open letter to bloggers

Dear bloggers,

Take a deep breath. Close your eyes, even. (Seriously try it, it feels nice.)

In.

Out.

In.

Out.

Ahh, I’m feeling better already.

When’s the last time you took a second to literally just close your eyes, breathe, and enjoy a moment of peace and calm?

I’m writing to you to hopefully put some things into perspective in the light of social media algorithm changes, Shadowbanning, and whatever else is happening to bog you down.

An Open Letter to Bloggers

I’m not coming from a place of arrogance; I get it. I’ve been there too. But I couldn’t keep quiet when I see so many of you, for lack of a more eloquent term, freaking out over the changes.

I get it

You’re vowing to swear off Instagram forever. You’re threatening to throw the towel in – yeah, take THAT, Facebook! You’re mad, sad, pouting, and downright throwing tantrums – I’m not exaggerating, these are all things I’ve witnessed. And I get it, it stinks to be doing things the right way and getting punished. It’s annoying to be missing opportunities for engagement without even knowing why. It’s like this – has anyone ever felt under-valued or cheated at your job? You work hard, play by the rules, are genuinely committed yet are overlooked? It feels horrible, I get it.

A trivial piece of the puzzle

But here’s the thing; social media is not life. It may be a part of your life, part of your passion, part of your job, and a piece of your income, but it’s not your lifeline. In fact, my plummeting engagement hasn’t stopped me from any opportunities.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in our little blogging world where everything seems just so important – and I’m not saying it’s not important – but it’s not life or death as the Insta Stories rants make it seem. It’s not the end all of your blog or life as the Facebook status proclamations make it seem.

Stop it!

I’ve been there, totally immersed in my bubble, actually CRYING over an Instagram bully ( a story for another day); I’ve been there throwing my own inward tantrums back when I tracked who unfollowed me, and the data actually ruined my whole day.

First, you have to just stop – stop tracking your unfollowers. If you haven’t done that already, get rid of any app that tracks who follows and unfollows you – I’ll give you a moment to delete that now…

Next, stop the tantrums. It’s not fair? I keep seeing this term – it’s not fair that the algorithms change; it’s not fair that I’m doing things the right way and get punished. While you may be right, it just makes me smile because my two-year-old is going through an “it’s not fair” phase, and just as she folds her arms and proclaims it’s not fair that she can’t have French fries every day, it makes me smile that something that’s actually so trivial is ruining your life. You’re all too wonderful to let this happen; I want more for you.

What’s next

I’ll suggest what I do with my toddler; have your moment – go on and rant, because there is truth to what you’re feeling and there’s no use stifling it – but there’s also no use dwelling on it. Get it out of your system and take a breather.

Keep posting great content. Focus on what you love, not what you hate, and if you really hate it that much, then actually quit instead of threatening it. Your negative energy is stuck and doing you no good otherwise. Take a break from social media and I think you’ll feel a weight lifted from you, too.

Now take a moment and scroll through your Instagram feed. Go to three of your friends’ feeds. What do you see? What do you feel?

What I see

I looked through mine and felt proud; my feed has come a long way from when I started. I feel joy – I love seeing my favorite pictures of my little girls. I also feel motivated; I finally got a real camera and can’t wait to learn how to use it and start shooting better pictures.

Then I looked at my friends’ feeds; they made me smile, seeing Paige’s hilarious and adorable little boys and her witty captions. I felt inspired by Chelsea’s captions, proud of her professional style photos and in awe of Supal’s ability to be an actual digital storyteller.

I laughed at Jaelan’s caption of her sweet, tiny strawberry picture, felt joy from Tiffany’s seriously exuberant smile in her last photo, and drooled over Amanda’s new bubblegum pink Tory Burch bag. Annie’s cheerful tulips brightened my otherwise gloomy Chicago day, and Brittany’s sweet, airy, and encouraging feed reminded me that I need to get together with her.

Reality check

I’m doing this as I’m writing, my warm computer fan lulling my nursing baby to sleep while my toddler’s artfully messy bedhead curls flop as she shakes her head spastically at me for some unknown reason. The news is on in the background, left on by my husband, and there’s a breaking report about an Isis attack in Paris, a reminder of why I stopped watching the news. My soul weighs heavily with every local, national, and global exclusive I hear, each somehow more horrendous than the next.

I have this intense juxtaposition of all that’s pure and good in the world, literally sitting just on one couch cushion, and all that’s evil glowing at me from the television screen.

This is real life, the best and worst of reality.

As all of my blessings swell powerfully in my heart, stemming from just two little human beings as we sit in our jammies doing nothing on my couch, I’m hit with a reality check.

And I hope you are too.

Keep up the good work; good things will come.

Everywhere
  • Ugh this is PERFECT Lindsay! I totally agree with having your moment, but that’s just it: a MOMENT. I definitely think I’m going to get back to my roots of blogging and posting about what makes me happy and not worrying so much on all these small changes–it’s making me crazy!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Yes! It is just a moment, for sure. It can be hard to recognize when you get in your head and blogger bubble about it, but if you’re able to detach from that for a moment, you’ll have some much needed clarity.

  • I NEEDED this. Thank you. That’s exactly what I needed as well. To whine about it followed by a reality check that indeed, social media is not life. Thanks for including me in this and for your sweet words about my style. Love you always <3

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Yayyyyy, I know you stress about this (we ALL do), but I swear you don’t give yourself enough credit for your hard work. You’re amazing in all aspects of your life – don’t stress : )

  • I love this! I’ve recently taken a very “it is what it is” approach to social media, all I can do is post my BEST content and hope for success. I mean, still working, but also not being SO stressed about it

    Xxox
    Laura @ http://www.cookwineandthinker.com

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Yes yes yes exactly; I’m not able to devote as much time as I used to and I’d like to social media, but that’s okay – there will be ebbs and flows, and I’m totally okay with that.

  • THIS THIS THIS! My Instagram will never have a theme because I usually will post pictures I like even if it doesn’t “fit”.” I’ve seen bloggers delete and repost their whole feed, also saw a rant video on YouTube. Social media should be fun, not something to slave over!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I’m with you! I so admire those beautiful feeds with a cohesive aesthetic and honestly used to stress over the fact that my house wasn’t all painted white, that my kids’ clothes didn’t all fit my vision for my IG theme, etc. It’s great for people who that works for, but that’s not me : ) And that’s okay.

  • Such an inspiring post! All these things needed to be said, to be heard! I love that you focus on what’s real and important and put everything into perspective. Is it hard that suddenly we aren’t getting the comments and love on our posts, sure. Especially for someone like me who was just starting to see a bg increase but you are so right, at the end of the day, I do what I do for myself because I enjoy it.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I’m so glad you can relate to this, Leslie! Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

  • Paige Allison

    Thanks for the shout out my friend! I’m with you 100% that low engagement hasn’t kept me from ANY opportunities. I don’t fake my engagement, it sucks quite honestly, and this week alone I made $595 off my insta account. So boohoo to the bloggers complaining about everything – get your attitude on track and blog on anyway! Love all your words.

  • Thanks, friend. Seeing your photos totally make my day, too.
    There is entirely too much fit throwing about the algorithm changes. In pretty much every type of “job”, things change and you adapt. You adapt or you get lost. I’m with you girlfriend. There are far more things to be worried about.

  • So poignantly written. Thank you. We needed this.. may this be a sober reminder to all of us that a whole world exists outside of Instagram, as silly as this sounds. Well written, seriously well written. Good job!

    Jessica || Cubicle Chic
    http://www.mycubiclechic.com/blog

  • THIS gave me life. I go back and forth from caring and not caring and to be completely fair, I’m just so happy with the content I’m creating because I get to share with family and friends like you. It’s people like you that make this industry worth it <3

  • Awwww thanks so much for the shout out! I have had a few major life changes and have definitely been evaluating where and how much time I’m spending on my content. I am definitely stepping back on just focusing on quality and I already feel so much lighter about things. Thank you for this reality check.

  • jennadesigns

    Thanks for the encouragement! It’s nice to be reminded that real life exists outside of Instagram and everyone’s curated little lives you see in tiny squares and feel compelled to start comparing yourself with. I try to be authentic and that’s what I post – real life.

  • Tiffany {A Touch of Grace}

    Lindsay you are amazing. Thank you for the shout out! I completely agree with you. And while I sometimes struggle with frustration about things like Instagram, I quickly remember that my first priority is my family. My blog is my business yes, but it’s not the end of the world if a photo doesn’t do well, or my engagement is down. There are far more important things in my life for me to worry about and focus on. Love you friend!

  • Twin Pickle

    Haha, we do like to be dramatic don’t we! We’ll all get through, and I’m certainly not ditching my social media addiction just yet 😉

  • This is so true. Sometimes I do struggle with negative feelings about my followers/ engagement on social media (as I am trying really hard to grow). But then those negative feelings expand into other areas of my life. It’s something I continue to work on, so thanks for the reminder! 🙂

  • Shani Ogden

    Yes! I’ve been feeling frustrated lately for so many of the reasons you listed. BUT I’m trying not letting it get me down, especially the followers thing because odds are, the people who unfollowed probably had some program do it and they don’t even know they were following me in the first place. I’m just trying to put out good content and keep moving forward and doing the best I can and I think things will work out just fine.

  • I love everything about this post! Thank you for writing it 😀

  • What a beautiful reminder, Lindsay. I can’t say I was stomping my foot, because I tend have a looser desire for “more followers, more likes, numbers, numbers, numbers!” mentality, but I realize it can feel frustrating for many. Sometimes blogging makes me sad, because authentic, real community isn’t something that’s bought or measured in numbers. It’s in little interactions and genuine heart-to-hearts. Thank you for writing this and reminding us of the real community outside of the algorithms and numbers games 😘

  • Taylor Smith

    This is a wonderful letter. I love this. At the end of the day, I love creating beautiful content. No crappy social media site can take that away from me!!! This was so perfect timing.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Exactly!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your feed, Taylor, so keep on doing beautiful things : )

  • Justine Y

    I really loved this post! I think it’s so important to keep these things in mind, every blogger should read this, it’s so true what you said about it not being your lifeline.

  • This is such a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing, this is especially nice to read as a newer blogger myself 🙂 Not letting social media consume our lives is so important, we all need a break once in awhile and don’t need to always feel attached to our phones. Thanks again for sharing this post!

    Kristen | http://www.sophisticatedgal.com

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Welcome to the blogging world and congrats on your blog!

  • Kelsie Kleinmeyer

    This is SO amazing. I love the truth you share and I also love how you weaved in the feeds and stories of others. Great post!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Aw thanks Kelsie! Hope you’re doing well momma.

  • Omg I relate to this so much. We put SO much pressure on ourselves to get a certain number of likes all the time. And what does that even mean?? I actually made myself a rule – first, I only allow myself 2 scrolls on my feed. Whether it’s twitter, fb, or Instagram, I scroll twice and then stop. I was wasting so much time just mindlessly flipping through pictures and videos. The second rule I implemented was turning off push notifications. When I post a new Instagram, I purposely don’t look at it for a few hours to make myself forget about it.

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I absolutely LOVE YOUR first rule! I’m actually going to adopt it starting now. I have a long to do list in addition to being around for my girls, and I often find myself just mindlessly scrolling just to scroll. Thanks for the push to stop it.

  • Victoria McGill

    Such good advice! My time is much better spent working on content and playing with my little than scrolling through my social media looking for likes!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Yes, for sure!

  • Anne Thompson

    All the love to you Linds! I always look at your feed and am so happy to see Ginny and Olive, and I don’t know how you always look so pulled together! You make me envious and inspired at the same time! In all honesty, I haven’t even looked at Google Analytics in the last month. It just isn’t worth obsessing over! I am trying to get over the numbers game! This post was a welcome reminder of that!

    xo
    Annie

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Annie baby! I hope our families can all get together someday – I would LOVE love love that. You’re sweet to say that but I’m not Instagramming moments like this, that I have a messy bun, no makeup, and my big robe : )

  • This is great! I needed to read this today. I am a newbie on the blogging scene and trying my best! It can be frustrating to try to do everything!! I think your advice is on point! I am making some changes right now! Then I am going to go play outside with my kids!

    • Lindsay Katherine

      Hi Lauren, thanks for your message and welcome to blogging! Hope you had fun with your kiddos : )

  • Breyona Sharpnack

    I like the stop tracking your unfollowers advice. I used to do it alot and then it clicked so what. I did however like it for my records of who to unfollow that I was following

    • Lindsay Katherine

      I’m glad you connected with this! It’s like a weight is lifted when you stop tracking.