You're not a big deal and that's okay.
I'm not either, so we're in this together.
I know there's blog posts and Pinterest pins and podcasts and magazines that are telling you that you can be GREAT. I know that a lot of our American culture, especially as it is lived out via social media feeds, sets us up to believe that if we just do these Five Quick Tips we will be awesome. We will have arrived.
That's just not the way it works.
I'm going to speak very specifically about the world of blogging because that's where I see it play out so vividly and also because it's something I want to tell every client I've worked with in my blog consulting business.
I'm 99.9% sure that you're never going to be a BIG Blogger. You're not going to make a full time salary from blogging. You won't be giving away KitchenAid stand mixers while you work hand-in-hand with major corporations. You won't get your own show. You're not going to be a big deal. And I promise, promise, promise you that that's okay.
A mistake many bloggers make is to live in hopes of the 'k'. I know because I've done it too.
What's the 'k'? It's when you have so many likes or followers or fans that IG or FB or Feedly uses the letter 'k' instead of all the zeroes that mark one thousand. 999 likes + 1 = 1k. Or 27k followers or 350k hits a month.
Don't live for the 'k' and definitely don't write for it. If you do, you will grow to resent successful bloggers (who are really only successful because of luck - sure talent and effort too! but mostly luck). If you do, you won't be happy with the two comments you did get out of the pool of fifty people who did read your post. If you do, you will feel blogging burn out and you will feel like a failure.
The truth is, the only thing you've failed at is appreciating what you have. And you have a lot of good things:
- a creative outlet
- a way to improve and showcase your photography / graphic design / computer / writing skills
- a virtual scrapbook your loved ones can appreciate years later - the things you loved, thought, felt, did at a specific time in your life in a specific moment in history
- a way to connect with like-minded people
It doesn't matter if you are thinking of starting a blog, if you've been blogging for two years, or if you've been blogging for 10 years - the only reason you should blog is because you enjoy it.
All of this is not to say that it's bad to want to grow your readership! Not at all! The best part of blogging is the community that comes from it and your readers are your potential friends.
If you're blogging for the community - we can tell. If you're blogging because you want to be famous, make money, go viral, etc - we can tell.
Speaking for myself, the best blogs (usually not this-once-was-a-blog-but-now-it's-a-website-making-me-money) feel like a living room. I come to your site and there's a bright, cheery picture of you smiling and welcoming me to your space. It's decorated like your living room - reflecting your style, faith, family, loves, and interests. We sit and chat about movies, kids, books, politics, faith, celebrations, school, losing weight, sleep, recipes. Some of the conversation is light - almost fluff - and some of it is really personal, beautiful, trusting, and sincere.
Most of those blogs don't have the 'k'. Most of those bloggers are not a big deal. Most of those bloggers have 25, 67, 120 followers and really, truly that is fabulous.
And what about the ones who do have the 'k'? That Big Blogger who has made it. We think of her as a Big Deal. But her neighbor across the street just thinks of her as a mom who takes lots of pictures of all her kids and gets lots of packages. Really, even she is not a Big Deal. She's a person who started something, kept doing it because she loved it, invested her talents and effort into it, and then just. got. lucky.
If you're blogging to be a big deal maybe you should take a step back.
If you're feeling burned out for other reasons maybe you should take a step back.
If you find yourself feeling jealous more than feeling happy for other bloggers' successes maybe you should take a step back.
But keep your blog. Keep it hanging out in the internet so that when you are ready to write or share again it's there and so are your followers. Keep it so that when you comment on other blogs there's a site linked to your name so people can still get to know you. Keep it so that when you're ready to enjoy blogging and you're ready to not worry about stats and likes and being a Big Deal - it will be ready for you. And so will we.
If you're new here, stick around! You can follow A Knotted Life on Bloglovin' or Feedly.
Plus, I'd love to connect with you. You can find me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. I hope to "meet" you soon!