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What Are Your Blogging Insecurities?

What are your blogging insecurities?

I suspect we’ve all got them—those nagging little blogging insecurities that chatter at you from the back of your mind every once in a while (or more regularly). While we probably all have them, none of us talk about them. After all, they’re not the kind of thing that’s very pretty. But maybe we should talk about them and give them a bit of an airing out.

The clear visibility of stats of all kinds on WordPress makes perfect fodder for insecurity; you can’t avoid them if you try. Early on in my blogging journey I decided I didn’t want to get caught up in stats, so I rarely checked my stats page. That’s still the case. But there are so many other places where stats will jump uyp and slap you in the face.

If you’re reading posts in the WordPress Reader, you can immediately see how many followers the person has and how many likes they have on a post. You don’t want to look at it? Too bad, so sad. As soon as you go to click the like button, boom, you have to see who else has liked that post. It wasn’t always that way; you used to have to put a little bit of effort to see all the likers. I hated that change when it happened, and I still do.

So, what might people having blogging insecurities about?

There are multiple areas that can be potential triggers for insecurity. The particular mix for a given blogger will likely depend on their personality, where their blog is at in its evolution, and what their blogging goals are.

Blog quality

I think a common one is to doubt the quality of one’s own blog, whether it’s the ideas or the style of writing. Sometimes bloggers will say that they’re not sure why people would want to read their blog. There isn’t some objective standard for what makes a good blog, so there’s the risk of letting shoulds take over, telling you that your blog should be something other than what it is.

This is one area that hasn’t been an issue for me at any point in my blogging journey, at least as far as I recall. I’m content with my blog, and that’s good enough for me. Plus I have no interest in changing what I write about or how I write.

Follower numbers

It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking that follower numbers are a reflection of blog quality. From what I’ve seen, that’s not true at all. Some people, by a combination of luck and strategy, manage to grow quickly right from the start. For other bloggers, it’s a slow process. Once you research a certain follow threshold, things start to take off and followers start randomly showing up. A big chunk of those followers will be spammy. But there are many factors that influence blog growth, and quality is only a small one.

Just because a blogger has a large number of followers doesn’t mean they don’t have insecurities; there are plenty of other things to feel insecure about. I’m quite content with my follower numbers; my insecurities lie elsewhere.

Reader engagement

Views, likes, and comments are all areas to potentially feel lousy about. The particular mix of inadequacy will likely depend somewhat on what stage of growth your blog is at. For newer blogs, it might be a lack of comments that are a trigger. But even for larger blogs, there’s room to feel insecure, especially if you start comparing your blog to other blogs. Comparisons will manage to bite you in the butt every time if given the opportunity. While you can’t compare views, likes and comments are right there in your face.

One thing that’s been bugging me lately is the ratio of likes:views. It’s normal for only a fraction of the people who look at your posts to click the like button. Lately, I feel like that ratio has been dropping on my blog, and for most posts it’s less than 1/3 of viewers who click like, or sometimes closer to 1/4. I think part of what bugs me is that I can’t explain it; I have no way of knowing what’s going on for that 70% of people who look but don’t click like, and there’s no possibility of finding out.

Who’s not reading your blog

There are many reasons that people can stop reading your blog. One of the common ones is that people are taking a blogging hiatus. But sometimes, you can see that some of these bloggers are still around. So what’s the deal? One of WordPress’s glitches that pops up every once in a while is that it will randomly unfollow people. If WordPress has randomly caused Blogger X to unfollow me, Blogger X doesn’t realize that unless they happen to notice that they haven’t seen posts from me for a while. It’s awkward, because there’s no way of knowing if it was a WordPress glitch or Blogger X just decided to stop reading.

Because WordPress shoves it in your face who’s liking people’s posts, you can’t really help but see who’s reading other people’s posts but not yours. I get sucked into that trap sometimes, yet it was never an issue back when you had to put that tiny bit of effort into finding out who liked a post. Damn you, WP!

Something that’s come up repeatedly for me over time is that a lot of the mental health blogs that I’ve read regularly never read mine, or at least as far as I could tell. I certainly don’t expect that every blog I read should read mine, but when it’s in the same niche and there’s no return engagement at all it feels a bit weird. This tends to ebb and flow over time in terms of whether it’s nagging at me or not, and it’s more likely to come up during phases when a lot of my readers are non-mental health bloggers. I used to be reluctant to unfollow mental health blogs, but then I figured if it was going to bug me, then I’d be better off unfollowing.

What to do about it?

For me, the most important thing is to just keep bringing it back to purpose. I suspect that, at least for most of us, the purpose isn’t about stats or comparisons. It’s about something greater that we get out of it, whether that’s the therapeutic value of writing, a sense of community, or whatever else. When my own securities start nagging at me, it often has to do with inadvertently getting side-tracked from my purpose, and I need a bit of a course correction.

It can also be helpful to try to focus on what you do have with your blog, such as readers that you regularly interact with. Because the people you do interact with will always be far more important than the people that don’t.

I think it’s also useful to recognize that you’ll never be the only one having blog-related insecurities. It’s part and parcel of the blogging experience, even if no one feels comfortable talking about it. But I think talking about it can help; I know my little niggles have settled down simply after writing this post.

Do you have any blogging insecurities that you’d like to share?

Blogging resources from Mental Health @ Home: A New Blogger's guide to WordPress and Up Your Blogging Game

For more on blogging, check out the New Blogger’s Guide to WordPress and the Up Your Blogging Game page.

81 thoughts on “What Are Your Blogging Insecurities?”

  1. I don’t have enough blogging insecurities. But I am curious about stats; it’s fun to see that people from all over read your posts. I treat my blog more like a diary that people might want to peek at. LOL

  2. I’m not trying to get a million followers but it is nice to know I’m interesting enough to be read and liked by some people. I am fascinated by the stats. I’m not sure why. I also like to see the countries people come from. I find they are not always accurate. Sometimes I get zero views but I still get likes. I can’t figure that one out. It’s easier to notice because I have few followers. One thing I don’t like is getting followed by spam accounts. I would rather have someone I can follow back.

    1. Getting followed by spam accounts is pretty hard to avoid. A few of them I’ve removed from followers list but they kept refollowing, so I gave up trying.

      The likes without views probably happens because someone is browsing through a tag in the WP Reader and liking a bunch of posts straight from there without reading them.

  3. Since I am relatively new to blogging I tend to look at my stats as a measure of how I am doing. These stats go in phases. If they aren’t keeping up with themselves, I tend to think I am not writing what people want to hear. So there is that tension of writing what I feel versus writing what people want to hear.

  4. I love blogging and the supportive community here. My insecurity is more about why don’t my real life friends take any interest? It bugs me sometimes that they’d rather hang on stupid FB and argue politics than read my writing…

  5. 🙂 I have been blogging since 2009; it all started on Blogger.

    When one has been blogging as long as I have, blogging insecurities tend to melt away.

    Where quality is concerned, I will always be a stickler for it.

    One minor concern that I have is that I cannot get my blog to look exactly the way that I want with the free WordPress plan.

    When I was on Blogger, I had the freedom to upload a different-looking blogging theme (which was one that Blogger did not provide) and I was able to use any type of fonts and any type of commenting system; back then, my commenting system of choice was Disqus.

    On a positive note, engagement on WordPress surpasses that on Blogger (And that is mainly because of the WordPress Reader).

  6. Some really good points. A lot comes down to comparisons, doesn’t it? Like comparing what we think of our content quality against another blog, how we think others are doing in terms of reader engagement, the number of followers we have versus what other blogs have. It’s a dangerous game. With the ratio of people reading versus liking, could some of it be that not everyone has a WP account? Ie. you could have plenty of readers that are just out there taking a read, who don’t blog themselves. They don’t want to sign up or leave details and they don’t engage with the WP tools like the button for that reason. Maybe some percentage falls into that category?xx

    1. That’s possible. Search engine traffic tends to go to posts that have been around for a while, but maybe Pinterest traffic is making a difference for recent posts.

  7. I used to pay a lot more attention to the stats than I do now. Comparison is an easy game, but I just don’t have the energy to keep up with it. I’m content with the small community of people I’ve come to chat with and that’s enough. My insecurity is always about not being able to keep up with everyone else; I want to be that person that reads everything but I honestly just get so overwhelmed. That keeps me from writing too sometimes. I’m working on this but it’s definitely a struggle I keep coming up against.

  8. I have some insecurities, definitely. I mostly just write about my daily life, like a journal. I sometimes worry about what others might think of me, or if they think my words are worthless. I try to avoid looking at the stats – it helps my sanity. And you’re right about the stats being thrown in your face.

    I agree that what matters most is the people we regularly interact with, that’s what makes connecting through writing special.

    Overall I just try and write whatever I want, and try not to care if someone doesn’t care.

    1. I think realistically, no matter what we write and how well we write it, some people aren’t going to be interested, so trying to write for them is a waste of time.

  9. Since my many blogs through these many, many years have just been sort of an on-line journal I don’t give a whit about stats, followers etc. LOL I am more afraid of people FINDING me than people not finding me – I suppose it is different for people who blog for a specific purpose – for me it’s just a brain-dump.

  10. I’ve been doing beta-reading for my fellow contest entrants, so I skim-read this blog post as my brain is starting to fry from overreading. Speaking of, thank you so much for your help yesterday!! Oh my gosh, what fun!! YAY!!

    I don’t get insecure as much as I get doubtful about how open I should be. I’m too honest, and it’s almost like I don’t care whose privacy I violate, and so I try really hard not to even blog my evil sister’s secrets. (And speaking of viewership, that blog post would make my stats peak off the charts.) But I’ll get insecure or uncertain and think, “Oh, I revealed too much about someone else’s life,” and I’ll delete the post.

    With stats and visitors and interaction, I try to just keep blogging for the goal of self-expression, but I do LOVE it when people leave comments. I’m never geared toward asking people to share their own experiences if they can relate, but all the same, I’m thrilled whenever someone stops by and comments–it makes my day. And I’m so glad you’re always commenting on my blog!! I’d try not to take it personally if you’re overblogged and don’t always comment!! But thank you so much for always commenting!! YAY!!

  11. Well, I am Really Really new to blogging so I just want to thank you for this post, I got to know how everything works and also what others think while blogging.
    Thank you.

    1. When I hit publish, I tend to wonder if there was something that I forgot to do or if there was something that needed fixing. For some reason, though, when I click schedule, I don’t think about that at all.

  12. Based on my current blog I write, I have no insecurities. But this I feel is because of how many years I have been blogging before creating this blog.
    Creating this blog was for theraputic reasons, as my old blog and when I found it helped other people not feel alone, then that was an added bonus. A reason to carry on, as well as carry on for my theraputic journey and release what sometimes was my crap.
    But also, the lovely supportive community here. Something I have said many times before.

    Only time I have held myself back with writing and it took time to raise it in a blog and that was a small discussion of rape.
    I wanted to raise it a little for some time before than I did.

    There is only one topic I won’t raise on my blog, for the fear of heavy bitching. So obviously, I can’t say what that is. I know I would get a lot of support and understanding, but I may get also heaviness I don’t want. Another blogger has said they had when they discussed same topic. So not something I would raise on something so personal to me, that I won’t have done. I had raised it in conversation on another blog, or two. But to put it down in my own blog post, I just can’t.

    The talking of me feeling suicidal last year, now that was a very hard one to admit on my blog.
    Even though I knew I have plenty of supporting fellow bloggers and readers and no fear of the topic. It was just raising it that was. I know I didn’t want to upset my close friends hearing how I felt, even though I told them personally first, before mentioning it on my blog.

    1. I know what you mean about wanting to avoid the heaviness. Sometimes the downsides of writing about something outweigh the upsides.

      Suicide is hard to talk about. I’m fine with talking about it in the past tense, but in the present tense it’s harder. I don’t want people to worry because of what I say, because it’s it’s not useful for them and it’s not helpful for me either.

  13. I’m a new blogger and my biggest insecurity right now is stats. I was so excited to start my blog and have people be engaged. I wanted it to take off right away. I have to train myself to stop looking at the stats.

  14. I also try to avoid stats, but it’s hard. I used to want lots of followers; then I realised that lots of them were spammy. I’m less concerned with that now, even though I’ve made my blog fully public again. I try not to care about likes, but I admit I’m pleased that my average likes per post seems to have gone up in the last few weeks. What I really like are comments, which I think is because I want some kind of personal connection from blogging. I only get a couple per post at most, so they’re precious, particularly when people comment long term (like you do) and one can get an idea of who someone is.

  15. I find it all terribly confusing to be honest! I haven’t been aware of seeing anybody when I like a post, so I’ll keep an eye out for that one.
    The thing that confuses me is when people who follow me like a post from months back, but then it doesn’t show as being ‘viewed’. If it were a recent post I’d assume it was seen in the reader or something, but nope. Can’t be if it was way back from last year or something.
    Luckily I began posting for my own benefit and then opened it to the world and continued to post, and so still would even if I went private again (can’t see myself doing that unless people in real life find me!).

    1. Huh, that’s weird. I know sometimes people will go through the Reader and like posts without reading, but that doesn’t seem like something would happen with an older post.

  16. I also can have insecurities about likes and follows. Especially if either of both end up stagnating. Those insecurities especially exist for me if I see someone in my niche doing better than I am in those areas.

    And the annoying thing is that I don’t view blogging as a competition and don’t want to view blogging that way.

  17. I barely look at stats but I do get a little insecure when it takes a while for the first like of my new post to come through. Silly really.

    1. Things like that may be silly, but that doesn’t seem to stop them from happening. Sometimes my logical brain says what the hell is wrong with me, and my more immature brain says it’s my party, and I’ll be silly if I want to.

  18. I’ve been guilty of worrying about stats; when I see a lull in likes or comments for a few days in a row – mainly when I haven’t posted, if I’ve been ill. But then I post something and up they go again. Then I think, what if I was sick for longer than a couple of days, or weeks?

    1. I think with the way the WordPress Reader works, new content will always get the most attention. It’s when you start getting more search engine or social media traffic that there’s a steadier stream of viewers regardless of what you post and when you post it.

  19. I don’t pay attention to stats.

    I have two concerns which I suppose are insecurities. One is the reaction I sometimes receive when I write candidly about some of the personal challenges I have. I can write 95% positive cheery happy posts (and that is the way I want my site to feel overall)…but when I am honest about some of the hard things that have happened, I always receive comments from people who seem horrified that the sunshine feel of my site seems to have been tainted. The comments range from readers dropping horrendous cliches like “every cloud has a silver lining” or “everything happens for a reason”…to those who tell me I need to go and get professional counselling.

    It is a tricky one for me because I do love life, and I hope my site overall reflects the enthusiasm and joy I feel about many aspects of life – from love to baking, music to writing, creation to the special people in my life. But I feel strongly that it is ok to speak honestly about real challenges. I am not ashamed or averse to refer to the parts of this world that are wrong, unjust, appalling…etc. I am baffled when someone seems to be disturbed by reading anything negative and wants to advise me that I need help to be 100% positive all the time.

    Everytime I publish a post about something hard, I dread receiving comments which make me think a reader doesn’t have a clear picture of who I am. Nevermind!

    The second insecurity I have is over the way I handle my blog. Because of the hours I have to work, I use the scheduling feature extensively. So almost every day there will be a post published on my site. Midweek I approve comments, but it is normally Sundays in between doing my housework and speaking to family and friends that I get to sit down and properly read comments and respond to them. On a Sunday, I go back over my posts for the week and read all the comments. I am very conscious that I am missing some of the comments that are left on my post. I know sometimes a reader will leave a comment on one of my older posts, and later I can’t find their comment to reply to. I also have noticed that when I do check my spam folder, there are numerous comments from several of the bloggers I am in contact regularly.

    So my fear is I could be coming across as negligent and unappreciative of the comments left on my site. I keep telling myself to make time on a more regular basis to check comments. Hoping my hours at work are going to reduce soon which will allow me to do that.

    Anyway…in the meantime…I am ok with the rest of my blog. It is a happy place for me, an outlet that is fulfilling.

    1. That’s really unfortunate that you get comments like that. Life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, and if people have a hard time accepting that, they’re living in a dream world. I’m not sure why anyone thinks it’s helpful to say “everything happens for a reason”, because I doubt it’s ever been helpful once in the history of humanity.

      The spam thing is frustrating. I’v gotten in a habit of checking my spam folder regularly because legitimate comments end up there so often. When I do see those comments and respond to them, I mention that the delayed response was because WP marked their comment as spam.

  20. I try not to look at stats because I know it’ll make me feel insecure if I don’t see what I want to see.
    I also worry that people aren’t interested in what I have to say. I’ve struggled with it a lot recently, it doesn’t matter how many people say they enjoy reading my writing and that they relate to it, I can’t get rid of that nagging feeling.

  21. My biggest insecurity about blogging is finding topics. Sometimes I find something that I like but that is not maybe a popular topic and than I start to wonder if I should even write about it. The thing is that is does interest me and I end up doing research on it. But sometimes I can feel so nerdy about that. I rarely have ‘fun’ topics to write about.

  22. I was just comparing my blogger engagement to other book bloggers a few minutes ago while scrolling through the reader! I really appreciate your advice to focus on the connections that you DO have <3

  23. Love this. I think my blogging insecurities come down to me wondering if people are going to like it and then telling myself I’m doing it for me. I think my main insecurity is more to do with grammar which stems from humiliation and childhood trauma. I’m not yet overly obsessed with the numbers, perhaps because I’m still trying to find my voice and purpose. Then again if no one likes a post it for sure dents the ego and when I read a great post from someone else I wish I wrote it, but I’m liking the sense of community even though I’m still very much the new girl.

    1. I can see how the grammar part would be really hard when it’s tied into trauma. I’m lazy about proofreading and sometimes don’t notice major errors, but as far as I can remember there hasn’t been a single time when anyone has commented on it.

  24. I have many insecurities but they don’t always appear all at the same time. The one that is the most consistent for me is self doubt and wether what I write is good enough, the amount of blogs I have written and never post I’ve lost count of! It’s also what makes me sometimes inconsistent with my posting, and that’s when I beat myself up because the stats for that week are low because I haven’t produced anything good enough to post.
    It’s a bit of vicious cycle and something I am trying to break the habit of. Self doubt is always the one thing that holds me back.
    Thank you for this post I too think it’s great that you are talking about Blogging Insecurities, it has provided me with some much needed time for self reflection . ☺️

    1. I see that happen a lot where people haven’t been posting much, their stats drop, and they start to internalize that as a reflection of how good their blog is. But a lot of people read blogs using the WordPress Reader and the WP app, and those are very much geared toward showing newer posts. And if you have 10 regular readers that read all of your posts, if you post once a week, you’ll get 10 views from them, while if you post 7 times a week, you’ll get 70 views; that’s a big difference, but those readers’ loyalty hasn’t changed at all.

  25. Very useful article! Thank you for sharing.

    The part about the “random unfollowing” explains a lot of things as it has already happened to me that someone I used to follow randomly disappeared from my feed so I just looked for his blog and noticed that I am not following him anymore – but I thought it was me who accidentally clicked on the unfollow button and it was such an uncomfortable feeling for me like…..if I click on “follow” he will notice that I “unfollowed” him so he would think I am weird or something. ( I know I always overthink everything but that’s the way I am)

    Well, as for insecurities in my case it’s mainly about my writing skills as I am not a native English speaker and I tend to worry about unintentionally offending people by writing something that I do not find offensive but others would. Ah anyways – I have a lot of insecurities but despite that I enjoy writing cause it just helps me a lot.

    1. Writing is helpful in so many ways!

      I sometimes wonder how many people I’m no longer following because of this WordPress glitch. I’m not very observant, so I don’t easily notice when I’m no longer seeing someone’s posts in my feed.

  26. good you get lot of comments. If i get a comment it is about missing links. when you get comments you get to interact, know your problems etc. your topic blogging insecurities was nice. it reflected stats,likes but comments also has its importance. hope you agree.

    1. Yes, comments make it a more mutual experience. My main blogging niche is mental health, and I think that’s a subject area where people are more likely to want to engage through comments.

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