Time To Re-Focus

I may be talking to you. I may be talking to me. You’ll never know.

ANGER TRIGGER

Today is Monday, the first day of the week, and it’s the perfect time to do things right to make the week go smoothly. Yesterday, I got angry. Instagram changed its algorithm again and engagement on my page came crashing down to the floor. I have about 1.2K followers with an average engagement of 80-100 likes and 10 comments per post. It’s not much but I was proud of it. Now, it dropped to 20 likes per post, the comment section too embarrassing to speak of. To make matters worse, I was reading blogs on a group thread and I saw a blogger complaining of being locked out of her Facebook account; her stats dropped to about 75 per day, from 250-450 per day. She has had her blog for approx 42 days, just over a month. I was awed by her success, and curious. My quick guess was that she had put in a lot of work on social media promotions, and she attested to that. The best part was that her friends and family had no part in her success. It was all her.

RASH DECISIONS

Just after I finished praising her, and also sympathizing with her for her account loss, I became mad. Why didn’t I do as well? My blog is twice as old as hers with half the success; maybe one-third. I was sad and broken. Why did I have to fail so much? Everyone else seemed to be doing just fine. But was this true? I put in a lot of work into blogging and I have to juggle it with school and all, but that’s just life for you. Guess what I did? Since the anger started from Instagram, I went over to my unfollowers app and unfollowed everybody who didn’t follow me back. I saved some people because I really like their feeds but the rest, all gone. I also discovered that you could remove followers – that is people who follow you, that you don’t want anymore; you could remove them from being your followers. My reason was that I could not have over 1000 people who don’t care following me. I didn’t want my page to look like it was unreal, or that I bought followers. I was wrong.

I was simultaneously complaining to my friend about the drop and how I was just tired of trying to be appeal to people. He told me to take deep breaths. Then he asked me: “Why do you blog?”. “Because I love it”, I replied. “Then why did you remove your followers?”, he asked. I was dumbfounded. I didn’t know what to say. He continued: “You started the blog to be an inspiration to people. If you want to inspire people, why take away the opportunity for them to be inspired. Now, they can’t see what you post, or hear what you have to say. Is that what you want?”

REMORSE

I became sad all over again. I had become so engrossed in the thought of getting to 10K followers with at least 5% engagement so that some big company can sponsor me and I can make a little change out of something I love doing. I forgot the main reason I started this and had become completely sidetracked. I felt really remorseful. I don’t know the usernames of the people I removed but I’m so sorry, wherever you are. My pride got the best of me and I let numbers define me. I was so concerned about statistics that I forgot that these were real people, with real stories, real joys, real problems, and real hopes. Yes, I want success but I don’t want it if it means selling my soul or losing my morals. The deals, sponsorship, and endorsements will come when they will and I’ll be right here when they do. I’m here to inspire and I never want to forget that.

FINAL WORDS

To you reading this, whatever you do, don’t forget why you started. Don’t sell yourself short. Like the song “I Hope You Dance” the lyrics say “When you come close to selling out, reconsider”. I hope you do reconsider. At school, work and your personal endeavors, never ever forget what your initial vision was . Only change for the better, not because of what you could get or what people say. Don’t ever forget it.

58 COMMENTS

  1. Wow I needed this. I am a new blogger myself and it’s easy to compare yourself to others but how they promote their blog / how much time they put into everything / what they do and why is different than you. She could be thinking of and doing nothing else but focusing on her blog while you have a life too haha you never know. Your blog is awesome and nothing worth having happens overnight 😉

  2. As a new blogger, I often get frustrated, too, about my blogging stats. That is great advice from your friend to stay true to the audience you do have and not worry about the audience you don’t have. I’ve realized there will always be someone with more followers than me, even if I do get a large following someday.

  3. This is a great reminder. It’s so easy to get caught up in the numbers and comparing yourself to others but at the end of the day, that’s isn’t what really matters

  4. Hi, I’m a new blogger too and after reading your post, all I can say that would help is that you need a focused mindset in the long run. 42 days, 84 days, 365 days is not a lot of time for a blog or an Instagram account, and starting slowly does not mean you’re failing. Successful brands are built over years and overnight successes are just that- they rarely last. Keep producing quality content and strive to evolve, keep a positive outlook and the results will definitely appear. Good luck with everything!

  5. I really enjoyed and relate to this post. I have been blogging VERY inconsistently for the past 2 years, and just started being consistent with it over the last few months. It does get frustrating when I hear of people who have only been blogging a month or so get so many page views, followers on social media, etc. But like you said in your post, the reason most of us started blogging is because we love it. I really needed to remember that to re-focus myself as well, so thank you. Btw, I followed. Can’t wait to read more from you.

  6. I really resonated with this post – sometimes I don’t even want to open Instagram, cause it makes me anxious how many people follow or unfollow me. I need to refocus and think it’s not all about the numbers. Great post 🙂

  7. This is so important. It’s hard to learn and I think we all go through it, and I’ve found it takes an angry moment for it to all refocus very quickly. I’m sorry this happen to you, but don’t lose faith, and keep encouraging yourself & others! Blessings!

  8. This is a very good reminder for all of us who are in the industry. We started for ourselves, to have an outlet, to inspire people, to share our story and not because we want to earn money off of our experiences. I think this one hits home.

  9. Just continue what you are doing. If you really love your work, don’t let anyone or anything breaks you. Heartaches were only a part of this job and it only trains you to be much stronger, just believe in yourself, continue to work hard and don’t forget to ask for His mercy and He will bless you.

  10. Sometimes it can be intimidating looking at other’s work when they seem to be so much farther ahead! I get this way from time to time, but just try to remember the story of the turtle and the hare. The turtle always wins. Slow and steady, but always plodding forward! Take it one step at a time, one day at a time and don’t compare your beginning with someone else’s middle, no matter what it may look like.

  11. Thank you for this. Sorry to hear that you experience that but it’s the lesson we should focus on. It’s easy to have pride when you look at numbers. I hope you get more followers soon and inspire more people through your blog!

  12. Ah it is so hard isn’t it. I am sorry you regret it now. But those you unfollowed does make it easier for you to keep up with people you really want to see.

    • Yes it does. If it were my personal account, I’d leave some people but I don’t want to come to my blog account trying to connect with others and end up with 20 pictures of your cat in 10 minutes.

  13. Being a newer blogger, I am still learning the ins and outs of everything. I know with all the time you put in, you want to do well and it gets frustrating when it doesn’t. I hope goes well and that you overcome! Thank you for sharing your story.

  14. Changing for the better is important – and doing what works for you. I admire you for being so strong and confident to carry on. I wish you the best of all success!

  15. This is a great, inspirational read, and thank you for sharing your story! I found myself in the same position before (still am sometimes), but I always try to remember why I do this. The hardest part is having patience… Find your inner strength and continue doing this with love and passion, and all those amazing things will come! I promise! <3

    Sabina | I’ve Got Sunshine

  16. Thank you for sharing this experience. I’ve noticed a change as well. Engagement has been horrible for me on platforms lately – some of which I’ve had since 2006. Meanwhile I’m surrounded by similar creative friends and they don’t seem as affected. I think perhaps I’ve spread myself too thin with what I work on and I need to get myself into the right spot going forward, but I can’t do that when I’ve put up this cloud of comparison in front of my eyes. While I’m not glad we are going through this, I am glad that I am not the only one – sometimes knowing that helps to make a bit of difference!

  17. When I was a kid I used to like to watch Mister Magoo. I remember about eight years ago when we were preaching a Chief Capua.

  18. I think we all go through similar experiences. And life sometimes doesn’t give back fairly, But you just gotta keep doing it because you want to, and because you enjoy it.

  19. Blogging is really hard! I can relate, it’s even harder not to compare statistic. but I always tell myself not to stress over it. I’m doing what I love and that’s all that matters! Good luck and hope you get your followers back.

  20. This post really spoke to me – I can get so focused on the numbers that I forget why I love to blog in the first place – it’s definitely frustrating but I know if I work hard ill get there – it’s just so annoying when all your progress suddenly drops! dust yourself off and keep trying – its the only way!

  21. I hate the cycle of being obsessed with numbers. I’ve been blogging for awhile and my social media numbers aren’t the greatest but my page views keep rising, to me that should be better. But next month I most likely go back to feeling it’s not good enough. Ahh the cycle!

  22. I hate being Anger. These behaviors usually precede and precipitate a violent outburst. Triggers are often verbal or nonverbal behaviors that bring up feelings of abandonment or rejection.

  23. Blogging is a tough part time job that is full time.
    I started blogging in 2013 but only consistently from December 2015. Before then I would post once in a month and then disappear for 3 months. Then I decided to put in the work and see how it goes.
    My writing have improved a lot, I still hoard more than I share, haven’t paid much attention to stats and social media but the journey has been worth it.
    So here is to not selling out.

    PS: I hope you dance!
    That song! Now I just have to slisten to it again.

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