I’ve been blogging for about 5 years now and as I look back over those years, I’m amazed at how much I have learned. Not just from researching and writing articles, but form the comments/feedback that I have received and the conversations that have been sparked with others via social networks like Twitter.
I originally started at IntranetExperience.com and eventually moved over here to SocMedSean.com to expand my writings beyond internal social networks to both internal and external. In fact, it’s my 2 year blogaversary for SocMedSean, so I thought I’d take a look back at 5 years of content and processes and try to find one thing that I could share with other aspiring bloggers that would help them in their journey.
After culling through old posts, looking at my analytics , analyzing keywords and metadata, and looking at my various social sharing processes, I was a bit surprised at the nugget I drew from all of it.
Yes. Stop caring.
When I first started blogging, I was so worried about driving readership, getting listed in the search engines, becoming popular, being liked. I was so focused on what other people thought about my blog that it is evident that my content wasn’t as good as it could have been. I was more worried about writing what I thought others wanted to hear, that I didn’t write what I wanted to write.
The biggest change that I observed came when the traffic wasn’t coming and my blog wasn’t growing. I was frustrated. I had put a ton of time and energy into my blog, but it wasn’t going anywhere. So I stopped caring about what others wanted and I just started using it as a repository for my thoughts. I just started writing what I thought was interesting and about my observations and experiences.
My blog became about me.
And people liked that. They shared my stories. They commented on my experiences and shared their own. They helped me grow by blog. And my blog grew. And grew. And continues to grow.
So…my big nugget of advice for you, regardless of whether you’re just getting started or have been in it for a while is to stop caring.
- Stop caring about how many subscribers you have.
- Stop caring about how you rank from a search engine perspective.
- Stop caring about how many followers you have on Twitter and how many retweets you get.
- Stop caring about whether your blog post is going to go viral.
- Stop caring about whether your friends, mom, boss, or wife likes your blog.
Then…when you’ve stopped caring about those things.
Start caring about content that is meaningful to you.
- Start caring about making sure you are passionate about your topic. If it doesn’t turn your engine, don’t write it.
- Start caring about your time. Spend it efficiently and effectively.
- Start caring about writing things that help you grow
- Start caring about sharing the experiences that you have inside of you
Your blog is a reflection of you. Blog about what matters to you. If you inject passion, attitude and experience into your writings, you’ll be surprised how the traffic, followers, ideas and new opportunities will come.
Go forth and stop caring. I dare you.
If you have had a moment that changed the direction of your blog, I’d love to hear about it in a comment. Help others by sharing your experiences!
**Stop Caring image via Daquella Maner on Flickr via Creative Commons license.
Monday 1st of July 2013
That's right. :) It's no use just repeating what others say. Use your own voice to speak your own thoughts. God bless and more power!
Wednesday 12th of September 2012
In the words of Herman Melville, "Woe to him who seeks to please rather than appall." Heard this in an NPR interview with John Irving - it's great advice for writers everywhere!
Monday 25th of June 2012
Write about what you know and connect to your readership. If they sense you are genuine, they connect back. Imagine that! When it boils down to it, it's all about relationships!
Monday 25th of June 2012
I think you're spot on. To be honest, this post has actually validated several of my recent thoughts.
I've actually been wondering what the main reason for lack of interest in my blog is. I get the impression those in my online network (ie, the people to whom I promote my content) might be completely apathetic towards it all. So, if they may don't care, I can't expect them to unless my heart's in it.
Being passionate about your content is something I've learned is very important and it's something I've actually struggled with of late. I get the feeling it's been a problem cos I try & cover a multitude of areas - as I don't have specific 'niche' interests.
It might just be as you say however, in that writing about yourself is the most engaging thing for others to read. Because in the end, if we're all honest about it, we couldn't write about anything more passionately.
Sunday 24th of June 2012
Amen brother! Cut open a vein, get bloody and let those thoughts flow.