Each month, I used to write three to for posts giving tips and guidance to bloggers. But lately I’ve been shying away from such posts.
I first started writing such posts back when it was rare for me to read them on other blogs – apart from those specifically aimed at blogging tips or internet marketers.
I don’t know if things have changed, or if I just wasn’t reading the same blogs back then – but now it seems everyone is at it and it makes it seem dull. Or should I say, it makes me look at my blog and then I feel dull.
I don’t want to write the same posts as other bloggers, I don’t want to read another post about how putting alt tags in your photos is good for SEO, or how writing a click bait title will get your more views.
I’m not usually the type of person to speak out when I feel frustrated about something. I don’t like opening myself up to negativity, I don’t like encouraging conflict and I don’t like to feel like my opinion is being attacked. But some things have been bothering me lately – bothering me so much that it’s made me stop posting about topics I enjoy writing about. And that’s bad.
When I used to hear some people talk about not caring about page views, or blogging as a hobby about whatever the fuck they like, I used to roll my eyes and think they had to be kidding.
EVERYONE CARES ABOUT THEIR PAGE VIEWS, RIGHT?
EVERYONE SHOULD CATCHY TITLES TO GET MORE VIEWS, RIGHT?
EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A GOAL AND A PLAN TO REACH IT, RIGHT?
These are the things that I was convinced of. But I’ve had a changed in the way I view blogging, lately.
I don’t even know why I’m sharing this – I think it’s because I never thought I’d feel and think like this. It’s to prove that you can, I guess.
Where all this stems from.
I’m a member of many Facebook and Goolge+ communities for bloggers, I’ve followed many Twitter chats and I’ve read many a blog post (and written some, too) about advice to bloggers.
Lately I’ve been getting a niggling feeling that sometimes we take ourselves a bit too seriously with this blogging malark.
99% of the time I like to think that I take my blog seriously – I treat it as I would a job. I plan my content, I give myself deadlines, I ensure I schedule social media posts and interact within the community, I have business cards, I work with brands, earn a part time income, my blog is even registered as a business – which seems mad to me!
There are times though, where I think I take all this TOO seriously.
I think it hit me when I was speaking at Web We Want fest at the Southbank Centre, London, and I declared in my microphone that I sometimes feel like if I didn’t update my blog daily, the world would end.
Saying it out loud made me question a lot of things.
It made me question the amount of time I put into this blog and if I’m putting too much on myself and missing out on other things in my life. Such as finishing season 6 of Vampire Diaries and finally completing Skyrim. Oh, going out with friends, too. That’s not something I do often.
Some of this stems from advice I see being thrown about the community, too.
Advice about how you should ask for payment as soon as a brand approaches you. Bloggers selling blog consultations, media kids, social media management to other bloggers. To help you stand out. To help you look professional. To impress brands.
I love how willing to help everyone is within the blogging community, but sometimes it all feels a bit cut and dry. A bit crass (I don’t think I’ve ever used that word before).
Or that I keep seeing people telling each other that to work for free cheapens a blog. That people like them are the reason brands think they can ‘rip bloggers off’ by getting them to post on their blog for free.
I see bloggers being advised to charge large amounts of money to a brand before even knowing about what they’re being asked to post about. Or the ‘level’ of that bloggers blog.
I don’t mean to devalue anyone’s blog, at all. But how much your time is worth isn’t just based on the quality of posts you can create. It’s also based on your reach, your page views, your value in Google, your social media following, your community that interacts with your content.
I do understand that some people do blog full time, they rely on the income from their blog to pay their bills, feed their kids.. but most of us don’t. and I’m starting to question if I actually want to be a full time blogger one day. As fun as it seems, it’s pretty unstable and there’s no holiday pay, company pension or bonus at the end of the year.
I just feel like lately, everyone’s advising everyone to ask PR’s for money, to write click bait posts, to post tips about blogging because it gets the most page views and shares on social media.
Sometimes their measly link across their social media might be worth more to you than you think.
Or the post might be fun to write.
Or might spark creativity inside you.
Or might make your readers smile or help them learn something.
While it’s okay to tailor your posts to encourage curiosity and clicks, it’s also important to sometimes ground ourselves and remember that the majority of us are never going to make it full time. Even if we really want it and really work at it.
While treating your blog as a business is a smart move when working with brands – as I always like to remember that behind the e-mail, there’s a human with a KPI to hit and a boss to answer to. But sometimes we over do it.
Sometimes I over do it.
I don’t think you realise some things about yourself until you see other people act the way you do.
Then you realise the reason you are frustrated with them is because they’re you.
And that’s what happened, essentially. I was taking myself too seriously, then I was getting annoyed at other bloggers for taking themselves too seriously.
It’s really about me. About my current state of mind, the place I am currently in.
Not about anyone else, at all.
So yes, I’ve had what I like to call a ‘blog paradigm shift’.
I’ve been less time lately focusing my blog. I’ve been playing a few video games, seeing a view friends, heck – I’ve even been reading the news. Instead of putting all my blood, sweat and soul into the blog.
And you’re all still here.
I’m still alive.
And I’m finding a work life balance finally. Amongst a full time job, three blogs and love for fitness.
I guess what I’m trying to say, in a very round about, babbling way – is that it doesn’t matter what other bloggers are blogging about, or what they’re asking PR’s or what their goals are.
All it matters is that I’m happy in what I’m doing. So I’ve decided to start writing more advice posts again. Blog tips, self-improvement, talking about things I struggle with – which you might have noticed over the past few weeks.
I hope you’re happy doing what you are doing, too. And keep doing it.
We’re all so very strange, aren’t we?