One week or two of being on Twitter as a blogger brought me a lot of interesting information that I was not aware of. One fact that I can testify for is that the blogging community on Twitter is much friendlier and more human than the academic community. When I was using Twitter as an academic, there was not one single post that I did not have to review countless times before letting it go up. If you use Twitter as an academic, any grammar error or typo will be used against you. Any unpopular idea or thought will also be used against you. The subjective bullying among people is insane and the pressure you feel to be always the smartest in the thread is excruciating. So I really said ‘no, thank you’ to Twitter but recently I felt I should give it a second try – this time as a blogger (my Twitter handle is @theWblogger by the way!).
There are more pros than cons about using Twitter as a blogger. The community is really supportive and you can easily find other bloggers who vibe on the same frequency as you do. Of course, some people will stick around, others will never visit your blog again, but you do get a different flavour of who is out there. Not everyone will love your writing and not everyone will feel happy if your content is somewhat ‘popular’ in the niche or topic they also write about. That’s definitely a con, but you find people like these anywhere, so it’s not a ‘Twitter thing’. What’s more blunt among the blogging community on Twitter though is the never ending quest for blog stats and monetisation. Not a single day goes by without someone showing up on my Twitter feed talking about their goals in terms of daily, weekly, and even monthly views. I find that annoying and digitally draining (I did mute a couple of people because of that), but the truth is that I also started paying more attention to my blogging stats since I came back to Twitter as a blogger.
As a blogger, Twitter has been really helpful in the sense that it has allowed me to interact more with people who have the same interests as me. I’m also happy we increased our views by 200% between January and March of this year. What I’m not particularly happy about is the pressure that people feel to increase their views and other blogging stats, which then also start bogging us down. I have seen people literally obsessed over it, to the point of becoming depressed when they don’t reach the level of attention they got last week. It’s sad to observe it and it’s annoying too. I don’t want their stress to become my stress, because this blog is a place to unwind and connect. I get the importance of having blogging goals, but if you only care and talk about your blogging stats, you stop being present for yourself and for your readers. You become a typing machine and an internet peasant. So the question I made to myself this weekend was Do I want to be perceived as a needy, desperate person? Is that aligned with the message I want to convey to the world through this platform?
It would be great to sustain myself through blogging to the speed of light, but at what expense? Over this past weekend I did some research on the different methods around blog monetisation and all I can tell you is that my stomach felt pretty sick. You have a few smart-asses making money from the despair of people who like me are passionate about blogging and who dream of living from the impact of their writing. My biggest inspiration on this matter is Rachel Hollis, but she didn’t become a full-time blogger by sacrificing her blog’s soul and displaying ads that have nothing to do with the message she wanted to share with the world. She started working with companies that were relevant to her and that’s what I want to do because that’s what I really like doing! I want to bring and debate reality with people who resonate with what I write (and learn from those who don’t whenever possible!).
So I don’t really want to stress over stats and I don’t want to buy into that culture. I really do love blogging but I love my ethics more. I’m not here to promote products or anything else for the sake of money. If you read my post about feedback, you know that at this stage in life I’m pretty much unemployed and searching for happiness after getting and living burned out for more than three years. I can’t embark, however, on a journey of money making through blogging. Yes, it seems we are growing and it is my dream to reach people through writing. It is my dream to empower people who struggle with similar or even the same problems I do. I don’t want that to come true though at the expense of my values and vision.
Hence, my standard here is to only work with people and companies whose message resonates with what I believe in. And what I believe in is ethical businesses, sustainability, and global wellbeing. That’s the kind of brand I want to be and that’s what we are going for here at The Wellbeing Blogger. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t make this post go up. The next step is to remove the Amazon affiliate links from the books I recommended here on the blog (we have a new section called ‘Wellbeing Library‘ by the way, check it out!), because even that is making me itchy. So bare with me while I take care of those small details and check out what I have rejected to promote so far:
- a brand of dildos (yes, it’s laughable, I know) and other sex toys (not that sex is not important for wellbeing, but it doesn’t really resonate with the blog’s current vision and mission);
- an affiliate program about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO);
- cannabis-based products for health and wellbeing.