After attending BlogHer17 and friending/following many of the women I met there, I think I have learned a very important lesson. One of my favorite quotes from Harry Potter is from Dumbledore (well, let’s be honest, most of my favorite quotes are) is that we will have to make the choice between what is right, and what is easy. It would be very easy for me to do what so many of my fellow conference attendees do and make a little bit of money throwing up codes or #ad or trying to convince you to use coupon codes or to visit website so I can get $5 a pop – it all is a part of the game but to me it all feels a bit…
As I scroll through my newly enlarged Twitter feed, I’m not sure which posts are content, which are ads, and which are auditions or urgings for sponsorships. And the amount of Disney content is absolutely astonishing, as well as the recipe content, and to be honest I’m having a hard time understanding what each of their blogs is about and none of the social media posts make me want to click through to their actual content. That’s not good or bad, I mean get those Disney dollahs if you can, I’m not going to hate on your for having that side hustle. This post is not about whether this is right for others, it’s about whether it’s right for me.
Last week I came across a post from Roxane Gay’s tumblr (that was originally posted in August of 2012) called How to Be a Contemporary Writer. Reading through her list really inspired me to make the decision I decided to make post-conference. Not all of her suggestions applied to me right now, but I took the following to heart:
- I am making an honest effort to read diversely and write on a very regular basis. (#1 and #2)
- I am hoping that my hard, consistent good work will eventually be noticed. I am nothing if not patient. 🙂 (#6)
- I need to know when to work harder, and when I’ve done well enough. (#18)
- Having a full-time job allows me to provide content without having to worry about obtaining sponsors or advertising money. (#22)
- And most importantly, item number 20 from her list which I think is crucial to my future online:”Have an online presence or don’t. It’s shocking how much time writers spend stressing over this that could be spent writing. Yes, an online presence helps but only if you actually use it with some regularity. Plenty of writers don’t have a significant online presence and manage to still be writers. If you feel like having an online presence (Twitter, Facebook, Blog, Tumblr, whatever), is a pain in the ass, it’s going to show and it’s not worth having.”Here is the kicker. I have a Twitter and an Instagram, but I think if I’m going to continue to use them they will be to provide another access point to my website. I want to interact with authors and other readers there, but my main focus has to be on providing quality reviews and content on my website proper.
So the decision that I made was that, even if I provide ads to help fund my podcast (which it turns out, actually costs money to run) I will not run them here outside of the auto-ads that spawn because a free site on WordPress has them. My Instagram and Twitter will be reading and writing related, and I’m going to go back through and unfollow those that I did follow in an attempt to clear up my timelines for the community that I want to be a part of. It doesn’t cost me anything to have this website (outside of a negligible yearly fee for the domain name) and so it shouldn’t be an attempt to make money off my readers either.
So what might be easy would be to throw up ad codes and plug for things, but you know what? What’s right for me is to keep on reading and writing essays based on what I read and experience in my life. That’s what this website is about and hopefully what it will always be about. Time for some housecleaning on social media, and we’ll see you here next week with a Spiderman review (hopefully), 3 book reviews, and On Podcasts will explore Hungry Squared^2. Have a great weekend!