10.01.2013

Why I Like Being a Small Blog

I haven't been posting a whole lot.  But that's okay.  I can do that.  We don't like to but sometimes we just can't help comparing ourselves to those blogs that earn money, have thousands of page views per day, get a ga-zillion comments or boatloads of free stuff.  That is all well and good but it comes at a price that some of us little blogs don't have to pay.  I realize that "small" or "large" when referring to blogs is subjective but I think we have a general idea of what category our own blog fits into.  Here are some reasons that I really like being a little blog.

1)  Pressure.  In order to keep those page views up and keep the money coming in from advertisers or sponsors or whatever else you have to generate a lot of content and buzz about your blog.  As a smaller blog I simply don't have that pressure.  I don't have sponsor posts, product reviews, link ups or giveaways that have to go up.  I didn't even realize that posting every day was a "thing" until I kept reading posts apologizing for not being able to post everyday.  What? I'm just not that creative and I don't want to post something just to call it a post.  I've never been a daily poster.  Well, except that one time I posted for days on end about my European Vacation which ironically enough is the kind of post that a lot of readers hate.  I don't feel that pressure to come up with the next greatest blog post to keep readers entertained every day.  I don't feel any pressure to compete for top blogger.  When I finally get around to turning that blog draft into a post I do and if there is nothing I feel like blogging about I don't.  I may or may not plan guest posts when I go on vacation.  Don't get me wrong.  I love writing and coming up with great content that people enjoy.  It's such a rush!  But I like not feeling pressured.  My goal is to show proof of life for myself and Blogher with at least one post a week.  I usually do more then that but I like it that I don't feel like I have to. 

2)  Scrutiny.  They say that you know you've really made it when people start talking about you.  And not always in a good way.  Chances are I'm not going to be a GOMI victim or find myself the center of some big controversy because of a blog post that I wrote.  I simply don't have enough page views to attract enough of a buzz for anything I write to go viral.  Not that it's impossible.  Just a whole lot less likely.  All bloggers really put themselves out there and it can be a really scary thing.  As a smaller blog I don't worry as much that everything single thing I write is potential material for trashing.  It's the internet so really it is, but I don't feel it so much.

3)  Hate mail.  Big bloggers are targets for those who are green with blogger envy.  Success breeds jealousy and jealousy very often leads to evil comments, finding yourself caught up in blogger drama or as the target of a website dedicated to bashing you.  People can be so so nasty.  It's really sad to see some of the negativity that has swirled around blogland.  I was so shocked at first because I've always seen it as a supportive and happy place.  Well, nobody is hating on me.  Nobody is jealous of my blog and all of my followers.  I've seen smaller blogs get attacked too but in all my years of blogging I've never gotten a nasty comment.  This could mean I'm really boring or that my life doesn't appear perfect enough or more then likely just that I don't have the visibility to make anybody jealous enough to hate me.  I don't have a thick skin.  I'm not sure how I'd handle it and I'd hate to have to deal with that.

4)  Reader interaction.  I don't know how some of those big bloggers deal with the sheer volume of comments they get.  Unless you have an assistant it's obviously not possible to reply to every single one and still have a life so you don't.  Then you might worry that your readers feel ignored and the truth is they probably do, but there simply isn't anything that you can really do about it.  I got an auto generated reply e mail the other day.  It said thank you for commenting.  I can appreciate the thought but I'm still not sure what's worse.  The generic auto reply or nothing at all.  I don't have to reply to or feel badly about NOT replying to 50 million comments on every blog post.  Life gets busy.  I don't reply to every single one but I would say I get to reply to almost all of them.  If I get a new commenter I'll often pop over to comment on their blog.  If I were getting 50 comments on daily posts there is no way that would be possible.  I'd probably try, not be able to keep up and end up feeling really bad about it. 

5) Blog Reading.  If I was spending every day trying to generate a new blog posts, reply to comments, organize link ups and giveaways, set up sponsored posts, do product reviews, analyze traffic stats and whatever else it is that big bloggers do I wouldn't have half the time I do to actually read and comment on other blogs.  I am addicted to reading blogs.  I read way too many and as it is sometimes I have to hit "mark all as read" because I simply can't keep up.  I can't imagine how little time I'd have for it if a lot more of my blogging time had to be dedicated to blog business.  

6) Social Media and Marketing.  I want people to read my blog but I don't want to spend a lot of money on giveaways or multiple sponsorships every month to try to get my blog noticed.  It has become routine for me to tweet my posts once or twice in a day and post it on my Facebook page.  I've always had a personal Facebook but I started a Facebook Page, Twitter and Instagram just for blogging.  I don't schedule tweets.  I don't have sponsors to shout out.  I'm not concerned about my lack of presence.  If I drop off the face of the social media planet it's fine.  Except for the most part I haven't because I started to enjoy twitter and Instagram.  It's such a ridiculous time suck but I like it so I try to limit how much time I spend on it. 

7) Blogger burn out.  I can't tell you how many posts I see apologizing because their heart isn't in it anymore.  It's time to scale back sponsorships and no longer will daily posts be possible.  Many take an extended break because blogging has turned into a dreaded obligation that they no longer have time or desire for.  A very popular blogger totally quit last week-indefinitely.  Bloggers are running themselves into the ground obsessing over numbers and trying to be that awesome gung ho blogger.  I see it over and over again.  There are times that I'm not as motivated to post as others.  Sometimes I just don't feel inspired or I'm too busy but I've never felt burnt out or that blogging was something I "have" to do.   I don't do a lot of things the big bloggers do.  To me a lot of it feels to "businessy" and there are too many strings attached so it becomes work.  I do some of the things that the big blogs do but on a smaller scale.  I  have the freedom to blog or not to blog and I like that.  It keeps me coming back for more because it's on my terms.  I came to a realization that the times I have become most disenchanted with blogging had less to do with actual blogging and more to do with all of the external blogging stuff.  Thinking too much about numbers and comparing myself to other bloggers kills my confidence and overall satisfaction with blogging; but only if I let it.  Once I block out all that noise I'm fine.

If blogging was my full time job that paid me full time job kind of money I'll gladly treat it like work.  I wonder how much of the joy of blogging would be stolen if it was my job but I'd suck it up and consider myself lucky.  For some it falls into their lap and they don't have to try very hard.  Those are the ones you really love to hate but I think the majority work their butts off for it and I can't help but think about the sacrifices that all of them make.  I think about how it might start to feel like work and how much pressure they might be feeling to keep it all going.  I don't want to HAVE to post 5 times a week and spend 25 hours a week on my blog.  I already have one job that doesn't pay me enough.  I don't need two.  For every blogger that is earning a solid income or a decent chunk of change there are thousands upon thousands who work just as hard doing everything they are told they are supposed to and still make little to no money.  That's the kicker; and I just don't know if it's worth it.  And maybe I'm only saying that because my blog hasn't become "successful" by definition of numbers and promotional opportunities.  I've never tried NOT to be a big blogger but I also don't think I've done everything I could to try to be one either.  If blogging on my terms at my pace doesn't translate into a large following that's okay.  Not every small blog is a big blog failure.  That's not necessarily the goal for everyone. 

I started this blog because I love to write.  It works for me. I don't get to quit my "day" job, but then again most don't.  I don't get to be "best" blogger or get a lot of free stuff but I get to spend less time on the business of blogging so I have more time to dedicate to the joy of blogging.  For me that's reading, commenting, engaging with other bloggers and posting about whatever inspires me whenever I feel like it.  I love sharing my writing and I want people to read it.  I get excited when I see page views go up or I get another follower.  I love this community and I love my blog.  I still pour a lot of time, energy and care into blogging but on my terms without a whole lot of strings attached.  And I kinda like it that way. 

36 comments :

Nylse said...

I love this and can relate - but even in my small world that brings me joy I've had a nasty comment.
But for me and you, its about the joy of blogging. Yeah!!!

Disa Chantel said...

Small blog, big blog, whatever floats your boat! Just glad you choose to share a bit of yourself with us! I've tagged you for The Sunshine Award!! http://www.theactivespirit.com/2013/10/the-sunshine-award.html

Rachel said...

I love being a small blog too!! I do not want the hate mail or the pressure!

Faith said...

I actually got my first nasty comment this year. But I think they just didn't understand where I was coming from and thought the opposite of what I was trying up say.

But I'm with you! I love being a smaller blog. I do things on my own term and I like that control.

Melzie said...

I love this post!!! I can definitely relate to it!!! I wish I had a larger following and wouldn't mind trying for that. But I just don't have the time to blog each day. I LOVE reading others' blogs (I follow probably way too many) and if I blogged everyday, I definitely wouldn't have the time to read them all. I also LOVE the pressure of not feeling like I HAVE to blog everyday. I blog when I have time and when I feel like I actually have something to "talk" about. I started out blogging for myself, a way to release my thoughts and fears. To document my cancer struggle. Then it started turning more into my day to day life. Now, since getting married, moving far away from everything and everyone I know, it's a way to keep my loved ones up to date on my life. Would I love to get more followers? Absolutely!!!! But I just don't have the money to do the whole sponsor thing (thank you student loans, cancer medical debt, and everyday costs of living). Maybe one of these days?? To be honest, I'm ignorant and don't even fully understand how it all works! I'm a frugal girl. I'm having a hard time finding someone I consider reasonably priced to design my blog for me!! (I hate this generic blogger template lol).
Anyway, thanks for writing a post I feel I could have wrote myself. Sometimes I feel alone in this blogging world with no participating in all the sponsors, give-a-ways, ads, etc.

A Life Less Traveled said...

This is post came at a perfect time for me. I'm looking to finally delve into buying sponsor ads to grow my blog and have been asking myself what I ultimately want from my blog. A part of me would love to be like the big bloggers, but I don't want blogging to feel like a chore. I like not having the pressure to blog on a daily basis and still being able to respond to comments personally.

Jasmine Hellogmsunshine said...

I feel you on this - it really does allow it to still be fun and not a second job.

Discovery Street said...

blogging is such an outlet for me...I still find it odd when people apologize for not blogging. Life goes on!

Kate @ Another Clean Slate said...

Cheers to being a smaller blog! I agree for all the reasons you outline. :)

Lauren said...

Great post, CeCe! I'm glad I'm not a big blog too, although (as I've mentioned before) it would be nice to have the numbers for business reasons. Other than that, I really don't see the appeal to it. The only thing I would add to this is that I do think even small bloggers can sometimes get burnt out from blogging as well - just for different reasons.

Miss MP said...

Even as a small blog, I sometimes feel pressure to write. Your posts are always substantive and I apprecaite that. I have been fortunate to have not received any negativity on my blog (thank goodness!). Keep doing what your doing, I love it!

M. at Making Sense of Cents said...

Great post! My blog is getting bigger (I definitely do not think it's BIG though), and with it has come more work definitely. I like it though :)

tomesedition.blogspot.com said...

Great Post! I love how real you are and I read almost ALL your posts, even recommend to friends, keep up the good work.

Erika from Chimerikal said...

I really enjoyed this post and I thought you brought up some interesting points. I think so many smaller blogs focus on the perks of becoming big that they forget that there are trade-offs. I think it's really great that you highlighted the PERKS of being smaller and I think this is a pretty comprehensive list and things that people should consider.

Blogging is so much fun but like you said, the bigger it gets, the more its likely to resemble other things -- like jobs that other people have or lots of tasks externally that require time. I think that it's really hard to make it a living and just like any other creative pursuit, you have to be super passionate about it if you want to make it a career -- otherwise, enjoy the flexibility that being a non-professional (or semi-professional) provides. It makes me think about acting -- how some people give everything to get their big break, while others are fine with doing community theatre and just enjoy the act of it. It reminds me of singing, or painting. Why is blogging any different?

I think people should determine how many hours they enjoy spending on it. If they like spending 2-3 hours a day, then cool, keep it as a hobby. But I was doing the math and I was able to easily find about 9 hours a day of tasks to fill my time and that wasn't even getting all of the stuff done or ahead of the game. I think that's the part I like, too -- that there's ALWAYS something else and that it's a challenge and that for me, it changes on a daily basis. But other people would think: "Um, a 12 hour day centered around blogging? Uh, I don't think so."

So yeah, anyone thinking of taking it from a passion to a profession should consider if they like doing it day in and day out for tons of hours. And that's the same for pretty much anything, I think. Or most creative things.

Anyway, I've written a blog post in response. But a lot of this resonated with me, a lot of this just made me reflect more on how I feel about blogging, and I also just think this is a great perspective -- and a different perspective -- that can help boost a person's confidence and be okay with having blogging as a fun hobby! :) Thank you for writing this!

--Erika
http://www.chimerikal.com

Ariel @ Dreams To Do said...

Girl you don't even know how much I love this post! We are totally on the same wavelength and this is exactly what I needed to read today. I've been posting a lot more sporadically lately due to a busy schedule and writer's block. Yesterday I was actually stressed about not blogging in almost a week and I started falling into the big blog comparison trap. I almost posted one of those stupid apology posts, too but caught myself because I've always though they were silly! Why apologize?? It's not like anyone is sitting around just waiting for me to post something. So, thank you for this. Thanks for reminding me that I'm happy being a small time blogger. :)

Rowdy Fairy said...

This is so true! I have a small blog too and I love blogging. I would hate to see it as a chore! :-)

Rowdy Fairy Blog
Follow Me on Bloglovin!

VintageLoveandPhotographs said...

This is a good post because a lot of it is true. I am a very small blog and I have a hard time coming up with contest that I know people will like.

Misty said...

I understand that some big bloggers can't respond to every comment, but I hate the ones who think they are big but aren't and never respond to any. Boo!

Pegster said...

I really like this post. I don't know how big bloggers do it. I must say I love the interaction I get from my readers and I love keeping up with their lives (I know total stalker). How could I do that if I had a million readers, that's a tough one.

I also don't care to make any money from my blog so I definitely don't want to be big. Blogging is so fun right now and if it became a job, I am not sure I would like it as much.

I love your blog and I love the interaction. Big blogger or not

Law_Fal said...

Agreed on all points!

Rachel Murphree said...

I can so relate to all of this. There are times when I want my blog to grow and to be a big blogger, but when I realize all of the pressure an scrutiny it comes with, I think that I am happy just being a small blogger and keeping my day job. :)

Whitney Cypert said...

I am totally with you! Once upon a time I thought I wanted to be a "big" blog, and I HATED it. It started feeling like a job, and we both know how I hate those! : ) I'm glad that we both have "small" blogs and have time to interact with each other!

Fash Boulevard said...

Couldn't agree more. Totally with you. Wonderful post, love. If you get a second, I'd love to hear your thoughts on my latest outfit. :)

www.fashboulevard.com

Karla said...

There is so much I loved about this post I don't even know where to begin! I just love this! And you! =) Keep writing girl! You are fantastic at it!

Cashana said...

Coming out of lurkdom. This post basically says what I think all the time. I do it for me and on my own terms. I don't worry about whether my stats are up or if I win an award. I just love to write and blogging allows me to do so. I started out more of a niche blog, but I knew early on I would just be a blog about my life, my cooking and anything old thing I wanted it to be. Great post.

Catherine Gacad said...

i totally agree with you. i think it's hard not to have blog envy personally for me because i'd love to get out of the rat race and blog full time. that would be pretty awesome!

Profesora de español said...

I haven't written a "real" post in almost a year. Sometimes I just don't feel like it. And on the rare occasion I do, I do it for me, no one else.

I like that you don't post everyday. When you do post, your entries seem well-thought-out, and I would much rather take quality over quantity any day.

Chelsea said...

Good post! There definitely are pros and cons to both being a big and small blog. You pointed out some great things! I think my fave thing about not being a big blog is that we are on level with our readers and are all part of a community. It's awesome :)

Janna Renee said...

I love this, and it's all soooo true! I've burnt myself out a few times, but I try to remind myself that I have NO obligation to blog and that I built my blog and social interaction up, so it's my own fault if I get overwhelmed. This summer put it all in perspective, though. I don't mind sponsorships and what not as long as it's nothing too expensive and I don't want to commit to bloggers if I can't keep up myself. It's a balancing act that you handle very well!!

Mrs. Pancakes said...

I love that this post about blogging received so much traction....but I do agree with you on all your points...it's a lot of pressure to maintain something good for sure! If you are able to make it work kudos but it's also ok if it doesn't work because it's soooo time consuming!

Kim Jackson said...

I know exactly what you mean. There are alot of times lately when I just don't have either the time, because I'm dedicating it to paid clients, or the creative inspiration to post. And I do feel bad about it--but because it's my outlet, not because there's anything that I am obligated to do (well, not much that I'm obligated to do anyway). I think it all comes down to doing what you love and what your goals and desires are, not just for blogging, but for your lifestyle and career in general. It's fantastic and really exciting that blogging is now a legitimately respected industry and that it can lead to other offline opportunities as well--if that's what one wants.

Love that you addressed this, Cece. I know a ton of people can relate.
xxk

Brittany said...

Totally agree with every point, especially the pressure one. It would totally take the fun out for blogging to be a "job".

hya21 said...

I'm a new blogger and I see how the big boys and girls do it. I see how easy it is to get caught up in the numbers game and obsess about not getting enough recognition and views. My blog is an outgrowth of a newspaper column that ended, which made me realize that I really enjoyed writing, but given that I am not a fan of most things social media, I'll continue to blog for the love of it and to entertain my four followers.

Fran said...

this is all so true, sometimes I think about putting in the effort and growing my blog but then I remember all the nastyness that can - and does - come with it and I like my little blog haha

Katharine Devinney said...

I used to want to be a big blog but I realized I didn't have what it takes to be a big blog. For one thing I have a hard time staying on one subject. I like to talk about a lot of different things. I like to blog because I find it's creative and a fun way to share my world. Plus, I love to create digital design and I haven't even played with Photoshop yet (well cause I don't have it yet). Please check out my blog, I came here from Blog Her and really liked your post on being a small blog.

Karizma said...

Talk about an amazing post! This post is truly inspirational and speak volumes. I'm very comfy with staying a small blog because it really is an outlet for me rather than a source of income. Thanks so much for this post!!

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