I’ve heard lots about ‘Schedules’ and ‘Targets’ recently – it’s usually the sort of topic thrown around in work. Alas, schedules and targets are something that bloggers are keen to bring into the world of blogging.
With 2016 coming to a close, there were scores of bloggers begging for followers on their social platforms.
“It’s my target to end 2016 with 5k followers on Twitter / Facebook / Instagram – can you please follow me to help! Thanks!”
When did we start having ‘targets’?
Follower counts can fluctuate over time, sometimes you’ll gain loads, and they’ll drop like a stone. Generally though, unless you’re going a bit racist or aggressive, they grow. I’ve been on Twitter since 2008, and whilst my count is around mid 8k – it’s pretty small for a blogger that’s been going as long as me. There are bloggers out there who’ve been around for a few years with 10,000’s followers. Well done to them. You can actively chase more followers – but why?
It’s nice appearing to be popular, but if your numbers are all people who are following you because you follow them. Or because they are compers, waiting for your next giveaway – it’s not an authentic following. I generally follow people that interest me. I do follow a fair number of bloggers – but generally those I’ve met, or am interested in. I shy away from the link shitters, the hashtag abusers. Twitter is about starting conversations, not shouting out stuff.
You don’t NEED thousands of followers, numbers aren’t everything. It’s about the quality of your following, the interaction you have. Sure – popularity looks nice to PR people – but numbers only carry a certain amount of gravitas. You can quickly spot someone who is good with their social following, rather than just chasing numbers.
Social is very much ‘build it, and they will come’ – if you’re just about numbers – buy some followers.
Keep scheduling out of blogging – be more ‘real time’
“I’ve scheduled my next 10 blog posts feeling super organised”
“Dusting off old posts – Frankie and Benny’s new 2014 menu!”
This sorta stuff boils my piss. Everything is feels too structured and ‘scheduled’ – blogs of old were sort of online diaries. Written in the moment and posted out there. Shitting out 10 posts in a day just feels so grubby and structured. Firing out posts from 2014 at random with no context or meaning feels so, desperate.
Blogging is about now, not then.
A ‘blogging coach’ I saw was recently sharing advice on how you could schedule 30 days of Instagram posts. THIRTY DAYS! I’d possibly understand if you were a business, and wanting stuff shared when staff weren’t work. But a BLOGGER? I value my time, but Instagram has always been a place where I’ve shared what’s happening now. Or maybe earlier in the day, but pushing stuff days, weeks, in advance just seems crazy.
It takes 30 seconds to stick something on Insta, if your day hasn’t been interesting – you don’t NEED to post. Just leave it. People don’t clamour on your every filtered image to NEED to see you every day. If 2016 has taught us anything, the world can change overnight. It can change in a matter of hours, minutes. Your cute tweet about your poached egg ideas, or your Instagram spam of your amazing shopping haul scheduled from 10 days ago will look every shade of cunty while the world is shocked from the next big disaster.
The best blogging and social media is ‘in the now’, and not a timed event. Write how you’re feeling now, and not in 30 days. Share old stuff, but find it yourself, keep it in context with the world as it is. You can refine your ‘auto-tweet’ software to the nth degree. Mistakes happen and your ‘How to make Christmas decorations’ post could fire into the ether in the middle of a heatwave in May.
Don’t schedule, don’t have targets – write like no one is reading, and share like no one cares.