Bloggerphobia, The Fear Your Not Doing It Right
You are a blogger. You have been blogging for a few months’ or maybe even for a few years’ now and just when you think your starting to get this whole blogging thing figured out, you come across an article or a post that makes you realize that you haven’t even begun to scratch the surface yet.
You think… “Am I doing this right?”
If you are like a typical blogger then you have subscribed to various forums, joined countless Facebook Groups, participate regularly in Link-up parties, constantly pin blogging tips, info graphics, and html how-to’s; and have created so many accounts on SO many websites that you have to keep a running list of all your passwords.
This list grows daily.
Your inbox is filled with dozens of newsletters from random sites with all the latest advice on SEO, social media marketing, photography tips, copy writing and affiliate programs. It takes you at least an hour every day just to sift through the junk in search of a legitimate email… from a real person.
Then there is creating content… original content. The kind of content that is sure to go viral. Content that the world has never seen before and that will land you your big break with a super sized mega publisher or even… a super sized mega brand! Ooh!
Once you have your never-been-done-before creative genuineness composed… you hit publish, then you:
- Send it
- Pin it
- Stumble it
- Tweet it
- Share it
- Facebook it
- Hootesuite it
- Viraltag it
- Google + it
- Newsletter it
- Submit it
- Youtube it
- Linky share it
- Instagram it
- AND…. repeat
And this is what happens AFTER you create that stellar content. Of course, as you scroll through the never ending feed of Pinterest land, you discover that someone else has indeed done something similar to your beloved creation and you think…
“Hey! That was MY idea!”
To make sure you were in fact first, you click through and find out that this post was written… 3 years ago. Hmph! (but mine is better…you tell your bruised ego)
Blogging isn’t just a full time job… it’s a frigging LIFESTYLE!
Every task you perform throughout the day, even if it’s wiping down the kitchen counter, has a running commentary in your head:
“Then, once that dries you….”
And for those crafts, DIY’s and recipes you DO plan to share… WELL… those take 3… (more like 4 or 5), times longer than they normally would because you have to keep stopping to stage your work space for the step by step photographs you MUST take.
Yet… STILL… after all this, you read a post in one of your 23 Facebook group feeds about some other newfangled app, plugin, analytic tool you SHOULD be using too. Or an in-depth discussion (which you get sucked into reading all 138 comments) about creating channels on Adsense, or applying for this or that affiliate program, or how your recently revamped social sharing strategy is all wrong…again.
“Ok, so the best time to post on Pinterest for my time zone is…”
I have done and am currently doing all of the above. Whilst trying to juggle a ‘real’ full time job (more than full time, like 50-60 hours a week, ack!), tend to my garden, nurture my relationships, prepare nutritious meals, do the grocery shopping, help out at events, start an online business, and when I can… maybe do a load of laundry or two.
When I finally have a little time to check out my forums and blogger groups, I realize that there is SO much I do not know. I don’t understand half the lingo the ‘other’ bloggers are chatting about, and I think…
“They are ALL smarter than me!”
If I browse other bloggers websites, Facebook pages, and other social streams… I get number envy.
“How the hell did you get ‘X’ amount of followers?? I’m still trying to break 1000 on Twitter and that has been an monumental task… I SUCK!”
When I visit a forum to find out how to fix the ‘thingy’ on my website, I’m reminded that I should try to incorporate a web design course into my ‘must learn how’ to-do list.
This list also grows daily.
So, what IS the right way to do this blogging thing? And when will you know your doing it right?
Here’s my advice… don’t follow anyone’s advice. Follow your instinct! You’ll go crazy trying to do every. single. thing that is mentioned or shared in all those posts, forums, and feeds you read from. Ok… yes. Learn, apply, and grow from the tips you pick up along the way. I did. But I stopped beating myself up a year ago trying to keep up with the Joneses.
It doesn’t matter where you are in your journey, you will always be in the middle. You’ve got more than the person who just started, and less than the person who has been doing it longer than you.
I simply don’t have the time (I wish my blog WAS my full time job) to do everything I read about. Has that cost me? Probably. I’m sure if I gave up a few things on my ‘real life’ list I would have more than 1000 Twitter followers by now, but then my husband and I would have to get used to wearing dirty clothes, which isn’t an option.
But is NOT having those big numbers really hurting me?
Depends. What am I trying to achieve?
I’m not going to tipsy toe down the path under the guise that I do this for the love of sharing and connecting with all of man kind. I’m doing this for the money. Yes, I said it. And I know there are some old school, hard core bloggers out there cursing my inter-web existence right now.
I love creating, I love connecting, I love being able to share an idea and be blessed with an email or comment from someone on the other side of the world that I inspired or helped in some way. That is the gravy my friends… when THAT happens.
But I have this crazy idea that I want to love what I do….AND get paid for it.
If that’s wrong, then I’m not only failing at blogging… I’m failing at LIFE!
I bust my hump to get those posts out with the schedule I have and I’ve made a promise to myself that I won’t push out content unless I’m proud of it just for the sake of publishing ‘something’ everyday because somewhere I read that that’s the right thing to do.
People are busy… really busy. And there is so much to see, read, and watch on the web that I really don’t expect that I’m ‘connecting’ with ALL my readers. Actually, I expect that the majority of them do a mad dash in, collect the info they want to consume and bounce right back on out.
In FACT… if you’ve reached this point in my post, please leave me a comment. I would love to see how many people actually read this far!
SO… am I making any money you ask?
Yes, finally. It’s not much but it’s better than a kick in the pants. And it’s more than I made when I was doing all of this blogging stuff for free. My blog is growing and so am I. But it didn’t happen over night and I still expect more hump busting in my future.
What I’m trying to say to all you bloggers out there that visited this page to find out if your doing this blogging thing right is this…
YES! KEEP GOING!
What gives me the authority to tell you this? Well, I’m not a ‘big’ blogger BUT I have achieved a few things in my blogging career thus far that some of those bloggers with ‘bigger’ numbers may not have accomplished, yet.
- I made Cover of GreenCraft Magazine
- I was a Selected Michaels Craft Store Blogger ( 1 of 4 Canadians from over 100 chosen across North America)
- I made 4 TV appearances this past year demonstrating my projects from my blog
- I have been featured in dozens of on-line magazines (some super sized mega ones!)
- I am being approached by brands instead of approaching them, finally
- I get stuff sent to me for free in the mail
- And my Pinterest Followship recently grew to 145,000 in just a few weeks after sitting at 15,000 for the past 2 years’!.
How did I do it?
By NOT doing what everybody else was. I just kept prodding down my own path. It’s a lie to believe that you can only achieve success one way. That there is a magic formula when applied just right, will guarantee you a win. Totally false!
I don’t share my triumphs to be a braggart. I’m sharing them to show you that you can achieve these things too by just being you. Almost all of the above was accomplished this past year from a girl who didn’t even have time to put her Christmas lights up.. seriously! And I’m a Christmas Decorator!
Whenever I read through the forums and group feeds and start to feel like I’m missing something or I should be doing what everybody else is doing, (I never had time to do my ‘BEST of 2014’ post, doh!)….I remind myself:
“Hey, you have achieved some major milestones without doing all that stuff… stay focused!”
And that my friends brings me to my Power Word of the year (yes I know… this is such a blogger-ism, but I happen to believe this one works!)
I REALLY need to take my own advice on this one. This quote came to me through my ear buds while cleaning my house from the podcast Entrepreneur on Fire. You listen to business podcasts right? If you don’t, then start. Because blogging for income IS a business and you need to learn about that too.
Staying focused also means narrowing down your niche. Having everything from recipes to organization tips waters down your ‘brand’. This can be tough because your most likely very good at a lot of things and want to share it all… but figure out what your ‘stupid human trick’ is, that thing that no one else can do, and get really, really, REALLY good at that!
Of course, this is coming from a Christmas Decorating, Crafting, Horticulturist. I’m good at all of these things, but I know that in order for me to grow, I’ll need to put my energy into one niche. This purging will be painful and if it isn’t then I haven’t given up enough!
Stay the course, don’t try to do everything you read, and believe in yourself.
Now go be fabulous and create something the world has never EVER seen 😉