I have had an interesting few days in terms of my blogging life. See, as the year was coming to a close, I thought about the last year (the first full year) that I’ve spent blogging here. I kept thinking to myself, “OK, what do I need to do to take this blog to the next level? What do I need to do to make it clear I’m taking it up a notch?”
The more I thought about this, the more sort of down I got. There are a lot of things I *could* do here. I thought about the blogs I most enjoy reading…could I try to write extremely detailed and brilliant posts like Brian Solis and Olivier Blanchard? Well, I could try. Could I try to do a lot of research so that I could write really strong actionable posts like Jay Baer and Mark Schaefer? I could try. Could I focus more on PR and add in a bit more zestiness like Gini Dietrich? I could try.
But these people are already doing “them,” and they’re doing “them” a lot better than I ever could. So modeling my blog after other people I admire didn’t really seem like a good idea.
So what then? Maybe I needed to change my voice. Maybe I needed to format things more strictly.
I just kept feeling more and more lost. My voice is my voice. This is how I write (as I finally found out). I didn’t want to change that just so I could “ship” something differently.
What it really came down to is that I was wondering how to make my blog grow faster. I admit it. I wanted to start 2012 with a bang that would shock the world, somehow. I wanted to launch something different, something new, something never before tried. And I had some ideas, too. I even worked on them.
When it comes right down to it, though, my blog is my blog. I don’t want to write like other people write. I don’t want to cover the stuff that will get me found more often in Google searches, per se. I just want to talk to you about stuff that I think might help you out. And I know that there are people who read these blogs who think that’s a pretty lame thing to focus on. And I know there are people who think that being nice is playing it too safe. If that’s the way I find controversy, well, so be it.
The lure of breaking out big is pretty strong this time of year. All of the lists of “Bloggers to watch” are coming out, and even if you make one you wonder why you didn’t make another. People are launching new things and it’s really tempting to try to do the same thing just so you can feel like you’re keeping up. But if you alter your voice and your blog’s mission just because there’s pressure to do it, you’re really endangering everything you’ve been working for. At that point, your blog is no longer yours. It belongs to the people who will carry it around and make it big. What you were infusing into it, the real you, your real goals, will waft away on vapors of hope and prayers for some measure of success.
Yes, I admit it. I thought about changing everything because I got a little impatient. But I wanted to share this with you not to make me look like a turd (who wants to do that) but rather to say that you always have a choice. You can always opt to go ahead and sell your soul, whatever that entails. But you can also always choose to stick to your guns, stick to the tortoise way, and see what happens. I like the tortoise way, upon further reflection. You get to watch and see a lot more than the hare does, and you sleep better, too.
If you’ve ever been tempted to throw everything away so that you can do something “new,” or if you’re feeling the pressure now to change everything because you want to be in a different (your perception: better) position this time next year, I humbly submit that it isn’t worth it. I’d much rather build momentum as I have been, slowly but surely and as myself, than to gain a lot of sudden attention based on stuff I don’t really believe in.
What do you think? Have you ever faced this bloggy conundrum?
Image Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sokabs/2668156039/ via Creative Commons