Happy 3rd Birthday, Bergalicious!Monday, May 19, 2014
Okay, so it's not technically the third birthday of Bergalicious per se, but it is the third birthday of this blog Funnily enough, Bergalicious is its third incarnation -- the first, rarely remembered, name for the blog was Bright Blue Sun. I don't know why. It just seemed like a good idea at the time.
Nobody put in any questions for me in terms of the blogiversary, and that's okay. Honestly, not that many people read this blog any more, and I don't blame them. I've rarely posted in the past six months or so, I'm not consistent, I'm not sucking up to any other bloggers anymore, and I don't really have much content-wise, and I feel comfortable admitting that.
There was a time when this realization would have made me upset, but it doesn't anymore. Blogging is fun, but it isn't my life. Like I mentioned in my last post, I will be able to blog more now, but I want to make sure that when I do, I'm not blogging just for the sake of blogging.
So instead of doing Q & A like I usually do, this year I am going to leave you with three things I've learned from my three years of blogging here:
1.) Comparison really is the thief of joy.
I know it sounds trite, but it's true. This is something I've been dealing with a lot over the past three years (and really, if I'm being honest, even before that), but it's something I didn't realize until I started blogging. Everybody has problems, even bloggers who seem to have perfect lives. Bloggers choose which parts of their lives to share, and most choose not to share the more grimy parts. A lot of people don't want to blog about their credit card debt, or the fact that they and their partner have been sleeping separately for six months, or that their home was foreclosed on, or that they have been living with their parents. Instead, people usually focus on more positive things. And that's okay. It's just important to remember that even though their lives might seem perfect on the internet, there's probably a lot they're just not telling you. Comparing your life to the seemingly more "with it" or desirable lives of others is not going to help you at all; it will only drive you crazy and cause you to miss out on the great things in your own life.
2.) High school never really ends.
Everybody always tells you that people are way cooler after high school, and you don't have to worry about cliques, or fitting in, or the right clothes (and all those other things that teenagers tend to be preoccupied with in regards to popularity and social status).
Obviously, those people were never bloggers.
When I first started blogging, it was just for fun. I talked about things like my birthday dinner, and making lentil tacos.
Then I started to see that blogging was a business. People who had started their blogs around the same time were buying URLs, and monetizing, and being sent free products for review, and since I was recently jobless at the time, it seemed like a good idea. I started reading articles about how to increase traffic, write better content, and make your blog more aesthetically pleasing. You're supposed to go around and comment on as many blogs as possible, hoping to make connections that can help bring in traffic (that in and of itself is exhausting).
And then you have the popular girls.
Some of them had blogs that slowly rose to popularity, and some of them shot up overnight. It's even happened (to a moderate extent) with bloggers I used to be very friendly with.
And I've noticed that a lot of bloggers start to change when that happens.
They start censoring themselves more for their sponsors, and accepting any product they're offered in exchange for going on about how great it is (even if they don't actually believe it). They start snubbing smaller bloggers, even if they're bloggers they used to be friends with.
And all of a sudden, you find yourself trying to keep up with these girls. Trying to increase traffic, pull in similar review opportunities, make yourself seem bigger and better than you are. Trying to fit in with the popular kids.
I found myself doing this, and I didn't like it. And I don't think my readers did either.
It's not worth it.
But that brings me to my final little nugget of wisdom (or whatever you want to call it)...
3.) Blog for you.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it's not.
And I'm not saying that you should totally go against things your readers like, because if you want people to read your blog, you can't just alienate everyone.
But you need to actually LIKE blogging and what you're blogging about.
Don't blog about how to make a cherry pie if you hate baking. Don't write about wakeboarding if you won't set foot in the water.
When you don't care about what you're writing about, and/or you're not being genuine, it shows.
Be true to yourself. That matters a lot more than the number of hits you get per month.
The way I see it, it's better to be a happy, passionate blogger with five views a day than a hollow shell of your former self with 50,000+ views per month.