My Blogging Breakdown
I have not blogged for nearly a month. After almost a year of blogging, I have hit blogger’s fatigue and I had a little breakdown. This seems to be something that happens in many a blogger’s life so I now feel like I have almost completed my ’10 steps to becoming a real blogger.’ Undergo major blog fatigue – check!
There are a number of reasons why I haven’t blogged for a nearly a month I have been full of cold, work has been quite busy, I’ve been panicking a little about Christmas and I’ve been feeling a bit down in the dumps. This has led to a severe lack of motivation on the blogging front (anyone who knows me will know I am the ultimate procrastinator, so it doesn’t take much!)
I also became a bit sick of the whole blogging thing, a number of blog posts that I read at the time really resonated with me, it is clearly the time of year for self-reflection. They included:
Each one of these posts spoke to me and led to my own period of self-reflection during these past few weeks (in between sneezing, writing content about random things for clients and panicking about Christmas- did I mention that?!)
Like many, many others I began blogging because I love to write and because I felt I needed a focus. I do really enjoy writing, but I tend to put off writing posts because sometimes I worry about getting my ideas down on paper and expressing myself how I want to. I also have a tendency to worry about what other people think about me which I also think has been affecting me. I have tried to join in all aspects of blogging including linky parties and Facebook groups but I still feel pretty much on the periphery. I think part of that is because I am not in a particular niche so there isn’t really a defined group for me to join, the other side of it is that I am not overly keen on being a member of a gang per se. Not being part of a gang (or tribe) means that I am a bit out the loop sometimes (well most of the time) and I do feel a little lonely in my little blogging world at times (how contrary am I?)
One aspect of blogging that I wasn’t really prepared for was the numbers game. I naively thought that blogging was about writing a post and then hoping that people liked it enough to read it and maybe even leave a comment. I was totally unprepared for the whole focus on social media followers. A lot of blogging seems to be based on how many Twitter, Facebook and Instagram followers you have and there seems to be a real drive on engagement. Of course, that makes sense as the social media is a fabulous vehicle for getting your posts out there and seen by others.
Unfortunately, this leads someone like me to constantly compare how I’m doing in relation to others. I would see other bloggers with thousands of followers on Instagram (my favourite social media network) and wonder how they were managing to attract so many people. On a Facebook group, another blogger in the US posted to say she had reached 10,000 Instagram followers, instantly people began to ask how they had achieved it and within a short period of time she told them she was selling a course to show people how to achieve the same success as her. It soon transpired that yes she had loads of followers but very low engagement in terms of likes and comments. Soon other savvy bloggers suggested that her ‘method’ was to follow and then unfollow people and that in fact the majority of her 10,000 followers weren’t really engaged with her at all. I checked out a few Instagram accounts of UK bloggers and I saw the same pattern emerging and realised that perhaps the numbers game isn’t all it is cracked up to be. I have a solid (ish) following of 650 and my likes vary between the 40s and the 140s which I don’t think is too bad. I’ve never been a fan of the follow and unfollow game on Twitter and Instagram and I decided that it is far better to have a smaller core of people who are genuinely interested in what I have to say rather than huge numbers.
Another aspect that I have struggled with in the blogging world is writing posts itself. How many posts a week should you write? How long should they be? What should the subject matter be? And not to even mention SEO (gritted teeth here).Through all of these conundrums, I was beginning to lose sight of the only thing that really matters, the desire to get my thoughts and opinions out there. I was beginning to feel the pressure of not posting often enough which conversely led to a real apathy about posting. The more I intended to blog more regularly, the less I did it. Don’t get me wrong, I had loads of ideas buzzing around in my head all the time, but just couldn’t get the enthusiasm (and sometimes the time and space) to get them down on the laptop. I’ve decided from now on to write when I want and about what I want, so there! I’ve always thought of my blog as being a lifestyle blog with a bit of parenting thrown in and I like to talk about a variety of things including business, which is something I am hoping to introduce in the new year.
I am now rested and rejuvenated, well as much as you can be with Christmas coming up and 9 people to feed in two days time. Please, someone send turkey!
My mantra for 2017 is ‘What other people think of you is none of your business’ (Thanks, Eleanor Roosevelt, probably horrendously paraphrased, but often used by my mum when I was growing up) so I am going to stick to that.
How do you feel about blogging?