Aug 21, 2014

Blogging About Blogging - 6 Reasons to Stay Small

Blogging about Blogging: 6 Reasons Being a Small Blog is Awesome

So, this blogging thing.  It's a lot of fun, isn't it?  At first I was so swept up in the excitement of the blogging community and all the possibilities for marketing and extra income, that I couldn't imagine NOT trying to monetize.

But after a couple months of writing, and thinking, and writing some more, I think I like where I am.  I have a couple regular readers and I'm really enjoying some of the conversations that we have.  But I can also disappear for a week for vacation and it's not the end of the world.

Maybe I'll monetize one day, but for now I like being small fry.  Here's just a few of the things I enjoy about it.

6 Reasons Being a Small Blog is Awesome

  1. No trolls.  Yep, not a one, despite writing the occasional controversial post.  (knock on wood)
  2. No initial investment or stressing about revenue.  You have to spend money to make money, or so they say, but once you've invested some funds into sponsorships or marketing, then you have to be so much more revenue focused to make it up.
  3. No pressure.  I can write whatever I want, because the numbers aren't terribly important, and because the small community I have will probably forgive me the occasional lousy post.
  4. No obligation.  I can disappear for a week (like I said) without worrying about any obligation to keep the hits up for sponsors.
  5. It's all fun.  It's rarely "work" because I do the amount I have time for and enjoy.  If I wrote something, it's because I wanted to say it.  If I joined a link up, it's because I really liked the concept of it and/or the bloggers involved.  If I included a title image, it's because I wanted to design something that day.
  6. I know my commenters.  Since I rarely get more than a few comments on a post, I have plenty of time to read and converse, and I know who they all are.  With the exception of a couple new readers.  Hi guys!  Looking forward to getting to know you!
There's another side to it, too.  So everyone likes to give blog advice (because, let's face, bloggers LOVE blog advice, myself included), and every so often I come across a "don't be that blogger" or "things not to do" kind of post.  For the most part, they're things you can figure out with common sense, and by seeing what things you yourself do and do not like.

It always bothers me when a blog seems like it's trying so hard to expand that it loses touch with those common sense things.  I don't like getting blasted with "follow me" messages, and "here's my new promo."  When a blog does a lot of sponsored posts, you know they've made it and they're getting some return on investment, and that's great!  But I'll be honest - I never read those posts.  I just don't trust that "honest opinion" once it's getting paid for.  And if there's more sponsored posts than regular content, I'll eventually stop checking in.

I've never really liked certain aspects of marketing, despite being in the graphic design field.  I'm always worried about annoying other people or being too pushy.  But what I most want to avoid is losing touch with the common sense part of my brain that tells me where the line is.

I also want to avoid burnout.  Kelli @ Just Beachy wrote a post (When A Blog Dies) that asks other bloggers for input on why they, or others, quit blogging.  The comments were incredibly insightful - many bloggers admitted feeling some stress when they put too much pressure on themselves to grow or impress their readers.  Here's some that really resonated with me:

"I think sometimes the "work" of it makes people stop. When it stops becoming a fun passion and becomes a chore and all of a sudden we realize we now have two jobs and only one of them pays." - Bonnie @ Life of Bon

"I love sitting down to write for my blog and I enjoy spending hours working on my design and buttons, but I can start to feel burnt out when I don't get comments or followers. That's when I take a step back and remind myself that I like to blog regardless of what the outcome is." - Elizabeth @ Southern Fitness

"I post when I can, about things that I want to post about. I think that's a main reason why so far I haven't wanted to start offering sponsorships. I feel like it would make it more about a business than just writing for me. Not that sponsorship is bad, but I've read enough posts from bigger bloggers about how it can get overwhelming." - Amanda @ The Lady Okie

So with all these reasons to stay small and not much incentive to grow, I'm happy where I am.  Don't follow me on Twitter, unless you actually want to.  Don't look for my new sponsorship options, because they don't exist.  And if you see me in a linkup, it's not for promotional purposes, it's because I genuinely want to write about and read people's thoughts on that topic.

Speaking of which, tell me your thoughts!  Small blog or large?  Do you do sponsorships and why?  Would you still write if no one was reading?


Jenn signature graphic | Business, Life & Design

11 comments:

  1. That's how I feel too. I like when life is crazy I don't have to stress about producing anything.

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  2. I've been blogging for a year and half and when I first started I was like "oh I must be big and have all the followers and make all the money." By the end of year one I was all "making it big is a lot of work but I love all the connections I've made, I think I'll just blog what I want to blog."

    Even with that decision made I still stress when I'm in a blog funk, like now. I really miss connecting with you all but I have the biggest creative block. So I'm stressed, I keep thinking what if I've already used up every good idea I have?

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  3. I've been blogging for 5 years (I know...)but I didn't even really know about the community until 2012. It's easy to get sucked into blog land and let the numbers play games with your head--but the truth is, I blogged long before anyone ever read my posts-and I'll keep blogging long after. I just like it. The community makes it exceptionally more fun-but the point of the blog to me is to do what my writing professor strongly encouraged all those years ago and write daily. I've said several times how much I enjoy being a small blogger. I like that I get to do me and my readers will stick because we're more than just bloggers--we're friends.

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  4. I agree with this a lot because honestly I work way to much at my full time job to put more effort into my blog daily. I enjoy being able to skip out on writing some nights when I get home from work at 7pm. This is not to say that I don't enjoy my blog and making it presentable. I do enjoy knowing all of my readers though. That's a great Perk. As always loving your blog Jenn!

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  5. I only figured out the community was there over a year into blogging....maybe a year and a half.

    I offer the ability to advertise, but I've mentioned it on my blog once - when I started it. I don't push it. Anything I make gets dumped into sponsoring someone else.

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  6. Small blogs r dumb, boo u. [trying really hard to troll, but I can't think of anything else to say...]

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  7. #6 is probably my favorite!! That's what's so great about the blogging community, in my opinion.

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  8. I get so caught up in the numbers sometimes (it's the computer science brain I have, see numbers, find connections and come to conclusions) and have to remind myself that I don't care. I lose myself from time to time with quality vs quantity and trying to get views vs writing about what I love vs writing to write. I'm half asleep today, don't mind the semi-coherent comment.

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  9. While I'd love to make bank from my blog, I know I never will because I just can't stay motivated to blog regularly all.the.time, let alone keep up with social media updates. I like small blogs that have community and I like the community I've built over 2-3 years of "serious" blogging (meaning I put effort into posts). I feel like I've lost touch with many bloggers who've turned "big". And "big" bloggers don't respond to you as much. Like you said, the bigger the blog, the more sponsored and giveaway stuff and I'm like, "Who are you anymore?" And yes, "BORING".

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