Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Dealing with Blogging Insecurities and Feelings of Rejection

I started this post, as you will be able to see, because I was feeling frustrated with blogging, even though I love it so. Before I had the chance to wrap it up and post it, my blog caught a spammy virus. You may have noticed. I'm so very sorry if you did. The last thing I wanted was for my readers to be redirected to spam advertising. Nasty stuff. Maddening for all of us. If you've noticed, we killed the bug, (many thanks to The Crafty Mummy who helped out) but it's all a bit bare right now. I'm trying to decide the best way to restore widgets to this site. So in the meantime, I hope that my writing and accompanying pictures will be enough. Unfortunately once the computer bug was gone, I was still unable to return thanks to children who also had a virus. Children's viruses are so much more messy then computer bugs. And then I had a virus. And then everything got behind, and well, you know the scenario. So here I am again. Ready to present you with an enormous whinge session. Cue violins.



I think I can say, without being too vain, that generally I'm a confident person. I don't take things that are said about me to heart too much. I don't find identity in other people or what I do, but recognise that my identity is in being the best that I can be. I find security in my faith and am fortunate to feel loved by family and friends.

But … I am finding that when it comes to blogging, my confidence is pretty low. In fact if my blogging personae was a human, it would drooping shoulders, big sad eyes, shuffling feet and it would find maintaining eye contact difficult. Plus its body would be a bit battered and bruised.
I suddenly realised that I don't have any pictures for this post. So here is the frustrated blogger, late at night, make-up has faded, staring at the computer screen. And yes, there is a washing basket in the background, I constantly fill them with crap while I panic clean and then take my own sweet time emptying them.

Blogging is hard work if you would like your blog to be noticed.

There are so many great high quality blogs out there. They are flashy, inspiring, funny, beautiful, stunning or funky. Or all of the above. When they blog, there are at least 50 comments and they have multitudes of followers on Twitter and Facebook. And they actually understand how Google Plus works and have many people in their circles! (However does that happen?) Their words don't have spelling, punctuation and grammar mistakes. They review cool stuff, have incredible giveaways and travel. Plus they get paid great money!  They have sponsors. They are hot property.They are wanted. People are eager to read what they say.

And then there's me. Sitting at my computer, clothing covered in snot, there might be a spot of poo, but let's ignore it if there is. Generally there are children lurking in corners. They are supposed to be sleeping, since it's the evening. But suddenly they appear, and the flow is destroyed. Sometimes I'm covertly blogging during the daytime which makes me feel guilt that I'm not spending time with my kids, but I really want to get a post written to meet my self imposed quota so I don't lose momentum because I know that I will not get anything written at night because I have other commitments or will just be too tired. Or be interrupted by small people.

I'm a nice person and a friendly blogger. I follow, I like, I comment. Sometimes it comes back. (And thank you for the beautiful, generous people who regularly communicate via Social Media.) But not as much as I give out. Where's the Karma?

I try to post more on my Caitlin's Happy Heart Facebook page, which means my personal page is getting less active. But you know that Facebook algorithm. It's a killer. And twitter. Oh my goodness, if there's anything that kills one's self esteem. It's Twitter. So lonely. I follow so many, yet it seems only PR companies what to follow me, yet they're not forthcoming with any offers. (But heck, I'm still glad they follow me. Because quite frankly, it's embarrassing to have such a measly following population. And it's not like Facebook. In my regional area, people don't use twitter, so I don't even have friends to boost my numbers!)

Instagram. Such fun. Yet whispering in the back of mind is that ever present social media doubt. "Do I post too many photos of my kids?", "Do they see my messy house in the background?", "Why don't they follow me back?""If only I had more following then I have followers…", "I'm nowhere as cool as that…" etc. etc.

I have people who think I'm a blogging superstar. Which is very flattering. But at the same time my negative thoughts are swirling. "They have no idea how big the blogging world is. They don't know how insignificant I am."

So here's the thing with blogging. I don't ever expect to hit the big time. I don't expect to make a full time income from blogging, although the thought of it is not entirely unattractive. But, I would like to make some money to cover this hobby. You know, I'm married to The Accountant for crying out loud. He would be so much happier when he saw me at the computer if he knew that there was monetary benefits. Not that I ever want to compromise my blog and become another cog in the massive global PR machine. If I made some money, I might get permission for a design makeover which would be nice for us all.** (Although I've very grateful for the sweet friend who did my current look.)

**Now even more so after my blog got 'broke' by that damned advertising spam virus. 

I'm signed up to go to the ProBlogger Conference in August. I did it on a whim when I heard my very cool friend Belinda from B Being Cool was going. Last she had gone and I spent the days preceding and during stalking all the PBEvent hashtags. After I had booked the tickets I started looking at all the other bloggers that were going, I just about wet my pants. (Post baby incontinence is a dreadful burden during emotional moments like this.) "Everyone" had so many followers, except a few new bloggers, they were more around my level, but heck, I've been doing this since 2010. Thank goodness I can blame the triplets somewhat for my low numbers.

I am now officially scared to be going. My low blogging self confidence is whispering that I have no right going, and with my lack of time to blog I'm never going to get anywhere with my blog.
And for your viewing pleasure, one last late night frustrated blogger iMac selfie. But do note, the fab shirt. I plan to blog about this as soon as I can! Stay tuned!

The real me is more optimistic and think that I surely I have a few of the necessary ingredients to make something of this blogging caper. Somehow. And if it does fail, I will have had a nice break from the kids in a lovely hotel, which provides a AHMAZING brekky. If I'm too depressed I plan to overdose on croissants, bircher muesli, bacon and eggs.

My constant foe to blogging is real life. Real life sucks all my blogging time away. It gives me a zillion ideas for absolutely stellar posts and zero times to write all these fabulous stories, advice or monologues down. But real life is where I am happy, where I feel loved, where I laugh (and sometimes cry) and where I am Caitlin, the Caitlin who is confident and has a Happy Heart.

Despite the battering my confidence gets through my blog, I love this little spot dearly. I love my readers enormously, every single one. My numbers may be small, but I am so motivated to keep writing to this little crowd. It's better then my writing being stored in a diary that is found after I die and read only by my nearest and dearest all too late. The knowledge that people are reading my words, and perhaps even being inspired or laughing is one of my delights in life. So thank you. From the bottom of my heart. And thank you for waiting patiently in between each post and giving me the chance to live in the real world and online. Perhaps one day this little blog will find some wings and my blogger confidence will soar. But in the meantime I just need to let go of the frustration and embrace the delights of having this little writing corner.

28 comments:

  1. Oh, Caitlin! I understand your frustration! I blogged frantically from 2007 and I was totally into it! Then all of a sudden, I wasn't into it so much. The real reason was that in the first place, it was fun to write about life and then after a while I felt like, "Ah, I've said all that," and I started just living the life instead. I don't worry about it at all, I just blog when I want to and don't when I don't. And if my blog dies, it dies. But I'd miss you if you followed the same path as me - my end decision doesn't have to be yours! AH, NOW I have a baby PRESSING the capSLOCK BUTTON TO SEE THE LITTLE LIGHT COME ON. Cue to leavE. LOVe you, AND ALL THE best as you negotiate the blogging slump! Ew, nappy. Real life calls.

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  2. I am a blogging veteran; I've been doing it for 10 plus years. When I started blogging, they were just diaries on websites. So for me, that's all my blog has ever been. I love that I've got all these memories recorded and often spend time going back through my photos and posts. Now that my kids are here I turn my blog into a photo book at the end of every year.

    I found your blog through IBOT and it's one of the ones I added to my feed reader. So although I read every post written you only get a hit from me when I comment.

    When I think of the popular blogs I read, I can see that you have a lot in common with those blogs. I think to be popular you have to have a niche. For example, Rage Against the Minivan blogs about Christian issues and raising adopted children. BabyMac is a parenting plus sea change blog. I introduced one of my friends (grabyourfork) to blogging and she made a success out of it. She just does restaurant reviews for Sydney restaurants and now writes a column for Time Out. You totally have the triplet mum niche covered.

    You also write well and your posts are interesting which is another requirement for the blogs I read.

    Unfortunately, to be really successful I think you have to be able post everyday. If I think about it, the popular blogs I read post everyday. That way there is always something there to read and possible reasons to visit and comment. I can imagine that time is in short supply for you at the moment.

    I hope you're not too frustrated about your blog. I don't think you have to be popular successful to be a good blog. You write interesting posts that are well written. That's definitely a success in my book. I'd say if you enjoy doing it, then keep at it.

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  3. Aww gorgeous I have been here. I have SO been here and in fact feel like this sometimes too. It's funny we can put our heart and soul into a post and not get many comments. Did you know that in my first year of blogging I hardly got any comments and it wasn't until I linked up with IBOT and Flog Your Blog that my blog got noticed. You have a niche being a mum to triplets. I totally believe the world is your oyster when it comes to blogging and I don't think you have to blog everyday to get financial benefit because I only blog 2-3 days a week and I have slowly been offered sponsored posts. I got offered more sponsored posts after I went to Problogger last year so just see what happens after the conference. I have no idea how my blog was found by these companies apart from listing myself as PR friendly with Blogs and PR and possibly tweeting through out the conference? One of the things I have done with my blog is commit it to God and really sit down and think about what I'd like to achieve from it. I'm at a point now where I would like to earn an income with my blog and look at doing freelance writing using my plumbing knowledge. But this scares me because I do look at other blogs and think they have a bigger following than me, they write better posts and take better pictures, but then I tell myself to forget about what the other bloggers do and focus on what I want to do which is build a community and zone in on my craft of writing from my heart. It takes time to build a blog and a community. Keep persevering lovely. You will be amazed at how much you would have achieved this time next year. x :)

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  4. I think the advice given on here is great. Don't give up. Try not to worry about other blogs and focus on your niche and how you will find more followers and how you will get those paid posts. Link up as much as you can. I've only just started but this is what I will do. I'm not expecting to make money out of it and it's more a hobby but am still trying to keep to some basic blogging rules I have read about along the way. Good Luck and I think having a blog make-over will help you build your confidence and maybe even attract more readers. People are visual creatures and that's why those big blogs work. From what I have read so far you have great content so maybe just tweaking your look a little. Please don't take me the wrong way, your design isn't bad at all but I know what I'm like as a person and as a consumer and if I go to a website or blog that isn't as nice I instantly click out of it and don't even bother giving it a read. I've made my blog pretty so now that is over I can focus on creating good content that will hopefully get readers coming back :) Maria x

    http://mummygoesmad.blogspot.com.au

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  5. I feel you pain Caitlin. The social media can really lift you and send you plummeting the next moment. I am now trying to ignore the stats and just concentrate on writing.

    At some point it's got to grow - doesn't it?

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  6. I love your blog! You have an amazingly interesting life and its fascinating the experiences that you share, experiences so many people will never be able to have first hand. I think that as long as you're enjoying what you're doing eventually you will get noticed. I've been reading your blog for years, but I'm a really bad blog-reader and so don't comment on anything very often. Enjoy Pro-Blogger!

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  7. I have only recently stumbled upon your blog and I think you should be very proud of your space. Hold your head high at Problogger as any one who blogs deserves to be there. Thats where you go to learn from the best and I don't think I've ever seen or heard of nasty bloggers who don't want to share all they know. Hopefully you get that rhythm back and get your niche sorted. Link up to the max and comment away. There are always people out there reading. I think you might find you will be surprised at exactly how much. Im only new to this game 1yr and I find it very time consuming but as I am enjoying it and still finding my way and what I want to write (niche) about, Im going to keep on going. I hear google+ is the one to tackle on the social media front too. Good luck and ill be following along ....and commenting away...he he.. in the mean time.

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  8. Just follow your heart Caitlin. Forget the reach the likes what others are doing and you are not. Just blog when you want and what topics you feel like. That is what it is about. Otherwise it will become a chore and it will begin to show. Great you could show your insecurities however. Keep blogging Mamma !

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  9. Oh Caitlin!! I want to give you a big fat virtual hug right now. To be honest, I'm quite nervous about problogger too. Mainly because I am so introverted and I think having so many people there, and a lot of big personalities, networking that it could get quite overwhelming at times. When that happens you and I can go hide out in the toilets with a gigantic glass of wine k? :) Blogging really is hard work and it is easy to feel insignificant when there are so many many many people out there doing the same thing. You just have to run your own race and follow your heart. If blogging is what makes your heart happy. Then do it.

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  10. Firstly - I love that shirt and the laundry basket of crap behind you. If you could look past me right now, you would see the same baskets all over my lounge and dining table. (I am wearing my dressing gown as it's chilly here in Melbourne town today!) They are going nowhere fast either.
    We all get the hang-ups and I think they would be there even for the mega bloggers. It is tough sitting here writing our little hearts out - to silence!
    I sold my ProBlogger ticket recently and I was nervous about attending (heck - even selling it was nerve-wracking!) Next year I plan to go. I understand to wobbles and I think we all do. Just keep plugging away at it regardless. You are only one post away from greatness (so says my silly brain). If I could write that great post, maybe it will all be rainbows and sunbeams!

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  11. Oh Caitlin, I have so been there, and more than once. It is one of the hardest things in blogging, trying not to compare ourselves to others but I try and remind myself not to judge a book by its cover, just because a blog looks super and has good posts, doesn't mean it has more of an audience than mine, you just don't know. Obviously the big blogging jugganauts do, but others, perhaps not. My blog following is still relatively small but I always try to think about the wonderful comments that I have received from readers about how much they love reading my blog and how thankful they are that they're not alone....this is what really keeps me going.

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  12. I hit the wall like this at least once a week! But then my husband says "What are you doing it for Pinky?" and I reply, "Because I love it," and then that's the end of it. It's nice to get a lot of comments but in the long run it's about self enjoyment. Sometimes I'll be giggling my head off writing a post thinking it's oh so funny... and no-one else likes it at all except my husband (who's probably faking). Gosh! Triplets! Go you!

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  13. I think you have written what each and every one of us has thought at least once, if not once a week. It's a ruthless, hard world and most of us aren't going to make it, or ever really be anything more than just a tiny parenting blog. But every time I start feeling this way, I remember that every reader I do have is a gift, and God has bigger plans for me than blogging. He can, and does use it for good absolutely, but it's not all He made us to be. Just keep doing what you do, and love it. The numbers are trivial.
    Also, sorry I didn't even realise till now you had a FB page. Maybe put that widget up front and centre. xx

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  14. I will be there in August to give you a big hug!! I think as a blogger you have to do it for you and anyone that joins you in the ride is a bonus, yes it's hard when you pour your heart out and it seems no one gives a shiz but even if your words make one person think or help them find a great book etc then you have made a difference. My house is always a bomb site so I appreciate natural images. I am in total awe of you, because having 3 kids in 3.5 year nearly broke me and look at you?? Triplets and two other gorgeous babes. Please don't be hard on yourself, sadly the rest of the world does enough of that for all of us xxxx

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  15. Emily, you are one of the people I am definitely looking forward to meeting in the flesh! You are very right, it is a bonus having other people along for the ride while we write. I love blogging for this very reason.

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  16. Thanks for the Facebook like Jess! I actually saw it before I read this comment, and I was much excited! I love it that God has plans for us beyond blogging, and I love it that he can use blogging as a tool that we can touch others with also.

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  17. Self enjoyment goes a long way! Good on your hubby for reading your blog! Mine does only if I send him the link! Which also can have its benefits!

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  18. I love comments from readers also, they really do give fuel to this blogging fire.

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  19. I love that you are admitting to laundry baskets full of crap also! I've cleared out two this weekend, two more to go! (I needed to put my actual laundry in something.) You've summed it up, blogging heart out to silence can be, well, disheartening! I'm sorry to hear I won't meet you this year, fingers crossed for next year - for both of us! (PS. I've loved discovering your blog this year.)

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  20. I rather think hiding out in the toilets with a gigantic glass of wine sounds like a plan we should stick to regardless of the experience - surely it will be a worthy instagram pic! In the meantime, here's to us running our own race! Wise words! (PS. I'm impressed you have at least one outfit down for the event. I'm still wondering what to do about the wardrobe situation!)

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  21. Thanks Sarah! Because I'm such a great procrastinator, I've been really good at walking away from the blog when it feels like a chore. So, hopefully it's not showing. On the flip side, I could muster some enthusiasm and have a little more self discipline at times also!

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  22. Thanks for the encouragement Elisha. I think my chin lifted a little higher as I read your words! You are right, bloggers are so nice. I'm sure I'll wonder what I was worried about when I arrive! Google + is a mystery that I dabble in at the moment. I'm sure I'll crack it sometime soon!

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  23. Rowen - I've always appreciated your comments, you are more consistent then most! Thanks!

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  24. Surely it's got to - right??? I don't think I can ignore the stats completely at this point. It's a challenge to raise them, even if modestly. I never want to obsess about them though.

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  25. Yours certainly does look pretty! Best of luck building your audience Maria!

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  26. I love this comment Bec. I love hearing your progress, I find you very inspirational. It's great too that you've found a niche that really doesn't appear much online. I'm not surprised that PR companies want to work with you! Praying every blessing upon you as you look to earn more of an income using your writing. I have been really praying about this blog lately and asking God to open opportunities for me, but that he would also guide me and allow me to balance the work/family/church/blog balance. The truth is there are many facets of my life, and if God has called me to each one, he will help me to work them all in together and to know what I should devote more or less time to. It can be a challenge, but I'm thankful for the richness and fullness of life He has blessed me with, and I am determined that I will not squander these opportunities.

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  27. Hey Jess. Thanks so much for telling me all of this. I'm so encouraged that you have my blog on your feed reader. I didn't realise that you could be reading the blog and it isn't coming up in my stats, hopefully there's more of you out there! (Obviously I don't use feed reader!)


    The triplet Mum niche is very broad, and I'm still working out how that should be played. Especially as the children grow older and people will become less interested in their antics. Once they hit school age, it won't be as obvious, except for a few issues every now and again, I'm sure.


    From what I've read, there are successful bloggers out there that don't blog every day. But what I think is key is consistency, something I have yet to perfect. As I said, I don't want to be a big superstar blogger, so I'm not worried by the daily thing, but I think if I want to get enough money of my blog to cover this hobby I will need to be more consistent.


    I'm not too frustrated with the blog, but just trying to work out the best way for me and my family to take it too the next level. Thanks so much for your vote of confidence!

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  28. I would love to go! I completely and totally understand where you're coming from on this whole thing. When I was just an infertility blogger, I had a pretty decent following. Now that I have 4 kids, I've gotten away from infertility, which means that I have next to no readers, and no matter what I do or try to do to create those new relationships nothing happens. I completely get the frustration, the low of blogging.

    *hugs* Go and have a blast!

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