I have been thinking about writing this post for some time, but feared being too negative. However, after speaking with several good friends (both IRL and blogger) I have found that many others are on the same page so here goes nothing. Before proceeding, please note that is it NOT directed at any one person in particular. These are simply my general observations from my time as a blogger.
It is always funny to me when I get emails from people asking how to make their blogs "popular". In the grand scheme of things I have never ever considered myself popular. Yes, I HAVE always had a GREAT group of friends, but I was never Homecoming Queen or captain of any team. Perhaps living in smaller towns and going to smalls schools where I was just friends with everyone and a definite "in" crowd did not exist made me not even care about being popular. However, even in a HUGE metroplex I do not feel the need to try and become more popular as I remain happy and confident in my choices and life. When I started blogging almost four years ago I never intended to be popular on the internet either. Now, I have been incredibly blessed to have met SO many AMAZING people on this four year journey, but again I am no Pioneer Woman. I am simply a very happy almost 27 year old living MY life. The key word in that statement is MY. I never write posts with hopes of gaining some sort of popularity or sponsorship. I simply write about MY finds, MY day to day life and MY loves. As I have stated before, at the end of everyday this is MY blog and it is simply an added perk that so many of you enjoy supporting me and teaching me on my journey.
With all that being said it seems as if the more and more blogs I come across seem to be steering farther and farther away from themselves. I have no problem at all with people branding themselves. In fact I am sure some of you could consider my having a blog, Facebook page and Twitter account a form of branding, but in my defense I am not actively checking who unfollows me or searching keywords that bring people to my blog (I will admit I look at Google Analytics three to four times a year for a good laugh on the funny key words that connect people to me). It all just seems silly to me when people try SO hard and frankly seems like way more effort than it is worth. Your blog is an extension of YOU and who YOU ARE! If you are writing about things simply to get more readers is your heart really in a post? Twenty years from now, for goodness sake, even five years from now I do not want to look back and realize I neglected to post or tweet about something because it did not fit your intended "audience" or I was afraid to offend people and would lose followers. No matter what you write you are never going to be able to make everyone that comes across your blog happy anyway and there is ALWAYS going to be someone that will judge you. Also there is the question of time. While I sincerely love sharing my life with you all I have other things that I value too. I just cannot fathom spending hours upon hours a day writing posts, updating my multiple pages, contacting companies to host giveaways (I personally just allow them to reach out to me) and whipping up some new sort of pie or unheard of project. If I was to do this I feel like I would essentially be neglecting other things that matter to me. Now, I highly envy those of you that are able to juggle so many tasks (you must not require as much sleep as me ;) ), but that is just not for me right now. It is important to find a happy balance and that can be different for everyone.
Anyway, all in all what I am trying to say is that your blog is YOUR blog. It is about YOU! There is no sense in trying to create some facade just to gain popularity. In all honestly, people will see through your facade and this might even back fire.
Just be you!
Blogging is NOT a competition nor is all about the numbers. You may get one comment one day and ten the next, but having five readers is MORE than have zero! Whether you make one friend through blogging, or twenty, you will still have more friends than you had before you started! Let people fall in love with who you are and let yourself grow on your journey. The ways of this world can be rough, but if you conform to them it will only get harder. Stick to your guns and you will find success in everything you do!
I will end this in the words of Michael Buble: "Keep on loving what is TRUE and the world will come to YOU!"