Originally posted 4-18-15 on Facebook.
I don’t know about your feeds, but mine gets hit a lot with “Build your blogging empire”, and when I click “See more” I get things like “Even if you hate to write” and “Even if you don’t have time.” Basically, you can click to buy into a blogging plan now, promising riches and fame.
I love blogging, and apparently I’m doing everything wrong. I turn off ads whenever possible, even to the point of paying for blogs so no one has to see them. I don’t invite guest bloggers, and, I know this is ludicrous, I don’t encourange comments. Whaaaa?
I started blogging 11 years ago to amuse ~myself~. Blogging has gotten me through a whole load of bad stuff happening over and over and over, and I needed distraction to handle the stress. Word out there is that being savvy is about content creation, so- click into a plan? Seriously? I can’t help feeling the compulsion to point out that setting a string of bots in motion is about other people making money, and slapping your name on it doesn’t make it your content.
In my own eyes and experience, blogging is like intellectual performance art. I’ve noticed bloggers around me using blogs to dump their junk, police tape their political lines, and reshare other people’s opinions and statements (like we need another news feed in the millions proliferating like viruses). You know what? I want to see what you ate for supper, what your pets are doing, that nasty cut you got on your toe. Your version of how your day is going or the weird dream you had is why I’m reading your blog.
I love my blogging empire. Most of it is actually private. If I made it all public right now my reader traffic would go crazy. I would be the focus of so much attention that my twitter would skyrocket and my facebook would explode. So why don’t I go for it? Why don’t I spill and reap the rewards?
Good blogging isn’t about getting comments or drawing crowds, although those are sweet rewards sometimes. Good blogging has nothing to do with how other people rank your site or whether you get money rolling from passing along other people’s ads. You know what good blogging is? Filtering out all the bots and spam that stack up your hit counter (auto-hit followers are so cheap to buy everywhere you go), cutting out the crap loading into your readers’ eyeballs, and writing. That’s right, if you hate writing, why in the world would you set up a blogging empire? That’s like someone clicking into a plan to set up a hit song empire and it doesn’t matter if you’re tone deaf and never listen to music. It’s all about someone else selling something and using your billboard as screen to screen sales while they steer customers along the information highway for you.
Content creation is like everything else, you either enjoy it or you hate it. I have refused to be paid for content creation for several sites for years because I know the second I get paid, I’ll hate it. Yes, I have days where I don’t feel like working, but it’s way easier working for myself at my leisure than drumming my fingers forcing content I don’t care about for someone else. I’ll be honest, I’m really good at doing that, and that is why the offers show up. I can easily fill 50 pages with content. So why don’t I?
Some years ago, someone got after me for wasting time playing on one of my blogs when I could be spending quality time on real writing. At the time I wasn’t sure why that made me feel so uncomfortable. I’ve come to realize that, while not exactly an insult to my person, that statement was a judgement about me as a person, since spending quality time on something I enjoyed and that contributed to my psychological health was a waste of time. That means I am a waste of time, space, and air on this planet, by logical extension. After a good think, I decided that nothing I create online has ever been a waste of time, because it was practice. And I’m getting really good.
Despite all the moaning on twitter, it’s actually very easy to publish. I know people who’ve done it. Your writing can be super crap and your actual hard copy books will still wind up in warehouses all over the world. The secret? You pay for the service. I think it’s a great idea. It may not guarantee sales, but it certainly guarantees that you’re a certified author. The only problem with publishing hard copy is that there are no take-backs. I can go back years into my blogs and keep fixing typos. Once a book is out there, I can’t fix a thing on it any more.
My blogging empire is my way of gaming through my day. I like making fun stuff for readers to find, lots of easter eggs and presents and pretty colors. I like seeing someone in another country spend a whole day reading every single public post I ever wrote and keep discovering all the reading pathways I’ve created. I like how my hits suddenly triple one week when I say one particular new word somewhere, and still no one ever comments, which makes it even more obvious that lurkers are enjoying the game, too. If I were pushing traffic through a blogging plan full of ads and other people’s curated content (can we say copied public content?), I would completely miss the personal readers showing up. I see you guys. You give me warm fuzzies. I love all of you. ALL of you.
I’m going in a definite direction. It’s not about making money, although, yes, that would be a nice side effect.
#aspienado is a thing. I am the first to hashtag it, the first to say it, the first to own it. Existential Aspie is something I can’t stop. What will happen? I don’t know yet, but I do know I’m going to be the first to say a lot of things.