Who sits at the cool kids table?


Last week there was a pretty good conversation going on between bloggers.  These were bloggers of all different content, walks of life, and size.  Some of us have very successful blogs with pretty big numbers under our "followers" header.  Others are little bloggers that can, and do with what they have and who they know.  
Some how we all had the same questions:

What constitutes a popular blog?  
Are people still reading?
Why do some blogs get more comments than others?
And so on...

I've been blogging for the better part of two years.  When I started I knew nothing of the blogging world.  I didn't know what a button was, that there was a blogging community, that people could make money blogging.  It wasn't until I stumbled upon a few blogs that I figured out, there was a real community here.  There were real ways to make money.  There were real ways to make friends.  And there were real ways to feel like you were in high school all over again.

In the two years since I started this blog, I have gone from one extreme to another.  I have been the blogger with 4 followers, three of them friends or family, with the standard "blogger" template, sharing my posts on my Facebook wall.  I have been the blogger who went all out with a button, some money to buy ads, gift cards to giveaway, and link ups to join.  I have been the blogger who agonized over another bloggers success at reaching 1000 followers before me.  I have been the blogger jealous over link ups and parties hosted by others.  I have been the blogger who cared more about sponsorships and giveaway, and less about content and readers.  I have done it all.

And in case you were wondering I have the same amount of "followers" I had a year ago.

I think it's because a year ago I decided that I couldn't keep up with the Jones'.  I couldn't kill myself daily to try and keep up with the kids at the cool table.  If I'm being honest with myself, I wasn't anywhere near the cool kids table.  I just thought I was.

Does it matter that one blogger has 3000 followers on Instagram and Bloglovin?  Not really.  Does it matter that someone gets a million hits a month?  Not unless you are trying to make a living on your blog.  If you are making a living on your blog good for you.  It's hard work, and I understand.  But the time, work, and effort it takes to maintain a "popular", "cool kids table", "must follow" blog, isn't my cup of tea.  I ain't got time for that.  I barely had time to write this post.

In the last year my sponsorships have dropped.  I've changed my ad shop and not many people buy.  I haven't bought an ad since February.  I have been relying on swaps with my friends.  More importantly I have been relying on my content.  Sure I do the occasional paid post, to promote something I really do like, but mostly it's just me and my blog.  Just like in it's infancy.  And I'm ok with that.  I'm working on my writing.  It's why I started blogging in the first place.  I also like to blog about what I want.  Am I a lifestyle blog?  Only if the life style is lazy.  Am I a mommy blog?  Only if the mommies are crazy, exhausted, and parent with chocolate.  Spending my time trying to be something I'm not, trying to keep up with what I think people want to read got me no where.  

Back to the tweets of the previous week.  We all agreed on one thing.  Good solid content is hard work.  If you are a blogger then you know this to be true.  Every time you sit down and type your heart out, you understand that original content is about the hardest thing.  Especially under pressure or on the spot.  Many bloggers understand the blood, sweat, and tears that go into publishing good content five days a week.  I try to publish five days a week, and I will be the first to admit that the content isn't always my best.

Sure some blogs may get 80 comments a post, others may get three.  I can say from personal experience that I love all comments.  Even the bad ones.  Even the ones that make me cringe.  And if you are wondering I do read them all, and try to respond to them all, but some days...  I think the same may go for blog readers.  I've noticed that on days where traffic is high, sometimes the comments are nil.  
Maybe readers aren't commenting.  Maybe they have nothing to say. 
 Maybe they are just as busy as the blogger writing the post.

One thing that really hit me after this conversation on Twitter was the fact that I haven't been reading as many of my "favorites" either.  I've had a jam packed summer.  I have a hard time getting to my laptop and when I do it's for posts only.  My email inbox is out of control.  I check it daily, but only respond to urgent messages.  Sad and pathetic right?  But, what's more pathetic is that I expect readers to read my blog when I'm not reading any either.  So Sunday, after I wrote yesterdays post, I went into my blog roll, and read 4 blogs I hadn't visited in awhile.  Then I looked in my blog roll and read a few more, commenting each time.  Because I'm a blogger and I know that comments are more about feed back and confirmation than they are about popularity.

I'm happy to be the blogger that I am.  With wonderful readers and really awesome blogging friends.  The friends that I have made blogging have really helped me grow my blog.  It's the support of my readers who leave great comments that confirm I'm doing the right thing, by doing it my way.  I'm not saying that I won't sponsor another blog, or host another giveaway.  I know I will.  What I'm saying is that blogging is almost fly by night.  New blogs pop up daily, current blogs change focus, old blogs close up shop.  Blogging is dynamic.  The important thing is to feel good about the blog you are writing.  Because you are the most important part of your blog, not the cool kids. 
 
They probably don't even read your blog.

17 comments:

  1. I'm not a cool kid blogger at all, and you know what, I don't mind. Because if I had 5000 followers there is just no way that I would be able to go and visit all their blogs and write comments and reply to comments that I receive. It would just be too impersonal. I like that fact that I've been able to build relationships with my followers. I would even go as far as saying that some of them have become friends.
    Does this mean that I'm going to block anyone who wanted to start following my blog? Heck No! I mean if you are willing to spend time to read about my reasonably dull life then bless you! I'm more than grateful!

    I think the main thing is the reason behind why you blog. I do it for fun, and because I like finding out about other women and their lives. To feel connected, to know that I'm not the only person out there who feels like strangling her kids/husband at times.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is so true. I had dreams of being a big time blogger, but what does it matter? I'm tired of doing sponsorships all the time. I don't really care how many people read, as long as some people do. I like the size of my blog now!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have been going through much of the same for the last year-ish of blogging and we have been blogging for about the same time I think, I stopped buying ads and I stopped blogging as frequently as I was. I just sort of lost motivation for it and felt like a failure sometimes! I was under the impression, that after a year, you just kind of take off and the self promotion wouldn't be so hard. Then reality hit and I was like, damn- I never get to stop pimping myself out all the time. Which sucks, because I hate doing it.

    When I stopped swapping and doing giveaways and generally- doing anything to grow my blog at all, the growth really did slow like crazy. I find now, that while I get more traffic,(due to pinterest and google alone really) the comments are less at times (try zero on my last several posts!) than when I was really active.

    I love your posts, and you and I think that you ARE at a cool table! I know what you mean, about popular bloggers I think, but popular doesn't equal cool in my book. Just write and keep at it and something cool will come of all of this blogging. Some post of yours will go viral and you'll get your own crazy momma book deal, with a side of chocolate. xo :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I go through writing and not writing on my blog a lot. There are days that I am so very inspired and write, write, write...then there are days that turn into weeks. And before I would be so scared that no one would read...but when I write, you all do read. Maybe not 1000s and millions of hits...but in the 20s and 50s...and wow! That's pretty awesome.

    Mostly I am here for the community...the friends ( like you and so many others) that I have made and look forward to reading, texting, instagramming everyday...

    Loved this post. Love you...:)

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is exactly what I needed to hear today! I'm definitely in a blogging "lull" and I'm struggling just to get some creative and great content up on the blog! This was sort of a breath of fresh air for me! It inspired me to sit back and take some time to remember why I started blogging in the first place! If you're looking for some inspiration to write (distraction free), check out OmmWriter.com! You plug in your headphones, play some of their soft, calming music, and type away...hearing little drops as your fingers dance across the keyboard! :) I've been loving it!

    Great post!
    xo-lianne
    www.lulabelleblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Another great post! Of course I relate to it all. Ive tried a little bit of everything hoping to find my place. I guess my place is just being me when and where I want to be. and or the record, I don't visit a ton of blogs...butof the fe I do read, yours is one. us old broads gotta stick together ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry about all the typos. dumb phone.

      Delete
  7. Confession: I can remember last year when you changed your focus here from followers to content driven. In that time, your blog has become one of my must reads every week no matter how busy life gets. I know I can count on good content and a supportive community. Keep at it mama, I for one would love to sit at the cool or not cool kids table with you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Pish! Hold up! I totally am sitting at your table and I think your cool and I KNOW you think I am so.... boom! ;) You know I agree with you on all these points. Been there done that and at the end of the day I'm happy with my blog and that's what matters. In my humble opinion of course :) Love you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love this! So honest and what I needed to hear today. Blogging is tough but once you carve out your niche and find yourself its all worth it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love your site! So happy I recently found it and by the way we went to high school together. Small world :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Just popped over here from Twitter and I totally identify with this post.

    I don't know that I have anything to add but wanted to comment as a fellow blogger and just to say "me too".

    ReplyDelete
  12. I already told you this, but I love this post so much. While the extra money that can come along with blogging is nice, I can't EVER EVER imagine blogging for the sake of making money. I just don't have that in me. I like blogging from my heart and a few sponsored posts mixed in doesn't bother me. Keeping our blogs for US as opposed to blogging for others is where it's at, man. Thanks for another wonderful post, friend.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Can I get an Amen!? This whole blogging business is hard work and I used to get frustrated if I had plans for a post but didn't get to write it for whatever reason. This summer I decided it is okay to miss a day or two - my blog will still be here! The posts that get the most comments for me are the real life ones and I want to try to make it a goal to remember not everyone is following me on instagram so I should post from the heart more often!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Awesome as always girl! And FYI you are totes one of the cool kids to me. Yep I just used totes. Xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  15. Okay Okay so am I missing something. I totally thought I was sitting at the cool kids table with you? Love when you pour your heart into a post. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  16. Okay. I love you. I love this post - I've never gone 'big' and keep thinking that I want to, and then remember that there are way more important things than sitting behind a computer planning giveaways just to gain some number on the sidebar.

    BUT, just so you know. I do follow you in Bloglovin, and I even keep your blog until the baby is asleep and I actually have time to read. Most of the other blogs I just skim over.

    You are real life, and you give me HOPE. Hope that this crazy, shoot myself in the face life I'm living in normal, and real, and that it happens. So THANK YOU for putting it all out there. You are saving me.

    ReplyDelete