When I started blogging way back in 2011 I didn't have a clue what I was doing. My layout was as basic as you could get and my posts were mere sentences long but my blog wasn't for anyone else per say, it was my way of getting the thoughts out of my head, a hobby to keep my mind ticking over. So really I had no need to care about what anyone else thought of my blog, I didn't think about who could be reading it. But that's how blogging was for most I think, it was fun, not about money making as it seems to be these days.
It wasn't until I stepped away from my blog over Christmas and gave myself a much needed break that I began to realise just how much effort goes into my tiny space on the web. All the tasks I have to perform to keep up with everyone else, to keep it ticking over. It isn't as simple as writing a post and pressing publish anymore, these days the focus is on reviews and sponsored posts and the pounds that can be accumulated from this instead of the more personal and heartfelt posts that I love to read so much.
I like to think of it as blogging by numbers nowadays. There are so many things that factor in, from social media followings and page views, DA and PA ( I mean who actually comes up with these figures anyway?) to rankings in certain charts. People seem to be reliant on what others deem to be acceptable rather than being happy with what they have achieved themselves. And when I say blogging by numbers this also goes against the time we spend writing the post, taking pictures. The money we spend personally out of own pockets to create the perfect backgrounds, driving to different locations to get that last bit of sunlight.
My blog last year began to get clogged up with so many reviews and sponsored posts that I wouldn't blame people from closing the tab and finding something else to read. Trouble is I felt the need to publish post after post as it seemed like the thing I should be doing to keep myself noticed, to the point where I was publishing up to 3 posts a day. I found myself trying to "perfect" photos on Instagram to up my followers, tweeting more and more links to get my posts "out there" instead of conversing with others. Blogging is essentially my job now but I was losing that element of myself and my family from my blog and all things connected to it in a bid to stand out from the thousands of other blogs around.
Having stepped back from it all, I've come to realise that the numbers actually mean very little. Yes it is nice to see your follower count rise, it is an ego boost to see your blog topping charts but what it all comes back to really is the writing. You can have all the followers in the world but if what you write isn't of good quality then essentially you are no better than anyone else. I've read plenty of thoughtful and well articulated posts from people who aren't "popular" or "professional bloggers", the numbers don't make us great, we are only as good as we make ourselves.
Since I've started writing again I've slowed down significantly. Turning down many reviews and being more selective with posts because my blog is my own and I want it to stay that way. As for social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram I'm doing it my way, it is in the name "social", these platforms are meant for engaging with others not a place to create some false realities or advertisements. In the end the numbers are simply that, just numbers and they certainly don't write my posts for me so I shall carry on in my tiny space on the web where you'll find me blogging for myself if you ever feel the desire to read what you find there.