“Don’t tell them you blog”

3 Jun

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!


Even if they do sell them


16 Responses to ““Don’t tell them you blog””

  1. Phyllis Comstock June 3, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    Phebe, I love your blog just the way it is! Your messy life and all!

    • Phyllis Comstock June 3, 2015 at 11:45 am #

      Ooops misspelled your name. I really do know how to spell Phoebe! I don’t work at Starbucks! LOL

      • phoebz4 June 3, 2015 at 11:47 am #

        But you could! LOL!

      • franhunne4u June 3, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

        Yes, all the necessary qualifications …

  2. Daniel Waltz June 3, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

    “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?”

    I loved this. You’re awesome.

  3. Christine Phelan June 3, 2015 at 12:15 pm #

    Please keep on doing exactly what you do, exactly how your doing it! Your writing rocks….. And you make me smile! Gra, C. P.

    Sent from my iPad


  4. lisa June 3, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

    I read your blog because I can relate to you. If you were to get some cool benefits from your blog then that would be awesome. I guess you just have to make sure it fits in with your blog. I know I wanted that sign on your mantel that said “living the dream”

    • phoebz4 June 3, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

      I got that sign at Next in Dublin, but I’m sure it’s generic enough to find elsewhere…

      • saracvt June 3, 2015 at 1:55 pm #

        I’ve seen it at Barnes & Noble.

  5. Daniel Waltz June 3, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

    Reblogged this on daniel waltz and commented:
    Read this. Just do it.

  6. saracvt June 3, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

    I love your blog–whether others think it’s “real” or not for the following reasons (I was on the debate team; does it show?)

    1) It makes me laugh out loud, even though I rarely do, especially on those days when I REALLY need to laugh;
    2) I have the sort of life where I really don’t care what you think of that new car because I’m unlikely to buy it, but I do care about your challenges with Divine Miss M, because Maddy & Olivia provide many of the same challenges too
    (PS. If your special girl just started menstruating & can’t seem to kep her pants/underwear clean for under an hour–I’m not kidding–you might try Depends for Women. Since it says “For Women” on the package, she’s decided they’re not diapers, & the school doesn’t call you EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY)
    3) the definition of “blog” according to the Oxford Dictionary is “A regularly updated website or web page, typically run by an individual, written in an informal or conversational style.” Says nothing about what the content “should” be.

    So, defy what others think you “should” be & just keep being what you are. Isn’t that Herding Cats is all about?

  7. cair75 June 3, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

    “There’s a lot of you who like my messy corner of the internet,”

    You are more of a social influencer than any of those other blogs.

    Carry on!

  8. Jan Ehrmantraut June 3, 2015 at 8:31 pm #

    Hurray to all of the above. I’m simply grateful you’re in the world.

  9. Josephine June 4, 2015 at 7:44 am #

    Keep up the good work, Phoebe.

  10. Amanda S. June 4, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

    All that advice seems to be variations of ways to fit you into a box, and I don’t like boxes. It may seem like it makes it easier for other people to figure out what is going on with you, but what it really does is spare them to trouble of having to think about what you are doing. Keep walking your own walk, sweetheart. Nobody’s done what you are doing ever before, and that is what is making it so incredibly marvelous. I’m just grateful you’re letting us come along for the ride.

  11. terrimorton June 6, 2015 at 5:02 pm #

    I love your blog, Phoebe, and I become unreasonably excited when Feedly tells me you have a new post. If you decide to try to get some income or perks from your blogging, while still feeling true to you, go right ahead.

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