#OldSchoolBlogging and Why I’m Tired of Fake Experts Online

I was planning to write a blog post about the snow we’ve been lucky to have (it basically never happens before Christmas here), but then I stumbled upon an article that made me realize how much tired I am of self-promotion and why I want to go back and write just for fun in my accounts.

Back in 2009, I was struggling with my hate for studying (yes, I’m getting my MA in archaeology and I hated studying) and I had to graduate from high school. I was completely burned out and depressed, so my mom started looking for tips and advice on the internet. She found a nice Italian website (I’m not going to mention it because I don’t want to appear as a rude person, even if it would deserve it) with lots and lots of tips and tricks and advice on productivity, how to beat procrastination, how to study better and things like that. I loved reading it, it was something completely new to me, back then I didn’t even read in a different language than my own (Italian) and outside of my comfort zone (personal blogs).

I followed and supported the author for several years, even during the beginning of my university career, and I even bought a couple of ebooks by him. Then, I discovered the joy of reading English websites. There were a lot more topics out there, so many people writing about so many different things. After a couple of years, I started realizing that that guy didn’t invent anything, he was just reading a bunch of famous blogs and books written by American productivity gurus and repurposing the content for his little Italian blog. Nothing wrong with it, I mean, he wasn’t breaking the copyright rules, but he wasn’t sharing what he learned, he was just sharing stuff as if it was his own personal knowledge using titles tailored to impress the audience (like How to Study a 500-page Book in 3 Hours). I didn’t like that and it wasn’t even useful anymore.

I moved on from that blog and I started following other people I enjoyed more.

I don’t even know why I typed the URL of his blog earlier today, but I did and I noticed that the content wasn’t changed. The same topics over and over again, after 8 years he keeps writing the same stuff, using the same impressive titles. However, I stumbled upon an article that looked interesting and I started reading it. It was about how people are addicted to their smartphones and gave a couple of advice on how to stop it. The last one made me shiver because it wasn’t even crappy marketing, it was a pure mockery.

If your issue with notification often brought you to scroll Facebook, a solution to stop was to like his page and choose the option “View First”, so every time you’d open Facebook you’d see his posts first and that would remind you to not waste your time on social media. I mean, really?? We all know that this advice is crap. This is just a way to get more likes and self-promote your stupid page.

And the best part is that, in the comments, nobody even mentioned it. They all wrote how useful the article was (and I bet they liked his page).

This made me think once more how blogging has changed over the years and how we are all in search of more likes, more followers, more page views, more money. I don’t want to be like that, I don’t want to write a productivity article in disguise, that looks like it would help people but then it’s just another miserable way to get more followers and it isn’t helpful at all.

I’ve seen more and more bloggers and friends writing about how they want to start blogging about personal stuff again in 2018. I think we should start a movement, a community, a hashtag (what about #oldschoolblogging? LOL). Please, don’t get me wrong, I don’t criticize all the people who monetize their work, I’m the first one who writes as a paid contributor and will keep doing it, I’m just against fake experts and people who cheat to get more followers.


20 thoughts on “#OldSchoolBlogging and Why I’m Tired of Fake Experts Online

  1. YES. I’m all for old school blogging. I think once you blog too much about how to be a professional blogger, your blog loses all of the appeal that originally drew people in because 1) not everyone is trying to be a professional blogger and 2) the market is so over-saturated with people preaching about how their blogs got “big”. It would be so boring to me to only write about how to get paid, get followers, get likes and shares, etc. I like seeing people’s personal experiences and hearing their opinions and voices.

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  2. I am ALL ABOUT old school blogging! I think the hashtag would be so perfect and appropriate. I’ve started trying to do more personal posts and it just feels right again.

    Also, I had no idea you majored in archaeology! What a dream! I would have loved that and sometimes ask myself why I didn’t.

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  3. #oldschoolblogging yaaaaassss!!! I used to blog a lot about my personal life but I stopped. I kinda miss it sometimes! Maybe I should CONSIDER bringing it back? 🤔 also that guy sounds like a loser lol 😅😅 I would be annoyed if I read an article whose advice is “like my page!!” FACE PALM! 🤦🏻‍♀️

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  4. #oldschoolblogging is what I enjoy reading most. There are more than enough pages on the internet on how to do anything, but it’s the personal blogs that are interesting. No one can write about life like you can and that’s what I want to read about. My own blog is mostly this kind of stuff. Sometimes things are going on that make me sound interesting, sometimes my day is quiet and you get some general thoughts from me, but it’s something unique. At least I hope so. I hope the #oldschoolblogging takes off. That’s what I want to read and would hopefully be contributing to.

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  5. I think one of the real draws of blogs is the personal touch. I don’t mind if people find inspiration elsewhere, but, like you, I really hate when it’s clear they’re just repurposing content from other blogs. It’s more prevalent in niches other than book blogging, but I think it happens in our community, too.

    So, basically, I don’t completely mind if someone finds “the 5 best study tips” on another blog and decides to blog about it, too, but the value YOUR blog would be adding would be actually using the study tips yourself and reporting on whether they worked for you. Don’t just compile lists of other people’s content! (And you should really still be linking back to the original content to avoid plagiarism.)

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  6. I agree with you about bringing back #oldschoolblogging .. I started blogging that way. I still do, most days.. But I guess balance is key when it comes to blogging.

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  7. I recently wrote a blog post with a similar feel to it. I called it a shift in perspective. I’m going to go and add this hashtag to the image I added on Instagram, and join your movement. Thanks for writing this. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in the madness.

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  8. I was thinking the exact same thing earlier this month! I know my blog took a different turn as I slowly transitioned into being half a lifestyle blogger, but I’m still a personal blogger at heart. If I lived the most adventurous life, I think I’d be personal blogging all the time but I did a few lifestyle posts to kill my craving of blogging while having nothing interesting going on in my life and that slowly transitioned into regular lifestyle posts and personal blogging.

    But I agree to the point that there are way too many “experts” on the internet. People who ONLY blog about making money online is getting very annoying and cluttering my feed. I love reading tips and tricks on savings, etc. but not the same old mumbo jumbo about making money through blogging. I do miss discovering personal bloggers… it was such a big thing back then and now everyone just focused monetizing their blog or being a creative lifestyle blog, etc.

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    1. Blogs about blogging and biz were very useful a couple of years ago if you wanted to start a business, but now it looks like there are too many fake experts out there. I’m glad you agree with me, thank you for your comment! 🙂

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  9. Great read! I think you hit on something really important here, Alice. It’s not enough to blog for profit. You also have to be personal and authentic! Many people see right through the types of blogs you mention (even if they don’t comment to that effect). Blogging changes so fast that no one can be a true expert in all aspects of it! Authenticity will win out every time. Bravo! 🙂

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    1. Thank you, Megan! Authenticity is what actually drove me to your blog, I learned things through your direct experience and I genuinely wanted following you on social media because of that. Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Omg, yes! A hundred times yes!

    My only “goal” with blogging has always been to get to know people I never would’ve met otherwise. To make friends and get a glimpse of life in other parts of the world. 10 years ago (the glory days of Livejournal and Geocities, yes I’m ancient) that was actually the standard, everyone seemed to be online for that same reason.
    But then blogging turned into an industry. Now you can actually make money by being an influencer and turning yourself into a brand so… that’s what people do. I can’t blame them, we all gotta make a living somehow and I’m not here to judge, but I personally don’t like it.

    I still blog for the same reasons I always have and have zero interest in the business side of it – but it’s hard to find likeminded people now. Personal blogs are basically all I ever read, but they are few and far between. Love your idea with the hashtag, I’m definitely gonna start using it 🙂

    (Also, congrats on the snow! 😀 )

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    1. Thanks so much for your comment, Karin! I completely agree with you, I’m not against making money with blogging because I’m the first one who works as a paid contributor, I’m just done with experts everywhere and blogs about blogging and biz and, most importantly, fake experts! 😦

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