Thursday, 1 September 2016

Confessions of a bad blogger

A friend asked me recently if it was worth boosting a blog post on Facebook, and when I looked at her blankly, she said, ’Just thought you might know, seeing as you've been blogging  forever.’

And that’s the thing, people tend to assume I get social media because I have been blogging forever. 
But I don’t. 
Still almost as baffled by Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Instagram and Facebook etc as I was when I started over 5 years ago.

I am embarrassed I don’t get it, and am hoping by writing this I might even embarrass myself into doing something about it - especially now, when actually having some kind of social media profile would probably help promote my craft books. But any attempt to get to grips with a new platform hasn’t gone particularly well so far. My head seems to quickly overload and then sort of shuts down...

I know one of the reasons for this technology induced brain freeze is I over-think things - making stuff that shouldn’t really be that taxing, unnecessarily complicated. 
In my head. 
No matter how many times I tell myself posting on Facebook isn’t a big deal, I just seem to make it one. Even though it disappears in the blink of an eye. 
Then the whole thing becomes a chore. A time-consuming chore, and that’s my biggest worry - social media swallowing up more time I don’t have.

The time-management headache is an all too common one I know, but when you’re an over-thinking, anxious person (which I am), it takes on monster proportions.
So I’d rather not think about it at all. 
Back to square one.

Amazes me sometimes I blog at all really. Though I’m not a good blogger. My blog looks almost exactly the same as it did 4 years ago, I’m an erratic poster, don’t comment enough, don’t link enough and my blog has no particular focus. 

I should have a focus; I should be a kids craft blogger - but constantly coming up with new projects is enormously time-consuming and a huge commitment. Don’t get me wrong, I love making stuff, the problem at the moment is any new ideas are going into the next craft book, and I can’t blog about them. 

As a result I’m loitering on the outskirts of the kids craft blogging community, which is totally my own fault. I was once invited to a Google+ craft ‘Hangout’ by a fantastic kids’ craft blogger, but didn’t really know what a ‘Hangout’ was. Instead of doing the sensible thing and finding out, I stuck my head in the sand and didn’t reply. Not surprisingly I wasn't invited again. 

Frankly I’m in awe of the big league kids craft bloggers who seem to post all the time, everywhere - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram AND run their own You Tube channel. How do they do all that and still have time to be creative? Or have lives? 

After Make Your Own Zoo came out last year I did try to think of ways to up my social media game, but didn’t really know where to start. Instead I suffered bouts of intense online inadequacy. Every time I looked at Facebook there’d be an endless stream of brilliant craft projects. And brilliant photos of brilliant projects. When I eventually stopped giving myself such a hard time, I kind of knew it wasn’t for me. Not at that sort of level. Even if I had more of a clue about what to do, I couldn’t cope with that constant pressure. I can do short bursts or deadlines, but not that ‘only as good as your next post’ kind of daily pressure. Not good for an over-thinking anxious person. So I dropped my ‘conquering social media’ plan and slipped back into the comfortable old routine. Though I did discover a lot of craft projects re-surface regularly on Facebook, or get repackaged. 

That made me feel a lot better.

Ironically I think if I’d been more consistent, more bothered about stats and followers and piled on the pressure, at some point the blog would have fizzled out. Bumbling along in a gentle manner seems to suit. Though think there are a few simple things I could do to be a little more visible, that wouldn’t necessarily make my head spin. 
No point spending hours and hours writing a project if only 5 people look at it. 

Many, many people have told me I’d love Instagram, because it’s picture based, and I take a lot of photos. So I got an account, and felt kind of guilty somehow that I didn’t love it. Or certainly didn't instantly take to it. Maybe not the biggest surprise ever... 
A lovely blogging friend, Fiona (Made in a Muddle) was weighing up whether to give it a go or not and I shared my misgivings - mainly the ‘swallowing up time’ worry. But it really shouldn’t be that time-consuming, surely? It’s just photos. Certainly no more than what I do already? So I’m going to try again. And try not to over-think the life out of it this time. 

It could be a good plan, seeing as I'm up to my eyes in cardboard at the moment… I've a lot to do in a short amount of time, so, photo updates could be the answer. 
Just have to work out how to get the Instagram thingy on here.

My husband just had a read and asked, reasonably enough, if I was hoping people would tell me I wasn't a bad blogger, which put me in a flat spin, because I absolutely don’t want that. I am not fishing. Definitely not. There are plenty of ways to measure how a blog is doing, so, honestly there's no false modesty here.   

I suppose I wanted to stick my hand up and admit I’ve struggled with social media, wipe the slate clean(ish), and maybe try again?


  1. I share you feelings re Instagram. Every now and then I think I ought to post a picture, but I’m not doing it to get followers, whereas it may help you with your business. I just enjoy looking back at my photos! As you know, I also use Flickr, which again I only visit occasionally, but it does serve as a useful repository for stuff you don’t want to clutter up your photos app with. PS. You are not a bad a blogger :)

    1. Thank you Marilyn :) Feel more comfortable with Instagram now, but just think from a business point of view I could do with being a bit more consistent and more organised. Not my strong points! Seem to be better at doing things in waves.. Deep down don't think there's much chance of that changing.

  2. Do you know Tracey, some of this post could have been written by me. I do not get social media, I am not on facebook, Twitter or IG and I do not care how many hits a day I get. (Funnily enough I was contacted today by a company wishing to advertise on my blog who asked me to send them my 'media kit' WTF?) I know that the bigger the profile one has on these platforms the more successful you are likely to be with the demographic target but...just as people are different, so are their blogs. Like you my time is limited and if posting becomes a chore, why do it? (I decided against IG for this reason.) Unlike you I am not on here for business reasons, but yeah sometimes I don't feel like blogging and many is the time that I wonder if anyone will read it or find it interesting as I'm more than aware that I'm not a natural writer. The blogs I am drawn to are not the flashy professional graphics ones with ads popping up every few seconds but the ones written by 'normal' people who are not trying to impress.
    I hope that whatever you decide, you find a solution that works for you. Good luck with IG ...and just for the record you really are not a bad blogger. xx

  3. Thanks Fiona, do think we have a similar approach to it all :) My niggle is knowing it could actually be useful now, but just don't think my heart's in it. Once I'm on top of all the book stuff I will try again though. See if I can find a way that suits. Btw I really like the way you write, always enjoy your posts.
    Now wanting to know what a media kit is!! Xx

  4. Hi, Tracey. What is your Instagram name? Mine is Wetcreek like my blog. Come follow me. ❤️Linda@Wetcreek Blog

  5. I have loved seeing you on Instagram recently! It's my biggest social media addiction - I love it as it's mostly positive and it's such a nice way to keep up with other people and have a window into their lives. I hate Facebook however. Can't bear it for my personal page, let alone to boost my blog! Not a big fan of Twitter either. Pinterest is good though, and easy to dip in and out of... Just pick and choose what works for you! :)

    1. You're absolutely right - no fun doing something just because you feel you should. I am enjoying Instagram more now, not such a chore! Need to work out how to make the most of hashtags though. Not quite got the hang of that! :)

  6. I feel the same. My little blog is enough for me. It is nice to put my bits and bobs on there. People pin things more than comment since Pinterest started. I found your blog looking at Patchwork blogs.Marion x

    1. Thanks for your comment Marion, lovely to hear from you. Have to say most of my traffic comes from Pinterest these days, especially now I'm not blogging so much. Still have the odd wave of worry that I should be doing more, but on the whole I'm happy just trundling on :)