This is a post that I’ve been wanting to write for quite some time, and I hope that it helps other bloggers and creators out there who have been feeling the same way about their endeavors. I would love if you shared this with anyone who might need it, and to comment with your own reflections! 🙂
The Numbers Game
As I felt the frustration build inside of me, I wondered why I kept feeling this way. Why I kept feeling like my progress wasn’t just frozen–it was in rewind. What was causing this? Why wasn’t I happy with how far I’ve come?
Life has been busy lately, but I’ve made sure to keep blogging a part of the balance. But ever since my semester ended in May, I’ve felt stuck in a rut. As my social media stagnated or decreased in engagement, I felt less inclined to dedicate time to it. Blog views decreased, video views went from hundreds to single digits. I got sponsored post rejection emails every day in my inbox. Needless to say, this wasn’t inspiring me to continue.
I started to micromanage my social media accounts–obsessing over what time I posted, what type of photo I posted, and what hashtags I used. I downloaded apps to manage followers on Instagram and Twitter, convinced this would get me back to where I wanted to be.
I remember one day thinking to myself what if I just tossed out my Instagram and started from scratch? It’ll never have a theme anyway. As soon as I thought this, it hit me. I had fallen back into the numbers game.
This had happened one other time in the two years that I have been blogging. You would think it would be easy to recognize the patterns again, but the thing about the numbers game is that it plays off your blogging fears and worries. It uses your desire for “success” against you, making comparison rise to the forefront of your mind.
So…What to Do?
I started my blogger interview series shortly after this revelation, wanting to learn more about other bloggers and their reasons for starting their blogs. The response was incredible, and demonstrated that there really is something unique about every creator’s story.
This made me realize what a mistake deleting my Instagram would have been. Sure, it didn’t have many followers. But it was me, it was my creative vision and what mattered to me. Deleting it to make it more like the accounts I thought were successful would have caused me to lose my unique creativity.
Leaving numbers behind is essential, but also much easier said than done. It’s hard to distance yourself from numbers when they are always visible on social media accounts, analytics, and applications for sponsored post networks.
Something I have done recently is only check analytics when I absolutely need too. In terms of social media, I am bound and determined to make it something that I enjoy again. Instead of focusing on likes and engagement (which, let’s face it, has gotten so much harder with Instagrams not-so-new algorithm), I’m putting out content that I truly enjoy and am proud of.
I’m also going to put more effort into my own email list. This is something I have told myself I was going to do about 142 times in the past, but I know that the effort would be worth it (because I personally love getting emails in my inbox from my favorite bloggers!).
Rebranding: Rekindling Inspiration
Recently I have also thought about where I want my blog to go in the future. I designed a survey that asked people what they thought my target audience was, and the result was largely “college students”. This was definitely my target audience when I started, but now that my college graduation is on the horizon (somehow!!), I want my blog to reflect where I see my future heading. In other words, I see my blog transforming into a vegan and sustainable lifestyle blog, and I have started to make this shift happen. I have a few exciting projects in the works that will help me make this a reality.
Sometimes it’s important to realize when your blog isn’t growing with you. This can often be the first step in regaining inspiration to write and explore new topics! Have you ever rebranded in the past? Where has it led you creatively?
Take Time to Reflect on Where You Are
This is perhaps one of the most important things. It’s so easy to think about where you aren’t or what goals you haven’t reached. But what goals have you reached? Where are you compared to when you first started this journey? I looked through my photo archives of past blog posts and projects, and saw just how far my blog has come. How it has grown with me, changed depending on my interests, and how it has always been something that I have wanted to dedicate time to. When you find yourself caught in the numbers game (as well all have been I’m sure!), this reflection can help you get back on track.
What has helped you to get out of the numbers game? Let me know in the comments! This is something that happens to many creators, and I would love to start a discussion about it!
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