A Weird Place
Hello, digital world! Nice to see you here. It’s been awhile.
I have admittedly been in a weird place with my blog, so I thought: why not write about it and try to process and move through it? Writing has always been my go to.
So, in total stream of consciousness babble…let’s go!
I started my blog back in college (and created a new site after graduating) for two reasons: 1) I have always loved writing, so it was a fun outlet for me; 2) I had a goal to connect with at least one person through writing.
My blog has focused on real life: messy breakups, long distance relationships, physical injury’s mental impact, loneliness in adulthood, you name it. I also have a bit of content about fitness, travel, books and San Diego because those truly make up my day-to-day life. It’s been therapeutic…and I’ve also fostered true, authentic connections along the way that I never could have predicted.
While this little corner of the Internet had always been more of a personal digital project for me, I decided to take it a bit more seriously about two years ago. I changed the name, look and logo of my blog, I committed to a weekly series (Tuesday Ten), and I swapped my Instagram handle to match my blog. I started to connect with a few brands, and I saw my readership grow. A large following was never my goal, but I loved the thought of fostering a larger community and my words reaching more people who could connect with them.
I started to invest more time in my Instagram along the way, too (as much as I could - between a full-time job and a pretty committed fitness/social schedule) - after noticing that my biggest source of referral traffic was social media. Despite this, I made it a priority to keep my Instagram feed/stories as “real” as possible. I didn’t heavily edit my photos (no Lightroom presets here), I didn’t avoid talking about times were rough, I didn’t model clothes or pose extensively just “for the ‘gram” (honestly, most photos of me I post are truly candid) and I didn’t curate my Instagram stories with any fancy app. Instead, I started to use some captions as an extension of my blog - a storytelling platform, of sorts. I also took some time to grow my follower base (particularly when I was unemployed). And, it showed…my blog traffic increased.
But, at times…I felt like a wannabe influencer who didn’t have the cred or numbers to back it up. And let’s set the record straight: I have zero desire to be a modern-day influencer in a very oversaturated (and paradoxically, shallow) market.
I started this blog because I absolutely love to write, and I love to connect. Sure, social media is another way to connect and to write (in shorter form), but it’s honestly not always my jam. Nothing new or groundbreaking here, but so often, it feels fake.
All of these thoughts beg a few questions for me: 1) is it possible for a blogger these days to gain any major traction without some sort of social media influencer status? 2) Are blogs even relevant anymore? So many people rely on Instagram’s longer captions…and never even click the link in your bio. 3) Is it worth all of the effort to be just another number in an oversaturated mix on an app? 4) If my drive to grow my blog was “as strong as it should be,” would I have any of these qualms over social media…and would I just commit to doing anything to grow my readership? Am I simply not trying hard enough? 5) Do I swap my Instagram handle back to my real name instead of my blog and keep the two siloed again? Would traffic drop drastically? (Probably.)
While these questions have been plaguing me lately, I certainly still don’t have answers. I feel stuck in a weird place, and I’m not sure where to go with this creative digital outlet at the moment. Stay tuned!
If you made it this far, thanks for reading this mess of word vomit.