Friday, October 23, 2015

Thoughts on Blogging for "Pageviews"

I like when my blog makes money. It would be stupid of me if I didn't. I'm not rolling in the sweet moola so a little extra cash flow is always welcomed... It's a pretty sweet reward for something that is mostly considered a labor of love (my blog that is). Sometimes I get free stuff, too; this is also a pretty awesome thing... but to say that I am pouring myself into this blog for total page views and the "analytics" in the hopes of money+stuff, would be saying that this creation of mine, is, well, no longer my online corner of the world where I can write whatever it is that I want to but is rather another job, one that happens to be online. While I respect bloggers who can hustle and bustle, (get it Sandy ala Mode!) snagging opportunities that pay cash money while still looking authentic, to me, that is just too much dang work.

I recently needed reminding that this blog isn't about the things that I get for blogging but is about the things that are important to me. Let me give you an example of a recent, rude awakening. I'm a member of a large, female blogging network, one that I have been with for many years. When I first started off with them, I landed a campaign that was fun, I loved working on and was paid money for it. I thought it was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. That was three years ago and I haven't received a campaign since. So many awesome campaigns have come and go but I only ever apply to things that I think would fit with "me" or resonate with who I believe my readers are... but I never seemed to snag any of the opps that I applied for. One day, feeling frustrated, I emailed back and forth with one of the community leaders and she explained to me, in a very nice way, that it's all about the numbers, baby... so it doesn't matter that I would put my heart + soul into a campaign; it doesn't matter how good a pitch I gave them or how much time I spent crafting it or frankly how good my content is... they are judging me by my analytics. I won't lie. This realization STUNG. Ouch, feelings hurt, hopes and dreams dashed (cue drama queen antics). The community leader gave me some tips and tricks on what I could do to improve traffic and for a week or two, I was really trying to up my game, until one day I was accepted into a small content seeding campaign and I thought I had made a visible improvement to them. I signed the paperwork and was feeling hopeful. Mere minutes after I signed the agreement, the campaign manager came back to say that she accidentally emailed the agreement out to those NOT accepted. Sick burn, Clever Girls Collective, sick burn. Feeling rejected, dejected, neglected and all the other *ecteds, I decided to refocus my energy on something other than being a competitive blogger.

Blogging for the numbers... I am so torn on how I feel on this topic. I know that there are bloggers who have a lot of amazing things to say, and can effortlessly create content that brings the readers in (page views) but there are many more bloggers who are out there hustling for the unique visitors (a lot of which are clogging up my Facebook groups currently) to keep their numbers up so that they can keep sponsored opportunities coming, but at what point do your view points start becoming muddied by sponsored posts and the free things you are gifted and then recommend? I write this post with no one person in mind, but rather about the struggles I feel deciding whether I want to be a "Successful Blogger" or a "Blogger who has Successes", successes being measured in money+stuff+ event invites. I will never be the blog that millions of people read so let's just go from there, Amanda.

I'm not saying that I will not do sponsored posts (I am not wholly stupid, people) because there are brands who know how to help you create content that is original+organic, and I love going to free classes + learning things, and some blogging events are super fun + goodie bags but I'm also not going to let Prim and Propah slide down the slippery slope of workin' hard for the money, so hard for it honey, so hard for it honey that she doesn't do it right (that was a piss poor play on a famous 80's song by the by)... I work hard for my money 50 hours a week in a day job that I don't love and may or may not promote me never. I love P+P and I want to keep it that way so I guess I have to find that sweet spot, the balance of writing for me and taking the awesome opportunities that may come my way because I have a blog that I truly love and want to cultivate.

What are your thoughts on blogging for pageviews?

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