I have made mistakes in life. There are true horrors in my past that I do not like revisiting. It can happen, you know, to you and me! But today, I am not venting it all out on you. Except maybe this one – the Blogging Mistakes I’ve Done!
If you’ve been my loyal reader for long (I so hope you are), you would know my blogging journey. It was one of those ‘night shifts’ in the office, where after gulping down lots of caffeine, I decided to start a blog. I was then a newlywed, trying to flash her cooking skills and impress her darling husband. I came up with a sweet and unique blog name- Tale of Two Tomatoes! (It does sound like a food blog, doesn’t it?) All I did was write five sentences about how my day went and the dish I cooked for lunch. However, a couple of months down the lane, I wrote my first non-recipe post and it was selected as the week’s WOW Post by a popular blogging community. From then on, there was no looking back.
I started penning down poems, fiction, anecdotes and almost everything under the sun. I enjoyed doing it. There was never a moment of hesitation or a writer’s block. I never took blogging seriously and I never hoped that my blog was popular. I had few loyal readers and a handful of favorite blogs which I loved to read. I was happy with just that. But then, I attended one of the best blogger meets in town and was surprised when quite a few of them came up to me to know if I was the Tomato Girl. It was such a high.
My blogging journey was spectacular and I absolutely loved everything about it. But then, last year, I decided to take a leap and move from a mere blog to a BRAND. I was done being referred to as the Tomato Girl (for whatever reasons I could think of) and I badly needed a change, a new face, a new beginning. I was so enthralled with this new idea of rebranding that I whipped it up and made myself the Kohl Eyed. What was I expecting? That it sure would be going to get people buzzing all around the blogosphere?
But that’s not what happens. Right?
Do you ever get the feeling that some bloggers must have been born as skilled writers? Or some are so lame but still manage to be on the ‘Popular Blogger’ category? Their writes don’t move you. But how do they have so many followers across all social media platforms? How do they have the time to do all this? I often wondered how it was easy for all of them and sadly, I wanted to be that.
I was so lost in the technical jargons of blogging that I hardly noticed what I was slowly giving up on. I was focusing more on improving my Alexa Rank, learning about SEO and going after numbers and statistics. I had three popups asking the reader to subscribe to my blog. I wanted Google to rank my blog high. I wanted brands to find me. I wanted collaborations. I wanted everything that an ideal blogger had. I was obsessed.
I tried hard to transform my Tomato Blog into a niche blog. I was trying to be happy with the change but always knew something was amiss. For a while, I did only book reviews but was soon bored to death. It was then followed by travel posts, which I believe made my readers yawn. I tried so hard to push myself so as to fit in this mad race. I realize that in the process, I’ve lost many readers who loved and encouraged me.
Today when I see an announcement of an upcoming Writing Challenge I go into a dilemma. I wonder day and night on how it would fit into my so-called niche blog. I think about how the prompts have got nothing to do with travel or books and that may be I should actually skip participating in the challenge. This wasn’t me! I loved writing. My brain exploded. My heart wept.
Today I was so sad. I talked to one of my favourite blogging friends and was soon in tears as I poured my heart out. A year ago, I could write a poem when I wanted to. I attempted fiction even when I knew I was making a complete fool out of myself. I participated in writing challenges without holding back and thinking how it isn’t good for my blog’s page rank or SEO. Today I found myself saying over and over again- this wasn’t what I wanted!
As I look back, was it all worth it, I fear! I was confused and clueless as to where I wanted to see my blog. I had all the time in the world and I refused to write even a single word. This may seem like a rant to many but I am trying now – to be who I am, to be happy while writing, not to chase after numbers and to simply enjoy it all. I am taking baby steps by participating in one of my favorite blogging challenges- the Write Tribe’s Festival of Words, starting Saturday. I hope you are as excited as I am.
I’m linking this musing with #MondayMusings at Everyday Gyaan.