Blogging, like a lot of things in life, is like a popularity contest. I have never been a “popular” person or run with the “in-crowd”, so why should I expect differently from my blog? I am beginning to accept this. I write because it satisfies me, I have been told I am good at it, and it lets me vent – on occasion. Essentially, I enjoy the process, and usually, the product of my writing.
One thing is true, however. I stay true to myself, my thoughts, my experience, and my convictions (er – beliefs, that is). My writing is not calculated to produce an effect. I do not try to get attention. I do not disrespect others. I do not poke fun at someone else’s expense. I might alienate some. I might make some angry. I might marginalize myself……but, I try hard not to do the same to others. I try to reflect, understand, inform, communicate, and relate. In essence, I want to make you think.
The problem, here, of course, is that sometimes it makes for dry reading. Unless you are already invested in a topic I choose to write about, there is a great potential that what I write is not relatable to you, specifically. I think that is a risk all writers take. Some, many – actually, feel unable to take the risk, and therefore, try to attenuate the risk by altering or twisting their story/words/style/caption/tone, etc …. making sure you feel compelled to jump on board. Can you feel the peer pressure? Yup, it is there with blogging, too. You like a certain blog because your friend or co-worker likes it. You want to fit in. You want to be able to talk with a friendly banter or laugh about what they recently read on someone’s blog. You, along with several hundred other people, know this person. So, you follow along with all the other “groupies”.
Here are a few reasons my blog might still be minimally followed at six months of age:
On using family and friends: That’s just not happening for me. First off, let’s look at the social media aspect of blogging. Social media is okay. But, I am really not into hanging my whole life out there for the public’s general perusal. I have always had a very small group of close friends and that suits me just fine. I do not have hundreds of Facebook followers or hundreds of friends. I have a small group of loyal friends and I am loyal to them in return. My family is small. When you have no true cousins that is a small family! You figure out what it means! Plus, I do not ask that my family be involved in each and every aspect of my freaking life. They like that I am writing, read occasionally, and share even less often. That is all okay with me. I am not going to beg them – or you.
On being a role model: Lately, there is a lot of disrespect being bantered around the internet. I suppose that is because it exists to a large extent in daily life. I fail to see this as amusing or something to be propagated. As adults, in my opinion, we are always on display with our words and our actions. Children pay attention, whether you think they do or not. If you are exhibiting disrespect, through words or actions, then you are role modeling that for children. If you are being a respectful and responsible person, that is noted too. Adults are role models 24/7 – all the time, every hour of every day. Watch what you do, for there are eyes on you. I try to follow this guide for the primary reason that eventually children learn what hypocrites are. I do not want to be one.
On Being Authentic: I am a mother, sister, daughter, wife, nurse, teacher, friend, jewelry artist (didn’t know that one, huh?), author, leader, gardener, lover of music, photographer, citizen scientist, community participant, environmental group member, baker, cook, and many other more mundane titles. I am mid-life (hopefully), having three nearly grown boys. I have things I can share from my experience. Some of those things, I have chosen not to share – yet. I am still deciding whether I want to or not. But, I write authentically, from my own life experience. It is all I know.
On not trying to sell you things: I like information. There is no doubt about it! Better for me than any funny story, is a boat load of information. I love sifting through it. I love finding the little known fact or tidbit. I love a detailed map. I love facts. And, I love sharing all those things with my readers. So, a large part of why I write my blog is to inform. Bloggers that write to entertain, or play on your feelings more than your mind, will probably experience a larger following.
Do I want to gain more readers? Of course! Will I compromise my integrity to get them? No. I will continue to plod along, writing daily, challenging myself and hopefully, engaging most of those who come across my page. But, as the saying goes “you do you”. I will stick with being me.
Surprisingly, several hours after I wrote the bulk of this post, I got a notification from WordPress that I recently passed 1,000 likes for my blog! All in all, not bad for the first six months of blogging! I will take it! I think I do have a little popularity among my loyal readers! Thank you!