It’s My Blog and I Can Fail If I Want To

 

So. You want to be the next big thing in the blogging world. Cool. If that’s what floats your boat, I’ll wave to you from the dock.

I don’t want to be a “top” blogger. *gasp* What?! Who doesn’t want that? Me. I don’t. I’m good and sick of all the articles talking about being “successful”. In what way? How are they measuring my success when they have no idea what my goals are?

Also, what’s with the “everyone”? Everyone wants thousands or tens of thousands of followers and everyone wants their posts to go viral. If we’re talking viral here, I’d much rather get the flu.

One of the first things I learned (then taught) about writing is never use absolutes. See what I did there? That was fun.

Using “everyone” and “always” and “nobody” (as in “nobody wants to see pictures of your cat” when there must be someone who does) is totally uncool in professional writing. So is using words like “uncool”. And “awesome”. And peppering your posts with adverbs and fragments. Seriously. Whatever.

Maybe there are lots of people who want to be pro bloggers. But what I think is that lots of people want to blog. Just…blog. They might like more followers or comments but does every person who blogs want it to become their full-time job? Probably not. I’ll go as far as to say that the people who dream of making their living from blogging constitute a much smaller percentage than these articles lead you to believe. Which can make you doubt yourself and your cute, little blog (or your big, bold blog).

Don’t do that. If you want to blog, blog. There is nothing wrong with blogging for fun. Or chatting about books. Or posting pictures of your cat.

I’ve read lots of articles on blogging. Some of them are quite interesting and informative. If you need advice or tips, there are plenty of wonderful, knowledgeable people out there willing to help. They have experience and know what they’re talking about. We love them.

But if you’re searching the net out of some insecurity, spending way too much time in the sticky world wide webbiness of “you’re doing it all wrong”, close the tabs and blog. Blog whatever the hell you want.

 

Sarah B Seriously - sig

 

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63 thoughts on “It’s My Blog and I Can Fail If I Want To

  1. I knew there was a reason I loved you besides your fantastic and unique name. πŸ™‚

    You said it Sarah! This is a super refreshing, down to earth reminder that sometimes blogging is just…blogging, and that’s okay.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve said it. A blog is a blog and it should be whatever you want it to be. I know I started off with one thought in mind and that was to set up a writer’s platform. Instead I found I love having a reason to remove my photos from the dusty bookshelf, from the bowels of the computer and inflict them and whatever writing I feel like doing to accompany them on whoever wants to look and read. It’s also given a community of writers and that is great. I agree it should be what you want and not become a chore or for me a business. Love your thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes. Sometimes, a blog is just a blog. Simple as that.
      And, like you, if the focus of your blog changes, that’s cool. There are so many choices and they are all yours. πŸ™‚ I’m glad you rediscovered those old photos, blew the dust off them, and posted those treasures.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly. There are some fantastic pro bloggers out there but people shouldn’t feel like they are doing something wrong by not chasing others’ ideas of success. And “viral”…I don’t know what I’d do (besides hide in the corner). No, thank you.

      Like

  3. Nice to know others feel like that too. I read some of those posts about being “successful” and I freak out. I don’t think I could handle their version of blogging success. Not everyone wants to make money as a blogger.
    I love this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree completely. I have absolutely no desire to be a professional blogger. I’m happy just blogging for those who wish to read. Assuming “everyone” who blogs wants to make money from it is very short-sighted. I get so annoyed at people assuming I want the same as they do. We’re all different with different goals and desires. Thank you for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Many years ago, as an adjunct to my hobby of taking photographs, I did my own processing and printing. I started doing it for others, too, as a way of generating extra income. So successful was I, that within a relatively short time, it had taken over my life – evenings and weekends were spent almost entirely in the darkroom. I stopped enjoying it, so I sold all the equipment and hardly took another picture for a few years.
    Why am I telling you this? Simply because that isn’t going to happen with my writing and blogging.
    I would like, but do not need, additional income from whatever source. My measure of success is the extent to which I derive enjoyment and satisfaction from my chosen activity. By that measure, I would describe myself as a successful writer and blogger.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have heard similar stories but am very glad to hear you are determined to not have this happen with your writing.
      Yes! “My measure of success is the extent to which I derive enjoyment and satisfaction from my chosen activity.” *hands over the mic*

      Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! I shall only listen to my own (and yours). πŸ˜€

      We should be open to advice not just from people who agree with us but from people who resonate with us. Advice that makes sense for us and what we’re trying to accomplish is good advice.

      P.S. At a writer’s conference, one of the teachers there told me not to start a blog — that it was a stupid idea (and went on to disparage bloggers). I listened to the editors and agents, instead.

      Liked by 1 person

    • There are always “rules”. There are always people who will tell you what you can and cannot do. And they will contradict each other. So that’s fun. My feeling on rules in writing is that you have to know them before you can break them. πŸ˜‰

      Like

  6. On Pinterest, people started putting their monthly income reports. First it was cool and reasonable, like $200 which to me is awesome. But then it started getting to the thousands, and there was this one that said, How I made $150,000 blogging last year. I’m sure it made sense in context, but seeing ALL those monthly reports, I just wanted to do a gag one that said How I made a billion dollars blogging today haha.

    Personally, I’m trying to earn some good income for my blog, some extra side cash to at least warrant the mad hours I put into this. But I haven’t set out to make this my career. Never say never, but I like my job and make better money at that πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wait, what?! People post their monthly incomes? Really?! O_o Seriously, though, I wonder how many of those are “gag” posts.

      Well…in your case I’d go with the “never say never”. The fact that you’re using your blog to earn money is only an issue if it’s not what you want. You do want that and so it makes sense. Your blog is set up as a magazine and has helpful, interesting, quality content with a specific focus and audience. Your goals are very different from others’ and you genuinely seem to enjoy what you do. (And I happen to genuinely enjoy reading your blog.)

      Like

  7. Love this post Sarah, and I love your honesty and straight-forwardness. A blogger from my early blogging days (we followed one another) was all for this kind of blogging success, promoting her ebooks about blogging etc. She changed her blog to her own website and I dutifully followed but had trouble commenting on her blog (which I told her about but she said I shouldn’t be having problems) and then I gave up because I got so fed up with her cramming her books down my throat. Besides, I wasn’t the least bit interested in her them. Time went on and then I got this shitty email from her telling me to get off her ‘damn list’ because I was ‘wasting her time’. Charming. I learnt my lesson after that and only follow those I really want to follow. Like you. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am one honest and straightforward kind of gal.
      I’m sorry you went through that. Yikes. Well, I am thrilled to have you following the Lemon Shark. It’s jolly good fun swimming with you (and eating pineapple & cheese toasties). ❀ back at ya!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m not sure how I missed this post! Love the topic and I mostly identify with it. I definitely fall into the “would love a few more followers” arena for increased conversation, but I decided a long time ago I wasn’t going to monetize my blog. I do have it hooked up with my artwork now (which I am trying to make a go of) but to me, that made sense… trying to keep it all on one platform and in once space as opposed to “here’s my art blog, and here’s the cooking blog and here’s the _____ blog.” Consequently I do jump all over the place and write about whatever comes to mind, but I don’t like ads, don’t want them, and prefer to support someone who’s more of the “hey, here I am and this is my life!” sort of thing with the modest “here’s my book” ad to the side, instead of the constant bombardment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think a lot of people now write about whatever comes to mind. That’s part of the beauty of reading blogs (and writing them). If someone is a book reviewer or has a food blog then suddenly has a post about monster trucks or tigers, that might be weird but, overall, I think “random” works for most bloggers. I don’t care for ads, either and I adore the “Hey, here I am and this is my life!” πŸ™‚

      I love your art. My favorite piece might be your Lunar Owls but I also love the fish. And giraffe and elephant…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s exciting to have a popular post. (I can’t say I’ve ever “gone viral.”) But there can be a down side as well. Ask Dooce, the Queen of the Mommy Bloggers, who recently retired. And if “professional” and “successful” equal making money, I know a lot of artists with well-crafted work who cannot call themselves either. The truth is that blogging is a platform used in many different ways, and if you are getting out of the experience what you want to get from it, and offering something others enjoy and value as well – and you can feed, clothe and shelter yourself and those you love, that’s as much success as anyone needs. The rest is gravy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed. And blogging has become a platform that is used in many different ways. I love what you said about being successful translating, basically, to the fact that you are getting what you want out of the experience.

      Like

  10. Ok – so glad to have found your blog. Suspect I do a lot of the AWESOME stuff (no cat pics, not my thing) you might not like on my blog – but hey, my space and that’s all good.

    This was a refreshing read.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you this post was liberating. I have been on a blogging/writing hiatus, mostly because I’ve had no time. I’m there with you on the dock, though sometimes I struggle with “just being” / “just blogging”, the cool kids look so happy in the distance, but the popularity game is not for me. My life lesson is learning to find my affirmation from within.

    I enjoy your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I relate so much to this! And did before too and thought I had commented. Oops! Sorry about that. But I wish more bloggers followed their own path instead of the one they think the blogosphere and world at large wants. Xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think a lot of people fall into this trap of what the blogosphere expects them to be writing. Especially “niche blogs”. Yes, more bloggers following their own path. That would be lovely. Thanks, Lindsey.

      Like

  13. I could not agree with you more. Success is subjective, after all. And there’s this crazy mentality that everything we do, we have to be the best at. I think in terms of blogging, or really anything we put out there in the public space of The Internet, 90% of the time we hope to have an audience, people who actually like us *gaaasp* Lol. Still, at the end of the day, I hope we all find our way and fulfill our passions because they’re fun and make us happy, and if the world happens to agree and we become “successful” in our passions, then so be it, lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • It really is subjective. And I love this: “I hope we all find our way and fulfill our passions because they’re fun and make us happy…” That’s what it’s about, isn’t it? At least it should be. If we have fun and are happy, that IS success. If people want to make blogging a full (or part) time job, that’s great. If people want to write about their favorite movies or post pictures of their pet giraffe, that’s great too. It’s all good. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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