Why Did Blogging Become So Serious?

It was 8pm on a Monday evening (well, yesterday, in fact), and I was trawling through my blog archives, going back to my first year of blogging in 2011. Gosh, it was embarrassing to look at; my posts were filled with emojis, with cringey language like “lawls” instead of lol, and were sometimes no longer than a paragraph. My photos were awful (as were the blog watermarks that were plastered over them) but I was excited to be on this little corner of the internet, and it was evident in my writing. With a twang I realised that I really, really missed those carefree days where I wasn’t serious about blogging. Over the years my blog posts – although mostly cheerful – have become more carefully planned and filled with relevant jargon in order to be noticed in the online world. But back then I really didn’t care about my reach or engagement.

So what happened? Why did blogging become so serious?

Why did blogging become so serious? Thought piece by hellolizziebee

Why did blogging become so serious? By hellolizziebee
My rollercoaster of a ride in the blogging world by hellolizziebee
Gyaru lifestyle blogger Lizzie Bee

top: forever21 / skirt: missguided / boots: boohoo / bag: marks + spencer / accessories: ma*rs + new look

So why did blogging become so serious?

Because we want our posts to be noticed

Bloggers spend time and care on every post in the hopes that it would connect with their readers, and be shared across social media channels and be filled with comments. And that is done through endlessly promoting said blog post through daily tweets, Facebook comment threads, Pinterest boards, the almighty Instagram, and email lists. It is tiring work and I often have to dedicate a few hours a week just doing this. Back when I first started the post ended when the words did and I didn’t have to think more of it. It was just nice knowing that it was there to look back on when I needed to.

Comments are harder to come by

My happiness is sometimes determined by how many comments I receive on a post, because if it doesn’t get comments, that means it’s not good, right? I’ve been seeing more and more bloggers speaking up about commenting outside of comment pods and threads, and it’s a rarity for a person who isn’t a blogger to comment. So we all jump into those comment threads and do ‘comment swaps’ in the hopes that we’d get a decent comment on return, but I can’t count the amount of times I’ve had people say things like ‘nice outfit!’ on a post that was incredibly personal and raw but I just happened to wear a nice dress in the photos. I try to combat this thinking with “at least it’s a comment” which meant that, even if they skimmed the whole thing, at least they landed on your page (which is kinda sad to think about really).

related post: maybe you’re just not good enough (but that’s okay)

Photoshoots, photoshoots, photoshoots

Outfit photos taken in a full-length mirror just don’t cut it anymore, and even as I write this I’m already planning my next “photoshoot” with my hubby (which is basically travelling to a nearby town that has pretty walls and gardens). Hell, even this very blog post is filled with photos we took on my day out in Birmingham. The last time I took a outfit shot in the mirror was probably around 2016-2017, and I haven’t seen one from another blogger in way longer than that. This is mainly due to Instagram as better photos mean better engagement, and all of the major Instagram accounts have beautifully crafted photos taken by a professional photographer. This has seeped into the blogging world, and so each photo is carefully deliberated on a few weeks prior than taken on a whim.

Blogging is now a business

All of the above is linked to this very thing; blogging is no longer just a hobby, but can be a full-time job. That means that people are paid to write content which they obviously want to share, gain comments, and schedule photoshoots for because that’s how they get noticed. It’s very hard work and so it’s inevitable that people will be pretty serious about what they’re blogging because of the amount of hours that go into it behind-the-scenes.

A key example of this is the development of wishlists; in 2011 I wrote a circle lens wishlist and it contained just a list of links to a website. That’s it. No context, no introduction… just “my circle lens wishlist” as the title and some links. Nowadays wishlists are beautifully crafted into a collage with links (some affiliated) and a paragraph beneath it, filled with relevant keywords. Most of these links would’ve been carefully planned weeks before, where bloggers would reach out to numerous companies to see if they could strike a deal with them – a mention of their company in a wishlist for a gifted item in return – and to post them at the perfect time when they know their readers would be searching for these kinds of wishlists.

Cute agejo outfit by hellolizziebee
Casual agejo outfit by hellolizziebee
Agejo outfit by hellolizziebee

Okay, so what are you trying to say, Lizzie?

It isn’t a bad thing to be serious about blogging, as long as you’re having fun doing it. But do not stress about scheduling photoshoots if you don’t have the time/money or doubting whether you’re writing good content because your blog is your space. What I wanted to express in this post is that I miss the carefree days where we would smash out a blog post and just post it regardless of whether it’s at the correct time or with the perfectly set-up photo. To write things purely because we loved doing it. I want to go back and embrace my posts that I write on a whim regardless of thinking “but is this actually good enough?“, and capture the essence of what got me into blogging in the first place – to document my journey.

What do you think? Why do you think blogging has become so serious?

Love,
Lizzie xx

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38 Comments
  • Kei
    March 26, 2019

    I remember blogging too when it was a “thing” – almost similar to instagram/ facebook, and it was pretty fun, but i was such a bad writer and cringe at the old post during my hibiscgyaru days that i had to delete them lol Now i actually miss it

    And i know that feeling of getting comments or likes is important to most people, so i’ll try to post comment when i can but you’ll have to forgive me for now as most of my weekends is trying to learn parapara for jubilee 🙂

    • hellolizziebee
      March 26, 2019

      Awh it’s a shame you deleted them! I’ve put all of my old blog posts on private because I couldn’t bear to delete them, and its good to look back!

      You’re so sweet, thank you so much! And gosh that reminds me – I need to practice parapara! I really hope I don’t embarrass myself

  • Amy Turner
    March 27, 2019

    I totally agree with every word! I really try my best to break out of the comparison game, which is always the thing which causes me to get really serious with blogging and start crazy structures.
    I’ve not posted from the heart on a whim for so long… I’ve had a schedule 2 months in advance for ages. I’m getting a bit tired of it! Xx
    Keep doing you xxx

    Amy
    “Writing into the Ether“

    • hellolizziebee
      March 27, 2019

      Yes I am exactly the same! I fell into the trap of going crazy with scheduling posts two months in advance but then I always changed things anyway so there isn’t any point. Now I just keep everything in drafts and pick the things I want to post when I feel like it! Thank you so much xxx BTW you’re a brilliant blogger so just write the things that make you happy!

  • Zamaie Chinye
    March 27, 2019

    When I first started blogging in 2016, I wasn’t super serious about blogging nor did I plan to make it into an actual career at the time. It was just a fun hobby of mine that allowed me to share some of my writing with the rest of the world. To be honest, I kind of wish I had been around to witness the early days of blogging. I think people became serious about blogging because they wanted to make money from their passion.

    • hellolizziebee
      March 27, 2019

      Yes you’re completely right – and to be honest I don’t blame them because blogging is a job for them, so of course they’ll want to work hard and be serious about it! That’s why I love it when some bloggers do little life updates every once in a while because it’s more personal and carefree

      • Naira
        March 29, 2019

        I never leave comments for some reason, even though I read blogs regularly. You’ve made me realise I should be more active showing support!

        • hellolizziebee
          March 29, 2019

          Awh but dont feel pressured to post comments if you don’t want to!

  • Lala 🌺
    March 27, 2019

    Nice outfit! (Haha 😆) I feel like a lot of social media is like this, too. It starts out fun and carefree, then you begin to notice and care about engagement. That can get kind of stressful, especially once you start getting business inquiries or getting into affiliation/partnership programs. Love the last bit! All this stuff should be fun 💕 It can be difficult to find the balance, but it’s important to make sure you’re enjoying yourself ✌💖

    Great post! Can’t wait for the next one 😄❤💕

    • hellolizziebee
      March 27, 2019

      Exactly! Especially with Instagram, and to be honest I get caught up in that too because it’s hard not to notice numbers and engagement. And obviously you want to work super hard to create good content for your sponsors…

      Thank you so much Lala! ❤️

  • Hollie
    March 27, 2019

    I remember when blogging used to be so much fun! We would all just chat away about stuff that interested us or what we had done that week, like a sort of diary that your friends (and anyone else who stumbled upon it) could read. It didn’t really matter about comments or engagement and when all of that became important, that’s when I dropped out of blogging. I didn’t have the time to keep up with something like that, it started as a hobby and somewhere to just share memories with friends but it became so time consuming and hard going… I’ve wanted to get back into blogging for a while now and I still read posts, but I too am guilty of not really ever commenting on the blogs I read :s
    I made a new blog but I am yet to actually post anything, I think there is a lot of pressure with blogging now to have something to talk about, where as before we just talked about what we liked but now there’s all this pressure on sns to have the most interesting and perfect life. Where you’re bragging about how every single day this week was filled with a super exciting thing that you did, and my life just isn’t like that at all :’) so how can I find something to post about?! Anyway I still hope to get back into the fun side of blogging where I just post about what I find amusing rather than stressing myself out over engagement and all of that
    Anyway I love your blog and I love how it’s evolved over time. just keep doing you and enjoying yourself and that’s what is the most important part about blogging x

    • hellolizziebee
      March 27, 2019

      I totally get what you mean, Hollie! It’s really sad that you dropped out and I hope you find the inspiration to post again! I would love to see your ‘diary’ posts, so please drop me a link when you do do it! Don’t give in to the pressure of posting “perfect” content but post the things you love!

  • AbbeyLouisaRose
    March 27, 2019

    I relate to this SSOOOOOO HARDDDDD. I recently took a really long break from blogging (well, a month haha, but that’s really long for me!) and part of the reason why I lost my inspiration / motivation to write was because blogging is now such a serious thing. I found myself slipping back into old habits of feeling bad about my blog just last night when I was reading a blog post about “how to make your blog better.” The post spoke a lot about using Pinterest, basically saying that “it’s so easy to use Pinterest to promote your blog, so don’t be lazy! There’s no excuse!” Now I know that it wasn’t the blogger’s intention to make people feel bad but damn, the guilt hit me so hard. I don’t use Pinterest, mainly because it’s a platform that doesn’t really interest me. I don’t ever feel a pull to go on there and frankly, I don’t have the time to keep up with yet another social media platform in addition to Insta and Twitter. After I read the post, I was left thinking “well, let’s just sack it in altogether, my blog will never be successful” and I had to stop and remind myself that I’m not blogging in order to make it my full time job. I am really happy with the content I’m currently producing and I’m enjoying writing it – “taking my blog more seriously” isn’t something that I want or need to do! This is a massive tangent but I hope you can see what I’m getting at! Sometimes the pressure to take your blog seriously from the community can make you feel so down when it needn’t! I also agree on the commenting front – I’m no longer a part of any comment threads or pods and honestly, I’m so glad about that! Now when I do get the occasional comment, I know it’s from someone who genuinely read and engaged with what I was writing. I get far fewer comments but hey, numbers aren’t everything! This was a fantastic post, thank you for keeping it real xxxx

    • hellolizziebee
      March 28, 2019

      I totally agree with you! I think the amount of tutorials about growing our blogs has, well, grown lately and it’s hard to escape the feeling of not being good enough if we don’t tick all of those boxes. I say you do you, boo, and don’t force yourself to use social networks that you don’t want to use! I use Pinterest all of the time for my design stuff, and I personally haven’t seen any growth from it so I wouldn’t worry about not using it.

      Kudos to you for not being in a comment pod/thread! I use threads all of the time (although I haven’t yet been in one to promote this post) because I worry that if I don’t, I won’t get any comments… And that feeling NEVER happened to me before. I used to manually search up different blogs every day and drop them a comment, but I rarely do that now unless they are on my bloglovin feed.

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you liked this post xxx

  • Michelle Kern
    March 27, 2019

    I feel the same away about Journaling as well. I wrote in 59 cent college rule note books and was thrilled if I got purple. Now there are expensive journals and prompts and classes. We just learn new ways of blogging as technology advances.

    Love this post, thank you for writing it.

    • hellolizziebee
      March 28, 2019

      Yes exactly! Blogging has changed so much so we’ve just got to go with the flow. Thank you for reading!

  • Deborah Wyatt
    March 28, 2019

    I feel this so much, but I’m still old school. Maybe because my blog is deeply personal and more on health, surgery journey I’m free to write like a diary of sorts. So I don’t feel the pressure of photos, keywords and formula, and it certainly helps I’m a hobby blogger. As a reader, I find myself no longer reading certain blogs, because they’ve lost soul, lost their spirit, and personality.

    • hellolizziebee
      March 28, 2019

      Yes I am the same – I love reading blogs where you can tell people loved doing it and not just as a way to get freebies etc.

  • Claire
    March 28, 2019

    I am a relative newbie, but I had a weight loss blog some years ago and I read some posts and oh god I hated myself a little bit. It makes me wonder whether I’ll read my current posts back in 5 years and think cringe!

    I blog because I love it, it is a therapy for me at times but I’d love it to be more than that. posts like this inspire me to keep working hard but to remember to keep enjoying it.

    Cute outfit btw 😉

    • hellolizziebee
      March 28, 2019

      Awh I think it’s so good to be able to look back at old posts like that to realise just how far you’ve come! I feel you on the therapy part as I love using my blog as a way to document what I’m feeling!

      Tehehe, thank you so much!

  • Jenny
    March 28, 2019

    This is an amazing post Lizzie. I totally agree. When I started blogging I really didn’t have a care in the world. I sometimes miss those days but I’m so grateful for the opportunities blogging has given me since I became more serious about it. I personally LOVE blogging at the moment and turning it into a business is the best decision I ever made. But if I woke up one day and found I hated it, I’d definitely reconsider what I was doing and whether this was the right option for me anymore. Things change and that’s okay!

    There certainly are some elements of blogging which have become an absolute ballache now though. Like everyone on Twitter screaming at each other and no body being able to have a civilized conversation anymore!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

    • hellolizziebee
      March 28, 2019

      Awh thank you so much, Jenny! I really admire you for doing blogging full-time, as I can see how much hard work goes behind it all! I do love blogging as it is, too, but sometimes I do get overwhelmed by the feeling of not being good enough because a standard has been set by the blogging industry as a whole that more is, well, more.

  • Maisie
    March 28, 2019

    Omg this post couldn’t have come at a better time for me! I’ve been thinking similar things to what you’ve written here recently and it’s really been getting me down! I’ve decided to scale things back with my blog and not take on paid work anymore because it’s taking the enjoyment out of it being so serious and such a constant competition 😢
    Thanks for sharing Lizzie! 💖💕

    • hellolizziebee
      March 28, 2019

      I’m so glad that you feel the same, because I was worried that I was just doing a whole lot of rambling and not making much sense! And I love how you were able to pin-point exactly what it was that was making you not enjoy blogging as much, and did something about it <3

  • Shelby
    March 28, 2019

    Oh aren’t you just the prettiest! Gorgeous photos 🙂

    I completely agree with you word for word. For so long, I started blogs and deleted them because I just couldn’t live up to the expectations of what you need to do to be a ‘successful’ blogger, however just last year, I re-opened my blog and started just doing what I wanted and what I loved. I don’t pay much attention to statistics and probably only look at them a few times a month and by doing all of this, I am so in love with my blog. I’m not putting anything out there that I hate just for some views, I’m doing the type of posts that I want to do and if people want to or don’t want to read them – it’s fine with me. I’m just having fun and I think not paying so much attention to expectations, that’s what makes you better. Too many bloggers are doing the same posts, they’re going to the same locations for photos, etc. We need to start being original and switch it up!

    • hellolizziebee
      March 28, 2019

      I feel you so, so much. It’s absolutely heart-breaking to work so hard and feel like you’re not getting anywhere, and I’m so glad that you have fallen in love with your blog! There’s nothing more than finding your happy place and I’m so glad you did, especially because you’re starting to ignore other people’s expectations!

  • Boxnip
    March 28, 2019

    I only started blogging in 2016, so I think I entered the world of blogging when it was already pretty serious. Even in the last 3yrs though it has changed an awful lot and I’ve felt more pressure, probably because of what other bloggers are doing and achieving. 🙂

    Sarah 🌺 || Boxnip

    • hellolizziebee
      March 28, 2019

      Oh no, please don’t feel under pressure! I know exactly how you feel and what makes me feel better is to figure out WHY I’m blogging in the first place. Blog purely because you love doing it and ignore everything else

  • Brooklyn
    March 28, 2019

    I love your outfit in these photos!
    And I agree, I miss the fun blogging community from years ago. I didn’t blog then but I used to love reading short, fun updates from the bloggers I loved best.
    It felt like we could talk about anything, but now everything has to be so on brand.
    Still love it though!

    • hellolizziebee
      March 28, 2019

      SAME! I fell into the trap a few years ago of thinking that no one was interested in those posts anymore so I stopped doing them, but now I realise just how much I love the chatty catch-up posts!

      Yes I do, too!

  • Emiii
    March 30, 2019

    It’s funny – I was just thinking about this myself the other day and wrote about it in a draft post! (Definitely not to this level, and I applaud you for writing it.) I’m probably one of the last people who still posted tons of mirror OOTD pics as my main source of content. But I always had people recommending that I take “better photos”.
    Lately I realized that I just…don’t want to. It’s partially out of convenience but mostly bc I realized that I don’t want to pause my life (and my bf’s life) to take photos just for social media. The current state of blogging is just not for me and I’m fine with taking a step back. I think most of my content this year will have significantly less views but a lot less stress for me compared to where I was 2 years ago. I’m now looking at my blog as a space where I can reflect rather than cater to an audience and I’m hoping that will yield positive personal results for me even though it will mean a drop in engagement and entertainment for outsiders.
    Everyone needs to find what’s right for them!

    • hellolizziebee
      March 30, 2019

      I’m so happy to see your comment because I’ve been reading your blog for a while and it’s nice to talk to someone who has been through the same mirror-shot-thing! I totally get where you’re coming from, and to be honest I wish I have a big mirror to take outfit photos in (and maybe in a well-lit, lovely room, too…) I’ll still read your blog regardless!

  • Chloe Chats
    March 31, 2019

    This is a great post! I was the exact same when I first started blogging, I didn’t care too much about it, my posts were so cringy to look back on (I even reverted a lot of them back to drafts as I wanted to start afresh when I was more serious.) You’re so right though, there’s nothing wrong with blogging being so serious, I think it just shows how much we enjoy it and want our creativeness to be noticed because we’re proud of it! Also totally agree that we shouldn’t let it make us feel stressed ❤

    Chloe xx
    http://www.chloechats.com

    • hellolizziebee
      March 31, 2019

      Aah yes I did the same, although converted most of mine to private instead of drafts. And that’s so true! I mean, we work hard, so of course we want to be noticed ❤️

  • Kieli
    April 3, 2019

    Omg I miss those days when everyone blogged about different little things. Even if it was just a fun outing with friends. It was a lot more casual and simple. I could hardly keep up with all the blog posts because EVERYONE was blogging at their own pace. I used to love reading about Gyaru, Lolita and even Fairy Kei. Now, many bloggers have disappeared whether they got bored or it became too serious for them.

    I know for a while I wanted to become a better blogger so I posted as often as I could with as many different topics possible. But it wasn’t until now that I felt more comfortable with my writing and the look of my blog. I still feel like I’ll never get to the professional level that paid bloggers get and will continue to just make my content as I see fit. Probably not on a set schedule either LOL

    But I do find some days I’m missing the old days of blogging and will use my bloglovin’ to find some of the remaining existing blogs. Posts were happier and abundant. Blogs were mostly cutesy and really reflected the writer. Some blogs do that still but I feel a lot have gone to a cookie cutter layout and style of writing. I’m still learning with WP so I’m adjusting the look in batches when I figure it out lol

    • hellolizziebee
      April 3, 2019

      Yes me too! Plus, back then it didn’t matter if people blogged about the same things… Because everything was perceived differently! Nowadays I feel the pressure of not being able to post certain things because someone else wrote about it, and it stresses me out.

  • Nat
    April 9, 2019

    If there is a blog post I can really relate to lately, it’s this one! I’m still semi laid back when it comes down to my blog, why? Well it’s my hobbie, not my “jobbie”.

    I do try and make my blog better by taking better photos, sharing on social media as and when I can but as you said that can take a few hours a week to do and sometimes (most of the time in fact) I don’t actually have time to do that due to my job as well as my social life.

    March really tested me with blogging. I was going to events once and sometimes twice a week, which was amazing and I loved it but I was so tired by the end of the month that I just needed a break.

    I love my blog so much and of course would love to one day call it my job and be paid for it, but until that day is really close I just think I’ll be more laid back in regards to seriousness of my blog. 🙂

    I hope that makes sense!

    You work so hard on your blog sweet and it really does pay off, even if you don’t think so. I love reading your posts and I know for a fact your readers will agree there. 😀

    https://theremightbecoffee.wordpress.com/

    • hellolizziebee
      April 10, 2019

      I totally get how you feel! It can be tricky to get out of that mindset, especially when you’re surrounded by people who do it as a full time job, but I’m really glad to see that you want to be more laid back with it because at the end of the day, we blog because it’s fun and it’s something we love doing!