Posted on August 11, 2015

Do we take ourselves too seriously as bloggers?

lifestyle

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Each month, I used to write three to for posts giving tips and guidance to bloggers. But lately I’ve been shying away from such posts.

I first started writing such posts back when it was rare for me to read them on other blogs – apart from those specifically aimed at blogging tips or internet marketers.

I don’t know if things have changed, or if I just wasn’t reading the same blogs back then – but now it seems everyone is at it and it makes it seem dull. Or should I say, it makes me look at my blog and then I feel dull.

I don’t want to write the same posts as other bloggers, I don’t want to read another post about how putting alt tags in your photos is good for SEO, or how writing a click bait title will get your more views.

I’m not usually the type of person to speak out when I feel frustrated about something. I don’t like opening myself up to negativity, I don’t like encouraging conflict and I don’t like to feel like my opinion is being attacked. But some things have been bothering me lately – bothering me so much that it’s made me stop posting about topics I enjoy writing about. And that’s bad.

When I used to hear some people talk about not caring about page views, or blogging as a hobby about whatever the fuck they like, I used to roll my eyes and think they had to be kidding.

EVERYONE CARES ABOUT THEIR PAGE VIEWS, RIGHT?

EVERYONE SHOULD CATCHY TITLES TO GET MORE VIEWS, RIGHT?

EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A GOAL AND A PLAN TO REACH IT, RIGHT?

These are the things that I was convinced of. But I’ve had a changed in the way I view blogging, lately.

I don’t even know why I’m sharing this – I think it’s because I never thought I’d feel and think like this. It’s to prove that you can, I guess.

Where all this stems from. 

I’m a member of many Facebook and Goolge+ communities for bloggers, I’ve followed many Twitter chats and I’ve read many a blog post (and written some, too) about advice to bloggers.

Lately I’ve been getting a niggling feeling that sometimes we take ourselves a bit too seriously with this blogging malark.

99% of the time I like to think that I take my blog seriously – I treat it as I would a job. I plan my content, I give myself deadlines, I ensure I schedule social media posts and interact within the community, I have business cards, I work with brands, earn a part time income, my blog is even registered as a business – which seems mad to me!

There are times though, where I think I take all this TOO seriously.

I think it hit me when I was speaking at Web We Want fest at the Southbank Centre, London, and I declared in my microphone that I sometimes feel like if I didn’t update my blog daily, the world would end.

Saying it out loud made me question a lot of things.

It made me question the amount of time I put into this blog and if I’m putting too much on myself and missing out on other things in my life. Such as finishing season 6 of Vampire Diaries and finally completing Skyrim. Oh, going out with friends, too. That’s not something I do often.

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Some of this stems from advice I see being thrown about the community, too.

Advice about how you should ask for payment as soon as a brand approaches you. Bloggers selling blog consultations, media kids, social media management to other bloggers. To help you stand out. To help you look professional. To impress brands.

I love how willing to help everyone is within the blogging community, but sometimes it all feels a bit cut and dry. A bit crass (I don’t think I’ve ever used that word before).

Or that I keep seeing people telling each other that to work for free cheapens a blog. That people like them are the reason brands think they can ‘rip bloggers off’ by getting them to post on their blog for free.

I see bloggers being advised to charge large amounts of money to a brand before even knowing about what they’re being asked to post about. Or the ‘level’ of that bloggers blog.

I don’t mean to devalue anyone’s blog, at all. But how much your time is worth isn’t just based on the quality of posts you can create. It’s also based on your reach, your page views, your value in Google, your social media following, your community that interacts with your content.

I do understand that some people do blog full time, they rely on the income from their blog to pay their bills, feed their kids.. but most of us don’t. and I’m starting to question if I actually want to be a full time blogger one day. As fun as it seems, it’s pretty unstable and there’s no holiday pay, company pension or bonus at the end of the year.

I just feel like lately, everyone’s advising everyone to ask PR’s for money, to write click bait posts, to post tips about blogging because it gets the most page views and shares on social media.

Sometimes their measly link across their social media might be worth more to you than you think.

Or the post might be fun to write.

Or might spark creativity inside you.

Or might make your readers smile or help them learn something.

While it’s okay to tailor your posts to encourage curiosity and clicks, it’s also important to sometimes ground ourselves and remember that the majority of us are never going to make it full time. Even if we really want it and really work at it.

While treating your blog as a business is a smart move when working with brands – as I always like to remember that behind the e-mail, there’s a human with a KPI to hit and a boss to answer to. But sometimes we over do it.

Sometimes I over do it.

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I don’t think you realise some things about yourself until you see other people act the way you do.

Then you realise the reason you are frustrated with them is because they’re you.

And that’s what happened, essentially. I was taking myself too seriously, then I was getting annoyed at other bloggers for taking themselves too seriously.

It’s really about me. About my current state of mind, the place I am currently in.

Not about anyone else, at all.

So yes, I’ve had what I like to call a ‘blog paradigm shift’.

I’ve been less time lately focusing my blog. I’ve been playing a few video games, seeing a view friends, heck – I’ve even been reading the news. Instead of putting all my blood, sweat and soul into the blog.

And you’re all still here.

I’m still alive.

And I’m finding a work life balance finally. Amongst a full time job, three blogs and love for fitness.

I guess what I’m trying to say, in a very round about, babbling way – is that it doesn’t matter what other bloggers are blogging about, or what they’re asking PR’s or what their goals are.

All it matters is that I’m happy in what I’m doing. So I’ve decided to start writing more advice posts again. Blog tips, self-improvement, talking about things I struggle with – which you might have noticed over the past few weeks.

I hope you’re happy doing what you are doing, too. And keep doing it.

We’re all so very strange, aren’t we?

The. End.

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36 Comments

  • Reply GlamourZONE August 11, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Have always liked your posts.
    Though you should definitely finish ssn 6 of VD.
    Kisses from Kenya.
    http://www.glamourzone.orh

  • Reply Candice August 11, 2015 at 9:00 am

    This definitely got me thinking – I have never really paid much attention to this, I have just been blogging to vent and share what I like.. Thanks for a lovely post really making me think now hehe

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  • Reply Jhem Arzaga August 11, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    This such a good read, Corinne.
    Very relatable. And I guess those who says they didn’t care about pageviews are just saying it because they’re not yet in that point. One day, they’ll realize that blog is like hanging in the middle of nowhere when no one’s viewing or reaching for your posts. Even google won’t give it an importance in ranking.

    xoxo
    Jhem | JhemSays.com
    Jhem Arzaga recently posted…The Road to Planning on Buying a HomeMy Profile

  • Reply Shireen L. Platt August 11, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I think this by far is one of the best if not the best post written by you, Corinne. I quit following, reading a few blogs when they started taking themselves too seriously because frankly, it becomes boring. I’m one of them who genuinely doesn’t care about page views, I check my Google Analytics once a month just to see whatever that’s going on in there but one may argue it’s because I’m a very small blogger hence my ignorance. If others are happy taking themselves too seriously then I’m happy for them but it would be nice if they don’t try to shove it down my throat or so to speak. Good on you for spending more time on yourself, I never thought you were ever too serious but seems like you found a perfect balance for yourself so you’re on the right path. xx

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity
    Shireen L. Platt recently posted…Aglio Olio Ravioli with PrawnsMy Profile

    • Reply Corinne August 15, 2015 at 11:25 pm

      Thank you Shareen, that’s such a lovely comment! I think your blog seems to do quite well and I wouldn’t label you as a small blogger!

  • Reply jabi August 11, 2015 at 6:39 pm

    Def a good read.

    I sometimes feel bad about not posting and I don’t have even have a audience. And I’ve really benefitted from your advice for bloggers posts. I have a very stressful 8-5 so my blog is my escape and I want to do it because its my space and not for someone else!

    Play more! See your friends! Go on roadtrips!

    Xx

    • Reply Corinne August 15, 2015 at 11:29 pm

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my advice posts, I’ll get to writing some more 🙂

  • Reply Arianne August 11, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    I can tell you right now, your posts are always so interesting. I wonder sometimes how you come up with all these ideas!

    also, I just want to say I agree about not putting negative things out there in case it attracts hate. I’ve been pretty good at it, so I’m thankful that everyone I’ve encountered so far have been so lovely 🙂
    Arianne recently posted…Life/Beauty: #SocialHourSD + Goodie Bag HaulMy Profile

    • Reply Corinne August 15, 2015 at 11:30 pm

      Ideas are everywhere! They seem to just smack me in the face most of the time haha.

  • Reply Mia August 11, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    I have had so many blogs over the years, but I always got bored after I while because I took it too seriously too soon. This time I prepared a lot better and decided I wouldn’t pressure myself by treating it as something ‘big’. Maybe I will one day, but right now when it’s just a hobby, I’ll only see it as a hobby and nothing more.

    • Reply Corinne August 15, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      I hope you manage to find balance with this blog!

  • Reply Lucy August 11, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    As someone who only this week went back to your Favicon post you wrote in November I love your help posts. Whilst others might write them they don’t do them the same as you do, otherwise I would be reading there’s and not yours, I take my blog very seriously and recently like you have been questioning do I need to relax a bit and not getting so stressed about posting. But I love my little space and the friends I have made, I am proud of it. I have learnt loads of skills that I wouldn’t have got anywhere else.

    Not sure I agree on the PR front I have seen a massive increase in emails wanting great amounts of effort from bloggers and they are not giving anything. It undervalues what I do. Would they spend five hours working for free, nope. They are taking advantage in my oppinion.

    I hope you get your mojo back Lucy x
    Lucy recently posted…A new chapterMy Profile

    • Reply Corinne August 15, 2015 at 11:32 pm

      That’s such a lovely thing to say, Lucy. I’m glad to hear you found my post useful.

      The PR front thing is a massive debate we could get into for hours, ha! I think there is no clear answer to this, it literally depends case by case, blogger by blogger and brand by brand!

  • Reply Sarah August 11, 2015 at 9:37 pm

    This. Every damn word of this has hit every single blogging nail on the head.

    These days there is TOO much focus on the money/stats/PR sides of blogging and it bothers me. It makes me feel like a shit blogger when I realise I’m not getting the opportunities and PR work other bloggers are getting. Then I feel even WORSE for feeling shit about my blog because none of those reasons are why I started blogging.

    And that’s what we need to remember at the end of the day. I’m not blogging in the hope I’ll become some household name, full time blogger by the end of the day (that kinda thing doesn’t come with maternity pay or a pension!). I’m blogging because I ENJOY it. I’ve learnt so much, met so many awesome people and if I get to put a smile or a positive thought into just one persons head, brighten their commute or inspire them to do something, anything, then it’s all been for something!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland
    Sarah recently posted…*Tommy Tucker PopcornMy Profile

    • Reply Corinne August 15, 2015 at 11:35 pm

      Yeah, I think that’s the problem. All the issues and frustrations I’ve spoken about really do make us want to compare ourselves 🙁

  • Reply Akaleistar August 11, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    What a wonderful and thought provoking post! It’s important to find the things that make you happy. I often struggle with the idea of turning my blog into a business or just keeping it as a hobby. I’ve found that when I start taking my blog seriously, I start stressing out, and that’s no fun.
    Akaleistar recently posted…Madison Reed: Salon Hair Color at HomeMy Profile

    • Reply Corinne August 15, 2015 at 11:36 pm

      Yeah – it’s hard because naturally you want to make something you’re passionate about into a big success, but it doesn’t always work out that way 🙁

  • Reply Mica August 11, 2015 at 11:37 pm

    This was such an open and honest post, thank you for sharing it! 🙂
    I get that people do want to work full time from their blogs. And I understand why they both ask for and expect big money. But for me, as a hobby blogger, I see any monetary gain as a benefit, not an expectation. I think everyone is so incredibly different and their goals are so different, there’s no one size fits all approach. And as you’re finding here, things change, people change.
    There is no right or wrong way to run a blog. It’s individual and unique and that’s to me one of the best things about blog reading.
    I’ve always said if it stops being fun, I need to change something or stop all together. I like having that ability, as my blog is just a hobby. I imagine as a ‘professional’ or full time blogger it’s harder, but ultimately what you decide to do is up to you 🙂 Your blog, your life!
    Mica recently posted…SAHM Style: Colourful Skinny Jeans and Printed ScarvesMy Profile

    • Reply Corinne August 15, 2015 at 11:37 pm

      Such a perfect response.. I agree with you whole heartedly!

  • Reply Rowena @ rolala loves August 12, 2015 at 12:41 am

    It’s obvious you’ve given this a great deal of thought and I agree with most of what you’re saying. It’s true that some bloggers do take this whole thing way seriously which is not to say it’s bad but they do need to be realistic with their expectations. At the end of the day, people need to be true to yourselves and blog about what they enjoy and believe in.
    Rowena @ rolala loves recently posted…Issa By ForeoMy Profile

    • Reply Corinne August 15, 2015 at 11:38 pm

      Being realistic is key – I think many people think they can become an overnight success almost.

  • Reply Anca August 12, 2015 at 5:57 pm

    I think people are exaggerating when they say they don’t care about stats.I check analytics monthly, the DA, I care how many followers I have because while I blog as a hobby, I want confirmation from others, like everybody else. I want a comment on my post, I want to know I’m doing a good job and my DA is higher and I want traffic because it means people like my blog and my ideas and that means that I’m cool :))

    At the same time, some bloggers think they are much more important than others, asking for crazy fees, writing post about increasing the DA when theirs is less than 20 and so on. Balance is the key.
    Anca recently posted…10 Good thingsMy Profile

    • Reply Corinne August 15, 2015 at 11:39 pm

      I think we all care to some extent. I used to care a lot more, but now I’m trying to care more about things in real life rather than on the internet!

  • Reply Georgiana August 12, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    I always love reading your advice posts, keep doing that. I know now a lot of people give advice (even I had a cheeky post), but its your content that separates you from the others. Maybe another 30 people wrote about the same topic, but I like reading your post, because I like your styles.
    P.S. You need to finish season 6 of Vampire Diaries. The drama, the pain!
    Georgiana recently posted…KIKO Water Eyeshadows ReviewMy Profile

    • Reply Corinne August 15, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      Thank you very much – you’ve given me the confidence boost I needed with this comment!

  • Reply Victoria August 12, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Corinne, I always admired your determination to work so hard on your blog but I admire you even more for realising that it is not the be-all-and-end-all and what you need to do is whatever it is that makes you happy. 🙂
    Victoria xx
    thedaisyjaynes.com
    Victoria recently posted…What to wear on an English Summer DayMy Profile

    • Reply Corinne August 15, 2015 at 11:40 pm

      Thanks, Victoria!

  • Reply Kezzie August 13, 2015 at 12:07 am

    I think you are a very versatile blogger. I think you work and what you do is good and sincere. All of your advice posts are genuine and they genuinely are useful posts that you are writing because you care, not because you think that type of post garners readers.. But I don’t feel that way about many others I read and I do get bored of the constant ‘how to’ posts I read because as you say, it seems everyone is taking everything seriously!
    Keep doing what you are doing, I’llbe there!x
    Kezzie recently posted…Back to the knotsMy Profile

    • Reply Corinne August 15, 2015 at 11:43 pm

      Thanks, Kezzie, such a lovely comment. You all are making me want to cry haha!

  • Reply Josie August 13, 2015 at 12:47 am

    I love this post, thank you for being so honest! I think when it comes down to it it’s all about balance – yes you can take blogging seriously but remember to enjoy it too! I felt myself getting a bit caught up with stats etc so I had to take a step back and just remember why I started blogging in the first place and now I’m enjoying blogging more than ever x

    Josie’s Journal
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    • Reply Corinne August 15, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      Sounds like you recognised the problem pretty early on and sorted it out. Well done!

  • Reply Sharon August 13, 2015 at 8:46 pm

    A great post to read! Closer to when I first started blogging I used to beat myself up for not posting regularly but I’d have ended having no life if I’d have kept up to the schedule I originally wanted to.

    I enjoy the way I blog now, when I’m not too busy with all of my other life stuff and I feel like I’ve got something interesting to say then I post, and that’s about as much pressure as I put on myself 😉

    Sharon x
    Sharon recently posted…Work It Out Wednesday #4 | Keeping Myself MotivatedMy Profile

    • Reply Corinne August 15, 2015 at 11:41 pm

      I’m jealous haha! I wish I could care less but I still want my daily posting streak and three blogs haha!

  • Reply char August 18, 2015 at 10:45 am

    A million times yes to this post. I have always been the “do it because you enjoy, write what you want to, ignore the stats” type of blogger – mine is purely a hobby and always will be. I have absolutely no desire to become a professional blogger and suck all of the fun out of something I enjoy. But I realise from the recent turn of things in the blogging world that this mentality puts me very much in the minority. Yes, I’ve been very flattered to receive email contact from brands and PRs about collaborating and anything I’ve chosen to go ahead with has been a bonus, and I’ve felt flattered to be asked. I don’t freak out about not posting to a schedule, I don’t worry if things get busy and I can’t post something, because there’s always tomorrow. There’s so much other stuff which takes up my time and my life, that beating myself up about something which is supposed to be a creative outlet.
    char recently posted…And her eyes can light the sky..My Profile

    • Reply Corinne October 20, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      You have such a wonderful view to blogging! I’m a tad jealous I can’t have this mentality consistently!

  • Reply Elizabeth Rebecca August 23, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I think that we need to take blogging less seriously. Some people do it full time but our lives are meant to be fun and our blogs should celebrate that.

    Lizzie Dripping
    Elizabeth Rebecca recently posted…Sunday 9th August 2015My Profile

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