Three years ago, I came across the book, Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking. It changed my outlook and shifted my perspective…of myself! I learnt it was alright to be quiet and reflective.
The author Susan Cain so rightly points about a certain surprising fact about introverts.
Studies have shown that, indeed introverts are more likely than extroverts to express intimate facts about themselves online that their family and friends would be surprised to read, to say that they can express the “real me” online, and to spend more time in certain kinds of online discussions. They welcome the chance to communicate digitally. The same person who would never raise his hand in a lecture hall of two hundred people might blog to two thousand, or two million, without thinking twice. The same person who finds it difficult to introduce himself to strangers might establish a presence online and then extend these relationship into the real world.
I nodded in agreement to every word of every sentence above. Three years ago, I was a closet blogger who really did not want readers or subscribers to her blog or increase her social media fan following. I just wanted to write and that is all. Needless to say, I got disheartened by lack of comments and interaction on my blog. I went public on a free WordPress platform.
A month ago, I shifted to a self hosted blog. Out came the realization, about all the work that a new blogger should do – self promotion, social media promotion, comments, networking, interaction etc. As an introvert, it overwhelmed me. The above paragraph no longer held true for me. Blogging was not turning out to be the calm hobby that it was before. I realized I was losing my vision of why I wanted to blog. Three weeks went by without any written work.
Hence I decided to take a few steps to keep my introvert sanity intact. Hope it helps you too.
Six tips for the introverted blogger :
1. Networking – To gain success as a blogger, one of the first few steps you have to do is networking. Especially with people in your niche to form a community. Comments. Social media interaction. Follow for follow. Though all this was behind the screen, it still overwhelmed me! Seeing 1000 of updates from people on my social media feed made me want to crawl back into my cave. I still cannot reply to the comments on my blog at a stretch.
Solution – Make different lists for Twitter. Eg: – Friends/ Mom bloggers/Lifestyle bloggers/Twitter friends/Faith etc. On Facebook, customize your news feed – prioritize whom you want to see first, unfollow the pages you do not want to see information from. (If you have participated in a like for like thread, unfollow the page instead of unlike to stay true to the challenge undertaken – I might get so much flak for this I suppose!) On FB groups, change the groups that you use often to favourite. Reply to blog comments and emails when you are relaxed.
2. Self promotion – This is the hardest for me. I have 500 odd friends on Facebook. I have been blogging for 8 years now. I am pretty sure 95 % of them do not know it. I just cannot do it – self promotion of my blog on my personal Facebook profile.
Solution – Write guests posts. They not only bring in new readers to your blog but also gives a back link thus helping in DA ranks. Give your very close friends/siblings etc the task of promoting your blog. Also remember growing a blog takes a good few months or maybe even years and not to always rely on stat counts or social media following numbers. Introverts have this quality as pointed out by Cain – Being relatively unmoved by rewards gives you the incalculable power to go your own way. It’s up to you to use that independence to good effect. Exactly! If your last pin or post hasn’t done well, persevere until your big break!
3. Blogger events – As much as blogger events overwhelm me, I also know that I am missing out on a lot which would help in my blog’s growth.
Solution – Take small steps. Go for small-scale events or events with people you are already comfortable with. The author of Quiet suggests, ‘Attend as many events as you can comfortably stand. You decide in advance what that amount is – once a week, once a month, once a quarter. After once you have met your quota, you have earned the right to stay back home without feeling guilty.’
4. Over exertion – As a newbie blogger, I joined many groups, courses and signed up for innumerable newsletters. Not only was I stretching myself too thin, it was keeping my productivity low.
Solution – If it is not bringing you enough benefit, leave the group. Be active in a few core groups related to your niche. Unsubscribe your emails. Having 100 blogging related emails and reading none and have two core newsletters from authentic writers and reading both – Which is better?
5. Authenticity – Be yourself. I do not like publishing mine or my family’s pictures online. But one of the first few suggestions I heard was to put personal photos to give it a personal touch. But it is just not me.
Solution – There are so many successful bloggers without a single photo of theirs in this big world of internet. Still their blogs are successful. Do what you feel is right or is that agrees with your beliefs and rules. In Susan Cain’s words, ‘The trick for introverts is to honor their own rules instead of allowing themselves to be swept up by prevailing norms.’
6. Blog content – Introverts are well, introverts. Sensitive, deep thinkers who have a way with words. They are better at expressing themselves through words than speaking. Hence why the blogging world is quite appealing to an introvert. But it is easy to get sidetracked in this loud world of blogging and feel your soulful long articles are being swept underneath by trendy listicles.
Solution – Write on topics that you are comfortable with and which appeals to you. People are always gravitated towards a personal incident or experience. Do not lose focus of why you wanted to write in the first place. A final advice from the book, If personal space is vital to creativity, so is freedom from ‘peer pressure’. Mark your own blazing blogging trail!
Are you an introverted blogger? How easy or hard has blogging been for you?