The Sins of Blogging | Greed

When you first start blogging, you kind of have this dream of people actually reading what you are writing.  Then, all of the sudden one day when you aren't paying attention, you suddenly have a follower.  A FOLLOWER.  One little box pops up in that pesky little gadget in your sidebar.  That pesky little gadget that has been announcing to the world that you have NO followers...nobody wants to read what you are writing...nobody cares about the weird "artistic" pictures you're taking of your kids....nobody cares about your recipe for macaroni salad...why is no one paying attention??!  ...but that one follower...that first follower...they finally validate you.  A follower.  A real, true follower that actually wants to read what you write and look at your pictures and test out your recipes.  You have arrived!

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,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 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 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.


Jodi said…
Great post. I am happy with my number of followers but of course part of my wants more of course. lol :)
totally too true
in my case

if i have 100 followers
but That Blogger Over There
has 357 followers
then i want 'em too

thanks for the reminder to stop
getting sucked into all the blog greed
going around

at least for today!

Lesley said…
Checking in with my answers to your questions. I love my blog. I love the work that I do that leads to my posts. I only have 198 followers. I am fine with that...obviously I would love more but only because I would like the blog and the time I invest to actually start to pay me something.

I link my posts to about 5 blogs a week. I don't know how people can physically link to a ton of blogs. It is seriously time consumming. None of my work would get done, nor would my family get any attention from me!!! lol

I have noticed that sometimes many bloggers gain huge amounts of followers from one project that takes off on the blogs. But are those people REALLY reading their blogs?? I wonder.

Just my thoughts.... Interesting post. Enjoyed every word. :)
Miss Kitty said…
Amy, this post is so timely for me. I love my little blog but sometimes actual life gets so busy I don't have time to do a post or even keep up with emails associated with the blog. I finally got time today to do a post for the first time in three weeks. There are seasons of life...maybe that ties in with your blog title "A Nest for All Seasons"...I just have to accept that so that the really important things in life don't get left undone.
Laura said…
what an interesting idea for a post! Although I don't feel like I'm greedy for followers (I avoid this by celebrating each follower, not grieving the ones I lose and above all remembering that I blog for myself and nobody else), I am sure I am culpable for other blogging sins I am not even aware of. And good for you for being content - a great place to be.
This is a great read!
I don't keep track on how many followers I have. The only reason I have that gadget for following or joining is because someone asked for it as another option for subscription, so sure I put it up.
I have reached that point so long ago that my blog is mine, and not anyone's platform. If I'd care too much on gaining followers, then I wouldn't be blogging for myself and the things and people I love. I would be blogging for what entices followers, then I would be compromising my blogging values.
Lauren Lanker said…
Hey Amy! I know this post is several years old now, but I think it is till very much relevant. Another blogger friend and I were writing back and forth about this push for more numbers, more money, more more more...and it jogged my memory of this post. I think I read it after just a few months of blogging last fall, and I remember it really hit home then. It still hits home now. Thanks for taking the time to address the very real sin of blogger greed, as well as making yourself vulnerable to share your story. We're all so prone to it, and it really does prayer and making a conscious effort to fight against it. And getting back to why we're doing this blogging thing in the first place.
Amy Renea said…
Thanks Lauren :) This was totally supposed to be a series, but I am still stuck on the blogger greed part ...I think a lot of it is our consumer culture too...hard to resist growing, pushing for more, etc. etc...we should have a big bloggy conversation about it all...