The Blog Hump

by Patrick on August 23, 2010

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Chris Gin

I’ve been blogging before it was called blogging. That’s a long time.

During my time I’ve seen countless blogs fall by the wayside. Life gets in the way for a blogger and posts become infrequent and eventually stop. Sometimes blogs will unexpectedly end with a farewell post.

I didn’t start seriously following blogs til I moved down to the DC area and I’ve seen quite a few of them shut down in the past year. There appears to be a sort of blog hump or wall that we all hit after a year or two of blogging. A point where some blogs keep on chuggin’ and some decide to call it quits.

Why is there a blog hump? Well it’s different for some and perhaps for others they will never hit it but here are a few reasons based on what I’ve seen:

You Lose Your Purpose

Ask yourself why are you blogging? Why are you sharing your life with The Internet? There maybe a point you can’t answer that question and you find yourself lost and you get tired of blogging. Just like any new hobby or habit, you start to question whether it is worth your time and there comes a point that answer is, “no blogging isn’t worth my time anymore.”

For some there comes a point where your purpose of blogging fulfills itself. I recently interviewed a blogger who wrote about her dating life and search for a significant other. Her blog is full of great dating stories and adventures. I asked her what would happen when she finds that special someone and she told me she probably would stop writing- she’d be out of things to say.

Starting Over at 24 was a blog started after when a man’s first relationship ended after six years. The blog itself then ended after he found the next love of his life and his blog tale had a happy ending.

Whether you are writing because you backpacking through Africa, training for a marathon, or just moved to a new city; if the reason you blog doesn’t grow and evolve as you do it’s doomed for an eventual conclusion.

You Forget Who You Are Writing For

It’s very hard to get caught up with page views, comment counts, and other metrics that says somebody is reading your work. You feel this euphoria that you have some sort of popularity and when your audience goes away you get tired of it all.

When this happens you have to remember not only why you are writing but who you are writing for- is it your friends & family? your portfolio? yourself?

When I started blogging in middle school I knew nobody read the stupid little Geocities page I kept up. Now maybe three people read me. If nobody reads me tomorrow I can always remember that I was putting my opinions on paper long before anybody tracked back to me because it was for myself. This blog started as a petty journal in my teenage years and has grown as a place for me to document and help shape my opinions and views of Social Media, life, during my on-going Quarter Life Crisis years.

You Overextend Yourself

If you want to start blogging by all means you should blog as soon as you can and get into the habit of it. However you should also think about your time commitment once the honeymoon period is over. I’ve seen lots of blogs post daily for two-three weeks then ramp down. I know the end is near when posts start reading, “I haven’t blogged in so long- I will soon!”

Figure out a happy medium with your posting schedule- something you can easily maintain when life gets a tad busier than usual. Don’t feel like you have to write EVERY day- as long as you are writing great content that’s what matters.

Do you think that there’s a blog hump? How have you overcome it?

  • Liebchen

    Are you reading my mind? I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently, and you’re very very right about all of it. Unfortunately, I don’t have a solution just yet, but I’m working on it.

    • Patrick

      It’s definitely a trend I’ve seen with the blogs around me- let me know how you’re figuring it out. I wonder if there is just a natural attrition to the blogs we read- where only the big professional blogs or the uber dedicated niche blogs survive.

  • Dazey

    At first (and maybe still) my purpose to blog was so that my friends and family who are out of town could keep up with my life, so that I didn’t have to fill in each person separately when and if we kept in touch via the phone, email, etc. While this still sort of works, I’m not sure the people I would wish to read my blog, actually do. With that being said, I also view my blog writing as like, an extended form of media to the many journals (see: diaries) I’ve kept in the past. I always used to dream that after i died, people would find my journals and read them. The fact that I actually wanted people to read what I was thinking, made me pursue my interest in blogging.

    I think because those reasons are not the kind to flop easily, my blog will survive for a good, long while.

    But also, when I started reading this post, I was like, oh great, this could be a jinx to all the blogs out there that are doing well. Hopefully it isn’t!

    • Patrick

      None of my family and very little of my friends read this too. So you want others to read what you are thinking- but what if nobody does?

      • Dazey

        If nobody reads my blog, then like I said, it’s just a new form of media that has replaced my writing in paper journals. I’m pretty ok with nobody seeing what I have to say, since back in college I had radio shows that sometimes nobody listened to. Of course we would all like to have an audience, but sometimes you know, your best work comes when you are not trying to cater to other people.

  • DC Princess

    Great blog! We talked about this a bit last night. I’ve been blogging for about 7 years now and I’ve definitely gone through my cycles but I think I’m at a good level now.

    • Patrick

      Absolutely thanks for offering your thoughts on my blog as well.

  • Scarlett

    I’ve been blogging for 5-ish years and it seems as though there have been several “break downs” over humps along the way. I’ll stop blogging for 6 months and then remember that I miss it and start blogging yet again. My blog has reinvented itself and its purpose several times but it keeps chugging along. In the end, i blog for me and its always there when I need canvas for ideas.

    • Patrick

      I like the idea of a canvas- and that’s what I try to do with my blog. It’s like a social media notebook where I make notes of what I’m thinking and what I like with The Internet.

  • natalie

    man oh man. you read my mind…I was finding myself in a blog hump a couple of weeks ago and everything you wrote is sooooooooooo true.

    • Patrick

      Well how are you handling your blog hump?

      • natalie

        hmmm good question… i just reminded myself that I’m doing this too make people laugh and as long as someone is laughing…then i should be happy.

        • Patrick

          Well with a blog with the words Awkward Sex in it- I can’t blame ya!

  • Jess of

    Soooo relevant, thank you. We’re just one year old and we struggle with the question of overextending. One thing that has helped us is to bring in new writers/start up new collaborations. It gives us an instant injection of new energy and enthusiasm (not to mention the new audience it potentially brings). That’s helped us tremendously. And then of course, having blogging friends like you to commiserate with!

    • Patrick

      Aw thanks Jess! I’ve read about your blog in the Washingtonian- I hope to see you out and about on the blog scene here!

  • Cyndy

    I’m not sure I’d be blogging at all if certain rather surreal things hadn’t happened. I started writing to kind of work through some stuff and to get some stuff down that I might otherwise block out. Then my posts started to become just bits of diversionary fluff that I assembled to distract myself and to cheer myself up. Now it seems like I don’t need to do that as much and the blogging has kind of fallen by the wayside. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get back to posting more frequently after certain things settle down because it’s fun! It definitely feels like an indulgence at certain times.

    • Patrick

      You take a lot of photos for your blog and I wonder if photo blogs are more living galleries for your work- thus it’s ok for the updates to be sporadic.

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