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Blogger You Haven't Read Makes Big Deal Out of Quitting

Photograph by Instagram

Mother and former blogger Josi Denise has gotten more attention for quitting blogging than she did being a blogger in the first place.

Earlier this month, Denise came clean on her blog, explaining how she made money online and how disingenuous the whole thing was for her. The provocative post started, "I'm so fucking done. Video killed the radio star. I’m killing the mommy blog. You won’t want to hear any of this, but someone needs to tell you."

She appeared on "Good Morning America" reiterating what she wrote. Mom.me editor Ericka Souter also showed up to talk about the situation:

"There is an entire industry waiting to take advantage of your insecurities when you want to be a better blogger, and in reality all they are doing is shoving tips down your throat about how to make their jobs easier, how to put more money in their pockets by building an army of cookie-cutter bloggers who will keep paying for conference tickets and ‘exclusive’ insider info," she wrote on her blog. "The more mediocre bloggers they have with the exact same design layout and the exact same voice, the easier they can sell themselves to clients willing to pay them tens of thousands of dollars for a few reports showing ridiculous monthly page view stats. In the end, you get chosen for one $150 post every couple of months, a headache and a half trying to write a shitty post on your boring blog, and you spent 4x that amount becoming a part of their clique. Maybe you met one or two interesting people, while all those other bloggers were trying to get their business card in your face."

In a New York Post article detailing the rise and self-initiated fall of Denise's blog and blogging career, she said she started making around $125 to $150 per post, working up to around $700 to $1,500 a post for each written piece for a brand. In six months, she had cleared $12,000.

“I remember one month during the first six months where I made $3,000,” Denise told the Post. “It wasn’t a steady paycheck, but if you worked constantly and nonstop, you could make a lot of money. Still, that leaves no time to live your life. In order to get to the point where people are really paying you, you’re going to write so many $150 posts that take a surprising amount of work.”

But eventually, she tired of staging photographs of her family and kids. What should have been private celebrations became just another obligation to marketers. So she quit. And wrote about it on her blog.

The post got a lot of backlash from bloggers who also make their living writing for brands and turning their family stories into platforms for products. Many pointed out she wasn't the first to reach this point—and to pull away. The mom blogger world's most notorious blogger, Heather Armstrong of Dooce, also walked away. Unlike Denise, Armstrong did not claim that blogging ruined her life.

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