This sounds ridiculous, but it’s actually kind of scary writing this! For nearly ten years now, blogging has been a huge part of my life. Despite the fact that that this blog is only two years young, I’ve actually been writing online since 2009. That’s right! On various platforms and under different guises, over-sharing online has just always been something I’ve done.
However, for a while now I’ve been growing real tired of the blogging industry. Where do I even begin? I guess the thing that irritates me the most is how opinionated women are completely ostracised. A lot of people will have you believe that blogging comes with a super supportive community. Whilst that may be a reality for some, I would say it’s a rarity. Sure I have a handful of supportive blogger mates, but generally speaking the ‘community’ is only supportive as long as you don’t rock the boat.
So, where does that leave opinionated women like myself? The subject of subtweets mostly. If you dare to have an opinion on something that strays from the norm, you inadvertently start a Twitter war. People you didn’t even know exist pop up in your mentions to argue with you, you see people you thought were mutuals ‘like’ very public subtweets about you, and it all becomes this gigantic mess. You also see engagement rise. Why is this worth noting? Because some people will do anything for a few likes.
It wasn’t until I started writing about ‘taboo’ subjects like feminism, sex, and periods until I started building a decent following. I would love to think that people followed me for my content, but I know this isn’t the case. When I first started to immerse myself into the blogging world I thought I had to right every wrong. I had something to say about everything. I’ve always been pretty unfiltered and I guess I was a lot more fearless back then. I would quote tweet or call people out without a second thought. Whether it was good or bad, engagement was rising. Whether it was real or not, it was instant validation. And the bottom line is, this was good for my blog. People would soon be waiting for my opinion on things, even if it was just for pure entertainment value. It all become very performative.
I’m pleased to tell you that I grew up and eventually saw all this for what it is. Although I started to get less caught up in this bullshit, I’ve continued to write about things that matter to me. I stopped writing about things because they were controversial and would get views, and focused my energy on writing about things I wanted to see get more coverage. Mooncups, vaginal discharge, positive sex talk, feminist issues are just a few examples of this. I feel like I ended up building a following in a more honest way. I may have been roped into drama since, but I like to think I’ve mellowed a bit. Or I know when to pick my battles now at least. But that doesn’t mean my negative feelings towards blogging has stopped.
You see when you write about these kind of topics or give a different opinion, it’s not just bloggers that are disgruntled. The absolute dregs of society come out of the woodwork to troll you, send you rape and death threats, infiltrate your inbox and generally make you question your entire existence and livelihood. When you suffer with your mental health already, days like this are enough to send somebody over the edge. And when it lasts longer than a day? It’s unbearable and makes you don’t deserve to be alive.
Over the past year or so, there’s been a rise in these topics being discussed more in the blogosphere. It’s like once bloggers see a topic in the news, they suddenly start to care. Smaller bloggers are often ganged up on for having a different opinion and then when a bigger blogger regurgitates it, they’re hailed and applauded. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me and my friends. I have always written about these topics because I genuinely care. I want this information to be out there and accessible. I want people to feel less alone. I want younger people to be able to find information that isn’t overwhelming and scary. A lot of people write me and tell them how my writing has helped them. Messages like this make all the abuse worth it. It’s absolutely soul destroying working hard to shed light on subjects that you are genuinely passionate about and seeing mainstream bloggers celebrated when they half arse them and have only been writing about it for a hot minute.
I wrote about a topic because people asked me to and because I’m knowledgeable, everyone ate up some waffle churned out by a blogger with a much larger platform than me instead. A friend of mine tried to talk about the importance of language when discussing certain topics and she was abused for an entire day online. Once other bloggers noticed a bigger demographic for themselves, they started to discuss the importance of this too. Guess who they encouraged? People haven’t been listening to women of colour trying to shed light on the lack of diversity in blogging (or any industry for that matter), but instead try to dismiss them. They only start to care when white bloggers decide to talk about it. Nobody actually cares or wants to learn, they just jump on different trending topics. Why do you think you see the same post about 10 times when something happens in the blogosphere?
In addition to this, there is just no originality in blogging anymore. I have personally had my content ripped off multiple times by bloggers and even brands. Again, this is something my other blogging friends have experienced too. It’s not even subtle, people have absolutely no shame anymore. They of course deny it and there’s nothing you can do about it. If you publicly name and shame, you start some shit again. So you carry on, continue to see it happen, and just forever feel frustrated.
I, of course, am not above this. The reason I’m writing this is to be truthful with you all. I can’t help but get caught up in all of this too. There are just some days where I can’t stop reading and have to really force myself to keep my mouth shut. I always instantly regret getting involved too. For months now, I’ve struggled and forced myself to carry on. I feel like I’ve been working towards an end goal for so long, it would be pointless to walk away from it all. With blogging, I just try ignore all of the things that anger me and focus on my own content. I put an enormous amount of pressure on myself and I find it hard to keep up with blogging these days.
I’ve reached a point now where I’m just wondering why I’m beating myself up when people don’t care. I hate the industry, I feel like it’s killing my passion for topics I truly care about. I spend more time feeling frustrated and seeking out content I know will annoy me just in order to keep up. I can’t help but get sucked into drama even though I preach about how pointless it is. It’s not healthy anymore and it’s about time I recognised that. The blogging ‘community’ doesn’t give a fuck about my mental health, I need to look after myself. A recent negative experience trying to get a piece published just anchored everything I was already feeling.
I think when you suffer from your mental health and withdraw from the outside world, online and instant validation is almost addictive. For the longest time, I’ve been too scared to walk away from it. If you think about it, that’s pretty fucking sad. Blogging to me now is just some weird routine with a ton of unhealthy habits. I just don’t have the capacity to care about this anymore. It’s no longer worth my time and energy. I’m done trying to be the change I want to see in the industry, it’s impossible. I’m not even sad or scared anymore, it’s quite freeing coming to this conclusion.
Is there anything good about the industry?
Although I have my own personal issues with the blogging industry, I don’t think everyone should stop obviously. I’m not writing this post to discourage anyone, it’s more of an explanation as to why I personally can’t keep up with it anymore. I feel like it’s making me this bitter and miserable person, and I just can’t do it anymore. There are some fantastic content creators out there and I of course want to keep supporting them. Blogging is one of the few industries out there that is dominated by women, which I think is really cool. I’m just taking a step back. I feel like I’ve gotten everything I could possibly get out of my blog. It’s time to move on, I finally feel ready to.
I don’t regret starting a blog. There has been some positives, I promise you. Blogging has helped me find my voice and definitely allowed me to build my confidence. It’s exposed me to subjects and things I probably never would have thought about if it wasn’t for the Internet. You know I’ve learnt so much by reading other blogs. I’ve met some really great friends through it. It’s helped me forge a career for myself and it’s also helped me realise what I want to do with my life next. Best of all, I’ve produced some content I’m really proud of.
So, what’s next?
I’ll still be around on Twitter, you can follow me here. My DMs are always open for questions or even just a chat. I’m not disappearing completely! I’m going to be working on this site, but my blog will still be live. You’ll be able to browse the archives.
What am I going to do with all my spare time now you ask? Well I’m working on a few secret projects that will focus on expanding upon the writing done at Cattitude & Co.