Thursday, September 3, 2015

What kind of blogger am I?


I started drafting a version of this post back in July (haha) and I originally had it titled "What I think about blogging", but I very quickly realized it should be "I know nothing about blogging." Really. I'm totally clueless. When I started this little thing I had no idea what I was doing. And 8 months later, I still know very little. But with a small amount of personal experience now, and a lot of reading/watching others, I have a better idea of what I want my blog to be like. And since I'm a big fan of gathering all my jumbled thoughts together to try to make sense out of them, here goes a long one..

I participated in Helene's Webinar last night "Get paid to blog" and although I'm not really about the money (more on that) it really inspired me and gave me the spark I needed to finish out this train of thoughts. (Anyone who didn't watch it, click above she's running it through tomorrow night. Do it now.) I was really reluctant to click 'join' because the whole thing just so isn't me, but it was free so I figured, why not? Then when the time came I was really reluctant to actually sign on because I was like "..this so isn't me" but I'm glad that I did. She is amazing, and a total cheerleader for bloggers and although she mostly did talk about how to get paid, what I really took away from it is that we all are unique. We're all different, and we're all doing this for different reasons. We each have our own agenda and goals for our blogs. I have a hard time sometimes, wondering "what am I doing here? I don't belong here." But I do. We all do. And we all matter. What we're doing is important. Big or small, we all work our asses off on these pages don't we? We deserve to pat ourselves on the back, and be proud of our blogs and go for our blogging dreams whether that includes getting paid or not.

When I started this post I wasn't motivated at all to finish it, I just wasn't feeling it. And I was having second thoughts about even discussing what I thought about blogging because a lot of it may be different than some of the blogging friends I've made so far. (And I love you guys.) Some parts came across somewhat mean and opinionated (me, opinionated? no..) and I kept changing my mind, or thinking "I shouldn't say that" or "will I regret saying that someday?"...and it's a very big possibility that I will, but I think it's important for me to sort my thoughts because the first thing step in figuring out the direction of my blog here is to think about who I am as a blogger. The short answer is, I don't know.

But while I might not know the kind of blogger I am, I do know the kind of blogger I am not...

I do not have anything to teach. I don't make crafts. I'm not a fitness junkie. I don't think the world needs anymore mediocre cooking recipes. I have the makeup skills of a 14 year old girl. I can't braid. I'm not a millionaire with an endless shopping budget. I don't have a live-in photographer (also known as a husband. well I have that but you know what I mean) or even a real camera. I don't have a baby (sorry Allison, you were already subject to that joke lol.) I don't have a perfect home sprinkled with Anthropologie trinkets, or a white rug. I don't think I could fit my "lifestyle" in a  box. I have nothing that makes up what a "real" blogger typically is. I'm an expert in nothing but myself. (And even that is questionable sometimes.) 

I am small. (Physically yes, but I mean in regards to this blog I'm small like an ant on the earth.) When I first started my blog, I thought it would be so great to hit it big. I mean, their lives look so awesome. Then I realized what that actually means, and how they got there, and how hard it must be to stay so perfect all the time. I honestly don't think they're as happy as they seem...I mean have you seen gomi? It's brutal. People are cruel when you're at that level. So I'll gladly stay down here as an ant thank you very much.

I don't have a shop. I have no patience for making anything myself. I have a craft box in the closet that hasn't been opened in three years. I don't care for making things harder than they seem. I'd rather spend an extra $2 to buy something pre-made than to wrestle with it myself. I think there's two kinds of people in the world, the DIY-ers and the DIY purchasers, and I'm happy to be in the second group. (Someones gotta be right?)

I love clothes as much as the next girl. But I don't have the money to wear everything new, everything-this-season all the time. So I absolutely cannot participate in the "whose dressed better" contest. Plus, it's exhausting enough to get dressed up on the rare occasion that I do. Someone else please tell me, does just reading fashion blogs stress you out too?

I'm not a model. I am hardly ever made up photo-worthy. I'm short, I have horrible posture and suffer (yes suffer) from adult acne. I wear glasses most of the time. I feel like a child playing dress up when I look too nice. And there is no place in the world I feel more uncomfortable than in front of a camera. It's gets real awkward. I very much prefer to stay behind the scenes.

I can't promote healthy living. I struggle daily with not eating a pint of ice cream. It's a recurring topic of mine. I don't work out. In fact, I hate it. I'm living off genes and metabolism that is slowly but surely catching up to me. I've struggled with body image for years and at times been extremely unhealthy about it, so I wouldn't hand out that advice to anyone.

I'm not a grand photographer. The images on here are just okay at best. I like to take pictures but more than anything I love to document life. I would call myself more of a "documenter" (real word, yes or no?) and a big part of that is taking pictures. It's on my list to get a nice camera to not so much photograph myself (puke) but to creatively and genuinely document everyday life, travels and my family. But until I stop spending all my money on Etsy (told you I like DIY-ers) and Trader Joe's flowers every week, the iPhone will have to do.

And iPhone or not, my life will never look like you just opened up a magazine, and it isn't a goal of mine. There's nothing picture perfect about it (besides maybe Ted sometimes.) My husband doesn't ever just jump in when I'm whipping up a gourmet snack in the kitchen and casually take photos of me. (And of course I would have lipstick on and everything.) That will never happen. And as much as seeing these kinds of images makes me feel like I need to be that girl, I'm not. I can't. I just don't think life should be so staged. If the best I can get is to quickly snap a picture of my food at a restaurant before Johns hands start creeping in to eat, than that is good enough for me.

I don't follow the rules. I don't post everyday. I post on weekends if I feel like it. I post at night (clearly.) I just posted twice in one day for christ sakes (huge no-no!) I don't follow any kind of editorial calendar (what even is that?) I'm not quick at this. The fact that I'm trying to write this in one day is hard. I prefer to write, and re-write for a few days before I hit publish on something. I also don't pre-plan posts. I wish I was that kind of person, but I'm just not. I have a hard time writing something unless I'm in the moment. Every time I try to start a series of some kind, I get bored. It has to be more organic than that. (Ew I said organic. Also to anyone who doesn't blog, how stupid does this all sound, haha?)

I'm not a designer. I think it goes along with the DIY stuff, I have no patience (or I'm just stupid.) I don't know how these blogs work behind the scenes. How the hell does everyones look so pretty? I know when I see something I like, but I don't know how the hell to make it happen. I could use a class on that. Or just hire Candace ;)

I'm not a business person, so this will probably never be used that way. It's just not in my bones. For me this is a creative and emotional outlet and if it ever became about something other than that, I don't think I could enjoy it as much. What I love so much about blogging is that I can spend hours (like more hours than I work in a week) on it and it never feels like work. I want to keep it that way.

I'm not money-driven. I love money. Want it. Need it. But I'm not the type of person who feels the drive to go and get it. (I'm just lucky to be married to the exact opposite of myself lol.) When I was listening to the webinar last night, I was just thinking about how I would never feel comfortable reaching out and asking a company for a sponsorship. It's just not me. BUT, not to say I am anti-money. Not at all. In fact, I'm totally pro-making-money. I wish I could find a way to make some money by just being myself on this blog. Isn't that the dream? And I want to make it clear, I don't have anything against bloggers who promote products and use affiliate links to make money. Like how Camp Patton says, "there's nothing wrong with making a little mascara money." Because I could think of a million things I could do with a little extra money, like take a creative writing course.

I can't tell a lie. And at the same time I can see right through it when someone else does. I already said this, but I have no problem with sponsored posts (hello, I like money)  but the problem I have with it, is that the majority of the things I read feel so ungenuine. Maybe there's something I don't know, like you're in a contract that says " you have to say YOU LOVE THIS." But I can always tell when it's bologna. I could never talk about something unless I really loved it. I started reviewing books recently because it's honestly what I love to do anyways, and I'm trying to only review books that somewhat make sense with what I already talk about here. There's this blogger I follow (who shall not be named) who I shouldn't even follow because she just irks me, and she sponsors e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. You could probably pay her to talk about the gum on the bottom of your shoe. I don't think she's ever written an actual post about anything other than products, and half the time they are so random it makes no sense. For example, she sponsored tampax one time and I was like,  ok you've officially sold your soul for tampon money. I can only imagine how that conversation went down, "oh yes thank you for offering, I actually have a really deep need for a new tampon brand." ew. (Maybe that was mean, but I'm positive she doesn't read my blog, but if she does then sorry but it's the truth and it's weird.)

But as weird as that may be, she must be doing something right. She probably wasn't scared to promote herself to tampon companies. Whereas, I'm the worst at self-promoting. The worst. It makes me so uncomfortable. This blog's been around for 8 months now and I haven't told many people about it at all. And if I have it's gone something like, "I have a blog. It's stupid, but you can check it out..if you want." I just don't want to beg for anyones attention. I actually hate attention. I prefer to mostly stay unnoticed, (and that's not really the point of blogging.) I told a friend just last week, and I was so nervous about it. But it actually felt good, because I am really proud of this space and I do want it to be shared. So that's something I need to work on. But that doesn't mean I'm going to start screaming from the rooftops about it or anything.

On the same note, I don't do social media. I know, this is going to be the death of my blogging career. (Good luck getting paid for anything without twitter Morgan!) I use this blog and Instagram, and just with those two I barely have enough time to look up during the day. I can't imagine if I added another 5 social media accounts to my life. When would I play with my dog? Also, I've written about it before, and it's just isn't healthy for me personally.

So what kind of blogger am I?

The long answer is, I don't know but I'm figuring it out a little bit more every day. I'm a voice. I'm an opinion. I'm a storyteller. I don't know exactly what my writing style is yet (mostly funny, sometimes serious?) I don't know what my mission here is yet, I only know my personal mission to enjoy life and right now this is a part of that. I don't have to know it all after 8 months, or ever, but I must remember that I am unique.

(And I reserve the right to take any of this back at any time, haha) 
x.

23 comments:

  1. Thank you. This is why I have more than a hundred unread blog posts in my reader, and every other day I just have to mark all as read, but yours. I can't dedicate the time it really takes to read other blogs let alone write one, heck I am in a weird spot in life right now anyway, but this is awesome and I could not have said any of this better myself. I wrote up something (small) and posted it, went to my reader and hit refresh for no reason, and saw this. I needed it and I love it.

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    1. Jessica I miss you where have you been?! (just kidding, I know you have a life) I'm glad you could relate...I probably only read about 2% of the blogs I follow because it's usually is titled something like "Army jackets a must for fall!" and I'm like "oh God no, now I need an army jacket?! Don't look." It really is so overwhelming sometimes. I just want to read genuine life stories and problems of normal people. So please keep writing, I need you ;)

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  2. Amen!!!! I have been on a comment hiatus while on vacation but I couldn't read this post and not comment--it's like you read my mind on this one!! This is partially why I stopped blogging last year after so many years...it's overwhelming being a small fish in this huge ocean at times but then I realized that I couldn't let the ocean swallow me whole and there is a place for every fish in the ocean...no matter how small and different they may be. I did one sponsored post years ago and it felt so weird to me (luckily it was just eyeglasses but still) and almost made me feel guilty. I'm not a salesman and I don't want to sell my soul or blog for readers and/or money. I also used to pay for a couple sponsor buttons on other blogs and then had an epiphany one day and was like "wth am I doing?! I don't want fake followers--I want real friends who want to read my blog, no matter how small that following may be." I'm so sad I missed the webinar last week--I could have used the encouragement that you took from it but the wifi in our condo sucks and I'm not about to stream it on my data plan haha.

    Also, all feminine products are banned from being a topic of discussion on my blog. You're welcome!

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    1. Okay I promise when tampax approaches me for a sponsorship I won't send them your way ;) I don't know. I would totally promote a product if it was REALLY something I thought highly of, but I see so many random things that I cannot take seriously. I just think there is a line somewhere. I also should probably shut up because I am a little fish and I know nothing lol. (loved that fish example) You would have liked the webinar too, but I'm sure there will be more. I'm actually interested in finding some more "encouraging" ones because trust me, I need it sometimes. This is hard. (wah, wah I know) Please keep blogging because you are one of the people I always read asap when I see you've posted because you are a real friend to me girl ;) And can't wait to hear about the trip!!

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  3. Let me just tell you, you opened up a can of worms with sharing that webinar. Like the good kind of worms, like gummy ones. I loved every minute. I told my sister in law about it (picsoandrea.com, she's awesome) and she loved it. we decided to split the instagram webinar (because we're broke) so yeah, thank you for sharing that! I love learning all these new things and realizing what kind of blogger i am and blah blah.

    Next point- THIS is why you're my favorite blog to read (really, your blog is my absolute favorite one to read) You're so real and genuine and you just say it how it is and you aren't trying to be anyone else. Once a company sent me sock to blog about. I was like getting anxiety over it because I DONT EVEN WEAR SOCKS EVER. Unless it's to go running (which I haven't done in like forever) so yeah, I emailed them back and said sorry can't sell my soul for socks and then they were like "it's ok, keep the socks anyways!" I was so scared they were going to kill me with words and be mad but they didn't even care. So yeah. I do some sponsored stuff (as you've probably seen) but I only do it if I 100% really love the product/company/etc. Yeah tampons are great, would I blog about the? No. Never. (ps please tell me who the blog is haha I'm kinda nosy and want to see their blog now)

    I started off blogging in 2010 kinda like "I just wanna blog because I wanna blog" and lately I've been interested to see where blogging can take me. Obviously I took a break for like 2 years cause I got over it and now I'm blogging again and I love it like a little too much sometimes. If you ever think I'm selling out, PLEASE TELL ME. seriously I need to be told if I'm like promoting rogaine for money or something that I'm being stupid. Anyways this comment is about to be longer than your post so I'm gonna stop. bye!
    xo Candace

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    1. oh and ps SHUT UP your design is so perfect!! I remember that's one of the things that drew me to your blog (because I'm weird and always notice everyone's design) I'm just a freak who can't decide on what I like so I change my design every other day haha

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    2. I'M SO GLAD TO HEAR FROM YOU because I was really worried I would offend you in some way (why am I always worried about that with you lol? because you're my favorite too, I can't lose you) but you are one of the only people I think that does this all right! I always tell John you're going to get famous, because you blog the right way. People love you. And you're just too adorable. And tell the best real life stories. You're the whole package my dear. I'm jealous you're doing the instagram one! I couldn't justify the money on it, right now at least, you know because I need to get the camera. It is getting to be a peeve of mine, I might not care about a lot of things, but I care about that. And I'm feeling over this design, I like that it's simple, but it was so cheap (so I think in my head I feel like it looks cheap you know?) so on the list is to upgrade just a tiny bit too. I love blogging. Really, I never thought I would love it as much as I do. It's just so hard to figure out where I want it to go..you know? Like that webinar had me really thinking that way, as opposed to money because I'm like eh, that seems hard lol. ALSO- I might seperately email you the link...but you read her blog lol. I know for a fact. So maybe I should just let you keep guessing.

      xo Morgan

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  4. When you find your niche, I think then everything will just flow :} I do believe that there is something that you are an expert in but the thing that you need to focus on is being confident in what you do! When people see your confidence, they will soon follow. Heck, even fake it til you make it, no?

    But for now, I love this voice of yours. And while it's a little bit of everything, it's enough!

    Have a lovely weekend!

    xoxo,
    WWW.THEFRUGALBLOGGER.NET
    INSTAGRAM
    FACEBOOK

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    1. Thank you! I don't know if I'll ever fall in a category (unless it's obsessed dog girl) but I'm okay with that ;)

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  5. you know my thoughts on this! keep doing what you're doing and don't worry about the stuff that isn't important. write about what you want when you want and everything will fall into place. :) look at it this way...being a niche blog has it's perks but it also isolates a lot of people. food/recipe blogs only cater to people who want/like to cook. healthy living blogs only apply to those interested in that lifestyle. same goes for parenting, design/DIY, etc. Blogs like ours can reach a wider audience since they're not so specific, and i think that's awesome.

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    1. I'm just not going to worry at all. I might not be the best "writer" but I have to get out my thoughts and feelings and I like having my voice heard. And you're right about reaching a more versatile audience. I just want to write about life, and connect with other people who can relate. And I can't tell you how happy I am that I found your blog. It's a gem :)

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  6. YES. I love this. And I could never be a how-to blog. I think a LOT of bloggers do those, maybe because a lot of people read them? But I'm like, "Yeah I don't know how to do anything." So there you go. I also refuse to DIY. At least you have a craft box, I don't even have one. And the thought of ME having one makes me laugh.

    I am dying to know which blogger that was with the tampon post... I read a sponsored post the other day that was the most ridiculous thing. There have been a few that were just...NO. I actually have read one sponsored post about tampons that was actually good. But it was one of my favorite bloggers and how she fit it into her post was brilliant. But there's no way I could write a sponsored post about anything unless I was obsessed with it. And I am so not obsessed with tampons. I hate them because I hate that time of the month. Ugh.

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    1. Ah I can't say, I'm feeling really bad that I brought it up, but it's such an example of what I hate about blogging. It very well could be your favorite blogger lol. I have no idea. But, anyways, I love your blog so much and I'm glad I found you. You are so real and funny, and I love your dogs ;)

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  7. You're the REAL kind of blogger, to be honest!!! I loved this post & the simple look of your blog and the rest (as well)

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    1. Awwwwwe, thank you. That really means a lot. I like that. I'm just a "real" life blogger. Maybe I'll just go with that ;)

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  8. Sorry I'm so late to respond to this! I read it on Friday at work (oops) and had never heard of GOMI, so then I got side tracked and stalked around on GOMI for a while and then it gave me anxiety for all of the people who were writing on it and people being written about. So then I got sad and just x'ed out of all the blogs I was looking at and just lived life this weekend haha. Buuttttt I mean to comment. I love coming to your blog and reading it, it is always entertaining and funny, I love it! It's a lot more fun to read than most blogs so I think you're doing it exactly right! I try to keep myself in my blog but sometimes I wonder if people even want to hear those parts so then I worry I'm sharing too much or not sharing enough. Blogging is a tough balance!

    xx,
    Susie

    www.SequinsandStrawberries.com

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    1. Omg whenever I've gotten on gomi (recently actually) I get sucked in and then I feel THE WORST afterwards. I don't even think bad thoughts before and then after I'm like thinking these horrible things about people I just liked an hour earlier. It's sick. I mean who comments around anonymously like that? Anyways, I just feel bad for them. And it is hard to know what to share, personal-wise, but I just decided to mostly go for it lol. I love your blog, and I think you have such a good balance. And I'm so excited to watch your wedding planning, so don't leave it out! I want to live vicariously through you lol. xo.

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    2. I know I felt like I had been the one to say all of those mean things because I was reading for so long and had to remind myself that I enjoy these blogs they're criticizing. Well thank you, that means a lot! Bogging is definitely scary haha! I wasn't sure if I should just share all of the wedding things after the actual wedding so family and friends would maybe be surprised or just share it as I go along. Just thought that I have that I'm sure no one would care about haha!

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  9. I love this post (and I am so happy I found your blog) because I feel very similarly when it comes to self promotion and blogging. I've been blogging for almost 3 years now and I literally have to FORCE myself to tweet or FB about my blog posts and every single time I do I feel incredibly tacky. I see bloggers who are pros at self promotion and I think it's great for them but I just can't do it. I think there is the place for the bloggers like us (who don't exactly know where we fall). I think there is so much beauty in writing authentically from the heart instead of writing to fit into an editorial calendar. Keep on doing you, so cheesy to say but I think being you is the best thing you can be in the blogging world and otherwise.

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    1. Yes I completely agree! All we can do is be ourselves whatever that may be. And this blog is basically me trying to figure that out, but writing about myself and my thoughts helps more than anything. I am so happy I found your blog too, I love how real you are :)

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  10. Her webinar was amazing and I love how open and honest this post was, you are going to go far!

    xx Kelly
    Sparkles and Shoes

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  11. So I realize that I am commenting on a month old post and that is super creepy BUT I just found your blog via Instagram and am creeping around. AMEN to everything you said. My real life/blog friend and I were literally just discussing all of these things and how we struggle to find real life bloggers to read anymore that are interesting and aren't just trying to sell me something. I've seen (but not read) multiple tampon posts. I just can't. The worst I have seen was for kitty litter. Anyways I will be following your blog from now on :)

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    1. Hahahah no way, kitty litter?! That's so hilarious. I hope this post still gets read because I think it's just good to share, like it's okay to be different. There's no blog queen telling us we have to follow certain rules, we just think we have to follow what we see. I also am struggling to find anyone real to read..I follow a lot of blogs and sometimes I scroll through and just roll my eyes and 100 times. It's just all the same. So needless to say, I'm making my way over to yours right now haha ;) And I am such a stalker on instagram too, do not even start with me about creepy haha. xo

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