The blogging world is a funny place at the moment. There is much talk of 'branding', 'PR relationships', 'sponsorships', 'functions', etc. It's fast-moving and intense.
When I started blogging just a little under two years ago, my blog was just somewhere for me to jot down my thoughts, practice my writing, stop my brain from dissolving. I didn't expect anyone to read it, I didn't really expect to read anyone else's blog. Instead, what I discovered was a world of wonderful blogs. Everyday people writing about their lives. There were fantastic writers and storytellers. There were people who took beautiful photographs. There were people who just shared their everyday mundane moments in their own unique way. I fell in love. I loved reading these wonderful spots on the internet. Little places that people made their own. It was almost like being invited into someone's home, someone's world. I loved sharing snippets from my world and sharing my take on the world.
About six months ago (maybe a little longer) the blogging world seem to take a big dose of steroids or something. These little worlds started taking different shapes. There were now websites and seminars and meetings about blogging. How to blog. How to make the most of blogging. Realising the potential of your blog. At the other end of the scale people wonder if working with PR and making money from your blog is selling out.
I haven't been immune to this ride. I have been swept up in the excitement. I have wondered if I could take my blog further. I've wondered if I have a 'brand'. Am I overselling myself? Underselling myself?
I've been approached by PR companies. I've had ads on here. And that's all good. It's been fun to have products land on my doorstep. It's been fun to be invited to things. It's been fun to meet other bloggers. It's been eye-opening to see how far some people are going. It was a great experience to be involved in the Top 50 bloggers (as well as a huge honour).
There has also been a lot of soul searching done (by myself and others) about where they fit in all this. For me, it's complicated, yet simple at the same time.
I have to admit being saddened when I hear people wondering if they should write about XYZ in fear of putting of potential PR experiences. I've been saddened when people changed their blogs to fit a certain mould. I've also been saddened when I hear about people trying to learn how to 'blog effectively'.
I don't have a problem with people trying to make a living out of their blogs or trying to create something big, if they do that's wonderful. I just hope that we don't lose the unique blogs. The everyday storytellers who weave their own certain magic. The bloggers who blog for love of blogging. I hope we don't see lots of cookie-cutter blogs, blogging a certain way because that's how they've been told they 'should' blog.
Most of all, I just hope we don't overthink the whole thing. Blog the way you want to. Write about what you want to write about. Take photos. Don't take photos. Write five times a day or write five times a year. Whatever. Just be you. Just enjoy it. That, to me, is successful blogging.
This little blog doesn't mark a huge mark on the blogging world and that's OK. It's my little place. It's a hobby which I adore and which brings happiness to my friends and family and, most of all, to me. I'm fortunate that I do get paid to write in other formats, so this blog can be just for me. From time to time if I get sent a product that I really like then I'll share it with you, in my own special way. If I get invited to something that sounds great I'll go. If there are experiences that my kids, husband and I can enjoy out of blogging, then you can be damn sure I'm going to jump on them. I may or may not have ads, I don't know.
Mostly, I'm just going to keep writing about the stuff that pops into my head. It won't be everyone's cup of tea. Some day I'll be drinking solo, I'm sure. Other days I may be rounding the whole bar. Whatever.
Welcome to my little place on the internet. For better or worse, this is what it is.