[This entry should be subtitled: or, housekeeping explaining the changes around here]
I’ve been mentioning off and on for the past few months that I’ve been under a lot of blogging related stress-in large part because of something I call blogger-plague.
Blogger-plague is the emotional firestorm that comes when you decide that since all the big name bloggers seem to be able to have professional grade photography, viral worthy projects, perfect personal lives, and an absolutely loving, supportive we’re-going-to-share-everything-you-post-even-if-it’s-an-out-of-context-photo-of-an-apple-core blogging network (I have honestly seen the same link shared 10 times by 10 different bloggers in my Facebook feed within a three hour period. As a reader, not a blogger, I can tell you I was annoyed enough by the end of the day, I didn’t click on it at all. Blunt, harsh, and probably against the whole point of a link share, but true-overexposure can tip into spam if you’re not careful), you must be doing something wrong as a blogger. I -know- I’m not the only one that faces this, I’ve read multiple entries on this subject from different people across the web about this during this summer and fall.
I seriously considered walking away from blogging, which I do because I enjoy it and ironically it’s supposed to be stress relief, because I felt like I was faking it and unworthy. If the Internet doesn’t care about me, why should I care about me?
But ultimately, I didn’t because I actually enjoy it. I did take a couple of steps to address it. This is what I did:
1. Confession: random number generators
Yes. That’s why, while I run two blog hops, the second only appears, well, randomly. Whether or not I post two hops is dependent on what a coin flip tells me. Whether or not I post a given day (other than Sundays or Tuesdays) is because of what a coin flip tells me. It’s a weird system, but it works for me, and keeps the blog up to date because there’s a 50-50 chance of posting that day.
2. Write What You Like
At some point I started writing about what I thought blog hop readers, ‘big’ bloggers, and social media wanted-and not what I wanted. I went the entire month of February without writing a single horror entry. Which is pretty impressive since this is as much a HORROR blog as it is a lifestyle blog. I gave up and decided to stop chasing trends-especially since I don’t like washi tape, bacon, or honey sriracha lime dishes-and suddenly found myself happier with the process.
3. Find the appropriate social media
I have about doubled my yearly hits, just between August and now. How? I found out that StumbleUpon loves paranormal entries and anything tagged bizarre/oddities. Loves it. I started sharing that content over there and suddenly achieve ‘normal’ blog status. This ties into #2-it’s not that nobody wants to read what I write, but there’s no point in denying I’m never going to be huge on Pinterest for my food entries.
4. Stop caring about stats-and especially stop caring about other people’s stats.
I’ve heard people complaining that they only got 10,000 hits a week. Dude, that’s what I get most months. Calm down. I hate being that blunt about it, but I’m not sure what we’re supposed to feel when I read these ‘confessions’. I became a happier person when I stopped caring. And that applies to my own blog-I’m already sitting at more than double the hits for November 2014 than for November 2013. I think I’m doing okay, and a slow day is just that-a slow day. They’re not all going to be record setters.
5. Don’t follow trends
I do fiber. I don’t do Pinterest crafts. We don’t have a huge family, so the Thanksgiving entries with huge amounts of food are sort of irrelevant in my life. I can’t have kids […ha, ha, nothing like dropping huge confessions, right? But seriously, it’s not a big deal. It might be for other people, and I understand why, but it’s not for me-but that’s a whole other series of entries] so parenting entries aren’t going to happen. I have issues with gluten but I don’t have Celiacs, I have no issues with meat though I acknowledge that we need to change the meat industry, and please don’t get me started on Paleo as a social historian. What I’m saying is that I was trying to be something that I’m not, and it was driving me crazy-and the quality of my writing was suffering. When I stopped, I was suddenly a happier person.
So the short of it is, I started writing about what I wanted-including the horror of Horrific Knits-when I wanted and a lot less often, and I was suddenly a happier, more productive blogger.