Blogging is awesome. I am not sure what I would have done with myself this past year if I had not discovered blogging. It has been very healing and therapeutic, and I also feel like I have been able to help others as well.
Blogging can also be addictive. It can get into your blood, and many of us use the phrase “we have drank the kool-aid”. There are SO many options when it comes to blogging, it is easy to be overwhelmed AND to get distracted.
Many of us can get overwhelmed with the everyday running of our blogs and with all the options that are available. With WordPress and Blogger (and Blogger’s recent mishaps). And then there are plugins and widgets and sidebars and RSS and Feedburner. Not to mention monetization, if that is your goal. And then there are options for promoting your blog, and collaborations with others.
Again, it can be a tad bit overwhelming.
And speaking of being overwhelmed, as I write this, many of my friends are preparing to attend Blogher in a just a few weeks. This sounds like an awesome blogging conference, with over 3k attendees! I am not attending this conference, but I did just attend TypeACon in North Carolina last month, as well as Blissdom last January, so I do have some experience in this subject overall.
Many of us attending conferences are content with certain areas of our blog. There may be a few things we are looking to change, but we usually don’t go to a conference looking to do a major overhaul after we come home.
Ah, but then we get to the conference and we attend some really awesome sessions. And we talk to some really awesome bloggers. And we connect with some brands eager to work with us.
And we get distracted by the SHINY. Whereas we were content with something when we arrived, now we just have to try this new awesome theme/plugin/widget/affiliate program. We see how others are doing things, we look at their blogs and hear their stories and now we want to be like them. We want to try what they are doing.
The latest and greatest. That will solve ALL our problems, if we could just try this and it work for us.
I encourage you, whether you are attending Blogher or not, be careful to not get distracted by the SHINY. Yes, it is true that you can and will find some great ideas and opportunities while researching. And definitely you will learn about new things at the conferences, I mean, why else do you go? (except maybe for the awesome bloggy FRIENDS you get to see, and all the SWAG!)
Just don’t let yourself be swayed by everything.
Take a long hard look at your blog.
Ask yourself these questions:
Why am I blogging?
What is my purpose?
What am I hoping to accomplish or build?
Who is my audience?
Focus on YOUR blog
Once you answer these questions in your mind or maybe even on paper, it will become easier to know what SHINY new things to look at, and which ones you can admire, but say “That is great, but it isn’t for me and my blog”.
And maybe, just maybe, you can make it home from conference without being overwhelmed. Or, maybe it IS just inevitable, but at least you won’t feel like you have to implement everything you learned!
One of the very best things you can come home from conferences with? New friends! And… opportunities for collaborating. Collaboration (working in conjunction with other bloggers in a variety of ways) can also be a SHINY, but it can also be just the thing you need.
So, whether you are going to a conference or not, becoming confident in what you want your blog to be will help you to avoid every new SHINY that comes along, and that overwhelming feeling that can come along with it!
Do you find yourself overwhelmed with all the options in blogging? Are you easily distracted by the SHINY?