Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What I Would Say to the Hesitant Blogger

"Life is like a box of chocolates," Forrest Gump once said. "You never know what you're gonna get."

Lately, I've seen what seems like everywhere on social media, it seems to me that people are bashing the Blog and the good of Blogging, again. ;)  It goes through seasons, but a mighty few podcasts and former bloggers have once again doubted the good of Mommy Blogging.

Honestly, it makes me sad to see so many people shying away from regular posting and blogging. Jenna Blythe Christy Misssssssss you!!! Fortunately we have Grace and Ana and Carolyn's latest to keep our feed readers full!  I understand the sometimes necessary "radio silence," but does this mean we have lost our identity as Mommy Bloggers? Are we unsure of what content is "good stuff" and so we are turning into robots-of-random? Have we lost our soul?!

It does make me sad to see this reticence, however, I've done it during certain seasons of my life/blogging life. I get that sometimes you need a break or a chance to slow down... sometimes waaaaaaay down. ;) But I feel like even though I've had periods of silence, I'm finally at a more comfortable place with blogging, and steady pace in blogging for myself, and I like being where I am! I'll tell you why a) I think bloggers should keep blogging and b) why I feel more comfortable in my own blogging skin. :0)

We need a Blogging Renaissance! Keep it alive, keep the good ones going!

So without further ado, five reasons the blog ain't dead!

1. First off, Don't Stop. I want to know what you've got to say. Say it girl!

I hear from many of my colleagues that they have "so many posts in drafts that I just can't seem to click Publish on!" If you can barely publish a post per week, then that sounds like good old fashioned fear to me.  Honestly, I don't want your blog to be Perfect Perfection like Sally-Jean-Jo-Bob. I just want you to be you! Not her! I'm wondering about you, girlfriend! Don't be too proud to shake down and post something on the ol' blog once in a while! We miss you(r posts) while you're gone! ;)

2. Second, don't do it for money. But like Social Media, Blogging is a tool.

What's the difference between posting a long "thought" and picture on Instagram vs. just blogging? (Oh no, here she goes...) #notmuch What is there to fear in blogging that isn't to fear on instagram? Unless you have a private setting on instagram (or want to set your blog to private... been there, done that, not worth it). Do you only post the back of your kids' heads on your blog, but take pictures of them on instagram anyway? Honestly that is hypocritical.

e.g.  I have a friend who has a skincare business, and she meets people through Social Media. Said people have come to her house to purchase products from her.

Lesson: The internet is a tool. It is something we can definitely use for good. (There is so much more I could say about this topic, as my husband works for a company whose work is primarily online, and because blogging is a passion of mien!) Use it to grow!!!

Still posting cute pictures of your kids on Facebook and getting 500 likes? #thatspublicinitsownway
Even though a blog is a risk in the way that you are putting it on the world wide web, the nice thing about blogging is the community that you can find by putting your writing in a special place (like link-ups, or FB groups), that isn't your Facebook wall. Community is superior to money-making!

I have found that almost all of my traffic is coming from like-minded bloggers, friends, and fellow link-up participants. You would be surprised (if you are the type of person who is constantly on the defensive or lives in a fear bubble LOL;), but my traffic is almost 100% what I would consider "safe traffic." If I had a problem with spam or scary commenters, I would consider how to take further action and go from there. You should not have to deal with that, and I think the years that have passed since blogging came into its own alongside other social media platforms and e-zines, and the time passed has made it a tad bit safer, one hopes!! And that's how really it seems to me based on my stats. A private blog has no place on this earth. .......    there, I said it! :0)  (Just take a break!)

Rocking it like a rockstar on Twitter? Well damn, good for you. It feels good to use social media in a more professional way than Facebook. I mean admit it- it does! Doesn't it?! #itdoesfeelgood
Keep going Twitter rockstars. I follow you for a reason- it's because you definitely inspire me! ;)

3. Third, Blogging doesn't have to be awkward or weird.

So you're self-publishing. You're not a newspaper or a magazine. You aren't turning over a single.dime. How dare you use the internet to spread ideas, thoughts, love and good cheer (and the occasional cutie picture of your kiddo)? I think the real problem and the root of all of this fear of blogging is that we are not regularly posting. From my own experience, I would assert that if you get into a routine for yourself, you will feel ten times more "normal" about it and less worried, like, "I'm all OUT THERE for everyone in the world to see! AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!"  If you say to yourself "Two times a week. Monday and Thursday. 9am" You will have a HUGE sense of relief. You will feel peace. You will not feel embarrassed. You will rock it, and bonus? You'll grow. ;) There is also a safe and sensible way to be vulnerable online without TMI.  Imitate your favorite professional online platforms if you are in any way insecure, and just go from there.

4. Fourth, after you find your "niche," find your professional socks and wear them.

Seriously. Are you weirded out because you once bared your soul, got no response, and then shuddered in your bathroom for an hour?  Here are three things you can do about that right now.

You can either:

a) Go back and delete said post and hope no one ever clicks on it or tries to respond to it ever again  (LOL) and Carry on, Blogger-- we love you! We really do! And we miss you when you're gone!


b) Start over with a purpose in mind. Get a blog makeover and improve your About page! ;) Tell people you are a Mommy blogger and then rock that identity! Ya know we already sorta know you from social media anyway. Sooooooo.... why are you being aloof, or distant, or maybe even and/or scared?  Make the internet great again! No shame. No pressure. 


c) Just believe in yourself, because you probably aren't doing *anything* wrong or abnormal. ;) And if there is something about your own personal style that you dislike (and there's probably nothing to worry about), change that from here on out. Don't sweat the past, but make it better in the future.

5. And finally, last but certainly NOT LEAST: compliments are never, ever the measure of your worth. 

I admit it. There are people out there who SERIOUSLY are MAGNETS for praise. Anything and everything they do gets 500 gold stars and 1,000 compliments. It can make the rest of us feel insecure. Or envious. Or just a wee bit jealous. Compliments can be the rot and nausea of blogging. Really. And bonus: guess what? I'm guilty of plastering those people with gold stars and compliments, too. I get it! If someone is beautiful, she stands out.

BUT-- and this is a big, hairy butt-

That doesn't mean that you aren't just as worthwhile and meaningful to me- and us- because you aren't like J Lo or something. We all know rockstars and we all cheer them on, I think. But you are deeply and dearly loved, anyhoo. Don't compare yourself to J Lo or Sheila or Suzie down the block. Seriously. Don't. I mean, seriously! What if Natalie Portman and Mindy Kaling and B.J. Novak and Tina Fey were all having a cry-fest cause they weren't Tom Hanks? That would just be sooooo weird. 

Be yourself. You are loved. Keep writing, keep rocking it, Mommy Blogger style. And if that's your thing, don't worry all day about the compliments you didn't get. If you are touching/inspiring even two or three other mamas, you are making a difference. Believe it! And keep going, because we want you to. You'll see. Trust me!

You do not have to be a box of chocolates ;)
The world will thank you.

Now: I really want to hear from you guys on this topic.
Thoughts on blogging?
Thoughts on the internet in general?
Hit me with your thoughts and ideas in the comments. ;)

Linking up with Tuesday Talk


Munchkin Time said...

Love Love Love these awesome blogging tips! Being yourself is what matters, and it took me a while to learn that!

Tacy said...

Well! I am glad you learned it! Well done!:-);)