Blog Block {Coffee Date}




It's been a while since out last coffee date.  Sure, you don't have to have coffee, pull up a chair, and a glass of wine, vodka, or water, and have a seat with me.  I need to talk.  I need to get this out before I explode.  So I'm sorry if I totally take over this convo, but please hear me out.

For the last few weeks I had some serious writers block.  Not just writers block, but all around blog block.  I think I've been pushing myself too much.  I feel like every posts has to be better than the last.  Then the pressure builds and I can't bring myself to write anything.  I can write something, but it's so forced.  So I have been giving myself a break.  I've participated in more linkups, so I have an idea on where to go with my writing.  It helped a lot, since I got the inspiration to write about my favorite pins, or answer the questions in front of me.  But it wasn't a cure.  I'm still having a block.

I'm struggling with the numbers game again.  I've been blogging for a year and a half.  In the beginning I didn't have any aspirations to be followed.  I wanted to be read.  I wanted readers, and feedback.  I wasn't concerned with the numbers in my sidebar.  I was more concerned with what people thought of the the pieces I would write.


Pinned Image
Pinterest via Ida Curiel from here


But here I am.  I hate the numbers game, the game of comparison.  I know I say that that's not what it's about, but isn't it gratifying to hit those big "follower" numbers?  Doesn't it feel good to think that people are reading your blog?  I'm sure it does.  Try as I may, I still get blinded by the number that shows up in my side bar.  It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth to admit that. 

I've been struggling with keeping up with the Jones-es.  To participate in every giveaway.  To buy enough ad space, so those who buy ad space from me feel like they are getting their money's worth.  The sad truth is, I'm out of money.  The dirty little secret of blogging is that it takes money to maintain your following.  Whether it's ad space, giveaways, or product reviews.  I knew this all along, but I never thought I'd feel so much pressure to push myself to the limit.  Do you ever spy someones giveaway and think, "I should have participated in that one?".  Yeah, all the time.
So I was just stewing about all of this.  Staying away from the PC to write about what was heavy on my heart.  To make sure I didn't come off as a snotty brat.  I tried to stay away.  I tried to write this post 2 or 3 times, but it just wouldn't come together.

Then something both welcomed and heartbreaking happened.  Me and the hubbs got into it about blogging.  And about being glued to my iPhone as life is happening around me.  The conversation came down to, "Why are you on that (blanking) phone, all the (blanking) time?".  And I had to honestly tell him it was because I was trying to keep my name, "Absolute Mommy", current.  For every tweet, Instagram, or Pin, someone, anyone, could be motivated to read my little bloggy that could.  And that could turn into a follower, and did he have any idea how it feels to know that you had less than 50 page views on a day that you only checked, and retweeted your link once?

And then he looked at me like I had damn lost my mind.  And I swear if I had a mirror I would have done the same.  Who talks like that?  Bloggers.  No one but another blogger would have given me a hug or patted me on the back at this emotional tirade I was about to embarked on.

Tearfully, I admitted to my hubby that I thought that some of what he said was right.  I was getting too involved.  That I was trying to overwork the blog to hit the gold standard.  The gold standard being over 1000 followers by my 2 year anniversary, the gold standard being hitting 2000 followers the year after that.  Because isn't that the goal.  Isn't the goal to be that blogger who has been legitimized as a "big" or "popular" blogger by the number of followers in her sidebar?


Funny, that was never my goal, but it's exactly where I found myself.


And I hated myself for that.


But then the hubbs asked me the million dollar question.


Would you rather have 1000 followers or be published?


WOW.


Because I'd rather be published.


So that was the smack in the face that I needed to confirm that I don't need to keep up with the "Big Bloggers".  Sure I'd love to buy their ad space, and have them as a guest on my blog.  But what if I just focused on getting 1000 people to follow me, and forgot about the writing?  People would stop following.  They would know that I was all about the popularity and less about my work.

The husband also reminded me that I don't need the blessing of someone who has 1000, 3000, or 10,000 followers.  I only need my own.  To really feel like I can stand by what I write.  What I publish on this blog, and hopefully what I will one day submit to a publisher or editor if the time ever comes.  Isn't he right?  Why should we need to be at the "cool bloggers" table at lunch?  Aren't we all the "cool bloggers"?

So over the last couple of weeks I have been struggling on how to write about this.  Turns out I'm not the only one.  There have been more than one blogger who has decided to go back to their roots.  To got back to writing about the original ideas that started their blogs in the first place.  To care less about growing in popularity and more about content that is close to their heart.  I can appreciate that.  I can appreciate the idea that they content should be what drives your page views, not how many gift cards your are giving away.  I 100% get it. 

So I've decided to stick to my roots.  To continue to write, to do what I do, and have been doing.  I've realized that those folks in my side bar (at about 500), are there for my writing.  They come here, perhaps daily, just to see what I have written.  I'm sure they are welcoming to the occasional guest or giveaway.  I'm also pretty sure that they would stop dropping in if I stopped writing what was in my heart.

I hope this hasn't turned into a pity party.  I never wanted this blog to feel like work, and over the last month, it has felt like work.  I love this space.  I love coming here every day to put "pen to paper".  I want to write to my little hearts content, and feel like I'm doing a giveaway because I want to, not because I think it will afford me more followers.  I want to do my sponsors proud with my content, so that they feel like they have invested in a friendship, not a partnership.  I want to move past this blog block and get back to the business of blogging.

But enough about me...

How do you like your coffee?  Tea?  or Vodka?






20 comments:

  1. I could not agree more. I enjoy the blog hops and giveaways but I am beginning to realise just how much of a time drain they can be.

    I am already thinking up ways to make that process quicker so that I can spend more time on the important stuff: blogging quality content.

    I think I will still link up where I can, but perhaps that doesn't need to be first priority. It can be something I do after I have finished the more important stuff!

    Sarah
    http://acatlikecuriosity.blogspot.co.uk/

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  2. I hear you exactly on this. It seems to be a sentiment I've been reading a lot lately. I recently switched to WordPress and now I don't have the ease of seeing followers in GFC, and it's actually been quite nice! I also realized that I've stopped writing about what we've been up to and started tailoring my blog posts to certain topics. What ever happened to just talking about our lives?

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  3. I love you. That's all. I needed this today. It's hard not having a big ad budget and feeling like "if only I could spend more money on ads..." bottom line, I just can't. So instead we write. Love ya. xo

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  4. I totally hear you. When I first started blogging, I spent the first couple of years not caring if anyone read my blog or not. I honestly didn't even know that there was a STAT counter. But, then I discovered the counter and I wanted my blog to grow. I've never bought ad space but, I understand where you're coming from and how hard it can be to want to stay true to yourself but, to grow BIG at the same time.
    I wrote a post about this same thing.....it was my blogging re-evaluation and you can read it here: http://www.angelastrand.com/2012/06/monday-thoughts-and-blogging-re.html

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  5. Those smart husbands :) Love/hate when Nate puts me in bloggy check ;) Keep doing what you're doing love, because it's def for the right reasons and because YOU ROCK MY FACE OFF! #brushthatdirtoffyourshoulders Love you!!

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  6. YAY!!!! I love this post Megan! And I want a signed copy of your book when you do get published! :)

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  7. When I started blogging (about 5 month ago) I was all about growing quick. Then I got pregnant and exhausted and realized I wanted to be a writer (one who writes) rather than a publicist. Now I have a very small but very awesome following and I only amplify through fb, twitter, and g+, and I only tweet when I feel compelled.

    It's not gonna grow my blog, but for now, I'm fine with that. I just want to be me and write. I'll probably buy ad space next month, but I don't even do many blog hops these days.

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  8. I love to read what you write. I love your sense of humor and your sarcasm and wit and the heart you put into it. I love that you are self aware and real. It almost sounds like I love you, but hey...I don't even you know...so that's not possible...I mean it's all just virtual. Thanks for sharing your heart and being real...you are one of my blogging mentors.

    Jill

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  9. YES YES YES! I had this reality check while ago too. One thing I have to say (that will probably not gain me any fans) is that I'm not willing to "buy" followers. I'm not willing to shell out $1000 on ad spaces in order to buy enough followers to get me to a certain number in a certain time frame. And I've stopped reading the bloggers who seem to do that because it feels fake. I'm building my blog community the old fashioned way- hard work, dedication, and real writing. I want a community, not a following. I do buy ads on blogs that I love to read and want to support. I don't buy ads on blogs just because they have big numbers. I participate in giveaways to support the blogs that I advertise on, not to "buy" followers. I'm 4+ years into this blogging gig and it can take over your life if you let it. I won't let it. If you're not out there living, how will you have anything to blog about?

    Ok, I'm taking up your whole comment section. I should write my own post. Haha! Bottom line- I love your blog, I love your writing, and that's why I'm here!

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  10. Amen! My twitter fed is pretty much just giveaway shout outs just like FB and now I spend most of my time on Instagram. I suppose it's not too long before that gets taken over by giveaways too. I really think a back to bloggy basics week is in order!

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  11. Ahhhh....Megan. I feel your heart. I do! I love this raw view into your heart and mind right now! So true! I am with you, though. I just wrote a post not long ago about why I don't "require" followers on my linky party, and how I only follow blogs I truly like. Not to gain giveaway entries, etc. And I would hope others would do the same for me. My blog is growing slowly but surely. I am celebrating a few follower milestones this coming weekend, but at the same time, I don't want to be so focused on that. I feel like I need to lay low, grow it slowly but surely, and remain true to myself and my intentions. Your'e so right. Falling prey to comparison and letting us get us down is horrible :(. Take care!

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  12. I love that I'm not the only who feels like this! ;) I love that you were able to write about it and I love you! You're awesome no matter what! Can't wait to get a signed copy of your first book... It'll be amazing!

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  13. I've been seeing lots of posts like this lately... People wanting to get back to where they started. You're not along girl. :) My mantra has always been, it's my space so I'm going to write what I want. Thus the reason I don't like to be pegged into one niche... If I want to do a craft, I do. A recipe? Done. If I want to write about visiting my hometown for the weekend... same thing there. Write what you want!!! The people that are interested will keep coming back regardless. :)

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  14. Amen, sister! That is exactly why I dropped of the grid for a few months. I needed the refresher. I too would much rather some local parent's magazine (or bigger, haha) see me and think I am somewhat witty and ask me to write a little something for them than to have a gazillion followers. I've never been the popular girl and I don't need to be now. I, personally, enjoy the blogs that are babbling on about life like I do rather than the ones that are all link-ups, reviews and giveaways. Hell, I don't really even enter giveaways anymore, I just sigh and close the page. I can buy my own coffee and trinkets, right? Re-reading that kind of makes me sound like a brat, but it's how I feel about the whole blog thing. Maybe I am a brat. :) Anyway, those who are really loyal and interested in what you have to say will be there whether or not you're having a giveaway or link up.

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing this post. I've only started blogging this January and already feel the overwhelming pressure sometimes to "keep up" with the other bloggers. I have to reevaluate my reason for blogging almost every month and remember the reason why I started and why even I follow certain bloggers.

    What I've always appreciated about you is your honesty. I never get the feeling that you are trying to "impress" anyone and that you always write what's on your heart. So thank you, Megan for all the hard work you've put in! Don't be discouraged!

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  16. I could not agree more! I absolutely love your writing and every post you have....it feels real to me! It is nice to find that in the sea of other blogs just posting to post. Being on vacation, it is hard to find the time to keep up with said "jones-es"...BUT I am way more happy making memories than finding the time to do that. You are amazing at what you do and keep at it. People will follow because they see what others see....just sit back and let it happen!:)

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  17. Girl you are not alone. There are so many of us (including myself) that are feeling like this lately. It really has become all about the numbers game and the giveaways. However, that's not how this should be at all. It's about building relationships, sharing your story with your readers, and making a difference. If you have only 1 follower you're making that difference. I encourage you to try to stay focused on that and blog true to yourself. We will all be here with you along the way!

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  18. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you just said! I think we all come here with the goal of writing about what we want to write about, and finding that core group of people who cares about the same thing. Finding understanding. And then, all of a sudden, that driving impulse to have more followers, more pageviews, to be bigger and better takes over. I've been fighting the impulse every day, and it's hard. But it feels right to just do my thing. Glad you have a wise husband who can provide perspective!

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  19. I totally agree! Sometimes it gets to the point where we are so sucked in with growing the blog than cultivating the very first seed that we have planted. The blog stats and # of followers start to haunt and it drives us nuts on ways to grow the blog bigger. We just need to be ourselves. That's what gets followers. Write what you believe!

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