In case you missed my Introductory Post, my world was in such an upheaval that I was forced to take drastic measures by simplifying and organizing all the things that caused me stress. Each month, in 2017, I’m tackling different aspects of my life that are clutter-stressors by organizing and altering them into things that bring me joy.
January 2017: Blog Love
The first order of business in my goal to simplify life in 2017 (i.e. January’s goal) was to take control of my blogging experience. Before I dive into my observations, here’s a relevant side story: I have this really fun karaoke singing app called Smule Sing, which I’ve been on for about a year and a half now. At one point I followed over 400 people, which caused me to wade through hundreds of open calls every day just to find ones from my favorite singers. One night I got fed up and started paring down the list until I was following only my favorites, and it was the best thing I could have done. Now every time I log in, I only have about 5 to 20 quality open calls to scroll through rather than hundreds of miscellaneous ones, which allows me to spend more time singing and less time scrolling. That’s when the epiphany struck – I wondered how much more satisfying my blogging experience would be if I applied the same tactic.
I love reading other people’s posts, but find the endlessly scrolling process incredibly frustrating. I couldn’t tell you the last time I logged on to my wordpress reader and actually enjoyed looking through the feed (heck, I couldn’t even tell you the last time I logged on). Only after my Smule Sing experience did I realize what my problem was. I thought it was just laziness or a lack of interest, but discovered following too many people makes it impossible to pay attention to and even differentiate between all the blogs. It was time to clean house! So I took a closer look at who I was following, and here’s what I discovered:
- Of all the blogs I was following, I only recognized about 20%.
- 75% of the unrecognized blogs were guilt-follows.
- I was only genuinely interested in the content of about 10%.
- 15% of the blogs I was following don’t exist anymore.
- Another 30% hadn’t posted anything new for at least two years.
- Most importantly, I had built and maintained genuine relationships with only about 5%.
That’s not the blogging experience I signed up for.
Over the last several months, I’ve been successfully surrounding myself with an amazing community of readers on Goodreads. To be a part of such a supportive, group of people who love the same books I do has been amazing. It’s the type of feeling I’m hoping to also nurture with my fellow bloggers and I have just the plan to make that happen.
You see, by paring down the number of blogs I follow to a more manageable number, not only will it be more fun and rewarding to log on to the reader every few days and see what my favorites have been posting, but I now know exactly who’s posting what and can start becoming an active blog buddy (and don’t worry, if I’ve already been a half-assed blog buddy by commenting on your blog more than once in the last 6 months, we’re still buds). I am certain I will add more blogs in the future, but I’m definitely going to take care to add only those I’m prepared to interact with. I vowed after this process to never guilt-follow again… that’s how I get into trouble and I hate how disingenuous it makes me feel. Once I get used to my new system, I can slowly start adding more blogs. My starting point is 40 blogs (pared down from 150).
The moral of the story is, I want to be a good blog buddy, decrease my stress by organizing and decluttering, and improve my overall blogging experience. I think I’ve accomplished all three.
Project Status: Blog Love Simplified!