I get a lot of emails about blogging platforms and social media outlets from people wondering the best options. For the longest time I gave my views freely and many bloggers appreciated it. There were also groups, pages, and sites that did not like what I said in my space. I believe there is a difference between critiquing and openly criticizing a platform. I have done both as a blogger.
A person once wrote to me and said “why would I ever support a blogger that has made a career out of tearing down other bloggers?” I felt it was a bit harsh (particularly since this isn’t a career, it is a hobby for me while I work a day job), but people are allowed their opinions. Obviously I appreciate that freedom, but what so, so many people forget online is that opinions are a two way street. You give it, take it as well. You negatively reblog someone and they may just reblog you back.
In my three years on WordPress I have learned to take criticism. At least I am slowly learning to. I don’t allow opinions to affect how I work daily and make no mistake, my blog is work. It takes time to write, to converse, to respond, and to connect with people. Anyone that doesn’t recognize that fact won’t get how I blog or why I do what I do. That is ok. My blog is simply not for those people.
My readers have been called “minions” and other creative names. It amuses me and I know it has amused some of you. I did not set out to build a social media army and I don’t believe I have one. What I have built are connections by actively connecting and being present. That takes time and continuous effort. I won’t apologize for wanting what many of us want, an outlet to the world.
One of the comments I hate the most is when people throw this sentence in my face. “You have an obligation to ___.” I am not sure what made people think they have the right to dictate what other people do with their hard work, but needless to say humans are a tenacious creature. They will say anything and label anyone as they try to box you into doing what they think you should do or what they “claim” they would do in your position. Great! Go build and do! Show me how it is done.
Could I turn my website into a nonprofit or a campaign for some greater good? Sure, I could. I don’t feel like it though and the choice is mine. That is part of the reason I have never bound myself to a corporate label or started writing for the many platforms out there… and there are many options available. What would I give up though to put that label on my ass?
I was approached by a reputable website once and I turned them down. This was before I started revealing my real name two years ago. The reason I turned them down is because they wanted me to give my real name on video and promote the article on my platforms once they created it. Basically they were asking me to give up my own cards so they could play for me.
I have never needed, nor will I ever need, any company’s help to network. People that waste their money on SEO books and articles are foolish to me. It is all so simple. Pick your platforms and learn to connect them. Learn the basics of internal networking within those sites and grow. That is your SEO, you don’t need anything else.
The hard part about blogging is that people will tell you how to blog. It becomes hard to ignore them because bloggers chirp better than birds. I have tried many things with my blogs and I will try many things in the future. It is fun to play with what you build and honestly if you aren’t having fun you shouldn’t be doing this. Yes there is work involved, but that hard work is what makes the fun… fun. Don’t be a minion and don’t follow the crowd. Instead break away from the crowd and find an alley or bar to hide in while you build your little corner of the virtual world. Let the other bloggers and platforms squabble about “best practices.” Do you.
I am always open to sharing my opinion on different “groups” out there. You can feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. I don’t know it all, or even most of it. I know a little though and I am not afraid to tell you what I think. I do not do this to create enemies intentionally. I simply want to inform the people that care to read my little blog.
This has been a special week and I have taken a break from writing on my project. I’ll be returning to it next week… if anyone was wondering.
Jason C. Cushman