It’s a tough life, being a blogger. It makes you neurotic. You see, there are others out there blogging about the same things you want to write about. They ‘get in there’ before you, they know better words, have a tighter, more cohesive writing style – and importantly, they know far more about the subject in question.
On two occasions this week I’ve decided to write a post – and both times somebody else has beaten me to it. It makes me feel like the bingo player who only needs one more number to get a full house…and always gets that magic number just after somebody else has cried ‘BINGO’ and won themselves a pocket full of cash or a nice tinned ham.
The neurosis increases when I read through these posts, and I realise that compared to them, my own entry would have read like a ‘Dummy’s Guide to…’ rather than something informative and illuminating. Bright side? At least I didn’t put fingers to keyboard and look like a twit.
I then fall foul of ‘Bloggers’ Dichotomy’, a known side effect of what I shall henceforth refer to as ‘Posting Neurosis’ (PN). I want more people to read my blog. I feel like a loser because I’ve been blogging (intermittently) for years and, as far as I know, have been the sole reader of my own posts. Rival bloggers – and they do feel like rivals rather than peers: that’s one of the benefits of PN – have JPEGs of glowing rosettes and gold medals on their sites, because they win industry blogging awards every year. And quite right too – their blogs are superb. They make me envious. And neurotic…
…so what’s the secret? How do I get more people to read my blog? Do I really WANT people to read it? Aren’t I, by offering it to the world, making a rod for my own back? My first attempts at blogging back in 2008 resulted in some pretty hurtful comments from online trolls, a hastily deleted account with Blogger and more than a little soul searching. Looking back, this could be where I first developed Posting Neurosis.
Or is this behaviour normal but unspoken? Are even the really successful bloggers secretly worried that they’ll lose their magic touch, that people will ‘unfollow’ them? Do they worry that their blogging star is on the wane? That they can’t top last year’s awards, or think of anything new to say?
Of course, I have no idea what the answer is. I guess people like these are so well-respected, so firmly entrenched in their field that they don’t need to worry about anything.
And yes, to paraphrase my favourite Timelord, I’m on WordPress now. WordPress is cool.