Taking the “Shoulds” Out of Social {Craft Your Blog}


On the calendar for today I have a post called “The Least I Should Do,” which was supposed to be about making a plan for social media that becomes a kind of checklist of all the things you have to do when you finish a post (pinning to Pinterest, promoting on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.).

But the more I tried to write such a thing, the more I didn’t want to write it. The problem is that word “should.”

I hate the word should. It’s one of the most awful words you can label you work with.

Because it makes it feel like work. Shoulds come with pressure and guilt. And I really feel like social interactions — even of the online variety — need to be authentic, and to be authentic you have to want to do it. take shoulds out of social

Not feel like you have to. Or even like you should.

If you don’t want to do it, stop.

If you hate Twitter, don’t use it. If you’ve got issues with Pinterest, stay away.

Of course we need to learn about the different social networks, and we do need to play with them and see what works for us, but the point is we need to play.

Try new things. Experiment. Be playful.

Don’t should yourself out of enjoying those opportunities to interact with other people.

Don’t should yourself out of enjoying blogging because you feel the pressure of all the promotion you feel like you have to do.

If it’s all gotten to be too much, you have permission to step away.

I’m writing this for myself as much as for you. It’s so easy to get caught up in being everywhere all the time and sometimes — most of the time — that’s not the right or healthy approach.

This month (once the girl goes back to school, anyway) I’m focusing on social with the aim of working smarter, getting a system, understanding what works and what I enjoy and why.

Is it possible to have a system, maybe even a strategy, without shoulds? I’ll let you know.

In the meantime, if you have resources about making social fun or tips that have worked for you, I’d love to hear them!

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11 Comments

  1. Kim

    Oh, those pesky shoulds. I feed that beast on the daily it seems like. Right now I’m caught up on the should of redesigning my blog. I know I should since it’s a reflection on my work and it looks so sad now. But I haven’t gotten around to it.

    I’m a firm believer in two social media platforms. Stick with them and screw the rest.

  2. Hi Sarah,

    Some days are filled with “shoulds” and they become very tiring!

    I tend to try to do things in the same order everyday – it speeds up the process for me and I use services that allow my to Tweet my Pins/Posts automatically to other social media sites. Like clicking the “tweet” button on the Pinterest pin (bottom left corner of the pin form) or using services like Scoop.it and hootsuite (the free services). Saves me a lot of time – You may also be interested in Wunderlist – if you are a list person 🙂 When I was trying to set up my daily routine for social media/blogging I used that for a few weeks to make lists until they became routine and memorable.

    Pick the best platforms for you – focus on them until they are built up and strong on their own – then if you are comfortable add another. I did this first with Facebook and Google+, next I started blogging, now I have moved on to add Twitter…People begin sharing for you so you have less work to do yourself after you grow one area – if that makes sense 😉
    Good luck! Rhondda #SITSblogging

  3. I am the same way, all the social media stuff just becomes extremely overwhelming to me, especially since I just blog as a hobby and don’t make any money off of it. I just do what I can… I would much rather have real interactions with people on social media than a zillion followers anyway.

  4. There is so much pressure as a blogger to make a wide presence on social media. I recently discovered hootsuite (which I know alot of bloggers have been using for awhile). And it has made an amazing difference in the stress. No more “I should spend more time on social media.” I spend a small chunk of time prepping it and I don’t have to do it for the rest of the week. That allows me to spend more time with my family 🙂

  5. Some people really have their social media posting schedules down to a science (I am not one of them)! At the end of the day, our blogs are our babies, crafted out of our passions, and while I want to do the best to grow my “baby” I also do what I can to make sure it is bringing me more joy than stress!

    Happy to find you via #SITSBlogging 🙂

    Stephanie

  6. I really like your approach on this subject. Oftentimes I read laundry lists of what bloggers ‘should’ be doing and my first response is often dismay. Social media is a great way to interact and there’s a myriad of platforms to choose. I wish we’d shy away from must-haves and move towards those things we feel most comfortable doing or display a natural affinity towards. Bravo for a thought well expressed!
    #SITSBlogging

  7. Ah the joys of balancing the shoulds with the woulds and coulds. Let’s face it no matter what you do there will be times when you need to do a few things you don’t want to. I say bite the bullet and do them first. But overall, most things you do SHOULD be fun. The SHOULD bring you some level of enjoyment. If they aren’t then it’s time to reevaluate. Great post. Thanks for sharing. #SITSBlogging

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