For Love, Not Likes

Having a background in the corporate world, I’m used to measuring success via numbers and statistics. It’s a dangerous rabbit hole in which to tumble as, even in our day-to-day lives, we’re surrounded by figures to fuel our vanity. This is very evident too in our beloved beer world, particularly for the writer and podcaster, but even for those simply documenting their journey across social media.

The inner narcissist in us all feeds off likes, views, subscribers, followers and comments to name but a few. It’s a tough trait to quash & ignore as, like I said, the majority of us are surrounded by metrics and KPIs in our careers. Admittedly, predominantly posting on Instagram, I have fallen fowl of ‘Like Checking’ before and it’s not healthy. It becomes an addiction, a method of self-certifying yourself or validating your opinion/post within the community.

But after having a metaphorical look in the mirror and time to reflect (see what I did there?) it’s time to make it just about the beer. The beer needs to come first, always. Regardless of likes, FOMO or being one of the first to post about a new beer just because I can, it’s time to go back to doing this for the love, not the likes.

After becoming obsessed with trying to grow as fast as possible by watching YouTube tutorials, reading online articles and following Instagram’s own advice, I was sucking the fun out of why I set up Points Of Brew in the first place. The whole point of embarking on this adventure was to drink good beer, meet new people and have fun along the way. If I’m absorbing all the fun out of it though, what’s the point?

“Do what you do because you enjoy it, not because of how many people are listening.”

Steve, Beer O’clock Show

I became bogged down in having to post every day, at certain times, and even scheduled my posts to make sure I didn’t miss my optimum time to do so. I had a similar experience when I used to write about video games; having to review them and find faults within oftentimes limited my experience rather than enriching it. Fun & enjoyment need to come first, and it’s the same here.

It was partially thanks to Steve from the Beer O’Clock Show that I had this wake up call when he said, “Do what you do because you enjoy it, not because of how many people are listening.” Following some doubts I’d also had after what I thought would be a breakthrough moment which turned out not to be, I asked myself ‘Am I still enjoying this?’ And the short answer was yes. My perception of the podcast and blog being successful didn’t matter, as success is measured in many ways and my enjoyment should be the biggest one of all.

People listening to my shows, reading my blog and engaging is amazing, even if it’s a handful at times. But what’s more important is that I enjoy putting content out there for them to enjoy. People taking the time out of their day to enjoy something I’ve created is pretty cool. In fact, it’s amazing. I don’t want this to come across as a ‘woe is me’ piece or me being ungrateful for the audience that I have built up thus far. It’s far from either.

In fact, if anything, it’s more of an awareness piece for other people. For anyone using social media, writing, blogging or podcasting needs to hear this; don’t sweat the small stuff and obsess over stats. The simple fact is that, if you do, you’ll always want more and keep chasing them. It doesn’t end. Just because you haven’t reached as many people as you’d like, doesn’t make it any less impactful, those who do read or listen appreciate what you’re doing.

By the same token, don’t do things because you feel like you need to either. It’s not the end of the world because you haven’t posted today and you don’t need to drink a beer just because you haven’t posted today. It can wait. Nobody looks at your page thinking, ‘They haven’t posted today, I’m not going to follow them any more.’ If they do, then that’s more on them than you.

But, to conclude, here’s to putting the fun back into beer and, if you’ve stuck around this far, cheers to you for doing so.

2 thoughts on “For Love, Not Likes

  1. Thank you for writing this. As a one time blogger I found it very interesting. I stopped blogging partly because I was finding it difficult to make the time to write. But also because I felt like no-one was reading my blog at all. Now I enjoy my beer, and the people I meet through it, without writing about it.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks for reading, Sean. I completely get what you mean, it can be disheartening seeing something you’ve put together not do well.

    The way I see it is if one person has read or listened and enjoyed it, then that’s just as important. Likewise, I enjoy writing and being creative, it’s almost like a diary so I get to dump my thoughts somewhere.

    Definitely knocked the tiresome fatigue of Instagram on the head. Taking time and putting worthwhile and beneficial content out rather than the same beer everyone else is posting about.

    Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

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