Today I was inspired to weigh in on a topic that has been on my mind for a while but I’ve never quite had the right words to say or describe my thoughts. I’ve experienced what I’ll call the ‘blogging blues.’ It’s a feeling that is made up of discouragement due to comparison. I am guilty that I have a tendency to compare my little blog here to more established blogs on the web. Some actual thoughts I’ve had...
They have more followers or likes. How can I get those? Wow, they get about 3M views a MONTH?! Bloglovin’ suggestions make me feel small compared to all of these other lifestyle blogs out there. Why doesn’t anyone link up with my hosted linkups?
In the beginning...
I began blogging when I was inspired to create a teacher blog that focused on my days in and out of the classroom and sharing experiences and resources with other teachers. I loved the community in which I found myself and I was able to grow friendships from people I never would have met otherwise. My first blog (besides the one I had to make for a college class, which we’re not going to even consider a real thing for the sake of this post) was called ‘Keeping Up in Kindergarten’ in 2011. (Can you tell my "creative" name was based on a Kardashian reality show at the time? Yeah that happened). I didn’t know a thing about blogging but I slowly began to build my own little corner on the web just for my classroom. It wasn’t anything special but it was something that was mine.
Flash forward to the next school year. I moved to second grade and I faced a conundrum. Do I keep the blog or change it? I wasn’t feeling my kinder blog that much anymore; it never really picked up off the ground and I found I didn’t have the passion for it like I originally did. I would post probably once or twice a month and in combination with the stress that comes in that first year of teaching, my blog ended up just gathering dust. So, I decided to scrap it and begin anew and thus I created Sliding Into Second Grade (gotta love those catchy teacher-blog names!).
It was within my second year teaching that I got the fire underneath me again to begin blogging. I told myself that I am going to commit to this and put forth the effort to post and just have fun with it. After all I am not aiming to be the number one teacher blogger or be nationally recognized...it was about me having my space to share my classroom and connect with other teachers.
It was that moment: when I decided that I would do something for me and create something for me that could help other teachers with my posts or resources, that I found satisfaction and joy from blogging. My teacher blog now has over 3,000+ views a month, over 1,600+ followers on Facebook, and I’ve managed to make a good paycheck by selling my classroom resources on Teachers Pay Teachers...and it continues to grow to this day. I am so grateful that my little corner of the web, my blog, has managed to reach those readers and is able to be a resource to teachers all over. That’s why I do it. Again, those numbers may not be anything in comparison to that of others but I refuse to compare my accomplishments to others. I am proud of what I’ve built and that’s the point.
Now, this brings me to my other little pride and joy: Primarily Inspired. I began this lifestyle blog after a lot of thought and consideration.
Would I be able to manage two blogs at the same time? What about when I begin teaching full-time again? Will I be able to make that commitment?
And then it dawned on me...I blog because I love writing and sharing the things that inspire me and PI has been a place where I can do that. I’m inspired by fashion, beauty, books, my faith, cooking, and just the inner workings of overall life. I blog because it is personal to me and I choose to share it in hopes that others can relate and therefore foster community or at the very least start a discussion.
If you’ve made it this far and haven’t clicked away from this long post yet (I know!), I promise I’ve finally brought us to my main point and inspiration for this post. Recently I have been exposed to the unflattering side to blogging. It’s the side where people become more interested in gaining followers and likes, routinely checking their blog stats and questioning how to build more traffic, and contemplate paying for advertising or not. This is the ugly side to this beautiful platform of blogging.
If you’re one of these people I just say to you (and something I’ve had to remind myself of constantly) is that take a moment to reflect on why you began blogging in the first place.
Were you inspired by something? Are you an avid writer and love sharing stories or your opinions? Do you want to begin a small online business?
No matter what your answer is, it should be because you enjoy it and are doing it for YOU. I promise those numbers you see on other blogs grow naturally over time and eventually you’ll get there too. Don’t be discouraged or caught up in getting your blog exposed to drive more traffic. That’s not what this is about. Be authentic to who you are and those readers will come and care more about what you have to say.
I know that right there was quite a bit and frankly I’m grateful if you’ve made it to this point. Thank you for listening to me ramble but I care enough about this topic that I’d thought to share my opinion.
Have you experienced these blogging blues? What helps you snap yourself out of them?