Thursday, April 19, 2012

Free-blogging

Sometimes I get sucked into the blog vortex. You know the one, I'm sure you've danced around the edges of it too. The vortex that says followers are good, but more followers are better! Monetize! Advertise! Run a giveaway to boost your page views!

It makes me feel queasy and stressed. Being competitive is a curse. It makes me think that I need to work harder, network more, push my blog out there so I can be *successful* too.

And this is correlated to reading other amazing blogs, which stresses me out further, because I worry I will never be as widely read or witty as those writers, and thus I am doomed to total failure and I should just give up now, already.

Or maybe I'm just not damaged enough for success? I'm not a disaster survivor, or carrying a mental illness, and all my kids are healthy. Do I swear enough? That also seems a prerequisite for success. Someone swore in a comment once, does that count?

But then I get to thinking. Properly thinking, not just mentally strolling along with the status quo. And I eventually, thankfully, finally remember that I don't blog for cash.

I have no advertisers. There is no one out there who will lose out if my post isn't on time, or if I have a week or even a whole month off. And I don't pitch for followers, either. It's absolutely lovely when they come, and I was even considering running a giveaway where you had to "follow me" to enter. Then I would get more followers, guaranteed... but of what quality? I love that The Accidental Housewife followers are people legitimately interested in the blog, not just hangers on, here for the swag. It's so nice to be building a community of likeminded people!

I learnt my lesson with my Facebook friends. I had hundreds. Many hundreds. But then I couldn't find the people I cared about in all the news rushing onto my feed. So I culled. I applied the BBQ rule - if I wouldn't invite them to a barbie, then they were cut from the list. Quality over quantity.

So I'm pulling myself out of the blog vortex. It's not a competition, not a race to fame or fabulous fortune. The amount I would make from advertising is not worth the pressure to perform. The followers I buy are not worth the money spent. Airing my dirty laundry is not worth the impost on my family. So I opt out. I'm a free-blogger. Feel free to join me.

Blog Free




{But then, why do I continue to blog? For me. To practice my writing and to challenge myself (if I can make my mundane days readable and amusing, and do it every day, then I figure I'm doing pretty well.) And finally, as a record for the family. You're just being dragged along for the ride on my personal agenda, I'm afraid. But you're more than welcome, and the comments you leave make the whole thing so much more enriching and exciting than a conventional diary. So thank you!}

28 comments:

  1. I admit it is exciting to get followers, it puffs the ego a bit to think that someone 'out there' likes what you write about. But for me it's only about documenting our life and sharing what I do to create a simpler life, then if I have a boring week or a bit of writers block it doesn't matter, there is no pressure to write, it's just an enjoyable hobby.

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  2. I have followers come and go...thats fine...sometimes I think what I write is as boring as anything...as you can get caught up in some fabulous writing out there, funny, informative...and I think, oh why didnt I write that...instead I just posted a picture of vegetables...yes, vegetables, as exciting as anything to me, maybe not to others...but ...my blog, can do what I want...dont worry about blogland and what others are doing, just be you, and write as you, as someone said to me the other day on my comments, someone out there will connect with what you write and keep coming back....I happen to love your blog....x
    I also find it an outlet in my day, I am home with flossie pants most of the day and have been a stay at home mum for 11 years now...it can get a bit lonely...being in touch on the computer has been a life saver for me.............

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    1. I saw your veggies :) that eggplant is enormous!!

      I love the social side of blogging too, it's a bit weird to think I'm connecting to people I will probably never meet, though.

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  3. Oh that is so true - I wrote about the same thoughts on http://africanaussie.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/does-blogging-make-you-better-gardener.html My main reason to blog was to keep track of my garden, and it is amazing how much better my garden is growing with the advice and encouragement I get. I love being a part of the whole community of bloggers.

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  4. I have fleeting moments of the same thoughts: Why is that I have so few followers? Is my blog really that uninteresting? But then I realise that even though people may follow, it doesn't necessarily mean they're reading what I write. Some people follow thousands of blogs, they would never have the time to read each and every one! Then there are those who don't follow at all, but who you know are reading because they're kind enough to respond to what you've blogged about. They're the ones that don't need to be reminded by their blog roll to check out what you've written that week; they come along and check it out anyway. I like those people. :)

    Giveaways are fun. I host giveaways every now and then, but I leave it open for anyone to join, even those people who've stumbled across my blog only that week. They may be there only for the chance of winning my prize, but who cares? I like to give stuff. I am a giving person. ;)

    ~S.

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    1. So.... you like.... Me? Cool!

      Nothing wrong with giveaways, at all! I just don't like the sellout kind.

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  5. Well struck. I get sucked in as well.....and have also had the thought, "Maybe I don't swear enough"!

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    1. I only swear when I sew ;)

      Besides the occasional bloody. Swearing too much takes away the impact. Remind me to tell you about the time I had to say the C-bomb ONE HUNDRED AHD THIRTY TWO TIMES. Had to. Crazy...

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  6. Well I know you'd invite me to a barbeque because I'm ace, so I won't worry!

    Been through these sorts of quandraries many times. It is hard, the mix of reasons we blog, what we hope will come of it.

    "Or maybe I'm just not damaged enough for success? "

    My blog makes me look far worse, and my life look far worse, than it is, but it is hard as such topics - deep rifts with family members, sad reflections on how I want to improve life - usually make far better copy than 'yay it's a lovely day'. And you can say 'yay it's a lovely day' in 5 words. On facebook.

    Perhaps something like Tumblr, between blogging and networking, will end up being the answer. Anyway whatever you do stay in touch, armagny@gmail.com.

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    1. I'm not going anywhere :)

      But I will, of course. Perhaps one day even to get the families together to eat meat from a hotplate. Wouldn't that be a mindfuck? (I swore there, did you see that? Can I have fame now please?)

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  7. When I look at some of the big blogs with the giveaways and the conferences and the frenetic social networking and the pr networks, I just think "That looks exhausting". I admire their drive but I don't think I have it in me to do what they do. I have ads but don't think get too excited about clicks-throughs and all that. I don't do giveaways because I tend to skip those on other people's blogs. I blog because I like to write. I enjoy seeing what other people are up to and commenting occasionally but writing is my 'me time'. It makes me feel like I'm out there in the world participating even when I've spent the day cooped up in housework-and-baby land. Anyone else reading and liking it is just a bonus.

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    1. Some people treat it like a full time job. It's madness. Unless, of course, it pays like a full time job. That would be awesome ;)

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  8. I feel that this comic is particularly poignant on the topic:
    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/facebook_likes

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  9. I love your blog! Always super witty and intelligent :) Always makes me laugh!

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  10. So you have fun with it. I find your blog interesting so I follow. I started blogging when our baby was a sophomore in college (last year). I don't have a million followers - that would take work and I'm too busy living to do all the work necessary for the big numbers. I love to read some of the those amazing big number blogs. I also like to read the ones like yours that give me a glimpse into another world. Have a peaceful day. (I'm giggling as I type this - a mom with babies having a peaceful day....) Enjoy!

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  11. The thing is, I find your writing articulates many of my own experiences and aspirations. I don't feel like a failure, or wrong, or ineffective when I know others are facing the same issues and dilemmas .

    Besides, you're funny!

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  12. Hi Mrs A, you probably already know I'm a new follower of your blog. Up until recently I didn't even know blogs existed until I stumbled across 'Down to Earth' blog and then Rhonda had a link to your blog. I'm so glad I found you, I look forward to reading both blogs everyday. Rhonda has amazing tips on how to live simply and you make me laugh and envious when you tell us about your life. You are both gr8 writers, whity, inspirational and interesting. I don't always comment as I don't always have anything interesting to say but I would be saddened if I could know longer hear about your day or if you changed your blog for the sake of more followers. As you said those that come here every day are the ones that matter and they're not here for the "prizes". Thank you for being you and for helping me to be a better me, I have changed and will keep changing. Jodie xx

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    1. That is really, amazingly touching. Thank you.

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  13. I love your philosophy. I also started a blog because I wanted to keep a record of my life. I must admit I was surprised by how much work it is for the time-poor. Most of the time I struggle to find the time to even post once a week, but it's my happy place! Advertisers...meh

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    1. Yep, it eats up the girls nap time something chronic.... I need it though, it connects me.

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  14. I know just what you mean about dancing around the blog vortex. I have been approached by a few companies....but it feels like selling out. I put so much time into my blog that it would be nice to get some money...but at what cost...loosing my space and my original intent of chronicling my families adventure with sport? I get a little discouraged sometimes and wonder why I don't have many followers....I just remind myself that I'm blogging for me!

    I love your blog and I think you are an articulate, descriptive and funny writer. I'm really enjoying joining you on your adventures!

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  15. Amen to this, sister! I saw your name on the Nature's Nurtures comments section and had to stroll over and i love this post. I, too, struggle with some of that stuff... "should I be doing MORE?". But I agree with all your points as to why I should not. I have run giveaways in the past and once I did run it only for followers, which of course meant people signed on (that actually wasnt my intent... my intent at the time was to bless my actual followers, not thinking people would follow me just for the give-away!) but I see now that not that many of those ladies really 'stuck around' as part of the blog community.

    Since then if I have a give-away I just do it for fun- I dont ask anyone to be a follower or advertise me or yadda yadda.. just sign up if you want to and there we go. I do find taking part in blog carnivals can be a fun way to get more blog exposure, but I only participate in ones I actually like, and again, Im doing it for the fun.

    So, in summary: I hear you! And good for you! I refuse to read blogs that are mostly advertising and I always get sad when I blog Ive liked for a while sells out and junks their page up with a million silly ads. I dont begrudge people for wanting to make money off their blogs... I understand... but at what price?

    blessings, Accidental housewife! :)

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  16. Hmmm, I hear you. I march to my own beat with blogging and break all the 'rules'. Occasionally I find myself a new follower but it's not about that for me any more... I love to write and I love to see in real life the new friends I've made online. I do love some of the other stuff like conferences and products too... (admitting that makes me feel bad!)

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  17. A timely post for me, in a low stat week.
    I think I'm going to write down my reasons for blogging and keep them somewhere safe some don't lose focus.

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  18. Great post! Blogging has really been helpful for me during some times of recent upheaval. It keeps me sane, and I so enjoy it. Let's just keep on writing because it's good for the soul!

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  19. I have given up trying to understand why people read my blog post one day, the next day it tanks, people drop off then one comes along. I have no idea how or why the whole thing works, or doesn't. I just like writing stories (maybe I do swear too much..... hmmmmm) but if no-one ever read my blog I would still write it.

    x

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  20. I could have written this post!! (Just probably not as coherently as you...) Blog for yourself. If others like it, awesome. If they don't, awesome. You know what I mean? Of course you do. I'm just popping in from Glowy's linky, but I'm-a-gonna head up your page and hit the 'follow' button...just so you know! xxx

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