Blogging is still important because no other platform commands so much writing and thought. Everything else is mostly content made for entertainment. But if you want to change people’s lives, influence them to do good (or bad), let people know what you’re thinking and feeling, you write it. You have to write it.
—Frances Amper Sales, Topaz Horizon
I love this! My friend, superblogger and supermom Frances wrote a heartfelt and honest post on what essentially is a state-of-the-union on blogging in 2016. The above quote also captured what I’ve been mulling over in recent weeks, and I’m sure bloggers, marketers, and brand decision-makers have also asked this question: Will blogs eventually become obsolete?
True story: I almost quit blogging last year. First, I thought of no longer writing beauty posts and simply “specializing” in New York lifestyle pieces—food, events, and such. This came about as I found myself amidst mommy bloggers at the Painting With A Twist blogger event in Brooklyn at the start of fall. Besides, I thought, I already work in beauty full-time, so it always felt a bit of a busman’s holiday to do beauty-related things in my spare time. Also, if I wasn’t doing it at the level as my peers who are solely focused on beauty blogging, it didn’t seem worthwhile to do sporadic beauty features here and there. (I’ve backpedaled on this though; more on that in an upcoming—yes—beauty post!)
Second, towards the end of 2015, I wanted to cease blogging operations entirely because of my work and yoga teaching schedule. While I already cut one class from my weekly lineup of four, in an effort to scale back and have more free time to write and actually practice yoga, I still felt tired and unable to commit to regular blogging. To be clear, I still wrote, a lot. Writing is fun and cathartic for me; it’s what I do. The queue in my Evernote is proof of this. But these scribbles rarely made it to actual blog posts because I was just too tired when I got home (and weekends were precious, reserved for brunch, keeping house, recharging batteries, etc.). And if you’ve ever worked in a magazine, you know the feeling of “stewing” drafts; you can relate to the cringe-worthiness of randomly posting stream-of-consciousness things without having at least reviewed and edited once. Or twice. Thrice even!
But obviously, I didn’t quit blogging. In fact, I did quite a bit of housekeeping here on NY Minute Now—updated the template, got up to speed with things on the back end along with ongoing tweaks my digital marketer husband will be happy about. The holidays afforded me one precious New York commodity which was time: time to sit, think, and be home, tinkering with the blog. Cooking, baking, then writing some more…ultimately reigniting my desire to give blogging another shot.
So to ponder the above questions, yes—blogging in 2016 will remain relevant. No, blogs will not become obsolete. Yes, blogs will thrive, for many reasons. (Not just because I woke up one day and decided I was ready to blog regularly again so therefore, it must continue. . .)
Blogging in the age of Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat simply entails a new level of mindfulness and awareness: deciding what kind of blogger one wishes to be and drawing the line on what things are up for sale or negotiation. To paraphrase Frances, there is nothing wrong with sponsored posts. Working with brands and generating income from blogging is no different from being a journalist making a living writing for a media outlet. Truth be told, many (of the very few) posts that I did write last year were sponsored in some capacity. It was such a thrill every time to be approached for event invites and reviews, given the bare minimum effort I was devoting to the blog!
True, what’s missing from many blogs these days are those heartfelt, personal notes that drew people to blogs in the first place. Or those unabridged excerpts of one’s life and lessons learned, with no strings attached. So it is my hope, 2016 will be the year we do go back to that particular form of blogging, because where else can we do that? Indeed, long-form writing is a platform like no other.
I truly believe that all these options we have in sharing content are not mutually exclusive and that they in fact can co-exist in these beautiful spaces.
[Side note: We should also not underestimate millennials—they who supposedly have ultra-short attention spans, they who no longer like to read. I work with a 24-year-old who goes through piles upon piles of books, and here I am, the supposed oldie who’s been beating around the bush on a few books needed for continued yoga studies.]