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Hello? Is Anybody Out There?

When I started my first blog, back in 2008, I didn’t really have a goal or an objective in mind. I started that blog because at the time, all my infertility friends had blogs and I felt kinda left out, so just like a little sheep, I followed them into the world of blogging, never dreaming, or even caring, that my little space on the web would grow to what it is today. 

It was a cathartic experience for me. A way to purge a lot of the grief and negativity I carried around with me during our years of infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss. It was healing. It helped me feel like I was apart of a community that was struggling. It helped me feel validated and not so alone on an incredibly lonely journey. 

Then Ava was placed with us and through my blog, I discovered that I could use my words and this space to encourage and inspire others. And my passion for my blog grew. It became so much more than just a little WordPress hosted site, where I banged out a few words once in a while. It became a passion and a creative outlet for me. It became very much apart of my identity.

Over the years, the landscape changed and brands and marketers started harnessing the audience of bloggers and I got scooped up a long the way. It’s been real. It’s been fun. I’ve had amazing opportunities and experiences because of my blog and even managed to make a few bucks on the side. None of which would have been possible without a readership, without an audience. 

So if you’re reading these words right now, know that I am grateful to you, for reading my words, for helping me define my voice, for coaching me and stretching me and testing me and encouraging me.

But I’ve noticed a change over the past few months and I’m wondering why? I’ve noticed that I have less daily visitors than before. I’ve noticed that there is less correspondence to my written word, less engagement, less encouragement, less community and talking and debating through my writing and I’m wondering why?

Don’t get me wrong, my blog is still, first and foremost, for me, it is my creative outlet and I will probably continue to write as often as I can, irrespective of the size of my audience, irrespective of who is watching, reading and engaging. But I’d love to know why? 

Is it because I’m no longer relevant? Is my style of writing not engaging? Are the topics I discuss boring? 

What makes you click over to a blog post and then engage with the writer? 

Comments are like hugs you guys? They’re a form of validation for the blogger. And I’m just left wondering why? Why are you all so quiet?

I’ve poured my heart and soul into some of the pieces I’ve written lately, pieces I’m proud of, that use good descriptive writing that takes on one a journey, or at least I thought so, and yet….. radio silence.

What do you want to read about? What brings you to a blog post and pushes you to engage? 

 

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49 Comments

  • Reply Anneke

    Hi Sharon,

    Ive been a silent reader from day one & actually cannot believe its been 8 years. Your stories have made me cry, laugh & appreciate life. You are an absolute inspiration to me. Please dont stop blogging… ever!

    September 5, 2016 at 8:27 am
  • Reply Cassey Toi

    This. I had a post last week that I was so proud of – and it had a lot of views for my corner of the internet – but only 1 comment. I’m guessing folks don’t have as much time? Or they like just reading? I do that sometimes too, or I turn to twitter to chat to folks [or whatsapp for some folks :p]

    September 5, 2016 at 9:08 am
  • Reply Marcia from Organising Queen

    Join the club, Sharon 🙂 I’ve many, many times been discouraged too and like it or not, blogging has changed. I think there are so many avenues to get information that people find what they connect with most, and stick with that. I wrote a post on the weekend which publishes on my Organising Queen blog in about two weeks time about a big blogger who just stopped reading – just like that. Wasn’t worth the time any more.

    To your question, I occasionally click over if I have time at work to read your words, but only the personal posts, never reviews/ giveaways and such, which are not my thing. Love reading about your girls and your passion for horses 🙂

    Happy Monday

    September 5, 2016 at 9:35 am
  • Reply Lea White

    Your blog feels too commercial for me a lot of the time. I do read from time to time but I find it quite distracting with the commercial side of things

    September 5, 2016 at 9:36 am
  • Reply moonstormer

    I really enjoy your blog – been following for about a year or two now. I don’t always comment, but when I do it’s always on the emotional/personal posts. I see the same on my blog – it seems that people don’t comment unless something really resonates with them. Also, with so many social channels, I often see people prefer to comment on twitter or Facebook than on the blog post itself, not to mention the people who prefer to send voice notes or something.
    I also think in general, people aren’t as open to comment on blogs as they used to be. Perhaps just a change in the way people read or engage?

    September 5, 2016 at 10:12 am
  • Reply Celeste Booysen

    Oh Sharon, I totally understand this. I have no answer except that maybe finding out the real issue via questions like this is what is needed. I guess it does boil down partly to knowing what your audience wants to read, but something else is at play and for me I often feel like it is the fact that people are just too damn busy, yes even to leave a comment on something they enjoyed reading.

    September 5, 2016 at 10:47 am
  • Reply Debs

    Just wanted to say upfront that you look really happy Sharon. Whether that’s just what is portrayed in Insta, you seem really really happy. Your girls look like they growing up and bringing you alot of happy times. I guess what makes me comment or engage, are the posts about life and the day to day of being a mom/working mom/wife/show and tell extraordinaire. When they’re relatable or laughable. When its like reading a really great short story. You are one on my favourite bloggers and funniest Tweeters so just keep being you. Hard to go wrong then! xxx

    September 5, 2016 at 10:50 am
  • Reply kerryheathfield

    First things first, I love your blog. Always have and always will.
    I always try and let the person know that I enjoyed their post whether on Twitter, FB, IG or on the actual post but sometimes I really love the post and nod along as I read it but just don’t have anything to add so I don’t comment. But I should at least let them know I enjoyed it, even if I just comment with a little “I loved this post”. Thanks for reminding all of us 🙂

    September 5, 2016 at 11:17 am
  • Reply JulieB

    I’ve never been much of a commenter although I’ve been around for ages. I’m more likely to like or share a post of FB if I love it or would like my friends to see it. Still reading and still enjoying.

    September 5, 2016 at 11:29 am
  • Reply belindamountain

    Have a read of some of the comments on my latest post from non-bloggers saying why they don’t always comment/engage – I found those really interesting!

    September 5, 2016 at 11:33 am
  • Reply lamese

    Lately have found your blog too commercialised. I disconnect when I see many sponsored posts. I am sure as a blogger it is necessary to have sponsorde posts however it does change the level of connection.

    September 5, 2016 at 11:33 am
  • Reply catjuggles

    I think people are engaging less – for instance – I have a very recent book review post with over 600 views – guess how many comments (not including my replies) – 2! Yes, a whole 2.

    September 5, 2016 at 12:48 pm
  • Reply Heather

    I’m still hear and reading 🙂

    September 5, 2016 at 1:20 pm
  • Reply marina1605

    Hi Sharon. I’ve also been a somewhat silent reader since the beginning. Also can’t believe it’s been 8 years. Really?? I don’t often comment as I’m a bit shy but always enjoy your personal posts about your life and children. We’ve only ever met once and it was brief but I feel like I know you personally and no wonder. 8 years! That’s a long time. I have to be honest with you though and say that lately there have been what seems to be a lot more sponsored posts and book reviews and I skip the ones that are not relevant to me, sorry. But please don’t stop the personal blogging. You write beautifully and have inspired me in a lot of ways. e.g running, weight-loss, parenting etc.

    September 5, 2016 at 2:21 pm
  • Reply cupcakemummy

    I’v been blogging for 10 years and when I changed from .wordpress.com to hosted my readership tanked and I feel like I’m floating in the abyss of non relatable and outdated blogs. No longer loved or noticed. I have become Bing Bong 🙁

    So I feel you. Just know I can’t always leave a comment as I often read from my phone but I’m still reading xoxoxo

    September 5, 2016 at 2:58 pm
  • Reply Done Else

    Agree. Silent reader. I am awful with comments. Love your blogs

    September 5, 2016 at 6:46 pm
  • Reply Diana Studer

    You have proved again something I’ve learnt – posts About Blogging draw comments.

    But I can see that trend across the 100 or so blogs I read. Less comments. People are busy. On other social media. FB where I found you. Or Google Plus where I’ll be later.

    And, busy people (bloggers) don’t have time to leave comments themselves – which is – what goes around comes around.

    September 5, 2016 at 10:37 pm
  • Reply Natalie Jorgensen

    Hi Sharon, I also think it’s the different phases we are all in. You wrote about Ava not being ready for school last year and although I read it..I did not really get it…now that I am in a similar position I will go back to your posts from last year and now I can relate. I love reading your blog because you are real..you talk about the love, the bullshit, the tantrums, the everyday drama of raising kids, running a home, the marriage and feeding the dogs! Thank you xxx

    September 6, 2016 at 1:48 pm
  • Reply Kathy

    I’ve loved your story over all these years back in the days from fertilicare, but haven’t been reading your blogs too much lately as I find its just too commercial – sponsored, book reviews, giveaways etc. Sorry if I’m offending, but there’s really just too many people trying to sell me too much stuff these days and it’s a complete turn off – am not even interested in giveaways! Understand you need it to make some cash, but It puts me off!

    September 6, 2016 at 9:38 pm
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