I will admit upfront I have visited the blog Young House Love a few times at best and am not a follower or dedicated reader of the blog. However, I heard about the turmoil that happened recently and how it led to the couple bidding blogging goodbye. The did not specify how long the goodbye would last, but said it would be at least a month. What I did learn is that the couple (Sherry and John) asked for honest feedback from their readers about not being able to blog so much and if they felt it would be okay to cut down on their posts per week. They had many supporters who felt that would be completely fine but a poster named Margaret wrote this:
If you hadn’t asked for feedback, I would not be commenting. I used to read faithfully, but then less and less with each house. Why? Because all three houses LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME. Pale walls, cheap furniture, spray painted stuff. It’s totally fine in your first house, but it’s so very tired now. I was excited to start reading again with the house 3 purchase, because you promised more grown-up, expensive furnishings, etc. So far all I see is Ikea-Target-HomeGoods. Anything more expensive, you either scored it from the showhouse or got it at an outlet. I love a good bargain too, but am also willing to splurge on key pieces. I like the DIY big projects, but the decor stuff needs seriously rethought if you want to keep readers engaged. One last thing, you should absolutely not be using 2 small kids as your excuse for lack of blog posts, or projects, or anything. You make big bucks from this blog (I have no problem at all with that), and IT’S YOUR JOB. Most of us have kids, work, and do stuff around the house. You have encouraged honest feedback here.
That of course led to supporters responding back in defense of the YHL couple and others agreeing with Margaret.
Following a few posters who admonished Margaret for her “mean-spirited” comments were posters like Meg who supported Margaret and took the YHL bloggers down a few pegs herself
But CE they ASKED for feedback. They ASKED for readers opinions.
And honestly, 5 posts a week isn’t that much for readers to expect when they are two fully functioning adults who are supposedly working on this 80 hours a week. They get paid to decorate their house and fix it up (which almost every other couple in America does on the evenings or weekends) so expecting quality content isn’t too much. If it’s “too much of a load from them to bear” well I hope they polish up their resumes and start looking elsewhere for income. They chose this career path and business.
After several more posts in support of YHL or with posters like Margaret and Meg, there was Paula who wrote this:
I find it amazing that John and Sherry asked for feedback and then when people give their honest opinion they are attacked by the “John and Sherry” lovers. This is a decorating blog people. The Petersiks aren’t your best friends. You probably don’t even know them. I come here to get ideas for my own house. I don’t believe for one minute they do all of this by themselves or with a little bit of money like most of us do. There is no way they can do over an entire room in a couple of days, have two kids and a dog, and run this huge blog. It’s just lost it’s initial realism to me. But I will continue to drop in and see what they are up to. But, please, allow everyone to have an opinion. It was asked for!!!
This continued on for say some 1000 plus comments and led Sherry to post that the couple would be taking a break. The last two paragraphs of her 3000 word post from September 9th are:
So in an attempt to stop stumbling around and feeling like we just can’t get it back, we’re taking a break. We don’t know exactly how long we’ll be stepping away, but our guess would be at least a month. We will certainly be exploring other options for supporting our family (something we mentioned we were considering back in April). We had that fiery blog-spark back when we had day jobs and did this as a hobby, so we think it could be a good change. We’ll also be taking a break on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, but the blog will stay public so you guys can access the archives whenever you’d like.
Our internal struggle and the state of this blog is entirely of our making, and we completely own that. Please don’t get mad at anyone for being honest with their feedback last week or accuse them of sending us packing. We have been struggling with that “something is off” feeling for a while now, and after way too much denial and “we’ll turn it around” pep talks, we finally asked for your feedback because we truly wanted to hear what you were thinking. It was cathartic and helpful for us. It has allowed us to very clearly see that if we have any respect for this blog and our love of it, and for you guys and what you’d like to see, we need to take break if we ever want any hope of getting back to that fun/real/spontaneous place it used to be when this was something we did for the love instead of the high stakes game of supporting a family.
In summary: we love you, we thank you, and we hope you understand.
Do you know what? That post has over 4500 comments! There is no way I would even attempt to read them, nor do I want to read them. Why do I say that? Well, I don’t follow them, I don’t know much about them and I really don’t care to learn. Way too much of my own stuff to focus on but found it amusing that this DIY blog would be this controversial. After all TV series get cancelled, reality shows get cancelled, shows that run for many seasons end and life goes on. In the blogging world we have to understand that things change, people get burnt out, go on to other opportunities, have life issues or just stop blogging. There is nothing anyone can do or say to make them keep blogging if they don’t but the reality is that there are thousands and thousands of other blogs covering the same type of topics and life goes on.