Today, as I sat down and mentally prepared myself to get started – you all know how that goes, I’m sure… even exciting things can sometimes be daunting – I first decided to check out my Bloglovin feed. There were a number of updates and I sifted through them, marking several as read even though I didn’t even both to click on them. Then, I reached one from Lindsey at Thriving In Third, someone who I have actually met, that got me thinking.
Lindsey blogged this week about the heavy focus that bloggers place on product promotion. I couldn’t agree more. As I go through my feed each week, many of those that I automatically mark as read are teacher bloggers who I know are simply posting to sell products – ones that I know won’t apply to me because they are a different grade level.
As a result, I headed back to my Bloglovin feed and started to unfollow those blogs that, week after week, I mark as read without reading. There were only a handful actually. As I looked at the remaining blogs – about 60 – I realized that for many of those, I had no idea why I had begun following them in the first place. I ended up going through and unfollowing even more people who I didn't regularly visit their blog. I am now down to following 29 blogs. I still have a few that I think I should maybe unfollow, but I’ll let them stay for now.
As I continue as a blogger and a reader, I hope to remember Lindsey’s post. I hope that as I create each new blog post, I emphasize content – what happened in my room that week, what worked, what I need help with – rather than promoting products. I hope that as I visit new blogs, I remember to try to make a connection with that teacher through comments, rather than just being a silent reader. Will links to TPT products be posted? Perhaps. But I hope to remember that it should not be the focus of the blog post.
As I sit here writing this post, I’m reflecting on why I decided a few years ago to begin a blog and why I've continued doing so now. Like Lindsey, I was attracted by the idea of a community of teachers. As I consider what would make me feel successful in my blogging endeavors, I imagine having a tight group of blogging buddies like some others have come to find.
What about you? What are you hoping to get out of blogging? Is your goal to make it as a blogger with thousands of followers or are you looking for the community? Of course, they don’t need to be mutually exclusive, but what is your main focus?