In the wake of the controversy surrounding the creator of The Whole Pantry app, Belle Gibson in last 24 hours or so, a blogger I follow, Pip Lincolne, linked to this fabulous blog post by Lila Wolff. It pointed out something that I, as a blogger, constantly struggle with – the desire to broaden my audience and in doing so, have a “successful” blog.
This made me realise that, once again, I was getting caught up things that aren’t as important as my passion and my purpose itself. While it would be nice to grow my audience as quickly as some bloggers I know (some gaining multiple thousands of followers within the space of a year) to give me even more opportunities, I have to do the hard yards, to learn the lessons I need to, hone my craft and most of all, to be grateful for the tiny community my blog has created just by me doing my thing (that in itself is amazing!). That’s not to say that I’m not grateful, but that I mistake my desire for success in the manner that others I know have achieved, as ambition – and it’s not.
That niggly voice has reared its ugly head again and it’s trying to make me forget that this is my path – and that comparing said path to anyone else’s is fruitless because they are not me. Every now and again I get jealous. I see other bloggers and “health gurus” I admire and have in my own blogging circle getting so much more of a response from their readers, getting more followers on social media and more likes and comments for pieces they’ve written and their grass seems so much greener than mine. I get caught up seeing how much prettier their photos are, how much they seem to have it together and I wonder if what I have to say could ever be as appreciated (or relevant) as they seem to be. I’m no health “guru”; I’m still working out what it is that will work for me and my body, and while I have so much knowledge and passion for nutrition and for helping my clients and my readers with that knowledge, I’m still trying to figure out how to be an adult! (One day… right?)
These feelings don’t happen all the time. Most of the time I am ok with the knowledge that I am not supposed to know what I’m doing when it comes to starting and running my business and that it’s only been recently that I’ve thought of myself as a writer. I know that I work hard, I enjoy the process, I get to constantly learn, strive to empower every person that I can and to speak and to write from the heart. It’s hard, but I’m living my own passion, and it is SO rewarding. But, you know how it is; you have a hard day or social media gets into your head and all of a sudden you aren’t good enough.
Both Lila and Pip address the problem with blogging that can take away the integrity and have us all roped into a group with those who aren’t so genuine; the like-cycle. We almost habitually ‘like’ bloggers that either seem to have a lot of followers, are followed by our friends or are featured by other websites and blogs that we follow. We attribute these ‘likes’ to a value of success, and this can turn a blogger who may not necessarily be too knowledgeable on what they are blogging about to be a “guru”. We don’t always read every post that person shares, so we don’t think to check in to see if what they are writing speaks to us or even seems genuine and we forget that ‘likes’ can be bought, so they aren’t a value that we should measure them by really (and I am not just talking about the health bloggers).
Lila’s post made realise that I had been measuring myself by this standard for a really long time. I had been giving it slightly less power over the last few months, but I certainly was critising myself and worrying about the amount of readers and followers I have way more than I needed to. Even today. But it’s not important.
Reading the post made me stop and think about how far I have come with my blog. And it reminded me that I’m only just figuring out the message I’ve been wanting to give out to you babes, how I want to do that and whether or not that will even work for me. I have learnt SO MUCH about myself and blogging and business and writing and feel so proud of everything I have acheived. I mean, I was a finalist in the Bupa blog awards last year for goodness sakes! I write with honesty and integrity, I can have a laugh, embrace my dorkiness but also show you my vulnerability while sharing my knowledge and enjoyment of things. And they are incredibly important things do put into a blog as far as I’m concerned, so I am proud.
Obviously, this is a learning curve for me. I appreciate any experience to learn and be happier with who I am – that’s what life is all about. But in simply writing this all down, I feel like my whole headspace around this has changed, and I can’t wait to move forward, continuing to learn and grow every step of the way.
Thanks for reading. Love to you all. xx
I want to thank EVERY ONE who reached out to me this week to show your support after I received that little bit of trolling earlier in the week. While it was never my intention to receive so many lovely words, each one of you helped to remind me that I am doing what I set out to do and that you are all there (you can be hard to see through this computer screen sometimes). You all mean the world to me. Thank you for letting me share my passion and my journey with you.