The One Where I Can’t be Faffed

If you’re reading this, it means you’re reading my blog.

Even though I didn’t SEO it, or share it on Pinterest, you’re reading my blog.

Even though my G+ page is a wasteland and I didn’t optimise my layout, here you are.

Hello!

Come on in, make yourself comfy. Excuse the mess.

I did Tweet a link to this post. But I completely neglected to make my Tweet 120 characters, I didn’t Tweet at 3-4pm on a Friday, or use a call to action to increase my CTR (click-through rate).

I haven’t Stumbled my blog lately, and I didn’t include my latest post in my email newsletter. Probably because I don’t have an email newsletter.

Basically? Can’t be faffed.

I know I could do X, Y and Z to increase traffic and reduce bounce and build sticky content. But I’ve just made some toast and it’s never as nice if you leave it to get soggy.

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE that people read my blog. I adore it when people comment. Partly because I’m needy (natch) but also comments sometimes make me look at situations in different ways – and that’s really cool. Some of the people who comment on my blog are seriously funny, too.

Of course, I love that Flea has met so many people and had so many experiences because of this blog.

Of course I do. 

But blogging’s just one part of my life.

I have an insanely chaotic job, and friends, and a family, and other hobbies. I love spending time with my daughter, and going to the cinema, and throwing pebbles into the sea. And I can’t always be the Textbook Blogger and still do all of that stuff. Choices have to be made.

I’m completely at peace with that. There are other blogs do that stuff way better than this one. It’s okay. I bet none of them ever accidentally flashed the headmaster.

There are lots of people who want to ‘perfect’ their blogs – a bit like some people want to perfect their golf swing or crochet making. I completely understand the geeky urge – I just am a bit too lazy to feel it personally. Maybe because I do such a lot of that stuff in my work, I want this space to be where I don’t have to try too hard.

This means sometimes, as I read yet another post about taking my blog to the Next Level, or yet another website that tells me how crucial it is that I comply with this law, or that policy – I get this urge to stamp my foot and shout, “I don’t want to!” 

I find myself wondering sometimes if there are other people who – like me – wonder if they’re losing sight of the fact blogging is something we started because it’s fun. And I sometimes worry that bloggers are missing out on how much FUN blogging can be because they think you have to do the other stuff to be “successful”. I worry that blogging must look like really, really hard work.

People sometimes ask me what I consider to be a “successful” blog and my answer is always – it’s a blog that makes you happy. If blogging makes you stressed, or guilty, or insecure then you’re not doing it right. And that’s pretty much the ONLY rule of blogging I subscribe to.

I know myself well enough to know that for me, the fun of blogging is in writing a post, publishing it, seeing the feedback, and engaging in a conversation. Sure, I like to see my traffic increase but I’ve always been much more interested in comments than page views. There are others sites – of course – where I have different priorities, but on this one, it’s all about the writing, and the fun.

So – here’s what I say:

If networking and editing CSS and wrestling FTP while building the perfect landing floats page your boat – that’s wonderful. I absolutely love to hear about how you Stumbled your way to world domination, and became a Twitter ninja. The world needs more geeks and I’m glad you’re out there. Sometimes, when I’ve broken something, I weep with gratitude at your existence. You make the world a better place. You do.

But MY blog is where I write stupid stories and share pictures and capture memories so that one day, my kid will look back and know that she was loved beyond measure, and that we laughed together every day.

I do it to have fun.

And for me, blogging doesn’t get any better than that.

 

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She's also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world's coolest ten year old.

61 Comments

  1. 1st July 2012 / 9:38 am

    Blogging is fun, should be fun, wants to be fun.

    I’m with you on the twitter traffic and doing this many pictures and layout to this much words. Nah! Blogging is where I go to vent when I want to, cry when I want to, laugh when I want to and chill for the rest of the time. Somedays I blog – some days…… I……. DON’T! There. I said it!

    Rock on! (If you want to 😉 )
    @Madyline recently posted..Lying to your children.My Profile

    • 1st July 2012 / 3:45 pm

      I love the “some days I don’t” – I feel so sad when people tell me they “have” to blog but don’t know what to, or they have so many posts they “have” to do and they’re stressed. For me – that’s NOT what it’s about, and I’m so glad!

  2. 1st July 2012 / 10:13 am

    When I started to blog, I had no expectations and no knowledge. I didn’t know about “mummy bloggers” or measures of influence or success. I thought twitter was just for chatting to folk with- folk you may not know, and facebook was for sticky beaking on your friends. I had no idea about any of it.

    And sometimes I wish I was still that innocent blogger. I’d like to think I haven’t let all the mechanics affect my writing. I don’t “do” SEO, people tend to find me on Google so I must be doing something right. I tweet because I want people to know my thoughts, not RT or outreach or whatever this weeks buzz word is.

    You speak such sense Sally. Blogging, for the vast majority of us, is a hobby. It’s fun. It’s a great way of getting your thoughts out, and getting input on situations.

    It’s not rocket science, and shouldn’t me made so.
    Kylie @kykaree recently posted..Explaining Premature Birth to Your ChildMy Profile

    • 1st July 2012 / 3:45 pm

      Thanks Kylie, your blog inspires so many people, that’s got to be worth more than all the technical stuff, I reckon 🙂

  3. 1st July 2012 / 10:14 am

    Well said Sally!

    I think the secret to successful blogging is to know WHY you started blogging, and then stick to that. It’s very easy to get drawn into the conversations about SEO and nofollow links and ASA guidelines, and whilst I think it’s a good idea that bloggers have an understanding of these things, it’s important to make your own decisions about what’s right for your blog and for you.
    Ruth – geekmummy recently posted..Silent Sunday 01/07/2012My Profile

    • 1st July 2012 / 3:46 pm

      Yes, as you know, it’s not that I’m ANTI the technical stuff. I just look at why I write THIS blog and most of it doesn’t apply.

      I’m not writing to sell products, or build my brand, or any of that stuff – so a lot of the social networking and professional stuff just doesn’t apply to this site. And since geeking out is also not a hobby of mine, it seems a nonsense to worry about it.

    • 1st July 2012 / 3:46 pm

      Thanks Cathy – we did!

  4. Super AMazing Mum
    1st July 2012 / 10:40 am

    Hurrah!!! I can’t be bothered either!!!!

    I hereby nominate you to MD (managing donut) of the ICBBC club. I’ll be your deputy donut 😉

    • 1st July 2012 / 3:47 pm

      I have ARRIVED! Is there a badge?

  5. 1st July 2012 / 10:42 am

    I couldn’t agree more, especially about eating toast before it gets soggy, YUCK!!!
    I read so many tweets about people who say they NEED to write a post. No you don’t. Do it because you want to.
    I love my blog and, like you say, my joy comes from the writing and adding a few pictures, then publishing and seeing the comments that people make about it. When I first started the page views were nice to track because it meant people were looking and reading, but now I blog for the conversation and the interaction, not for blog world domination and record levels of page views.
    I think people can get a bit wrapped up in it all, and they forget that it doesn’t really matter. I live my life first and blog second and not the other way around. X
    Lucy at Dear Beautiful Boy recently posted..simple thingsMy Profile

    • 1st July 2012 / 3:47 pm

      Wise words, indeed. It’s not that I’m opposed to World Domination, obviously. I just won’t achieve it through this, slightly silly, not terribly well designed, mostly written off the cuff blog!

  6. 1st July 2012 / 10:44 am

    I agree. There are so many OTHER things you HAVE to do. Let’s not give ourselves another chore! You know – wash car, mow lawn, do blog post…
    Firefly Phil recently posted..Silent Sunday: 1 July 2012My Profile

    • 1st July 2012 / 3:48 pm

      Quite. I feel so SAD when people start to view blogging as a chore. It should be fun!

  7. 1st July 2012 / 12:56 pm

    Well said that woman – my blog is my hobby, something I do when I have the time and I do when it makes me happy. End of
    Muddling Along recently posted..Unexplained infertilityMy Profile

    • 1st July 2012 / 3:48 pm

      Agreed completely. Especially with the bit where you said “well said”.

      cough.

  8. One mothers notes
    1st July 2012 / 1:39 pm

    I’ve recently started blogging. I love the feeling of writing a post. Something that’s mine and can’t be eaten, grabbed, puked on etc. Saying that, I’d also love it if somebody was actually Reading! Even if no one ever does I’d still write it anyway.

    • 1st July 2012 / 3:48 pm

      I do love that I have readers – but whether it’s 50 or 5,000, I don’t think it affects how I feel about my blog, if that makes sense?

  9. Janet
    1st July 2012 / 2:25 pm

    Why and how you blog is why I started reading blogs. It’s why I continue to read some, but others that are obviously trying to increase readership I have deleted. Of course it’s their choice how they want to blog and they’ll never miss me, but I just want to read about people’s lives.

    • 1st July 2012 / 3:49 pm

      Yes, I sometimes see blogs where (I think) the blogger has become too focused on building an audience and meeting some professional standard, and the blog sort of loses a bit of heart in the process. And I suspect those people probably ARE getting more readers, but I’m not sure they’re having any more fun. I sort of suspect it’s not as much fun.

  10. SeasiderClare
    1st July 2012 / 4:02 pm

    I’d much rather perfect my golf swing, but I an barely be bothered to do that either. Having great stats and the like is nice but there is so much more to be doing.

    Soggy toast is rank!

    • 2nd July 2012 / 6:46 am

      Yes, I could spend all day geeking out on blog stuff, but I just can’t!

  11. 1st July 2012 / 4:03 pm

    Seconded. I get it, the urge to get more readers and promote one’s blog, and some time ago, I was mildly interested in all that.
    These days, I don’t care, my blog is my space for myself. I blog much less now, but I don’t care.
    I don’t know how people do it all, and hats off if they manage, but I don’t. Something’s gotta give and for me it’s SEO and blog promotion, I even read less blogs now because I simply don’t manage and that’s just fine in my books!
    Funnily there are some blogs I do come back to for reading, and yours is definitely one of them!

    • 2nd July 2012 / 6:47 am

      I feel a bit the same – I don’t know how other people fit it all in the day and still do other stuff! But I’m very pleased you come back to read my blog – thanks!

  12. Ness Gorton
    1st July 2012 / 4:14 pm

    Well said, I’ve actually started to remove some subscriptions form certain blogs as i’m getting loads of emails per day for every post they do & it’s over-whelming.
    I started to think that it was me in the wrong by not doing at least 1 a day if not 4 or 5 a day but you’ve made me see that I’m not. Thanks Sally I’ll carry on at my tortoise pace. x

    • 2nd July 2012 / 6:48 am

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong in blogging being a hobby – if that’s what makes you happy, then it’s the RIGHT way for YOU.

    • 2nd July 2012 / 6:48 am

      Apparently so!

  13. Julie
    1st July 2012 / 6:55 pm

    I’m with you on this one, as can probably been seen from how infrequently I actually post on my blog(s) (yes, I mostly actually forget I have more than one, I’m that useless)
    Let’s hear it for faffedlessness!

    • 2nd July 2012 / 6:48 am

      I can see “Let’s Hear it for Faffedlessness” on a t-shirt, you know.

    • 2nd July 2012 / 6:48 am

      Why thankyou!

  14. 1st July 2012 / 7:11 pm

    I’m less SEO and more CBA (to be honest I don’t even know what SEO stands for). I started my blog as a record of my life with my children, but I’ve found that I’m so busy living my life that I forget to write about it. I’m determined that one day I will be organised enough to manage this but I haven’t quite got there yet.

    I would love (of course) for my blog to be popular but I’ve had to just accept the fact that I’m lazy and will probably never be up there with the best. Thanks for this post. It’s good to know that it’s not just me who puts toast first .

    • 2nd July 2012 / 6:50 am

      I think, though, that being lazy doesn’t mean you won’t be the best. Honestly, I think some blogs that become over-optimised and tricked out lose a bit of heart – my favourite blogs are my favourites because they’re a representation of the writer, not because they get the most search referral traffic.

  15. Suzanne
    1st July 2012 / 7:26 pm

    Yay, I totally love this! I didn’t even know you could do half of these things let alone the 3-4pm on a Friday rule! Wow, I certainly haven’t got the time to do it all but as my blog is new I would like o try to get more readers so am doing some of the time consuming stuff but mostly I just love the writing 🙂 once established then you know you have more than 10 readers so probably relax a little like yourself and that’s good too.

    • 2nd July 2012 / 6:50 am

      I think YES relax. Write good stuff, spend a little time letting the world know about, and it’ll come, I reckon.

  16. TheBoyandMe
    1st July 2012 / 8:16 pm

    I’m happy blogging, using email notification of posts, and sending my posts through networked blogs to twitter and Facebook. I can’t be doing with Pinterest and everything else. I have a Pinterest account but it seems like an incredible amount of work to try and improve traffic through that. I’m happy where I am, I still want to blog about our life and everything else.

    • 2nd July 2012 / 6:51 am

      Yes, I think it’s about picking and choosing things that are manageable, and fun, for you – and ignoring the rest. Well, it’s what I do, anyway.

  17. 1st July 2012 / 8:49 pm

    Apparently I’m falling behind my competitors, I NEED seo, Twitter and Facebook help. Or so say the 5 or so emails I get every day. You know you can *pay* for things sometimes, (although it is an alien concept for the mummy blogger), or so these emails tell me. Problem solved, it seems one can have it all. Just dont tell everyone… 😉
    zooarchaeologist recently posted..Sunday Lunch at the BeefeaterMy Profile

    • 2nd July 2012 / 6:52 am

      I get those emails, too.

      But I tend to think, in some ways, I do already have it all. I love my blog, and it’s fun. That’s completely enough for me.

  18. Louise
    2nd July 2012 / 6:53 am

    I am with you. If I did all the things I wanted to do with my blog it would be a full time blog and I wouldn’t be able to write about what I do with my kids cause I would be too busy blogging! I just like that some people find my posts funny, and the photos I have done are quicker to do than a normal scrapbook!

    • 2nd July 2012 / 7:22 am

      Well, quite!

  19. 2nd July 2012 / 7:10 am

    I am definitely of the lazy variety – not in my writing (where I make every effort to make it readable with perfect spelling and grammar, natch) but with promotion.

    Twitter, yes. Facebook, when I remember. Pinterest, nope. Google Plus, nope. Stumble Upon, WTF is that?

    SEO I understand completely, but it’s like a natural talent and if you write something relevant and give the post a title that means the post does what it says on the tin, the rest looks after itself. Which is probably just as well.

    I could spend time and money going self-hosted, or find and install gadgets which improve my bounce rate, or engage readers better, but do you know what, if it can’t be done for free using a standard blogger widget, then I well and truly can’t be arsed.

    I love my blog, but a big part of why I love it is that it’s not needy. I already have four needy things (well, five if you count The Dad too) and really don’t need another.

    Long live the ‘meh’ approach to blog promotion.
    Trouble Doubled recently posted..How grown up are you?My Profile

    • 2nd July 2012 / 11:00 am

      Ooh, I’m the same with ‘natural’ SEO. I assume that this stuff will take care of itself. Possibly not accurate but makes for a happy Sally.

  20. 2nd July 2012 / 7:21 am

    The thing I love about blogging is that there’s no right or wrong way to do it – only your own way. Some weeks I have so much to say I can’t wait to write a post and share it across different platforms. Some weeks I don’t, so I don’t do any of the above. I really do think that with blogging, content is key. You can be on as many different social networking platforms as you like, but if the content is dull and doesn’t get people interested in the first place then the traffic doesn’t follow. Also, I always notice far better traffic when OTHER people share my posts. But then again, if you only blog for yourself and don’t care about stats at all then none of that matters!
    Molly recently posted..Silent SundayMy Profile

    • 2nd July 2012 / 7:25 am

      I think it’s right that it’s all optional – for me, I am lucky to have MARVELLOUS content (cough) but I honestly think if I started doing all the things I’ve seen being touted as being REALLY important – StumbleUpon, G+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Bo.lt, SEO, Jetpack, landing pages, custom URLs – well, I’d stop having fun somewhere around the third social network.

      I just think it’s important to remember not to necessarily equate doing those things with success – good blogs will become popular without it, and bad blogs won’t become popular with all the optimisation in the world. But success? Success is easy if you’re having fun.

  21. 2nd July 2012 / 7:28 am

    Fabulous post! I think the joy of blogging disperses as a fixation with stats takes over. I started blogging to find my voice again once O was born and it’s evolved from there-my daily life as a screenwriter and director takes a lot of my time but I love the fact the blog is my space-no execs or developers shaping my work-which is truly beneficial and makes me a stronger writer but ultimately I can write what I want, when I want on my blog and for that I’m grateful.
    Honest Mum recently posted..7 Month Bump Watch and Baby Worries…My Profile

    • 2nd July 2012 / 11:01 am

      Thanks – I LOVE writing what I want, when I want. I can’t imagine it being another way. Far too stroppy to blog to someone else’s timetable or expectations.

  22. 2nd July 2012 / 7:42 am

    I started a blog because I wanted to write, and was really discouraged when I realised how much technical stuff you’re supposed to do and how much you’re supposed to promote it. I panicked for a bit, then realised that I didn’t have to if I didn’t want to. I feel a bit thick still because I have no idea how to make my page look great and I have literally NO idea what the heck klout is and so on, but also I’m quite pleased and proud that I’ve got as far as I have on my limited knowledge because hopefully that means that people read my blog because they like my writing – and that’s what it’s all about for me.
    Lisa recently posted..Things to do with your child number 12,386 – CORNFLOUR & WATERMy Profile

    • 2nd July 2012 / 11:01 am

      Your blog is so wonderful that I’d read it regardless.

  23. 2nd July 2012 / 8:45 am

    I feel no guilt or compunction to correct the fact that I blog sporadically, anytime I have a spare 10 minutes to catch up on some photo memory storing, or else have something I need to offload. I have few readers, I have less interaction. I started my blog for me, the purpose of it has never changed; and it makes me happy.
    But then, like you, I do have a professional blog which satisfies the craving for reader numbers and geek-tactics…
    Mamafour recently posted..Spotted. Mr Benn – Make Your Own Big Top CircusMy Profile

    • 2nd July 2012 / 11:01 am

      Yes, I might feel differently without my other sites to tinker with, I confess…

  24. 2nd July 2012 / 9:21 am

    You have perfectly summed it up, I reckon. I love blogging. I have a teeny readership and I don’t care, and squeeze writing posts into the tiny spaces I find in my week. I love reading blogs; I love Twitter, but all the networking stuff is not my thing. It sounds exhausting!

    It made me giggle that I actually *did* click over to this post from G+, but if I hadn’t done that, I would have found it in my stuffed full Google Reader eventually, anyway! 🙂
    helenprev recently posted..2. BusyMy Profile

    • 2nd July 2012 / 11:02 am

      Exhausting is right. But kudos for clicking on the first thing I’ve remembered to put on G+ in weeks!

  25. Vic
    2nd July 2012 / 10:00 am

    Have you tried buffer? Let that do the thinking of when to be tweeting for you.
    Yes, I know my words aren’t exactly making sense right now….

    • 2nd July 2012 / 11:02 am

      I have NO clue what you’re on about. Email me…

  26. 2nd July 2012 / 10:18 am

    Great post – I think it’s very easy for people to lose sight of why they started their blog – I know I have. Working on digital marketing means it’s pretty much ingrained into me that I should be promoting and marketing my blog as much as possible and not missing any opportunity. I guess it also feels great when you do bother to promote (through whichever medium) and get higher engagement or more traffic – it’s exciting! However, like you said – sometimes I just CBA – this approach might work for my consulting blog but for my personal blog it is supposed to be fun and doing all of that promotion can suck the fun out of it sometimes. Yeah sure it’s great when I get a bit more exposure, better feedback or the odd freebie but I do it for the love of blogging! My ultimate goal is to just enjoy the process – I don’t have an aim to monetise it or anything – sure maybe if that happened it would be nice but right now I want it to be my fun hobby!

    I’ve found that having the balance helps. Some days I don’t want to tweet about it 5 times and submit it to reddit etc…other days I might! So I just go with the flow 🙂

    • 2nd July 2012 / 11:03 am

      Yes, I do go through phases when I enjoy playing with G+ or Pinterest – I just don’t think those things are NECESSARY or make you happy – well, not me at any rate! thanks for commenting, too.

  27. Kate M
    17th July 2012 / 8:39 pm

    I’ve only just started blogging and don’t really understand all the SEO, Twitter and G+. They are all words thrown at me by my husband who designs websites, I usually ignore him. I just want a space to write about the things that interest me. Sally I’ve really enjoyed reading some of your posts this evening. Keep writing more. Kate

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