely because people are concentrating on promoting their blog, rather than writing. It is a shame, because in the olden days, the whole “Build It And They Will Come” principle worked for blogging back then. Good bloggers rose to the top whereas the rubbish ones faded away. Now it’s a case of good marketers rose to the top.
Of course, when you’re at the top, you get comments with keyword rich names, written by “SEO Experts” who claim to be three website owners. They must think I’m stupid.
2. The Instant Fame
Cor! It was brilliant! I remember two months after starting blogging I was featured on MSN’s site, and within about a year of blogging I had been featured in my local newspaper. I’ve even been on the radio.
But that’s been in the first three years. Now it’s nothing.
The only reason that I got featured was because I had a half decent blog, and people wanted to know about this crazy thing called blogging, hence I was the perfect source. I do kinda miss it to be honest.
3. The Lack Of Rubbish Blogs
Three words to sum up this.
“Money Making Quests”.
I’ve got nothing against useful blogs who tell you about how to make money online (Problogger). I’ve got nothing against people who can legitimately talk about making money online – because they’re good at it (Mike). I’ve got nothing against bloggers who amuse me in their quest (A.T., who won a bet after she declared her blog profitable after making more than she spent on it)
But those bloggers who say “I’m detrmined, I’m brilliant, I’ve got a year to make a million”, heed this warning.
Yesterday I walked to work. I found £20 on the floor. That’s about $40 in rubbish money. That is roughly what I – a five year blogger – make in direct ad sales in a month (discounting Text Link Ads and Adsense). $40 is about what most bloggers who start up make within the first 6 months. So much for your “Money Making Quest”.
The problem with these blogs are they’re similar to personal blogs when I was starting up – they were massive ego trips but instead of fame, it’s all about money. They need to add something to the blogosphere, or at least entertain us. Why should I care about a 16 year old from Delhi who is still in school, telling me about “Why he can’t live without Digg”? One of my guilty pleasures is a blog which is about a guy is on a quest to lose his virginity. Sorry, but that’s a hell of a lot more interesting than random nobodies blogging about making a million.
Of course people will say “well why do you sell ads if you hate them so much?”. Truth be told, it’s just a little something. I’m going to do something anyway, may as well make a little cash out of it, n’est pas?
As a majority of my readers have been blogging for over a year or so, tell me, what do you miss about the early days of blogging?