I started this site convinced that I had something to share. And none of the fashion-minimalist-sustainability blogs I was reading ticked all my boxes. Hence I set to write the blog I wanted to read!
This is the eight blog-like thing I’ve set up. Yeah, I came of age with the internet, so I started early. The first one was in 2004, and the only ones that survive are I ♥ Being a Girl, a collective effort with my YSAFE people between 2010 and 2015, my tumblr, and iza.feels.it, my visual diary since 2008. Each of them was an effort at “me-me-me, look at me, I have things to say!” and none of them really went viral.
Yet, I found functional explanations for each of them. iza.feels.it is nice to browse through after a while, it provides time stamps for certain events better than all my photography folders, and for a while my mom knew if I was OK by the frequency of posting there. I ♥ Being a Girl was my own little feminist boot camp. Nothing builds consciousness and discursive repertoires as having to explain stuff to others. The tumblr serves as an alternative to Pinterest because my aesthetic pleasures go beyond the puritan user norms of that place. With this blog my key consolation is that one above: this is the blog I wanted to read.
However, the numbers worry me. A lot. Every time I visit the WordPress stats site is either a confirmation of “yay, this is working!” if somebody has wondered by or a soul-crushing “this is useless” because nobody has visited the blog today. It is ridiculous, I know… but that’s the truth.
The number are not even that bad. I’ve been harassing my friends intensely enough (most of my traffic comes from Facebook) and some interested strangers appear time by time; in last month there have been four days with no clicks. I am not expecting comments, as those come in after a much higher critical mass of views. That July peak is me asking my Facebook friends to share the blog with their friends as a gift to me. Worked very well! I know what I’ll be asking for my birthday – more clicks.
To keep this labor of love pure and true, I want to spell out the demons surrounding it. I want to leave the doubts here and carry on, so here we go:
- I fret about the stats constantly. Not healthy! I have my self-worth attached to clicks, even if somebody ends up here by mistake and do not linger. I like my content, but I also like external validation. A lot.
- I am anxious about constantly spamming my friends with my little outfit photos. We can’t all be Brain Pickings going viral with a little curated newsletter of “look what I’ve read recently”… I am sure that there are quite few people who have unfollowed me on Facebook or who roll their eyes deep into their heads with each of my updates.
- Wasn’t I supposed to be a serious scholar? How come my Facebook is full of me striking poses in hand-me-downs from my mom? Where is the serious high-brow critique of late capitalism? (Ha, I’m doing an embodied critique!)
- Am I running out of content? Am I over the whole substract-spark joy-capsule thing? Have I reached a new equilibrium where I know what I’m doing? We all know that the most attractive content is that of redemption, the prodigal son, the recovering shopping addict… My “story” is not even slightly dramatic, I don’t have scary enough “before” pictures. I’m just another obsessive-compulsive disclosing my love for spreadsheets and believing that my strategies *should* work for other people. Well, guess what? Other people are other people. With different characters, needs, and strategies in life. You need a lot of messianic belief in your “method” to tell people that there is one definite way to fold the underwear.
- What sense does it make to keep updating random passersby about the number of knickers in my drawers? All there really is fits on a napkin – THIS! – the rest is pure entertainment, recycling of the same information and making posts out of thin air.
- I hate Instagram. It’s bullshit and social only in the worse possible way (conspicious self-projection, anyone? #ad, anyone?). I don’t want to have a social media strategy. I have this clearly idiotic idea that creating (imho) good content is enough. Oh, the naïveté! I wish I had the guts to eliminate it… I have the same “hate-but-it-might-be-useful-someday-somehow” relationship with both Instagram and Twitter. The desire to purge is cyclical.
How do you feel about the behind-the-scenes of your internet presence? Are you able to separate # of likes and your self-worth?
P.S. – This is my only social media “triumph” (ha!) so far:
I love your honesty and I am constantly thinking about that blog post I promised to write for you in April, ha. Keep up with the good work, your blog is inspirational.
Yay, komplimentu diedelēšana darbojas! Paldies-paldies-paldies. Manā to-do listē ir ziedam.lv apsolītais, tāpēc neko neatgādinu un neprasu…
It’s been in the back of my mind to comment on this post ever since you published it, but better late than never I guess…
I think a lot like you when it comes to blogging: quality and authenticity are everything. I’m not either ready to sacrifice these two for more clics. I have been blogging for a bit over a year now and it’s already a sort of personal victory that I haven’t quit yet! There was a time that I was worrying about the views and for a while I was making efforts to raise my numbers which did work, but I didn’t like the feeling of pressure that this created. I also felt that it was the wrong kind of posts that were getting most clics and didn’t want to follow that path. I found peace by stopping to check the daily views and now my blog exists to be discovered but doesn’t impose itself. I have no social media plan nor do I try to “optimise” my posts. I like blogs, like yours, that still have the authenticity of the first ones. You do your own thing and you do it well. Some of the most successful blogs of these times have been around for many many years. They started small and little by little their audience grew. I find comfort in knowing this and that I don’t need to be perfect right away: not the first year of blogging and not even the second. All I have to do is keep on going and in time I will get better and better ^^ In the end, even if there’s a few people who enjoy following my story, it’s already worth it!
Madame M, you are the nicest! Thank you so much, everything you say is kind of common knowledge but repeating it time by time helps a lot. Stopping – or at least seriously limiting – looking at stats could be one of my 2018 resolutions.