Is Blogging Losing the Vibe?

http://www.freelancewritinggigs.com/2008/11/is-blogging-losing-the-vibe/

by Deb Ng

This is the third such email I received saying basically the same thing. With the author’s permission it’s reprinted and being used as fodder for discussion:

Dear Deb,

I love blogs and blogging because of the community and the sharing. I’m really disappointed lately because the top pro bloggers now all turned into pimps and sales people. They’re selling courses, ebooks and the secrets of their success. Instead of blog posts discussing the topics they love, they’re turning into sales pitches. I’m being bombarded with popups every time I visit my favorite bloggers. What happened to blogging? Is it all a giant make money online thing now?

B.A.

I’ve noticed this as well. More blog posts are being used as a sales pitch or to hawk an affiliate link. I can see where this is a turn off. Is it losing it’s warm and fuzzy vibe? In some cases yes.  Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m writing my own ebook and I have ads in the sidebars, clearly I’m trying to earn money from my blogs.

I do think the whole make money online thing has changed blogging. Just like advertising has changed the way we watch television or sports, advertising and has changed the way we view blogs. Plus, people want to take control of their own destiny. We now have more options. We don’t have to enter the work force if we don’t want to.  I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather hawk an ebook than put on the stockings and hop on the subway every day.

Perhaps it’s not as fuzzy as it used to be but I’m still digging the vibe. What other profession do you know where co-workers and competitors alike help each other out instead of stabbing them in the back? Where else do you find folks who are so generous with their knowledge and information? Where else do you find a community of people willing to share and promote?

Yes, blogging is more commercial than it used to be but there’s nothing else I’d rather do.

What do you think?

Comments

  1. Keep in mind that blogging is a very new medium. People are still shaping how we use blogs, why we use them and the best way to use them.

    Blogging will continue to experience many changes over the next few years, until we’ve exhausted all the possibilities of what we can do with it. Even then, we’ll discover new technology and options that continue to change how we use blogging.

    Early adopters of technology tend to use it the same way over time, refusing to change or resisting developments. Quickbooks MUST be used this way! Blogging MUST follow these rules! Email MUST be managed this way!

    Only those who enjoy thinking ahead, poking at something and seeing just how far it can be pushed or how else it can be applied will be open to changes and developments.

    That said, I have to say that I too have noticed a definite alteration in blogging towards pitching and selling. There are some respected bloggers who are my peers that have suddenly stopped writing good content and creating discussion and who have turned towards a pitch in every post, a sell in every newsletter.

    And so, I stop reading.

    A push and a sales pitch is fine, but continually? In every post? I don’t think so. I’m glad that we don’t do that at our blog. Yes, we have our moments of push, but in general, we blog because we want to discuss, open up thoughts, provoke discussion and create change.

    We don’t want to turn readers off. We want to turn them on and tune them in.

    So, thankfully, as more bloggers lean towards the constant sales pitches and move away from discussion, more readers seeking discussion and connection will turn towards us.

    And when we do pitch something? Our readers will pay more attention, because we haven’t been bombarding them until they’ve become ad blind and sales insensitive.

    Good topic, Deb.

  2. I’m with James. Convince me that you’ve got something interesting to say, and when you mention in passing that you’ve compiled an eBook about a similar topic, I’ll listen. Turn me into a ordinary recipient of your latest copyrighting expertise, and I’ll opt out.

  3. I still go to my favorite bloggers for content, however, my favorite bloggers tend to be experts in other areas (not just the business of blogging) so there seems to be less of an overt sales push.

    Those who blog for the internet marketing consumer are dealing with different expectations – their readers expect that there will be products and tools that this “expert” is going to offer and it won’t be for free?

    I don’t think the increase is sales pitches is bad…yet. Like most things, we’ll rich a tipping point. As we hit those tipping points, the tools and approaches bloggers adopt may change.

    This is just progress IMO. Those who continue to provide a quality product (sales or no sales) will keep their following.

  4. I think blogs have a lifespan, and it’s clear that sometimes a blog has run its course. Signs? A plethora of guest bloggers, recycled topics, random unrelated posts, blatant sales pitches. When Fonzie jumps the shark, it’s time to move on. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark

  5. I think selling on a blog only works if the helpful posts are still there as well. If you feel you need to pitch an ebook or another product (and there is nothing wrong with this) make that in addition to your other blog content.

    Going too heavy into selling will turn people off. These bloggers got their success by providing the content. If the great content changes, then there’s something wrong.

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