I love this blog. I love connecting with other book lovers, and with the authors of the books I love to read. I love talking books, and asking authors questions. I love sharing books with other readers. I love every single thing about blogging, except the “political” side of it.
What do I mean by the political side of things? Well, I’m talking about the game of “who has the most followers, the coolest ARC’s, the most retweets, best giveaways, and best graphics”. I hate it. When I first started blogging I was all about sharing my blog posts everywhere and getting my pageviews up. Making that sweet GFC graphic grow in numbers. About 6 months in, I backed off, and since then I have been growing my blog organically. This last giveaway was the first giveaway in over 6 months that I required people to follow us. As a matter of fact when I moved to my self hosted site, I lost my GFC followers. So my numbers are LOW low low. I didn’t let it get to me, because I know that not all of those 250 GFC followers were actual readers of my blog, most were from feature and follow posts and giveaways. I was content. I was happy with my new stream lined, professional looking, easy? to use site, and my post views were lower, but steady. I figured it was all part of the process of moving
Then my low followers was shoved in my face by someone. My blog suddenly felt not good enough. I felt not good enough. Every blog post I wrote since I heard this feels false, and hollow. What’s the point, I keep asking myself, no one reads my blog.
But wait, they do. My page views are steady. They aren’t great, by any means. They could be better but I seriously suck at promotion. I post it, I share it once or twice, and then I forget about it. I have a 3 year old, two jobs. Nieces and nephews, a family, books to read, books to write, and friends. My reviews have been lacking my normal sparkle of late as well. I blame that on just plain ole being burnt out.
I believe Sweet Brown sums up my feelings about sharing the crap out of my posts…..“Ain’t nobody got time for dat!”
I know what you are thinking, thousands of other bloggers DO HAVE time for that. Well, obviously they are much better at time management than I am. Trust me I am insanely jealous of them and their super powers. I bow down to them. <-not sarcasm.
Of course, I was starting to get over it, but then I go to sign up for some blog tours…..and yep there it is that pesky little “How many followers do you have?” box. Le sigh. My first thought is crap I have to do math…..then I start thinking about how many followers I DON’T have, that other bloggers do, and well I close out of the browser without finishing signing up for the blog tour. And just my luck, I go to open my inbox and look there…… Another email, and in this wonderful email, my lackluster numbers are pointed out again. It wasn’t meant to be in a cruel, but it was definitely a tool this person was using to say I wasn’t as good of blogger as this other person….. Sure, like I said, I don’t endlessly spam my posts, but I do share them. It’s a fine line, and like many things in my life I try to find balance and fall flat on my face.
If you follow my social media you know that I am struggling. A lot. My mental health is not the greatest to begin with, but after everything that has happened in my personal life these past few months, yeah I’m pretty low. So clearly, I wallowed, and then I was two seconds away from unpublishing my blog and giving up.
But some friends, and supporters of this blog. Authors, and fellow bloggers talked me out of it. They reminded me that they love my blog, even if I’m not feeling it myself. I need to get back to blogging for myself and my friends!
There is no way to rant about how crappy it is that authors, publishers, other bloggers put so much emphasis on FOLLOWERS without offending the people who actually follow a blog. I can tell you the truth, that 90% of the followers I lost from GFC were there because I required if for giveaways. And that the other 10% are actual faithful readers who follow via bloglovin’ and networked blogs as well as the old GFC. *Not actual percentages, I’m just saying that the girls and guys I have had from the beginning are still here.
Bloggers are the backbone of this crazy bookish world we live in. There are some blogs out there that do influence what people do read. Their name is a brand, and people trust them. I am not one of those blogs. I will never be one of those blogs. I’m okay with that. Because honestly, my followers rock. There may not be thousands of you, and I’m glad. I’m not sure I can handle that kind of pressure. Not only that, but you have friended me on Facebook, and we talk in real life. It’s awesome. The link to my profile is there. Friend me (if you want), I promise to be nice, and really, really inappropriate. I’ll share what I am reading, what blogs I follow, and welcome you into my crazy bookish world. 🙂 And you’ll get bombarded with scary clown pictures right at bedtime. WIN/WIN!
So before you judge a blog by their numbers, or lack there of, think about what those numbers mean? Do they mean that this blog isn’t the right fit for you? Do they mean this blogger isn’t as good as that blogger? Do they mean that they are just going to blow off your post? No. Not at all. I know for obvious reasons publishers have to limit their ARC’s and blog tour stops. I know that using a blogs followers is the easiest way to do this. Does it suck when you want to be on that awesome tour, or get that ARC? Yep it does.
But some authors have control over their own material. To them I say this. Not every book can be a bestseller, and not every blog can be one of the big ones. Bloggers take chances on each other, and on authors all the time. I have never turned down a promo post, or guest post, or sharing links because I don’t know who the author is, or because their not in the top 20 on amazon. The only reason I don’t do something is simply the lack of time, or energy. Not because of the sales, rating, or ranking. I think bloggers deserve the same respect. Instead of approaching it as what can this blogger do for me? Approach it as making a relationship with a blogger. I can tell the difference between authors who just want me to review their book and be done with me, and those that genuinely looked at my blog and thought, Hey this blog seems cool, it’d be awesome if they reviewed my book. Those authors look to build a relationship with bloggers, one that is beneficial to everyone.
“Don’t judge us by our numbers unless you want to be judged by yours.”
I recently wrote a post on Goodreads Bullies. Nope, I didn’t cry BOO-HOO! Poor me! I have bad reviews. I defend reviewers in this post, and now as a guest on Contagious Reads, I’m going to defend them again.
Bloggers and reviewers are important to authors like me. Very low on the totem pole, so to speak. Actually, they are important to ALL AUTHORS.
Even if you do sell a lot of books, there’s an etiquette you must follow. I don’t follow this etiquette, you know why? Because it comes naturally to me to be nice, thankful, and humble. I know the importance of such bloggers. There’s no reason to be assholes. AND there’s absolutely no reason to judge a blog based on followers. These people take the time to read your emails, books, and write reviews for them when they have lives outside of blogging. So of course I get pissed off when a blogger is treated like trash. You know how that bad review feels? Well, when you treat a blogger like shit, that’s how they feel. What gives you the right? NOTHING! There’s no excuse.
I have to mention their saint-like patience for us… I know I’m scatter brained, and I’ve received a few ‘reminder’ emails from them myself when they could have just said, “Screw you, asshole author!! You think you’re so important because you write books!”
If you have this arrogant view point, I have one thing to say, “Get over yourselves.”