It’s about to get beef bomby up in here, so prepare yourselves. Depending on how you interpret that, you could be feeling very different things right now.
Blogging, ya’ll. What is it even?
I’ve mentioned a time or 10 how I’m a writer who just so happens to use the blogging platform to get my writing “out there”. As such, I’m by no means an expert on the topic. However, I’ve been doing the grunt work long enough to have noticed a few things.
Ready? Let’s go!
1. The “Market” is Saturated
Ya’ll, we’re all just one of millions. Literally millions. There are millions of blogs on the interwebs. If you are doing this blogging thing to be noticed; if you’re blogging to earn money; if you’re writing on the blogging platform to get your writing read and/or to be found, GOOD LUCK.
I’m not saying that sarcastically either. I really mean it. You’re going to need some serious luck of the Irish or some other historically magical luck to distinguish yourself in a major way.
I’ve had many discussions with fellow bloggers on this topic, and the general consensus is that bloggers who have ended up rich and famous started blogging and writing smack dab in the middle of the sweet spot of the Blogging Leads to Fame and Fortune era.
There are plenty (actually a fuck ton) of bloggers who make income from their blog via affiliate links, advertising, and utilizing SEO like bosses, but I’m not referring to them here. I’m talking about bloggers who have used their blogging platform to become extremely well known, published authors a la Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess) or Allie Brosh.
So, if blogging is just a step in the direction of your ultimate goal of being a published writer, just get to writing on your book, baby.
I used to actually, and don’t laugh when you read this, think I’d be “discovered” because of my blog. I know, embarrassing, right? The reality is, though, among millions of other bloggers vying for readership, I’m just another asshole who thinks my blog is going to become famous. Learn from me, just write the damn book.
2. They’ll Help You, But For a Price
If you are currently blogging about blogging or offering e-courses on SEO, rock on with your bad self. Anyone smart enough to monetize where the gettin is good is money goals in my mind.
That doesn’t make the bad feeling I have about this business go away, though.
Whenever I wish to educate myself on monetizing options for my blog, I usually click on a blog post about SEO or affiliate links and I’m lead down a veritable rabbit hole of advertisements, newsletter pop ups, and the promise I’ll turn my lame blog around just so long as I sign up for an e-course or I pay an un-godly amount of money to receive consultation on my brand. This inevitably reminds me of all the times I was dumb enough to invest in and try to sell Mary Kay or Scentsy or dōTERRA.
They get you with the promise of a “nominal” fee and the insistence that you’ll be CEO of the business in “no time”.
It’s the same thing with blogging courses and blog consultations. Maybe you will learn something and be successful like them or maybe you won’t, because remember- there are millions of others doing the same exact thing as you.
I’m not saying these courses are all crap or the people offering them are part of some pyramid scheme, but what I am saying is nothing in the blogging world is free or guaranteed. Be savvy about how and where you invest your money, especially if you started your blog as a hobby and you are literally making zero money doing it.
3. The Dumbing Down
I don’t care if this isn’t a fact- or researched-based opinion, because what I see with my pretty perceptive eyes is that a huge amount of people on this planet are dumb as fuck.
The kinds of things that go viral all over social media are quick and easy to read memes, gifs, funny videos, and graphics. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good meme or gif. In fact, I can entertain myself for an embarrassingly long amount of time just scrolling through funny bullshit on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. But, I fear that this is the limit to many people’s attention spans or interests- a pretty picture or easy to read snippets of information.
When you’re a writer, you put blood, sweat, and tears into content for people on the internet to (hopefully) read, but many just click onto your post to watch the funny gif and then they leave.
I have heard/read the words, “People just aren’t reading blogs as much anymore” far too often in the last year.
I think it’s true. And, I think people are choosing to read an eight word meme over your 800 word post because it’s quicker and easier.
4. The Balance
Probably one of the hardest aspects of being a blogger is finding the time to keep up with the blogs I follow. Not only do I want to read them, it’s also nice to comment, like and, perhaps, even share on various social media outlets. I mean, I want other people to do the same for me, so I can’t not return the love.
This is where things become a precarious balancing act.
When I have to decide between 20+ blog posts to read during my rushed 20 minute lunch, I either read only one or two or I skim read them all.
I don’t have an endless amount of time to read blogs, as much as I’d love to be able to do that all the time (how glorious of a career would Professional Blog Reader be?). Yet, I hope others will have the time to read my blog.
It’s such a crazy, fucked up thing, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this balancing act. It’s like we’re all saying, “I don’t have time to read your blog, but read mine, mmmkay?”
But, if we all do that, though, no one will read any blogs. And then, the blogosphere will implode, and all of our hard work will die a terrible death.
I’m still working on how to read all of my favorite blogs and sleep…
5. The Like vs. Traffic Debate
How much traffic your blog receives is only revealed to you, unless you wish to share it. However, how many likes your post gets and the amount of quality comments at the end of your post is viewable and it means something.
I mean, it should mean something.
To me, likes and comments are like passport stamps from the visitors of your blog. They are trophies. They are getting the gold.
The more likes and comments I get, the prouder I feel about my post and how it was received by my readers.
Likes and comments are also a visual to new visitors that make me look more credible as an established blogger. As much as you don’t want to accept this fact, we all know you’re secretly ashamed of that post you did last year that only garnered two likes and zero comments. At least, that’s how I feel about that asshole post…
That said, this is how I measure the success of my posts. Not everyone is the same. Many people consider traffic to their blog to be more important and that’s just fine, especially if they’re monetizing. In that case, traffic is the gold.
The great thing about blogging is that it can literally be and mean anything to you. Find value where you wish.
If you’re new to blogging or you are just not seeing the amount of likes or comments on your posts that you’d like, assess how welcoming you are to visitors. Does it take you a week to respond to a comment? Do you not respond in a way that keeps the discussion going? Are your responses pretty canned? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you need to up your commenting game.
Also, asking a question that is related to your post topic, like, “What do you think the little hole in the crotch of Spanx is for?” (that’ll really get ’em talking) can help facilitate discussion in the comment section.
I could go on. There’s so much more I can say about my blogging beefs and truths, but I think this is more than enough for now.
Blogging isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, so spill it. What grates on your nerves. What annoys you the most? Let it out, babes.