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Thursday, 27 March 2014

An Open Letter: What it means to be a blogger...



Recently I came across a post by a very well-known blogger on this platform that sent my aspirations to the pits of hell, for lack of a less intense description. I'm not going to call any names, or insert any links to the post because I'm not trying to start an argument, or create any internet "beef" with a "big blogger". That's simply not what I'm about. I just want to make my feelings known on the topic.
However, the overall premise of her post was that unless you're a blogger constantly offering or teaching something to your audience people "just don't care." At least, that's what I took from it.

Maybe reading it was as heartbreaking as it was because I don't believe I supply very much to my audience. I'm not a beauty blogger and I cannot teach you a thing about winged eyeliner or having perfect skin or hair. I'm not a DIY or craft blogger. To be honest I don't have the talent or patience to teach you how to build your own home from the ground up in five easy steps. I don't know code or HTML and cannot design you an amazing blogger template. That is not me, that is not what I can do, does this mean people just don't care about me or my blog? I don't believe that. I don't believe that one bit.

When I come across blogs like Scarphelia, Samantha Heather, A Wash With Wonder, Style the Natives, Wildflower of Prague or so many others I may not remember right now that are full of amazing stories, emotions, photos and thoughts I can't describe to you how at home I feel. I care, and I care a whole lot.
But maybe the point comes out of all our everlasting fears of failure. Personally, it's my biggest fear. Nothing petrifies more than the idea that I could be a massive failure. Or that I will fail at everyhing and spend my eightieth year of life basking in unfulfilled dreams and misery. Yes, these are the things that keep me up at night. And I guess we don't have very much to gauge our success as a blogger besides our numbers and comments. I'm sure at some point or another we've all googled, "How to be a blogger," "How to make money blogging.", "How to get traffic to my blog."

I've had all these thoughts for a while and have genuinely struggled to articulate them for so very long. I didn't know where to start, and here I am unsure where to end.
Blogging can't just be about that. It can't just be about page views and all that, which it has taken me so very long to come to terms with. I may never pass a million views on this blog, but I want every post I put out there, every words, every picture, every sentiment and every story to be something I'm proud of.  Something genuine. Something I'm happy that I've written and happy that you've read. I want to believe that though I didn't teach you how to look like Christina Aguilera or teach you how build your dream car from paperclips that I still gave you something. Whether that be encouragement, a smile, or just food for your thoughts.

But hey, whether I agree with what she said or not, I guess she's got the numbers that I don't.




24 comments:

  1. I know the post you are talking about and I felt the same way reading it. but I dont believe it for a minute, I have been blogging what I want to blog about for years, you have to remember that you do this FOR YOU. If you write your blog for someone else, then you arent staying true to YOU!

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  2. wow. i totally understand this.
    i don't do diy or beauty, i just share my photos and try to translate my thoughts.
    i've only been blogging for a little over two months, and i know that a follower count doesnt accurately portray the number of readers you have, but i'm afraid of failure. I actually have not told anyone i know, no family members, i haven't put my blog on any socail media sites, because i'm afraid to fail. I have this mindset that if i do fail, i can just delete the blog or something, no one will know. But if i do succeed i can go, hey, look at my blog, and folks will see it and won't feel sorry for me in 'real life'.
    i admire your beautiful personality, your writing, and everything you said in your last paragraph.
    i really needed that,
    thank you :)

    ~Abigail
    http://sweetergetsthejourneyblog.blogspot.com/

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  3. I think this is lovely. I had a bit of a crisis of faith with my blog a while back and then I realised I do it for me, and for my future self, and for anyone who does want to enjoy it. I didn't read the original post but it sounds like that person has done something one way, but that doesn't mean its the same for everyone xxx
    The perks of being a hipster

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  4. I think blogging is about what you make it about. Is it writing that you enjoy writing, then that's enough. Are you getting the engagement you want, then that's enough. Whatever it's about, it's definitely not about page views.

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  5. I completely agree with you. Blogging is about the connections you make not the pageviews. It's about loving what you do because you enjoy it not because your paid to do it.

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  6. There are many reasons to blog, monetizing and getting your name/business out there are a few, but not the only ones. Connecting with people who are going through your similar experiences, or who can be uplifted of given hope by your stories, or just get a good laugh on a tough day are just as "valid" reasons to blog and continue blogging. They may not be able to be quantified but they are still very good reasons to keep on blogging

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  7. Yep - what you said sums it all up pretty well!

    I started my blog as a project for myself - if anyone wants to read it or likes it then that's just a bonus. I use my blog as a motivator. If I go more than a week without making a post and everything behind a post (cooking trials, photography) then I feel like I'm letting myself down.

    Yes I check my "stats" and yes I go crazy when I get a comment but when it comes down to it, it's all about me living up to my own challenges!

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  8. I know exactly what you mean. Here and there I might have a post that gets more attention than others, but the very next post won't get any attention at all. It's just how it is. Blogging is fickle, sometimes, so you can't do it for the crowd. You gotta' just hope that whatever you put out there entertains or helps someone. Even if it's just one person. And you always gotta' be true to yourself and never fall to the vanity of it all.

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  9. I read that post, and I just wanted to say, thank-you for writing this. I wasn't sure how to feel after reading it and this made me feel much better. It is as they say, blogging is still so new, it can be whatever we want it to be!!!

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  10. I am a blogger as well, and I feel that at the end of the day the blog is really about you and your passions, thoughts, and feelings. I thought the point of a blog is to share your personal and unique experience instead of appealing to everyone else's desires, no matter what the subject matter. It's a passion project and not about the numbers and page views.

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  11. I share the same fear of failure, it can be quite debilitating at times. The blogger seems to have a bit narrow minded approach to blogging, seeing it as more of a numbers game most likely for monetization and popularity. Which is fine, but it isn't right to assume that everyone has the same goals, or that all readers expect the same. People have different reasons for blogging and for reading others' blogs, and that's totally okay :)


    Mili

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  12. She may have the followers...but there are lots of bloggers out there who have the numbers who aren't contributing very much at all. I see lots of blogs every day with tons of comments and followers, but it seems like they've just learned to play the game. I don't think anyone, even a "big name" blogger, has the right to tell others what the sole purpose of blogging is, because there are very different kinds of blogging: some people blog for the sake of becoming popular, some people blog because it's their way of being creative, some people blog to advertise a business, etc. etc. I think everyone deserves to do what they do and feel proud of it, regardless of how much validation about it they get from other people. Silly big name blogger.

    Also, the fear of failure...hoo, baby. Don't even get me started.

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  13. I did not see that post but I can relate completely to the words written here. Every blogger has their own story behind creating a blog. No one can expect everyone to follow the same "blogging guide" and create the same content. I like different blogs for different reasons and I think the point really is for each blogger to find their own voice and portray it through their blog and eventually, people who can relate will find interest. No worries Leah you have a unique and inspiring perspective. That is why I nominated you for the Sunshine Award .
    Olive Needs Popeye

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  14. Oh Leah, this is so good. I feel like everything I read on your blog is something I didn't know I was missing in my brain. I honestly enjoy it. And like you said about Samantha and also Charly from Style the Native, the way they write, their perspective, their passion and their creativity are what makes their blogs great. The same goes for you. I don't care if you can't help me with my winged eye-liner because there are about 2724839 blogs out there that can, what you really have to offer is the unique posts only you can write.

    I really hope you don't let the fact that whoever has more followers ever stop you from writing awesome blog posts because I feel that a lot of popularity is luck and strategy and has nothing to do with quality of content.

    Awesome thoughts x

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  15. Great post doll,
    New post at www.lovefromsimmie.com ♥
    Lots of love XOXO

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  16. those are my exact thoughts. my blog doesn't offer anything useful but sometimes I like to think people just like to read it just because. I do think blogging is kind of a part of person and that person may or may not offer tips and tutorial but you read them because they get you and their words are like your words.

    hope you have a great day.

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  17. Your blog is beautiful and does provide so much encouragement. Blogging is NOT about your followers, of your views or how many comments you get. Blogging is about you and you only. It is about forming relationships and building a community, not about a competitive race to gain 1000 followers on Bloglovin.

    You have got it right my dear and I am so glad you do. Thank you for being truly you. Write a blog that you want to read and one that is a written testament of your life and your mind. The moment you start writing for someone else is the moment you lose sight of what blogging really means.

    Stay true xx

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  18. Just found your blog as part of the Caribbean Bloggers community and I like this post, so I will be back to read more. . .

    http://mykurves.blogspot.com

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  19. New reader here! I just try to blog for me. Don't worry about what others say. We all have our own ideas of what blogging is.

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  20. Blogging is as much for ourselves as it is for our audience. And we don't necessarily have to be teaching people anything... We can just be sharing an insight into our lives and creating a place where strangers can connect. So glad you stopped by my blog, I'm really happy to have founds yours

    bianca xx
    www.cultlogicxx.com

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  21. Your thoughts are so on point! I also disbelieve that people won't care if we don't teach anything. I think the idea was a projection of that blogger's personal feelings toward other bloggers. But of course that's not true about everyone! I don't really teach anything on my blog but I've managed to attract a few special, like-minded people who are interested in what I have to say - and that honestly makes me so happy.
    http://theleatherfannypack.com/

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  22. Wow! GREAT POST, it just what I needed!
    Thanks for sharing and would love if we could follow each other! <3

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  23. This is the first post I've read of yours. I am instantly hooked. This was amazing, beautifully written and honest. I don't know about the other blogger, but this is the kind of blogs I want to read, this is the kind of blog I aim to run. An honest blog is the best blog in my opinion.

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