The Sins of Blogging | Greed
Of course, now that pesky gadget is announcing the world that you only have ONE follower. Your arrival on the blogging scene is quickly overwhelmed by the need to gain a few more followers so you don't look like you are such a newbie. So you join a few hops, you comment on other people's posts, you retweet a few of your favorite bloggers and soon the count starts to rise a little bit.
Feeling good now aren't you? Of course the 46 followers are great, but that blogger - THAT blogger - has 52...why does she have so many more followers than me? I need to work a little harder...join a few more hops...get my work out there...work,work, work.
Ahhhhh...53 - YOU DID IT! Of course, THAT blogger now has 62 and her friend has 79, so you are still behind. Get with it girl!
...and so it goes...the numbers keep growing and the greed keeps growing. more followers, more recognition, more contests, more, more, more. The definition of greed, yes?
This new series is a hard one to write. I've been tossing ideas around in my head for months now about what and how I wanted to write this series, and now it is time. I'm forcing myself to sit down and write because it is important. It might be important for you to read, but more than anything, it is important for me to write. It is important for me to take stock of where I am, how I got there and where I want to go.
I am inclined towards greed. When I get one follower, I want two. When I get 100, I want 2. There is no stopping the greed for more followers, more validation, more recognition...unless I stop it. Unless I forcefully adjust my thinking, I'm too focused on the next thing to enter, the next thing to WIN, the next thing that will gain 1,000 bonus hits for me, etc. etc. The problem is that the original intent of blogging disappears.
Now, I need to set a few things straight with you. I am not going to encourage you to stop working so hard on your blog. Especially when you are a new blogger, it takes a lotta, lotta work to get your blog off the ground and who am I to tell you to slow down when you are doing so well? So that is not what I am doing. I'm not telling you to slow down. I'm not telling you to stop gaining followers. I'm not telling you to stop seeking new opportunities and publishing platforms. I simply want to share with you my stopping point. My line in the sand. Once you "make it" to a certain point, there has to be a limit to how hard to work to get further. At the end of the day, there are always new roads to take, new pitches to write, new angles to take. The question is whether or not you want to take them. The question is whether or not you should take them. You will know when the time arrives when your stomach sinks when you think about the "work" you are doing to gain new followers. When you visit 100 blogs to comment and your eyes start blurring because you are not really reading what they are saying, but just wanting to do your "duty" and gain a few new followers - that is greed. When you actually dream about stats and numbers...you are treading on greedy territory. When the number of comments is more important than the quality of comments, you might be dealing with blogger greed. I know I do.
There are so many grey areas of blogging that it is hard to know when it is time to stop. Are you allowed to vote for yourself to win a contest? Are you allowed to self promote yourself on facebook? pinterest? Houzz? Are you allowed to join 257 hops each week? Is there a limit on how many blogs you should be reading and commenting on? Is there a number of followers that will make you happy? Will you ever be content?
For me...it is now. I am happy and content with where I am. Now, before you think I am getting all high and mighty and telling you I have it all together...that is not the case. I am simply making my statement aloud. I am happy and content with where I am. It is true...I've had an incredible week. Next week that feeling will dissipate though and I want to remember. I want to remember that right here - right where I am is enough. If I make more money, if I get more exposure, that will be wonderful, but it is not necessary. For me to seek and seek and seek more and more and more, that is greed. My greed. My blogger greed. So keep me accountable ok? No more blogger greed. It is enough to have an audience to talk to that listens. It is enough to make a small bit of income off of this work. It is enough to be part of a community of like-minded, intelligent, inspiring people. It is enough.