A number of days ago, I went to a, um, thing…. about blogging and, um, stuff for bloggers…. which was held at… a local place. Ugh. I’m trying to stay vague about the event because I had some good conversations with a few people, and learned some very Valuable Information, but it was a basically terrible evening.
Mostly it’s my own impostor syndrome, which means when that even though I’ve been doing this for 10 years, I feel like I’m pretty new and I have a lot to learn, which is why I signed up for this… event. To learn more about blogging from the expert speakers.
One expert blogger would say that you need to post every single day. Another would say that you must always share your posts on Facebook. And then another would say that you shouldn’t spam your followers by posting on Facebook every single day. And then, when someone in audience would ask which it is, the panelist would agree that you just have to find what’s right for you! Each audience is different! Everyone is right!
I’ve figured out already that social media promotion is necessary, and that too much self-promotion is annoying. This isn’t because I’m so genius — I’m guessing that most of the attendees had figured this out too. By existing in the world, we’ve all figured out that there’s a happy medium between constantly promoting yourself and completely hiding your accomplishments (saying fairly new to mean been blogging for a decade, actually for example. UGH. Why do I do that?) What I wanted to be told was that 4PM EST is the ideal time to post (It totally is — you get East coasters waiting out the last hour of work and West coasters on their lunch breaks.) or that you should tweet a blog post 3 times with 3 different headlines in a 24 hour period (I made that up, but that’s the kind of information I could seriously use).
You should be authentic and honest, because brands want Authenticity in their sponsored posts. But also, don’t be political on Twitter because that’s alienating to brands. Also, you should either cram your metatext full of keywords, or not. Can you be an Amazon affiliate in North Carolina? No one seemed to know! Which made me feel less and less like I was learning from a panel of experts, and more and more like I was a loser wasting time and money on attending. I’m not a particularly big fish, man, but this felt like a depressing puddle.
It was not a total waste, because there was alcohol. In one of the event’s promo photos, there’s a lovely panorama of the room, with an audience focusing, paying attention, and taking notes. I’m the girl sitting at the bar looking bored. It gave me such a laugh to see it, and the laugh was mostly at myself. Sign up for intro-level info, Meg, and of course you’ll be bored and unimpressed.
Also I realized some Valuable Information that night. In my life, I constantly feel like a dabbler or hobbyist, instead of a professional. I learned that the thing keeping me from being a professional isn’t that I need more experience, or I need to earn a certain dollar amount at it, or that I need someone outside to validate me by calling me a professional. The thing keeping me from being a “real” professional is just that I constantly feel like an fake one, like a imposter, even when it’s objectively not so.