Yakkety Yak: The Insecure Blogger

Posted June 19, 2016 by Shari in Yakkety Yak Let's Chat / 25 Comments

Tags:

Yakkety Yak...Let's Chat

It’s been a while since I have done a Yakkety Yak. 2014 and 2015 wasn’t the best year for me, but I decided I wanted to make 2016 better. When I read the article, Word from the Herd–the Insecure Blogger by Anna at Herding Cats and Burning Soup, it hit me hard and touched upon a lot of my own insecurities and some that I have learned to let go.

To be honest…no matter how successful you are or what your goals are for blogging, you will always have insecurities. It’s how you deal with those insecurities that make you a happier person. I am going to touch upon some of Anna’s insecurities and then touch upon my own. Some of these cross over.

I fret like hell over FB follower numbers.

Anna admits she frets over her FB numbers. You know Facebook has so many problems that you never quite know if you are doing good there or if you really suck. I am happy to say that Herding Cats & Burning Soup is doing awesome on Facebook according to me. She has been around 4 years and is close to 4000 followers. Compare that to Delighted Reader which has been around 5 years and has 1800 followers. Now I know Anna works her ass off posting some of the most interesting articles or questions on her page. I actually respond to a few from my personal account. Recently Anna created a FB Group due to low views on her posts.

So why do I not have as many followers? Mostly because I can’t stand Facebook. Second reason, is my posts reach around 6-8 people. I stopped putting the effort in to getting more followers and even trying to reach my followers after FB decided no one would see my posts unless I gave them some money for advertising or boosting a post.

I am a stay at home mom with no income besides what my husband brings in. So I just don’t have the money to invest in Facebook to boost my posts. I refuse to do it. So if I don’t find new followers on Facebook, well, I just don’t care. That probably isn’t what readers want to hear, but it all comes down to me wanting to see followers here on the site and not on FB that I rarely even look at.

Will I ever worry about my FB numbers? Probably not since I have found FB to be the most unreliable social media place. I find I get more followers from Twitter. I have tried a few other social media outlets, but I just don’t have that much social time in my life to keep it up.

So I applaud Anna for all her hard work. She does an awesome job on Facebook and I will always follow her posts.

Then there’s my Blog Name.

We all have a love/hate relationship with our blog names. Do you know Delighted Reader is the third blog name I picked? The first one is the one I wish I had stayed with…Scrumptious Reading. But I switched hosts and couldn’t get it to switch and had nightmares so I dropped it. Then I picked Seduced by the Book. And there was a site already called Seduced by a Book. One word difference, but it was enough to cause headaches. Delighted Reader was the last ditch effort and really I thought I would have stopped blogging with it by now.

About a year ago, I thought about changing the name. Do you know how much it costs to switch things around? More than no income can pay. Buying a new domain name, new header and graphics, letting publishers know you changed, trying to keep all  your followers, etc. It just becomes too much of a hassle.

Delighted Reader doesn’t have an iconic image. No cats, demons, food, romance, sex, beaches or anything that really relates. All I can think when I see my own name is old fashion doilies. Yep, doilies. Then Delighted Reader doesn’t cry out romance books. I think I get as many requests for non-romance books as romance books at times because it is so unclear. Seriously, I hate the name Delighted Reader and just can’t get into loving it. But…I have tried to use it more often in thinks like Afternoon Delight…you know that quickie you get in the afternoon like a short novella?

Getting Quoted ::snort::

Congratulations on getting quoted Anna! It’s exciting I know. Where do we sign up to get quoted more often? No telling. I think Delighted Reader has been quoted 3 or 4 times. Although I haven’t seen any of them…*scratches head* I must go searching for them now.

It’s exciting to see your hard work put in print of an authors book….quoted *squeals* But don’t let it get you down if you aren’t. Some bloggers work with authors, some are established, some also write professionally on other blogs. They tend to get the quotes. Don’t let it bring you down, just keep plugging away and make sure you have something that is short enough to be quoted!

Ah…no thanks.

Oh, this is probably one of my biggest insecurities. Being told no. No I don’t want to be on your blog. No I can’t help you. No I just don’t like your blog. Then I see them on someone else’s blog doing what they told me no.

Solution, well, not the best one, but the one I am going with right now. I don’t ask any more. I tend to be shy and introverted. So asking is in itself a tough job. Then you tell me no then show up somewhere else, well, then I retreat inward and don’t want to come back out of my shell.

Now Sophia Rose has been my rock on this one. She seems to be so nice and ask authors to do stuff left and right. And they say yes to her, lol. Without her I probably would be lost at times.

More insecurities? Get a life Shari!

Yeah, I have some of the same insecurities as Anna, but she rocks an awesome blog. Wonder what else I am insecure about?

Blog design.

When you start, you want that shiny, new blog that makes people come running to you. But unfortunately I have no design capability. Nada. *snickers* I have mostly egg shell colored walls in my house. Well, the contractor only let us have 3 colors. We had two kids who wanted their rooms certain colors. I wasn’t going to have blue walls everywhere or tan. So we went with a neutral color. 11 years later, I have painted both kids rooms again and the dining room. That’s it. Why? Well besides being a lousy painter, I have no eye for color coordinating.

Throw in I am dangerous with Photoshop. I took classes when I actually worked and know how to use the tool. But fonts, colors, placement, oh, it all gives me a headache. I can’t create anything from scratch. So I paid for some images at first and tried to make it mine. Looked horrible. Then I paid for a service which did awesome, but I moved the blog and it didn’t move nicely causing me so many headaches.

So now I look at that blonde woman every day and hate her. After all I went through to get her. I hate her. So I look and change and look and change things. Growing ever more irritated the blog just can’t be sparkly and beautiful.

And I wonder who really likes it because I am not getting much in the way of views.

Page views.

So like, I was getting barely any readers for two years. Then *bam* I was a featured blogger and had to go out and get authors to visit my site with interesting stuff. This is where I got told “NO” so many times. My page views doubled. And the week after the conference, they plummeted. It was like a switch went off and I lost over half of the readers I had coming to the site.

*Lifts arm and sniffs* Nope, I took a shower. I swear!

So I obsessed with page views for about a year before I finally made myself only look once a week or I was going to go nuts. But I sit here from time to time wondering what I am doing wrong. The quick answer? I don’t have connections and I don’t do enough gift card giveaways. Giving away books…will get you your regulars and maybe a few new readers who may or may not come back. Giving away gift cards…that gets you in every time, but you have to keep giving them away or you lose those brand new readers who just want the gift cards. And then there are people with connections. I mean they make a living writing, maybe not the novel, but publications and do blogging on the side. They seem to get more viewers.

I may be totally off my rocker. But that’s my take on it and I still struggle not to be so insecure over how many readers we have. Why? Because the ones we do have are awesome and I love trading comments with them.

Not enough time in the day.

The balancing act. How do working moms do it? I used to work, take care of kids….and….the laundry was always still in the basket, the dishes piled up and the carpet covered in dog hair. I was lucky to get supper on the table and homework done.

Now that I don’t work…well, I get the laundry done (most of the time), dishes only pile up on weekends (most of the time) and dog hair still rains supreme, but I won’t let the vacuum give up.

So why do I bring this up? Well, my kids grew up after I lost my job and I added another for a grand total of 3. One is all about dance and it seems like from Jan-June I am never home on the weekends. Throw in child number two who loves Destination Imagination (Google it) and went all the way to Globals. More practices, running and cash outlay. Child 3 has development problems which I have to do a lot just to get them ready for kindergarten next year along with driving a hour for their doctors appointments.

Why do I bring this up? Well, I think Anna has to be a goddess when she does all the blogging by herself. Yeah, she doesn’t have kids, but she has a herd that are like kids. She has a beautiful site and always something new. And I wonder if I can even format a review for the next day.

I live week by week on the blog. Seriously. I just barely get it covered each week. If it weren’t for Sophia Rose, Delighted Reader would have folded by now. Seriously. Seriously. Seriously! She is my rock.

Why again do I bring this up? I think I am a failure as a blogger. I don’t know how to keep up and it eats at me some days that I just am not cut out for this.

But I resolve to make 2016 a better year and to get back to why I wanted to do this in the first place. Stop worrying about numbers, and worry about making quality posts. Easier said than done, but I am working on it!

The following two tabs change content below.
Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!

25
Leave a Reply

avatar
9 Comment threads
16 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
10 Comment authors
Anna@herding cats&burning soupDebbie HauptMelanie SimmonsChristy LoveOfBooksMary Kirkland Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Lexxie
Guest

First of all, Shari *BIG HUGS*!! I don’t think my own blog will ever be one of the ‘big blogs’, but I’m quite happy with my own little corner of the internet anyway. And I’m pretty sure you impact people much more, and probably in different ways, than you imagine! When I was at BEA, some bloggers I had the chance to meet in real life complimented me on stuff I’d never have thought of – and it was a nice feeling! Much, much nicer than page-views – and equal to getting comments 😉 I hope you’ll be able to… Read more »

Shari Delighted Read
Guest
Shari Delighted Read

Thank you Lexxie! *hugs back* I really don’t need my blog to be a big one because then comes more pressure! I just wish I had a few more readers that what I get lately. I have a lot of loyal readers and I adore them. In the end that’s really all I need when I force myself to look at what I want vs what the media hypes I need. I envy you on BEA! I will probably never get a chance to go, but I am ok with that. I hope to go to RAGT next year as… Read more »

Lexxie
Guest

RAGT sounds great, too, Shari! I absolutely love Lori Foster, and she’s the main author behind RAGT, no? She’s so sweet, and I love all her stories.

I would never give FB any of my money! If I have extra money, it goes to plane tickets for book events… or to buy more books… or to pay someone help me pretty up my blog 😀

Sophia Rose
Guest

Look at you, bravely putting this all out there just like Anna did. Steady wins the race and I think that is true of the average blog/blogger. I think you do many things well even if it doesn’t feel like it from your end (see my upcoming Yak Yak on what I learned from my Blogger 101 class, LOL). And I’ve got your back even when a few fickle authors and publishers say ‘no’. 🙂

Shari Delighted Read
Guest
Shari Delighted Read

You always have my back! It’s never easy to open yourself up like this, but I wrote the post a year or more ago and couldn’t get myself to publish it. So with the mini-blog ahead I forced myself to look at it again and put it out there. I love you girl!

Sophia Rose
Guest

Right back at you. 🙂

Lover Of Romance
Guest

oh I admire you Shari!!! I am like you though, I have many insecurities when it comes to blogging as well. For myself it hasn’t helped that I switched from blogger to wordpress, my followers dropped by almost half. I try not to worry too much about facebook though, you have way more than I do and I have been blogging for six years. This past year I haven’t been as focused as I used to be on social media and commenting. Just haven’t had the time The first years of blogging I had way more time on my hands.… Read more »

Shari Delighted Read
Guest
Shari Delighted Read

I am taking a step back from social media. I get too hooked and when I don’t see the numbers I freak. So I am taking a more laid back approach that if they come to the site, great, if not, their loss.

Anna accomplishes so much I don’t know how she does it. I don’t think she sleeps!

I paid for the design about 3 years ago and I just feel it is kind of generic. I recently had a new logo made, but I am totally less than happy with it and the designers know that.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Guest

LOL I don’t sleep much. I have lots of sleep cycle issues so will be up those wee hours when everyone else is down and do a little blogging 😉

Shari Delighted Read
Guest
Shari Delighted Read

Wow, I don’t envy you that problem. I guess with my kids I am very regimented on sleep as I have to get them down at a good time and then up for school. If I don’t sleep then, then I lose out on it. Because my son has development and behavioral issues, I have to drop him off and pick him up from school, so I very rarely get to take a nap unless I do it in the morning. Summer will allow me to catch up on a few things.

Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Guest

It’s not the best thing but you learn to live with anything, right? I go a few days with hardly any sleep then have one like today where I was down for 13+ hours. And now 3am and I’m wide awake. lol No kids here so that definitely helps. The herd thankfully (even when I had dogs) just goes with the flow.

Lola
Guest

I remember Anna her post about this topic and I think all us bloggers have insecurities like this. To be honest I never would’ve guessed you had these doubts as your blog always seems so well put together, you always seem to have a new post live or multiple when I go and visit and your blog looks so professional. I have been blogging for almost 4 years now and I only have what 750 followers. I am lucky if 10 people see what I post there. I mostly set-up things automatically so my posts still get there, but I… Read more »

Shari Delighted Read
Guest
Shari Delighted Read

We try to have one new post a day, but sometimes when a date comes we have so many new releases that I try to keep in the same week. Like upcoming July 5, we have so many books releasing that week, I am sure I will have to double up. I just have gotten to the point where I have to stop watching the numbers or I will go crazy. I am an introvert at heart, so getting this much out there is a big deal for me. We all are insecure about our designs even though others think… Read more »

Mary Kirkland
Guest

I have a fb page for my blog too, but the only real reason I did it is because one of the freebie sites I get some of the free products I get to review requires you to have one. I have just under 100 followers but it allows me to get some free products to review, so I’m fine with it. Oh my gosh, I made my blog with three other yahoo group friends about 11 years ago and I named my blog, Dark Thoughts because at the time I was in a deep depression and I complained a… Read more »

Shari Delighted Read
Guest
Shari Delighted Read

Thank you Mary! FB is the devil for the most part. You never know what they are doing to screw pages owners in to paying for promotion. I help admin a page for my local dance studio and FB constantly asks me to pay to promote it. I started Delighted Reader by myself mostly as a stress reliever. I has just lost of my job and miscarried twins a few years before along with having my son soon after. I loved being a stay at home mom, but I needed something adult related to keep me sane when I was… Read more »

Christy LoveOfBooks
Guest

My solution is to not caring anymore. lol. I don’t even remember the last time I checked page views. I don’t even mess with FB anymore – at least the blog page.Gah, my blog name bugs me though. I deeply regret incorporating my name in it. I only post like 2-3 times a week, so it cuts down on stress and time. Great post, Shari!

Shari Delighted Read
Guest
Shari Delighted Read

Not caring is what I subscribe to lately. I do this for myself, so if you want to read great, but I am not going to cry because I don’t have 1000s of views. I think I just got sucked in the hype of blogging and wanted to be at the top for a while. Once I stepped back I realized it wasn’t really what I wanted at all.

Melanie Simmons
Guest

I think you do a great job, Sheri. I think many of us have insecurities. For the most part, I don’t look at stats. I post my reviews. People with either read them or they won’t. I only post twice a week on Hot Listens and once a week on Rabid Reads. I don’t look at stats on either. I do see the number of comments. I do like the number of comments I get. I love being able to interact with people about the books I’ve read. The posts are posted on Google Plus, Facebook and Twitter. I mostly… Read more »

Shari Delighted Read
Guest
Shari Delighted Read

Thanks Melanie. You still probably write more reviews than I do. Some weeks I don’t have one review. I am just going to be ok with that since I have 3 kids and sometimes I just don’t have time to read or write a review. So it is going back to a hobby. The good thing is Blog Ahead I did work hard, but now I have most of July covered and I can go swimming with my kids without have to rush a review in.

Melanie Simmons
Guest

That is a great way to look at it. I don’t have kids and I can listen to books while I’m at work, so that is how I keep up. If I wasn’t able to listen while I do some of the really tedious tasks at work, one, I would go insane from boredom, two, I wouldn’t be able to get through nearly as many books as I do. Sometimes I even read short books for RR just to fill that slot. Luckily, I read a ton of Eve Langlais books, which are usually under 200 pages and are quick… Read more »

Debbie Haupt
Guest
Debbie Haupt

Great post Shari, btw I love your blog name. I too share many, many of the same insecurities that Anna mentioned (she’s one of my faves too) and the ones you shared also. I happen to LOVE FB, I spend waaaayyyy too much time there posting, visiting, messaging, chatting, participating in events, yeah you get the picture. My blog turned, are you ready, 6 on St Patty’s Day. Since I’m also an editorial reviewer I usually don’t get told no but that has never bothered me when I have, what does surprise me is when I’m told yes by really… Read more »

Shari Delighted Read
Guest
Shari Delighted Read

Thank you for loving my blog name. We all have insecurities and nothing will be 100% perfect in our thoughts even if others think so. Glad you like FB, but their algorithms have been driving me nuts so I had to step away. Thank you for all the kinds words!

Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Guest

I hear ya, Shari. I hear ya. You know all my insecurities and honestly I still struggle with most of them. I really think most bloggers do even if they don’t talk about it. We’re putting so much of our time and our personal thoughts into posts and it’s nerve wracking just like I imagine it is for authors putting their books out there and hoping people will love em. And comparing to others. Yeah. That gets me too. I’ll admit I’m seriously jealous by how many reviews yall can do in a month. I do a lot of non… Read more »

Shari Delighted Read
Guest
Shari Delighted Read

Oh, don’t be jealous of how many reviews we have, lol. Sophia is a reading goddess and gives me 75% of the reviews on the site. When I was solo blogging, I did a lot of memes and tours to fill in spots. It didn’t help me get viewers so much so I slowed down once we were able to have 2 posts a day. We at one time had 10 reviewers. Well, Sophia was my first co-blogger. I added a friend to help, but she had some life issues she had to leave to take care of. Then I… Read more »

Anna@herding cats&burning soup
Guest

That’s something I’ve never really done–have associate reviewers. I’ve had Sharon over at I Smell Sheep do like 2 review but those were things she wanted to review but were too naughty for her blog. But nothing on the regular. I don’t think I’d be able to handle that well and gah yeah I know others who have had the unreliable reviewers. So frustrating! My cat has a lot of generic with it too. Every once in a while I change out the background but just never been able to find anything different so I figure just go with it.… Read more »