But are you embarrassed about how it looks? She asked. Not out of the blue, or to be unkind, as part of the conversation. We were talking about Instagram. The challenges people and businesses can face there and how we aren’t really that sure what to do to reach people anymore.
And, I understand what she means. Having an account with over 13k follows and getting consistently less than 100 likes on an image is disheartening. It was 15k once, but a clean out, a shadow-ban and a huge chunk of unfollows later, here we are. To watch unsubscribes happen day after day. To feel completely cut off from the interactions that meant so much to me. It sucks, short version.
So yes, embarrassed is one word for it. My ego has taken a bit of a hit since my fall from the top (ish). Frustrated is another emotion along with sadness, sheepishness, and some good old-fashioned ego related jealousy. No one said I was perfect! Having my Instagram fail, it stings a bit, let’s put it that way.
I mean, I wrote a damn eBook about Instagram for goodness sake! Cringe.
Earlier this year I declared that the purpose of the blog and associated social media was changing. I thought it was a clarification of what I am about now as well as an end to the constant frustration of creating content I just wasn’t that into (sorry, where to buy, but I mean you).
It turns out, all that did was make a bunch of women feel not welcome here. When I realised what I’d done to the community I spent almost a decade building, that hurt. It hurt more than the embarrassment of fewer followers, likes or comments. That was something genuine that I’d messed up.
But I’ve learned something too.
I learnt that it doesn’t matter whether 40 or 400 people like my photos, I still love taking them. It doesn’t matter if 2 people or 20 comment back, I’ll still reply and enjoy the actual conversations. And when I post a story and even one person gets a laugh out of it and DMs me to say so, well, day made.
My blog, the Instagram or whatever, is going to be what it is going to be. I’m going to create and make things because I love doing that. People will either stay for that or not. There’s no need for me to be serious, focus on a specific niche or do anything I don’t want to.
I’m not embarrassed to have learnt something. And I refuse to be ashamed that I made a mistake that cost me an awful lot of people from the team. I will, however, keep going and trying new things. Being Insta-Famous or a Blogebrity (Blog-Celebrity, thanks, Freya) can’t be the bottom line. It’s not good enough. In fact, it’s a waste of the rather large platform some of us have been granted.
So, am I embarrassed now? No, I’m not. I know who I am and a number is never going to define me.
Hi! I’m Melissa Walker Horn. Around here, they call me Suger. I’m the Chief Blogger and doer of all the things here at Suger Coat It. Blogging since 1901; I love a casual ootd, taking photos, and writing about things that irk or inspire me. I love wine and cheese, long days at the beach and spending time with my family. I make stuff for the internet over at Chalkboard Digital. You know, living the sweet life.
I sometimes get disheartened when I see my engagement on Instagram because I put my total heart into my content but I’d rather be authentic and totally me than try to be strategic or calculated or plan it all out so it is just what it is. And that’s totally fine.
The more people I talk to about this, the more that I come across people who are disheartened about the whole thing. As much as everyone says it shouldn’t matter, I think it’s okay to want the content you put so much effort into making to do better. It sucks that there’s no magic way to do so. (Which is SUCH a long way of saying, RIGHT!? Haha).
We live and learn, hey? But I think it’s so important to remember that blogging is so much more than a numbers game. Keep on being awesome!
That we do. Thank you for the reminder. xo
Sure nuff!! I love visiting this site, you always lay it on the line and I appreciate you. Also, I write a blog because I want to and it does satisfy a need that I did not know I had. So, the number of followers does not make me or break me. Continue doing what you enjoy my dear. . . .
Thank you, Neti. I’ve always appreciated that you take the time to leave a comment when you visit. It’s pretty amazing, this blogging thing, I’m sorry I took it all a little for granted and almost gave the whole thing up.
I have to admit, when you posted earlier in the year about the purpose of the blog changing, I felt a little disconnected… mostly because.. well, I’m a stay at home Mum and I felt a little inferior because I thought I wouldn’t be able to relate to any future posts (mostly me just feeling generally lost and less confident). But I completely understood why you were doing it – you have to be happy with what you’re writing about and sharing with others too! So I hung around because I’ve always loved the way you write, the flow, the way you interact with the people that follow you or comment and the effort you go to. I’ve mentioned recently that I did love your outfit post… not even from the fashion perspective.. I just felt like I could connect again and have a mutual kind of interest with you. I hope that doesn’t sound creepy!
Not creepy at all, Kace. Haha. Perfect. Thank you for saying that, the women here have always meant a lot to me. I’m glad you can feel connected again but I am sorry that I ever made you (or anyone) feel unwelcome here. I knew what I wanted to do but I blundered how I was delivering it. But I’ve learned my lesson. I promise you (all) that.
You’ve never made me feel unwelcome, I loved that you took a leap in the direction you wanted to follow. You’ve got to be happy with what you’re writing about and doing… otherwise what’s the point? 😊
I’m glad, thank you. And yes, I will always follow my interests, but I need to be a little less worried about defining what that is. That’s the take-away for now, anyway. Haha.