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!
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?
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.
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!