Why You Suck At Blogging and Should Probably Quit
I woke up pretty happy today, as I do most days, and why not? I have a great life, and a wonderful son who inspires me to do better every single day, and I don't mean with the material things but as a person. Then, I thought about the long slog of Twitter updates, Facebook posts and Pinterest scheduling I had to do, the endless promotion of blog posts and the constant curiosity of wondering how my stats had risen or fallen during the night and the happiness took a nosedive.
I checked my Twitter feed to find it completely saturated with tweet after tweet of blog promotions or giveaways and it irritated me beyond belief. Where were the normal people? The one's who make me laugh, the one's I know personally and the news I want to know about? Since when had we become so obsessed with blogging that we would only fill our feeds with constant promotion?
Then, I realised, I was one of them.
I love my blog; I love designing it, taking photographs and writing about our life as a family. I love sharing my interests and engaging with others who enjoy what I've written. I hate spending the majority of my time checking my phone, wondering 'have I shared anything on Facebook today? Have I pinned at least twice in the past 3 hours? Have I engaged with at least 5 tweets and posted at least 1 photo on Instagram?'
And I'm sure I'm not the only one. Bloggers love to write, to share and of course, we have to promote, promote, promote to get our posts out there and read, but shouldn't we consider what exactly we are doing to promote those posts that mean so much to us, that we wrote because we think others will love them as much as we do?
I've read through the multitude of posts titled '30 effective ways to promote your blog', I've saved the articles informing me to share posts at certain times of the day and be sure to pin this at that time and to pump out an endless supply of meaningless posts just to gain more hits, and does it work?
No, personally it hasn't really helped me at all, besides to pile on the pressure of feeling as if I should be a much more successful blogger by now. Perhaps I've gained a few extra hits on my blog, but the majority of the time, no one will engage with those tweets, posts and pins because why would they? If I'm sick of the promotional spam, then why would anyone feel differently about me and my blog?
I know I'd personally rather have a small following of readers that love my blog, feel as if they know me and can relate to my posts, than a large following that doesn't really check in or engage besides every now & then when I force myself on them with an endless stream of promotional tweets.
Perhaps I've digressed, but the point is that I've been missing parts of my life, purposely forfeiting my happiness – not to actually blog (which I love) – but to promote and spam and force my blog constantly with little to no results, and where has it got me? Here, where I feel frustrated, upset & angry.
So, screw following others simply for my personal gain and joining threads that promise to follow back (they don't care about you or your blog), screw trying to hit a number of shared posts each day just for the sake of it, and screw giving a crap about those couple of extra hits spamming my blog posts might bring me.
Instead, I'm going to buy a book I love, take hundreds of silly photographs, tickle my son until he can't stop laughing, blog to my hearts content and do all of the things that make me happy.
Am I going to stop blogging or stop promoting or stop everything?
No, of course not, but I'd like to become more of a social media presence than a promoter. I want my followers to know me, like me and want to be interested enough to read my latest post and if I decide to share an old post, it will be because I feel it's relevant and for fun, not just to check off an item on a list. If I don't share anything for a while, it's because I haven't come across anything I feel is worth sharing and not because I have a quota to fill.
Of course, none of this applies to writing posts, taking photographs, scheduling & planning and everything that I feel does help with blogging. I love scribbling my ideas, making notes and organising my blog, it's simply the social media side that I've lost myself in.
Do you suck at blogging? I doubt it. Should you quit? No way in hell if you love it, but don't be afraid to change things that aren't working for you. Find your balance and don't let blogging become something you despise rather than enjoy - your blog should be a wonderful hobby and never a hindrance.
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