It’s such an interesting little world, the blogging community. I say little, but WHOA MAMA there are literally millions of blogs floating around on this here interwebs.
And you guys found your way here, and decided to stop speed-clicking for a second, and read for a few minutes. Thanks. (Amended to add: this post ended up longer and windier than I expected, it might take you more than a couple of minutes. Sorry. Go get a cuppa and start again.)
Because when I’m having a cuppa, I like to Instagram it.
I’ve had lots of discussions with folks lately about blogging, both people who blog, and those who say ‘Blog? What’s a blog?’ And eventually, I ask ‘Why do you read blogs?’ Not because I want to tick every box, and say ‘Well here you go, you like reading blogs which are X, Y and Z. I’ve written that, so now you can like me.’
I ask because I honestly am curious. Curious and I wonder why I read the blogs that I do, and I am also slightly over the whole blog thing, and wondering if there’s a way I can get myself back into it without resenting any time spent blogging.
Because that’s what happened. That’s why there’s a whole new space online for me to dump thoughts, rants, selfies, recipes, and all manner of junk outta my head. I was just over it, and all the ideas I had to write about weren’t exciting me, and I could think of a hundred and one things I’d rather do (I won’t say cleaning, that’s a lie…) but I would definitely prefer to sleep, cook, read, iron, anything rather than blogging at that point.
Then I read a bunch of posts during a week-long period in early December, and I wasn’t connecting and feeling inspired by any of them. Then came the big ‘Ah ha’ moment for me. I realised what it was about blogging in particular (both reading and writing) that I wasn’t into. The whole monetisation thing.
I get it, I do. If you want to make money from your hobby of writing on the internet, I am SO cheering you on. If you want to commit to it and turn it into your job, then GO YOU. Seriously. You’re awesome. But it’s not for me. Not right now.
And I was reading regular blog posts hitting my inbox with headlines screaming Make More Money From Your Blog, and How to Get People to Pay You to Write, and Positive Thinking and Sponsorship – You CAN Be A Successful Blogger! That last one was the kicker for me. Why was money the way we see blogging as successful?
Yes, I do like me some free product, or cash, or any kinda kickback. And those who say they don’t are lying through their ‘editorial consideration’ smile. But no, I don’t like free product, or cash, or whatever, if it’s accompanied by a PR push that I don’t believe in. I will very, VERY happily review and write about product that I use, love and would spend my own money on. But send me something hideous, or unsuitable, and be sure you’ve got a Reply Paid envelope in that box, because it’s coming back to you, folks.
Ok, rant over.
What I’m trying to say (in a longwinded way – see, you guys really didn’t miss me at all, did you!) is that I am back to blogging, and it’s because I’ll enjoy it. I will always spend time on various social media channels while I enjoy them, and the minute I don’t, I’ll stop – because it’s a hobby.
The upside of blogging is that it’s a hobby which has introduced me to some of the most beautiful people I ever could meet. Honestly. My very closest friends are people I met first through social media channels and blogging, and then in real life. Or IRL, if you’re a closet 90’s MSN-messaging geek. And I wouldn’t change that for the world. There’s something very vulnerable about taking online friendships into the real world space, and I think that when you do, you find that the common ground you’ve previously communicated about, is actually just a teensy-tiny part of what actually makes you compatible as friends.
Take Anna. Yes, she’s hot and hilarious and whip-smart. That’s how I like my friends.
We met on Twitter, chatted on Instagram, connected whilst talking about slightly-overbearing mothers, our love of the River City (Brisbane), Jimmy Buffett’s laidback country/coastal music, and vodka. There was always vodka. Then one day, Anna bit the bullet and visited me at the retail store I worked at.
BAM! Fireworks, sparks flew, it was true friendship-love.But the best part was getting to know Anna properly over a vodka or three, and discovering so much more that we had in common.
There was no clue during those original few ranty public-transport-whinge tweets that we exchanged, but she’s now one of the most important people in my life. And that’s only one of my stories. I have many more beautiful friends who I met online first, and I think THAT’S my favourite thing about blogging. I get to tell you about them.
And another thing: I didn’t answer my two questions, ‘why do we blog, and why do we read blogs?’
Which I suppose is for the best, because it means I’ve got something else to write about, and I’ll be back another day.