Hey Bloggers, Forget the numbers. I’m serious. It’s exhausting, right? Keeping up with the number of followers you have, and how many you think you should have at this point. Weighing your numbers against the amount of time and energy you pour into your blog.
When I sent an email out last week basically asking people to unsubscribe if they weren’t finding anything of value in my emails, I felt great about it, but that didn’t happen overnight. I’ve owned this business for 13 years and as a web designer I get a front row seat on so many people’s journeys. I’ve witnessed some grow from 0 to a million followers on instagram within the matter of a few months, while others grow slowly or plateau.
What have I learned from watching over the years? There is no magical secret everyone is withholding.
You have to have a true passion for what you’re writing about, and that, combined with the amount of people interested in that topic = your organic reach. Of course ads help, and hard work and dedication are the foundation of it all, but what if you do all of those things and your “numbers” stay the same? Are you okay with that?
If you’re not, it might be time to change lanes.
I’m talking to those of you who’ve been at this for years and feel like you’re barely treading water. Your passion and energy have depleted, and you’re sick and tired of seeing others who don’t appear to work nearly as hard grow and grow.
I have some advice. This is sort-of tough love, so bear with me…
Stop following anyone related to what you write about. Right now. It’s toxic. You may not even realize it, and/or they may be a personal friend, but it’s not healthy. You can tell yourself it doesn’t affect you all you want, but it does, if even on the smallest of levels. You’re watching their growth and comparing yourself. I’ll stay away from cliche “comparison is the thief of joy” quotes here, but you get the point.
Take a week off.
A complete week. Take all social media off of your phone. Don’t even glance at it. Get out in the world and live your life without thinking about what you could caption that picture, or how you could turn that into a blog post. Shut down all thoughts related to blogging. If you feel the need to write, write about your day in a journal. Nothing business related. Just about your day. At the end of that week, or however long it takes you to reset, reevaluate what made you happiest during your off time. What did you get excited about? What upset you? What made you laugh?
What could you write about each and every day for the rest of your life, even if no one ever laid eyes on a single word?
Blogging has made an interesting round trip since I first started. It’s gone from authentic blogging because the internet wasn’t as big a deal and we all figured no one would ever ready it anyway, to blogging solely for business purposes and self promotion, and now back to a mix of the two. Once this “mixing of the two stages” is complete, I see authentic, raw, soulful blogging making a huge comeback.
We all crave authenticity in people, online and in real life. Fake is almost insulting. We want someone to write about real life, and not just share the most perfectly staged photos of themselves with captions about how wonderful everything is in their life. I’ll admit that it’s a nice escape every once and a while, but even those perfect people’s followers will eventually grow tired of that.
What if I just like to share all good things because I WANT my blog to be an escape? That’s fine, just make sure you mix in some real life moments every now and again. There’s a reason why blogs like Scary Mommy and Heather Land “I ain’t doin’ it” grew such a loyal following so quickly.
They made people FEEL things.
They make people laugh! They bring joy to the most relatable of circumstances. They are proof that it’s possible to be authentic, relatable, and uplifting. That combination is maybe the closest thing I’ve seen to an elusive “magical secret”.
To sum it all up:
1. Stop following people who “do what you do”
2. Take a break! Reset.
3. Go back to the drawing board and be real with your readers.
I hope this at least helps you understand that you’re not alone in wondering what you’re doing wrong, or comparing your numbers to theirs. It’s a very natural thing to do, but it’s not helping you at all. Insert another cliche quote about you having that special gift that nobody else does… It’s TRUE. BELIEVE IT. EMRACE IT. SHARE IT.
I believe in you!