Blogging is a bizarre hobby when you think about it. There is a huge divide between people who touch their blog once a month, and people who check it countless times throughout the day. Many of us hold ourselves to these weirdly high standards (that only apply to the most successful of bloggers that have monthly traffic of millions) for some reason, when we could just be enjoying it for what it is! Today is all about introspection- I’m sharing my blogging regrets, and how I’m feeling about my blog now.
1. “Blogs You Should Be Reading” Posts
I’m torn on these posts, and I’m not going to delete them, but I don’t know how I feel about them anymore. I spent hours finding posts and writing blurbs about blogs that I enjoy reading and sharing, and in the large majority of cases, the blogger didn’t so much as comment a thank you. I went out of my way to share 2-4 posts per site, all to connect with bloggers and hopefully make some blogging friends. It didn’t really work- if I was friends with them prior, I stayed friends, but I made very few connections through them. I spent usually upwards of 3 hours on those posts to give away traffic to other bloggers when I could have been working on my own content. I’m actively trying to work on my blogging networking now, and getting people to link to your content is like climbing Mount Everest in shorts and a t-shirt- why was I putting so much time into it when everyone else essentially refuses unless you are paying them?
2. Not Doing Enough Research
I never thought that I would not do enough research (I usually do about 800x too much research), but I wish that I had researched social media and general blogging info earlier. I don’t mean the “How I doubled my blog traffic in 4 days!” posts but the actual nitty gritty of what size and orientation of pictures to use, anchor text and HTML, what colours to use on what forms of social media, and even scheduling. There is no set answer to all of it, but I’ve found through doing a lot of reading, I’m slowly able to hone my own blog (and associated forms of social media), and I’m pretty proud of what I’m accomplishing. Do I have 10,000 views a month? Definitely not, and I probably never will. However, I’m now not shy or nervous to tell people that I have a blog, and although I don’t give out the link like candy, I’m happy to share if it’s relevant! Had I started doing this research a year ago, I would certainly be further along.
3. Trusting People
In the first two years of my blog, I was certainly too trusting of other bloggers. You can meet some absolutely amazing and wonderful people, and there are some bloggers out there who will go to the moon and back for you even though you are just a shadow on the inter-webz. However, many bloggers are only out for themselves, and it does well to remember that. I’m pretty cautious now with bloggers, it takes me quite a while before I’m willing to open up and actually talk with them now- why put a bunch of time into people who will most likely disappear once they’ve gotten what they want from you? Keeping my distance has given me peace of mind, and while I’m making blogging friends at a much slower pace, I’m finding that those I do have are those wonderful people that you want in your life.
4. Looking at Numbers
Blogging stats are a difficult beast. How many followers do you have, views, visitors, links, sessions? The list goes on, and on, and on. And then on some more. For anyone who wants to monetise their blog, stats are important whether you like it or not- companies are going to want to know what exactly you can offer them for their PR dollars. However, I don’t plan on monetising my blog. This is a fun outlet for me, and whether or not I have 2 visitors or 200 in a day, it doesn’t change that I enjoyed writing it and I’m proud of what I have published. Realistically, I touch on wide variety of topics on a regular basis- if you enjoy reading about ballet, you will certainly find posts on my blog, but I also don’t post about it so regularly that you would come back daily to check. Ditto for reading, recipes, style, travel, and everything else I post on. My traffic has seen a dip in the last two months, but I’m proud of and happy with my content! And that’s a-okay.
Blogging is realistically not a job for most of us. It is an over-saturated market, and how many hygge posts does the world need? (As someone who wrote two herself!) I’m learning to embrace blogging for the hobby that it is, and remember that I do in fact do this for fun. I know that people greatly prefer a post on a cool castle rather than on the history behind ballet, but you know what? I enjoy writing about ballet and it’s my blog, dammit! I’m a regular person, and this is just a regular blog. I think we all have regrets about different things, but how you move forward is key.
Bloggers, what are your biggest blogging regrets? And how are you feeling about your blog right now?