I’ve wanted to write a blog for a long time. Why? Because I love writing. It’s that simple. It wasn’t to use as a platform for self promotion, or to get freebies or recognition, or even necessarily to engage with people. It’s purely for me.
Which is a good job really, because gaining followers is tough! I’ve been blogging now for coming up to 4 months, and I’ve posted a lot of content, but there doesn’t seem to be any regularity of followers, much growth in numbers or a lot of interaction. Maybe it’s because there isn’t a lot of consistency. I flit from food to clothes to travel to music. There’s not a lot of beauty because I’m not that into it (not to say I don’t wear make up or want to look good, obvs, I’m just not a product junkie). Seemingly it’s the beauty side of blogging that people seem to respond to most. But, because I blog for me, the feel of my site is very much like the inside of my head – all over the place!
A lot of blog advice columns suggest finding your niche so that people know what to expect. What if you don’t have a niche? Or an angle? What if there isn’t one thing that you want to be known for? Does that mean you shouldn’t blog?
Of course it doesn’t. But I guess it does mean that you should be prepared to wonder whether you’re talking to yourself! And that, if you are, that’s perfectly OK.
As a Twitter virgin, I recently moved into a job where I have responsibility for the company social media. That meant a crash course in Twitter, and how better to try things than to set up a personal account? And so I have, unwittingly, found myself trying to promote my personal blog and, I guess, myself. Shamelessly tagging blog promoters in the hope that they’ll retweet me and I’ll reach a bigger audience. And every time I do it I feel like a number hungry desperado. Even more so when my blog traffic doesn’t increase anyway!
The other thing I wasn’t prepared for? How having a blog has changed my outlook on things I do. I take a lot more photographs now. Only last Friday my husband told me off for taking photos of our food in a restaurant. I look at things in terms of how they’ll translate onto the blog. I think about it a lot – way more than I probably should!
My Mom “doesn’t get” blogging and that’s probably the case for a lot of people. I’m sure to many it comes across as vain or self centred. Not at all. Twitter has made me more critical of myself and my appearance. Seeing other Twitter accounts, shamelessly promoting their blogs, obviously leads to curiosity, nosiness and comparisons. Younger, prettier, cooler, with better hair and photography skills. And that’s dangerous.
Asking myself, am I too old for this, when the average age seems below 30? Also dangerous, not least because I can’t do anything about how old I am!
Anything that brings out negative traits and self doubt should be discouraged, surely? But yet I still enjoy it. Maybe not the Twitter side of things so much; the need for validation and the constant stream of people linking to their blogs, the elitism amongst well established users and the seeming exclusion of newer kids to the block. But the writing, yes I enjoy it. I enjoy composing my blog posts; organising my thoughts into words and articulating them accordingly. So what if my photos aren’t magazine quality and I don’t review the latest MAC lipsticks? So what if I very rarely get comments and don’t really know if anyone is even reading most of the time?
Because, ultimately, it shouldn’t matter. I know, deep down, that I’m doing this for my own personal enjoyment. I write about the stuff that I would want to read elsewhere, in my own voice, in a way that reflects me. And, because I can’t be anyone else, or think in any other way, that will just have to be good enough.
PS – if anyone is reading and would like to let me know, feel free to do so! But if not, that’s fine too; I’ll just carry on doing this for li’l ol’ me!