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.

8 thoughts on “Schedules and Targets – When did blogs turn into a business?

  1. Philippa - Sounding Like My Mother says:

    I love this and could have written it myself. I hate “vintage posts” and all that kind of thing (didn’t even realise scheduling posts on Instagram was a thing until recently). What ever happened to just doing what you do well and seeing where it takes you? I miss how blogging used to be 🙁

  2. Rachel @ Coffee, Cake, Kids says:

    I’m on the fence a bit with this one. I schedule posts and my blog has turned into a business – it’s now my main source of income. However, I don’t set follower targets or anything naff like that, and if my blog stopped earning me money, I would still carry on because it’s still something I love to do. I try not to write for the sake of it – if it doesn’t come naturally it doesn’t get posted.

  3. Amanda Masters says:

    Fuck yes!
    If I noticed one thing in blogging last year it was how crass and self serving some of them are.
    I’ve been playing at blogging for almost 7 years, those so called professionals have taken all the fun out of it.

  4. Bear and Cardigan says:

    This was great to read. I understand why bloggers do it, but I don’t actually read their blogs. The ones I enjoy are those that are off the cuff, just life as it is. If you are using insta as a business then yes, post in advance. Mine are rubbish technically but are a snapshot from my day so it’s not for me either.

  5. Lewis@dadwhoblogs says:

    Whilst I agree with what you’ve said, I am one of those you speak of.
    I tweeted about hitting a target pre. 2017, not because I wanted to look good but I like to achieve things and hitting my own personal target was one of them..plus it was a round number and it looks pretty. Plus my follower count is much larger than my filling count as I try and keep my follows genuine.
    The old posts stuff I want argue with and if I’m honest it may have something to do with the fact I can’t remember how to disable them but they are also in replacement of New posts as I’m a bit crap.
    I never schedule tweets though. It would be like leaving people post it notes. What the point of tweeting if not for interaction?
    Love and hugs

  6. Single Mum Speaks says:

    This. Absolutely this. I am astounded at the seriousness with which people talk about their outrage when someone unfollows them on Twitter, and the sheer number of posts I have read about blogging goals. It has become a desperate scramble for fame and riches that are realistically never going to materialise for most people. I can’t get excited about follower numbers. There really are more important things in life.

  7. Nickie says:

    You can have zillions followers but if only one of those responds to a update you put out there, your engagement is so very low. Much better to have lower numbers and have everyone of those people interested in what you say – not from a “follow back” exercise, a begging tweet or a need to get up to a round number (all of the above completely fucks me off, by the way).

    And yes – if your blog is your business then you have a need to be prepared with content to fit into your marketing strategy however, there is no need for bloggers to be omnipresent. In fact, less is more IMHO.

    Well said, once again, Kip..

  8. alex walsh says:

    When I get a follow on Twitter now, I look back through their time line and if it’s even approaching 50% auto tweets (auto posts on blog publishing fair enough but some people have three different plugins that all tweet a post on publication, which is silly, AND one or more that tweet hourly ICYMI archive stuff, IFTTT cross posting instagram, pinterest, FB, twitter etc), they won’t get a follow back from me.

    Ironically if half these people with goals and targets and commercial aspirations had ever actually worked in the commercial sector, they’d be doing things very differently. Unless they worked in the commercial sector and sucked at what they did.

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