Blogging: I’m Coming Back to the Heart of It

I started blogging because I had something to say, and I liked to write. Somewhere between then and now I lost the IT.  The WHY THE HELL am I doing this.  I’m taking it back.

If you’re not in the blogosphere, you may not know that there are literally THOUSANDS of articles out there on how to create the perfect blog/post to receive views.  Tips to go viral, build readership, etc. The more views you get, the more followers you get and opportunities to write PAID sponsored posts and advertisement.

That’s all great.  There is nothing wrong with this; everybody should learn about their craft AND pay the bills.  Nobody wants to do a lot of work to get only 5 hits on your new blog post.  But I had slowly felt inundated with feelings of inadequacy when reading about these algorithms to get high views and followers.

Things like:

the exact way to phrase a title to make it totally Pin-able

the exact way to create images for Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest

the exact group to join to boost your comments

the fonts and hashtags to use and not use

the phrases and topics to use and avoid

the way to format your paragraphs just right for optimal reading

the need for writing 6 posts a week that are all the “correct” word count

the exact way to become a social media master

I couldn’t keep up.  I had SO MUCH anxiety.  Instead of enjoying writing about topics I’m passionate about, I was freaking out and spending SO MUCH TIME putting out these “perfect” posts that followed x, y, and z.  Some did go mildly viral.  My following even grew some.  But I lost the IT of why I wanted to blog.  I wasn’t always being fully true to myself.

All this info on blogging is valuable and may be the exact way I should be doing things to make money, grow, and extend my reach.  If you’re a blogger, it may be some of the most solid advice you can take.  But I’ve come to my own personal conclusion since I can’t keep up anymore:

To put it eloquently, F*CK IT!

I’m tired of trying to force my words and ideas into a certain box that’s considered the “way to do it” even though it truly may be the way to do it.  I’m doing it MY way. I want my \ blog to be so incredibly…me.

I sat in bed this morning and looked at some of the blogs I adore that got me into blogging.  These are all HUGELY popular.  I noticed something.  They aren’t all the same or following the same “rules.”  Not by a long shot.  And they don’t always have perfectly cropped and edited images.  Each of these blogging women simply have interesting lives and ideas, and they share them with their readers. 

On one of her “Big Magic” podcasts, Elizabeth Gilbert (my idol and author of Eat, Pray, Love) said that in order to be interesting you have to be interested.  I want my blog to be interesting.  Instead of spending all my time studying how to make a Pin on Pinterest bring in thousands of views, I want to soak up all the things I’m interested in.  That interest I have will seep through and make my blog interesting.

And you guys – My life IS interesting.  For example:

I woke up this morning (Sunday) in my studio in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, not knowing what I was going to do today.  Hours later I was belly down on the net of a catamaran and three dolphins swimming RIGHT underneath me!!!!  I could almost touch them!!!  They would jump in and out of the water as if they were putting on a dance.  It was rad.

Maybe a better blogger would have had a camera right there to capture the moment to share it with their readers.  But GUYS!!!!!   I was too busy seeing the dolphins to think about getting the perfect shot.  And you already know what a dolphin looks like!  If not, here is a stock photo:

dolphin-203875_1280

BUT WAIT!  THERE’S MORE!

Then, with snorkeling gear in hand, I went down the catamaran’s slide and into the Pacific.  I saw schools of yellow and blue fish.  AND THEN I HELD A REAL LIFE OCTOPUS!!!!!!  Or rather, it held me.  It suctioned right on to my arm.  AND THEN I HELD A REAL LIFE PUFFER FISH!!!!!!!   I also didn’t get a picture of any of these instances.  Holding an octopus makes you forget to pull out your iPhone and decide on the perfect VSCO filter for your blog.  Here’s a stock photo (not me, obviously):

octopus-523654_1280

I want to share that stuff with you guys.  To me, that’s what’s interesting.  I don’t have the time or the emotional strength to follow all the rules that are supposed to make your blog the latest and greatest.  I’m too busy being interested in other things.  But I promise to share those interesting things with you!

Here’s what to expect: I’ll be writing two or three posts each week that will probably be on travel, womanhood, faith/spirituality, creativity, love, and whatever crazy things/opinions I have up my sleeve.  We can talk about how not to just survive life, but to really THRIVE!  We can talk about the hard and controversial things.  It won’t always be pretty because my life isn’t always pretty.  I may cuss.  I’m not shying away from topics that would traditionally be considered bad for keeping followers.  I will attack the real oooey-goooey parts of life.

I have plenty of freelance clients who can use my knowledge of algorithms and creating viral content.  Here, this is just me.  All my opinions, ideas, and interesting parts of my life.  Without the fear of how many people will click to read.

 

P.S. If you’re a blogger choosing to do your blog a different way, I TOTALLY SUPPORT YOU.

P.S.S. Here is a pic we actually did take today.  Onward, fellow travelers of life!

20150920_172656

23 thoughts on “Blogging: I’m Coming Back to the Heart of It

  • September 21, 2015 at 5:31 am
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    You’re on the right path Taylor. I got my start blogging about what was meaningful to me… Back in 2007. My blog was picked up by Fine Art Views, and I wrote weekly for that publication and Art Daily for 5 years, for pay… Only writing about my experiences and thoughts about the artist life. My writing was known, and still is, worldwide.

    I wrote almost 400 blogs back on those days, but don’t write now until I have something I want to share.

    Personally, I ignore all the advice that “coaches” give in blog writing. I made it big (for awhile) by being myself, and I ignore pressure to write on a schedule. As you say there are thousands of bloggers out there today. The way I figure things, I don’t want to take someone’s time away from productivity or recreation unless I have something that I truly want to share.

    Some readers resonate with my writing, others don’t, but I don’t worry about that. Haters/trolls will happen. I keep in mind the phrase that I learned in 2008, “Don’t feed the Troll”. In fact, my readers often came to my rescue, and I didn’t need to respond at all.

    I think you’ve the key to great writing… From the heart. Go for it!

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    • September 21, 2015 at 7:13 am
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      This is so incredibly encouraging to me Lori! Thank you! I love that you had success with that same method. *hugs*

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      • September 21, 2015 at 9:31 am
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        Thanks for the reply Taylor. I think readers can immediately “smell” any hint of a sales pitch… which is what the experts will teach you to do. I’m glad you’re not taking that route. I look forward to reading your new posts and learning about who you are.

        I just re-read this post, and I’m going to follow your lead… I don’t need to live my life as though I need to share every moment of it with the world. Experiencing dolphins and an octopus without worrying about capturing it all on Instagram, lets you own the memory. Besides, now I can use my imagination to see things through your description. Like when I read a good novel.

        OK, I gotta go live off line for a few hours and work on the house. :-)
        Thanks again for having the courage to do things your way.

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  • September 21, 2015 at 4:47 pm
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    Well that was like a breath of fresh air. I decided last week to take a little time away from my blog to get myself back to center. I am so stressed all of the time about posting and whats going to work and not work that I really started to dislike it. I am spending my time now enjoying life and reading and all that fun stuff. I can’t wait to see what you write next. Thanks for being real!

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    • September 22, 2015 at 7:01 pm
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      Thank you so much. I’m glad that I’m not alone! Love to hear that you’re enjoying life!!

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  • September 21, 2015 at 6:13 pm
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    Taylor! I’m sitting over here fist pumping you all the way, girl! I think we all have to do what works for us and not buy too much into all the hype that is out there. My blog has taken positive turns I never expected, and it has definitely not been from following all of the advice out there. I follow my own path and if people like it, great! More power to you for seeing this in yourself and taking back your “why”.

    Enjoy your time in Tamarindo! It’s beautiful there :)

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    • September 22, 2015 at 7:02 pm
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      Yes – I love that you’re doing your own thing too! It’s probably what attracted me to your blog in the first place! Thanks for the encouragement lady! You rock!

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  • September 22, 2015 at 8:25 pm
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    I absolutely loved this. I read because I want to learn. But I also want to experience the world through another person’s eyes and ears and hands and feet. I clicked and read this because it caught my interest! Bravo! I’m not great at commenting but I do read!

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    • September 23, 2015 at 11:24 am
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      Thank you so much Denise! You are an encouragement and a treasure!

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  • September 23, 2015 at 4:03 pm
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    I love this post. It can be so overwhelming and there is so much to do. I take a step back every once in awhile for exactly the reasons you listed. Great post.

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  • September 24, 2015 at 3:50 pm
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    I’ve totally not posted something before simply because I didn’t have a picture to go along with it… only to then realize that THAT’S RIDICULOUS. I started my blog so that I could WRITE and share what was on my heart and mind… not so that it would be pin-worthy with a pretty picture (although if it turns out to be that way, awesome). Don’t ever stop writing, Taylor! I would miss you terribly! :)

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    • September 25, 2015 at 7:11 am
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      Thanks girl, for your encouragement! I feel the same way! I’ve avoided topics because I couldn’t find the perfect pic or write the best title or fit it into a certain amount of words. That’s just silliness!!

      Reply
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  • September 25, 2015 at 8:10 am
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    I loved this post. I’m pretty new to blogging and I was getting so caught up in making my posts “perfect” for gaining followers, etc. like you said. I like that motto about being interested. You gained a new follower here! :)

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    • September 25, 2015 at 11:06 am
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      Aw thank you so much for that encouragement!!

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  • September 29, 2015 at 9:29 am
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    We all need reminders of keeping it real sometimes – you are so right! Thanks for the reminder!

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    • September 29, 2015 at 12:31 pm
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      Yes! I sure do need to remember that all the time!

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  • September 29, 2015 at 10:17 am
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    It is so very easy to get caught up in the world of numbers and forget why you started blogging in the first place. Great post. Congrats for finding standing tall for what makes you happy.

    Sounds like you had an amazing and very “interesting” day.

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    • September 29, 2015 at 12:32 pm
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      It is so easy to get caught in the numbers. I never want to lose sight of the real meaning behind it all.

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  • September 29, 2015 at 11:38 am
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    I can so relate to this. My blog has been so stressful, I haven’t wanted to do it lately, but I keep going. I keep going because I do enjoy it. Yes, I wish my blog had more traffic and more interaction, but I also cannot spend tons of time promoting the blog because I work full time and want to have a life. This week, I have decided to do what I can do and not stress about it. Good for you! And thanks for sharing!

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    • September 29, 2015 at 12:33 pm
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      Yes! I totally get that! I don’t want it to get in the middle of my life either! It’s important to not sacrifice your life for your hustle!!

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  • October 1, 2015 at 12:20 am
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    This is seriously such a stressful situation for so many bloggers-myself included! I had to stop following blogs about blogging entirely because it was really bringing me down and I didn’t really feel like blogging anymore. You do you and the right people will be attracted to it!

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    • October 1, 2015 at 7:01 am
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      I completely understand that. I have had to stop reading so many posts on blogging too. It gets overwhelming and disheartening.

      Reply

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