September 2020 will go down as being one of the most memorable months ever as a blogger.
All of the things below have helped me with a classic shift in my approach to blogging.
Inclusion in my favourite blogging bundle
I woke up to this news in early August; that I’d been picked to have one of my e-books feature in my favourite blogging bundle, Ultimate Bundles’ The Genius Bloggers’ Toolkit.
This was something I had dreamed of back in 2018 when I first heard about the bundle. To actually see it come true was overwhelming!
The bundle finally launched earlier this week (September 21st) and the sale lasts till next Monday, September 28th.
Check it out if it interests you.
*I have written a more detailed post outlining the key points in the bundle here.
A Chat with Meera Kothand
Today, I am the happiest I have been since I began my entrepreneurial journey in March 2018.
Because I connected over video with one of my favourite blogging idols, Meera Kothand, in my Facebook group.
In a session lasting just a little under an hour, she was the most forthcoming, honest and energising person I’ve had the pleasure to interact with, in the business blogging space.
Both before and after the session, Meera and I had a private catch up where she shared some excellent tips on understanding your audience, working on content and staying on your chosen path.
Blogging without Social Media
The session with Meera also came close on the heels of my post published on my other blog where I said it is possible to blog without social media.
I’ve been toying with the idea of letting go of my active digital presence on social media for a while now and today’s session only helped to cement that further.
To that end, last week, I started with cleaning up my personal Facebook profile. It started with deleting over 25 albums of photos and videos I’ve uploaded.
Apart from that there are still close to 800 photos I’ve uploaded which need to be deleted one by one. Painful, but I’m spacing it out so I should get this done by October.
I’ll probably retain the handles on Twitter and my Facebook page, but active posting will reduce drastically.
Instagram and my private Facebook Group are where my audience find and engage with me, so that’s where my focus will be; more in the group than on Instagram though.
While I do enjoy Instagram, it also does take up a reasonable chunk of my time. Scaling back on posting everyday is probably a good place to start.
In the long run though, I am hoping to move completely away from social media and focus solely on my blogs and my e-mail list, since that is where the actual engagement is active and genuine.
*As an important change, on this blog, I’ve completely done away with the sidebar, if you noticed.
I chose the full width layout because I want the focus to be on the content. I am hoping to do the same thing with my main blog once I decide to stop using ads on that platform.
Shows that Made a Difference
In September, I watched ‘The Social Dilemma’ as well as ‘The Great Hack’ on Netflix.
Watching them gave me deep insights into areas that I already knew and was aware of: that we are all just products in the social media landscape and that we have to exercise caution and restraint when we use these platforms.
Simple tips that will help? I covered them in a Twitter thread here:
I confess I’ve been wary of talking about this online because I’m scared of jinxing it, but my reading mojo is back!
Since July I’ve read 18 books and I am beyond delighted.
What this has helped with (apart from releasing a ton of stress) is finding way more time for myself and my family on a regular basis.
That way, when I actually work on my blog daily, I do it with a whole lot of energy and zero guilt.
Changing my Approach to Blogging
Today’s session with Meera, as I mentioned earlier, gave me an important insight thanks to one thing she mentioned before we began the session:
It’s nice to put a face and a voice to the person who’s been in touch with me for the last 3 years.- Meera
That’s when it hit me!
Network building through e-mail is very useful because you’re cutting out the noise from social media.
These people are my community and my strength.
Some of these connections have also grown into friendships offline.
But, here’s the thing.
- Network building through social media is very time consuming and puts a great deal of strain on your time and attention.
2. It also places a great deal of expectations on bloggers, whether we admit it or not.
We are expected to support one another by visiting blogs, sharing one another’s content, leaving comments on Instagram posts and engaging on Twitter.
While there isn’t anything wrong with this, by itself, and it’s something that new bloggers can use as a way to network, over time, this becomes very difficult to maintain consistently.
For one thing we may have to visit blogs which don’t really strike a chord with us anymore. This does not reflect on the blog we’re visiting; mind you.
It just means our focus has changed, as a blogger and our commitments have changed as well.
3. Social media interactions can very easily be mistaken
I’ve found this to be particularly true in the last few months when things I’ve said or done online have turned people off or rubbed them the wrong way; people I’ve considered very good friends.
I don’t know how to address this issue because it becomes awkward, so I’ve taken a rather large step back from social media interactions in general.
On the other hand, my interactions with my email list and my free Facebook group (which are technically private and made up of my niche audience) have consistently grown and become stronger.
It makes sense to invest my energy where it actually matters, doesn’t it?
In other words, public social media has very little appeal for me anymore. I don’t have the bandwidth to explain myself or my actions to people on a public forum.
I still read blogs by my favourite writers, but I subscribe to them via my Feedly RSS reader instead of finding them via social media.
VERDICT: SHOULD YOU DO THE SAME?
Honestly, this is completely up to you.
If you find comfort and joy in the way you are approaching blogging, I say, go for it and don’t change a thing.
But if, at any point of time, you find the process becoming either weary or anxiety-inducing, take a step back and evaluate what will make you happy as a blogger.
Remember, blogging (even as a business) should be something that you look forward to, every single day.
If you don’t, then it’s time to examine why you’re blogging at all 🙂
What’s your take on the topic? I’d love to hear your comments.