Friday, August 10, 2012

Some thoughts about blogging


When I started blogging two+ months ago, I just wanted to write.  I wanted to share the things that I was processing and learning.  I wanted an outlet for my creativity.  I wanted to bless others.

I had no idea what i was getting myself into....

I had no idea about blog hops or advertising and didn't have a clue about twitter (still don't get twitter.)   I just wanted to make a lovely little space online that people could go to for refreshment, encouragement and maybe even once in a while just to be able to laugh with me or, at me as I attempted to verbally process through life on the world wide web.

But the "blogosphere" is a strange little world isn't it?

It sucks you in.

Everyone in it is working so hard to gain followers.

Everybody wants to be the big blog on the block.

It seems that if you aren't blogging every day...

If you don't have a budget for giveaways and advertising, and fancy blog designs, then at at times it can feel like you are an unimportant little fish in a very full pond.

If you aren't promoting, promoting, promoting then you won't gain followers, and if you don't have a large following, then that must mean that your blog isn't any good right?....hmmm...

So I did it, I jumped on the bandwagon because that is what bloggers do...right?

I didn't have a budget for ads so I began working harder to promote via social media, button swaps and blog hoppin'

Only here is the problem....

I have two babies in diapers,

I have a marriage to work on

and a home to care for.

I have a relationship with Jesus to cultivate

and I need sleep!

I don't have space in my life for a love affair with social media.


I don't do well with balance,

I just don't. Never have...

I am sort of an all-or-nothing kind of gal

I love to be creative, and I am a free-spirit which is both a good thing and a vice.  A vice because I can get so focused on a project, or caught up in a moment that I neglect everything else around me that needs me attention.

I love blogging, I really do,

But I have been an out of balance and unhealthy blogger because I have forgotten one key part to this whole blog thing....

God called me to start a blog, NOT a business.

  When I first started this blog I felt like God told me that HE had an audience for me.

He never asked me to reach x amount of followers, or advertise or any of it- that is something I put on myself - because that's what all the other blogs were doing.

Since I started believing the lie that value of what I put on the web was defined by how many people visited my blog or followed it- everything in life has felt out of balance and I feel like my home and family have suffered.  I have suffered.  I need to get back to my love for homemaking and motherhood, and spending time with Jesus - the very things that inspired my writing in the first place.

So I guess what I am saying is that I need to slow down.  Blogging for me needs to flow out of a life that I am fully embracing and living; not out of a responsibility to blog so I can gain a following, or grow a business, or keep up with the "Blogging Jones.'"  Sometimes I feel like the blogosphere can be a little bit like high school...only the popular girls are alot nicer ;)

You likely won't catch a brand new post on my blog every day, but you will find me blogging when I feel inspired to, or when time allows.  That could mean every couple of days or every couple of weeks, it just depends on life.  I refuse to write something just so that I have a post for that day.  I want to truly believe in and be proud of what I have produced every single time I hit the publish button. For me, that takes time.


I don't want to my material to be dominated by what people will or won't read. My blog is an expression of me, not an expression of what I think others want to read...
I am choosing for now, not to be concerned with numbers and stats.  I don't even know if it all really means anything anyway? I don't want people to follow me because they had to for a giveaway, or  because I hosted a blog hop.  I want people to follow me because they enjoy my material.  I want readers not just followers. Ok, lets be honest, how many times have you followed a blog that you really didn't feel that much of a connection to just so that you could enter a giveaway or because they were co-hosting a link-up. Who has time to read all these blogs that they are following? Maybe its just me, but I don't!

Whether five people or five hundred people read my blog in a day I will rejoice.  If five people are inspired because of my blog, then my job is done and I will be happy because those five people matter. They matter to me, and they matter to Jesus.

Please understand that I am not trying to bash other bloggers!  This is just my personal opinion and conviction.  The blogging community is a wonderful thing, and has been a blessing to me in many ways.  I have learned so much from other bloggers, and networking has led me to some great blogs that I am truly excited about following.

This also doesn't mean you won't ever find me linking-up, hosting a give-away, or popping up on social media sites.  I just need to make sure that I am doing these things with the right intentions and stewarding my time spent doing them.  

I have decided that I don't need to be a big fish to swim in the pond, I just want to be there because I enjoy swimming.


23 comments:

  1. Thanks Mack. Have I told you lately that I LOVE your blog, cuz I do :)

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  2. Perfectly put. I want to take the pressure off myself and enjoy

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  3. You know what? I LOVE THIS and.....I LOVE YOUR BLOG! I think God is sending me a message that it is ok to speak this upcoming discussion. I've been struggling over this and "WHAT" blogging is and seems to be turning into with myself for a few months now. This is the second blog post in less than 24 hours I have READ. It's one I have wanted to talk about myself. I wondering this right now.....

    **Stay true to ourselves and what our own niche is in blogging, don't jump into the fame race (because in all realities, not EVERYONE is going to be a top giveaway or reviewer). Businesses like uniqueness....if you got it, they will find you.

    **If you blog for that piece of you and priority is family, respect that boundary...family first...the rest...it's fun and pleasure of writing and gaining an audience.

    I'm with you on this and this topic is actually one of my blog post discussions on next weeks schedule.

    I wouldn't change a thing with your blog, it's beautiful and I 100% needed to read this blog and the other I read over the last 24 hours, it tells me there is a common ground here. There's a whole world out of there of lots of different "TYPES" of blogs (giveaways, reviews, mommybloggers, inspirationals, personal writers on life, etc)....and it's ok to be who we are. I'm, like you and am in your niche of the woods...lol

    I'm reading dear, I just dont post comments a whole lot..sorry. I'll try more, just know your readers are following you and stay true to your heart and passion.

    Irish

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    1. Irish,
      This was such an encouraging comment! Thanks so much for your input and kind words. You are so right about all of it! I am thrilled that you are reading and that God used this post to speak to you. I love how he does that :)

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  4. I love this Annie. I resonate with so much of what you said and you said it all so well! My sister-in-law and I have had discussions about similar things as we are in the same boat with just starting ours. I want to blog with integrity— meaning to me that my first priorities remain that way and blogging comes (or doesn’t come!) next. I don’t want to post daily for the sake of getting something up there. I’d rather just write when I actually feel inspired to and when I can! And as I head into homeschooling my kindergartner, I’m wondering if/how I will be able to balance it... I may not be blogging very often.
    Your blog is beautiful and I love reading it when you do post!

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    1. Thanks so much Anne! Love your blog too :)

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  5. Annie... I can finally comment with the tabs below! Yeah!

    Great post. Even though I'm not a blogger... I have friends who blog and it seems it is always a challenge to balance real life priorities and responsibilities with blogging. Like anything in our lives... It's all about balance and moderation.

    An even bigger challenge they say... Is seeing real life for how it is... And not how it will turn out/play out in a blog post. Always feeling to pressure to take pictures and come up with projects to feature.

    I love to hear from you whenever you feel inspired and led to post.
    Honestly I feel behind always in reading email posts and have a hard time keeping up with reading bloggers who post daily.

    You are what makes your blog special.. Not giveaways... Or the bells and whistles.
    Just you... And the holy spirit infusion in your writing. So whenever I see your name in my in-box... I'll be delighted. Paula Romer

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    1. Wow Paula this reading this is so uplifting to me! Seriously thank you so much! I am delighted that you enjoy my blog and I always LOVE getting your comments and emails :)

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  6. I totally agree with you...none of these things are bad but they need to be done in moderation. I have found it helpful to schedule posts in...so I write ahead of time when I'm feeling inspired & may write 4-5 posts at once & then not write for a week...that said & done you will never regret spending time with your family & God however you may one day regret the time you spent on your blog...

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    1. Thanks Samara, those are great tips! I always enjoy getting your comments :)

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  7. Just stumbled upon your blog and this post really spoke to me! Thank you! I know God wanted me to start a healthy/fitblr on tumblr, but I've been losing my focus on WHY I felt God wanted me to start a blog on there. I became consumed with gaining followers and posting things that I thought would attract other people. Instead, I need to post things that encourage, inspire, and motivate me and not to forget the backbone of my little tumblr which is God. Thank you for this again :)

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    1. Sky,

      You are SO VERY welcome. I am delighted that God used this to speak to you. I was a little nervous about posting it because I wasn't sure how others would respond or what they would think of me, but Knowing that there are others who relate and that God has used it to speak to them makes me glad that I wrote it. Thanks for stopping by :)

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  8. I am totally with you and have been feeling the same way recently. Particularly about wanting "readers" and not just "followers"! Glad to know I am not alone in feeling this way and am so happy to be one of your "readers"! :)

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    1. Christa, I am glad that I am not alone in feeling this way. Thanks for "reading" :)))

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  9. Thank you so much for posting this. I really needed this today. I love to blog as well. It is really one of my favorite things to do. However, like you between the kids, homeschooling, work at church, family, housekeeping, menu planning, couponing, etc... I have felt I just haven't had time to put out good content. You have confirmed what I already knew that it doesn't have to be an all or nothing kind of thing. Everything we do should be offered to God and I believe he is not in it if I am neglecting my family. Today was my first "official" day back on my blog. Thanks cause now I am not feeling so much pressure.

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    1. Onika,

      I am glad that this post blessed you... I wish you all the best as you pursue to balance all of these things in life. Thanks for your comment :)

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  10. I'm really REALLY glad I ran across this post. I needed to read it. The blogging world is so easy to get sucked into. I completely agree with all that you've said. Thanks for writing this!

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    1. Cortney, You are so very welcome! Glad this post spoke to you :)

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  11. Absolutely fantastic post. It's so hard to start out, I just started a few months ago also and you're 100% right about being the new blog on the block. I really am just trying to do what's best for me and see where that takes me. Some days I can be social and most days I can not. But if I put my heart into my blog I believe others will feel it.

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    1. Thanks Niki :) You are absolutely right about just putting your heart into it and believing others will feel it. Thanks for the great perspective. All the best with your blog!

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  12. This was beautiful and have felt the same things you feel. As a single mom working a job and then coming home to take care of my son its impossible to blog everday and when I do blog I want it to be meaningful not just a post to fill up space and attract new readers. This was a well-written piece of sharing your heart.

    Hugs!

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  13. Amen.
    thank you for saying it so very well!
    nancy

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