I’m a member of two blogging groups on Facebook, Gal Pal Girl Gang and Blogging College (shoutout to all the wonderful ladies I’ve met there!), and nearly all of them seem to be serious bloggers, talking about sponsorships, traffic, media kits, and e-mail lists. It’s more than a little intimidating, to be honest.
Seeing all of these girls aim for the stars with their blogs has made me realize something. I’m a bad blogger.
If you check out articles on how to blog and how to get readers, all of them basically tell me the same thing. I talk too much about my life. I don’t have a niche. I don’t write for an audience. I focus on nothing but the content of my blog, with no thought to building an audience on Facebook or Twitter.
Oh sure, I love interacting with the bloggers I meet in the Facebook groups I’ve joined, as well as my real life friends who have blogs of their own. But I don’t interact with them in the hopes of increasing my stats. I interact with them because they’re cool people and/or because I like what they write about.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to espouse a false dichotomy. I don’t think blogging to get traffic is a bad thing. You certainly should blog to get traffic if your blog is a source of income – especially if it’s your main one. God knows also I wouldn’t have all my favorite blogs to check out if people didn’t focus on things like keywords and SEO and whatnot. The Internet would be a much more boring place if you didn’t have people who treated blogging like a business, and, like any consumer, I’m grateful for their time and effort.
But that kind of blogging? That’s not what I’m about.
When I first started this blog, I subtitled it as “the diary of a self-confessed millennial”. And that’s exactly what it is. A diary. It’s a compilation of everything in my life – books and movies I like, the music I listen to, my travels, my thoughts and struggles. I never had hopes of becoming famous or garnering a huge following through this blog. This is simply a record, a testament. There once was a girl named Kate, and this was her life.
Is it so bad to want to blog in this way? If they could read this, I’m sure every professional blog coach (is that what they’re called? IDK) out there would probably want to scream at me, “Yes! This is bad! Why would you even start a blog if you don’t want traffic? Your blog is pointless.”
Pointless to other people, maybe. But it’s not pointless to me.
And that? That’s the idea that I despise with the fire of a thousand suns. Not the desire to monetize and profit off your blog and gain a following, no. Far be it from to judge what other people want. What I loathe is this totally capitalist idea that your blog – your life – has to mean something on a grand scale for it to be worthwhile. Why can’t I just blog because I like it? Why can’t I write posts and share photos just because it makes me feel good to see my words and pictures on the Internet?
Why can’t I do something for the sake of enjoying it? Why does there have to be compensation, whether in the form of money or traffic?
Isn’t what makes life worth living the things you do simply because you find them enjoyable? I don’t receive anything in exchange for traveling to new places or reading books, but I do these things anyway because they make me feel good. I learn a lot, and my horizons are expanded. Similarly, I blog because I learn how to write, how to edit photos, how to process my emotions and handle difficulties. I blog because I make friends through the community. I blog because it’s my catharsis.
I blog because I like it.
I don’t blog to succeed. I don’t care about succeeding. If you’re the type of person who finds it frustrating to keep publishing content only to keep getting lackluster numbers, that’s on you. And honestly, that’s fine! To each her own. It’s just that I’m not that person. I’m already super competitive, fast-paced, and Type A offline – I don’t want to be that girl online, as well. If I get a few comments from people saying they liked my posts, make a few new friends who share the same interests, then that’s enough for me.
Blogging is complicated enough as it is without judging others for how they choose to go about it. There are people who thrive on comments, page views, follows, and other such stats. There are those who simply like to blog for the pure pleasure of writing. Both viewpoints are valid.