I’m back this Friday participating in another Let’s Talk Bookish post, as always hosted by the amazing Rukky @ Eternity Books and awesome Dani @ The Literary Lion! For this week, our topic is one (selfishly) suggested by me! We’re talking about “failed” posts. Or, post that you write, put in a shit ton of effort into and yet completely flop. How do you recover?
Why do posts fail?
So, I wrote that I was selfish above, when suggesting this post. It’s honestly because I was hoping someone could answer these two main questions: why do posts fail and what are we meant to do after? Personally, I’m not quite sure why one post flops. To me, a “failed” post means receiving hardly any likes or views, comments are non-existent and it’s gotten no traction, statistically. It leaves me wondering why I put in (sometimes) hours of work for, yet no one read it or engaged?
It becomes even harder to pin down when I zoom out and look at the bigger picture. Currently, I have roughly 915 followers. Yet, my posts receive anywhere from 10~ engagement on the low end, to 50~ on the high end. Engagement here meaning a combination of likes, views, comments and shares. That’s a very low level of engagement, compared to the number of followers. And when a post I work on and am very proud of sits on the lower end of that spectrum, it’s hard for that not to feel like a punch.
What to do with “failed” posts?
I think the biggest thing is to allow yourself to feel. If you’re gutted by a post’s performance, don’t shy away from that. Allow yourself to be bummed out. Commiserate with a trusted friend or rant to a pet. But do not let yourself spiral into thinking that you’re suddenly worthless or your words don’t matter. I’ve done that before and it is just plain not true (as I go into more detail below). Give yourself some time to feel your reactions and then be purposeful in your response.
Your response might be reflective, like trying to find the source of why you didn’t get engagement. It could be learning to avoid it happening in the future, like learning SEO or social media promotion strategies. Or giving, like blog hopping and engaging with posts you enjoy and supporting your community. Or you can just let go and move on, which is completely okay.
What I hope doesn’t happen (unless you need it) is that you throw in the towel. Your blog is not defined by a failed post. Fuck, you aren’t, either. And it’s important to remember that.
Writing this post has reminded me as a few takeaways I don’t want to forget. Such as:
- Your worth is not your stats. This is SO hard to remember as bloggers (or creatives in general, TBH). The comparison game is easy, constant and strong. And statistics are an easy way to fall into comparison. Even easier to find yourself lacking. Don’t fall into this trap.
- Don’t be afraid to promote. I struggle with this the most. I have a big fear of what others might think, so I constantly worry about “annoying” followers on social media when promoting my own posts or editing business. Don’t be like me!! PROMOTE YOUR WORK. You deserve to be proud of what you’ve accomplished and put that work out into the world! Obviously, don’t go on blast every five seconds, but social media has such a small lifespan and is so easily missed. Promote often!
- Remember that posts don’t have an expiration date. A little more complex, but I’m thinking of evergreen content, as my friend Kal @ Reader Voracious wrote about! For example: I just recently reshared a post I wrote back in 2017 on failing to get into Pitch Wars, as the current mentee list for the 2021 contest was announced. While my post is very old, the content within it can still resonate with those going through what I did. Looking at your content and seeing ways to reshare old content when fitting is a good way to help breathe life into those “failed” posts!
- Reevaluate and reinvent, repeating as necessary. An important lesson for me that I’m always learning. But, if you find yourself unhappy with where your blog is at and how it’s performing, don’t hesitate to sit down and reevaluate it! Look at your goals, your methods, your content and don’t be afraid to pivot as necessary.
This was really cathartic for me to write, actually! And I am very excited to blog hop and see what everyone else thinks. But, tl;dr version: “failed” posts deserve to be felt, in whatever way you respond to them. But they aren’t uncommon and they certainly shouldn’t be the definition of your worth or the death of your blog.
What about you? Let me know in the comments what you think and if this post resonated. Thank you for reading!