Love the Blog You Have…
I have been blogging for about 16 months now. By no means am I a super blogtastic know it all, not even by a far stretch of the imagination. When I started out I really had very little clue what it all entailed…I had a friend, the lovely Kylie Hodges, whose blog I read regularly and that was about it.
So one day, I sat down and I started to write, a little awkwardly. It took me a while to find my online voice and to start making connections with other people. To realise that there is a whole world of other bloggers out there.
I have definitely been a sideliner; I have seen some people (who are obviously more savvy than me), start a blog and watch it explode into the stars. They run successful linky parties, they are featured on blog networking sites, they get invites to the best PR events and become ambassadors for fabulous companies. Some started only a few months ago and already have a trillion visitors each month.
That can be hard to swallow when you have only just broken the 1,000 unique visitors per month mark and it is a reminder to me constantly how easy it can be to get sucked into the cycle of blog stats and blog networks and making sure you get the best reviews. Recently I joined some blogger groups on Facebook and it made me really uncomfortable to watch as people scrambled for PR contacts and asked for advice on how to get free stuff. Then to hear and see the flip side of that as other, dear bloggers, whose words I have read faithfully and daily, start to get disheartened because they aren’t getting the approaches that others are.
I have become angry at watching ‘blaggers’ who don’t take the time to consider whether what they are writing is even grammatically correct, never mind clicking on a little spellcheck button, get freebie after freebie. I rant at my Other Half about the unfairness of it and then he reminds me, that that is not the reason why I write.
I love my little corner of the cyber-world. I have made some fantastic friends and I *fingers crossed* am going to actually get to meet some of them this year. I have been inspired, brought to tears and laughed my socks off at some of the things I have seen written by other people. It has opened my eyes in a big way to just how many different lives are led out there, and how amazing some people truly are. I love that I get to share this platform with them, and that some of them take the time to come and visit little old me.
Before I started blogging I had no idea of the hard work and effort that went into it. I literally spend every day either writing something, taking photos for a post I’m going to write, or thinking of new and exciting ideas.
It saddens me that increasingly what I hear are people who have become disillusioned with blogging because the pressure is too much. They haven’t got the time to post every day, to join every blog-hop or to come up with creative things to share with their readers. To watch as people become caught up in the popularity contest, trying to befriend the big wigs and get onto their radars. I have given up trying. As in life, so in the blogosphere…I am never going to be the one that everyone wants to know, and you know what? That is ok with me! My blog is MY blog and I write what I want, regardless of whether that gets me shunned by the community or loses me PR opportunities. Those are a perk of the hard work I put in, but they are not the bread and butter of Catch A Single Thought. I don’t say this to be arrogant, but to protect myself from feeling like I’m not stacking up, that what I write isn’t blowing the pants off people out there and maybe I should be trying harder. So the next time I realise I have fallen off someone’s ‘blogs I read’ list, it doesn’t shake my foundations and make me cry (ok…that part is probably not 100% accurate…)
The same goes for the number of people who read my blog, whether I ever get picked as ‘fantabulous voice of the month’ for a blog network, whether I ever understand how to optimise my posts for search engines(!) or simply just continue to tick along as I have been doing, grateful for the things that do come my way but mostly enjoying the space this gives me to share my thoughts and ideas.
So, why am I writing all of this?
Well, in light of all the negativity I have seen bandied about recently, I have decided to start my own little campaign called ‘Love the Blog You Have’ – you don’t have to sign up, post, wear a badge or anything like that. Just give yourself a break and love the blog you have. Remember the relationships you’ve built, the opportunities you may have had, and don’t undervalue your contribution on the internet. You really don’t know who might be reading your blog. Not too long ago I was contacted by a lady who said that I had really fantastic way of writing and she loved to read my posts. I don’t think she’s ever left me a comment so that brightened my day beyond belief. Had she not thought to send me a message, I would never have known.
Love the blog you have.
Yes, work hard to achieve what you want your blog to look like but let’s stop giving ourselves a hard time about it!