How to Blog When You Hate Blogger Culture
This summer has been insanely busy (we bought a house! we went on trips! we continued to work full time so we could pay our bills!) and over the past few months I've taken some time to reflect on my relationships with social media and blogging in general.
In this time, something I’ve changed is the way I tackle social media. After two years of growing a following and using hashtags to promote myself, I just stopped one day. I stopped being as interested in growing my reach. I just wanted to become less involved.
A lot of this relates directly to how I’ve been feeling about myself. My self esteem has been crap these past few months – I’ve been feeling awful about my body and so the confidence that I used to bring to my posts and photos just wasn’t there. Every time I’d post something, I’d just think about how people were probably annoyed to see me on their feeds. I know this is a direct result of the anon-hate debacle that I dealt with a few years ago, and it was upsetting to see that I was attacking myself for my posts the way that other people had used to. Taking pictures became a chore because I couldn't see one photo where I didn't nitpick my flaws. I didn’t want to put myself out there because I didn’t really want to be judged. I read enough articles on beauty and style sites to realize that the trolls really come out when you put yourself out there and I didn’t want to give anyone anything else to say about me.
I distanced myself from blogging and blogger culture. I didn’t want to go to events “just for the blog.” I wanted natural experiences. I wanted to make up my own mind about things – not just support or promote products or places because they had given me something for free. It seemed inauthentic to me when everyone was writing about the same thing. It got me thinking – how am I supposed to blog when blogger culture makes me cringe?
There are some blogs I follow that have made it their business, and who are excellent at it. But they have teams of people working with them, creative minds that challenge them and the experience and expertise to grow and produce posts they can be proud of. Then there are hundreds of thousands of girls who are sharing their lives – and I bet a lot of them are doing a great job – but it gets to a point where I start to think “are we just talking to hear ourselves talk?”
I took some time off. I made travel posts that didn't include photos of myself, but were so more guides for those planning trips. I stopped promoting my posts and I worked on toying around with different themes and layouts. I found a layout I liked, and I went through to organize my older posts. That's when I realized - I used to blog a lot, and I used to really enjoy it. Before I started focusing on "growing my audience," I wrote about recipes I cooked, self esteems issues I dealt with and outfits that made me feel good. I realized that I didn't want to just post content for the sake of content, but that I wanted this blog to go back to being a snapshot of my life.
I think a successful blog takes work. It takes reflection. It takes editing. The blogs I love to read aren’t the ones constantly posting, but the ones that update sporadically about something interesting. I’m definitely in a period of editing right now – as I’ve gone through before on this site. I’m attempting to deal with my confidence issues while also producing something I’m proud of. We’ll see how it goes.