Monday 19 November 2012

Dear bloggers - be careful what you wish for....

In terms of the UK blogging scene I feel a bit like a Grandma now.  I have been hanging round like a bad smell since 2009 and this means I have been through quite a number of (both personal and bloggy) ups and down and seen lots of phases, linkys, memes, awards, spats and all the other stuff too.

You are probably aware that one human year is the equivalent to seven dog years, well I have a new ratio for you - one human year is the equivalent to 10 blog years. So, if you mature by 10 years for each year you have been around the blogging scene and I started blogging at age 36 that makes me now in excess of 70 years old and much wiser with it!

I thought it was high time I shared some of this worldly blogger wisdom with you and the biggest thing I want to share is to be careful what you wish for.  It is really easy as a new blogger to believe that the grass is greener on the side of the established blogger.

We often see new bloggers wishing that they -

  • could receive loads of comments on every post published
  • have thousands of page views per day
  • could hit the top of the parenting ranking charts
  • have an inbox full of PR emails
  • could attend the best events
  • are noticed on twitter by everyone and his dog, this of course results in a Klout score of about 92

But guess what? Blogging is a double edged sword.  For every plus that comes with one of those things listed above, there are the polar opposites too. And I have to be honest and say I get very fed up of those newer bloggers whining about the downsides of blogging once they start to get what they wished for. No-one promised roses remember!

We (me included in the early days and still sometimes when my insecurities raise their head) wish for the heady heights of blogger stardom. We want to be the best blog out there, the one that everyone loves to visit and chat about, we want to attend the glam parties with the big fish but I personally find it is all incredibly hard work and it takes a lot of effort to sustain.

It might be your bag to work your arse off to have the best blog out there and if it is, fair play, stop reading now as this is not for you.

If however, blogging is a great hobby - where you meet some friends, showcase your work, record wonderful family memories, receive a few perks and it does not dominate your life then keep on remembering that being really popular is bloody hard work. I promise you that if you get too tied up in the pursuit of bloggy stardom without thinking through the consequences then you might just end up very unhappy.

Image Credit

Let me share the other edge of the knife with you, the realism of the dream if you like -
You desire…. It feels ….
100's of comments like hard work, they all need responding to  & you should reciprocate. How many blogs can you get round in 2 hours do you reckon?  Pressure!
1000's of pageviews bloody good.... but you then have a taste for it and YOU MUST BLOG EVERY DAY!
to be top of the charts like even more work, you need to work out a plan & every day no fail - tweet, join in linkys, Triberr, google +, stumble, digg, pin, LAB & promote even more…  Oh and don't forget to help other bloggers, offer advice, write for other sites and offer your time for events too!
to receive all the best PR pitches 1. demoralising - as many address you as 'hey you', 'Dear Sylvia' (who is Slyvia?) etc & it takes hours to answer them all, as you want to remain professional.     2. like even more pressure as you end up over committing yourself and then resent the free crap you were sent and have to write about (OK it might not be crap, it might be worth £150 but do you need it?/ Will it make you happy?)
to attend the best events like it can't be achieved - you need to work, walk the dog, cook meals, look after the kids, do school drops and get in and out of London every other day - arrgghh!
to be the top tweeter out there like you can never have a holiday, as if you do your Klout score may just go down.  Oh well, who needs a rest anyway?
OK maybe I exaggerate a bit, but you get my point, yes?  Please don't moan about something that you desired. If it is making you unhappy and it is not for you then make a change. Take your name off lists, make it clear you do not want PR pitches, remove yourself from a ranking. Do what it takes to make yourself feel good and balanced again but please don't litter the places I visit with your unhappy or sarky posts about how PR's ought to read your blog before approaching you and how few people have commented on your blog recently.

Just stop and think to yourself what you can do about this because you cannot change them, only your reaction.

Blogging is a brilliant thing but it can take over your life and sometimes we all need to stand back and reflect. January will be my month for reflection and time out.

Anything you need to step away from right now?
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