Why Blogging Is Hard

It isn’t that I can’t think of topics to write about. It isn’t because I don’t have anything to say. It’s not that I think people won’t understand what I put out there—I’m vain enough to think my opinion is educated and logical. I enjoy writing, I find plenty of inspiration, and I haven’t had to deal with angry commentary. So what’s the problem?

It’s simple. I don’t have an established point-of-view. Sure, it’s MY point of view, and to my friends and family, that’s enough reason to humor me. But I want more than friends and family—I want interested readers. The blogs I read, the blogs that are successful, are the ones that have a niche, that have a specific category in which to firmly place themselves.

Mommy blogs. Homemaking blogs. Interior decorating blogs. Pregnancy blogs. Travel blogs. Cooking blogs. Farming blogs. Money blogs. Single girl blogs. Fashion blogs. Mens fashion blogs. Humor blogs. DIY craft blogs. Grief blogs. Dog blogs, cat blogs, music blogs. “Thinspo” (some teen came up with that because her attention span isn’t long enough to say thinspiration). And most bloggers are women, so that’s not a niche market—51% of the global population is women. Oddly enough, a man blogging, a straight man blogging, is a rare thing. The only ones I know of are established, published authors that already have a market and a celebrity-centric audience. Apparently men don’t like to publish their feelings about their cats.

I’m more of a jack-of-all-trades and master-of-none. I don’t have one area in my life I’m super great at. I’m not a legendary dropper of pounds. I’m not a live-off-the-lander (yet—let me get some land!). I am most certainly not stylish or fashion-forward. I don’t go anywhere, so travel-logues are out. I’m NOT pregnant, or a mommy (or a Mormon). I’m funny but not enough to build a whole income off of it like The Bloggess. There is absolutely no way I’m dedicating a blog to the two fat fluffy monsters tearing up my nice things. I love (LOVE) interior design but I’m also way cheap so I don’t redesign whole rooms at a time. But not so good at being cheap that I can maintain a personal finance blog.

I’m a dilettante—I dabble. I have many interests, several things that make me interesting and mysterious and human. I’m a parfait, full of layers (NOT an onion). Or rather, a cake. I’m a cake, full of layers (and yummy chocolate pudding in between those layers). Full-fat, Holmes.

But people don’t want layers. They want specialization. They want to know about something that relates to them, someone they can feel connected to, someone that can cater to their own particular subset of humanity, and empathize with their own stories. I don’t think that’s wrong-my favorite blogs are farm & gardening blogs, a few interior design blogs, a few stories of weight loss, and the occasional random life blog. It’s just that I’d like to cultivate a readership, I’d like to have a following, and I’m finding it hard to understand how I can accomplish that when I can’t appeal to a specific audience.

I’m not out to make money, or support myself. I just want to know that the way I see things is a way other people do or don’t see things, that our experiences are common or unique. I want validation for my thoughts and ideas for living. I know there’s this idea out there that we shouldn’t care what other people think, that we should live our lives blindly, according to where our own internal compass points. I call BS. We are shaped and defined by our experiences with people and the world around us. Even Thoreau, who went into the woods to “live deliberately” (*ahemsoundfamiliarahem*) and found satisfaction in his two years of solitude, eventually returned. He never entertained the idea that he could truly isolate himself from mankind and find satisfaction.

We all care what other people think because we know what we think about other people. If we didn’t, anger, greed, pride, or lust wouldn’t exist. My vanity can be pretty outrageous at times, but who doesn’t like to hear they’re funny, witty, articulate, or interesting? I like to know something I wrote helped someone. I cherish the idea of people rethinking their actions and re-evaluating their motivations based on a post. One of the most moving compliments I ever received came second-hand (which is actually nicer, because you know they’re genuine). A friend passed on a compliment a mutual friend had said of me: I inspired her to dream.

blink blink WHAT.

That’s huge. Enormous. Who doesn’t want to hear that the way she lives and talks and thinks and shares not only satisfies herself but stirs up something beautiful inside others? That inspires me to lead a more beautiful life, to chase after blue skies and sunshine-y days, to live in a delicious feathery haze of lace, love, lights, and patterned fabrics. It makes me want to be the kind, benevolent princess to everyone, to spread warm fuzzies everywhere I go. MY life is made more beautiful by the thought of helping others to have a beautiful life. I don’t think that’s such a bad thing—some people get to do that for a career. Some people find that in their career no matter what is. Some people create beauty by their very presence, and I long to be one of those people.

How did this go from a post about why blogging is hard to the beauty of life? Oh well. I guess that’s the beauty of blogging. 🙂

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