Venus Trapped in Mars

09 September 2015

A Real Good Blogger or The Best Blogger?


From a numbers standpoint, this blog is doing better than it ever has before. I've had over 138,000 page views in the past 30 days. Each year, my Fantasy Football Team Names post racks in the google hits during the month of August.  

The numbers may look great, but things really just don't feel right around here. The blog world is changing and to be perfectly honest with you guys, I'm feeling a little lost in the shuffle. 

I'll cut right to the chase, I've hit an odd place with this blog. I'm not quitting, nor am I stepping back, or hoping to do fewer posts. It simply hit me that this blog is not the same as it used to be. I don't mean that in a bad way, but somewhere in the last, I don't know, we will say year and a half, it has changed course. 

Although I clearly have a very obvious niche, I feel like I don't have a sense of direction. I've never actually sat down and outlined what I'm trying to do here, because I've never felt the need to. Blogging (to me) is not about being a great writer, it's about being an entertainer. From the day I started, it was easy and came naturally. Post ideas flowed through my head like keg beer on gameday. 

I've never been the girl who sets a schedule or has any type of blog organization. I'm not the kind of person who sacrifices everything to earn the things they want. Take my basketball career for example, I was blessed with a huge amount of natural talent, and had I worked myself to death, I could have been the best. Instead though, I was content with being real good, while still enjoying a life outside of basketball. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, for the record, I just didn't want to play Division 1 basketball in college, as much as the next girl did. That's ok, right?

Just like with basketball, I really don't put in the work that I should in order to grow. I don't remember to label posts, it is a miracle if I share my posts on Twitter or Facebook... heck, I haven't Instagrammed in 5 days! 

So now, with VTIM, I have to take some time and decide if I want to be a Division 1 blogger, or if I'm content to be a real good blogger. Do I want to put in the work it will take to continue to grow this blog, or am I content with the way it is now? Daylight Savings Time ends in November, and with that ends my sunlight supply for taking photos. Am I willing to give up a weekend with CB in order to spend it working on preparing blog posts and Instagram pictures for the week? I'm just not sure yet, I have to figure that out. 

Like I said, I'm certainly not quitting, but the time has come to decide if I want to continue to be a real good blogger, or put in the work for the first time in my life and be the best blogger? 

Do you guys work your ass off to make your blog the best / most popular out there? Or are you content with having it be a hobby you can have a blast with, and maybe make a couple extra bucks while you're at it? 

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31 comments :

  1. I struggle all of the time with this... Things have changed SO much in the past few years and it's been hard to keep up without falling back in the dust. It's my full time job so I want to be the best, but at the same time it takes up SO much time and it's hard to find the balance.

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  2. A post written after my heart. I'm in the same boat (although my blog is no where near as successful as yours haha). I really want to put in more effort to grow my blog but I just don't have the time with everything I'm juggling. It doesn't make sense to prioritize my blog over school and life so right now it's a hobby. But the minute I graduate from school, I definitely plan to step my blogging game up. Sometimes you gotta do what works best for you, even if it doesn't fit with what everyone else is doing. Go after what makes you happiest and I'm sure that whatever you decide to do, you'll do great Sarah!

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  3. My blog is basically an online scrapbook. Sometimes I post a few days in a row, and sometimes I miss a month or more. A few years ago, I spent more time worrying about taking pictures (during events, get togethers, and special moments), than actually enjoying myself. After a time I decided to live more and blog less. I have enjoyed blogging so much more since I made that decision. THAT being said, I love your blog; and I think you can take it as far as you want to take it!

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  4. I’ve always loved reading your blog and I’ll keep reading it no matter how you change it because it’s sure to be fabulous. To answer your question, I like it as a hobby. Granted I don’t make money with mine. But I’m content with it being a hobby and a creative outlet. The way I see it, blogging and internet fame is only temporary in the grand scheme of things, so I’ll just take all the extra time I can to enjoy life with the people I love. =) Just got to find a balance that makes you happy!

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  5. I can so relate to this. Our society makes you feel that every thing you do need to big and you need to make money with it. My blog is a hobby too and just like you I know it could be biggen if I spend more time. But I have a Job and a family that need attention too. The blog should be kept fun and is a fulltime creative process for me. And that's much more than just the writing part. I don't get my rush from the nummers but from a piece of content that turns out exactly or better than I imagined. Hope you find a way to keep it fun for yourself too!

    - X Marloes

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  6. You're preaching to the choir, girl. This is a conversation I have with myself on at least a monthly basis. The answer I keep coming back to is this - I have a normal 9-5 job that I have to put a lot of effort into and by the end of the day I'm exhausted and my blog has been a fun, creative project for me. When I think about putting the same amount of effort into both I get tired just thinking about it. I don't want my blog to ever feel like something I "have" to do, rather, I want it to be something I enjoy and want to do. If that makes sense. Maybe someday, if my daily 9-5 is less important I will put in more effort to make my blog something much bigger. But today, right now, I like it the way it is. Hope that helps - good luck on whichever you decide!

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  7. As long as your enjoying what you're doing, I say do that! I enjoy your posts, every insightful and funny. Not gonna lie, making some extra money from my blog would be awesome...but like you, my real life is much more fun and being present is where I thrive, so I don't want to give up that time to make a few extra bucks. You may feel a little lost, but I think there are plenty of us who enjoy your content and commentary on life :) xoxo, ganeeban

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  8. You didn't really ask what we think (but that comes with the territory too, now doesn't it? lol)...but I think that whatever you do you should stay authentic to YOU. It seems only the BEST blogs would evolve with its creator, and no person is stagnant in life, ever. If your topics change a little, or your frequency, or whatever, that's okay because it's better to be real than to be sharing something that's not authentic. I think people want to see real, not forced when it comes to blogs. You can do this! :)

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  9. This is how I felt with my old blog. I felt as if it was going no where, and I was just wasting my time. But I made the mistake of stepping back and stopping my old blog, when I wish I never did because it made me SO happy to just be able to sit down and write. What I feel is, do blogging for you. If you're a good blogger or the best blogger, it doesn't matter. As long as what you're doing makes you happy, do you boo. :)

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  10. I feel like I run my blog the same way I run my entire life. I WANT more. I want it to be the best. But I'm lazy and don't make the effort to make it what it could be. I tend to just hang onto that hope that something will just happen and everything will fall into place without much effort. But life doesn't work like that.

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  11. Such a timely post for me to read. I've hit the same sort of snag. I found that I was putting up content just to put up content. Cheesy posts like "10 dream kitchens" and things like that, posts that would get clicks, but I just didn't feel good about. I'm re-evaluating what I want from blogging myself, and I think I have a road map in the works. I'm with you, except I don't want to blog just to churn out content. I want to post stuff that means something, even if that's just to me.

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  12. Your blog has lots of page views and comments, so clearly you're already successful. My advice on the situation is to ask yourself what you really want from your blog. Do you want it to be a main source of income? If so, then you should continue to grow. Are you content with it how it is? If you're happy with it already then you should just focus on maintaining it, coming up with great content, and enjoying your blog. Ultimately having a goal to be "the best" can be fruitless because there is no one best blogger, just a lot of great ones!
    Tiffany at booklyoak.blogspot.com

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  13. As bloggers, I think we've all struggled with that battle. Be good or be the best? For me personally, I'm content with being good, getting by, and keeping it as a hobby. Sure, I'll still treat it as a business when needed, but the most important thing is to keep having fun. I’ll never spend time writing a post if I don’t truly want to be writing it, whether it be personal or sponsored. To be the best would be like having a full time job blogging, in my opinion. For some, it works, but for me, realistically speaking it will never happen. I much rather spend my free time with my fiancĂ© or out doing something rather than feeling pressured to blog. Now if I choose to blog one evening over something else, then fine, but it's always going to be because I chose to rather than because I felt like I had to. Blogging has changed so much over the past few years with all the unwritten rules of blogging. There’s so much pressure to have a post scheduled everyday, or have that post be the best one you’ve written yet, etc. As soon as I basically just said screw it to the rules, blogging was much more enjoyable! Sorry for the paragraph, but that’s just what’s worked for me. Try out a few different things until you find the most comfortable balance. We’ll still be here!

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  14. i so very much relate to this post so thanks for sharing authentically while you are at this crossroads. i know i have the potential to do something very unique and interesting with my own blog/business but then i get freaked out about what to do next and sort of just shut down.

    a book that has been transformational to me in my decision about whether to stay 'real good' or 'the best' has been 'the dip' by seth godin. it's a super quick read (80 pages) but incredibly profound and could help you get clear on what you want to do!

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  15. I'm struggling with feeling the motivation to blog at all right now, and I've decided for me, that's ok. If I feel inspired I will post but otherwise I'm not going to force it. My blog is tiny and in no way a business so I do it purely as a hobby!

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  16. really really interesting question. i want to be both. i think that's hopefully possible. congrats on killing it!

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  17. Your blog rocks. Always. I think I'm content being a real good blogger. Right now I'm an OK blogger. I don't want to sacrifice real life friends, real life boyfriend, and real life experience to sit behind a desk and write when that's what I do 40 hours a week anyway. I try to blog 2-3 times a week and publish them across social media, but if I don't make it, I don't make it. I'm learning to be OK with that.

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  18. For me, I put a lot of my time and energy into it for now. But it's not my goal for it to be #1 in my life, so I'm preparing for it to become more of a hobby. Life constantly changes. We'll see!

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  19. This is such a relevant post, and I think it really broaches a topic that is at the forefront of so many blogger minds. It's tough these days, as a non-full time blogger, to compete in any way with full-time bloggers. Simply put, they have more time and resources to put into their site and that's a choice that they've made. For now, I'm content being a good (not even a very good, but like adequate) blogger because I've decided to prioritize a job and post-grad living over blogging, but maybe one day I'll decide that blogging is what I want to prioritize!

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  20. This is an everyday question for me. When I get super motivated and sit down and own it I feel like I didn't get back as much as I put in. I'm not sure what that really is supposed to mean to anyone else but to me I enjoy those spikes in views on days I didn't feel like I killed it but had a blast writing anyway. Does that make sense?

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  21. I came back after a year hiatus and saw that I wasn't the only one who left. Where did everybody go? Sami, Whitney, Erin, they all just disappeared. I feel like if the big time bloggers got fed up or couldn't hack it, how am I supposed to get back into the game?

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  22. I really relate to this post. I've been working on just writing to make myself happy. That is my main focus, and not worrying about making money or being The Most Interesting blogger. Easier said then done sometimes, though :/

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  23. Keep going, but do it for yourself.
    Blogging and all of its pieces - writing, entertaining, humor, design - are therapy. Blogging is therapy for the blogger *and* for her readers.
    Keep going, but not to be the best (although you're close to that already, let's be honest). Keep going, because it's your space and sanctuary! (And because I just found your blog and I love it and I want to see more, so keep going.)

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  25. GIRL, you're amazing regardless if you choose to go D1 or stay a home town hero. I just feel like there is so much potential for you out there. Is it going to be hard to keep your same voice? Yep, sure is. But that's with everything in life. We're always changing, growing and becoming a new version of ourselves, why wouldn't our blogs do the same?

    Do you boo, I'll always be on your sideline cheering you away!

    Write on,
    Fal

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  26. You actually do have a direction though, you just said it yourself: You see your blog as a place for you to be an entertainer. And it is that, and you're good at it! If you decide you want more then hey, that's great, but please don't think you should feel like you have to, or like you're lazy if you don't. And I think it would be just awful if you pushed yourself to make this blog something you didn't really want it to be, because then you'd be unhappy and you wouldn't be having fun anymore. And if you're not having fun, we're not having fun with you, right?

    I'm a writer and I have a very small blog, which I just started up not too long ago after getting rid of the regular website I'd had for years. I have a very tiny and slow-growing number of visitors per week, and I made the decision not to push too hard to try to grow things bigger faster right now. Because, like some other commenters have already said, right now I'm having fun. I'm enjoying making a weekly post and writing asides, adding little extras to the blog here and there as I go, and spending the rest of my time writing the stuff my little fanbase actually wants from me. I want to make them happy, but I also want to make me happy because I won't be producing good stuff to read if I'm not. I figure we'll eventually hit the place where everybody's happy enough to draw more people in...probably sometime after I start using the plugin that auto-posts my blog posts to Facebook. ;)

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  27. Girl I feel you! Blogging has become quiet different the last couple of years. Blogging for me right now is what most people would consider a hobby. Mostly because I work a full time job and am finishing my bachelors online. So whatever free time I had I devote to blogging if I can. I would love for my blog to be bigger and better but I feel I'm doing my best with the life I am living.

    If its any consultation I absolutely love yours! I always make an effort to get on when I can and read all your latest posts :)

    BTW I also thought of you while I was at UF's opening game last week. Some people decided to try to get a wave going around Ben Griffin Stadium and I was like "NOPE!" lol

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  28. Totally feel ya. I have been struggling finding a stride. I do mine as a hobby but would like it to be good and people to read r to read it.

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  29. My blog has a tiny following, so it's definitely a hobby for me. I blog because I think it's fun, because I like interacting with others with similar (and different!) interests, and because I enjoy writing. You're right in saying that blogging is often more "entertainment" than true writing, but I sometimes I write heartfelt posts. Those posts aren't always as popular as some of my others, but I just have to remember that I started blogging because it was something I wanted to do for myself.

    Do I want to attract new readers? Of course! I get ridiculously happy and excited when I get comments or new followers. But I don't always put a ton of time and work (and, let's be honest, money) into promoting my blog/posts and growing a huge following. I don't think I was meant to have 10,000 followers ... And that's perfectly fine.

    I think in the end you do have to consider why you're doing it. If it's not as fun for you anymore, you can always take a break or post less frequently or spend less time promoting yourself on social media and other blogs. I definitely don't think blogging should be stressful.

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  30. I struggle a lot with staying true to my roots / writing whatever I want vs putting in more time and effort to make more money and be more commercialized. I haven't yet found a balance I love -- it's really tough!!

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  31. I've definitely noticed a shift in things in the blogger world! For me, it's a hobby/passion that I enjoy doing but I'm not racing to be at the top.

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