Blogs are better than social media. At least for now and/or until things change.
I’ve had a blog for a number of years now. I started here at WordPress.com and then, because of monetization reasons, migrated over to a self-hosted site using WordPress.org. My self-hosted site was/is about health and fitness and is currently in a transition, but still kicking with plans to revamp the mission, look, and functionality.
I attempted to perform all of the requisite duties of running a successful blog: write, optimize for SEO, and promote heavily on social media. Back then it was easy. Facebook and Twitter’s algorithms allowed for widespread reach, easy organic growth, and paid boosts and ads were not even on the radar yet.
The social media landscape provided seamless access to both writers and readers. But then…
The cult of personality
I won’t go into too much detail here, but you know the current state of social. Politics, drama, tweaked algorithms, the death of organic reach, paying to play, and the rise of “the expert” all backed their ugly butts up into the once simple landscapes.
It felt as if social changed overnight. Can you remember a time when things were simpler? Me neither.
During this time blogs were considered dead — an embarrassment of sorts. “You still blog?” (sarcastic inflection)
A pleasant surprise
I was perusing different tools, sites, and design for my self-hosted site and came across Jason Journals. Jason McFadden’s blog caught my eye. Not initially for the content, although it’s great stuff, but for the simplicity. I dug deeper, looking at the tools he used, the functionality, and overall look of his site. I quickly looked back to how WordPress.com had changed. Back when I first began it was only a free site requiring the infamous .wordpress.com additive. Now it was full of options and plans, but still kept the simple look and feel.
I was impressed.
Another surprise was the community. I had once experienced the robust amount of writers and readers through my old site, but brushed it aside for the self-hosted option (which doesn’t really support such a community). With self-hosting you are on your own.
Jumping back in
Running a self-hosted health and fitness blog is interesting. Not interesting in regard to the subject matter, but the fact that you tend to write in a very niche-y niche. At first you are motivated and have a million ideas, but then you write those one million ideas (and also through exhaustive freelance work) and quickly get burned out.
I’ve always wanted to write about other things not so “niche-y.” Subjects of fatherhood, being a parent, technology, social psychology, lifestyle issues, work and employment, and everything else that can pop into my head greatly interested me.
So I jumped back into WordPress.com, got a domain, picked a simple theme, and began.
It feels good to write again; to have seemingly endless ideas and experience a positive, inclusive community to share with.
Better than social media
It is better than social media. There, I said it.
It’s much more genuine, less confrontational, and a place to fully express ideas, experiences, and stories on our own turf instead of some algorithmic-influenced walled-garden.
And as someone with an aesthetic eye, I appreciate the ability to manipulate design and function while still keeping things minimal and simple.
What say you? Is blogging in the WordPress community a better experience than social media?
Don’t forget to check out Jason’s blog!
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