Blogger’s Highway, #4: When Bloggers Move On

A decorative image for the "Blogger's Highway" series that has two cartoon renderings of highway roads going different directions, and directional signs in the middle in pink, purple, and red.

Welcome to another installment in my newest series, Blogger’s Highway, where I basically get into some shop talk. I had no plans to even go near this topic anytime soon, but I feel like it’s time. This installment will be about when bloggers move on, whether it’s to entirely different opportunities, or to a new blogging venture.

I had blown off the broken link notifications for the longest time. It got to the point where they racked up to an amount that I spent the better part of last weekend working on them. Looks like I won’t be doing that again, haha.

As I started going back in the archives to the broken links, I noticed some things about them. Some of these links were to websites that weren’t gonna stay up for long anyway, like the Biden inaugural website.

Others were links from the Internet Archive, like the article about the story of Ghostwriter and how he came to be. Spoiler alert: it’s a seriously tragic backstory, and it explains why some of the sayings Alex, Gaby, Tina, Rob, and Jamal said in the show stumped Ghostwriter.

Some of these were links to blogs that had since reorganized their structure in the time that’s passed since I posted the link to their original posts. But they’re still alive and kickin’, which is great.

Other links were there for awhile, but now they’re completely gone. Like, “the whole website and everything” level of gone.

The ones who wrote those posts and articles had a lot to say, and unfortunately, they’ve since hung up their hats.

There was a blogger hopeful from around this time a year ago who I remember posting about shoes by Marc DeFang. They had a post about a holiday outfit they wore with these really flashy styles from the brand. I schlepped on over to the site, and saw that while that particular style didn’t come in my size (and understandably so), there were others in similar styles that did.

Seriously, if any of these companies ever decides to stoop to the level of hiring me and actually does so, I’m gonna get me a pair of those. My old ones from Kohl’s back when they had the Candies Girl line that I wore with my homemade Playboy bunny costume to a Halloween party this year are now 12 years old, and they’re looking sad af.

I went back a month or so later to see what was new in that blogger’s world, and their blog was gone. I was so bummed, and I still wonder how they’re holding up these days.

Fast forward to last weekend, when I finally decided to address the mountains of broken links. It didn’t take me long before I saw that a lot of those broken links were from blogs that had completely disappeared from the ‘net.

It reminded me of a story someone sent me in a newsletter talking about how there was this guy who spent so much time and effort on a nature and hiking-themed blog, smashing out content like someone had a gun to his head the whole time, and he ended up with zero readers to show for it. It isn’t clear which self-styled guru he found that told him the content is what matters, nor does it even matter at this point, but this guy ended up letting the domain expire.

He moved on to a job elsewhere, nowhere near as lucrative as these gurus claim blogging is. Just from reading that newsletter’s account of this guy’s blog, I’m so sad that I never had the chance to read it.

I really hope that when he gets himself into a good place to try blogging again someday, I hope I find it. On the other hand, if he decides he’s never blogging again after he went to all that trouble for as long as he did with no results, I totally understand.

There have been other blogs I used to follow years ago, during a time where I was in a really crappy place with myself, and they’re also gone. No names. They have social media accounts, and when I found them recently, they don’t seem to have changed a bit in the years it’s been since they left blogging. Looking back, some of them had content that I wondered how or why I ever gave them the time of day in the first place. I won’t get into specifics, but I will say that their choice to leave blogging was indeed for the best.

One blog I followed off and on had a huge falling-out with one of their staffers after they were able to grow their blog to where hiring staff members to write for them. It happened during the pandemic, and in the aftermath of what happened to George Floyd, and there was a huge backlash when they threw their staffer under the bus.

I hope that former staffer’s holding up no worse for the wear these days. Better yet, I hope that former staffer’s moved on to far bigger and better things since their days with that blog.

That blogger has stepped down, and ended the blog’s operations with what amounts to a cliffhanger ending. It’s now an archive, and so is their social media. Also probably for the best, if that was the way they were gonna end their run.

Sometimes people who get into blogging reach seasons in their lives where there are no easy answers, and choices where there’s really nothing favorable among them. Sometimes, that may even mean selling their blogs.

My heart truly goes out to those bloggers. I can’t speak for them, obviously. I can only speak for myself, and the whole maelstrom of feelings the idea of selling this brought up for me. Long story short, the idea of selling it threw me into a really dark place, on top of where I’m already at.

I’ve had offers to sell this one. I honestly considered taking them up on it due to my own crappy circumstances, even though it was an extreme lowball offer.

In the end, I’ve made the decision to keep the lights on for this blog for another year. We’ll see what this year holds in terms of where we’re at, and whether or not I’ll continue with it.

So, how do you deal when your favorite blogger moves on?

Obviously there’s gonna be some difficult feelings. After all, this was probably a blogger you’ve been reading since their blog’s genesis, or if not from the beginning, at least for a long time. You probably woke up every day, hit up the computer to see what was new in their world, even if their audience was of a completely different demographic.

You probably talked about their content with your friend, or wrote about it in your journal all the time. This was a blogger you probably strove to emulate in your own life.

Either way, this blogger was a huge part of your life, so your feelings toward their decision to move on, regardless of what you’re feeling, are totally understandable. In a sense, it’s grieving in a way.

Depending on the circumstances of their decision to step down, you could consider following their other social media, or their new blog if they’ve moved on to something else.

On the other hand, if the blogger behaved in ways that left you going ‘Hmmm…’ and raised an eyebrow, then that adds another layer to it: reconciling the blogger you thought you knew with their actions in the here and now.

Whatever you’re feeling toward your now former-favorite blogger and their decision to move on, know that it’s ok to feel it. Anger, sadness, whatever it looks like for you, it’s ok. Feel them, process them, and maybe even write about it in a journal or wherever.

The first few weeks without them will be difficult, but soon you’ll find other bloggers out there putting out content that resonates with you. Or maybe you’ll start up your own blog to fill the void? Who knows.

Either way, it’s never easy when a blogger moves on, both for them, or for their readership, regardless of whether they were well-knowns or more obscure. Over to you, readers. Did you have a blogger you used to love reading that made the decision to move on? How did you feel about it? Did it inspire you to start your own blog? If so, drop the name of your blog below. I’d love to read it, and ofc any thoughts or takeaways you had.

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