I have a complex. An insecurity, if you will. Well I have lots of them, but for this post’s purposes, I’m choosing to highlight and focus on one of the more glaring ones: I sometimes get crippling anxiety when I think about how many people probably consider me very annoying.
Is this irrational? For the everyday person, yes. It falls under that self-actualizing umbrella of “not everyone’s gonna like you,” which is a very good mantra to live by so you don’t drive yourself nuts trying to please everyone and their friends. However, in terms of being a blogger and having an online presence, this complex/anxiety is not only common but maybe even expected.
For seven years, I’ve been writing on my blog. And for seven years, I’ve been telling people via every platform imaginable that I’ve been writing my blog in hopes that they’ll actually read my blog and like my blog and (in the rarest but sweetest moments) share my blog! In short, I’ve spent the past seven years littering your feeds with me, my face, my writings, and self-promoting the shit out of myself because
I HAVE TO.
I literally have no choice. If I want to be seen, heard, read, or taken notice of at all, I have only myself to rely on. I push my content on my Facebook blog page, my personal Facebook page, my Instagram, Twitter, and via my newsletter because I have to. I push the same content again a day or so later because I have to. I desperately rifle through my photos and videos to find completely random and hopefully attention-grabbing content to post in an effort to guide you to my blog because I have to.
When I started emma’s thing in 2010, social media was a different place. People were still posting “emma is at the grocery store” statuses and using Facebook to mainly razz each other via wall posts. Hell, I was still collating and sharing photo albums weekly! The blogosphere wasn’t a thing yet; it was still in development, like a fetus in the womb trying to decide how it was going to make its arrival into the world. Sure, people had blogs, but they were underdeveloped, poorly designed, and usually had a .wordpress.com or .blogspot.com attached to the URL. People didn’t “get” blogs. Not yet.
Then, there was a shift. Suddenly, everyone was blogging. Food! Fashion! Mom advice! With the uprising of Instagram and the evolution of Facebook, it became easier than ever to start something, tell people about it, and grow it. But not for bloggers like me, i.e. bloggers with no real focus. Bloggers who just blog to blog; to get it all out and then some. To word vomit all over their screens in hopes that, like, 20 people read it. But I knew that even though I didn’t particularly have a hook in the form of recipes, where to get new clothes, or the best burp cloths for your newborn, I wasn’t going to stop. I needed to write and I needed people to read what I wrote.
At first, I tried to employ my friends to spread the good word of emma’s thing via their own social media accounts. “Would you do me the biggest favor and post it your wall? It’ll just hit so many more people than I could ever reach on my own.” That worked a few times. But as social media grew and the self-inflicted pressure of collating the perfect kinds of posts for your feeds grew, relying on others to “waste” a post on you by plugging your blog became embarrassing to ask or to expect. I realized that if I was going to grow my audience at all, I was going to have to figure it out alone and get aggressively annoying. So I did.
Reminder: I make zero money off this thing, y’all. Not a penny. I tried to employ Google Adsense a few years ago, but after it took me six months to make $100, I realized how fruitless it was. My posts and interests aren’t fashion-centric enough to qualify me for a system like LiketoKNOW.it, I don’t get asked to do collaborations, and I refuse to feature product on my blog that I have little to zero loyalty toward (i.e. I refuse to write about anything I don’t want to write about). I do this because I would literally implode with emotion and thoughts and things I can’t or that I’m into if I didn’t.
I have things to say, things I feel are relatable and entertaining and thought-provoking (or at least conversation-inspiring). Things I feel should be read and shared, and I’ve received enough fan mail via email, Facebook messages, Instagram messages, sometimes even Snapchat to validate that vacillating confidence. It’s why I go out of my way to promote myself or ask you to subscribe to my newsletter or post twice a day or pay Facebook to run my ad or post photos that are sure to get hardly any likes because they’re not so much pretty as they are promotion. And, for the record, I know how annoying it can be. I’m fully aware of my incessant posting, my seemingly self-indulgent plugs, and the fact that countless people probably see my stuff and become the live version of this face 🙄
I HAVE TO.
No one’s gonna do it for me, and in an overly-saturated blogosphere, if you’re not shouting about your shit from the top of a mountain, you ain’t gonna be heard.
So here’s to the self-promotion hustle. Also, HAVE YOU SIGNED UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER YET? 😁😁😁