A few weeks ago I heated up water so I could make some tea. I put on my as yet unhacked spotify and put my ipad on the little table next to my favorite reading chair. As the water heated up, I opened up my wordpress reader. I spotted a post by one of my blogging buddies, Andrea, and under her post was the Load More Post thing. I heard my kettle go off so I clicked on “load more” and I got up to make tea. When I got back, Andrea’s post had gone off into thin air.
I went into my “Manage” section and I found I had a lot of blogs that I follow. Ok- I know that. But I also realized that I didn’t recognize many of these blogs.
What’s a decluttering girl like me going to do?
I went into “manage” and I started clicking on sights. I clicked on every sight. Every one.
Ok- first thing I noticed: I had a whole ton of blogs that hadn’t written anything since 2017, when I first started my blog. Ok- I know this sounds mean, but if they haven’t blogged in two years, well, I’m guessing there’s no shot they’re going to pick it up again. So out they go.
Then I noticed that I have a lot of blogs that I didn’t recognize, but they wrote often. How could this happen? How could they not show up in my reader, ever? Ok- we’ll table this for later. Just remind me. So I began reading some of them. Good stuff- so I kept them and now consider them blog friends.
The last phenomena I noticed were the amount of blogs that had three or less posts in total. Back when I started blogging, I would follow anyone that followed me. I immediately recognized the quid quo pro theory- to have followers you needed to follow. Ok fine. When I got more established, I also began following newbies: I knew how hard it was in the beginning to not have anyone read my blog, and how thankful I was for those who gave me a chance. I was paying it forward a bit: I was willing to give a new blogger a chance to find their voice and support them.
Ergo- I followed a lot of bloggers that gave up real quick.
The bloggers that gave up quickly: I noticed a pattern among them. Almost every one of them used the phrase “Join me (us) on this journey”. I have now decided that those words are the bloggers kiss of death. If you write these words on your first blog you are not going to survive.
As I have not done a research study on this, I can only give you my humble (?) opinion. When you use the word “Join” you are specifically writing to an audience. You expect that people will listen.
Anyone who has blogged for awhile knows that you blog for yourself. You put the words on the page because you want to write every day in a public platform. Of course you want to be read, to have followers, to be liked, but that’s not the reason you blog. You blog because you have something to say, but the audience doesn’t matter as much as you putting words on the page and hitting publish.
The people who say “Join me” have set up very high expectations. The people who say “join me” are disappointed when 5,000 people don’t immediately follow them. And they stop writing. Probably because they weren’t writing for the right reason.
Blogging is hard, especially in the beginning. Advice to new bloggers: remember “Field of Dreams”? If you write, people will come…. you just need to be patient. Do you know how long it takes to clear a farm and make a baseball field?
But back to that other pesky question: how can I have blogs in my rotation that I never actually see? Here’s my other theory: you know how you’re out with your cell phone and you’re in a remote area? You know how your battery runs down because it keeps searching for signal? I think reader does the same thing: there are so many blogs that it keeps circling, expecting these dormant blogs to post, and then it gets trapped in some sort of loop. And when it’s in the loop, things get lost. And you miss posts.
So now my reader is lighter. I am seeing all my friends on a regular basis. Life is good in blogging world…
As long as you don’t want me to join you on this journey…