Friday 17 February 2012

You don't have to be everyones Best Friend to be a Blogging Success

Today on the blog we have Clare, she blogs at Seasider in the City and is one of the nicest bloggers that I have had the pleasure to meet. (I tried hard to think of a word better than 'nicest' as I know some people think nice is limp but that is not the case at all). Not only is Clare nice she is also feisty, opinionated and fun to be with, well that is what I think, here is what she says about herself -

Clare is the tangerine dreamer behind Seasider in the City, with an undying love of family, golf and food and on an eternal quest to lose weight and get fit with minimal effort. The best is yet to come…

In many areas of my life I don’t quite fit the normal stereotype. For many years I was one of the few straight members of a women’s football team, at the golf club I am very competitive which is quite unheard of amongst the women, as an IT manager I am pretty ungeeky, and certainly don’t spend my free time talking techie (unlike the group I overheard in the pub on Friday), and in the office I wear jeans and no makeup (gasp).

All these things make it at times difficult to fit in, I am not welcomed with open arms, more eyed with suspicion.

I have found blogging to be along the same lines. I see posts on blogs and forums saying you must do ‘this’ and you should never do ‘that’ and I smile to myself thinking I do exactly the opposite of that, and so what?

There are times when not being part of the ‘in’ crowd hurts a little, you see conversations on twitter and when you try and join in you are not really made welcome, sometimes you may tweet asking for help, knowing that the people that can are online right now, and you are ignored. Other times there is just the frustrating thing of commenting on a post and the blogger replies to every single other reply but not yours! It’s hard but slowly I am toughening up, developing a thick skin in blogging as I have done in the rest of my life.

Just over a year ago, when I started to write, I so desperately wanted to fit in and be liked. I would do anything not to rock the boat and jumped through hoops to try and be popular. I look back on this time and feel ashamed. It wasn’t me, who was I trying to kid – it was like turning up to work with straight hair and a full face of make-up! I even deleted a review post I had written because there was a lot of negative talk about the brand – I had no issue with the brand and I really liked the product, I didn’t even contact the PR to apologise. I removed it, just in case someone thought badly of me. How shallow!

What have I done then? I have written what and when I wanted. I join in with linkies, I review quite a lot of products. I do care about statistics though, even if I am told I shouldn’t – I like to do things well. My blog has grown beyond belief and I am proud of this, it is something I have done.

Most importantly though I have made some really good friends, pinpointed some fellow bloggers that are happy to share both their opinions and their time. They are happy to give advice whether you are brand new or been around the block a few times. They keep my feet on the ground and are a voice of reason if I think people are being mean!

My advice – don’t try too hard (at least not for too long)! If you are new and want some friends come and find me and anyone else appearing in Michelle’s new blogger fortnight – obviously you have already found the fabulous lady in question and she is well worth a follow too ;-)

Thank you Clare for sharing so honestly, I read this post and felt a little tug at my heart, in 500 words Clare summed up my life.  I have never been THE one, the one everyone wanted to be friends with.  I was always on the outskirts of the 'in' crowd and trying to fit in, trying to make sure everyone liked me.  Then a few years ago I grew up and stopped trying so hard and since then I have been a much happier woman.  When I first came to blogging, like Clare I found it incredibly tough and wanted to rise to the heady height so blogging stardom (if there is such a thing! lol) and what I found was that when I was focused on the stats and how popular my blog was I was at my most unhappiest and not feeling in the slightest joyful at what was being achieved. Things started to get taken for granted, I got to number 2 in the Wikio (now ebuzzing) parenting blog chart - so what? I had over 20,000 page views and just over 10,000 unique visitors in a month - yeah and...? My Klout score reached about 65 and my self-esteem reached about 2!

When I stay true to the reasons I blog, I am happiest and then things really do fall into place.  Making friends like Clare = result! 11,000 page views in a day on my blog as I was helping @ChristineMosler and Save the Children with their #healthworkers campaign = phenomenal and passing on the blog love in New Bloggers Fortnight - yep that rocks!

Thanks for reading, stay true to yourself and let yourself shine.  We can not all be the best read blog out there but we can all be happy and enjoy what we have instead of hankering after more and more, which I promise you might not be that satisfying at all when you get it....  You know what they say, be careful what you wish for!

Late tomorrow on New Bloggers Fortnight I welcome the superb Ruth from Geek Mummy, I put some questions to her that new bloggers had asked me and she comes up tops with the answers.  Check back to find out about SEO, no-follow links and ranking metrics.

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