I enjoy blogging a lot. I enjoy expressing my thoughts and working on posts. I like recommending things to people that may get into those things. I love the community aspect of reading other people’s posts, potentially getting inspired, getting in touch, sharing your thoughts in comments, linking to other people, seeing them succeed, and making connections. There are a lot of great things about blogging that I really enjoy but I wanted to also share some thoughts on self-imposed pressure, some sense of obligation, and feelings of guilt that I have at times. But first, I wanted to talk about the positive things of course.
So, as I already mentioned. Blogging is great for a plethora of reasons. There are many things you can do with it but more than anything, it’s a great way to express yourself. I benefit a lot from having a place to vent to or from getting my thoughts out on things – but I also need to dial that down at times because the more you write, the more people read your posts, and the more people read your posts, the more eyes are on the things you write.
And that sense of attention is further enforced by the WordPress insights/stats that display (somewhat accurately) where people are reading your posts from and how many people there are. It shows you at what times and days your posts get the most attention, as well as what platforms people use and stuff. So, when you write a post and it didn’t have the right title or length or you didn’t use the right header for it, it gets less attention and you end up getting less traffic because of it. Stats kind of add that pressure of somewhat “forcing” you to consider “SEO” (Search Engine Optimization) tools and keywords and all of that, which is something I sadly do and I feel bad for it every time but at the same time, I try to get some attention on some posts of mine – like how I did with the things you can do when you get hate raided, for instance, where it’s a matter of “the more know this, the better”.
Hence, blogging can be great but the stats and the insights window are incredibly annoying for your motivation and what you write about if you let it get to you. I write reviews and because of that, a lot of these posts don’t get immediate attention but rather accumulate traffic over time, depending on the title and depending on what title or description I gave it. That gets to me at times.
And well, there’s this sense of “guilt” I feel when I can’t finish a review when I wanted to publish it already. I have this review sitting here, ready to be posted, and I can’t post it due to an embargo. At the same time, I’d love to get this other post but can’t schedule it as it’s not finished. Meanwhile, I get sent another opportunity to possibly review something but I also have so many other titles lined up that are installed but are still waiting to get reviewed, solely because I can’t finish this one review.
I believe the core issue for me is that I have a hard time turning people down and I need to do that more often or maybe find a different way to handle this. After all – and that’s something that a lot of people seem to not know -, I’m only one person. “Indiecator” is just one person. There were two guest posts so far but apart from that, all posts are by me… and that’s something that isn’t quite clear, so a lot of people send you a deadline two days before release and you can’t make it work.
Similarly, there was a thread by WirelessRiot over here on content creation, and she essentially talks a lot about it over there. You can kind of reschedule content that you planned already but if the Steam Next Fest shows up around the corner without getting announced, you’re just left with A LOT of demos to write about and barely any time to plan it out and create content that works. Obviously, some people may have to say “Hey, take some time for yourself” or “Does it even matter?” but like, a lot of times with blog posts, it feels like you need to get the jump on certain trains and write about it or else nobody cares. Streaming is the same. If you don’t accept certain opportunities, you’re labelled “hard to work with” and you’ll lose out on it forever. At the same time, you can’t just set up graphics, commands, and whatnot three days before an event just because the opportunity arose. After all, there are thousands of other people that do the exact same thing as you do. You may not be up to the task, so PR people will just grab someone else who will happily say yes. You may have your reasons but that doesn’t matter. You may end up feeling exhausted afterwards but in the end, it’s better than regretting to have said no.
When I reject a review request, it’s mostly because of time. When I write non-reviews, it’s because I didn’t get the review out in time. When I don’t finish my review in time, I feel bad for it… but I still write a blog post because I like expressing thoughts in this way and I still stream because I enjoy getting to know new people.
And while this may sound as if blogging is super competitive or as if you miss out, it’s really just about getting into that mindset. In reality, streaming and blogging aren’t really competitive. There are many chances, in theory, and with blogging more so than streaming, you can find your audience at any given moment. With streaming, it’s a bit tricky. But even if you’re doing either of these things just for the fun of things, it’s easy to get into a habit of checking out stats and then feeling bad in some way because of drops in views or a rise that isn’t as high as you hoped initially. It’s a pain in the arse really, so what I’m trying to say really is… don’t look at stats. They suck. Enjoy yourself without them. Have a nice day.