Today marks eight years since I started blogging, which is pretty much a million years in internet time. Of course, much changes in a million years…

Then: You started a free blog on Blogger and hit publish.

Now: You pay for a url. You pay a designer to make you a custom design on WordPress. You pay more to have matching social media accounts. You pay to host your blog. You pay Facebook to actually show your blog to people. You curse Facebook for not showing your blog to enough people. You pay for wine because, dammit, you need a drink. You fuck up your blog trying to install fancy WordPress plugins. You pay your therapist to talk about the stress of fucking up your blog because your family and friends are sick of hearing about your blog. You pay a programmer to fix your blog. You pay to switch your blog to a new host after realizing your initial host can’t accommodate any spikes in traffic, if you’re lucky enough to see any spikes in traffic. You pay for more wine to cope with the stress your blog has caused you. You renew your url.

Then: You obsessed over the number of comments you got.

Now: You obsess over the number of Facebook shares you get.

Kaley-Cuoco-The-Fappening

Then: You paid daily visits to blogs and left comments in the comment section.

Now: You follow blogs on Facebook and leave comments there.

Then: You attended zero to one blogging conference a year.

Now: You attend zero to 394 blogging conferences a year.

Then: You got paid in random free products and they made you giddy.

tumblr_nc64zmasFy1txuf2po2_500

Now: You can’t be bought with random free products. You know your worth and you want to be paid in cold, hard cash, dammit. Cash that you must, of course, pay taxes on and you inevitably end up owing a boatload come April because who actually puts away half for taxes when you can spend it on random fun things?

Then: If you had a witty thought, you tweeted it.

Now: If you have a witty thought, you tweet it, Facebook it, make a watermarked meme of it so you can Instagram it (and Facebook it again,) then you Pin it, embed it into your blog, share in your private Facebook groups and include in wrap ups of “witty thoughts of the week.”

Then: You wrote emotional rants without thinking about the repercussions.

tumblr_m24p4ovuQJ1qc487lo1_400

Now: You write emotional rants but delete them before publishing because, repercussions. Also, screen shots.

Then: Your sidebar was filled with made up blog awards you’d won.

Now: Your sidebar is filled with Amazon affiliate links to the dozens of books you or your blog friends have written, your media kit, and the other 17,423 places that you can be found online.

Then: You used your words, however many words it took to tell a story.

Now: You use words, but not too many words because people have lost their attention span. You break up text with images because it’s easier to scan an image than to scan text. You make a Pinterest friendly graphic that sums up your post, so people can share, comment or bookmark having only read five words of the post you slaved over.

Then: You formed lasting relationships and were awarded amazing opportunities thanks to your blog.

Now: You form lasting relationships and are awarded amazing opportunities thanks to your blog.

Fortunately, some things don’t change.