Mojo’s a tricky thing.
Blogging – like any creative activity – only works if you’re in the right frame of mind.
There can be any number of reasons not to be in the right frame of mind, from personal issues to work problems to not feeling like you’re happy with what you’re creating.
But every so often, I read a blogger saying, “I don’t want to blog, because blogging has changed.”
The world has a habit of not staying the same. But that’s no reason to let it squish your mojo!
Blogging changes for lots of reasons. Our children grow, our jobs change, technology improves, brands want to be written about on blogs, meaning bloggers can now choose to make money, or accept free products.
Here’s my secret to not letting any of that stuff mess with your mojo – forget the idea that there’s one version of blogging.
THERE REALLY ISN’T.
I run the Tots100, and we now have a membership of almost 5,000 bloggers from all over the world. Wouldn’t it be odd if they all wrote the same way, about the same things?
Instead, I think we have blogging tribes, each blogging in a different way, for different reasons, and different audiences. Maybe it’s harder to find blogs you feel an affinity with in such a big community, but you only need to look.
THERE’S A TRIBE FOR EVERY BLOGGER.
There are bloggers who use their site as a platform to earn money from home while caring for their children, selling links and posts to companies at £100 a time.
There are bloggers who use blogs to secure products and experiences for their family, from a few fun extras to once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
A growing number of bloggers are campaigners using blogs to raise awareness of issues from depression to homelessness. The power of social media means their voices are being heard in a way that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.
There are professional bloggers, using blogs to build businesses and careers, from selling downloads and e-books to professional services and consulting.
There are geeks, who love technology and the Internet and view each new social media platform as an adventure waiting to be explored. They’re learning new skills every day, and having lots of fun in the process.
There are professional writers, using blogs as a showcase for potential clients, securing writing commissions and book deals on the back of their blogs.
Then there are heart-on-their-sleeve bloggers, using their sites as a personal space to capture family memories and those small moments that make us who we are.
There are community linchpins, people who set up networks and Linkys and events. They help create a sense of ‘joining in’ for people who might never physically meet one another.
And the photographers – they don’t say much but their pictures speak a thousand words.
WHO’S TO SAY ANY TRIBE IS DOING IT RIGHT, OR BETTER, THAN ANY OTHER?
Whether we belong to one of these tribes as readers or writers, or move between tribes depending on our circumstances and mood, there’s only one question that REALLY matters:
Is your blog making you happy?
If you’re happy with your blog, I don’t care whether you’re selling sponsored posts, or writing about knitting. I don’t care if you have G+ and 1 million readers or whether you’re using a pre-made template with two readers a day (including your Mum).
If you’re blogging and you are getting from your blog what you need from it, then you’re doing it EXACTLY right.
If you’re blogging and it’s not making you happy, then you are the master of your blog. Choose the things that make you happy and keep them close. Ignore everything else.
- Don’t like awards? Don’t enter them.
- Don’t like reviews? Don’t write them, or read them.
- Don’t want to use Pinterest? Ignore it. Honestly, nobody will mind a bit.
- Don’t want to compete? You can’t get rid of ranks and charts, but you don’t have to look at them.
Blogging isn’t one thing. If it ever was, those days are gone.
But the brilliant thing about blogging is it can be whatever you want it to be.
It can even be neglected, for months, if you’re not in the right mood to blog. It will still be there when you come back – and it doesn’t mind a bit how you want to use it.
IT’S PICK AND MIX, RIGHT?
Absolutely, sometimes it can feel as though you OUGHT to do X, Y or Z. Pinterest will TRANSFORM your blog, you HAVE TO have SEO, you MUST go to this conference or join that Facebook group.
But try not to view this recommendations as pressure – it’s mostly just enthusiasm.
People love something, they’re excited about it, and think you will be, too. Or they don’t enjoy writing about X, they much prefer writing about Y, and they can’t see why you’re different.
That’s not your problem.
My niece thinks I should love The Wanted. She tells me all about how amazing they are, and I must download this song or that song.
I smile politely, say thanks for the recommendation, and then I completely ignore her. I recommend you do the same next time someone tells you you’re not blogging in quite the right way.
What? I’m 38.
Besides, One Direction are way better.