Blogging is hard. Hmm…okay, I’ll rephrase. Blogging when your trying to fit into the standard blogging world can be challenging for some, not every one, but it definitely has been a challenge for me and if it has been for you, this little post might be helpful. Let me explain.
I’m a researcher. It’s what I have my degree in (kinda..) and it’s what I’m naturally good at. I look things up to gain information on them before I dive into anything whether it’s teaching, cooking or in this case blogging. When I first realized that blogging is something I wanted to do seriously (I’ve had some casual non serious blogs out there for a few years now), I took to the internet; YouTube, other blog sites, articles and ebooks even to learn everything I could about being a “successful” blogger. I learned a lot, took a lot of notes, reorganized my extremely disorganized site and began again, this time with a goal in mind.
I followed advice, imitated patterns, developed schedules and followed all of the “correct” methods of blogging but nothing seemed to be working and in all of it I didn’t feel like I was being myself. I was writing about things I didn’t care about because I was supposed to have a specific niche. I was over analyzing everything I wrote because I was supposed to be advertising my posts to my social media audiences and I wanted to make sure everything represented the me that would appear more professional and attract more readers. I skipped over ideas in my idea notebook because according to my research if it didn’t give my readers something tangible every single time then it wasn’t relevant. I fell into this trap of what I’m “supposed” to be writing vs what I wanted to be writing simply because the internet told me that it’s what I needed to do to be a “successful” blogger. But..I didn’t feel successful at all. So halfway through the year I changed it up. I decided to go rogue I guess you could say. I didn’t scrap everything I learned, just simply the things that didn’t apply to me or that I didn’t want to apply to me yet. I labeled myself as “lifestyle” (still don’t actually know what that means) but wrote about what I wanted to write about. My life, experiences, thoughts dreams, struggles, etc. I posted a certain amount of times a month (tried to) but didn’t stress myself about a post every week. I relaxed on that because the time crunch was causing me to write just to write instead of writing because I wanted to. Somedays I’d write a few posts a day and scheduled them out so my blog stayed active during down times and sometimes I wouldn’t write for 2 weeks. I developed relationships with bloggers and followed blogs that I was interested in, not just the ones that fell in line with my “niche”. I wrote about the ideas in my idea book, whether or not they followed the pattern of what was popular to write about at that particular point in time. And I started promoting, but on my terms and with the confidence that when people came to my creative space they would see me, and not this created persona.
I’m happy to say that since that little switch I’ve been happier with my content, more fulfilled in my role and my interactions on your end (my readers) have gone way up so you guys don’t hate it. All in all my advice is this. Yes, there’s a strategy to this thing, to deny that would be ignorant. But the strategy is not a one size fits all and if you find yourself sacrificing your authenticity for the potential of visibility, lightly tap your breaks and figure out how you got there. I get the most joy out of this when I’m being me. And honestly, it feels better when talking to other creators knowing that they know the actual me and not someone that I’m pretending to be. Be yourself and have fun with it. Everything else will flow out of that naturally!
Thanks for stopping by!