When this calendar year ends, I will have been blogging for FIVE years. Five, people! That blows my mind to think about. My blog design has changed more times than I can count, I've written on just about every topic you can imagine and I've seen a lot of blog 'phases' come and go over the years.
Last night I discovered that an old blog friend who had mostly left the scene was starting her blog back up again. I was so excited to see that! This was a girl I literally would not know if it weren't for silly me opening up a blank blog post back in 2011 and deciding I wanted to write about my engagement and wedding planning days. We bonded over all sorts of things and we enjoyed keeping up with each other's day to day, no matter how mundane it might seem to the outside world.
And that's what blogging was for me for a long time. A place to write about daily life, my job, fun places I went on the weekend and maybe share a funny meme or something I found on Pinterest. The comments would flood in on practically every post. And I'd respond to those comments. My blog email inbox would constantly be ongoing conversations with blog buddies, new and old. Heck, I could write a post about being old and never leaving my house or how much I love circus peanuts and receive dozens of responses from friends all over the country.
So what's changed? When did blogging become solely about monetization, likes, shares and pins? Don't get me wrong... I still apply for various paid opportunities and get super pumped when a cool sponsored post comes my way. I still run ads on my sidebar and do a couple other things to make (a tiny bit) of money from this blog. The fact that a hobby of mine can make any money at all is pretty cool, but I still continue to blog because I crave the friendship and the interaction that blogging originally brought me. I have real life friends now because of this space and that alone is my greatest "accomplishment" in blogging.
Blogging is where friendships are born! It's where I find great new recipes. It's where I can laugh out loud over something funny that happened to you at work. It's where I can get ideas for new places to travel to and where to eat when I'm there. It's where I can read updates on your kids who are older than mine and learn new tricks to try to get him to nap longer during the day. Blogging is this awesome conglomerate of people that I just can't quit.
I know people are still reading. The pageviews and stats still show that, and that's great! I'm so glad there are friends out there who come back time and time again to see what randomness I write about, no matter what stage of life I might be in :) But the comments and the interactions are less and less. Are we all just bored of talking to each other? Are we just too busy to comment? Would we rather scroll through Instagram to get those tiny snippets of life, versus take the time to read a wordy blog post?
I don't really have the answers to any of these things, but sometimes you just want to open up blogger and hash it out. At least I still feel that way. I don't feel (too) guilty when I write a post without any fabulous photos. Or if I don't have an image to be pinned or shared. This is my blog after all, and I'm proud of where it's been, where it is now and possibly where it will end up one day.
So, who's out there reading?? I would love to hear from you. Blogger, former-blogger, never-ever-gonna-start-a-blogger? How long have you been here? What makes you comment or not comment? I'd also love links to your favorite bloggers who still write and share like the good ole' days ;) The floors open!