Do you miss blogs? Here's what to do.

Do you miss blogs? Here's what to do. -- Mervi Emilia Eskelinen

"Twitter threads are like hard to read blog posts. I miss blogs."

I know, they are hard to read. Annoying. I often skip them, because I use Tweetbot and it doesn't fare well with threads. It can render them completely unreadable, especially if there are any replies to the Tweets in the thread.

I have a complicated relationship with Twitter threads. I share them, but mainly refrain from writing them myself. I know I can be wordy, which would make my threads longer than ones you've seen. Plus since I don't like them that much, I don't want to submit my followers to my overly long rants. Hey, I've got a blog. I can write my thread here.

However, that statement, which I see over and over again, gets something really really wrong.

It makes it sound like blogs have died long ago. As if there weren't any blogs anywhere anymore. You miss blogs because they don't exist. Dinosaurs, gone extinct, only fossils and oil left around. No new blog articles. Just Twitter threads forever.

Don't be silly.

Blogs are out here! They haven't gone anywhere! Read them, quit missing them!

"Blogs haven't gone anywhere. No need to miss them!" Tweet this

I rather understand why people resort to writing Twitter threads rather than blogging. They don't want to set up a blog for one or two posts. Threads are much much shorter than your usual blog post. Since there's a legend going around the blogosphere, that longer blog posts, consisting of 1600 words or more, are better for visibility, short ones are rare to find. Threads aren't usually anywhere close to 1600 words. More like 1600 characters. Starting a blog for one short blurb does seem like waste of time and energy.

Besides there's one big problem indie bloggers everywhere are facing. People aren't reading blog posts.

There are tons of blogs out there, and the blogosphere has became highly saturated. Short blog posts don't get attention, because they are too short. Long blog posts aren't being read, because they are too long. Threads get read, shared, commented. Threads get noticed. Blog posts, not so much.

Share a link on Twitter and very rarely it gets clicked. People don't want to leave the platforms in likes of Twitter and Facebook. Not unless it is for something already really popular. You don't want to feel left out, after all.

Last year I learned that many people are actually afraid of clicking links. They are scared of scams and spam and whatnot. Thus they choose not to click. Understandable, yes. Horrible for us, who try to get people read, share and comment our blog posts. And for the indie web in general. Long live big companies and their closed platforms.

Here's a question for you, if you miss blogs: When was the last time you read, shared, and commented a blog post?

Blogs haven't gone anywhere. Okay, some have. It's highly discouraging to write a blog post, and get little or zero readers and engagement. To spend all that time and effort in pouring your thoughts out, honing the images, sharing the post everywhere. Then, watch how very few people show up. No wonder some quit.

There are those of us who don't mind talking to themselves, though we too can get upset when it feels like nobody cares. Part of the reason why my blog here gets silent for long times. Feels pointless. Feels lonely.

So, you hate Twitter threads and miss blogs? I have an easy solution for you.

Start by reading some blog posts. There are tons out there. New ones, old ones, outdated ones, evergreens, fully current ones. In case you have trouble of finding them, try doing a search on a topic that interests you with your favourite search engine. Over at Google you can even refine your search, for example to see the newer stuff. Go to "Tools" on the search page and choose a time range. Search engines aren't perfect, and you might miss some shiny jewels out there, but that's a start.

Don't worry if a blog post wasn't published today or even yesterday. It may still have interesting new thoughts and ideas for you.

Often you can click links within a blog post. Those links lead to other blog posts and so forth. Stop being afraid of links, just be smart with what you click, and where you give your passwords. That way you will still be safe, even while you get out of your regular Facebook or Twitter bubble.

Write polite, constructive and encouraging comments to the blog posts you read. Indie bloggers quite like them, as long as you aren't being a douchebag or try to force-feed your ideas and "knowledge". If commenting isn't possible, you may be able to respond elsewhere. Sometimes it's okay just to let the blogger know you read their post and enjoyed it. If you aren't too pushy about it, you may even be able to suggest blog post ideas.

Many bloggers take donations or use services like Patreon, where you can become a patron and give your support. Even the smallest donations are generally welcomed. Thus monetary support for your favourite blogger may not be so impossible and out of reach. Are you a blogger yourself? Start your own Patreon page and get a regular income from your supporters. By using this link to join up, we'll both earn bonuses as supporters pledge to you.

I also encourage you to subscribe to blogs with your preferred method. You can use feed readers, such as Feedly). There are also services for reading, following and keeping up with blogs, like Bloglovin'. Many bloggers share their posts on Twitter, Facebook and other social media services. Follow indie bloggers and like their pages. Join their email lists. Show your support and interest.

And then, yes, I highly recommend sharing the blog posts you read and enjoyed on Twitter and Facebook. This is important if you wish to see more blog posts and less threads. Show the people who follow you (and the bloggers who write the posts) that this is the most desirable format. This is how you want to read the content. You want more of this.

By sharing the posts all around, you can help the bloggers to gain more visibility, more traffic, more comments, more shares and more donations. Which will encourage them, and possibly others who see their success, to write more blog posts.

Blogs are out there. No need to miss them at all.

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