When it comes to blogging, youtubing (because I like to invent verbs), vlogging and other regretfully Zoella- inspired activities, there is only one outcome: people will find you. And sadly by that I don’t mean international recognition and 2 million followers on Twitter. No, when you start blogging- just like when you join Facebook- all the friends you haven’t seen since 2005 come crawling out the wormholes in the woodwork to judge you and your creation. But mainly just you.
So seeing as most people reading this will be bloggers, except from you Rosie Bayliss who’s just a creepy eco stalker, I thought we could discuss the thing that even the bearers of the biggest blogger vanities fear: being found.
Phase 1: Why is no one following me?
So you’ve picked your domain name, chosen your theme (which will probably be the Sela one let’s be realistic here my fellow WordPressers) and written your first post, written your second post, written your third- it’s then that you realise no one is reading them. This doesn’t mean they’re rubbish pieces of writing, although if it’s in your archives it probably will be, it just means people can’t find you. And in your bewildered naivety, you think this is a bad thing.
Ooh speaking of archives, I’ve attached pictures of some of my self-proclaimed best bits and if you want to read the post all you have to do is click the pic (copyrighting that ASAP before ITV makes a gameshow out of it) to take you to the page.
Phase 2: I’ll share the link with my mum
If you share amongst your family then at least you’ll have a few readers right? You can showcase your tremendulous writing skills and your stellar commitment simultaneously- which is especially helpful when you try and convince your parents to get a dog. “Do you know how much work a dog is?” They’d sigh, stirring the Waitrose essential Moroccan quinoa but instead of replying you fold your napkin into an origami WordPress logo and moonwalk out the room- aka it’s a flawless idea. Until your Grandma starts thinking ‘Teamales’ are a satanic cult and your dad keeps perving over the cleavage in your logo and everyone keeps complaining about how much time you spend on ‘that thing that you do every Monday’. No Grandma it’s not blobbing.
Phase 3: I am going to promote on social media
Okay so I’ve tried my family and they clearly don’t possess enough Netflix and Chill to see the potential of my blogging career, so now that my readership is back down to next door’s cat, I’m going to have to find people my own age instead. Where do you find people my age? (Shoutout to the woman at the back that called out ‘church fêtes’ but I’m afraid this isn’t 1965.) The answer is of course, the internet. And because the internet is where the party’s at, social media plays a key role in the promotion of everything you do- including drinking Starbucks which takes up at least 78% of my Instagram feed. In hindsight this is where it gets dangerous, but you’re too busy thinking about your overnight success for that. I’m going to have actual followers! Actual people are going to read my work and see my pictures and quote words from my ghost-written bestseller in their Tumblr profiles. I will be great.
Phase 4: I wish I hadn’t promoted on social media
Because now that I’m getting comments on my blog I’m realising that people actually read what I’ve written and they could hate it just as much as I want them to like it- this is especially stressful when it’s people you know. People online are (usually) quite sweet, I hate to crack the mirror here but if I ever leave a ‘hahahaha this is soy qewt can’t wait to read more xox’ on your blog it’s probably because I can’t think of anything to say except ‘look at how fake I am’, but at least it’s nice. Surprisingly, people in real life seem to be less nice. Luckily I don’t say this from personal experience (although I did have one friend who sighed when I told her I’d started blogging because I was ‘such a stereotype’) for me the response has been largely positive because I’m so hilarious. However, I had a friend with a YouTube channel that was teased endlessly because of it. And it’s times like those when you regret letting people into your private blogger bubble.
Phase 5: Being introduced as ‘This is Jess, yeah JESS Jess…you know, the one that blogs’
Letting people know you blog can be the scariest, most intimidating, most socially suicidal thing you’ll ever do, but once you’ve done it you become known for it. And that feels EPIC (think I just stole that from the Money Supermarket advert but it accurately summarises how I feel so hopefully Dave won’t mind). Being introduced as the friend that blogs, having people pass you in the corridors and tell you how much they liked last week’s post, getting tweets of anticipation on a Monday night- that’s what blogging’s all about. It’s difficult coming out- that is if you decide to, I also know people that blog completely privately and that’s great too- but people will judge you regardless so I’d tell you to go for it. Share your posts on all your social media. Scratch your domain name into the toilet door with a paperclip. Pump your blogger vanity until it’s maximum capacity because you are possibly above average and therefore need to give yourself some love.
Alternatively, you (yes YOU random reader that’s managed to find me and whom I now appreciate very much) could give me some love by liking, commenting or subscribing if you enjoyed/related to/laughed at this post.