It’s time to admit – when it comes to blogging, I don’t know a lot. I just sort of hang out here, in my own little couch fort of a blog, making shadow puppets with a flashlight for my own amusement. Or at least, that’s how I feel lately.
Because after years of blogging, I’ve ventured out into the blog world. And I’ve been surprised. I really had no clue all of what happens in the broader blog world out there.
Like, for instance, I had no clue that you could sign up to get free stuff to talk about on your blog. And by “free stuff”, I don’t mean a tester of soap or a new granola bar – but like a car. A freaking car! To use for a week or month, then talk about how amazing it was to have. I’ve learned the definitions of “social influencer” and “lifestyle blogger” and realize I’m not really either of those – not by social media definition. I’ve discovered there are tons of blogging conferences out there, way more than the three or four I thought there were, but they have sessions like “How to define your brand!”.
Of course, then I get distracted by all this. A brand? I’m supposed to have a brand? What would my brand look like – a toilet with a high five symbol? A person being nibbled to death by ducks? Ironically, my brand wouldn’t have a single photo of a cat – but maybe my tiny dog dressed as a cat.
There’s also courses on how to take better photos for your blog…because apparently, one of the keys to blog success is having pretty photos.
*glances around at not-that-crappy iPhone photos…shrugs…*
But learning about all this suddenly makes so many things more clear to me. Like why any blogger needs a “PR Friendly” info page. Or why they feel the need to schedule posts three times a week, and schedule tweets and have the latest stats on how many followers they have on all the social medias. Or why they hashtag everything. #justpooped
It also explains why, a while ago, when I was at a writer’s conference, someone said “Don’t tell them you blog.”
At the time, I thought it was weird. Blogging for me was just an extension of writing. Part of why I started blogging was so I could keep my writing skills fresh, get into a more daily habit of writing. I was quietly proud of my little couch fort on the internet, and had received a lot of lovely feedback on it. Why shouldn’t I tell people I blog?
Because in some circles, bloggers aren’t seen as writers – or so I was told.
I still didn’t get it. Maybe because the blogs I kept up with were more like mine – people writing. I had no clue about the greater universe out there in the blog world.
I understand better now.
Does this mean I now have a superiority complex about my blog? Good lord no. It also doesn’t mean I’m going to start promoting lip balms or sneakers in return for free stuff, mainly because I know I’d sound so fake…”Mmmmm…this cocoa mint lip balm was a delish bomb of fabulousness that made my lips feel like they were on a tropical cruise – I would totally buy this shit!”. (I took a couple advertising and PR classes in college, does it show?)
I’m also not saying that I’m looking down my nose at other blogs who do this – lord knows, my Pinterest board would out me, because I’ve pinned lots of stuff that comes from other blogs – recipes, crafts, diy stuff, how to do your hair like you’re an actual grown up. Sometimes, I look at a blog and it’s beautiful pictures of loveliness, and it’s just relaxing and inspiring and makes me actually consider getting out the real camera to take photos with. Then I remember that right now, my choices are that I can either write or take pretty pictures, but I don’t have time for both. So you get lots of not-so-crappy iPhone pictures instead.
My one hang-up though is the term “social influencer” – it seems like a social influencer should be someone using their social media powers for a greater cause. To me, the social influencers are those bringing awareness to things, like mental illness or disability awareness or the plight of the homeless – not someone promoting the latest must-have for your home. But no one asked me about all that before coining the term. They should have, obviously. The fools.
It’s been a learning experience, coming out of my couch fort and really seeing who I share the blogging world with. What I’ve learned though is that, in a way, I’m not so much a blogger but a writer who blogs. And that’s okay. There’s a lot of you who like my messy corner of the internet, with its non-existent posting schedule and iPhone photos. Thank you for putting up with me, and expect more of the same!