If I let myself, I could be swimming in a metaphoric pool of pinterest pins, each convincing me to do more and be more as a blogger and small business owner: “How I used Pinterest to get 10,000 new followers a month”, “10 Blogging Must-Know Tips that will Grow Your Blog” “How to make a Thousand Sales a Month”, you get the idea.
It’s really easy to feel insecure in this vast sea of bloggers and small business owners. The more I see of others’ work, the more I feel sucked into the whirlpool of products, blogs, and artwork that fill the internet. In my search for ways to grow my blog and art business, I have found millions (I may or may not be exaggerating) of pins/posts/articles/podcasts telling bloggers and makers how to grow their following and expand their business. Many times I save posts like this because they have really useful tips about growing a blog and business. But a lot of times, they are schemes to get people to click on the link and buy a product. Either way, I wonder about the authenticity of the tips and tricks the writers of these articles are sharing.
I’m all about being authentic, and somehow these strategies to grow my blog and my business seems sort of phony. Like I’m trying to trick people into liking and following me. I’m not talking about general guidelines to improve the quality of your blog and products, I’m talking about all the pop-ups/ads/giveaways/promotions/eproducts disguised as free but that often come with strings attached.
It begs the question “why are we writing and creating in the first place”? Is it because we have a genuine message of truth and beauty or first and foremost because we want the popularity and the paycheck?
Something is lost when blogging and business doesn’t come from a place of true inspiration with a genuine message to share. It can easily feel like click-bait to lure people to something they might not want or need. This is a fine line to walk when creating a blog or business, because you want viewers and customers, but art (in any form) should come from a place of truth, not just a certain formula.
There is a certain point at which we should be thinking of our audience: How can we help them? How do they need to be ministered to? Is our message clear? But if we are only thinking about what people want to hear, we lose what we actually have to say. I know I have a lot to learn in this crazy journey of blogging and starting an art business, but one thing I don’t want is to lose myself in order to attract a larger audience.
This Podcast by Young House Love speaks so honestly to this point. John and Sherry talk about what they learned by blogging as a full time job and how they became burned out because they were more concerned about pleasing their audience than doing it for the love of the work. Worth a listen!
I also loved this insightful podcast by the Hope*Writers that gives clarity to the ideas of why we create; beyond the glitz and glamour of a pretty perfect blog and for the message we have to give the world.
Is everyone going to love what we have to offer? Of course not, but when we do it for them more than for the message itself and the words that God has given us to share, we risk losing what we had to share in the first place. Be faithful in the telling of the truth you have to give and let God use it for His glory.
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