Perhaps your blog is a few weeks or even a couple of years old? Perhaps you are thinking you are NEVER going to make it as a blogger, that you wish people would notice your work or comment more or that the ‘bigger’ bloggers would engage with you on a more meaningful, peer-based level? I totally get that. I really do. It’s super great to be acknowledged by your readers and often it feel EVEN BETTER to be acknowledged by your heroes or those that you perceive to be further along the blogging journey than you are.
Perhaps you also wish you had the kinds of big traffic stats that are thrown about when big bloggers are talked about? The kind that are measured in tiers or soaring graphs on Google Analytics. I totally get that too. We’ve really been trained to assume that high traffic means high engagement/influence. I don’t actually think that’s true. (Did you just say ‘phew!’!)
Perhaps you wish you had heaps of advertisers sitting lucratively in your side-bar? Or sponsor arrangements? Or some kind of incoming flashing its way off your blog and into your Paypal account?
Perhaps it’s the comment count that you’re yearning for? Maybe you see other blogger with heaps of comments on their posts and you are lucky to get one?
Maybe ALL OF THESE THINGS are really worrying you?! I understand. But I want you to stop worrying.
Don’t worry about those bigger blogs (whoever you think they are!) and whether they like you. Don’t worry too much about traffic either. Don’t worry about not having ads, when some other bloggers do. Don’t even worry about comment count. Nope.
Your blog needs to come from a place of self-motivation, fulfilment and rad content. Those are the things that matter most. Cool friends, ads, comments – they’re appealing, but they are not the stuff that good blogs are made of. Nor are big numbers of visitors, to be honest. Traffic goes up and down, so ASSUME that those steady or steadily rising traffic numbers or slightly falling stats mean that you indeed do have an audience that’s finding your blog interesting or useful (even if they do pop in and out!)
Concentrate on making your blog a reflection of you and what you really want to write/post about and the rest will be a bonus. Worry less about the comparisons and the click bait and the graphs and care more about how to have a nice time while you blog your heart out.
I know this flies in the face of a lot of the stuff people will tell you about successful blogging. I know that some oracles are right this minute advising you to write that compelling post called ‘100 things you must know or else you’ll implode.’ (Or similar!) They might even be URGING you to relentlessly monitor your stats or set up elaborate Facebook advertising campaigns to boost your blog’s profile. Okay fine. Maybe that works for an obsessed few. Good for them.
For the rest of us mere mortals, however, the fact remains that if your blog is not YOU, if it’s not about the things you love and do, if it’s geared to acquiring traffic rather than gathering readers, then it’s NOT sustainable.
Religiously follow that ‘100 things’ type approach and you will find yourself with a generic blog that you do not love. Not only that, you are probably creating content that the internet does not need. Do you want to be the kind of person who litters the internet with generic posts, machine-like, lacking in heart and meaning. I am sure you do not. Do you want to be that person who drops their blog post link in every single Facebook group they’re a member of, as other members shift uncomfortably and pretend not to notice your intense lack of self-awareness?! You are shaking your head in a ‘no’ way, right?
Sure, there are a ton of bigger sites/blogs who schill out/do that kind of stuff daily. YES, they are commercially viable, their blogs are a business and their content is supported by advertisers. BUT, that content is not really worth anything, in the end. It’s boring, same-samey, beige and pretty much without any real value. It is made for clicks and bucks, not for connection. Any authentic human element has been squeezed out of this ‘expertly crafted’ content by the need to drive traffic or answer to sponsors. UGH. It’s a cynical approach. Back away.
AND this gets us to the heart of it all. This is why YOUR blog is ace. Why your blog is, indeed, BETTER, because YOU don’t have to write that crap. YOU can write stuff about REAL LIFE experiences, from the heart, authentically represented because you really DO NOT have to focus on traffic volume. YOU can focus on the quality of your readers and the impact you are making with your real life stories and opinions and thoughts. You don’t have to be the most controversial, confessional, depressed, outraged… (only if you want to be!) You can just be yourself.
Write a sustainable, meaningful blog by being yourself and writing about the things that matter most to you.