:: A few of my favorite bloggers have been wrestling with whether to continue blogging. In one case, a popular blogger has decided to close her blog. She eloquently wrote about her reasons and I think each one of us who read the post understood and sympathized with her dilemma. Reading her post and reading all the comments got me thinking again about why we blog and maybe offer some advice from my perspective.
Blogging can be time consuming. Coming up with posts, taking photos, reading and commenting on other blogs – all of it takes time and can become overwhelming. I think each of us has to decide how much time we are willing to devote to our blogs – whether we post daily, once a week, or less often. We read other blogs. It is very easy to start reading and commenting on posts and suddenly discover that a few hours have passed. I love reading other blogs and do my best to visit often and leave a comment. Some days I am successful, some days I’m not. I try my best to respond to everyone, but I’m sure I’ve been remiss in the past and will be in the future. As with anything in our busy lives, we have to set priorities. We do the best we can.
Here’s what I don’t like: when people assume that those who post daily and visit and comment on many blogs have no life. I read a few comments that said as much on the previously mentioned post. I would say in response to those comments: No, that person doesn’t have your life or your priorities. She has her life, with her priorities. And I bet her life is as full as yours. I see bloggers out there with children and full-time jobs who post all the time. I see others in the same situation who post infrequently. Then there’s those of us with no children and demanding jobs or with grown children and demanding jobs or who have part-time jobs or who are enjoying retirement – we run the same gamut. It is totally individual. It’s a choice. There’s room for all of us in this blogging world. There is a space for the infrequent blogger, for the daily blogger, for the lurker, for the power blogger, for the professional blogger, for those who enjoy reading blogs but have no desire to start a blog.
There are cliques out there in blogland, there are bloggers who get hundreds of comments and never return the favor, there are blogs that lose their charm and intimacy and become more of a business. We’ve all seen it. Just like you did in high school, I guess you have to learn who you want to hang out with and who wants to hang out with you.
As for followers, I’ve written about that before. I am honored and grateful for each and every one of my followers. But, and this is a big but, that followers number is misleading and even more, is not an indicator of how many people visit your blog. Lots of people visit this blog who are not followers, and I’m sure many of my followers no longer read this blog. In fact, out of curiosity, I recently looked at my list of followers and there are many, many who I never hear from. Who knows if they even read my posts anymore? People change, tastes change.
Many bloggers require you to become a follower to take part in a giveaway, consequently, their numbers increase. Theoretically, someone can become a follower to be entered in a giveaway and never read that blog again. That little box is not a true indicator of your blog’s readership. So when that feeling of not having thousands of followers like so-and-so arises or that ‘she’s more popular, what am I doing wrong’ feeling you had in high school suddenly reappears, let it go. You didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not a competition. Stay true to your style, to your reason for becoming a blogger in the first place.
You have to decide how much time you’ll spend at your computer on any given day. You have to set your priorities. Only you can put pressure on yourself. I’ve seen plenty of bloggers take an extended break from blogging. Sometimes it’s because they aren’t inspired, sometimes it’s because of illness or the demands of life. It’s your blog – you can do whatever you want. If you are no longer getting any pleasure or joy from blogging, then take a break. Stop, breathe and let go for a while. Those who read your blog regularly will understand.
I think it is important to remember why you blog and what it gives you in return. I started my blog to share my passions: for my home, my husband, my dogs, my collections, my garden, my adventures. I have always loved to write and through blogging, have grown to love photography. My life has been enriched beyond measure by the friends I’ve made. I’ve been challenged to learn more, grow more and expand my horizons. Through this sharing, I’ve found kindred spirits everywhere. That’s why I blog. Remember why you blog and don’t let all the so-called competition affect you. If you read this blog, you know I’m nothing if not honest. It’s taken many years, but I am who I am. Be who you are – and your blog will be all the richer for it.
I’d love to hear your thoughts, my friends.