Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Truth

I've been toying with the idea of writing this post for several weeks now, but I just wasn't sure how to go about it- what I really wanted to say, how I really wanted to convey my current blogging state. In the end, I've decided the truth is what matters- I shouldn't feel bad for getting something off my chest. At the same time, I'm going to try not to sound like I'm whining.

Here's the long and short of it: I love my blog. I'm proud of my blog. Do I have the best photos? No. Is my writing poignant and witty? Not usually. Am I a major fashion industry big-wig whose advice you should care about? No on that one, too. And yet, I feel like my blog is great- not because of something specific like amazing photography or an important title next to my name- I think it's great because of all of it together- the sum is greater than the individual parts. I think it's a great blog because:

1.) My blog is prolific- In the 2 years/24 months/686 days I've been writing this blog, I have posted nearly 800 times. I've posted an average of just over 1 post per day, which I think is actually really impressive. Yes, there are the occasional posts that are just a few words, but for the most part, that's nearly 800 posts that I feel are quality. If you read my blog, you know that just about every day, like clockwork, there will be something new for your to read. Most blogs out there only post every couple of days at the most, and many are just once per week or even monthly!
2.) My blog is more diverse than any other fashion blog I've found out there. So many fashion blogs focus on one format- a daily outfit, a specific wardrobe item, etc. I write posts that cover so many different formats and topics and I have yet to see another one that does that so consistently! If you visit my blog, you'll find high fashion, bargain shopping, menswear, accessories, trends, outfit photos, street style- and more!
3.) My blog is full of original content- While I gather inspiration from around me- my coworkers, friends, fashion magazines, even things I see while walking down the street- ultimately what I post is my own. Many other blogs that post as frequently as I do are consistently using content from other sites to do so.

I don't want to sound like I'm whining, but I have to say it: My blog is great, but other than a few supportive friends and followers, I'm starting to wonder why I put so much into it if I'm going to get so little out of it? I started this blog to help other people dress with confidence, to provide them with a skill that would help them be more successful out in the world. I tweet my posts, I put it on facebook, I tell everyone I meet about it and hand out my business card for people to visit the site. I network online- with other blogs, fashion or otherwise. I've made a few connections through other blogs, and I've really enjoyed getting to know those other bloggers.

However, I see online how many other bloggers are more successful than me in terms of their readership. As I type this post, I currently have 76 followers. Not even in the triple digits. Why? I have about five times as many facebook friends as that. According to my Blogger "stats," my blog gets an average of 500 hits per day. It just doesn't add up and the only thing I can glean from these stats is that while I may have visitors to my blog, I don't have consistent followers- people who want to come back day after day. Am I just jealous of the success of other bloggers who have been doing it a shorter time than I have and yet have so many more followers than me? A little bit, maybe. But I'm jealous partly because I feel as though my blog is a quality blog to visit and so many others aren't. I'm not jealous of blogs that are great and successful- I'm jealous of blogs that are mediocre and successful. (And to be clear, I'm judging their success solely on the number of readers/followers they have, not on the sponsorships and freebies they're getting.) I resent people with thousands of followers who can barely put a coherent sentence together. I get annoyed with "personal style" bloggers who do nothing more than post their daily outfits with so little substance beyond that.

Do I need to be more gimmick-y? I don't want to be.
Do I need to hire a professional photographer every day? I don't think I need to- my photos convey what I need them to.
Do I need to be a better writer? Of course, that is something I work on all the time, but to be honest, I think I'm doing pretty good by comparison.
Do I need to engage my readers more? Honestly, I ask for comments and tweets all the time. I believe in engaging my readers with interesting content, but how can I know what you're interested in if you don't comment?
Do I need to be more vulnerable? Perhaps, but this is a fashion blog, not a life blog.

So what is the point of this post? Aside from venting, I honestly don't know, but it's been on my mind so much lately that I had to release it. If you are a regular reader, I thank you for that. If you comment on a regular basis, I appreciate that, too. Please don't think that I don't appreciate the small, but active readership I have. I just wonder what I'm doing wrong if after 2 years and nearly 800 posts, I still have just a small group of readers that consists mainly of my friends and family.

Is my blog just not as good as I think it is? If ever there was a post to comment on, readers, it's this one.

Enjoy this beautiful day, friends!


Beth said...

My earlier comment didn't seem to post. Hope this works! I love your blog- it's part of my morning ritual. Take pride in those "phantom hits." I'm sure there are many readers out there enjoying your blog but not commenting (maybe they read it at work and can't). Your advice is always on target, and your photos provide perfect illustrations of your concepts.

Shannon said...

Well, I for one love your blog. And for all the reasons that you stated in this post. I look at it almost every day. I don't always comment, but I do read it and enjoy it. I hope you'll keep posting for a long time!

Renée T. Bouchard said...

Thanks, ladies! I really appreciate your support. :)

SewOm said...

I also love your blog, and I read it daily. Your week on wiggle dresses was what got me hooked.

That said, I do think its important for you to know why you're blogging. If its to get readers, then a more focussed blog is probably the way to go. If its to express yourself, then keep going. You're getting hits, so people are reading you, some even consistently.

If, as you said, you'd like to help people dress with confidence, there are lots of ways to accomplish that goal, and some take less time and effort than daily blogging.

I hope you keep going with your blog, even if you do decide to make strategic adjustments. I'll definitely keep reading.

Kerry said...

I am a recent reader of your blog, and i enjoy it greatly. So many fashion blogs i read are of people who have carte blanche access to whatever they want. I love that your real and like most of us that love beautiful fashionable pieces, have a budget!

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