Article by Wendy McCance
Like many bloggers, when I started getting serious about my blog, I began to read as many blogs as I could. I figured out who the supposed experts were in the area and soaked up every bit of information I could about having a successful blog. In the beginning there was so much to learn and tons of information I was able to use in my own pursuit for success as a blogger.
A year passed and searching for new information became more difficult. There is a ton you can tell a new blogger, but what about when you are humming along? How do you get your blog to explode and become as popular as some of the bloggers I wished to be like?
It finally hit me when I began to read information I didn’t agree with. These bloggers don’t necessarily know everything. In fact, as my numbers keep doubling and the longer my blog exists, I realized something else, the bloggers I looked up to have had their blogs for years. Of course their numbers are where they are, they have stayed consistent and the numbers expanded over the time in the same fashion as I have seen with my own blog.
Many of the bloggers I read up on started their blogs before blogs became a big deal. Less competition made it easy to expand at a quicker rate. They did a good job of answering the questions every new blogger has and kept a steady schedule by adding posts at regular intervals.
What made me stop and reevaluate was when I began to get emails I didn’t agree with. I think there is a point a long-term blogger hits where the information is no longer helpful. I think some bloggers try to help the more experienced bloggers, but many times the advice no longer works as a once size fits all solution.
The two emails I received recently were from subscriptions I had. I get updates when new content is posted. The first email stated that you shouldn’t post during the holidays. The reason was because supposedly numbers drop off because people are too busy to stop and read a blog this time of year. The suggestion was to stop blogging for the rest of the month and instead do research, plan out your content schedule and clean up your blog.
Personally the only time I see a drop in views is when I don’t write a new post for a few days. Even during the holidays I see good traffic. In fact, I think many people get a bit more leisure time to do more reading than usual. Many people have additional days off and want to catch up on their reading. Blogs are great because you can take just a few moments to read and aren’t committing yourself to endless hours of reading material.
The other email I received said that the blogger turned off their comments and felt it wasn’t important to hear from readers or comment anymore. The reason was that they didn’t have the time to read and answer comments. They were overwhelmed and burnt out. They offer workshops and mentoring and if a reader has questions, they suggested the reader just sign up, pay some money and the blogger would be more than happy to help them out.
I think this move is disastrous. You build your blog on readers. Tell your readers that unless they want to pay you, they aren’t worth your time and watch all of your hard work go down the drain. In my opinion, the reason a blog is what it is rests on the interaction. The goal is to get people talking and to provide interesting topics. How do you go viral on a post if you have silenced the readers? How do you stay connected and know what they would like to read if you can’t hear from them?
I understand being burned out. Honestly, in both emails it sounds like the bloggers are in desperate need of a break. These are incredibly hard-working and successful people who have really put themselves out there for others. I can see a blogger saying to post half as much content during busy holiday seasons. I can see a blogger saying I am sorry but I am so busy I can’t answer every question anymore but I really want to know how you feel.
This is what I have learned. Every blogger brings something to the table. The advice they provide is what works best for them and what might work best for you too. That being said, you are an individual. You have your own style. If some advice seems to make you question the benefit of doing it, maybe it is bad advice for you.
The bloggers who wrote their suggestions and whose thoughts didn’t jive with my own blog might have a handle on what will work best for them, it just won’t work for me, and that is the point. Your personal voice needs to remain authentic. Sure, try some new ideas, but don’t do whatever an expert suggests just because of who they are. If you don’t question all advice you get and weed through the stuff that doesn’t sound right for your own blog, you are sure to have a blog that isn’t as good as it should be.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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