Everyone and their mother has a blog nowdays.
When I first thought about starting a lifestyle blog – Lifestyle because I’m better than Hair and Makeup but Tech is too hard and I don’t speak Finance or Politics – my personal IG feed featured occasional images like the one on the right.
When I actually started my blog and got past the Choosing the Best Categories for Your Blog types of things, I launched an underpopulated site and found myself scrambling to write on “safe” topics to fill space. Like many aspiring bloggers, I followed social media experts so I could study their tactics and read blogs designed for people who wanted to learn how to blog. Like blog-school, which seems ridiculous, but good blogging is good business.
However, when I began getting 12 daily email alerts with the taglines: Create Engaging Content in 5 Easy Steps or 10 Ways to Increase Your Social Media Following– I Unsubscribe me’d real quick.
Knowing the few things I had learned about:
Personal branding. (Queue “You Are Your Greatest Asset” quote.)
Communicating and Collaborating with Professionals and Other Bloggers.
The Best Times to Post Online, etc.
I already knew I’d suck at them:
Because I’m lazy.
Because I was too embarrassed to share my own posts.
Ironically, I had hoped to blog and avoid self-promotion so for months the about section on my blog was a blank except for a picture of me and my dog. Although notioning it was to go along with my then decided minimalist theme, I was in fact having an online identity crisis and didn’t know what I was about.
See, whenever I’d scroll over a Click the Link in Bio for my latest post! #traveltips from other bloggers, I wondered how I would stomach doing that because who the hell cares about how many countries I’ve traveled to, my views on shoes or the exquisitely filtered shot of a staged breakfast I may not have had that morning. What’s special about the fact that I can read information online, likely sourced from other blogs and regurgitate it over a new page. It’s already being done thousands, if not millions of times over and probably better than I would.
So, in a sea of Creative Content, why should I presume mine will stand out?
Still, under the pressure of 4 unutilized social media accounts and lack of Online Presence, I watched myself in an out of body experience scour the net for aesthetic, royalty-free images and repost topics without even offering New Ideas and Unique Comments. I was photographing and sharing media without having a clear idea of what I was hoping to accomplish aside from Creating a Visually Appealing Feed.
I’d give myself fake purpose by accenting fashion and décor tweets with a #travelhere #supportlocal #minimalist. And while I do support local, enjoy some concepts of minimalism and love to travel (who doesn’t) my posts were half-arsed and untargeted and I knew it. They lacked creativity and didn’t say anything about who I was, why my blog was unique and why you needed to follow it.
Excluding dummy profiles and strategic likes, there were a handful of family and friends following and my poor posting habits and neurotic tendencies weren’t going to help me build a relevant audience. So I asked myself, Why am I doing this? Is it a hobby, for fun? Do I actually expect to make a career out of this? Is it a psyco-social thing for likes and follows… to satisfy a need for attention? Or is the reason simpler? Copious likes & followers = free stuff.
While I suppose we could be motivated to blog for perks, the potential for freebies just doesn’t seem reason enough considering the work that goes into building out a proper blog. Unless of course you go viral. But that’s winning the lottery and wildly posting online hoping to go viral is like spending all you have on lottery tickets. Its that addictive potential for a win that keeps people spending even though they don’t because Hey, You Never Know.
On the other hand, some bloggers work hard to Devise a Strategic Business Model, Develop a Relevant Following, penetrate their markets and build a proper enterprise. These people make blogging a respectable career. Then there are those of us who blog simply because we feel that we have something worth saying or sharing. Sometimes we do and then sometimes we learn that our voice isn’t as loud as we hoped it would be. Even with enough research and enough work, a blogger may still never see the response they were hoping for. (Don’t despair. Unless you’ve actually gone ahead and quit your day job.)
The fact is, new blogs can easily get lost in the big blocean and its not uncommon for bloggers to have incredible content with low Post Engagements and Site Visits. So if the goal is in numbers, then despite the many Great Ways to Grow Your Blog Online, you may well end up experiencing blog dissatisfaction. While all blogs aren’t curated equally, if what you post has a positive impact on someone somewhere then you would have accomplished something far greater than 1k little heart icons. So even if your current following is 8 strong, by all means… Blog on.
Advice wise, the best thing I’ve read is to focus on one platform at a time. New bloggers need not inundate everyone’s Facebook, Ig and Twitter feeds with the same posts all at once depending on your blog goals and unless you’ve gone in hard and hired a social media marketing professional like *wink* Kadelia. You might wear yourself thin trying to do too much at once and then not have time for things like actual living. You can if you want to, Build Your Blog a little at a time.
It wasn’t until after an episode of PMDD, and a very low Low that I realized where I was going wrong. But as the symptoms receded a new picture emerged and I figured out how to flesh out my online creative space. If an audience grows, it grows. If it doesn’t, then big or small, I would have left my unique typeface in the blogsphere and for me it’s enough.
Now go add me on snapchat 🙂
Jk. I don’t have Snapchat.