Welcome back to my discussion feature, Freadom Speaks!
I’ve been struggling with this topic for the last month of so. I’ve already mentioned that September was a really hard month for me and October hasn’t been the best either. And for some reason, blogging has started to become a struggle as well which sucks because I love doing this so much. And I thought what better way to work through this than to talk to my fellow bloggers and friends and see if someone can relate to what I’m going through.
SO let’s get started!
Most people consider blogging to be a hobby (I am not one of them) but it’s still something that requires a lot of time and effort to do. There’s a lot of different things that come into it like design, advertisement and actually writing posts. I’m a perfectionist so when I find something that I enjoy doing, I tend to focus my energy on making sure that I do the best I can at it. It becomes really important for me to excel at whatever that is that I enjoy, whether it’s horseback riding, dancing, singing, work and blogging. It’s not the healthiest part of my personality though I’m learning how to manage it better so it doesn’t begin to cripple me.
However, this causes me to place a lot of pressure on mysel and that’s what’s happened with blogging. I haven’t stopped enjoying it by any means, every day I find something more about it that I like, but sometimes these particular pressures that I’m going to talk about now make me feel discouraged because I start to think that I’m not pulling them off as well as everybody else.
Here are some of the things I feel pressured to do when it comes to blogging:
1. Not pay attention to stats/follower count
Most bloggers when giving advice suggest that you don’t pay much attention to your stats and follower count unless it’s a big number or WordPress notifies you of a new milestone. And this is really hard for me. I know those two things aren’t everything, and that having a big follower count don’t make me a better blogger than having a smaller count but it’s really hard. They’re the first thing you see when you go on WordPress and most of the time, it’s encouraging to see those numbers go up every day. Lately, they’ve been going down and the reasons why are pretty endless but it’s still something that made me feel a bit down myself. It’s hard not to beat myself up or to think that I’m doing something wrong and that’s why I’m getting less views. I look at other bloggers’ posts and they always seem to be doing so much better than my own and I wonder what it is that makes me less noticeable. I know it’s not something that I should do, and that these kinds of things can’t be measured and that there’s no “code” or “limit” to what success is like as a blogger. But I put so much love and effort into my blog and sometimes it sucks to feel like my content isn’t as great as everyone else’s.
2. Keep up with commenting (responding to others’ comments and commenting on others’ posts)
I’ve always tried to keep up with responding to comments on my own posts. I use the WordPress app and I tend to check it every morning before work and throughout the day just so I know what readers think of my posts and to see what discussions I can have with followers. But commenting of others’ posts has become a bit hard lately. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them, but I’m having less time to read them and even less time to comment on my thoughts. But then I feel bad because I consider a lot of the bloggers I follow to be friends and I want them to feel like what they have to say matters because that’s what I want for myself. But sometimes days will pass and I haven’t checked my feed or I look through it but don’t really read anything. I feel like commenting is one of the fastest ways to make friends and connections in blogging so I don’t want this non-commenting thing to get away from me. Interacting with fellow bloggers is really fun and some people have the most amazing ideas and you can never really have too many book friends to talk to.
3. Be active on various social media
Instagram and Twitter are really popular social media for the book community. There’s a lot of blogger to blogger, author to author, and blogger to author interaction that creates connection and love within the comminity. But I suck at both these things. I started a bookstagram along with my Booktube channel and still have it now to go along with my blog but I don’t take book pictures. I have the unfornate pleasure of living in a third world country where batteries are nonexistent or really expensive so my camera has been unused for a really long time. And since I don’t have a big physical library and I read mostly on Kindle (which is on my phone so I can’t even use that camera), I don’t really take pictures of books. I want to so bad though! I feel like I’m missing out on getting to know awesome book people by not being involved as much as everyone else. And then there’s Twitter. I am on there all day every day. I retweet constantly and am always liking a lot of people’s statuses and stuff. But I totally suck at sharing my own. I don’t know why completely. I feel like my life is pretty boring (I read, blog and work almost exclusively) so I don’t really have much to share in that regard. And I also feel like the things I want to say are so much better said by other people. Some of my friends are completely hilarious or just really insightful and I have serious stage fright with sharing my thoughts on Twitter, not only because they don’t seem that necessary or because I also feel like if I say anything controversial on purpose or by accident I’ll get eaten alive haha. But really, these places are crawling with amazing, charismatic and nice book people but I just can’t seem to put myself out there.
4. Post consistently
I’m pretty sure I’m one of the only bloggers that take this topic as seriously as I do. I know that most people post 3 to 4 times a week, I post 6 to 7 times a week. But the amount doesn’t matter I think (most of the time) as long as you do it consistently. Being consistent is something I believe is attractive to readers. I know that when I look for blogs to follow one of the things that is important to me is that it’s someone who has shared something recently and that makes the time to blog if it’s something that they really want to do. But sometimes it’s so hard! Sometimes, I just don’t really know what to say or what to talk about. Sometimes, I just don’t have the energy to write and schedule all the posts that I’ve set up for the week. Sometimes I want to take a break just for a little while, to read more maybe, but I get instantly petrified that everyone will forget about me and my little corner of the book community if they don’t see something from me every day.
5. Share creative content
This is probably the one that is the hardest for me to get over. It’s something I pretty much obsess and agonize over all the time, how to come up with creative things to share on my blog. A lot of the times I feel like I share the same things every week, every month and I do. There’s always tags and memes and reviews and a feature or two which makes it easy to schedule but maybe not so appealing to read all the time. But I just don’t have any creative ideas! I see all these bloggers coming up with unique and interesting things to get the book community involed. From thought-provoking discussions to month long featurettes and interactive readathons, so many people have innovative ideas to share. And I don’t. And it sucks. I want to move away from my accustomed posts but I don’t really know where to start.
I know what most people would say to these pressures and worries. Not to focus so much, things happen, people are busy, there’s no need to worry, post what you want to share, etc. And they’d be right but I know that how I feel about these things makes me human. That these things can be stressful but all I really want to hear sometimes is that I’m not the only perso who feels pressure, or who worries, or who cares about their stats haha. I just want to know that I’m not alone.
So that’s it for this post! I would love to know if any of you feel pressure when blogging and in what kind of things they come up. Maybe you have some that I haven’t even thought of, let me know in the comments. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!