“Don’t tell them you blog”

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