I’m going to make an admission that will do my blogging cred no good but I’ve been honest about everything else so why stop here ? I started blogging almost six months ago and, whilst my blog subscribers are way up, the numbers reading my new blog posts are down.
Am I bovvered, tho?
In the beginning
When you start blogging, you get caught up in the whirlwind. From not knowing a thing about it when you hit publish on your first post, to quickly becoming an expert in how to rack up the followers on Twitter, and promote your blog on ‘link parties.’ In no time, people are reading your blog, and not just your friends and family. (For those not in the know, a link party is a way of driving traffic to your posts. There are a number of kind bloggers who ‘host’ the parties, you drop a link to your blog, and then return the favour by reading the posts of others who have joined the party.) Link parties are great for driving traffic, and you can discover a lot of great blogs that you might not otherwise come across.But sometimes, just sometimes…can I confess to a heretic thought about link parties? Sometimes I wonder what would happen if we all just stopped reading each other blogs. Would our community implode, or would we continue to seek each other out ?
Blogging will eat your time.
So, three months in and you’re an expert in link parties, you’ve 1000’s of Twitter followers, not to mention Facebook and Instagram accounts. You might have even dipped your toe into Pinterest.
After the initial whirlwind of activity, a degree of burnout is inevitable. You can’t keep up the pace, not if you want to hold on to your job and/or still speak to your family.
I think we all start for the same reasons – to give ourselves a voice, to write, to have an identity outside of employee/mother. Whatever size our readership , most of us are probably reaching far more people than we ever thought we would. So I’m not at all despondent about my premature decline. I’m simply not putting in the effort to ‘promote’ my blog like I was in the beginning. I’m also not posting as frequently – mainly because I don’t have as much free time as I did when I started the blog, for a number of reasons. I was starting to stress about it too. I don’t know about you , but I don’t need something else to stress about. After being unsure for a while about where I wanted my blog to go, I’ve realised , at least, that getting huge numbers isn’t my short term goal. ( NB it goes without saying if you are making a living from your blog, or even some additional income, that is amazing and impressive – Good For Her, Not For Me)
Your blog, your space, your voice. Do with it what you want
At a recent blogging conference I was interested to hear a fellow blogger talk about slow blogging. I think it’s probably something that a lot of us do without realising. It takes away all the stress of blogging (worrying about stats, constant social media checking, stressing about your schedule) and puts you back in control. Caitriona Redmond was the blogger who introduced me to the topic at the conference; here’s a link to her top tips on slow blogging – Slow Blogging Changed My Life.
I’ve met so many great people since I started blogging, whether in real life , or online and it’s opened up my eyes to so many possibilities that I had in no way contemplated before I hit publish on my first (mortifying) post. As someone with not a huge number of friends ‘in real life’, this is one of the things I appreciate most about the blogging community. Meeting like minded people, who understand where I’m coming from – and in an introvert’s dream, I don’t even have to leave my house to talk to them. Just because these friends live in my phone, doesn’t mean I get less from their friendships than ‘real life’ ones.
Why I’m writing
When I started the blog, I assumed it was going to be a parenting blog, maybe with a focus on ASD/ADHD as my son had been recently diagnosed. It has certainly been cathartic writing those posts, and helpful and reassuring to connect with other parents experiencing the same thing. I’ve also had emails from people saying they recognised so much of our story which is amazing. One of my main hopes in writing honestly about our experiences was that it would give some comfort to anyone else experiencing the same thing, who might feel alone. Very quickly my posts took a turn for the feminist – and I am pleased to say these posts are some of my most popular. Feminism seems in many ways to be having ‘a moment’, whilst at the same time experiencing a back lash from the hard of understanding who can’t get past the man-hating accusation. I’m extremely proud to put feminism front and centre in my blog, and in my self.
What’s the point?
Who knows? Does there need to be one? I started blogging in part because I just needed to DO SOMETHING. If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got. So I might not make enough money to hand in my notice, but other, smaller, changes have happened and who knows what other developments might come?
Why do you do it? Head to the comments to let me know!