It sounds great to run a blog with a large following. Internet fame has its perks, no doubt. Success. Adoring fans. Money.
But is it everything?
Since I had my baby, I've kind of ‘Leaned Out' (sorry Sheryl!) taking things slowly, focusing on what I enjoy doing rather than chasing that dream of being a ‘great blogger.' I resurrected my old site and slowed down the posting cadence of IFB. I thought I would be sad about it, but all in all, I've come to realize that being ‘successful,' i.e., Having loads of traffic and followers isn't everything. I have realized that the benefits of slow blogging outweigh the benefits of trying to be an internet famous rockstar.
Focus on Quality and Not Quantity
Most big sites blog every day, sometimes several times a day. But posting several times a day, or even every day can be overwhelming to your readers to a small blog. Focusing on a few high-quality posts per week allows you to put some interesting things into your posts, delivering your readers rich and thought-provoking content.
One of the downsides of having a popular blog is that everyone, especially the crazy people, know about your site. The higher profile a person or brand is, the more open they are to criticism. Sometimes it's warranted, sometimes it's not. But that doesn't change the fact that most all popular sites have to deal with destructive comments, something that smaller sites do not have to deal with as much. Unless they REALLY make a mistake.
A lot of times bloggers who start around the same time tend to grow up together in the blog world. I'm still friends with most of the bloggers I knew back when I started. You get to know everyone around, and it's a lot easier to cut through the noise and the crazy with a small blog.
More Freedom to Experiment Content
Have you ever gone to a popular blog, and they did something different, and all the readers are like, “WTF? THIS IS A FASHION BLOG, NOT A ____________.” Well, that's because popular blogs normally have a content formula that made them popular in the first place. Their dedicated audience becomes very attached to that formula, and it's hard to break out of it without feeling the change rage.
More Time to Focus on Real Life
Bloggers on a mission to become the best are often glued to their computers, writing, tweeting, networking, working around the clock. When you scale back and focus on achieving life balance, it's hard to bank those hours. Then again, it's easy to bank hours on time with loved ones. Especially if it's time you'll never get back.
Readers Identify More like an “Equal.”
I use the word “equal” for lack of a better word that's coming to my brain right now. I've always been more or less the same person. My sites have their ebbs and flows, but have more or less run the same way the last seven years. But when the sites were bigger, people would think IFB had a team of 20 people or something. Nope. It's just me, a great pool of contributors and an offshore tech team.
Safer to Blog Candidly
My favorite reason for blogging to a smaller audience is that I feel safer to talk about things that are real in my life. I could talk about my battle with depression, or how my style has changed and not for the better. With a smaller audience, it's possible to be more candid, because 1. there are fewer trolls and 2. because your audience is probably reading your blog like they were listening to a friend. That candid conversation? That's what made blogging interesting (to me) in the first place.
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