This week, after growing and building my Facebook group for 3 years, I made the difficult decision to archive it. Though I alluded to my members, in my last post, that time management was the sole reason for closing the group down, it is only partially true.
Yes, my business is growing and I have to be smart about how I spend my time but honestly, time would not have been an issue if it weren’t for the following reasons.
5 Reasons I Chose To Close My Facebook Group
1. I’ve lost that loving feeling. Unfortunately, checking in and monitoring the group began to be a chore. I no longer enjoyed interacting with my members and found myself being curt or disrespectful to genuine inquiries.
That isn’t fair to them and I’m sorry if you ever felt snubbed or stupid for asking questions in my group.
I love blogging. Whether you do it as a hobby or a business, you are a newbie or seasoned blogger, you deserve to have a space that nurtures you and lifts you up. Your admin should be present and interactive.
I struggled to be that.
2. My group was based on strategies I no longer believed in. From day one, the group was focused on share threads. Bloggers could post their newest articles and find posts by others to read and share.
As a newish blogger, I thought this was an excellent way to find new readers and grow my blog.
I no longer believe this is a good, long term strategy for bloggers. Your traffic depends on you participating in these threads everyday.
And when you don’t, your pageviews plummet. Plus, commenting and sharing others from the thread is time consuming.
- Are you even reaching your target audience in these threads?
- Are you reciprocating just to be nice even though you aren’t their avatar either?
- Are you getting a good return for your time investment in share threads?
If you have been blogging for over a year, and you are still participating in share threads on Facebook, I implore you to find better strategies to grow your blog.
3. I didn’t want to be a bitch. You have no idea how hard it was for me to keep my mouth shut.
Between the link droppers, the newbies thinking they could fast track success, and the know it all, self-promoters, I’m surprised my teeth didn’t explode through my pursed lips.
So many times I found myself deleting my reply comments before I posted them. Sometimes after. Some days I would want to scream, “You’re doing it all wrong!!!”.
But these types of bloggers don’t want to listen because they believe that getting their voice out there includes spamming. I hate censoring myself but I didn’t want to infest the group with negativity.
Maybe I should have been more selective about who I let into my group. Live and learn I guess.
4. I should have stuck with my original plan. I started the group for midlife women and wanted to keep it maxed out at 50 participants. But I folded to pressure and outside influences and have regretted that ever since. I fell victim to the adage that more is better. It’s not.
5. It didn’t move my needle. Once I opened up the group to all bloggers, there was an influx of serial joiners and BTB entrepreneurs.
You know the ones I’m talking about.
The ones that join as many groups as they can.
I felt like I sold out and lost control of the group. I don’t even think most of the members knew who I was.
It was just another group to add to their list on their spreadsheets.
While I strongly believe in giving back and fostering a strong sense of community, I also think that a Facebook group, in some minute way, should help move your own blog business forward.
And yet my Facebook refers to my blog remained dismal at best. People weren’t interested in me or my message.
Facebook groups are a lot of work. It may be selfish to say but I was left with a strong feeling of “what’s in it for me?”.
I know these reasons are ultimately my own fault. I let it come to this.
Unfortunately, I have probably abandoned a few bloggers that needed my help. If you are one of them, please do not hesitate to reach out to me through email or my Facebook page.
You never know, I may start a new Facebook group in the future. It would be different for sure. More focused. More niched.
I know who I would want to be a part of it.
I would want midlife women, who want to make money blogging, but not a crazy amount like $25k a month.
The women I would want to join me wouldn’t be afraid to invest their time and money into their blogs but they also wouldn’t want their blogs to consume their lives.
These women know what they want from their blogs but also have no intentions of being a super blogger that blogs, does podcasts and creates a million courses.
These midlife women have worked enough hours through their lifetimes and want to enhance their second halves with personal purpose and financial freedom.
The midlife women I want, believe in peace and balance. If this sounds like you, let me know in the comments. Maybe I’ll do it.
I’m going to quote the part of your post that resonated with me the most:
Plus, commenting and sharing others from the thread is time consuming. Are you even reaching your target audience in these threads? Are you reciprocating just to be nice even though you aren’t their avatar either? Are you getting a good return for your time investment in share threads? If you have been blogging for over a year, and you are still participating in share threads on Facebook, I implore you to find better strategies to grow your blog.
I have felt this way for some time. I still work outside of the home as a teacher so my time might be more limited than others.
For this reason, I have cut back on linky parties for the reasons you cited. I was not getting a good return on my ROI and was not going after targeted traffic.
So many people comment about the importance of networking, I felt like there was something wrong with my conclusions.
Thanks for the validation.
Hi Janice! I’m glad you found my post relatable and shared your experience with linky parties. I still believe networking is important but that is a strategy for another post. Lol
I’m still a fairly new blogger but I totally respect what you’re saying. I have seen many of these unscrupulous characters in Facebook groups which is why I left them and I am only in a couple now which feel like a friendly safe space.
Elena – this is the first I’ve happened upon your blog, but as a fairly new midlife blogger, I totally appreciate your thoughts. I follow and engage with several others who have posted here. I would love to join your group if you reopen.
I will let you know! Be sure to check out my post on midlife bloggers and add your blog to the comments. You may find some new friends too.
🙂 Honestly speaking, I deactivated my Facebook account because, I grew disgusted with Facebook.
Facebook groups are nice in the sense that it helps you to get your get your blog promoted, but when you are the only personal blogger among business bloggers, it feels awkward and not everyone is willing to share each other’s blog posts.
I completely get it Elena – I used to love your group when it was all Midlifers, then I just picked and chose which posts to look at when you opened it up to others. No matter how hard I try, I just can’t generate any interest for Mommy blogs and the others who do sponsored posts on everything from Poise pads to drain cleaners – no thanks! If you ever re-start a Midlifer group I hope you’ll include me in it – because I have a girl crush on you still xx
Ah thanks lovely! I love connecting and empowering midlife women to choose the life they want and be true to themselves. We are a special group of women and need to realize our power in living our authentic selves.
Reblogged this on Mint Tea and Elephants and commented:
It wasn’t enough to tweet this post. I’m reblogging it because it’s that good! I’ve only just started a Facebook group for niche-less bloggers who might be feeling a bit lost. I want members to be GENUINELY interested in supporting each other. I want members to know that they can reach out to the group if they’re struggling with their writing or if they need advice on a blogging resource. I want it to be a community that encourages and motivates. That can’t happen if members are only interested in promoting themselves or if their time is spread across 100 other Facebook groups (that is not an exaggeration). Thanks again, Elena. You’ve validated so many of my thoughts on the direction of my little group. If you belong to blogging groups or you’re an admin for a group, please read the full post.
Thank you for the reblog! I am so glad you are helping other bloggers and paying it forward to an otherwise, neglected and sometimes shamed group of bloggers. And believe it or not, I have seen requests to join from people who were already in thousands of groups. Yes, thousands! SMH
You’re welcome! Thousands of groups, you say??? I don’t want those folks anywhere near my group because they will add nothing to it. And thanks for the kudos. I really appreciate it! I love it when people get what I’m trying to do with the group. 🙂
FB never was a good idea from the beginning. So glad I never had an account! I hope it goes away for good soon.
Reblogged this on Suzie Speaks and commented:
I always admire Elena’s honesty and this post is no different… please don’t comment on the reblog – hop on over to Elena’s blog and say hello!
Elena, at the moment I have chosen not to belong to a blogging group. I had only belonged to one group, another formed and it wasn’t the same atmosphere. So I have opted out. After leaving the group, I am enjoying a more relaxed blogging experience, in that I seek out the blogs I enjoy reading and feel my participation is more authentic. To be honest I am not a group sort of person. As usual Elena, I ignore your honesty.
Hahaha, just looked at what I had written and of course “ignore” should be “enjoy”, I was on my phone and that annoying self-correction drives me to distraction!!!
You know I’m interested. I preferred the original version of your FB group and felt lost in the bigger version.
Admit it. You just love me!
Yes. I admit it. I’m a sucker for Canadians who let their hair go gray!
I get it, Elena. I haven’t been participating in many groups for a while now and my life is more balanced and peaceful. I was reading blogs that didn’t interest me or weren’t well written to be sure I was a ‘good’ participant. I have always enjoyed your candor and wisdom. If you have room in your new group for a humor writer who hasn’t made a cent on her blog, but enjoys learning new things, let me know.
I’m glad you have found balance on your blogging journey and thank you so much for being a good participant. It’s nice to see great writers like yourself, keep going even though you may not have had financial success, yet. I will let you know if I do start a new group. You would be a great addition.
Thank you, Elena! I would love that.
Good for you! I was in your group Elena, but got tired of the share threads and no one sharing back…I left every one of this type of group. I like the smaller more intimate groups now..where everyone knows everyone.
There are so many blogging groups now and some of them are crazy big. I’m not sure how those help anyone. Good for you for finding your community on Facebook.
I was a regular on your FB page and met a ton of fine bloggers as a result. I left last February and opted out of some other FB groups due to my blogging break and never came back, even though I am back to blogging. I understand why you shut it down…FB is not the engagement platform for blogging it used to be. Time to move on and pick your “battles” girlfriend!
I am so glad you are back! I’m sure share threads were part of the reason you had to step back. You are proof that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing to gain traction.
Thanks Elena for another honest post. You have summed up what so many of us feel. I enjoy your blog as it always ‘speaks’ to me. Remember that this is the time of life for contentment, not hassle.
Exactly! Why do what doesn’t fill your boots and move your happiness needle.
A little past mid-life, but peace and balance sounds like the holy grail.
Something to reach for isn’t it?
Good for you Elena. Life really is too short. Your final paragraph was a great description and a timely reminder that after 30-something years I deserve to enjoy what I do! I’d also like to earn a few pennies from it. Sx
I’ve worked from 14. I’m so over it! Lol
This is really interesting Elena. I do like your honesty
Sorry to see you go but I understand where you are coming from. I wasn’t quite as drastic as you but I did take the “Like” off my blogs which seems to have slowed down the amount of time I spend on reading the few that appear in my inbox. You know how the system works…
As usual Elena your honesty is refreshing and spot on. A person can have a voice and use it to stay true to oneself! Thanks
Good for you for listening to yourself and archiving the group. That can be a scary thing to do when it has gotten that big. People will have questions and feel let down but your time is precious too. When FB groups get too big they can be overwhelming and the message gets lost in all the “noise.” If you start a new one I would be interested as long as it stayed smaller and was as you described. I don’t even visit some that I am in because it can be too much to sift through to get the good stuff.
Last para just described me to a T. In my (limited) experiece when elements of blogging starts to feel like a chore it’s time to find another strategy. Thanks, Jill
I totally get where you are coming from! Life is too short to not enjoy what you are doing! Thanks, as always, for being honest and open! 😉
Your group was the first I ever joined when it was about 50 members, and I remember everyone being so helpful when explaining how to do different things. That’s what inspired me to start my own. Your reasons (and a few more) are also the reasons why I chose to close my group and I admire your honesty for it!