Inferiority-Popularity Complex | Blogger Problems
I wrote this piece about a month ago, that I later decided I wouldn’t post. This is what I’m like: writing is my therapy. I go through phases of emotions and big life questioning that I’ll get over and may or may not revisit. I call it ‘life lethargy’. Depression and anxiety does this to me, but it doesn’t mean the feelings I’ve had at any moment in time are invalid. So I’m sharing it.
When I first started this blog at the beginning of 2011, I didn’t have any forecasting plan. I was merely a striving small time model just sharing my very regular life spent at home, planning for photo-shoots and living a day at a time. Back then tags and hashtags meant nothing to me. I blogged because I loved writing and there was no expectation of myself by myself or by other people. I was just me.
Turning my hand to reviewing lingerie happened quickly, and I was swept up in the blogging sensation. PRs pricked their ears and took notice of me and I lived for the thrill of exciting lingerie deliveries, press releases and special invite-only events. Being a blogger became addictive. I now had an audience watching, a readership to satisfy, and ultimately a game to upgrade.
I love writing; sharing my feelings and opinions comes naturally to me and it’s the simplest reason I continue to blog. I get a kick out of hitting the ‘publish’ button. Hours of labour spent writing, editing, proofing to perfection, with photos I’ve painstakingly taken in the best hours of natural daylight I could grab. A sense of satisfaction in sharing my latest creation, tying up another neat work of art ready to be unwrapped before the cycle begins again.
But now, blogging in general feels less about writing talent and more a numbers game, and I feel swamped; beaten in a race I’ve lost before I’ve begun. I clock the followers totting up, agitated when they unfollow, agitated when there aren’t enough. Get to 1K, get to 2K. I’ll feel accomplished when it’s 3K. Then I notice a brand share another blogger’s account who has 200K and I’m all of a sudden the useless human being who lost the relay race for the team.
I love blogging and I value each person who reads and appreciates what I write. I love the opportunities it gives me, what it challenges me, but not the disappointments. Sometimes I feel like I’ve not only lost my voice but confused my identity. Who do I blog for anymore? Who am I pleasing? Am I reaping more than I’m sowing?
The problem with blogging is that when professionalism compromises passion you risk forgetting who you are and what you genuinely want to achieve. It was never supposed to be about celebrity but somehow follower harvesting has become the latest addiction with many bloggers achieving that status and I am guilty of the same attitude. The genuine need for followers. I’ve never been part of the popular crowd, I’ve never had hoards of friends, so why it is unlike me, and disappointing, to find I’m still the same person who just not everybody gets on with?
If I stand back and look at myself from the outside, I’m unsure if I’ve exhausted my capacity. I just don’t know if I can better what I am. I don’t think I have anything new or big or special to offer what another blogger isn’t doing already. I am not a massive, well known blogger and this means I’m a failure. I can not compete.
Drawing followers, seeking approval and pleasing every brand I like or encounter, and feeling intellectually offended when feelings aren’t mutual. Is that why I started blogging? Is what I do do incentive enough to continue blogging? I don’t know if I’m missing the point or whether I’ve lost the way completely.
I love writing and this whole blogging thing. It’s the only piece of my life I’ve been able to depend on, it gives me reason to exist, be personally creative, belong. But put a label on me and stick me on the blogger shelf and I’m just small fry.
I went to a conference over the weekend and it made me realise something: the nature of social media conflicts with what’s good for us. The popularity game makes everyone the failure. A number of friends, followers, shares, unique visitors in their hundreds, thousands or millions – they are never high enough, never good enough. If you measure yourself up against the world you will always find someone better. This is the point where serious, competitive blogging loses me, and it begins to feel, like an addiction, it has control of me. If a post hasn’t been read enough, or a photo not liked enough, I’m a failure.
I don’t want to be a statistic or defined by a number.
This year I’ve had to face many changes, personally. Life has led me down paths only to pull the rug out from beneath my feet. It’s safe to say what I’m experiencing, living through and facing is affecting where I feel I’m leading to, and how my future looks set to form. I’ve been baptised, lost a baby and now face my Dad’s terminal illness. Focus and energy suddenly feels a different perspective and I don’t know where my loyalties and priorities lie anymore.
The problem is, I know I’m a perfectionist and I like control, which adopts a sense of fight or flight, and an all or nothing attitude. ‘No-one likes me so I may as well give up.’ Basically, I think I’m suffering from inferiority-popularity complex. (I made it up but it sounds legit.)
Yes, I do love writing, but I’m not prepared to jeopardise or trade who I am and what I do for fakery and trend led popularity. I just wonder whether I’m alone with this..?
DarciNovember 12, 2015 at 4:53 am
Don’t give up writing.
Becky MagsonNovember 13, 2015 at 12:17 am
Thanks Darci. 🙂
NadiaNovember 12, 2015 at 2:05 pm
You ARE NOT ALONE, Becky! 🙂
I’ve been blogging since October 2009 now (mainly about fashion), and I felt like that most of 2015…like I WASN’T GOOD ENOUGH, like nobody was paying attention, that I was a untalented nobody…
Then I stopped blogging for 2 weeks or so, because that thought was dragging me down, making me feel bad in general, about everything in my life, depressed… so I decided to grab the bull by it’s horns and focus on myself WITHOUT the blog instead!
IT SAVED ME!!!
When I came back it was out of genuine love for blogging, sharing and having a voice, rather than likes, followers and views…when I returned to my blog, I was MYSELF again, not a machine… I have a LIFE to live, an AMAZING LIFE, and I won’t let anything drag me down!
We might write a blog and LOVE IT, but it’s success doesn’t define us, by any means! It’s a PASSION, not a way of feeling insecure! It’s a natural struggle, especially when we’re perfectionist, but we have to face it and get it over! I’m sure you can do it too, Becky! <3
I've not been following your blog for that long (I've only recently started my lingerie section and following other lingerie blogs), but from what I've seen and read, you're really an amazing blogger and sound like a lovely human being! Don't ever QUIT! <3
My Fashion Insider
Becky MagsonNovember 13, 2015 at 12:22 am
Hi Nadia, I think you’ll totally hit the nail on the head there. It’s so true, it really does boil down to life satisfaction. I’m probably guilty of putting so much on my blogging that it’s become my main focus, and like any aspect of a lifestyle, if it’s dominating then everything is knocked out of place, encouraging agitation and every high expectation. I have hobbies that have gone on the wayside lately so I think I need to step back sometimes for personal ‘me time’.
Thanks so much for all your support. Your comments and advice are so valuable!
MegNovember 12, 2015 at 2:30 pm
I’m so glad you wrote this. It’s funny, I’m working on a similar piece and I reiterate some of these thoughts– I thought was the only one feeling this way! Thank you for saying this, and for putting it so eloquently (your writing style is gorgeous). Blogging is starting to feel like a popularity contest, and it kind of sucks! I’m learning to accept that I have my blog, and they have theirs, and that the numbers will do what they want. As long as I’m doing something that I love, at the end of the day, that’s what matters.
Becky MagsonNovember 13, 2015 at 12:25 am
Meg, it makes me feel so less stressed to hear you’re the same! I think it’s just the worst to feel alone with your thoughts because it makes you believe you’re the isolated freak. It helps massively to talk about issues that are usually kept unspoken. I just feel so relieved now, ha ha! You’ll have to let me know when you post yours.
Sophie CakeNovember 12, 2015 at 3:03 pm
You are definitely not alone! I feel like this at times and I am sure many other bloggers do as well. You can kinda compare it to an eating disorder – you never feel pretty or thin enough for yourself nor to other people. BUT I do try to think that lingerie blogging is a very small niche and not all people are interested in it – thus our blogs get a lot less traffic than eg lifestyle blogs. AND IT’S OKAY. Cause you know what? Our blogs really matter in a sense that people find actual information from them and as we both know, a good bra can change someone’s life completely. And if we get people in better bras, we have done such a great job already! Your blog is definitely one of my favourites and even though I rarely comment anything, I do read each and every one of your posts 🙂 Keep up the good work, Becky! xx
Becky MagsonNovember 13, 2015 at 12:31 am
Yes you’ve made some very valid points, Sophie. I do often forget how niche our market is and it will help to keep reminding myself of this. I think I use my blog as therapy in a way, so the feeling of no-one reading my posts kinda links up with that; like I’m ignored, or I’m not liked. I really am guilty of taking things too personally and being offended when really it’s just business, or followers/readership reflects the niche. I guess what also bothers me is the time it takes to write detailed posts (like you do too) only to see another blogger’s, let’s say, less informed and less worded post, receive shed loads of attention. Yeah, I’m stubborn and jealous too, ha ha!
AliciaNovember 14, 2015 at 8:03 am
Some really great points here. I was put in my mind of how much fun Facebook was in the early days. Now….people question their very worth if they don’t get enough likes. Depressing. The only reason I finally began a very low key blog was sheer exasperation. After years of reading so many bra reviews it was really clear that my idea of what constitutes true comfort is quite different. I wanted to put all of the detailed info I’ve learned, through trying sooooo many bras, in one spot. Along with cheerfully dreadful photos. So that maybe a few other big-boobed, frustrated, sensitive-skinned women like myself can find the info I searched everywhere for. Probably only 3 people on earth even read it, but if helps a few other discouraged women bra-hack their way into some comfort, i’m pleased. And I don’t have to think about pleasing anyone else, whoch would make me stressed. 🙂 I do enjoy your blog & I hope you won’t allow the Facebook Effect to kill the joy for you.
LauraNovember 20, 2015 at 4:28 pm
A great post and certainly something that many bloggers can relate too.
If any blogger feels like this, as Nadia said in response to you it’s important to remember why you loved blogging initially and that sometimes means taking time out to reflect.
For me personally my blog is my happy place which I enjoy as a creative outlet to explore my writing and photography, I find it really ever so soothing and it inspires my creative side.
I love it when people engage with me however the soul purpose of a blog is to firstly love what you write about because after all your blog is your own personal on-line space to express yourself 🙂
Don’t ever quit, but don’t feel overwhelmed with your blog either especially if it’s not your full time job.
It’s great to have followers and a readership, and you write to inspire them no matter how big or small the audience is, but it’s just as important that you as the editor are enjoying what you are creating 🙂
I personally think that many people get too bogged down with wanting a huge following when in all honesty organic growth is the best way, that way you create a more personalised and engaged audience who really value you as a blogger and as a person 🙂
STATS are not everything, as a blogger and also working in PR occasionally I know that the best blogs are the ones with personal engagement, not always the ones with a huge following 🙂
I think brands need to remember that people who are successful within social aren’t always huge bloggers, they really need to talk with smaller and niche bloggers with a refreshing tone of voice! That’s exactly the types of voices I like to approach when I work on any PR projects, because those voices are wonderful, unique, and much more personalised.
I first started following you on Twitter as you seemed so friendly, and that’s exactly what Social Media is all about after all, talking, being friendly and enjoying it 🙂
Great post and thanks for sharing it.
Laura! xx http://www.shehearts.net 🙂