Welcome to Sophie’s hypothetical post, where I contemplate the question “would I create content on my blog if no one was engaging?” to discover more about myself.
This is a “food for thought” post, and it means nothing, but let’s do it.
Like most questionable ideas, this struck me at 2am. You know there must be something about the early hours of the morning where your brain can hear anything and believe it is poetic, sane or a magical insight into your soul.
anyways, let’s begin…
Would I Create Content On My Blog Even If No One Was Reading?
My immediate reaction was simply yes. I would still blog with no engagement. It would be a party for one but a party nonetheless.
Then my brain heard that sentence and questioned its logic.
I love my blog. I enjoy making content, and whilst it took me a while to prioritise what I want on here, I am in a good place with it. I am excited to come up with ideas and see the posts come to life. I enjoy trying my best to make them visually appealing and thinking about how to add new things to them. Blogging is a super fun hobby for me. Plus, it feels like an online diary that I can reflect on, and I love that.
In theory, I love blogging enough to sustain it without an audience.
But, a large part of putting my content on a public platform is to share my love of books and talk to people. Without that, I do think my motivation to post would drain in certain aspects.
I am going to go all “fake professor” on you, and list three “case studies” to demonstrate my point….
case no. 1: when i went on a long hiatus
I have taken a few breaks from my blog. The biggest one was when I redesigned my blog in 2020. During this period, I didn’t interact with many people in the blogging community. Boy, oh boy, did I lose my motivation. It almost felt pointless. The community itself are so supportive. They are basically a massive hype train that keeps you choo-ing along. It is fair to say there is a sustaining quality to regular engagement.
Plus, you are sharing your love together. I love that infectious energy. Someone saying they love books makes me more enthusiastic about my love of books. Because… books!
All this energy, love and inspiration is passed along in the community. I love and need it.
case no. 2: when i started blogging
2019 was the most active era for ‘Me & Ink’. It was two posts a week and always commenting. It was fun, but I do not think I was in love with my content. I relied on people entirely to make blogging good for me. I rushed posts and it was easy to get caught up in numbers. Granted this whole experience helped me to learn a lot about not only the blogging world but what content I like to make. It just happened to be imperfect which, I guess, is only natural when learning.
But, I know that if I was not fortunate enough for regular support I would have folded quite (embarrassingly) quickly during this period. Therefore, it depends on when you ask this question for my answer.
case no. 3: unsuccessful posts
It is only natural for different posts to get different responses. Some amazing, some less desirable. I have had “unsuccessful posts”, and like any sane person, my reaction was, “you are a failure, give up now”… normal stuff, you know.
Over-reaction over. But, if I am being realistic now, how people interact with posts does affect the content I will make in the future. Not necessarily in a big way, as I genuinely don’t feel like I am seeking numbers anymore. But I wouldn’t be as excited to make content I know people aren’t excited about. Does that make sense?
note: on less successful posts, it only takes one comment to make you feel better. This shows the difference support makes for content creators.
Now that the case studies are over, I think it ultimately comes down to…
enjoyment VS reward
Do I blog for enjoyment or engagement? Realistically, it is both. I love making the content AND talking to people about things I am passionate about. If I had to pick one, it would be enjoyment because I genuinely think it is the healthiest option. To do something because you want to do it.
But I would miss talking to people. They 100% make blogging special.
With no engagement, I think the blog would start to look different. I might be a little lazier with certain aspects. Maybe I’d edit less or include fewer visual aids. Later on, I might even convert to bullet journaling instead. There I could gush about the books I love rather than on a social platform that was missing the social side.
Or I could go to even more drastic extremes and try to converse with/chase down people on the streets to talk about books, films, hobbies etc.
extra things to consider
Looking at other bloggers made me think of other things. For example, bloggers with big followings, don’t necessarily have lots of comments but they have lots of views. It makes me question what type of engagement do you want? For me, it is the comments but I have the luxury of not relying on views for my job, money etc. The numbers don’t give me anything (whilst satisfying), but comments give me more enthusiasm.
Also, looking back, I know a lot of blogs that are no longer active and it doesn’t surprise me for blogs to have a limited lifespan. Not saying all these blogs will be inactive forever but just ✨life✨ makes it hard to maintain blogging and most blogs seem to be hobby blogs so it is a lot of personal motivation you have to apply to it. I don’t always think that is the easiest thing to find, yet on other days, it seems as easy as breathing. It just goes to show how you feel over time can change.
Basically, I don’t really know the answer to my big question “would I continue to blog if no one was reading?”, but that seems fair. One because I am a very indecisive person
to the point where it’s annoying.
And, two because it is dependent on multiple variants that fluctuate over time. I enjoy blogging for myself but I still think it is the people that make it. I think we, as humans, all have a lot of impacts on each other, and I know it is the community which has impacted my blogging journey. I think as I go forward and my blog changes it will be interesting to see how my relationship with it changes as well.
All this post goes to show how lucky I feel about having all you lovely people in my life and I truly appreciate everything the book community does for me. I don’t think I would be blogging or in love with blogging without you.
Thank you for reading. It was a slightly pointless post because what does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? What even are thoughts and actions?
But, I enjoyed this low-key philosophical, self-indulgent quandary (even if it made me question if I rely on people too much for my self-worth, but that’s a spiral for another day), but I did find it curious to consider and I would LOVE to know your thoughts on this topic.