I’ve been on a bit of a self-imposed break due to personal reasons. While my life is still not nearly as stable as I would like it to be, I am slowly making my way back to writing, as it makes me happy. But being away for a few weeks (months?) has had an impact on my site traffic. And seeing the stats going down when I have worked to hard to get them up in the first place is hard.
It’s moments like this that make it hard for me to actually take a break, no matter how much I need it. I look around me at my fellow bloggers and note that ones that started blogging roughly around the same time a I did are doing much better in terms of follower count and monetising their website than me. I remember how hard I worked to get my readership up and I realise with a sinking feeling that I will have to start all over again. All that hard work lost. All those hours of promoting my website on Twitter gone.
I almost didn’t come back. I had avoided my blog completely during my break and when I decided it was time to dip my toe in the waters of blogging again, I really didn’t want to look at my stats. Curiosity won though, and I took a peek. When I saw how low my audience count had gotten, I briefly considered just abandoning the blog altogether. Surely there was no recovering from this?
It took me a day or two before I decided that I did want to come back after all. I have paid for another year for my domain, and didn’t want to let that go to waste. Also, writing makes me happy, and even if none of my readers ever came back, I would still write. I love writing and having a place to publish it all – my own little corner of the internet – is great. It’s not about readers, it’s about what I put out.
Easier said than believed. Comparing ourselves is something we all do. Especially in this age of social media it is easy to be cowed by others’ presentation of themselves. We see how successful they are and we feel adequate in comparison. We note the many projects they are invited to be involved in and we assume that it is never going to happen for us. And we even compare ourselves to ourselves. I feel like I have taken a step back with my blog, but I am only focusing on one thing: amounts of hits a day. And if I don’t put regular content out, then people will not visit my blog as much. Why should they? Readers want to read new stuff, and if that isn’t there, they will stay away. It’s only logical.
I think part of the reason I felt overwhelmed with everything prior to my break is because I lost sight of what I wanted to do with my website. I focused on how many hits my site got, how many likes I received on Twitter and how much I was approached by companies to write for them. But none of that is why I started my blog in the first place. I started my blog because I felt I had something to say, and I didn’t have anywhere to say it. I wanted to put my views and opinions out there without worrying about being judged. Which is why I write under a pseudonym. But over time I have started to worry too much about what people on the internet thought about me. I unwittingly entered the popularity contest, something I have never been interested in.
So this is me going back to basics. I am going to put a daily reminder in my bullet journal to not care about what people think. And not just what the judge-y people think, but also what other sex bloggers think. I don’t want to be caught up in the race for popularity, as deep down, that isn’t me. I have never hung with the popular kids. I have always marched to the beat of my own drum, but somehow I have lost that ability somewhere along the way.
We are all unique. We all bring something to the table, whether we are a big blogger or a little blogger. I have this fabulous mug on my desk at work, on which the words of Girl on the Net are inscribed: Your Words Will Change The World. Even if that means it will change the world for only one person. I need to keep reminding myself of this, and take the pressure to perform off.
This is my space. I do what I like here.
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