When I was a child, my favourite book was a compilation of poems called “Come Follow Me”. I loved that book so much, I would take it everywhere. I still have it now, dog eared as it is. But the phrase ‘come follow me’ has taken on a whole new meaning in the last couple of months for me as a brand new blogger. Twitter, WordPress, Instagram… I find myself consulting my daily following count with alarming regularity. (I still don’t really “get” Instagram, so that’s a bit of a struggle.)
Poor Andy has learned to smile and nod when I give him count updates, but yesterday, in the middle of doing so, I stopped and thought to myself, does it really matter? Who am I doing this for? Because when numbers of followers become more important than content, what is the point?
I find blogging challenging in some aspects and ultimately freeing in others. I love writing about anything that pops into my head… but then I fret about whether I should be writing about topics that are important /interesting to me …or should I be trying to work out what will get me the most number of followers? What do other bloggers want to read about anyway? Am I just kidding myself that I have anything of interest to say? Will I have to stop one day when I run out of ideas about what to scribble about? And the biggie as far as I am concerned: Who am I writing for?
There is someone I know, (not well but we have a passing acquaintance) whom I think about quite often. A ‘40 something’ woman, she speaks frequently about being very unhappy in her job, and continually bemoans her ‘miserable’ existence (her words not mine) and lack of a life partner. I find myself writing posts with her in mind. “Come on Frances,” (not her name obviously), I want to say, “Get jiggy with it! Read my posts on Positivity and Empowerment, Looking After Youself and Feeling the Fear. And get yourself out of this RUT!” Of course she never reads my posts anyway, she is not a follower of mine on my blog or on Twitter, and who am I to offer anyone advice anyway…but what the hell, I’m going to keep on writing for her anyhow.
I have learned so much in the last two months and it has been a roller coaster ride. I would almost say that it has taken over my life. And to think I only started it as I couldn’t face another winter of knitting! We have just returned from a 10 day holiday during which, instead of reading 15 books as I would normally, I have managed only 3, because I’m busy blogging. And when I’m not blogging, I’m trying to garner interest in my little site or raise some awareness on Twitter.
I started by being quite careful regarding who I followed, on Twitter but then I decided to heck with that, and followed everyone who followed me. Actually that has been a real eye opener as there have been many posts that I have read because of that ‘follow everyone’ principle, that I wouldn’t have otherwise seen. People lead such interesting lives and have terrific and sometimes terrible stories to tell. Professional bloggers are breathtaking in their writing and style content. I could almost cry sometimes when I look at someone’s achingly beautiful site and think how many light years away I am from producing anything as good as that.
But hey! I’m a positive kinda girl and look at what I have achieved in 2 months! Many more followers that I would have expected on my WordPress site …..and over 1500 followers on Twitter – Go me!
When I started, I was given 2 pieces of advice, by the inspirational and amazing blogger, A Yorkshire Girl. The first was to be honest and I hope that I have been and will always be. I certainly never wanted to portray my life as perfect. Its challenging, much like everyone else’s at times, though I have so much to be thankful for. But I have learnt a few things at my age and I would like to share them. I hope I can do this without being patronising… or smug.
The second piece of advice was to find my niche. That I have struggled with. A 52 year old woman with a degree in history who has a thing about Henry VIII and horror films, is a fanatical Manchester United fan, hates animal cruelty and is rather partial to a pedicure. A Mulberry bag freak who is also a weird cat lady. You tell me what niche I fit into!
Twitter has been a revelation, I now appear to have over 1500 followers! Not quite sure how that happened. And what about these DM’S? I seem to receive a few every day, which I understand is quite normal according to other users. I’m left wondering if these people have mistaken my page for a dating site? Which is a little irritating as, if they took a few minutes to read any one of my posts, they would realise just how happily married I am.
I have made some friends on Titter who now very kindly retweet my posts constantly, though others seem to completely ignore me, even though I am retweeting their articles until my fingers bleed! I guess it comes back to being true to yourself. If I find something interesting, I will retweet it. I should not care if that person ignores my work …and I certainly should not be taking it personally.
It’s a work in progress I suppose, (both the blog and my mindset), and I have to keep reminding myself that a) I do have a full time job as well as doing this, b) I’m doing this for fun anyway and c) I’ve not even been doing this for 3 months yet.
Anyway I’m going to keep going, and my advice to you if you are considering blogging, is go for it! It doesn’t matter that there are already 70 million blogs already (or whatever the latest count is), because we each have our own unique style, interests and view of the world!
Oh, and if you do follow me on WordPress, Twitter or Instagram, be sure I will be trotting over to your site/ account to see what you are up to! But if you don’t, I am not going to take it personally. Promise. ❤️