Why I Regret Making My Blog Self-Hosted
Today’s post was originally going to be a photo diary of Split but I really don’t feel like publishing another post which is going to get minimal views, no matter how hard I promote it, and which is going to get no interaction what- so-ever. I don’t want to come across as whiny and miserable, so sorry this post does, but I’m just feeling so down about the whole blogging thing at the moment. Maybe I’m not alone in these thoughts, who knows?
I’ve been blogging on this blog (well, the wordpress.com version) for almost three years now but I never started with the intention of becoming a professional blogger. I started blogging because I loved writing. Simple as that. However, I quickly fell in love with the support and lovely comments on my posts that other bloggers would write. I would follow and comment on the blogs I liked and they’d do the same back. I’d never felt so supported before and it was great. I kept seeing that people were finding it difficult to get their first few followers but I gained my first 100 very quickly, even though most of my posts were were life updates (which mostly began with apologies for not posting in a few weeks), and my posts were by no means good.
Long story short, before I wrote about travel and was just focusing on cringey, terribly written life updates, interaction/follows/page views were good. When I started writing about travel they dipped slightly but that was mainly due to the fact that I didn’t post regularly. That was ok, I knew how to fix it. Then I went self-hosted and decided to make a real go of things- post regularly, post travel tips, city reviews, list posts and life updates- and guess what? Interaction stopped. Completely.
The last post I did on my wordpress.com site was just a few lines saying I’d moved to a self-hosted site and it’d be great if people could follow me. 10 likes in a matter of minutes (I know that’s not great but it is in this context). The first post I published on my self-hosted site was The Best Nightlife In Las Americas, Tenerife which I spent time researching and writing. Nothing. It’s doing ok on Pinterest now but by ok I mean about 1 view per 3 days. There was a rare moment where my Ultimate Guide To Las Vegas got shared almost 1000 times on facebook (but I gained no followers and 1 like on that post), but it wasn’t until I posted my anxiety fuelled ramblings, which I wrote in about ten minutes whilst waiting to board a plane, that I got some good interactions on a post. Woo hoo… I think.
I think that when you’re self-hosted people want to see a huge blog with thousand of followers and posts. I think there’s more of an assumption that self-hosted blogs have been around for a long time and are far more professional, so the ones that are just starting out, readers generally don’t want to give the time of day to. Which is sad, of course, because everyone has to start somewhere, right? I think it was easier for me to gain followers and interaction on my .com site because it’s not seen as an ‘investment’ to follow/like or whatever; a follow is endorsing a blog and a ‘proper’ website that isn’t up to a perceived standard won’t do. Also, .com sites are not seen as competition to other bloggers. It’s sad because people doing what they love should always be supported by others doing what they love, and some people can’t afford to be self-hosted you know? Or they want to get a feel for blogging before making the commitment. It’s such a shame.
I don’t want you to think I’m being ungrateful because I’m very grateful to the people who have followed me, commented on posts, liked posts, and replied to my comments. I love you guys! It’s just disheartening though, you know? When people enjoy my ramblings which I’ve put very little thought to into, but I can barely get 5 page views on posts that I’ve put a lot of time and effort into researching and writing.
I’m not quite sure where it all went wrong tbh. *Sighs*
Social media is another frustrating one, which probably deserves its own blog post, but in short, nobody wants to follow anyone- they’re just out for themselves. I’ve recently made a Facebook fan page and do you know how many followers I have? O. Woo. Celebration time. I never used to care about social media stats, and in some ways I still don’t, but the thing is, when you have a self-hosted blog, that you’re trying to make money from, you need to be popular on social media; brands won’t work with you if you’re not and it’s hard to be invited to events.
Low social media stats also means people just don’t care about what you have to say and that’s a bitter pill to swallow.
I like blogging, I want to keep blogging and writing, and I’m not going back to a wordpress.com site. I think I’ll start posting more lifestyle posts and life updates since that’s what seems to do well, and I like writing them. I shied away from them somewhat because I lost social media followers when I didn’t post travel related posts. Right now though, I don’t really care.
If you’re still reading this at this point thank you. Like I said, I’m forever grateful to people who do read/like/follow/reply and I love you guys.
I’m still going to post about travel but the lifestyle posts will increase. I love blogging and other bloggers but I need to go back to writing for me and stop worrying about the stats.
Anyone else feel like blogging is all for nothing? Does anyone have any tips for getting more engagement?