Don't Call it a Comeback Title Image

THE GREAT SOCIAL MEDIA STORY: Don’t Call it a Comeback!!!

Another birthday in the bag and I’m long overdue for a solid blog post. Admittedly, part of my recent absence involved my two-week vacation from work and my choice to spend more time with my family, time stolen away by the 9-5 I work to keep him well.

But though all else seemed secondary for a while, with my gaze transfixed on the small adventures we’d have in Ottawa and Toronto, I’d never stay gone forever, the blog too much a part of me to abandon it without good reason.

Don't Call It A Comeback — Casey and Son at Hanlan's Point
I expected many moments like this in 2014, but maybe didn’t appreciate all the work that comes with ‘em.

I entered 2014 thinking I knew exactly where my blog was going next. I’d just had a kid less than two months before, eagerly writing on the brand-new fatherhood experience and everything I was learning from it. I’d written up The 2014 100, my annual list of 100 things I’d like to try doing through the year, looking more optimistic than my list did for The 2013 100 as I better understood who I was and what I wanted. Through either dumb luck or all the years of hard work paying off, I was lining up paid opportunities and access to plenty of product reviews — it felt like the year I could finally say I “made it”, one of Toronto’s bloggers making money for their craft, with the potential of calling blogging a “job”.

But the truth isn’t nearly as simple as that. Six months later, my posts are infrequent, my mind’s tired and I feel like my #BloggerLife’s more confused now than it was when the year began.

It might be time to take a look at my blogging and figure out what it is I’m trying to accomplish.

Why am I still blogging?

Don't Call It A Comeback — My Son at Pizzeria Libretto
This is the same face I make sometimes when I look at all the stuff I need to do.

It wasn’t always so… complicated. Going back to that innocent period at the dawn of 2014, even then I didn’t understand the blogosphere like I do now. For years, I’d aimlessly competed with my fellow lifestyle bloggers for event invites and free swag, content that I’d gotten my name out enough to stand tall in Toronto — I started the year partying with Ford in Detroit, after all!

In many ways, that ignorance was bliss, making me think the world of blogging was smaller than it actually is. Continued blogging success connected me with bigger-name bloggers who could show me what the higher tiers of blogging were really like — character assassination; lengthy legal agreements where the slightest misstep rendered payment null and void; opportunities where you wouldn’t even be considered without a minimum 50,000 unique monthly views. Discovering the true distance between where my blog is and where I want it to be was disheartening, giving me pause as I looked at my blog, wondering what I’m really going for with all this content I’m producing.

Which led me to a thought I’d all but forgotten, but remains firmly relevant today in everything I do —

if you don’t like what you’re doing, change it.

Blogging ain’t what it used to be: Who I need to be to keep at it.

What I need to do is change the way I blog. Right now, I’m affiliated with a number of sites, with Parent Tested Parent Approved; The Hooray Collective; and 20-Something Bloggers at the top of the list. I’m always writing. No, seriously — always writing. Even if it’s sometimes only a paragraph at a time, I’m never without a notebook in hand, trying to capture whatever thoughts I have milling around in my head on paper. My writing process is slow and methodical, but I end up with pieces I like, and my audience likes them too!

But as the assignments pile up, I realize all too late — as I’m often wont to do — that I’ve bitten off more than I can chew, needing to find all the free time I can just to keep up with the ideas, emails, photo post-production and metadata entry needed to complete all my obligations. And that’s before all the social sharing that’s hand-in-hand with this content in the year 2014. Pre-fatherhood Casey Palmer might’ve handled this just fine, but now that my full-time gig (on top of the one I already had) that adds feeding, changing, 24/7 entertainment, bathing, chauffeur, polysomnographic technologist, psychiatrist, bodyguard and spiritual advisor to my résumé, my free time for blogging doesn’t seem as available as it once did.

And with my time at the highest premium it’s even been, I have to make sure I use my spare moments as best possible to get the most from what years I have left on this rock.

I’m just not sure that blogging’s the answer.

Next Steps

Don't Call It A Comeback — Tweed, ON
Looking out to the horizon, I know what I need to do next.

Some would read that sentence and think: “He’s throwing in the towel — he’s taking the house that took a decade to build and burning it down all from a little writer’s block!”

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

I’ve felt it for quite some time — there’s more to me than blogging. Aside from writing, my years on the Internet saw me dabble in coding, comics, podcasting, videography, illustration, infographics, rapping, webcasts, photography — I’ve been writing blogs for so long that I’ve forgotten about all these other things I used to do.

Too many bloggers are one-trick ponies, relying on old rules and thinking to church their content out. Despite a constantly evolving Internet, they mistakenly believe that honing a tried-and-true method is their key to success, surprised when the world moves on without them, looking for something new to whet their palates.

Longevity in blogging isn’t just about writing longer than anybody else — it’s about continuing to care about the content you’re creating; cultivating an audience who wants to see you grow with the life story you’re telling; and continuing to stand out in a digital world whose topography changes every time you blink, new obstacles ever before you to overcome.

So that’s where my head’s at as I peer at the blogosphere, refusing to do what the masses do for short-term wins. My gaze is ever-fixed far toward the horizon, chasing after the day where I’ve finally created all the ideas in my head. For now I’ll stay the course and build a wealth of writing to clear my mind, but I eventually hope to show the world what else I can offer, and make my Internet presence just that much more diverse.

See you when I get there,

–case p.

22 thoughts on “THE GREAT SOCIAL MEDIA STORY: Don’t Call it a Comeback!!!”

    1. Yeah, you’re right — keeping busy for the sake of keeping busy is only another way of slowly killing yourself through stagnation. I’m not the same person I was 5 years ago, and my content shouldn’t reflect that either.

      I’d love someone to come out with something fresh that instills a new standard for how it’s done — if I come up with something like that for myself, then I’m okay with that, too.
      Casey E. Palmer recently posted..I’M NOT DEAD, I’M JUST A DAD: Where The Dad Bloggers At?My Profile

    1. I’m going to be writing a post for 20-Something Bloggers soon on Internet security — seems to me that “Internet eating your comments” will be a good thing to include in there, too :) Lazarus is going to love me for mentioning their plugin….

      Onward and upward, right? The quest for personal growth. Reminding yourself that you’re a better you than you were the day before. All these things!
      Casey E. Palmer recently posted..I’M NOT DEAD, I’M JUST A DAD: Where The Dad Bloggers At?My Profile

  1. “Spirtual advisor” I knew you had some Miss Cleo in you!

    All kidding aside, have you thought of doing a half and half scheme?

    That is to say half a blog post would be written and the other half would dabble in a podcast or v-log or something else you have on your mind?

  2. It’s really not an “easy” gig. Balance is something that I struggle with daily. Even right now as I comment, I am making my son’s breakfast at the same time.

    My goal for the summer is to find more balance and enjoy the summer more (along with do some schooling) while still meeting deadlines and writing for my blog.
    Randa recently posted..Little Yogi WW W/LINKYMy Profile

    1. Randa,

      I’ve been having this conversation with some friends lately, that the idea of work and jobs for my son when he grows up won’t be the same one we had. Things are becoming more globalized and there are new kinds of job coming out every year. I feel like it starts with embracing the idea that the 9-5 isn’t the only “job” I’m carrying, and yeah — this one can definitely be off the wall, but I think I find it more rewarding because more of it is directly proportional to my efforts.

      Just gotta be patient, right?
      Casey E. Palmer recently posted..I AM NOT A FOODIE: #SamInHand Has Me Cooking With Sam Adams Beer!My Profile

  3. Good thoughts. I know other bloggers who’ve taken a blogging break (or even stopped to pursue other things in life). Assessing where we are and want to be is always a good thing, and I hope you find some answers that will help you move forward. (And, btw, the parenting thing does get a bit easier as they get a bit older! Sounds like you’re still in the trenches here so that’s probably affecting things a lot. :)
    Bonnie Way recently posted..Perfect Threads: Like-New Kids’ ClothesMy Profile

    1. It’s interesting, actually — I don’t see too many other parent bloggers with babies; they’re usually a few years older. I wonder if there was a memo I missed ;) ?

      I definitely don’t see myself stopping, but I think I at the very least need to take a step back and figure out where I’d like to spend my time and work on reallocating it.

      It’ll all get there :)
      Casey E. Palmer recently posted..Getting it Write — A Blog Hop on Writing and Why I Do It!My Profile

      1. Oh, interesting. I blogged through the pregnancy and births of all three of my daughters… almost without a break. :) I know a few other bloggers who’ve also blogged with young babies, but you’re right, I also know a lot of bloggers with kids in school who can devote school hours to blogging.

        I’ve also had to recently take a step back and figure out my time… I’d hoped to jump into work as a blog assistant, helping other bloggers, but I quickly became overwhelmed and realized I had to pull back to just working on my own blog. I’d also like to start a second blog, but I’m not sure the time is right for that yet. I don’t want to face burnout. :) So good luck with your reassessment! It’ll come to you. :)

        1. Heh. As I enter this week, I’m about to try and release four sponsored posts to I can free my mind up to work on other content. On top of that, it’s currently VEDA, so I’m trying my hand at video again for a bit to see how that goes :)

          Variety is the spice of life, and I’m trying to mix it up as much as possible!

          I’ve actually floated the idea of getting an intern to help with the blog, but I don’t think I have everything I’d need them to do sorted out enough to get one on board. Alas!!!
          Casey E. Palmer recently posted..I AM NOT A FOODIE: #SamInHand Has Me Cooking With Sam Adams Beer!My Profile

  4. What an inspirational post Casey! I hear ya on the 9-5 taking over from the blog! I Blog because I love it. I love sharing my children’s quirks and love helping people. I guess I continue to blog out of love rather then drive to make it a job. I’m not a business women. Although I’d love to be a top blogger, I don’t have the gusto to push people down together. I’d rather ride the wave and see where it goes from here!
    Jenn recently posted..The Potty Training Finale: Staying Motivation with Kandoo WipesMy Profile

    1. That right there is the best reason to keep blogging — that’s why I keep experimenting with new things; I love learning and always want to see what new things I can come up with if I keep pushing my boundaries :)

      I don’t think I make it a goal to be a “top blogger” — for me, I just want to reach my potential, whatever that may be. One day I’ll look back at everything I put together, and if I’m happy with it, I’m going to say I’ve done something right ;)

      Keep at it!
      Casey E. Palmer recently posted..THE GREAT SOCIAL MEDIA STORY: All Right, STOP. Collaborate and LISTEN.My Profile

  5. I have to say, I struggle with that same dilemma almost twice a week. I love blogging but can’t seem to get ahead in numbers, then get discouraged, step away from the computer then realize that if I don’t produce more content, I won’t get the numbers… and then the opps.

    Viscous cycle. I still love telling a story so I keep at it.
    Margarita Ibbott ( recently posted..(not so) Wordless Wednesday with LINKY – Montmorency Falls Park – Stunning, Spectacular, Must See #BonjourQuebec #DPROfamilyVacaMy Profile

    1. Yeah, a ton of it is stepping away from the numbers game in order to do better in the numbers game, counter-intuitive as it is. The important thing is loving what you put out, enough to be so enthusiastic about it that you’re compelled to share it with the world. That’s what I try to go for every time I post, sometimes I rock it, sometimes I don’t.

      But I’ll keep trying.

      I hope to one day be doing this full-time and make it viable, but gotta build that foundation first!
      Casey E. Palmer recently posted..I AM NOT A FOODIE: #SamInHand Has Me Cooking With Sam Adams Beer!My Profile

  6. Your writing is beautiful…. hang in there (which I know you said you are). Sometimes it’s important to take a step back and really realize why we’re doing this. I had that moment last year after Blissdom. I felt that I put blogging before my family, and as a SAHM, it didn’t sit well with me. I’ve since found my pace, pattern and schedule and it’s much better. Good-luck!

    1. Thanks so much, Maya — and yes, you’re right. I’ve been having some talks with my wife on where I’m going with it all and what I hope to accomplish, and now I find myself trying to get ahead enough to just enjoy time with my family. It’s hard enough to find it as it is, so I need to remind myself that the blog will always be here — but my family changes over time. Definitely about the priorities.

      I feel like I’m starting to figure it out, and always need to remember about moderation.

      Thanks for stopping by :) I appreciate it!
      Casey E. Palmer recently posted..I’M NOT DEAD, I’M JUST A DAD: Where The Dad Bloggers At?My Profile

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