A shaking bunch of nerves.
That’s basically what I was when I entered the Crown Regency Hotel for the 9th Best Cebu Blog Awards.
Was I nervous about winning or not winning the best personal blog award? Sure. Was I afraid that my ankles would falter and I’d fall on my face from a lack of high-heel-walking practice? Maybe.
What scared me the most though, was being alone in this room full of strangers.
I would rather sit at home and curl up with a good book.
I would rather be cooking a good meal for myself.
I would rather be playing board games with my close bunch of coworkers.
I would be delighted to go to a party of bloggers, had even just one friend of mine been there to offer social support. In this case however, I was persuaded to attend sans anyone I knew because 1. I had to go, I mean come on. But 2. The invitation was good for only one person (me of course!).
For a good thirty minutes (probably more) I was the only one sitting at my table.
HAHAHA (crying inside).
But seriously though. Everybody else seemed to know everybody else, that or they were all just really friendly people, the type that can come into a group of strangers and say, “waddup everyone?” and immediately make friends.
Unfortunately (in this case anyway), I am not this person.
Eventually though, I made friends with this tight group of fashion bloggers (thank God for them!). For a long time though, and for most of the night, I was only able to observe the people in the room. I could ascertain that many were extroverted, or were part of a blogging group that gave them plenty of connections. It made me wonder, would it be necessary for me, a hardcore introvert to make such connections in order to be a successful blogger?
The thought made me shudder.
To Call that a Challenge Would be an Understatement.
DO NOT get me wrong. I like making friends one at a time. And I love my friends. I love how each circle of friends represents a different stage of my life. I love how there’s a bit of each and every one of us in each other. I love how we understand each other.
But introduce me to anything much bigger or wider than those circles of friends and I will retreat into my safe little shell.
This was one major predicament that constantly plagued me. I tried to push it away, seal it in an airtight container and shove it into the forgotten storeroom in the back of my mind, but it’s always there. It would always poke me every time I worked or even just looked at my blog.
It was this: how was I going to be a successful blogger if I didn’t “get out there” more? How would people know about my blog if I didn’t establish connections with people or groups? How would I ever grow my readership? How how howwwwww????
Thankfully, I did find answers to these questions.
But They’re Not the Direct Answers Everyone Expects.
You can’t milk a chicken and you can’t force a cow to lay eggs. You simply can’t.
Likewise, you can’t expect an introvert to suddenly be a social butterfly among various groups and strangers just so his/her blog will somehow take off. If I did that, people would accuse me of being insincere (and that’s exactly how I would be, pretending to be something I’m not psssh), or worse, think I have a split personality. (We do not have a split personality, right other me? That’s right first me.)
So that’s that. I’m staying true to myself, and that’s being an introvert.
But that definitely doesn’t mean blogging successfully is out of the question! And the geniuses of Copyblogger can tell you why:
Alright if you’re too lazy to read that here’s the gist, with my own take on things:
- The unprofitable introvert is a myth.
Just because we’re introverts doesn’t mean we’re completely “unmarketable” online. We may be wary about how we expose ourselves publicly, but that’s something to our advantage. And as Miss Melissa Ng of Copyblogger states, there is always more than one way to accomplish something, including blogging successfully.
- Being an introvert can increase your trustworthiness and credibility as a blogger. Introverts are often bookish and tend to focus well on things and details. Leverage this properly, and you could become the trusted, go-to expert in your niche.
- Introverts often like to listen more than talk, and when we do talk we make sure what we say is meaningful. That’s another advantage we can use- we can not only convey our innermost thoughts and ideas into meaningful written work, we can also listen more fervently to our readers and understand them better. (So speak up readers, I’m listening! ;D)
- We’re serious.
My friends used to (and sometimes still do) badger me about this all the time. “Why are you always so serious?” “Don’t be so serious all the time!” But being serious isn’t all bad, and it certainly doesn’t mean being no fun at all. (I can seriously have fun as well!) Being serious means being earnest, sincere, and thinking deeply into things. Those are qualities that are plenty useful when crafting great content for your blog!
- We’re sensitive. Okay, this may not be applicable to all introverts, but it is to most. We spend a lot of time alone you see, and when we do that we get in touch with our thoughts and emotions. We are able to reflect on our feelings and experiences more often and with deeper intensity. The result? We are able to better empathize with our readers, connect with them on a deeper level and produce more meaningful work.
So who says you can’t be an introvert AND a successful blogger at the same time? You better shove this post into that person’s face! (Or just share it on his Facebook wall, whatever works and doesn’t instigate violence…)
At the end of it all however, success is really relative. You may not be miss popular, have dozens of likes and followers, or fit into the typical blogger mold. But as long as what you do makes you happy and fulfilled; as long as you have a sense of purpose and pride in blogging; and of course, as long as you stay true to yourself, you will always be successful.