Do you guys mind if I get up on a soapbox today and discuss something that’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine? I want to talk about taking pride in what you do, and creating a sense of value around your blog’s content.
But, Wren, I hear you say. I just have this little blog about XYZ. It’s a hobby. I’m not getting paid for it. I don’t even think I’m that great of a writer. What’s the value in it?
Well, I say, value is what you make it.
Even the silliest of memes have value if they achieve their goal – to entertain and make someone laugh. If writing your blog helps you get something off your mind, or records a history of something (even if it’s what you gamed last night) for future reference, then it has some kind of value — even if it’s something written for just your personal benefit.
Trashing Your Content — Why?
I argue that most content has value, even if it doesn’t always feel like it. And it really pains me when I see folks blatantly tear down their work and themselves.
It’s one thing to be uncertain about your writing skill or blogging, and look for feedback or suggestions – that’s not the kind of thing I’m talking about. I mean when someone purposely (jokingly?) slaps a demeaning label on themselves and their work.
Now, this isn’t such big thing that I’ve seen on WordPress/Blogger blogs. I’m not sure why. It may be the nature of the platform tends to attract folks who are intent on creating a blog they feel has worth. But on some of the micro-blogging platforms, especially Tumblr, I see this a lot.
As I wrote in another post, I’m quite active in the Tumblr FFXIV RP community. This generally tends to be teens and young adults, and many of them are quite immersed in this meme lifestyle that has developed on the Net.
Sure, not all content on the Net is high quality. And there is stuff out there posted just to troll or spam. However, I don’t see anything wrong with memes and silly posts. They make people laugh during a bad day at work. They have value.
However, so often I see creators insult themselves, their content, and their RP characters. For absolutely no reason.
I admit that I’m pretty selective who I follow on Tumblr. This is because when you follow someone, all of their posted content filters on your dashboard. So, before I follow a someone back on Tumblr, I always check them out.
It often happens like this:
- Email pops up: So-and-So-RP-Blogger has followed you on Tumblr – Oh cool. New follower.
- Open email, check out the name and avatar – These look interesting. Let me see what their content is like.
- Open Tumblr blog – Immediately see in the description something like: “I am trash, writing a trash blog for a trash character. LOL”
- Close Tumblr blog without looking at anything else or following
Why? Why would you say something like this about you and your content – especially as your introduction to other people? That’s like walking up and shaking hands with someone saying, “Hi, my name is Mud. I’m trash. Deal with it.”
It’s the same as labeling something you created as a #shitpost – excuse my French. This is a term used to indicate this content is low quality and has absolutely no worth.
But you know something? People who write things as #shitpost… dang those are often some funny posts! If someone laughs at it – guess what? – it has some value! I have that tag blocked on Tumblr because the term bugs me to no end. It’s a shame folks don’t value their content more and let me see it. Instead, they demean it in a tag.
If You Don’t Value Yourself…
This all boils down to a simple thing – if you don’t value yourself, if you put down yourself and your content (especially in your blog description!), then who will value you?!
You may not be confident in your ability to write. Maybe your blog is new. Maybe your content doesn’t get a lot of likes or comments. Whatever it is that makes you think you and your work has little value.
It’s not true unless you make it true.
When someone sells themselves as “trash” and their posts as #shitposts, it isn’t doing them any favors. This reinforces that kind of thinking for the content creator and everyone around them.
If you feel something really, really truly has no worth, don’t post it. Pretty simple.
If you feel called to post something silly, and you’re tempted to label it in a demeaning way… just don’t put that label on it. You don’t know how it will be received, or whose day you might brighten by giving them a laugh – sometimes things have value to someone else even when we don’t know it. The Net is a big place.
So I guess I just wanted to get that off my chest. I’ve been seeing it often. It makes me a little sad every time.
Even if you’re not sure of your content and work, know that developing a blog is like any other thing. It takes time, and you get better as you go along. Be patient with yourself, love the journey, and value your content.