The Life-Changing Magic of Downgrading Your Blog

Confession: I’ve stolen the title of this post from a great article I stumbled upon the other day.

At the end of May, it’s going to be 2 years since I moved my blog here on WordPress, purchased a paid plan and almost 5 years since I created it and made things more “official” with a custom URL and matching email. After years of jumping on and off different blogs, The Geeky Burrow was born with the intent to blog like a pro and maybe even monetize my writing a little bit. But things don’t always go as planned, right? πŸ™‚

During the last couple of years, I loved using this platform, WordPress is definitely my favorite and I’m pretty comfortable with it now. I wasn’t hoping to become the new A Beautiful Mess and make a career as a blogger, but I was still hoping that doing things “better” would make the difference, making me feel more professional. But I was wrong, after all.

The truth is that having a custom domain, a paid blogging plan, and constantly trying to build a portfolio took away all the joy of blogging from me, the spontaneity, the old-school blogging style I used to love. Now that I have an actual writing portfolio to share and that I’m sure I don’t want to monetize my blog, I don’t feel the need to spend my very tight budget for a paid WordPress plan and a custom domain.

Blogging is one of my favorite hobbies and, while I also love to write more useful pieces and articles and contribute to other websites, I miss the old days when I didn’t feel the pressure to be perfect on my own website, when I would just share a bunch of photos only because they made me happy (like I did in my previous post). Also, I don’t want to pour my heart and soul on social media anymore because they could disappear or drastically change overnight and my content could be gone or not seen at all.

Just a couple of examples, to make things easier to understand:

  • Instagram’s algorithm doesn’t show a chronological feed and it looks like only a small percentage of your followers can see your content.
  • Facebook’s homepage penalises pages that don’t boost their contents through ads.
  • Did you know that Google+ is closing in April?
  • Many people are moving away from Twitter because of its negativity.

(I’m too lazy to add proper reference links, but you can easily find these things googling them.)

A couple of weeks ago, I did some research on Tolkien and Middle-earth looking for more blogs to add to my reader and one of the things I noticed, while I was scanning lists of blogs and websites, was that almost all of the biggest Tolkien scholars, who are also (most of the time) professors and/or published authors are running blogs on free platforms without even having custom domains. Most of them have professional websites to showcase their work, of course, but they are still running their blogs on separate (free) platforms.

This made me reflect a lot, to be honest.

Many of my friends who decided to move their blogs to a self-hosted platform and use paid plans and custom domains are no longer blogging now. Our online life changes just like our real life and it’s absolutely okay. There is nothing wrong with wanting to move on. My reasons are a bit different since I don’t want to contribute to the “blogging is dead” popular belief only because I was feeling burned out and I was putting too much pressure on myself. But to do so I need a change. All those amazing Tolkien scholars taught me that we don’t need an expensive paid plan and a custom domain to be successful writers, we just need to write and put away the pressure of having to produce an award-worthy essay every time we put our fingers on the keyboard.

This may look like a silly move since everyone is basically upgrading their blogs in order to look more professional and more SEO-friendly, while I’m doing the absolute opposite downgrading to a free plan and making things less official and more spontaneous.

My blog downgrading is going to be a big change because I’m also going to change URL and blog title, so it means I’m going to leave a graveyard of broken links (HI, Pinterest!) but I’m ready. It’s time. The Geeky Burrow has been a fun blog name and my 23-year-old self was pretty pleased with it but now, that I’m at the end of my twenties, I feel like this name doesn’t fit me and my writing anymore.

That said, a new name is already in the air and during the next following weeks, there are going to be some major changes around here. I think the best way to stay up to date with this blog is to add your email address and subscribe to receive new blog posts in your inbox* because I’m afraid that all the major feed readers (like Feedly, Bloglovin, Feed Burner, etc.) will no longer work.

*This is a built-in WordPress feature, I won’t collect your email to send you a regular newsletter nor promotional stuff. If you’re already a WordPress user you should just click the Subscribe button.

10 thoughts on “The Life-Changing Magic of Downgrading Your Blog”

  1. This is great. I can relate to you downgrading your blog as I feel like doing the same thing. It’s a bit difficult to keep up with it with 2 kids. Hoping everything goes well on your end ☺️

    1. Thank you so much! I’m still working on the URL thing but the best way to stay on the loop is to subscribe with your email (I’ve included a form at the end of the blog post), you can always unsubscribe later on. πŸ™‚

  2. I’ve already told you about this somewhere else, but this is what I started blogging for. In a way it’s almost like taking blogging back to its roots and to what, according to the veterans, it was like in 2007/8. Blogging was the one way, your blog the one place, where you could express yourself, be yourself and share whatever you wanted on the internet back then. As a reader I am interested in people, what they are like, what they are interested in, etc. I just want to connect with others like me and this kind of thing is what really appeals to me. There’s always a feeling of coldness or separation in the bigger, more professional blogs, because you can feel the author is partially doing things out of an obligation to their brand rather than because they solely love what they’re doing. Power to those who make their blogs into viable businesses, but that’s what they are then: businesses, not ‘blogs’ in the old-days version of the word. Or so I feel at the moment!

    1. I started blogging in 2007 and I’ve been missing a lot the way we used to post back then! I’m glad there are other people who think the same. πŸ™‚

  3. This is almost the exact thing that happened with me and my blog. I started with the idea of making money, but it didn’t take long to realize that I just wanted to blog about what was on my mind, rather than stick to a niche, bother with SEO, format, and all of the other “rules” that make modern blogs what they are. I’m not going to make a living at this, but I enjoy it more, and look forward to writing every day.
    I’ve been noticing that a lot of bloggers feel the same way. I think this is awesome.

    Also, where did you get that cloak pin?

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