How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love your Blog

My blog is imperfect.

I haven’t won any blogging awards. Major supermarkets don’t line up to put my blog on their list of ‘favourites’. Some of my blog posts get lots of traffic and comments, some get much less.

I use a paid-for theme, because I don’t have the skills to customise my own design. I work strictly within the limits of the theme – I am not about to get my hands dirty with CSS.

Sometimes, people read my blog and just don’t get me at all. It can be frustrating. Sometimes people get into disagreements, and the result can be a period of nastiness, or negativity. But you ignore this stuff as far as you can, and it always, always blows over.

But I love it. I love blogging. 

Earlier this week, Jane and Becky both (temporarily) lost their blogs. I can imagine that lots of people were like me – struck by the horrifying thought of, “God, what if I lost my blog?”

I’m not going to lie. The thought made my blood run cold. And I emailed the person who does my company’s web support and asked him to immediately do a full back-up of my blog. I wasn’t worried about losing my theme, or my inlinks or my backlinks or any of that stuff.

I was afraid of losing the video I took of the first time Flea swam a length of the swimming pool. Of not being able to re-read the quiz I gave Flea when she was three and told me the thing that made her the most sad in the world was when, “naughty puppies steal our biscuits”. Those pesky puppies. I want to remember that Flea made the face in the slightly fuzzy photo above because “You said sausages, and now I am alive with joy”.

I’d hate to lose the memories I’ve captured on this blog of days out, trips to the beach, the funny little conversations we have at bedtime. The personal moments, too – when I felt very low after my divorce, and the feeling that gradually became more and more evident in my posts as I came out the other side of that experience, realising we were both going to be okay. That life’s pretty good, once you take a good look at it.

Here’s the thing. Some of us blog for profit, some for the love of technology, some for friendship, and still others for the creativity of writing. Many, like me, blog because they want those memories, in a form that can be shared and looked back on, in years to come.

The key to being a happy blogger is to remember what it is about blogging you love. Put that right at the centre of your blog, and feel absolutely free to ignore the rest of it. So you don’t like HTML? Don’t use it. You don’t like awards, or charts? Don’t be in them. Don’t want to sell out? Then keep your blog an ad-free space.

The wonderful thing about blogging is you can pick and choose. Do the stuff that works for you, and ignore the rest of it.

(this post was inspired by the wonderful CJ, who isn’t having much fun blogging at the moment. CJ, you (and your blog) are amazing.)

I made a video this week, as part of the promo for the MAD Blog Awards, which my company runs. I love this video – not only because it represents how a technical muppet like me actually made something with iMovie – but because it reminds me that when it all comes down to it I think blogging – and bloggers – are pretty fucking cool.


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