Monday, January 24, 2011

an outfit and a blogistential crisis

First, today's outfit to start us off and then some blog-navel-gazing. The absurdly warm weather continues to persist, much to my delight.


oxford shirt: thrift -- shorts: thrift -- shoes: Urban Outfitters clearance -- suspenders: thrift -- earrings: Target, gift from Alex



One of the first pieces of advice that I read as a new blogger was "leave comments on other people's blogs." I took it to heart, and watched my traffic and comments increase. I sought out blogs like crazy, leaving enthusiastic comments with a level of detail that demonstrated that I had actually read the post and not just looked at the pictures.

Since then, I've watched my readership increase. Sometimes steadily, sometimes rapidly, and sometimes at a slow trickle. Lately, it's been that slow trickle, and I think I know why. That whole commenting thing? I've totally fallen off the wagon.

Every time I open my Bloglovin' reader, I'm greeted with "200 unread posts," give or take fifty. I have my "dailies" category that helps narrow things down, but it's always a Sisyphean task. The comments I leave aren't nearly as involved, either, and I think it's because I just can't possibly ever keep up with the number of blogs that I follow.

I'm a full-time student at a demanding university; I co-teach a class (one that you get actual credit for); I have weekly chores and tasks for my co-op house; I do all the reading for my classes; I sleep seven hours a night; I'm in a long-term serious relationship; I spend time with my friends; I go to yoga; I work four hours a week; and I have appointments, meetings, and errands every week. (Although I have to admit, that against many of my peers, I'm not even that busy.)

It's really, really hard to find time to blog, and it's even harder to find time to comment on other people's blogs. I love blogging for the community it gives me. I love reading other people's blogs. I keep blogging, even though it's totally insane for me to do so, because it's something I enjoy. It's a leisure activity. It relaxes me.

That said, I've gone from four outfit posts a week to three, stopped holding myself so stringently to my weekly feature, and cut down dramatically on the amount of commenting I do. I still can't keep up.

So what's a lady to do? I want to increase the readership of my blog, but that requires seeking out other bloggers and making connections. I don't mind that, I just don't have the time.

I think that it's worth more to have blogger-friendships than to have 400 followers who leave comments like "omg cute dress love it" if they comment at all. Not to say that those comments don't make me happy, because I still treasure every comment and marvel in the fact that anyone reads my blog. But those comments just aren't as meaningful as the ones that show a little bit of interest and time and kinship.

I entered the new year with the grand ambition to dramatically increase my readership here to the point where I might start to be able to sell sponsorship space. I figured that if I could make enough money blogging, I wouldn't have to work at my already minimal job, and could cross one commitment off of my litany of weekly tasks.

I don't think that's going to happen. It seems to me like explosive popularity is by and large random, and I like to think that I'm not blogging to be popular.

 I'm blogging because I love style, thrifting, writing, and discourse. I'm not always going to be on top of comments, and there are times when it's even difficult to keep up with outfits. It's corny and a little weird, but I really treasure the friendships I've made through blogging. You all inspire me so much.

38 comments:

TrophyBoutique said...

Didn't you say that blogging relaxes you? Remember why it does and try to give yourself a break!

Everyone understands that life sometimes gets in the way of whatever this is (virtual life?), so don't worry about it. Just don't stop commenting on my blog ;)

The only reason I have been able to spend any time doing this is because I quit my full time job! I don't know how most people even do it! And who needs a 1000000 followers anyway?

Gertrude said...

I haven't been following you for a long time, but I honestly do love your posts. You deserve much more readers, but just like you said better have few than lots who leave silly comments. Of course everyone has priorities and university has to be one of the most important (at least in my opinion). Hope that you can find the right schedule to manage things, and look forward to more posts :) x

Bows and Pearls

elanor, said...

i feel the same exact way as you! trying to expand reading basis is difficult when it's hard to find time to comments and make those connections, as you said.

i think we've just got to try our best, cause that's all i can really think to do...!

x

Kallie, Happy Honey and Lark said...

I know exactly how you feel. I have a full time job at the very start of my career and a 3 hour commute. I can barely find time to make a post, let alone reply to EVERY comment. Sometimes I get a sting when people stop following, but I try to remind myself I do this for me.
You are such a wonderful blogger :)
ps- cute shorts. I am sooo jealous of your weather!

thechyrelgomez said...

I couldn't agree more. Not that it doesn't make me happy but I also appreciate all kinds of comment that leave on my blog whether it's genuine or posted it for the heck of it or posted it so that I can view their blog and increase traffic.

It takes one click but that's like a millisecond of their time just by dropping by the site and they still exerted effort in posting and leaving a comment. :)

I'd want to be a responsible blogger and the goal really is not to be popular but to have responsible readers as well. Blogging about style and ourselves risks everything. We're exposed to the entire world. OH wow. My comment can be a blog post itself. :)

thechyrelgomez.blogspot.com

Jennyboo said...

I totally agree with you! It is so hard to keep up with blogging/commenting everyday. School takes up most of my time (as it should). I'd rather be friends with the people that I am actually following as opposed to just leaving a one word comment.

Love your blog!

xoxo

SomeoneLikeYou said...

My goodness lady I feel as though you have literally read my mind as of late... I feel like I too have somewhat slipped into a blogging mid life crisis. I absolutely love to comment on other's blogs and reply back to every comment I recieve on my blog, but sometimes this whole commenting thing can become so stressful. I don't want to ever appear rude to people if I don't reply back to comments, and I don't want to seem ungrateful if I don't comment on other's blogs. As of late thouugh I just haven't had the time or will power to comment. School has taken over my life, and blogging has taken a seat back and I have been feeling just awful lately...

I am so thankful you did this post and it warms my heart to know that someone out there feels exactly like I do. I'm here to say that I will always be here for you commenting away :)

P.S. You look absolutely adorable... What's new? Hehe.

Olivia said...

In lieu of being the billionth (or eighth, whatever) person to do a blah blah exactly what I think blab blah, I'll just get to my point:
You're the awesomest. When you do leave comments for people, we know it really counts cause you are so busy. I don't think anyone will hold it against you if you take time to like, you know, breathe or something. Keep doing what you're doing, cause I believe I speak for all your followers when I say we like you the way you are, regardless of how many readers you have :)

♥ Olivia

melina bee said...

I posted recently about leaving comments... I'd say if you are too busy to reply/visit other's blogs, edit the text that appears on your comments section to indicate that you appreciate and read every comment but right now are overwhelmed by non-blogging duties.

SMASH said...

Oh man Sophie, you've really hit the nail on this one! Echoing everyone else, yeah--keeping up with blogs is a lot of work! I swear getting a lot of comments on a post is a double edged sword because it's like , "yes!! 44 comments" and then the realization of having to comment on 44 different blogs sets in. OH NO! But of course I do think back to how that person took like a minute out of their day to do that so I should return the favor but honestly, I keep thinking more and more about disabling my comments. It would alleviate a lot of pressure.....

oh and the people who so clearly just copy and paste generic comments, "Lovely!! xx" make me roll my eyes like no ther. Is that terrible? Like you, I try to make the effort to leave a thoughtful comment that shows that I read their post so it sucks when I see something that is such blatant self promotion.

Anyway, just here to say I feel you girl annnnddd I love those suspenders, more people should wear them, huh?

xx
MILK TEETHS

Penny Dreadful said...

I know how you feel; it is really hard to find the time to keep up. If you are really busy now try to give yourself a break and not worry about it. Why do you need loads more readers anyway? Are you trying to blog professionally, or is it just for fun? If it is for fun, then you already have plenty of readers and people you have connected with. Don't give yourself pressure to keep on plugging all the time, because it will just become a chore x

Alysa Kimiko said...

aww lady cakes! don't stress, you do what you do because you like it and don't kick yourself for neglecting certain things in life because things happen.

FYI i'm from sj too! lets hang!

Mademoiselle Antonova said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mademoiselle Antonova said...

In short- i don't think there is a solution for this!
I haven't had any time for anything for a long time now and it turned me into a neurotic. So you should take a break if you feel like you need one!
Although I am happy to see your blog updates with beautiful pictures and receive meaningful comments on my page that always make me smile, I understand the problem... :)

Nicola said...

I like that you're so honest about the whole thing, yet understand where you're coming from. But I'm the same, although newish to the blogging thing, I love it! x

Annebeth said...

I'm a real happy go lucky type of person. If I don't feel like commenting, I don't, simple as that. I just check in on a few of my faves because I like the people and I want to see what they've been up to, but I do NOT want to see blogging as a job that needs to be done.

Almost every blogger that starts out has this thing in their head about "making it", even in a small way, to get a bit of money for the effort they put in, but in most of the cases that just doesn't happen. I just enjoy the perks it gives me, I love writing and I see it as a platform to hone my skills. And it will look good on my resumee! And it inspires me! and and and...

Yes sometimes I do feel obligated to look nice because I take pictures everyday, but it isn't a bad thing to push yourself from time to time. Especially if you're as lazy as I am.

Annebeth said...

that comment really didn't seem to go anywhere, did it? :D


I love your outfit btw, I have this thing about suspenders. WHEN R U GETTIN UR HAIR CUT

ilene @ muchloveilly said...

not weird at all. love your honesty. i think we all feel these way one way or another - i know i do! trying to balance out life and blogging. girl, you are doing a fab job!

keep up the good work - and i love your work! :)

Hannah said...

I think we all feel your dilemma! I most certainly do. When I receive a comment I always feel I should return to the favor or reply in some way.

I'm not saying I get a lot, but even a few can take up your time. There are a few larger blogs that I'll get comment replies from and I'm always in awe. When there readership is HUGE and they had the time to reply to me?! What's wrong with me when I can't say a quick "thank you" to one person.

But you just gotta do what you gotta do! Personally for me, I don't mind if I get replies or not. For me, commenting is just a way to express how I felt about a post. I don't comment on all posts but I'm still reading and catching up on blogs as often as possible.

Thanks for writing this! It's interesting to see how others see something like this. I'm sure you'll find something that works for you. Take care! :)

elanor, said...

hey - just wanted to respond to your comment! i haven't even remotely mastered my camera yet (got it for christmas) so you could be completely right with what was going wrong! but how do i fix it? hehe.
x

Michal said...

Aww Sophi, you're such an inspiration & I'm so glad I have you as a blog buddy! Your life sounds incredibly busy & I'm surprised you manage to update your blog as much as you do. I'm glad you're doing it because you love it, not just for popularity- it definitely shows. Your blog is one of the most honest & lovely ones I read! I'm sure that even if it's at a slow trickle you'll continue to get followers just because YOU SO COOL.

Also, I really appreciated your last comment. Your photos are always so awesome that when you compliment mine I get extra excited. Plus, I'm warning you that I may just appear on your doorstep one of these days. :P We'll listen to records and go thrifting & nerd out about blogs.

Michal said...

OH and I think I forgot to tell you that you look adorable. Those shorts & suspenders are perfect but I'm a lil mad you're wearing shorts while I'm layering sweater on top of sweater on top of sweater on top of sweater because NH turned into the Arctic.

Jenny Morris said...

OH MY GAH THANK YOU FOR THIS POST. i just got a job in the past two weeks and now 25 hours each week are going towards my shifts - all the time i had for blogging (read: commenting) is gone. and honestly, i miss commenting on your blog the most. i dont know what to do either but we'll work it out!

Thekla said...

love your flats x


http://inablondeworld.blogspot.com/

Grace Escudero - The Afeminada said...

To be totally honest, I came to this blog because I was looking for another blog to follow. I do like your blog, but after reading every word of this post, I feel like you are intelligent and honest. So I'm following you because you are smart, honest and I like your blog. Feel free to visit my blog and follow back :)

-Grace

http://www.theafeminada.blogspot.com

Meream said...

I can definitely relate. I work from home but I work for 10 hours a day. At the end of each "shift" I just want to bash my laptop in. Haha. But you are doing great. You are an inspiration, whether you comment or not. :)

And oh, I gave you an award on my blog. :)

Lauren said...

You know if the people who follow you truly care they will know that you have a real life. I know that I had to take a break from my own blog for artwork, wedding stuff, etc. And yes I did see a decrease in comments and readers when I returned. But so is life, they weren't worth it. I struggle with finding time a lot with working a full time job. And many times I end up reading many blogs on my iphone, but that doesn't allow me to comment (which is why I'm a random commenter, full time lurker). I wouldn't worry about sponsorship and whatnot, I think it's not worth the worry. Well I don't know where this is going so I'm going to stop :)

<3 Lauren
Sparrow & Urchin

Lauren said...

You know if the people who follow you truly care they will know that you have a real life. I know that I had to take a break from my own blog for artwork, wedding stuff, etc. And yes I did see a decrease in comments and readers when I returned. But so is life, they weren't worth it. I struggle with finding time a lot with working a full time job. And many times I end up reading many blogs on my iphone, but that doesn't allow me to comment (which is why I'm a random commenter, full time lurker). I wouldn't worry about sponsorship and whatnot, I think it's not worth the worry. Well I don't know where this is going so I'm going to stop :)

<3 Lauren
Sparrow & Urchin

Grace Escudero - The Afeminada said...

To be totally honest, I came to this blog because I was looking for another blog to follow. I do like your blog, but after reading every word of this post, I feel like you are intelligent and honest. So I'm following you because you are smart, honest and I like your blog. Feel free to visit my blog and follow back :)

-Grace

http://www.theafeminada.blogspot.com

elanor, said...

hey - just wanted to respond to your comment! i haven't even remotely mastered my camera yet (got it for christmas) so you could be completely right with what was going wrong! but how do i fix it? hehe.
x

ilene @ muchloveilly said...

not weird at all. love your honesty. i think we all feel these way one way or another - i know i do! trying to balance out life and blogging. girl, you are doing a fab job!

keep up the good work - and i love your work! :)

Nicola said...

I like that you're so honest about the whole thing, yet understand where you're coming from. But I'm the same, although newish to the blogging thing, I love it! x

Alysa Kimiko said...

aww lady cakes! don't stress, you do what you do because you like it and don't kick yourself for neglecting certain things in life because things happen.

FYI i'm from sj too! lets hang!

Penny Dreadful said...

I know how you feel; it is really hard to find the time to keep up. If you are really busy now try to give yourself a break and not worry about it. Why do you need loads more readers anyway? Are you trying to blog professionally, or is it just for fun? If it is for fun, then you already have plenty of readers and people you have connected with. Don't give yourself pressure to keep on plugging all the time, because it will just become a chore x

Olivia said...

In lieu of being the billionth (or eighth, whatever) person to do a blah blah exactly what I think blab blah, I'll just get to my point:
You're the awesomest. When you do leave comments for people, we know it really counts cause you are so busy. I don't think anyone will hold it against you if you take time to like, you know, breathe or something. Keep doing what you're doing, cause I believe I speak for all your followers when I say we like you the way you are, regardless of how many readers you have :)

♥ Olivia

Jennyboo said...

I totally agree with you! It is so hard to keep up with blogging/commenting everyday. School takes up most of my time (as it should). I'd rather be friends with the people that I am actually following as opposed to just leaving a one word comment.

Love your blog!

xoxo

thechyrelgomez said...

I couldn't agree more. Not that it doesn't make me happy but I also appreciate all kinds of comment that leave on my blog whether it's genuine or posted it for the heck of it or posted it so that I can view their blog and increase traffic.

It takes one click but that's like a millisecond of their time just by dropping by the site and they still exerted effort in posting and leaving a comment. :)

I'd want to be a responsible blogger and the goal really is not to be popular but to have responsible readers as well. Blogging about style and ourselves risks everything. We're exposed to the entire world. OH wow. My comment can be a blog post itself. :)

thechyrelgomez.blogspot.com

elanor, said...

i feel the same exact way as you! trying to expand reading basis is difficult when it's hard to find time to comments and make those connections, as you said.

i think we've just got to try our best, cause that's all i can really think to do...!

x