I blog since blogging was invented. I was one of the first, and for over 15 years I’ve been blogging almost every day. There were moments in my life that every occasion was observed on blogability.
In those days blogging was fun. You opened one at one of the so many platforms and instantly you had an audience, since there were not many of us. We had fun sharing, working, linking and helping each other. We followed our hearts and we were genuine, Google loved us and there was no higher science to it than just writing.
Nowadays with everything that is going on with SEO, Google Algorithms, interaction, snippets and so on and so on, even i lost track.
Only to realise just this afternoon that I had made three big mistakes in both blogging and my Social Media usage that takes away the fun, and with that, maybe even the growth of my blog and audience.
1. I listened to too many guru’s and forgot my basic instinct and common sense
In my insecurity about all the background changes and in my fear to end up at the bottom of all search results. I started to look around for answers. And answers you can find on the internet.
Well, you know, you found me. :-)So I made schedules, I automised, I studied SEO, I tried to create interaction, I wrote better content based on search words and trigger words. I learned about catchy headlines (don’t we all hate click-bate??)I tried to be even more genuine, authentic, a storyteller, content writer, I tried using emotion(emotion sells).
I tried to create blogs that influence people, my social media should be in line with my blogs, and so on and so on……..
I followed almost every rule in the book, and I lost me.
I forgot about my common sense. My own knowledge of blogging and my pleasure.
2. It was more about my audience than about me
The next thing was, (that is just my personality, I guess) that my blog and social media interaction become more and more about my audience than it about me and my goals.
Sure, some articles are about me, but it is not about me anymore:
About my goals and my identity.
It became about what people want to read, see, hear. What people search for, what they like and dislike.
It became about website structure.
About visitors friendly and layout.
I searched the internet for trends, I followed leads I hootsuited myself through tons and tons of tweets from influencers just to find out how to please my ‘customers’.
I even set up a poll to ask my followers what they liked.
I tested timetables, visual content and emotional content, for people love drama.
I did everything to please my peer group and I lost track of me, why I wanted to blog, what my goals were and what I wanted for my website.
3. I made myself to vulnerable
In the days of old, when blogging was fun, it was pretty normal to blog about everything and specially your personal life.
I did that. I wrote about my daily ramblings and my joy and sadness, my burnout and depressions, my love life. It was all there. And people were supportive, they loved it, they watched out for you and cared.Not anymore.The world is a fast turning globe were intel is at almost everybody’s fingertips and everybody has an opinion and is in desperate need to be heard. And if you are not smiling 24/7 under a sunlit palm tree on a bright white beach….you are not going to make it.
People want photoshopped lives, and forget about the reality. People want information more than they want personal stories or opinions.
And when they do read something like that, they see it as an open invitation to vent. They type comments, without even thinking what they might inflict on the blog owner, vlogger, tweep or instagrammer.
The word ‘trolling’ washed over the internet like a tsunami
I confess I have a long history of love and hate relationship with social media. Even with my beloved blog.
And that is the biggest mistake I made: for this era I made myself too vulnerable.
I forgot I entered the century where trolls seem to rule the internet. And I was to open for everybody else and neglected myself.
1. Comments off
No matter what gurus say about it, some of them say: interaction counts, but even so many say: Google does not count comments.
What do I say?
I dislike comments, they take up a lot of my time, most of the time they are an interpretation of my writings that is so far from what is written that answering them is sheer impossible. And I do not want to know what you think.
And if you really want to get in touch, you can. You can find a way to reach me, I’m sure of it. There are plenty.
Comments are often abused to deep link your website. We all know that, we all have done that
2. Main goal in perspective.
I need the income from my blogs. Simple as that. And since the average visitor is not clicking in the donation button for all the free information here, I have to use ads to do so. And ads only pay off when I get a lot of visitors. So I will write content that will attract a lot of visitors. That is my main goals, the rest comes after that.
3. My other Social Media under review
As a photographer I like Instagram, although Facebook is turning it into a messy marketplace, with all the ads. My IG is linked to my FB page where I will promote my blogs and videos from the YouTube Channel and my photography-projects. But I will not post any private information on FB anymore.
4. My Diary on Leaving Holland
I will write when I feel like it, it is there, I will not kill it. But maybe I will not write in it anymore. For now it is time to focus on my other writings. And maybe they are vulnerable enough as it is.
I did not start my travels to be glued to the internet all the time, and yet that is what was happening. Researching, trying to understand, studying, answering emails without getting paid for it, staring at the unused donation button, making videos for YouTube, I even considered going live and keep up with that trent.
I live in a gorgious country, white beaches almost at my doorstep. Challenging roads, mountains to climb and hours of sun in between the majestic thunderstorms.
I need to be out there. That is my life.