Going self-hosted with my blog Words By Gemm has been difficult. I started from scratch and I no longer had the support of the amazing wordpress community finding my blog posts through the reader.
Whenever I check my stats I can’t help but feel disheartened and wonder if I really made the right decision when I started a new self-hosted blog.
But despite everything the one good thing is that I’m loving the content that I’ve been sharing on my new site. I created a Career category where I share my experiences. I’m planning a series about starting full time work and also plan to share posts about being unemployed and figuring out what kind of job you want. Yesterday I published a post about working in a job that I liked on the road to finding my ‘dream job’ and what it taught me.
At the moment my traffic comes from only twitter as far as I know but it’s quite frustrating knowing that I have to rely on constantly promoting my blog posts on social media in the hopes of getting views.
One of the main reasons I haven’t yet quit is because I actually really enjoy blogging, it’s just not as fun when you hardly have any readers.
I’m writing this post just to share how I’ve been feeling lately. Also I’d love to know how you promote your blog posts or if you have any sites or courses that are helpful for someone trying (and failing) to grow their blog.
If you have a blog, leave a link below because I’m always on the lookout for new blogs to read!
So I’ve got my new site Words by gemm up and running but I’m deflated with it already. I miss you all here in the WordPress community. I miss my regular readers who would like and comment on my blog posts. Things have been pretty slow in terms of growth and my efforts seem to be fruitless. I’ve actually thought about coming back to WordPress but I don’t know whether that would just be me quitting before I’ve given myself a real chance or the best thing for me to do.
Anyway I guess I’d love some advice or inspiration for what to do when you try something new and it seems to be failing. Or maybe what keeps you going when it feels like you’re just running into walls.
I’ve also been thinking about taking time away from instagram and twitter, deleting the apps for a while and focusing my time elsewhere. By elsewhere I mean on my blog. I wonder if maybe I’m just trying way too hard to love blogging the way I used to at 16 and 17 but things have changed to much to ever get back to the way things once were.
I created twitter and instagram as a way to reach more potential readers for my blog but now I spend more time on them than I do on blogging. If I’m completely honest neither of them have ever really benefited me much in terms of gaining new readers. They’ve both just become distractions.
I want to put that time into reading, writing and creating for my online space. Maybe I need a challenge like ‘x amount of blog posts before the year is over’. I’m not 100% on my plan going forward but I’ll keep you updated and if you haven’t seen my new site wordsbygemm.com let me know what you think of it.
Feel free to leave my any advice but also the links to your blogs too!
What distracts you?
Today I envisioned where I’d like to take my blog in the future. When I began blogging it was all very anonymous and I never showed my face or used my real name. But as time went on that changed. Over the past few years I’ve included pictures of myself all over my blog and I use my name on social media instead of a nickname.
But as I’m getting older and I’m figuring out the sort of content I want to write about I’m realising that I don’t want to use pictures of myself as much. Firstly because I kind of miss the anonymity I once had and secondly because I don’t actually need people to see an array of images of me. When writing about The myth of not knowing or Expectations and disappointment a photo of me isn’t really necessary.
I think it’s pretty interesting because I decided to start showing what I looked like as a way to share more of myself with my readers and because I felt as though I was hiding away. I’m now at a point where my readers know me (or can get to know me) through my writing style and I don’t feel the need to be seen as much.
So you can expect less of my face in the future, you may have noticed I’ve already started implementing this.
Everyday this month I’ve checked my blog stats. Sometimes I do it multiple times a day. But this morning I realised that views aren’t as important as comments.
For someone that blogs for business the views will be an indication of what’s popular. Then they may focus more on what the readers like best.
But my blog is just my hobby. More people means higher numbers. More comments or interactions means that I’m able to connect with people and that what I create is worth responding to.
Seth Godin once said in an interview that it’s not about getting more people but more of the right people. I totally agree.
My blog has always been a space for me to use my voice to talk about life, things that interest me and the things that I care about. Over time I’ve focused more and more on writing about life. The majority of my content is musings on daily life, sharing things I’ve learnt or am currently learning. As much as I enjoy writing about all that life stuff, there is a part of me that wants write about other things too. I also want to write about books, personal style, being creative, places and occasionally products.
I’ve always struggled with creating niche content because I like to blog about the things that mean something too me. That can vary from a self-help book on confidence to a cleanser that makes me feel amazing every time I use it. I understand that the variation in my content probably doesn’t help in terms of growth but I’m not yet ready to make a choice.
I guess creating a separate blog where I can share more lifestyle based content is something that I need to consider. For now I’m going to experiment a little here and see how it goes implementing a little more variation into the content of this blog.
Yesterday and today my twitter feed has been full of people referencing to the latest blogging drama. It was to do with bloggers using bots on Instagram. The bots are meant to auto like, follow, unfollow and comment at an excessive rate which provides more exposure and will give you a better chance of gaining followers and likes.
I’ve seen tweets that indicate some people are really annoyed about it. I’d say I’m fairly unmoved but find it all quite interesting.
I recently attended a bloggers launch for the newly opened contemporary Indian restaurant 1580, where I had the opportunity to taste some of the items off the menu. On arrival I found the atmosphere very welcoming and I headed to the bar for a drink of lemonade. I then chatted to some fellow bloggers before the owner said a few words. It was lovely to hear about how 1580 came together and throughout the evening the owner came and spoke to each table to introduce himself and check we were getting on alright. It really showed that he has a real interest in running a great restaurant.