Why I miss old-school blogging

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

I remember way back in 2010 (I know, so long ago) when I found the world of blogging. I was working as a golf professional at the time in Reno, NV absolutely hating my career. After some time on the clock searching for other career paths, I found a blog written by a bespectacled bald gentleman named Seth Godin whose written voice immediately captured my attention.

His posts were short and his headlines were — well, short. They were more like asides or post-it-sized notes than they were editorials.

Each one spoke to me...

Drip by drip, one day at a time, Seth convinced me that I could open up this thing called the internet and write directly to whoever might be paying attention at the time — someone who was into the same weird things as I was.

I fell in love with the art form (yes, I said it) of blogging…

Here are some headlines from the blogs I was following back in the day…

From Julien Smith’s blog, InOverYourHead.net — and this was a really popular blog at the time:

  • The Myth / The Reality
  • Tent
  • Guts

From Seth’s Blog — yes, one of the most popular blogs in history:

  • Form and function
  • Skinnier
  • First, make rice

Fast-forward eight or nine years and the blogging world has changed. A lot. Most popular blogs boast headlines (names not shared to protect the innocent) such as:

  • 7 Ways To Be Happy Right Now
  • 32 Things That’ll Make You Say, “Well, There Goes All My Money”
  • I Was Labeled The High School ‘Slut.’ It Affected My Whole Life

Even personal blogs carry headlines like…

  • 10 Ridiculously Simple Steps for Writing a Book
  • What to Do When You Feel Like a Fake (and Why a Shadow Career is Necessary)
  • HOW TO MAKE 1 MILLION DOLLARS ONLINE (EVEN IF YOU’RE BROKE).

Sure, the old-school blogs I harken back to have hosted clickbait-ish headlines, OCCASIONALLY. But nothing like what the tabloid-laden blog world looks like today.

So what gives? Why the drastic change in tone?

I say it’s because we’re human. We humans want more. We want bigger. More mass appeal. More eyeballs on our stuff.

So we write for new eyes instead of for the eyes that are already paying attention. We write for Google bots instead of human hearts.

I’ve been guilty of this, to some degree. I’ve always tried REALLY hard not to use clickbait headlines. I’ve always tried to keep my voice towards those in my small circle at the time I hit publish.

But there’s no denying that I’ve hosted my writing on a platform that’s meant for broadcasting to new people. And it’s been great. I really owe a lot of the fact that I’m still writing to you today to Medium.

I’m at a place where I want some more of that old-school blogging magic back.

I just want to open up the internet and write a small, personal, heartfelt note to you, dear reader, without worrying about the page views or trending topics.

This is the art of blogging. Not the modern tabloidish kind of blogging, but the kind that the magic of the internet has afforded us. The kind of blogging that’s intended to be small and personal, not epic and bombastic. The kind that whispers to the insiders, not the kind that shouts from the rooftops.

Yes, there’s a time and a place for broadcasting. New eyes are important. Absolutely.

But as messengers, we can’t abandon the eyes we have before us at the moment (yes, I’m talking about the folks on your email list). And we — the ones who are currently enrolled — we already like you. We don’t need you to yell at us, shock us, or try to impress us anymore.

Just talk to us.

I want blogging to be weird again. I want to keep things brief and casual. I want to use insider baseball.

Just some things I’m considering these days.

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