Two years ago, when I just started blogging, I would have taken it as an insult, as a way of saying I’m not a good blogger (whatever that is). But my priorities have shifted over the last year, and whereas I used to proudly call myself a “mommyblogger,” I now (as many of you know) call myself a “blogger for hire.”
Blogging for my clients is easy. I get to do what I love (write) and what I know and excel at (SEO). I am never expected to share my own life, although I am expected to be personal and have a strong voice – even companies don’t want “dry.” I bring my clients results in the form of better search engine rankings and more qualified leads, and I get paid for my efforts. I love every minute of it.
Personal blogging is hard.
I still maintain this blog because I love it. After all these months, I still cherish the ability to sit down and write about whatever I want to and have it published, and – if properly optimized and linked to – viewed by hundreds, and sometimes thousands of people. I love blogging, breathe blogging, and believe it is here to stay.
What I let go of is the notion that I could write about my own life in a way that would make people want to read about it. Few people have that ability. Most of us lead fairly boring lives, and writing about our boring lives is, well, boring. Reading about it is even more boring.
But it’s not just that. It’s also that despite having a blog, which is obviously a very public forum, I’m a very private person. There are things going on in my life, I am going through life stages and making some important decisions and none of it is unique of course, it’s the stuff we all go through, but when I find myself wondering if I should write about it here, my overwhelming reaction is “No way! This stuff is private!” I guess I just don’t have it in me – the ability to do this deep personal sharing that people expect when they read a personal blog.
Of course, there’s also the issue of SEO. I love SEO and enjoy the challenge of optimizing a blog post and getting it to rank well in search engines. Naturally, posts such as “Watching My Children” or “I Suck at Personal Blogging” are harder to optimize (in fact, I don’t optimize them at all) than posts such as “Worst Christmas Gifts.” So when writing a deeply personal post, a big part of the fun and satisfaction that I get from blogging is just not there.
So I share thoughts and observations, and it’s all done in a tone that’s a little detached and maybe a little dry, and I’m losing some readers who loved reading more personal stuff in the past, when I still forced myself to share, and I’m gaining other readers who like the thoughts and observations and the general tone of this blog, and probably a few who are curious about my writing career and want to follow it, and the thing is, it doesn’t really matter, because I have no choice.