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DISCLAIMER:  This is an introspective piece.  Any materials contained in this blog are not reflective of any person I know, have known or will know, blogger or otherwise.  I love my blogger friends and they have brought nothing but sheer joy and love to my life.  Any resemblance to a person/blogger is purely accidental, unintentional and fictitious.  The picture of mine has absolutely nothing to
do with this blog and is simply to comply with the visual appeal standards recommended in various blogging manuals, thereby luring readers to skim through the blog as a necessary component in  facilitating traffic!

 Having said that, here we go!

 It has been a few months since I last blogged.  Part of it was due to paucity of time related to pressures of work, part of it due to laziness (it is surprising how quickly the human body adapts to a lazy, lackadaisical attitude) and part of it was because of a general and sudden disdain towards blogging.  You could call it the “burn-out” factor or maybe on a more philosophical, elevated level the questions that festered in my mind were “why,” “what is the point,” and “does anyone really care that I blog or not.”

I know, I know there is much to be said about the joys of blogging.  For example, the sheer joy that encompasses a blogger; the “a-ha” finding yourself moment;  the moment where the clouds drift and it becomes crystal clear that blogging is your calling, your destiny, your passion; the halo one gets from sharing, giving, receiving, tweeting and re-tweeting; the joys of experiencing ceaseless love thru #FF and the list goes on.

So, you must be asking right about now, isn’t that enough for you?  What else do you need?  You complainer, you!

I admit, for the most part blogging has been a very rewarding experience for me.  I have made lovely friends, received a lot of love and shared a part of me.

The “burn-out” factor came with the numbers game.  I confess it is probably a self-imposed pressure, but nevertheless “pressure.”  With my delicate sensibilities, pressure is not conducive for my mental well-being (ha ha!)  I work in the legal field and get enough pressure all day.  Do I really need to or have to handle blogging pressure on top of that.  So, cut me some slack and give me a break!

The numbers game can be broken down into so many sub-parts such as the number of comments you get on a blog that you have put so much time and effort into.  I have consistently noticed a good quality blog gets much fewer comments than a picture of a person shot in the backyard wearing jeans and a t-shirt.  DISCLAIMER: There is nothing wrong in wearing jeans and t-shirts or shooting pictures in the backyard!  It is all about expression. (Gosh, it appears that this blog will be all about disclaimers!)

The point I am making is that the general viewer tends to veer towards the lighter blogs.  It may or may not be visually stimulating and in all fairness what is visually stimulating for one maybe a turn-off for the other.  It all depends upon the sensibilities of each individual, especially when it comes to subjective standards such as art and fashion.

Although, I will say that certain things, objects, fashions, styles, literature can be judged by universal standards of being visually attractive or not.  There is not much left for interpretation.  A Henri Matisse painting will be found beautiful by general and well-accepted standards of beauty!  If you do not, well then you should not be on my blog.

There are a number of reasons, why “quality” “content-heavy” blogs, do not receive much traffic and it has nothing to do with the intelligence of the reader.  One big factor is lack of time.  Readers do not have the time or maybe the desire to read “content-heavy” blogs.  Simply, scrolling through the pictures is much easier and quicker.

Another reason is that most readers comment on blogs to get reciprocal traffic back.  There is much written in blog-dom about giving meaningful comments and to give meaningful comments  one will have to READ the content-heavy blog which takes time and comprehension skills.  Easier to make a spiffy comment such as “Love your hat” and move onto the next blog.  This way you multiply your chances of receiving higher reciprocal traffic back.  It is as simple as hitting the “like” button on Facebook.  Quick and thoughtless!

Of course, when you do get comments, then you are compelled to reciprocate the comments whether you like it or not, as you are way deep into the numbers game and do not want to “lose your readers.”  My point is if your readers like you, they should keep commenting whether you comment on their blog or not.  I mean, does Anna Wintour comment on my blog and yet I religiously read the Vogue month after month!

And in this ceaseless vicious circle of “I’ll comment on yours, if you comment on mine,” how many people are really interested in you or your blog?  Makes me wonder.

Then there is the pressure of blogging “at least 3 times a week” to increase traffic.  In all honesty, unless you are making money out of the blog and are doing it on a full time basis or have a trust fund or a sugar daddy, it is impossible to do it with a regular job!  There is simply no time.

Oh wait, wait there is more!  The photos, the dreaded photos!  I don’t know about you, but taking photos has lost its appeal for me after I started blogging.  It seems like a chore.  Buckled under the constant pressure of “putting new content” on the web it seems like dressing up is punishment.  How many photos can one take of oneself in the same setting, with almost the same expression on the face.  Don’t people get bored of me!  And why would they want to see me, when they can sift through Style.com and see Lara Stone with her voluptuous lips and va-va-voom body wearing the most exquisite styles!  DISCLAIMER: There is nothing wrong in taking pictures of oneself in the same setting, with the same expression.  I am only expressing my opinion and it is not a reflection of anyone or any person I know, have known or will know!

Now, I will be very blunt, because isn’t blogging all about sharing, being honest and being true to oneself.  I write quality blogs.  I take my readers through journeys that are unique.  I introduce them to new things, new ideas and new experiences.  I admit I may sound arrogant and conceited but it is true!  I am well-versed in the art of living life elegantly, whether it is related to fashion, style, food or culture.  I know what is visually attractive and what is not!  I have travelled the world and spent most of my conscious years dreaming, reading, buying, studying fashion, style and culture.  I am intelligent, write well and bring uniqueness to my blog via the myriad of experiences I have had in my life.

The question now is should I have to or need to change my blog in order to interest the “general” reader, thereby generating more traffic for the blog?  Am I forced to stand in my backyard with the same expression on my face, wearing jeans and a t-shirt so that I can appeal to the “average” reader?  Do I need to shorten my blogs and write about a mundane subject that I have no interest in whatsoever so that I can get more eyeballs on my blog?  Should I have to post three blogs a week such that I can get some traffic and then possibly an ad on my blog?  Should I have to comment
on blogs I don’t find visually or intellectually stimulating?  My answer is NO. If blogging is all about being true to myself, then I will blog on my own terms, traffic or not!

DISCLAIMER:  All the disclaimers noted above are applicable to the entirety of this blog.

  • I am well-versed in the art of living life elegantly, whether it is related to fashion, style, food or culture. I know what is visually attractive and what is not! I have travelled the world and spent most of my conscious years dreaming, reading, buying, studying fashion, style and culture. I am intelligent, write well and bring uniqueness to my blog via the myriad of experiences I have had in my life.

    You hit the nail on the head here. That’s why I READ your blog AND appreciate your style. I know that I am fairly provincial in my midwestern setting and will confess to having had many of these same thought throughout my year of blogging. I think a person had to ask themselves if they are intrinsically interested in the blog and forget about the numbers. Keep consistently writing what YOU want and people will notice. It is true that it must be done pretty consistently at first, though in recent months, I have taken a week to ten days off several times. I have gradually learned that the blog is a hobby and not a job and that it must serve my purposes. I am sharing with the world. I try to be reciprocal about it, but not slavishly so.

  • Bere:

    BRAVO! Giving you a standing ovation for this post Ambuji. I can relate to everything you say in here. It’s easy to be caught up in the ‘numbers game’ as you so eloquently put it. It does get frustrating and heartbreaking, yet if we, as writers/thinkers, want to make our voice heard, we learn not to pay so much attention to those issues which bring back a few bitter memories of high school popularity contests.
    I have met so many great minds through blogging (such as you!) and that, along with having an outlet for my thoughts, is the most relevant perk of this activity. While it’s difficult not to get a bit jaded when our content-based blogs don’t get the same amount of following as others, I think being true to ourselves, which you mention too as the most relevant conclusion of this post, is ESSENTIAL not only to be good writers/bloggers, but also to be decent human beings.
    I applaud once again your honesty!!!

  • Fajr | Stylish Thought:

    A–Fucking–Men!!! I was beginning to miss you and wondered the other day if you were ever going to blog again… with that said you said it all. Blogging is about you and staying true to yourself. You don’t know how many times people have told me to shorten blog posts, write solely about fashion and fun stuff and dumb my writing down. And guess what I flat out refuse. I write about what I love, whether is be a picture post of inspiration or a 700 word post on finding yourself.

    What I love about your blog is that you are you, you do have a unique perspective on fashion and you are not afraid to say it, whether you have readers or not. Your style is your own and if I ever see in you in a typical “jeans and tee” I will know hell hath frozen over. I write all of this to say, Ambuji it is because of you that the loyal people continue to come back. Like myself, we love you for being your stylish and intelligent self.

  • I am thrilled that you blogged today. I have missed your posts so much. I always felt I learned something new when you posted. You posts are rich and full of substance. I hope that you find your way to blogging on your own terms. I think we all struggle with being accepted and being authentic. I am thrilled you posted this. xo

  • Smart post. I faced the same situation and came to the same conclusions as you.

    We can appeal to the widest audience or we can be true to ourselves. I elect the latter. Blogging, for me, isn’t a popularity contest; the number of readers is immaterial. I blog for self-expression and to make new friends. If someone would rather look at conventional pictures, let them do that; I don’t need to pander to attract them.

    You, too, have a unique appeal and should be true to yourself. To blog-connoisseurs (like me), that makes your blog more appealing, not less.

  • hehe…oh honey i have soo much to say to u right now. its a classic stage in every passionate blogger/person’s life [this moment that u r having]…. i guess ur right, it is like the stage every couple has after 9-10 months into a relationship, and the honeymoon period is over and they suddenly start fighting and rethinking if they even like the other person at all, let alone love. but the fact is that every relationship requires a commitment to make it work. and that applies to every thing that u put your heart into. a blog, a relationship or a job. the first few yrs r always about figuring things out and u still will always have new things along the way to figure out throughout ur life, but the commitment to make it work is required…and it will in the end [man i sound like a marriage counsellor]

    few things i think about a lot for myself and my blog which maybe makes sense to u.
    1] concentrate on what i want to get out of my experience with my blog. not others. ur not blogging for them unless ur getting paid for that.

    2] maybe networking with key ppl in the industry is more important that quantity comments. i mean if ur goal is to be a fashion writer, its better if u spend some quality time and effort in writing some mind blowing posts and then send it to a big magazine’s fashion editor as work samples and ask for a freelance writing job. if ur work is good and u have developed ur skills a lot over time thru ur blog, they will see the growth in ur skills and i am sure u will get what u want.

    3] this shud be no. 2 . set a goal. what do u want out of this experience of blogging? if its only readers and comments then i am sorry, u will just have to keep commenting on other ppls blogs to receive 100+ comments on urs. or u will have to have a sugar daddy or a real one who can buy u only designer wear at the age of 15 so u can have the attention of the big designers who in turn will bring u readers and fame by retweeting ur looks coz ur wearing them. either of which r not wrong in anyway, shape or form..hey to each their own. who r we to judge. i mean non of us r saints. its what u r comfortable doing and living with.

    if ur goal is to just express urself, then do that and be happy. dont expect anything from anyone else in return. even if it means noone is reading ur blog at all. the joy has to come from u being ultra happy about creating a cool article/ blog post urself. and every-time u do better than the last time u pat urself on the back and be proud. genuinely proud. and thats it. its a personal happiness and its far more rewarding i feel than anything else.

    4] adds amount to nothing anyway. stop chasing after them. waste of time.

    5] only few ppl get lucky by becoming famous over night thru their blogs. there r different reasons for that, that maybe dont apply to us. so dont worry about how others made and we didnt. if we compare ourself, we will be miserable and again it will suck the joy of expression and creating something original thru our blog away from us. dont focus on the negative. only concentrate on creating art and doing ur best and enjoying the process of making that art.

    6] every blog type has its own audience. if ur audience is ppl who like writing and reading, maybe just concentrate on finding like minded bloggers online to exchange comments/ thoughts with. if u expect ppl who r more visual than wordy to take the time to read ur blog posts, its not fair to them. its not their thing. u cant blame them for not liking to read. u know what i mean. just like they cant blame u for not commenting on their jeans with a tank picture. lol

    as far as numbers r concerned, i have for the past several months given up on commenting/ spreading the word etc. myself. the first 2 weeks were tough, but since then i have been a-ok. and the fun part is that even though my comments have gone down drastically the number of hits haven’t. i guess thats coz i post consistently and yes my posts r highly visual. just sharing my experience incase it helps. about commenting on other ppl’s blogs, as much as i do like encouraging others, i have a personal point of view, and if i dont like ur style but i know ur a freaking amazing human being, i am not sure i still need to lie and say i like ur look. i used to before when i was new to blogging, but now i just dont want to assign my approval to things that i really dont approve of. coz then im lying right? so i say nothing at all. mostly right now i am facing what ur facing, no time, a full time job, being on my own, no ultra committed photographer boy friend or mom or sister who live with me to take pics whenever whereever and an ego that does not allow me to do a sloppy job intentionally [yes ofcourse there r times when there r unintentional blunders that happen while experimenting and collaborating with other creative ppl]…but its all a good learning experience i say. i am throughly enjoying the people skills i am developing while on the blog… but i guess i havent entirely developed my ppl skills coz i do tend to offend a lot of ppl too by changing my mind as and when i evolve, like when i stopped commenting on other ppl’s blogs etc..

    i have to stop writing!!! hehehe..

    but u get my drift right? blogging is a fun thing. have fun with it ur way and fuck the rest. dont worry too much. and as and when u evolve along the way dont be afraid to change ur mind about how u want to handle ur blog. after all change is the only constant. and u can always have a change of heart while u grow as a person and u dont owe anyone else on this planet any explanation on y u changed ur mind. live ur life and ur blog ur way!!

    muchhhhh loveeeeeeee…

    omg how much did i type!!!

  • Friend, you don’t have to or need to do anything. There are so many sentiments above that I would reiterate. But Terri’s comment that blogging should satisfy you first is really something that touched me. YOU create this space and make it whatever you want. I really did MISS your blog because you are you and I know we have not met (yet!) but I feel I know you and I come back here to get more slices of just that.

    I went to a seminar once where I heard this profound advice, “do your best and then release expectations of the outcome.” LOVE every post you write. LOVE every comment you write and blog you read. Put what you want out in the world and release it. That’s all we can do. I really had to relearn this lesson when I first started blogging and it really became the cornerstone of how I continue to be myself in blogsphere.

    I’m glad your answer is NO friend and I really hope that you do continue blogging. Even if you only posted once a month I would be so happy to hear from you. LOVE YOU AMBU!

  • Oh my dear Ambu,
     You have been incredibly missed. I think I took about 4 holidays this summer, haha, all well needed. I understand how you feel when it comes to having pressures of life, work, and everything in between. But, what I learnt whilst having my time-off sessions was the exact thing that I’ve always  felt and have conveyed to my readers: I post MY thougts and inspiration, hence it’s my personal blog. I cannot post everyday, barely 3 times, maybe if I wasn’t working at all… LOL.  I have a great job that I’ve work years of my adult life to obtain, I do enjoy blogging, but having balance in my life is a #1 high priority.  I enjoy many facets of the industry, and adore viewing a way a person interprets fashion, whether it’s by a painting, text, or clothing,  Sure, I have noticed a select bunch that have drifted away form my blog, especially with a heavy flow of text, but I am on my time-table clearly, and I like it just that way.
     
    I believe that when you blog for you that is a key element. Loosing one’s visions or oneself in the process will never amount to any traffic worthwhile.
     
    This summer before taking a break I actually felt so discouraged with blogging, yet I became uplifted by fellow bloggers, emails, and re-reading posts (yours included). I’m happy that you always share your honesty; constant truth unveiling by your thoughts with posts that are so deeply passionate. 

    I agree wholeheartedly with the above comments. Whatever path that you choose I know it will be one that is well thought out, do what’s in your heart. Love you dear friend and thanks for… well being YOU!  :) -Madison

  • Albert:

    I spent 12 years writing a book with no assurance I would sell a single copy, and I enjoyed every minute of it. It was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. So I relate on a very personal level with this post and the very thoughtful comments. It’s all so honest and also inspiring. Thank you!

  • Oh! I think it is a ‘feeling’ which every passionate blogger goes through … At one point or the other you cannot help but wonder what’s the freaking point! … But I read all the comments before me and I honestly have nothing new to add … I am exactly in sync with Prutha’s long essay (kidding) …. you do your thing … and everything will happen (or not) as a by product …

    And I am sure by now you already know … that you were missed! I am glad you are back! :)

    ♡ from © tanvii.com

  • Ambu,

    I am so glad you’re blogging again. I missed your blog and I was wondering if you were going to come back.
    I do hope you keep writing regularly once more, but I know it’s hard. I took a hiatus for a while when I moved in July and ever since it’s been really difficult to blog as often as before.

    Sometimes you need to take a break and evaluate what you really want from the whole experience.

    But anyway, as long as you keep writing I’ll keep returning even if you have a wall of text and no pics in sight.

  • AMBU!

    Firstly, great to see you blogging again! The reason I read your blog is due to the content, so please do not change a thing! I follow many blog, and for each I have a reason. I have a “lighter” blog, because the one I had previously was definitely on the more “heavy” side (dealing with my father’s passing). Now, my blog is about my family, music, fashion and food, with the occasional personal insight or personal opinion post.

    That being said, you don’t have to do a thing my dear! All bloggers have their own unique style, and if you need to space your posts apart because of the type of content you want to present, then please do it! Your blog is thought provoking and that is why I read it, but in the content and pictures. It makes me think about how I dress and why I blog as well. When I do face a subject that I need to decide on whether “to post or not to post”, I think of you and other content heavy blogs. I wasn’t sure if I should post my experience on 9/11 recently, but I did because as you stated, it’s your blog and you should post what you want, not because of conventional reasons like gaining traffic.

    You have a voice, and your voice should be dictated by what makes you feel passionate. I’m glad to see you back to blogging, and I would hate to see you stop because you felt you needed to conform. You are unique, and I love it!

    xoxo
    Cyrillynn

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