Blogging is a funny business. I started mine six years ago and used to be so diligent about it. Back then it was so exciting – you thrived on comments. Even just one on a post was the ultimate delight. Then it was all about Google Friend Connect. Slowly it became the number of followers on social media or the PR companies you were affiliated with or the caliber of sponsored posts you wrote – aka, how much money you could make. The ultimate was when a blogger announced that the quit their job to blog full time and you knew they were profiting nicely off of it.
I have posts with 60+ comments. I had a time where I could make $800 in a month on sponsored posts and affiliate links, and I’ve definitely made some money with affiliate networks from readers clicking item links to purchase something I link to. I’ve written five posts a week like clockwork and was accepted to BlogHer’s affiliate network and hit 80K+ views a month with no problem. And then I shut it down. I backed away. I can still honestly say that I was authentic in those endeavors – I only applied for sponsor opportunities that I truly believed in, such as Vidal Sassoon when I was an enthusiastic user of their products. And if an item I wear in a post isn’t available I try to only link to something that I’d purchase – and the real (cheap!) thing whenever possible. I also try to be strict about being up front about letting you know if a post is sponsored or contains those links. Still – it got to be too much. The competition with other bloggers, the need to keep up to satisfy the readers I had and gain new ones – the hours you spend on a post and promoting a post and yourself is incredible. I got to the point in my life where I prioritized my time, and the blog hasn’t been it.
Absolutely I’ve “suffered” because of it. Quotes, because I don’t feel that this is a problem, but absolutely my stats are down. My followers are down. My comments are WAY down. And the number one reason for this is because you get what you give – and when it comes to free time, I’m spending it with Guinevere, Tyler, family and friends – I haven’t been able to yet work out a work/life balance where I have time to read blogs. I miss them, I do, but how can I expect anyone to visit me every week and leave sweet words when I haven’t visited them in months?
This is where things tie into Trendy Tot Tuesday. My blog has taken so many strange turns – I started as a home decor blog, and spiraled into Weight Watchers Recipes – then fashion, lifestyle, mommyhood and now fashion blogger. Trendy Tot Tuesday is all of what I love – my daughter, cute clothes, shopping, style – its a link up that I feel passionately about. It is the core of the ultimate direction I want my blog to take. But I know that I haven’t done what I should to make it wonderful.
I should have visited every linker, every week, and commented on their post, and followed their blog. I should have been proactive about newsletters and giveaways and recruiting guest hosts. I should have tracked our Tot of the Week to ensure that we really could feature all of the linkers.
At one time, we had over 50 bloggers linking up. These days, its more like 5. I can’t possibly blame them – why keep putting in the effort to help promote us when I can’t even comment in return? But I still so very love everything that this link up represents, and every single one of the bloggers that has supported us by linking up.
Last year I took it very personally when another blogger started a very similar link up, after knowing full well about ours – we’d reached out to her at one point to be a guest host. Tonight my heart sank when my sweet friend Sarah tagged me on Instagram to let me know that two other bloggers started a link up called Trendy Tots: a Tuesday link up. It mostly makes me irritated because if google it, mine pops up. In this case, our blog reader circles don’t appear to cross theirs in any way, so I do honestly believe that it was a complete coincidence – that they didn’t know about mine and then start their own. Even so, it burns because I know that because of the number of followers they have, theirs will take off and mine will continue to flop.
Sometimes I wonder if I should call it quits. I backed off from the blog in several ways because I wanted the posts I write to mean something. Look, I know the politics and the tricks – I am confident that if I put the effort I could make this highly profitable or known. But I don’t really care about the money or the number of followers I have (unless I see my Instagram follower count drop, and then I always wonder “what did I do??” – this happens daily) – I keep this open because I like it. Love it. But because there are other things more important to me, I want this to be a fun release. If it becomes work, I fear I won’t love it. On the other hand – if something is dead, should I really even bother? Perhaps its better to just bow out with my head up.
Or perhaps I’m being a tad melodramatic. That’s not too unusual with me.
For now, business as usual. And this week calls for a round up of the latest #whatguineverewore. If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sorry, but these are too precious to not post again!
Won’t you please join us?!
- Trendy Tot Tuesday is a chance to talk about kid’s style, and pretty much anything goes. Pictures of your cutie, talking about their style (that you buy and dress them in, ahem!), a Polyvore board, linking to the new kid’s line at the Gap – anything! All ages welcome, from you sweet pregnant mamas stocking up a closet to the teenagers that probably pick all their own stuff out now
- This is a hop-style link up – please follow your hosts (myself, Lindsay and Megan) – we are in spots 1-3. Also, jump around to meet other bloggers! We hope everyone gains some new followers from this link-up and finds some fabulous new blogs!
- Please link back to (at least!) one of us, and feel free to steal our badge if you’d like. If you’re a tweeter or instagram-er, use #trendytot
- Interested in guest hosting? Please email Megan to get added to the list!