To All The Blogs I’ve Loved and Lost

Over a decade of blogging gave me the confidence to become a writer

Jacqueline Dooley
The Memoirist
Published in
7 min readJun 8, 2024

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Each mushroom represents a blog I’ve abandoned — Illustration by author

I started my first blog in 2004 when I was 8 months pregnant with my second child. It was a bit of a blogging Renaissance back then. Google had recently purchased Blogger, one of the first platforms that made blogging accessible to the masses.

Blogs gave rise to a form of independent writing and content sharing that set the stage for the social media and content platforms that dominate today’s digital ecosystem. It democratized writing — at least, in theory. Starting a blog was easy, but building a decent following was another thing entirely.

Growing and monetizing a blog would ultimately elude most of us, but audience size didn’t matter much to me. Back then, blogging was an exciting new way to express myself and connect with people. There wasn’t an easy way to amplify a blog because platforms like Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist. Bloggers tended to connect with other bloggers, promoting various blogs and leaving comments.

We elevated and promoted our favorite blogs with something called a blog roll. This was a list of links to blogs typically located in the margin of each post and on your blog’s home page. I started and abandoned half a dozen blogs before I launched one that finally stuck.

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Jacqueline Dooley
The Memoirist

Essayist, content writer, bereaved parent. Bylines: Human Parts, GEN, Marker, OneZero, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Pulse, HuffPost, Longreads, Modern Loss