The tagline under the title of this blog states, “Full-time RV life – random, moody, and quirky – but always straight from the heart.” I apologize to the readers who have been here since day one. The random, moody, and quirky part is constant (a personality flaw I can’t help but project), but there’s been a huge lag in “always straight from the heart.” For that, I’m truly sorry.
Random Bits started out as a place to record our adventures for our family and friends. It was a platform to update our location, share our experiences, and record our feelings and personal growth as we travel this beautiful United States. I wanted to form a network of fellow travelers to possibly meet on the road someday–fellow nomads and seekers–to share conversations around a campfire. I have accomplished this goal in many ways–we have met wonderful friends in our travels, made many memories in new locations, and formed a deep happiness and fulfillment in the life we’ve chosen.
Here’s where my apology comes in. Something switched along the way in my posts and I got off track. My subscribers started to grow and people I didn’t know started following our journey (it’s a small-time blog, but the numbers are HUGE to me). That’s not a bad thing; in fact, that’s what every blogger hopes for and some even seek wholeheartedly and full-speed-ahead–me included. I got caught up in all of the increase-your-traffic stress. I read articles, blogs, and on-line courses on how to grow a blog and make it profitable. I had ridiculous visions of going viral and supplementing our income so Mike could retire, too (insert eye roll here).
I did all the crazy things like research and concentrate on what titles would come up on Google search and increase reader traffic. I even wrote one of those silly “top 10” lists that are generally click bait and have absolutely no statistical evidence to make the items “top 10” except personal opinion. I wrote blogs on subjects in the RVing world that really didn’t matter to me because it had the potential to get more ‘clicks.’ Truth is, nobody can tell anyone else what rig is the best, how to pick it out or organize it, or what kitchen/tool/organizing/cleaning/bathroom/basement/you-name-it gadgets are necessities for everyone, because each family is different with unique needs. Simply living this life does not make me an expert on anything about it. We’re learning from trial and error–and the only sound advice we can give is from our own personal experience.
I joined Facebook groups, one in particular, “Little Houses, Spaces, and RV Blog Audience Builders” (that’s not the correct name–I didn’t care for the moderator, so I’m not giving it mention)–the sole purpose of the group was to have people click on social media pages simply to build traffic. At the time, I thought it was a good platform to introduce readers to my blog until the group started to dwindle on posts. The moderator asked why it wasn’t taking off, and a hugely successful blogger with thousands of subscribers said:
“While I really want more people to read my stuff, I don’t have the time to read other bloggers’ work unless I have a personal relationship with them.”
Whoa–back the truck up. Her statement resonated with me. Our goals are obviously different. I don’t want to be an impersonal business–it’s not me. I want a personal relationship with my readers. Every single one of them.
The biggest lesson I learned in discovering how to grow a blog and attempt to make it profitable was how it’s more time consuming than working a full-time corporate America job. I was busy writing content and peddling it out over social media and saturating the market with a blog post that has been covered by countless other RV bloggers–and making very little (repeat, very little) to show for it. Some people have become successful and grown by thousands of readers. Me, not so much. The more I delve into the blog-for-money blogosphere, the more I know it’s not for me. I want to write from my heart–not for everybody else. I don’t want to fill my posts with proven keywords for Google search until the subject doesn’t even make sense. I don’t want to spend hours in front of the computer getting my work “out there.” That’s not freedom to me–it’s definitely not the freedom I envisioned when I quit my 9:00 – 5:00 job to live a life with more freedom. I want to write and record our memories and lessons along the way. If someone can glean something from the experiences I share, it will make this endeavor even more worthwhile.
“I don’t want to gain the whole world and lose my soul.”
“You sit idle, while we teach prosperity. The first thing to prosper should be inside of me.”
…TobyMac (lyrics from “Lose My Soul”)
So, no more top 10 lists for me. No more click-bait titles to lure in readers only to disappoint them by weak and unrelated content. I’ll continue to post the practical side of RVing when Mike uploads YouTube videos because those are valuable to the new full-time RVer, and I may even gravitate to those subjects myself occasionally. However, I’m a writer and a regular, everyday person simply navigating this lifestyle one journey at a time. That’s what I’ll be concentrating on in the future. Writing for me once again–only things that “prosper inside of me.”
“I’m a writer and a regular, everyday person simply navigating this lifestyle one journey at a time.” …Dawn
Is one of my goals to get more readers? Of course! I especially want to meet and follow fellow travelers, those curious about our nomadic pursuits and how we maneuver this lifestyle, and those whose interests fall in line with mine. I’m also an Amazon affiliate who relies on reader support to pay the yearly fee to run this blog. If someone follows me, I follow them. I read their posts. I get to know them. I interact. It’s all about camaraderie–I want to make human-to-human connections, not simply gain numbers.
This is probably not a practical stance because it’s dog-eat-dog out there in the blogosphere, but I’ve never been one to follow the popular crowd. I hope my readers are here because they like me. I hope they stay because they can relate to what I have to say. I hope they understand I see them as friends and not a view number.
Thank you for reading. Thank you for your support. To all who comment and interact, I deeply appreciate the relationships we have built over the life of this blog–from back in the Blogging 101 and A-Z challenge days to the direction it has taken to full-time RVing and traveling. Thank you for being my sounding board, my virtual ‘listeners,’ and my deep gratitude to the many who have offered sound advice and honest feedback. It has been an honor to read your posts and learn from you.
For the first time in a long time, this is truly from my heart,
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