A fellow blogger and writer’s conversation the other day reminded me of all the things I struggle with when it comes to blogging. Our talk covered the three key points and went something like this:
Her: Oh so you’re blogging too, huh?
Me: Yep, yep. Uhmm, so you’re writing about your writing?
Me: Yeah? How is that going?
Her: Yes, I love it. I get around one hundred visits a day. And you?
Me: Oh wow, that’s a lot. One hundred? Gee. Uhm I mainly write about things that go pear-shaped with me writing.
Her: That’s great. People love reading that!
Me: Oh yeah?
Her: How many hits do you get?
Me: Uhm, not that much. Oh look, a puppy! I must go and say hello to gorgeous doggy…
Maybe I made up the doggy part that exchange, but I swear, it was a prime example of what others ask and talk about. It summarises everything that makes me want to stop blogging straight away. So, I thought I should spell it out and then move on with my life, okay?
Here goes. I’ve defined this space as a “writers diary”. Giving that I have spend the last part of this year with other things like earning money, travelling, learning new things and, uhm, living, not much writing is currently happening.
Here, in this space where I actually do write about me I thoroughly enjoy the challenge of shedding light on misadventures in a strangely akward kind of way. See, nobody likes to pull their pants down – metaphorically or otherwise – and talk about the things that go wrong. It’s embarrassing. Yet again, I learn from my mishaps more than from my successes. Still-born ideas linger with me much longer. I need answers before I can move on. Do you feel the same?
I touched on the blog project that I abandoned before. It took me months to come to terms why my old blog didn’t work for me anymore. It took me even longer to make a decision and complete the project. By “completing” I learned that I had to end it and when I pulled the plug, so to speak, I even shed a tear.
What is it that I learned from a creative project that went pear-shaped? Things that put a metaphorical bullet through the blog were:
Numbers, graphs, demographic information of my readers, in-bound links, tweets, followers, likes. Seeing other people love what I do? Brilliant! Perusing endless aggregated information on Google analytics? BANG! I spent longer on evaluating data than on writing. Seeing posts not generating any substantial responses filled me with anxiety of future posts. “Would people take notice of what I’d say next?”
Now, I’m trying to put stats into perspective: figures are not the reason why I write.
There is a reason why pro-bloggers and social media experts tell you to include images. They do attract views! BANG!
Not only does my aversion to images stems from the kill-factor number one (pretty pics= more views=betters stats) I’m also not a photographer. Shooting or finding the right image that suited my blog’s theme and colours and captured the tone of my post…it an incredible amount of time. Time that I didn’t spend on the creative part of what I enjoy.
Now, I don’t bother with images. You don’t get attracted to my blog because it’s not pretty? That’s okay. I feel better about knowing that I am free to create a story through words, not pics.
“Blog every day or at least twice a week,” people say. I got so caught up in worrying about the number of posts I had written I forgot the more important point: when I did post something new I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of writing. Guilt is such a great killer of inspiration: BANG!
Without wanting to repeat myself too much, but this one feeds into stats. I’m not an expert on SEO. I have a good, basic idea of what it is and why it’s useful. I became obsessed with improving my SEO friendliness in my old blog. When I re-read posts months later I realised how much it had affected my writing.
Now, SEO? Couldn’t care less. Will you find me blog because you searched for something useful? No. But it doesn’t matter anyway.
After a friend’s conversation inspired me to write a post in which I mentioned our talk I experienced my first backlash. I got an angry phone call and was put into place. ‘How dare I target a post at something that was said on social media?’
My intention wasn’t to hurt anyone. I apologised and took the post down. After that, I didn’t write for months.
My consequence? I can’t being inspired by people around me, but I’m also not actively inviting friends to read my blog.
What about you? What makes you want to delete your blog? How do you deal with it?