This post is going to be a bit of text, so skip this if you hate to read. I’ll do my best to avoid any errors, but bear with me, please! :D Unpopular opinions ahead, so if you are a delicate flower…don’t read. And a fair warning: much of this may seem arrogant, know it all-like, rude to some, not so much to others. I don’t intend to let it come across that way, but I know it may happen because I tend to be very straight forward with my wording. Please keep in my this are my own, personal perspectives on these matters.
I love my blog!
Lets begin this by saying: I LOVE blogging. It is currently what keeps me creative and active in SL. I love my blog…a lot. I put time and effort into it and I consider that a symptom of my love for this hobby. I also try to get better, maximize views/hits, catch the interest of my readers, optimize my (self-) advertisement, improve my pictures and so on. For me, that is a given. For me, a good blogger who loves their job does this pretty much automatically.
Lately however, I began to run into attitudes that really, really bother me, sometimes make me roll my eyes. Attitudes coming from fellow bloggers for the most part.
I am writing this to clear up a few misconceptions that people (= mostly other bloggers) seem to have about those of us who care about our blogs in all the above ways I mentioned.
1. “Bloghits don’t matter to me!”
Know that knowing feeling we all have when designer XY claims “I really, don’t care about my sales.”? Yes? Me too! I dare say, 90% of all people inwardly think “Right, that’s so not true, I’d tell that myself as well if my sales sucked” when they read something like that. Because that is precisely it. Designers do care about their sales, because they are a direct feedback of how wanted their product is by costumers (and of how well they advertised). Same with bloggers and their bloghits.
Everyone is flattered when they realize that a lot of people actually read what they write, wear the outfits they blogged, leave comments, give you good feedback ingame. Everyone is happy when they see good stats and see they actually attract people with their writing/style/whatever else they offer. Denying that seems entirely silly.
More often than not the people plurking happily about a sudden increase of traffic on their blog are the same ones claiming they don’t really care about their bloghits. If they don’t care, how do they know about the increase of traffic? Magical abilities?
I call total nonesense on this. Everyone cares about their bloghits in a way (some might do so to a lesser extend of course, especially when they have no obligations to events/stores), because bloghits are a very direct feeedback of how many people actually care to read what you write. Who wouldn’t care about that? I freely admit, when a blogpost gets a ton of clicks, it makes me smile and I am happy it appealed, and if a post gets less, I try to find out why.
In my opinion bloghits only don’t matter to those who are generally unhappy with their results. Bloghits matter, otherwise no one would be so hush hush about them and frown at those who are happy about theirs. They matter because many designers care, and many designers care because they hired the bloggers to advertise them, not to do a pretty blogpost/picture that no one ever reads.
2. “Bloghits shouldn’t matter, you should blog because you LOVE it, not because you want hits!”
What nonesense is this?! Since when is the fact that I care about my hits and visitors, my overall views and such a sign that I do not love to blog?
As I said above, I LOVE to blog, it is my personal creative outlet for me, it is relaxing and fun. And just like many, many other people who have a hobby, I want to be good at it and optimize it. I want to be good at the hobby I love. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Just like the hobby gardener who loves their flowers trying to make their garden look better and better and just like they are proud of their results, I am trying to optimize and am proud of my results.
To me, this statement is utterly strange and incoherent. You can optimize your blogging AND love it at the same time. If hits truly don’t matter to you, that’s fine! But to me, as a blogger, who wishes to be read, they matter. I don’t see the point of it otherwise.
3. “Bumping Flickr Pics is the devil!” (But no one cares about Replurks?)
Oh yes, the evil, evil, dishonorable and cheating bumpers. Skin them alive! To the stakes!
There are very valid reasons why people bump. The most important one is covering timezones. During european active time, my Flickr is nearly dead compared to US timezones. My Flickr is SL Based and SL is absolutely dominated by US and south-american timezones…and so is Flickr. I have a RL job however and cannot stay up until 4 am just to post a Flickr pic into the ideal timezione for traffic. Impossible for me (and many others) and thus I bump it once during the next day. Very rarely I bumped twice, though usually only to see the effects. The effect of bumping ONCE for me is an dramatic increase of views of ~ 150%. That is a very valid argument to bump for me personally. As a blogger I want to optimize, and the difference between 500 and 2000 views based on one single bump is pretty significant. Optimizing my Flickr views and thus my blog is part of what I consider loving to blog.
Another reason is the fact that SO many people have such a large pool of people they follow, chances are they miss your pics. I know I am very glad when certain people bump their pictures, because I do not have the time to browse Flickr for the next two hours to see if I caught them all. It simply increases the chances to be seen by more people.
Now some people might say “I tried that, it didn’t work for me!” All I can say is this: If you are from the US, bumping your pic into the nearly dead EU timezones obviously won’t show much effect. Still, some more views might be worth it. If you are from one of the disadvantaged timezones? I have no idea what you are doing wrong, but it works for me! :P
More reasoning: Simply optimizing your views. If you can catch people you didn’t catch before, why not do it?
Let me state this though: There is a limit. People who bump the same pic again and again and again? That is very annoying and I unfollow them, too.
I also find it more than amusing that several very loudmouthed anti-bumpers on Plurk keep replurking their blogposts. How is that any different? I actually see it twice there, too.
4. “Bumping on Flickr is cheating!”
That is such a nonsensical statement, too?! Lets rather get straight to the point: The feature is there to be used. If you don’t, that is your choice. There is nothing dishonorable, cheating or anything like that about using a feature like that, though, it is simply a choice.
No one can favorite your picture twice, so if people who bump once or so have more favs than they’d have without bumping? It simply proves my point: Many people who didn’t see it before saw the pic now and liked it enough to fav it. It doesn’t devalue the picture, it doesn’t mean the person is cheating, it doesn’t mean the favs are not real favs. Those are real favs by real people.
If I see a bumped picture with 300 likes and like it? I fav it. What a childish reaction to not fav it just because someone has that many likes already and bumped to optimize their views (and maybe favs)!!
5. “People bump for favs!”
No, most people bump for views. The increasing favs are just a good way to determine that you actually managed to catch the attention from a lot of new people.
Mostly, people bump for views, because views matter. Designers want to know your views, and it makes sense. A pretty pic that no one ever saw is just as useless to them as a pretty blogpost no one ever read.
Constantly complaining about the favs of others and how they dare to bump with “that many favs” just really makes it seem as if those complainers are dealing with a huge amount of jealousy. Usually all arguments seem to come down to “I see she has so many favs, I never have that many, why does she want more?!”
6. “Blogger Managers and their rules are the devil!”
So you signed up to blog for a store/event and you, an adult person with a blog, agreed to some rules. You then realize you actually have to own up to your agreement and write your 5 posts with 25 items each that you agreed to and have to show proof of it, and BAM!…..the blogger manager who invited you is now the devil and seriously annoying. How dare they ask to see your blogposts?!
Yes, blogging is a hobby and timeconsuming. Yes, ‘payment’, if you want to call it that, is really low (just like with most other hobbies btw.). Yes, RL can get in the way.
But: You are an adult person. You agreed to the rules. Now own up. Totally setting aside the fact that some events/stores have ridiculous requirements, it is your responsibility (and nobody else’s) to own up to the deal that you, and no one else, agreed to. So stop blaming the evil blogger managers who put you under such terrible pressure with their evil forms you have to fill out. You made the choice, so blame yourself.
7. “I blog for fun, not to have a second job! Why would I…”
Me too, and so far, I managed to keep it that way! Blogging can be overwhelming and once you become successful and literally can be flooded with review copies, event invitations and such, you may end up feeling flattered and having a hard time to say ‘no’ to things. That is when most bloggers stop caring.
Then again, you are an adult. And as soon as you agree to blog for someone, be it an event or a single store, these people have the right to expect your best from you. If your best is “30 hits/day, no social media, no advertising inworld, no forums, no Flickr views and the general attitude of -All this doesn’t matter to me, I blog because I love it, not to have good stats-” then you are not a good choice for any event or store that values effort in their bloggers. Now if you don’t care to blog for anyone specific, buy your stuff yourself etc.? That is perfectly fine. As soon as you agree to work for someone however, your attitude is misplaced.
Sure, there are designers who really don’t care that much. But the vast majority and especially events do, for obvious reasons.
Imagine a WoW Hobby Guild that wants some good progress, yet two or so people (who had previously agreed to show up all prepared and thus was invited as a member) always show up unbufffed, ungemmed, unenchanted, no flasks etc. Know what? People watch that for a time, then they kick them. So why would it be any different with hobby bloggers that agree to a certain kind of deal?
8. “My blog is 6 years old, I am established and don’t need any of this!”
People who show this kind of attitude always make me cringe. So you are established, you’ve blogged for seven years, your pics are okay and you are in some decent blogger groups. You are happy as it is. That’s great!
However, constant improvement is a factor that shouldn’t be underestimated. SL is a fastpaced community, and many of the above statements come from people who appear to be unable to adapt to changes. New stars rise and fall all the time and replacing bloggers is as easy as never before. Every time WE <3 RP has blogger applications open we get literally hundreds. A blogger with better views, more favs, better pics and better texts may just compete with you all of a sudden.
The clue is to stand out, to make sure your effort gets noticed. The clue is to improve, to adapt to changes, to optimize even, maybe even find a niche to fit in. The clue is not to burn out at the same time. :P At least that is my personal perspective on it, it may vary from other peoples’ views.
The position of “old, established bloggers” has been weakened greatly over the past one or two years imho, simply because there is so much valid competition popping up left and right.
I am not saying I am doing all of this right. Far from it. But I am saying that these are some statements that show a level of arrogance to me that really annoys me, especially since most of the time, the people stating such can’t be reasoned with and argue from an emotional standpoint, one that isn’t really based upon facts. Usually, that is just upsetting and annoying for both parties.
I know one thing for sure: Instead of accusing bumpers of cheating, instead of accusing those who optimize of not loving their blogs, instead of complaining about crappy pics getting more favs on Flickr than mine…I try to get better and see what I can do to improve my own pics and my own blog. I try to stay current. That appears to be the more productive way to me.
Also, one more thing: Bloggers, learn to share and support one another! Nothing is more offputting than bloggers who think sharing tipps and tricks will do them any harm.
And with that, I am finally out. I hope you didn’t fall asleep and don’t feel the need to strangle me yet.