Blogging and Social Media – I’m doing it wrong

I hate Twitter. There, I’ve said it. (Ironically, I’ve gotten 7 new followers while working on this post. I… hate blogging? It’s worth a shot, right? 😉 ) I reserve the right to change my mind, but so far I find it to be an incomprehensible fast flying morass. I’m also not a huge fan of Facebook, for entirely different reasons. I absolutely adore Pinterest, but that’s because if I had my way I’d have WALLS covered in cork boards and inspiration pictures. Pinterest saves my husband’s sanity. And so far, I really like Instagram. The jury is still out on Tumblr.

But, as I’ve embarked on social media adventures to begin promoting myself (well, doesn’t that sound high and mighty!), my artwork and this blog, I’ve also determined that I am a social media curmudgeon.

WordPress recently congratulated me on my anniversary with them. Four years blogging on the site… they missed a few years though, because this blog has been alive, in various forms and under various names, since 2008. And I kept a personal blog through Live Journal (oh my god, remember that? It still exists!) for several years before that. I’m proud to say I’ve blogged for 9 and a half years. Eish. That’s a long time!

I’ve never been what you’d call a “successful” blogger. But watching blogging trends from the sidelines has been interesting. I don’t remember blogging contests eight years ago… I’m sure there were a few awards around but they weren’t a huge deal. I don’t remember advice articles touting “When you’re stuck, write a list!” It was content, pure and simple. Sure, some of it was more diary than introspective, but that was okay. Writing a post every day is hard. So I understand why those sorts of things exist. (I certainly have my share of that here.)

But here’s my curmudgeonly side. Somewhere back in my idealistic, journalist-trained little monkey brain, part of me believes that genuine, thoughtful, long-form content will still eventually gain a following. That I don’t have to follow the “it bleeds, it reads” formula. That formula headlines aren’t the end all. That others will be genuinely moved to share – like I am and do! – when a piece speaks to them. That the canned “if you like it share it!” demand annoys other people as much as it does me.

Rhonda the chicken says don't be a chicken about social media!
Rhonda the chicken says don’t be a chicken about social media!

I recently saw an article with advice to “post on Facebook every two hours” to maximize your page reach. We all know that Facebook is clamping down on organic reach – I’ve seen an impact just since merging my Facebook pages – only 7 people see each of my posts now, on average, more than that if someone happens to “like” or comment on it. But seriously, I don’t have time to post every two hours. Just finding time to sit down and write a blog post is an accomplishment for me! Even pre-scheduling content requires that I spend time setting it up, although  I’m trying to do more of that. I’m also doing all of this without a smart phone – so I have to physically sit down at the computer to write/comment/share pictures/whatever. (Instagram requires some fun work arounds, let me tell you!)

Anyway… I’ve spent quite a bit of time over the past few weeks reading about the “right” way to do social media. Do this, don’t do that. Post so often. Don’t use more than a few hashtags. Use ALL the hashtags! It’s exhausting, disheartening… and I’m just bumbling around in the dark. So for now, at least, I’m going to continue doing as I have been doing. Posting when I can. Sharing what I think is fun, informative, or has a really good message.

I’m doing it wrong. I get that. But it’s what I can do right now.

What about you? Are you fed up with the merry-go-round as much as I am?

7 thoughts on “Blogging and Social Media – I’m doing it wrong

  1. Dakota, I came to the same decision as you did. I started my blog for fun, and as a way to connect with other mothers and to my passion (for writing). An upside has been honing my skills and getting some pieces published (what a thrill!). But it takes away the fun to try to post when I don’t have anything interesting to think about/say, and I don’t see myself “monetizing” (is that the word) my blog anytime soon. Keep up the great writing!

    1. Monetizing is exactly it. I wrote a post about it a while ago… I don’t want to do it. All my favorite blogs that eventually did it… it changed the feel of the blogs and I eventually stopped reading. Now… as a place to showcase my art? Sure. As a community and place to connect? A portfolio of writing? Yep… all that. And you… commenting like this right here and us connecting through our agreement on this topic… there’s our community, and why I love to blog. 🙂

  2. Yup, Dakota. Count me in. I am BEYOND fed-up. I just keep doing what I can do, and, beyond all else, keep making sure blogging remains fun…because when it stops being fun, then what’s the point?

    You had me at this sentence right here: “That I don’t have to follow the “it bleeds, it reads” formula.”

    I, too, come from a journalistic background, having spent much of my career in broadcast news in some shape or form (I was also reporter for the 6pm and 11pm news broadcasts on CBS WLTX-TV in Columbia, SC, while also producing the Noon broadcast.) The day the principles that drive broadcast news dictate the direction I go in with regard to my blog is the day I cash in my chips.

    And don’t even get me started on Facebook. I’ll be damned if I’m paying to “boost” my posts, and I’ll be damned if I’m posting every two hours (um…it’s called life, and I’m busy living it, and when I’m not living life, I’m wiping poop, so, eh, there’s no excess time for Facebook.)

    Great post!

    1. Thank you so much, and thank you for commenting! You went further with your degree than I! I did my internship and graduated with a print degree, but realized during senior year that I was not a dirt digging, hard-hitting reporter… I loved writing features, but I want people to like me too much. 😛

      Your last paragraph is exactly how I feel… I’m on too much as it is. 🙂

      1. Haha I totally hear you on “I want people to like me too much.” It’s paralyzing sometimes!

        I also try to take it easy with social media (have not dabbled with Twitter or Tumblr, and hardly ever use Instagram)… it’s plenty enough trying to keep up a blog!

        1. Yes, I feel like there’s so many balls in the air. I keep seeing advice on both sides of the aisle… “Only do what you can,” and “Well, if you don’t do this you’re doing it wrong.” If I was just casually blogging I’d say Meh and wouldn’t bother with any of it, but since I’m trying to figure out the business side of it… Ugh. Thank you for stopping by!

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