It’s Time to Take Back The Blog
Have you heard the news? Facebook is killing how we connect with our audience.
Ok, maybe I am being a little dramatic, but not by much. Some people are blaming Edgerank, an algorithm developed by Facebook to govern what is displayed and how high on people’s news feed. In conjunction with this, what is ranked highest and placed on the news feed is, others say, what is paid for – in other words, what you pay Facebook advertising dollars to promote.
We have all noticed our reach significantly decline on our Facebook stats. People who willingly “liked” our pages might still not get to see what they signed up for because Facebook is picking and choosing at will.
It’s coming down to paying to be seen. Brands are using their marketing money for the cause, trying to protect themselves against the many glitches around advertising on Facebook by hiring consultants to manage against the numerous amount of bots that rigged the system they are paying for, pushing up the cost of messages-turned-paid-for ads that aren’t really being seen by that many “real” people otherwise.
Bloggers are freaking the hell out.
“How will people see my content?” “How will I reach my audience?” “Holy mother of God what will we do NOW?”
I get it.
This is what marketers and brands and agencies have done to blogging.
Yeah…that’s right. I’m looking at you.
By classifying the blogger and/or their content’s worth and value based on the number of “likes” or “followers” or “Alexa ranking” or “unique readers” and at times rewarding them handsomely so that they connect you with the people you hope are real and potential consumers, you have contributed to turning bloggers into marketing junkies and creating bloggers who live for no other purpose than to churn out numbers. High numbers for the promise of opportunities.
This is what bloggers have done to blogging.
Yeah…that’s right. I’m looking at you.
You have relinquished your control and your power over your blog to the likes of Twitter and Facebook and Google+. What once used to be the excitement to share a story, even if only one person read it and responded, has turned into an obsession over how many comments you can get. How many readers you can reach. How many people retweet or like or worship you.
We’ve created titles like “popular blogger” “celebrity bloggers” “big blogger”. And I have to ask: What the f*ck, people? What has happened to blogging?
I came to Facebook very, very late in the game. And by the time I did, I had developed a nice following of readers, many of whom I considered friends because of my interactions with them either on Twitter or in person.
More often than not, I used Twitter to rant and rave, chat and respond…and I loved it.
Lately those conversations have gotten harder, in part because Twitter too is picking and choosing who can see what on eachother’s stream, and I miss seeing people that I know are there, but for whatever reason Twitter has chosen to unfollow or just not let on to my Twitter world.
I won’t deny that I have a media kit that I present to potential clients and advertisers for jobs, opportunities, and advertising dollars.
But I will admit that what I love about blogging, more than anything at all, is the story telling itself and the genuine conversations I have with the people who read me – whether they be two or 20. And meeting them, in person, when ever I can.
And…I’m exhausted. I’m exhausted of it being about the numbers. I’m exhausted of having brands talk to me about “my reach” and not about “my voice”. I’m exhausted of hearing “experts” get on panels telling me how I can “increase my stats” as opposed to talking to me on how to find motivation when it fails me, or deal with writer’s block, or stay true to my voice, or effing learn how to just write better.
There are bloggers who are there to make money and literally find the SEO, statistic, reach and metrics world absolutely orgasmic. And God bless ’em. They help us understand it all better.
There are bloggers who look to this to help support their families, and man, do I get that too – many a times has a check helped to pay a bill in my household.
But despite it all a lot of us really just wanna be able to write a good story and I say it’s time. It’s time to take back the blog. It’s time to forget about the stats and the likes and the views and just write a damn good story.
And brands, come back to the reasons why you were intrigued with bloggers in the first place: our ability to genuinely connect with our community. Our ability to share with those who trust us and look to us for information because they know we won’t steer them wrong. We might just be reaching Jenny, Jane and Martha. And they may be our only loyal readers, but Jenny, Jane, and Martha have their own following, who have their own following. To judge and select a blogger solely on the numbers in front of you is to limit not only their potential, but your own.
Read us. Connect with us. Get to know us. Let us get back to what we do best!
I am not implying that the practice of sharing our content should be dead. Tweet and Facebook and Google+ your heart out. Because it feels good to share. We want people to know. But let’s keep sight of our intentions and regain the joy for what we do, regardless of what the numbers say.
It’s how so many of us started on this journey in the first place, remember? And we were our happiest, even when we didn’t think there was anyone out there listening.
Those were good times.
And finally, if you are looking to blog to make a crap load of money, well…that ship has sailed. Unless of course, you are also willing to get out there and network, promote yourself, send out emails, freelance, deliver a good product and good content.
Blogging is not going to make you rich.
Yeah, that’s right. I said it.
So have a broader plan in place. Because between all the better blogs out there competing for attention and marketing money, Facebook trying to figure out how to pay back investors, and Twitter trying to make a profit, all we are left with is the choice to do this for the love of it, and do it well so that others will feel inspired enough to want to read more and feel happy in turn.
All we are left with is going back to when it was about the blog and blogging was good.
If I "like" this, is it ironic?
I would like to start the slow clap that leads to thunderous applause. We need to all stop worrying about how things "look" to companies, stop allowing them to dictate a top-down hierarchy of the blogosphere. This was suppose to be a way for ANYONE to share their voice. What happened? Heck, I WELCOME corporate sponsorship (when it fits)…but it should be up to us on what terms and when. And it should be up to all of us to decide what we personally think is quality content–not up to corporations to play king maker because partnering with a big company makes you popular which gets you more "readers" so you can get more partnerships so you can…well…anyone who was a kid in the 80s knows how that commercial went.
@Candace: OMG. I feel old..yet am laughing all at the same time. Haha! Thanks for that Candace.
Oh, how I love this. The one that really freaks me out is Google+. If Google ties bloggers' page rank to Google+ or relies more heavily on advertisements to direct traffic, potential readers may not find the content they seek because the Google overlords want to make even more money. Sounds a bit like 1984's Big Brother, non?
Meanwhile, my Commentluv is not working because I can't figure out what the eff is wrong with my RSS feed (a la Feedburner, a la Google).
We bloggers keep on spinning in our hamster wheels, trying to keep up with the social media rules when the rules keep on changing on us. Blogging can be a grind and Twitter, Facebook & Google are making us grind harder and harder just to keep up. And, like you said, most of us are certainly getting rich at this.
I love blogging. I love connecting with my readers and with other bloggers but what is the point if no one can even find my content? Your restaurant can have the best food in the world but it doesn't mean anything if no one can find the joint.
Oops – I meant certainly are NOT getting rich at this. Yeah, I'm tired. Gotta stop running in my wheel for the night.
(That's all I can muster at 1221 in the morning.)
@Colleen Lanin: We spend so much time tryng to figure out how to stay ahead of it all, so much time worrying about how to manipulate the content so that it wins through, so much time coding and SEOing and promoting that and figuring out keywords and linkage and whatever, that we forget about the content – which in the end is really what matters most.
@Desiree: Ha! Love it. Thanks for the support!
I totally agree. I will not be paying Facebook to promote anything on principle. I figure if people like my blog and use Facebook to keep track of me, they will either click on my Facebook page to find new posts that may not have shown up in their news feed OR figure out another way to subscribe. I have really been working on my own attitude about blogging and going back to "the good old days" (from my end, anyway) for a while and its tough because of how it's all changed in the last five years, but it really is healthier, less stressful, and soon: cheaper!
@Melisa: It's also harder to refocus becuase of all of pressure we get from "successful bloggers" as people like to label some, telling everyone to manipulate the content to get the numbers. Gotta go with what it's more natural.
So well said. The whole post I was reading and nodding my head. Thank you for sharing this so eloquently!
Jenny, Jane, and Martha! They're my peeps! They like what I have to say, and that makes me feel good.
Over the past few months, I've adjusted the time I spend on my blog, realizing that from a business sense, it doesn't merit such a disproportionate investment. And you know what? Spending less time on it has made me love it and appreciate it even more.
Thank you for writing this. It is true that blogging used to be about writing; that's why I was and still am attracted to it. I have never really cared about numbers or comments or reach really and I think that's shown. What I do care about is having a voice and building a community around shared interest (and WRITING).
I have completely withdrawn from the rat race that is the crazed bloggers who are looking for the next handout or newest "opportunity." It's really not a slight to anyone who enjoys those things but more an indirect commentary on how things have changed in the blogging community and "it's not my bag, baby."
Again, great post, Carol. Thanks for writing it.
Lisa @ Crazy Adventu
I'm already emotional from lack of sleep with an infant and a hurt back, but I WANT TO CRY BIG, FAT, HAIRY, BUCKETS OF TEARS over this post, because it is ALL TRUE and ALL SAD what has happened to writing and blogs in general.
I just want to write. It's all I ever wanted to do, it's why I started this to begin with, it's only ever been about parental storytelling for me. Almost as simultaneously as the aforementioned stats and comments suddenly increased did it almost as quickly begin to go away because Twitter was easier. Facebook was easier. Clicking a like or retweet was easier than leaving the writer a comment in agreement, and now, one must wonder, why don't we just forget it and go back to the old school methods of, y'know, READING, COMMENTING, and RESPONDING? Back to community the way it was? Back to our Google Readers and email subscriptions and actual comments left with encouraging support?
Folks wouldn't have to worry about private messages showing up on their timelines if they messaged on FB less and wrote heartfelt emails and comments more.
What a great piece. It IS about our voice and not solely about the numbers. At least that's what it should be. From a brand or advertiser perspective I do understand that predicting ROI is important but it's quality content that will ultimately get people to take action, buy a product or travel to that destination.
Great post. I have been feeling the same way – trying to understand that what I knew as blogging in the beginning had changed so dramatically toward marketing, even though I hope to be able to do that in a symbiotic way with bloggers. I keep listening – and I read your blog and repost it because I LIKE it, genuinely, and WANT to share. You say what you mean – you have conversations. It's well worth being part of your dialogues 🙂 Don't leave FB though — I still like it too. Twitter is another story 🙂
@Traci: It's important to find what best works for you, so that you can work happy : )
@Elise Jones: Thanks so much Elise!
@Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting: Thanks so much for taking time out of your sleep-deprived day to comment here so passionately. I agree!!!
@Cristina: Thank you so much for that affirmation!
@Barbara Pflughaupt: Ahhh, your support is so precious to me! Thank you!
I love this post. Love it.
I took a very long break from my blog, in part because I had a baby, and in part because I was just done – I had been doing it for years, not looking to do anything more than share with the people out there who had found me somehow along the way, and all of a sudden there were conferences and contests and SEO and I felt like for so many reasons, in so many ways, I was *doing it wrong*. I don't have the money for a DSLR, or to go to conferences, and it really took the joy out of it for me to think that my words had no worth because I wasn't playing the game… but I missed it. I started another blog, but I have quietly started writing again on that other blog, and this just validates everything I've been feeling. It's not about numbers and reach and branding and all those things that people say you should care about. It's about sharing your stories, using your voice and your words. I want to see more of that, from myself and from others.
Thank you for this post.
since i am a twitter/fb/blogging newbie, can you explain what you mean when you say we can't always see everything that our followers send on Twitter?
i thought that if i @ you and sned you a msg, it is guaranteed that it goes on your feed? am i wrong?
Sarah May (@AntiquaT
How this rings true!
@Jennifer Hess: Ah Jennifer. I'm sorry you've felt this way. I know that it's hard to feel like anyone is listening when so many of us, and yes, I say us, make so much noise. Please never loose sight of the fact that it's often just that – noise. The true value in what we or you or any of us does is here. On the blog. In our words. How we choose to interact, and the people we connect with along the way. I'm glad you've started to blog again, especially because you missed it so much. Thanks for your comment, for sharing your feelings and thoughts, and for going back to it : )
@Diana: Yes, Diana, you're right. If you "@" me, or anyone, I will get it. What I mean is when your message isn't directed at anyone…or hashtagged, they have somehow just not made it onto the main twitter stream for others to see. It will be on your personal one, but somehow when it comes to others, no so much. It's like hearing crickets – which happens at times on Twitter, but it's happening WAY more. A lot of us have noticed it.
Yes! I love this so much.
I was blogging back in 2006 when there was no Twitter, and I hadn't even heard of facebook. It was about stories, and writing, and making connections. Blogging felt like a small community, and I loved being a part of it. And then life got in the way and I had to stop for a time.
When I returned to blogging in 2009, it was a whole new world with sponsored posts and social sharing – not bad, just different. And I got pulled into it. There have been times those checks arrived exactly when my family needed them, and I'm thankful for that, but I miss 2006. I miss the stories and writing just for the love of writing – I still do that on my blog, but not as much as I would like. I miss that small community feeling, and being excited to check in on my friends and read their words.
@Tracie: Ahhh. Lovely – we need to get that back!
I was wondering why the crickets were louder than the people. I totally feel you Carol. I often take myself back to why I started blogging in the first place, and it's definitely the stories. The numbers game IS exhausting, and so it's nice to step back from it and take a rest.
Girl Who Cried Skinn
Amen! It seems everyone and her brother has a blog now, and yet, hardly any of them are ones I actually want to read. Which was the point, long ago. Just taking a few minutes to write something that you felt just needed to be said. Something that was banging around in your head or your belly and had to get out. THAT is the blog I want to read, and will keep reading. Thanks for writing this. I really don't care how many followers or subscribers or whatever a blog has. If it is interesting, regardless of the topic; I will read it. Funny, that's how I am with books, too 🙂
@Kim: It's so important to take a few steps back and reflect. We are all human after all, so a personal reminder is key. Thanks Kim!
@Girl Who Cried Skinny: Love that! Thanks for your comment!
I hear you. I have noticed a pattern, than when I start getting frustrated because my blog isn't [fill the blank: big, successful, popular, etc] "enough", it somehow kills my creativity and I get even more frustrated, and I stop posting a much and start considering closing it down for good.
Then I remind myself why I started in the first place. What it felt like to get things out, to express myself in my own space… how it felt to get one comment, just one – it felt amazing to know that someone was out there.
Recently someone asked me for my stats, presumably to find out if I am good enough to be granted media accreditation to attend their big show. I sent them in. And then I fell into a pit of anxiety and lack of motivation, and haven't posted since. It's like self-esteem: why place it in the hands of someone else? Why give anyone that power? It's all about us. Or in this case, our blogs.
That isn't to say that conflicting emotions might not come up here and there. But we don't need to dwell in them, and this BS stats business isn't worth losing what makes me, well, ME.
Wow. Words fail me, that was on point!
Mardi (eat. live. tr
Carol. Thank you for this. My biggest takeaway from this post?
"Read us. Connect with us. Get to know us. Let us get back to what we do best!"
If only more people would DO just that.
WOW! I was applauding as I was reading…very well said!!
@Amanda: thank you for reading Amanda!
@Mardi (eat. live. travel. write.): Thanks Mardi. I wish the same.
@Kate@Diethood: Thank you!!
wendy @ mama one to
As a writer, I totally agree. I went to grad school for writing BEFORE the internet (what??!!). It is so weird for me to try to promote myself this way. At the same time though, I have met so many people and heard so many stories that I never would have without FB and Twitter…
To be honest, I am bad at self promotion in general! I am not really sure how to get my writing in front of people, which I suppose is the hardest part for any writer!
you're doing great. keep at it, friend!
@wendy @ mama one to three: Wendy, we all want to be able to put our work, our stories in front of others – and social media is a wonderful tool for all of that. It's also an incredibly way to connect with our audience. However, in the process of doing so we can't allow ourselves to get caught up in it. The pressure put on us by others to deliver numbers over good content has led to a loss of perspective…and to many a loss of passion. I think that when our sharing becomes more about wanting attention than about wanting to tell a story, that's when we have to take pause.
Such a smart little essay. Build the blog, don't rely on social media to get you eyeballs. They are the added extras. I came to FB late and the dip in FB views have barely been a blip on the radar for overall blog traffic.
@Nicole Feliciano: Yup, I agree Nicole!
Alison Ray (@SassyMo
Thank you for saying what so many are thinking. The focus on numbers can suck the life out of you and can definitely take away the passion for writing. The numbers game drives me crazy when all I really want to focus on is better content. It's nice and flattering to be hired by a brand who wants to work together based on the ability to help connect them with potential customers.
@Alison Ray (@SassyMomChicago): It's so flattering when you get hired for your blogging/writing talent as opposed to for how many numbers you can deliver. At the very least, it's nice when the "getting the numbers" isn't our problem to focus on because we're hired to tell the story.
LOVE this post. I figured out early on that if I wanted to make money with my blog, it was quicker and saner to resort to things other than ads. Of course it helps that I was a freelancer to begin with. But I enjoy teaching my online workshops (for homeschoolers) and I have a book coming out next year. I have yet to sell a single advertisement and I have no regrets.
@Pamela @RedWhiteandGrew: Thank you!
After blogging for over 4 years, I've learned to write about what is important to me. And when brands work with me despite my stats, I know I've found a connection that I foster.
Excellent post, Carol, and right on target! I just hope the intended audience takes it to heart.
Excellent message, Carol! I am using FB less and less. Spending more time connecting with people on Google+ and using my blog as the main place I handle my business. These other platforms are outpost and it bothers me that some brands still do not see the power in reading a freakin' blog instead of depending on likes and friends and such.
@Karon: Thanks Karon, I hope so too.
@lu: I hear ya. The goal is to find happiness in what you do, even if brands don't see the value. Morphing into something that sells leaves little for the soul.
Oh Carol… I'm so depressed at the state of blogging these days! I so miss 2009… where we all read many blog posts a day, and commented on each one! Now people hardly have time (or so it seems…) to read, let alone, comment on blog posts! I say we bring back old school blogging! We should take a stand in 2013! As much as I love Twitter, it sort of killed comments on blog posts, you know? 🙁
Yes. Exactly. This is exactly what we need. Go back to blogging the way blogging used to be. Back when people cared about what we had to say, not what we were giving away!!
For me, it's never been about the numbers. It's been about connection. It's always been about connection. Sure, numbers are nice, but they don't have anything on actual connections. Thank you for writing this.
Lori Randall Stradtm
Heck Yes!!! I love your post. I love your passion. I love that you have the nerve to say what's been exactly on my mind for the past several months and why I grieve for social media the way it could be – should be.
I happened to be on Facebook back in 2005 because I was a (returning) full time college student. It used to be fun. It used to be about connecting with people, even if it WAS just to see party pictures, work on group projects, and tell dumb jokes. Now I'm so sick of the corporate takeover that I could alternately cry or puke.
Did I mention that I'm a published author on this subject matter? Not plugging my book here, but suffice to say that I have deeply studied blogging and social media and have decided that some soul saving is in order while we still have the chance, as individuals, to make a difference before all of this gets swallowed up in corporate bore.
Being authentic and resisting the urge to "go bland or go home" is a great start, don't you think? I think I have a title for my next post… where I will be linking to yours!
Thank you so much for your brave candor!
This blog proves your point perfectly…when we say something that resonates–and put ourselves out there for whatever point we intend to make–the comments will come. The eyeballs will be on it, and so will the comments. Keep on plugging away about what is in your heart. I'll do the same.
Leighann of D-Mom Bl
I published a book this year and my website has a Google Page Rank of 5, yet comments have declined in the past year or so. I know that people are coming to the site, but what I'm finding is that people are clicking over from Facebook, reading, and then returning to FB to like or comment. I think the days of lots of comments are long gone, especially as people read on the go, often from their phones.
When I had a "mommy blog," the PR companies regularly courted me. Yet now that I have a niche blog (frequently named to top lists for this niche) with large reach, I've become almost invisible to PR.
It's a completely different environment from the blogging days of five years ago.
Yes to all of this. I'm to the point where I don't even want to post a post link onto twitter or facebook. If you want to read my site, subscribe. If not, don't. I'll be there either way. ::raises glass to you::
Love as always. I haven't been all that caught up in the numbers game and have "fallen behind" in the marketing sense as a result. But I also know that whenever I feel compelled to worry about my numbers, I stop loving what I'm doing.
laura @ hollywood ho
This is so awesome. It reflects exactly what I've been feeling in 2012, but haven't been able to say. Sharing this immediately. 🙂
yeeessss! I've been blogging for over 6 years and this past year has just about killed me because of that very same feeling of exhaustion!
Take back the blog- AMEN sister!
Great post!! I started working full time and still blog but find that my blog has been chasing the Klout/SEO dragon yet, companies find me not because of product reviews but my personal posts. Your post reconfirms what I already knew for months, I can not win the FB/Twitter/Klout battle unless thats all I do and I am done, I just want to write about my life.
I LOVE it! Love love love.
I am just a little ole blogger who sometimes does a product review and definitely does book reviews but that's it. Really.
I came late in the game, too, to FB, that is. But I blog to blog. I try to read people's writing and yes, count on FB and twitter more often lately to do so, only cause so many blogs clogged up my reader and I fell into the – I have to follow you back mode … but you've inspired me to clean that up to include the blogs I know, read and love!! :>
@Leighann of D-Mom Blog: Thanks Leighann – I was never one to have a lot of comments on my blog on a consistent basis, but i can imagine how odd it feels to go from having a lot of them to very few if any. What I did learn very, very early in my blogging stage is that if people are reading, your writing is making affecting someone. I will often meet people at events or conferences – bloggers or agency reps – and they will pull me aside to talk to me about how something I blogged about motivated them or made them laugh or got them to think. I think that it is all we can hope and aspire for. We've pushed hard for the likes and the comments and the followers because others have placed so much value in these, but often times your community, those who hold on to your every word aren't as visible, but no less valuable to your efforts and goals as a story teller. If we can embrace our craft in this manner, i think we can only become better at our passion.
I could not agree with you more nor could I have said it better myself. Nice to meet you!
Thanks everyone so much for your comments and support. Someone mentioned that my "as seen on" box goes against what I am sharing with you here. I disagree. I am not against promoting your work, your writing and whatever other skills you have beyond your blog. If anything, that box below is proof that when you blog your passion without focus on the numbers and followers and stats and the pressures to be what others consider to be better than what and who you are – when you can just put your head down and do your thing, opportunities will come your way. You have the power and the voice to be who you are as you want to be, there's no saying that to do so means to burn bridges to more if you want it. Blog your passion, all else will follow.
Love this! This is why I took a step back and really started focusing on my writing and my voice again. Because of that, I've been told that I have really helped others through my writing. Maybe we'll see the backlash this year?
priest's wife (
YEEEEEEESSS! This is why I proudly consider myself a 'micro'blogger!
@laura @ hollywood housewife: Thanks Laura : )
@priest's wife (@byzcathwife): Haha! Never heard of the term, but I like it!
As a girl who's admired your writing and your blog, and also another mama with a blog raising kids in NJ, I can't tell you how much this post moves me. I've been given the title of "small blogger" for the 5 years that I have been blogging, and lately it seems that numbers are still a big deal, although bloggers and speakers and conferences are swearing up and down that they're not. So which way am I supposed to go? Write like I have been and get lost in the shuffle, or sell out and work on getting empty numbers so I can get a paycheck to help us get out of debt and own our own home? The leaders of the big conferences are saying "you can have it all" but are also saying "visit our sponsors and take their swag." E-books are telling me that it's so important to interact on Facebook and twitter, and you need to build those numbers if you want to be taken seriously. Well…I am serious about my writing, and i'm serious about providing content for my readers, but because my FB status updates don't get seen like a blogger with thousands of friends/followers, I'm not serious or important? I can't accept that. Which is why my 2013 goals for my blog are based around things that I feel the need to write about within the next year. It an monetary opportunity comes up, then that's great, but i'm over the numbers bull crap.
@Amiyrah: What most people don't understand about the "blogging for money" concept is that you can't blog for money and also blog for yourself. So, if you're going to blog for money on a consistent basis, than look to build yourself up as a freelance blogger. Develop a niche so that you can promote your expertise to blog for on paid sites, or attain partnerships. Not everyone can do this, it is a job like any other: you interview, you send out "resumes", you have contracts you have to adhere to, you have deadlines and projects to meet. For bloggers who make money, this is what they do – and even still it's not often a lot, unless they take on a lot of assignments, which can leave little time or energy for your actual blog. Your actual blog is you, and you have to believe that it is enough because if not you will spend more time trying to meet the expectations of others and changing your voice to fit in. If you can blog your voice, and yet find a way to build a brand for outside work as a freelancer it could help. But rarely do the two in one ever work well, for the blogger or the reader.
Amen. You tell the truth. I have narrowed down my writing to only what I care about, not about what brands want me to write about or promote. While I have a nice following, my numbers are not big and I am not typically chosen for appropriate opportunities and I continue to write about only what interests me. I've loved my blog for nearly 3 years now and it's led to wonderful opportunities but to be honest, I'm not sure where it's going in 2013. I'm tired, I'm burnt out, I want to return to the work force full time and leave it in the dust. Where did the passion go? I'm not sure.
I started my personal blog as a niche, writing about toys using my background as an occupational therapist and trying to include a different spin on my own content that proved to be great product development advice for companies, while parents have been able to locate cool toys and products to use with their children. However, these days, I make my money writing for About.com as their toys guide. It's much less stress. For some reason, most likely it’s financially driven, but I am able to get the content written 10 times faster, I know what my requirements are and at the end of the month the money is deposited into my bank account. I’ve increased my numbers 60% over the last year solely writing content with basic SEO and there I have not dedicated much time to social media — at all. But with regards to my personal site I, like you, have seen Facebook and Twitter change drastically. The conversation of Twitter has died. I now liken my Twitter feed to the moving billboard you see at the mall cluttered with retweets of other blog’s giveaways. But the irony for me is that 4 years ago, it was Twitter that launched my blog and got me "in" with large, forward-thinking companies I NEVER had personal access to before. I was able to make the connections I now need every single day to produce content, and though I’m completely frustrated now with it, I am here today because of it with paid blogging opportunities and companies who have hired me as a consultant for product development, because of these relationships. I also have maintained a full time job outside of the house so you are right, you won’t be rich blogging. But as I have focused more on my paid blogging I have been writing less for my self and my readers on my personal site. There isn't just enough time in the day and that has suffered because we have needed the additional income, so my time and energy has been rerouted for the sake of getting more money to pay the bills given the state of our economy. I'm increasingly frustrated that I can't save time by auto dripping links into Twitter and Facebook because the numbers show me 1/3rd of the people reached, as opposed to linking it myself and posting a link in the comment section, or sending a tweet with a ‘.” in front of the “@.” Measurability has made it 10 times harder for us to do our jobs and get our thoughts and content seen, and our reach is not accurate. By knowing me from my personal site, a company has no indication of the reach I have writing for another one. For 2013, I think you have a great idea, let's get back to blogging on our sites and get traffic the way we know best, the good old fashioned SEO way. All of the social media giants that are making the money out there garnering the public speaking and book tour routes, all generally have the same basic mantra that great content, and professional relationships will create those business opportunities, if that’s what you want your end result to be.
This is wonderful. Even if you get being the rarely achieved dream of making a lot of money blogging the focus on analytics can be soul sucking.
On Wednesday evening I published a blog post. I published and shared it because I was excited about it and wanted to share it! Then, the demons in my head started repeating a bunch of SEO crap. I should have shared during rush hour when more people are using social media. I should have waited until Thursday because Google sites that are updated on a a consistent schedule. I should have posted to Facebook by putting the link in the first comment instead of the post itself because it gets more views.
All that stuff is bullshit. It was just worrying about the numbers.
You know what? I posted and shared something when I was excited to do so. Not a lot of people have read that post, but a lot the people who did gave me really nice feedback. That's what matters. That's why I blog.
@Observacious: Ahhhh! The madness! I'm glad you overcame it : ) Sometimes, I start writing a post and can't finish it in a time frame I want because, well, life happens. So I will sit back down and finish it in the dead of night and hit publish when done – even though I know everyone is sleeping. But, to me it's like exhaling. I just love hitting that publish button and putting it out to the world. Maybe only one people will read it. And that's ok. Keep doing your thing! And thanks for the comment : )