The dark side of blogging

I have been blogging for just over 3 months now. I wanted to start this blog in a few years time when i hit 30 and start my ‘travelling around the world without using a plane’ trip. However circumstances worked themselves out in a different way and without warning i started to get interested in writing novels. After i wrote 2 in 4 months i thought, “Well this would be a great way to not only promote my books but find like minded people as well.” and also by the time i started doing my world trip i would have (hopefully) got a few followers who could follow me right at the start of my trip.

So i set up a blog with some help with a few of my friends and posted it on facebook. I got the usual reactions; “Finally! i’m so happy you’ve started to write a blog”, “I’ll be sure to follow”, etc…. And i must say it was a great ego boost. I got 50 views in the first week. 50 different people were interested in my life, even though my blog looked nowhere near legit, people were still clicking to find out about me. So i spent some time setting up my blog to look more like a real blog, and as it grew i invested more of my time into it, and that’s where it started…

I shamelessly started spamming pages on things like facebook and linkedin in the hope that i would get that 1 extra click on my blog. Stupid right? Even irrelevant pages were getting my blog spammed all over their page. My thought process at the time was that i was just getting it to a wider audience, so i could double the people clicking on my blog and feel important. It was pathetic if i’m honest. It’s not as if i was even getting paid for it. I’d become one of those people that writes “I earned $4000 a month and you can too. Blah blah blah…” on a completely random page that makes people roll their eyes and think “Why are you here?”. I remember once i posted on the lad bible, i can’t even remember what it was any more, but i posted a link in the comments section saying sometimes along the lines of ‘blah blah blah…. I write about this in my book’ with a link to one of my blurbs. My facebook page is full of links to my blog, and for what? Just because i’m hoping a few people will click on my blog. Will that really satisfy the initial rush i got?

I didn’t stop there. I started commenting on other people’s blogs after i got told that you would get more traffic if you like and comment on other people’s blogs so they know you exist. “Sounds good.” I thought, as i wanted to build friendships anyway. Unfortunately i didn’t know how to really go about this and i ended up doing something that i never thought i’d do – suck up. Don’t get me wrong there are people who i have met blogging who i am glad i have bumped into them, Storytimewithjohn is one of them. He seems like a genuinely nice person. However i have commented on or liked a few blogs that popped up on my news feed. I read them and thought either, “I don’t connect with you at all” or “This is pretty poor”. However i’d still like it and comment hoping that someone would do the same for me. I know, terrible right?

There was one blog post i still remember. It was something about a girl saying why her boyfriend was better than some guy who had been harassing her saying that she would never find anyone better. It was a good read, but not comment worthy, making a comment wouldn’t have made any sense. But me being me i posted a real kiss arse comment saying something like “A great read, thank you.” I posted it and thought “What am i doing? This isn’t coming from me.” I realised i was becoming the one thing i swore i would never be – fake. Fake just like my father. No matter what happened in life i wanted to work hard and be honest and true to myself, so if i ever have kids i can look at them square in the eye and say; “Whether i succeed or fail, you can never say i’m deceitful and dishonest, what you see is what you get.”

I feel like i just need to get this negativity out of my system to move forward. So this really negative blog post isn’t my last (although i hope it’s my last negative blog post, at least until i’m stuck in the middle of Western Africa wondering how the hell i’m going to survive) So i will continue to blog, I will reply to any comments you may have, as I’ve realised now it’s not about the blog, it’s about building friendships with people i would never meet otherwise. But i’m going to stop spamming pages that aren’t relevant. I don’t want to be one of those people that spends all their time on forums and other peoples blogs in the hope that they will click on or follow mine, i want this to be a place where i can click on it as a hobby once every couple of days and keep in touch with friends I’ve made along the way, and not follow or comment on things for the sake of doing it, but look at blogs that i actually want to read about.

If you came looking for funny stories about teaching, then sorry, there’s not gonna be any this week. There was loads of funny things that happened that would make you think “what the….? I don’t even understand your thought process. It’s like you’ve literally said the first word that’s popped into your head, with hilarious results!” But i decided to write this instead. If anything worthy of posting in terms of teaching pops up, then i’ll let you know when it happens, but i’m not actively looking for things what happened in the classroom just for a cheap laugh. I’m going to stick to the whole reason i started this blog in the first place – A place to talk about my books, and the progress of them. With any things about my life in Thailand being a secondary topic.

To be honest i was very hesitant to publish this. I feel like i’m bringing the mood down as i’m always writing about funny things (or at least i hope i am). But in the end this is what was in my heart, so i decided to share it. And if people don’t like it, then it’s only 1 blog post right? And more importantly like one of my friends told me the other day; I’m writing for me, not for other people….

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3 thoughts on “The dark side of blogging

  1. Hello, Lewis! I only just started reading your blog (shame on me, I know!), and it’s extremely entertaining. 🙂 As a blogger myself, I have to say I’m glad you stopped commenting just to get a comment back. It’s not worth it – your time, your brain cells by posting generic comments on blogs that you don’t even like, and your stress levels, because you’ll end up feeling pressured about it all. Find a group of blogger friends and post comments on their blogs only when you feel like saying something. It will pay off 🙂 hugs from me and Alex, we are glad you are still in Chiang Mai and still enjoying it 🙂

    • Thanks very much! I’m sure you know it’s a slippery slope to go down just for the sake of that one extra person liking your post. Also i haven’t been following yours much either so don’t worry. I’ve clicked follow now so i’ll get more up to date stuff on what you are up to in Portugal rather than trying to keep track on Facebook. I’m looking forward to visiting you and Alex there one day…

  2. Pingback: The book’s out, now I’ve got to market it….. | sirlewisofclarke

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