Does my blog have a sell by date?

 

best before end 2015

When I first started writing back in January 2010 I joined the BritMums community and there were a few hundred bloggers on the forum. It was easy to get to know people and there was no ‘working with brands‘ or it was on a much quieter scale than it is today.

When I told polite enquirers as to how I spent my day, ‘I blog.’ came my excited reply. I was met with a quizzical look, the braver people would ask, ‘What’s that?’ The less brave would change the subject.

Blogging has come on light years since then. I have seen bloggers become really successful, look at Knackered Mother, and English Mum who was on my TV in the Sainsburys ad this winter making risotto!

Today’s blogging scene is vibrant and it’s a sassy, smart thing to do. There are thousands and thousands of bloggers up and down the UK. More and more people are starting every day, younger fresher, smarter talent.

  • They arrive on the scene and their blogs look professional – it took me five years to get to the design you see today.
  • They know all about their cookies and their HTML.
  • They start their blogs with a clear idea and a plan on how to get where they want to be – I’m still trying to figure it out!

So I take a quiet step back.

I realise I am getting old. Gulp.

I ask myself, ‘Will there come a day when I am no longer blogging? Should I be giving this up and making way for the new crowd?’

Has my blog reached it’s sell by date?

Since the day I started Mari’s World I never had a plan, I never knew where blogging would take me and I didn’t know if I’d still be writing five years down the line. However I did have a Lifeplan.

Lifeplan

I had a page back then called Lifeplan, it was about writing down where I’d like to be in 1 year or 5 years time, let me show you a bit of it,

My question was: Everyone has ideas of what they’d like to accomplish in a certain period of time. Where would you like to be in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years time?

I wrote …

Lifeplan 2010 wishes

So what happened?

In 2010 we moved house. The finance bit wasn’t accomplished, my blog wasn’t making money at that point. I didn’t write the book however it is still an idea I am hankering after and I didn’t lose my twin tum, that is also a work in very (slow) progress.

In 2015 (back then ‘in 5 years time‘) A baby? Which hell of a planet was I on? That must have been some serious hormones meddling with my brain. No more babies.

Career? A-hem, still no book although I have thrown down about 5000 words and made a start, don’t hold your breath people, this might take a while.

Finance – I think back then I was dreaming of a quick fix, like winning the lottery wealthy. I was made redundant when pregnant with the girls and unable to go back to work, that hit me hard not having the financial independence I was used to. It was also the years of the credit crunch, money was tight for lots of families. We didn’t win the lottery but things got better.

Shall we just skip the healthy and fit thing? Actually I am blessed with a healthy body, apart from my knees showing the first signs of old age and I’m reasonably fit. Sort of.

I have shared all this with you as I shall be 50 next year and I am asking myself where do I want to be in ten years time? Will I still be writing Mari’s World or will it be locked away for the girls to read should they wish one day? Was it just a means to get by?

Do I still have a place on today’s blogging scene? Or should I give up and pass the baton to the younger, smarter crew?

Do you have similar thoughts about where you’re going and what lies ahead?

Editor’s note – if you look carefully at my pretty blue pic there are 2 ‘a’s in financial and it’s too late to go back and change it, sorry!

 

30 Comments

  1. May 18, 2015 / 9:44 PM

    Mari, I actually have tears reading this, you know I feel the same.
    We are the forerunners, the pioneers. We have achieved a great deal with our blogs, made lives happier, brighter, changed a few opinions, supported others. I too stop and think that I cannot be doing this when I am 50. I am 46 now and oddly 50 was my cut-off point too. And just think, blogging might get in the way of a seriously good book…

    • May 19, 2015 / 8:22 AM

      Thanks Hayley for your lovely words. I always have questions running around my head but I do enjoy blogging, I was thinking of an extra ten years and maybe pushing the bar to 60 after all, 50 is the new 40 right?

      • May 19, 2015 / 2:47 PM

        Yes! And having written that I thought I will always want to keep my hand in, even if I ease off :)

  2. May 18, 2015 / 10:00 PM

    What a really touching post, Mari. Not everyone has a plan. Not everyone has the heart that you have. Your blog is fab and I think you are a terrific person. I would keep on just as you are doing and then see where the mood takes you. There is no rush to decide anything. My feeling is that nothing keeps on forever. I have done a zillion things over the years and there’s always something new (and sometimes exciting and sometimes scary) around the corner….

    • May 19, 2015 / 8:24 AM

      You are right about the something new around the corner, absolutely and I embrace that, I love surprises and challenges and I do try not to plan anything I just like to wonder what I’ll be doing in the future, I’ve always been a bit of a daydreamer :)

  3. May 18, 2015 / 10:02 PM

    Blogging for me is my diary and I cannot see me stopping, but you never know! It is an area that’s become flooded with new talent, not there is still life in this oldie yet lol

    • May 19, 2015 / 8:26 AM

      I should hope so Kara, I love your blog! You’re right a blog is a diary and it’s great to look back on the early pictures of the twins but a good old contemplation like this one is good for the soul and confirms in my heart what I want and if it feels right. Thanks for commenting :)

  4. May 18, 2015 / 10:06 PM

    Mari a really excellent thought provoking post, It made me think and worry much the same, yet don’t be harsh, we all set out ambitions that are more like stretch targets, you and your blog are amazing just as you are.

    • May 19, 2015 / 8:28 AM

      Thank you Fiona. I do think it’s good exercise to tackle the worry and dig in deep so you can carry on with the knowledge you’re ok with it. A good old Think Tank with myself is just what I need sometimes. It sorts out the good thoughts from the bad.

  5. May 19, 2015 / 1:06 PM

    Interesting post. I think I have to accept the fact that my blog is past it’s sell by date which is a real shame but I think blogging has changed. When I started mine I had no plans to make any money it was just a place for pretty pictures and happy memories. This was fine at the time and I had a nice little following but it’s kind of changed. People don’t comment on blogs any more and it was that interaction that I liked. And blogging just seems to be about making money these days. There are some great personal blogs out there still but there are some which have changed and I seem to be reading sponsored posts after sponsored post.
    Anyway, I hope you work out what you want to do and achieve a whole heap of brilliant stuff. And win the lottery!

    • May 20, 2015 / 9:58 AM

      Blogging has changed you are right, it has opened up so many doors for so many people in lots of different ways, it’s brought on careers, spurred others on to writing books and some blogs have made people a lot of money. I have had a dabble at lots of different things including sponsored posts, guest posts, working with brands and all sorts but at the end of the day I always stop to look where I am going and what I am doing with it as it is something I love and care for.
      If nothing else this discussion has made me realise that I don’t want to join the rat race but keep true to myself as when I am writing about topics I love I am at my happiest.
      The commenting is a good point too, I do feel back in the ‘olden’ days I had more time to comment, the circles were more tight knit, it was easier to get around a linkup of blogs whereas today the scene has exploded, lots don’t comment back anymore but link dump.
      I do however feel that what we used to do was good and right and it would only take a good linky to get that feeling back again.
      Thanks for commenting on this interesting topic

  6. May 19, 2015 / 2:51 PM

    I don’t think your time is up yet. Your blog is fantastic, something for the younger, newer ones to inspire too. Keep doing what you’re doing. Great post though xx

    • May 20, 2015 / 10:00 AM

      Thanks Karen, I will keep plodding on that is true as I enjoy it too much to stop and leave but I do like a good conversation and this post has brought many people to the table to discuss and that is a good thing.
      Lovely to see you over here.

  7. May 19, 2015 / 5:02 PM

    Yes, yes, I feel this regularly- esp the book or the blog question. But I love it too much to give up – wherein lies my answer. Hope you find yours. x

    • May 20, 2015 / 10:03 AM

      Yes, Kate, it has to be a passion doesn’t it otherwise what is the point?
      I really hope you find the time for your book, we have spoken in the past about it but I am finding it the hardest thing to do, make time for free writing as my blog kind of takes over all the time. I need to find the discipline to make a decent start and carry on at it.

  8. May 19, 2015 / 10:33 PM

    Great post! I know what you mean about the cool, young bloggers who hit the ground running. It took me years to work stuff out too and, four years down the line, I’ve still got a lot to learn. But there’s still room for us ‘oldies’, if we still want to do it. My blog is the story of my life as a mum and if I didn’t write it there, how would I preserve those memories for the future?

    • May 20, 2015 / 10:06 AM

      Too true, the memories we have recorded over the years are priceless, the discussions we have shared are important and it makes you realise there is so much more to a blog than what the reader perceives.
      I agree there is room but not in the same room, I’m going to step aside for the young brilliant talent to do what they do best and I am going to continue with Mari’s World on my terms, ones that fit well with me.
      Thanks for joining in.

  9. May 19, 2015 / 10:35 PM

    You inspired me , you still inspire me you will continue to inspire me , Thank you for waking me form a blogging slumber x than you

    • May 20, 2015 / 10:08 AM

      What a lovely comment, thank you. I guess stuck in my own little world I don’t have a clue about the impact I may have on others as I am always looking at those who inspire me, those who make me want to improve my writing or my photography. I never thought I inspired others too.
      I’m glad I have woken you up and look forward to see what you come up with.

  10. May 19, 2015 / 11:30 PM

    I caught this through “eavesdropping” on a Twitter conversation. I think we all have doubts and “dips” in our blogging careers (especially after going to a blogging-related conference). Yes, the younger bloggers do seem more adept at this craft but they have spent more time embedded in the digital world. We had to learn from scratch what is very possibly second nature to them.

    It’s good to reevaluate where you have come from and where you are going. It’s good to step back once in a while and take some deep breaths. It’s OK to carry on hacking away at that life path you are forging and doing it your own way.

    • May 20, 2015 / 10:12 AM

      It was so good to see you again Nickie even if we didn’t get much time at the conference and you are right with everything you touch on in your comment.
      My kids will find this so much easier than I did and the mind boggles to think where this excellent form of communication will go as it evolves?
      Having these thoughts does make me stop and re-evaluate the time I spend on my blog and by doing that I can work out how to spend that time more efficiently – doing what I love and not what I think I should be doing.
      It’s been a really good discussion and I am so glad you joined in.

  11. May 20, 2015 / 7:22 PM

    We need so many different voices so you must stay put! I know what you mean about feeling a little knocked by blogs that know exactly what they want and how they want to be sometimes, I’ve changed direction so many times. You hit the nail on the head, you just need to be the you that so many of us know and love. Becky (Baby and Family Budgeting) and I did a talk at Blog Camp and that idea of just being who you are and not comparing to others seemed to really resonate with everyone. I keep meaning to return to commenting on the blogs of those I started the journey with, I feel a little lost at sea at times too.

  12. May 20, 2015 / 10:48 PM

    I’ve only been going nearly 3 years with my blog, but still feel left behind by the younger newbies. Especially those who start blogging and then 5 minutes later start blog tutorials which I’d not dream of writing about because even though I now know these things having learnt them over 2 years, I still wouldn’t proclaim to be an expert. Now blogs do seem to be set up with plans straight away, mine started off journalling before I found the blogging community, so it took a year to really get involved and 18 months before I started properly feeling I was on a standing with others.

    Questioning our blogs is always something that seems to happen when big point in life are happening. I know I’ll have to question and challenge mine in September once N starts school. I’m definitely going to have to change how much I write because I’ll have less to write about and a child who might not want to be involved so much. Maybe I’ll get some other hobbies back outside the house. Maybe I’ll get fit again.

    Hope you find a happy acceptance of what you want to do now and in the future with your blog. It’s lovely to know the originals are still going to give newer blogger a vision of where and how long they might be going

  13. May 21, 2015 / 5:32 AM

    I started blogging in 2009 as a way to express myself when I wanted to say more than 140 characters than twitter would allow. I’ve never pigeoned holed myself into any category and as a result never fitted into any particular blogging group. I feel my blog can grow and develop with me as my circumstances and life changes.

    I think some blogs do have a timeframe and these are the parenting blogs that specialise in under 11s, although i do notice the invention of the word tween to bridge the gap between toddlers and teenagers.

  14. Charlotte @ Educating Elsa
    May 22, 2015 / 7:04 PM

    I think that the bloggers who appear out of nowhere and seemingly know exactly how to get to the top right from the very beginning will probably fade away after a short time and get bored of it. People like yourself who have been blogging for a long time will always have a place in the blogging world. I for one appreciate having established blogs around and find them more trustworthy and honest a lot of the time. Plenty of new up-and-comers just want to make money and be the best and so they compromise on other things in order to get there!

    As for life plans, I have given up making them. My life is not at all what I thought it would be at nearly 30 but I didn’t expect to ever be a mum either so I embrace the unexpected! I will never be rich and I think it’s unlikely I’ll ever have my dream career or even own my own home but I’m happy with what I do have :)

  15. May 24, 2015 / 10:23 PM

    What a fab post, I ma so late to the blogging party at 42 but feel there is so much more to write, once our kids have flown the nest there will be readers out there in the same boat wondering where to travel kids free next, where to eat, how to spend all that free time. Mari you are an inspiration . you have years of inspiring let in you x

  16. May 25, 2015 / 1:17 PM

    Old? At 40 plus? No: that is more just middle aged. (My late Mother lived to nearly 99!)
    Does a blog have a sell-by date?
    Not if the blogger moves on . . .

  17. May 25, 2015 / 10:49 PM

    I know exactly how you feel on many levels. I won’t keep up with the ‘youngsters’ because my reason for starting out as a blogger was my love for writing. That won’t change. I don’t fancy my chances as a vlogger and don’t want to even try – I’ll leave that to my younger, cooler, daughter! In many ways, compared to you veterans, I still feel like an unprofessional newbie! I worry about what I will do when my kids are too old to provide blog fodder, I love it too much!

  18. May 26, 2015 / 11:38 PM

    There are plenty in their 60s and older who blog. In that respect, I don’t see why you can’t carry on blogging. Having a potential end date of 50 seems a bit weird to me (esp as I am already 50).

    What changes though is the life stage you are at. As a mother of small children, your blog will feel relevant to people going through the same things, regardless of their age. Your blog will change as you go through different things as your children get older.

    This is why I tried to keep my blog fairly general so it could be flexible as circumstances change. If you think that this blog isn’t right for that, then perhaps create a new one? I don’t get a whole lot of time to blog right now due to other commitments but it’s always there.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *