I would guess that most of us, at some point or another, feel insecure about our blogs, especially in comparison to other bloggers. Going down that comparison road is the freeway to Crazytown, so there’s got to be a better way – a sort of healthy blogging report card.
Reflecting on how your blog is doing can be a good thing if it helps you to grow and develop as a blogger. A good way to begin that reflection is by revisiting what your purpose is in blogging. Why are you doing this whole blogging thing in the first place? Perhaps you’ve strayed from that purpose and need to get back on track, or maybe your purpose has shifted since your last reflective check-in. It can be easy to get caught up in the flow and start to drift from what you’re really doing it for, and I’ve noticed that anytime I start to get a bit disenchanted with blogging it’s because I’ve started to drift away from my purpose.
Your purpose will help in identifying the aspects of blogging that are most important to you, and therefore most deserving of some careful reflection. You may be working on regular posting, engaging within the blogging community, attracting visitors from social media, etc. You won’t be doing perfectly in any of these areas, because blogging will always be a work in progress. None of us is perfect, nor will we ever be. Instead, consider the progress you’ve made over the last 6 months, or whatever time frame you’d like to use. This isn’t a matter of passing or failing; there’s no such thing as failing at blogging. The more relevant question is, are you satisfied or unsatisfied? What indicators are there to support that evaluation?
Taking into account the areas where you are and are not satisfied, the next step is to give some thought to what will support your learning and development as a blogger. That may be as simple as giving yourself more time to soak up the ideas other bloggers are dishing out, or it might mean something more structured like finding an online course to help you explore new things. It may mean putting in some extra work on aspects of your blog that you’re not entirely satisfied with.
Throughout this reflection process, I think it’s crucial to stay focused on your own blog and what you want from it. If you’re looking for ways to feel inadequate, by comparing yourself to other blogs you’ll inevitably find ways to feel bad about yourself. There’s always something that someone else is doing better than you, and I think we all have something in particular that tends to set off negative feelings. I’m usually pretty good about not getting bogged down in comparisons, but when I do, it’s to do with seeing other bloggers who have a lot fewer followers than I do but quite a bit more engagement per post. It’s ridiculous, and it accomplishes absolutely nothing, so I’m pretty quick to put the kibosh on that line of thinking. Still, it’s worth acknowledging because I think we all go there sometimes, even if it’s only very briefly, and it’s totally valid to have those feelings.
Right now I’m at a bit of lull in terms of where I’m going with the blog and personally as a blogger. It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but there are no major aspects that I’m unsatisfied with. Before the world fell apart I was working on generating a little more traffic from Pinterest, but aside from that, I don’t really have anything in mind that I’m working towards. Not that the blog is going away; it’s just that I like to have directions in mind to keep myself moving forward as a blogger.
How do you feel about how your blog is doing? What direction are you wanting to take it?