That is the way you do an eye catching, attention grabbing, SEO, CEO, FAB, MI6, SMH,NGL friendly title is it not? Well that’s what all the bloggery expert ‘How To’ lists tell me. (And I read A LOT of them, and am thankful for a great many of them) And the picture is supposed to represent your blog, taking flight towards success. Inspirational. I know.
Right. I think I’ve ticked all the boxes, let’s get on with this shall we?
I’ve been blogging for just under a month now, and those of you with whom I’ve interacted and all you lovely people who have popped in and read my posts will know, that for me, content and quality of writing is paramount. As is my love of words: fancy , plain, funny, slang – love them all. I wanted to write this post for a few reasons. First of all, because I am immensely proud of my little blog, the posts I’ve written, the feedback I get. I do find it slightly meta to blog about blogging, and I shan’t be making a habit of it, but I’ve already done it once and , well, I’m already on a roll with this little posty post so indulge me, if you will.
Secondly, I wanted to annex my post called, I’m New To This Blogging Thing which I’d love for you to take a look at if you have not already, by expanding upon a few issues that have landed themselves in my brain, screaming to get out. And thirdly, I wanted to reflect and ruminate on the fact that I’ve actually managed to finally write outwards, to an audience. I’ve always written, as I am sure have we all, but upon reflection – diaries, journals, EVERYTHING we write which is only read by us, is vastly different, highly internalised , cathartic – yes – but nothing like this. And I love this. Love It.
When I first began (way back on 9th June – lifetime away) I read so many How To lists. The title of this post is a little bit of me taking the mickey, as we say here in the UK, about the advice that everyone gives you. And, it does work – of course it does. I don’t particularly think my effort is going to generate much traffic – I’m just being silly. I am going to give you 3 ways to be an amazing (adequate) blogger without social media- it would be a vulgar little trick if I were just trying to entice you – and I abhor trickery. Most of the lists I read, and I am summarising immensely here, boil down to this:
- Good content
- Regular blogging
- self hosting, scary and intimidating, out of my comfort zone stuff
- Titles, titles, titles
- Write for your audience (Argh!!!)
- Join a ‘tribe’ (I mean, what?!)
- A schedule…(Good luck with that one with a toddler pillaging the house)
- A ‘type’ of blog (Sorry, I am terribly averse to pigeonholing)
- Interaction with followers/commenters (doesn’t appear on as many lists as you’d hope, that one)
- Be yourself (of course, love that one)
- (And finally, in the loudest voice you can muster, all together now…) SOCIAL MEDIAAAAAAAAAAA!!!
I would get through these lists, thinking ‘I can do that, easy peasy,’ then I’d get to the Social Media part. The sheer AMOUNT of emphasis placed on social media would , firstly make me stop reading the post and secondly shatter my newly found confidence that I Am A Blogger. Clearly, if I did not succumb to the lure and promise of the bounty that Social Media would provide me with, then I would surely fail. One particular post said this, and I am paraphrasing, sorry if I don’t quite achieve the millennial tones in which it was originally written,
“You don’t have to have too strong a social media presence, as keeping up with all of it is stressful. But you definitely need Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.”
Are you laughing yet? Because I was! Oh, is that all I need? Fab, then I am covered. (The only one I may ever consider in Pinterest as it seems to be the most innocuous, and I like pictures!)
I should clarify here, and I am sure a vast number of you will disagree with me, but I am diametrically opposed to everything that social media surreptitiously stands for and is insidiously doing to us precious humans. The distraction, indoctrination, slow numbing and decimation of our spirits is, to me exponentially detrimental.. I am well versed in social media, know exactly how to use it to my advantage, have had various of the aforementioned platforms, and have closed all of them down.
I want nothing to do with them.
I am aware that almost everyone here (in the known world) on WordPress has all of these, or some of these and uses them regularly, possibly sporadically, maybe even sensibly and perchance even indifferently. Maybe you are using them as a means to end. Maybe you absolutely HAVE to have it for your business, to promote – who knows. For whatever reason, I bear no judgement. Each to their own. But my instinct and opinion is to keep away. What was that? One slow clap from the back of the slowly emptying room? I’ll take it.
Now, you can see my quandary: I want to be a successful (in every sense of the word) blogger, but I refuse to use social media. And I thought and thought and contemplated and mulled it over and over and over and realised, hang on – what is wrong with me? I have again separated my human self from my blogging self. The human world from the blogging world. Human Nature from blogging nature. Am I not a pleasant, genuine, funny, talented and honest person? Do I not have the social skills required of me to function in society? Do I not know how to bloody interact with people? Of course I do! I am effing delightful! In under a month I have 32 followers, tonnes of visitors and have had some truly uplifting interactions with fellow bloggers. I did that through- shock, horror- hard work and being normal, nice, insightful and eloquent me.
So here, you lovely people, are My 3 Foolproof (well, doable) Ways to Become An AMAZING (well, good) blogger Without Social Media! (Even though I have been around just about a month and am unabashedly proclaiming my know-it-all-ness for all to revere)
1.) Write well-written, engaging, genuine and unique posts. (although, if you are a inarticulate, boring, predictable oaf of a person, then that piece of advice probably will not do you any favours. Why are you even here?) Your writing, your content, your posts are you. They are why you are here. Pour your heart and soul into them, nurture them, perfect them and you will see the rewards of your efforts.
2.) Read other blogs, comment sincerely without being obsequious, read more blogs, and comment, then read some more, and then a few more, then read blogs unlike yours, like yours, about subjects you like and subjects you don’t like, comment and comment some more. Make yourself known. Talk with others in The Community Pool. Act like you would in a sea of talented people, where you want to be noticed, too and approached and interacted with. Just be sincere, talk about their blog, talk about your blog and make connections yourself. Through your words and demeanour and beautiful, engaging blog . (I’m not going to get in to the ‘follow/follow back’ discussion ; I’ve made my opinion clear on that previously)
3.) Finally, and this goes against a LOT of advice, write for yourself. The go -to wisdom regarding this is that you are writing for an audience, find out what they want and give it to them. I’m sorry, but that advice physically hurts my brain. You are the writer. Write what you like, what you know, what you would want to read about and I am 99.9%, that out of the near 65 million blogs on WordPress, at least a few will be kindred spirits, or at the very least be entertained by what you have to say. If you cannot be yourself here, in your own blog, in your own creation, then what’s the bloody point? My proudest pieces of writing so far are Feminism Is a Lie and Feminism Is a Lie Part 2 and I wrote those without giving an airborne copulation as to whether anyone would like them or dislike me for writing them. I am quite sure that 50% of the people of WordPress vehemently disagree with my views, but those two pieces gave me such confidence, vim and vigour that I love them and will forever be proud of following my instincts. And so write for you, be honest and unashamed of your views. Be free here and everything will flow from there.
I daresay that my 3 pieces of advice may be rather abstract , but they are my little philosophy and they work.
You can do this without social media. It may not be the easiest method, but I beam with pride when see my followers, read their blogs and wait in anticipation for their opinions and comments on mine.
We’re all people here. All writers. And we respond to authenticity and palpable graciousness.
Thank you, as always, for lending me your precious, precious time.