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Sunday, 3 February 2013

On sincerity


This post has been in my mind for a while, and after reading Pip Lincolne's post on a similar subject, and then Nell's thoughts on her blog On the First Day of Marriage last night, I decided I had to put pen to paper (so to speak).

Recently, I've been thinking more about why I blog. Why I want to be sharing some of the minutiae of my life with strangers on the other side of the world. Whether I should be sharing photos of my baby with whoever stumbles across my little corner of the internet. (I'm going with yes - I'm sure you're all lovely folk!).

I started my blog as a way of re-engaging my brain as I emerged from the newborn baby fog. A way of recording some of those precious baby 'firsts' and connecting with a community of mamas all finding their way in the dark that is parenting. A way of rediscovering my love of the written word.

I've found so many like-minded individuals through blogging, and I love seeing their beautiful photos, being inspired by their crafting, reading wonderful words and discovering people that are going through the same ups, or downs as me.

But as I read more, I discovered the competitive, and sponsored side of blogging that I had previously been oblivious to. I got fed up with reading posts only to discover 'this is a sponsored post' in tiny text at the bottom of the page, or seeing post after post about this month's sponsors. It detracts from the honesty that attracted me to the blogging community - sharing thoughts, experiences and the little details of life with others in the same boat. That's where the word sincere comes in. I don't want to read something only to discover it to be a huge fabrication, and similarly, I want to write things that are true to me.*

It's too easy to get caught up in the stats/comments/followers. To compare yourself to others and feel demeaned because you don't feel as popular. It's the nerdy girl in the playground all over again. I sometimes have to remind myself that my self-worth is not caught up in my blog. It's just a bonus in my life.

So I'm vowing to make sure I'm just blogging for me. To write because I love it. And if other people like my photos/find it helpful/enjoy reading it, then that's great. But it's not the be all and end all. Real life is more important.

(Sorry for all the seriousness - I'll be posting a picture of the baby scrunching her face up/a slightly squashed looking cake/another corner of our house in dire need of renovation soon, have no fear!)

*Let me say though, I completely understand why people take on sponsors - it would be very easy to spend all day, every day working on a blog - so why not let it pay? 

Edited to add: I should also say, there are many, many bloggers that I read and enjoy who do make use of sponsors and adverts - but they do so with integrity and transparency, whilst maintaining the true personality of their blog. 

16 comments:

  1. Amen to that! This has been on my mind recently after seeing so many of my favorite blogs becoming obvious advertising platforms instead of the brilliant blogs they once were. P.s loved the photo of those cute baby cheeks!

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    1. Yes I know what you mean - it's such a shame when it feels like a much loved blogger's 'voice' has become muddled with all the advertising.

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  2. I found you through the 52 project and I can completely relate! Oh my goodness, I can relate. I feel the same way a lot of the time and have to weekly remind myself that I am doing this as a way to keep a record of our lives and a way to share my children with family that don't live close by. Thank you for your honesty it is SO refreshing.
    warmly,
    Rachel

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    1. Thank you for coming over and commenting. I think I need to keep reminding myself who I blog for, it's so easy to get caught up and forget.

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  3. I read this earlier and this is my first moment to comment. I probably am very similar to you in the 'way' I blog. For me its the words, the sharing and the community. Its also about the amazingly talented people I have come to know - artists, writers, photographers, cooks and style setters and in some cases people that can do all five effortlessly! I think there is a way to do advertising and sponsored posts with integrity and many of the hugely talented women and men I read (in my opinion)can do that and you will see these yourself. You keep doing what you are doing, avoid what doesn't seem authentic and celebrate what you love. I personally keep 'envy' blinkers on at all times! I love your blog and can see the sincerity shine through. Thanks for a thought provoking post, jo xxx

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    1. Oh I completely agree that there are plenty of people that manage to maintain their true blogging voice, while using advertising and sponsors - and in hindsight, I perhaps should've added something about this to my original post.

      I don't mind it when people are up front about the sponsored posts, but it's frustrating when I feel like I've been bombarded with subliminal messages designed to make me visit a particular website or cook certain food!

      Envy blinkers sound like a good idea, I'll remember that! Thank you for your comment x

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  4. I relate to this post - I can't deny that if I could make money off my blog I would as I am very broke at the moment, but I've seen blogs just become sponsorship vehicles and lose that personal essence. Keep doing what you're doing, as it's great, whatever you do!

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    1. Yes it's that personal essence that makes blogs so readable - and such a shame when that is lost. I can't deny that a little money wouldn't be welcome though!!

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  5. What a great conversation to start. Thank you. It's this sort of dialogue that keeps blogging sincere and genuine. I am starting out on a new blog and would not be ashamed to have sponsors, but I am so thankful that you bring up transparency and honesty around that issue. Very well put.

    Johanna

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    1. Thank you - and thank you for taking the time to comment. I ummed and ahhed over whether to publish this post, but if my blog is to be 'me', I needed to write it.

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  6. I for one have really enjoyed having a read around your blog and am glad you are intending to be true to yourself - it will keep it a good read :)

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    1. Thank you - that's very kind! I'm looking forward to having a read of your blog too.

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  7. I totally agree with all that you have written. It is so easy to wrapped up in the popularity side of things, worrying about numbers I have been guilty of this but when I do feel this way now I try and step back and just remember that we are all special. That it's got nothing to do with numbers and everything to do with the community you create with your readers and just enjoying the journey. x

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    1. Exactly! Enjoy the journey and the faces you meet along the way!

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  8. Well, on that note I am still the nerdy girl in the playground and its a badge I wear with honour. I'm far to inconsinstent, unpolished and random to ever get to the sponsored stage. Good for you, and fair enough with the addendum/p.s qualifiers you wrote. Some people, including some SAHM bloggers make a living that way. Meanwhile ill stick with the happy little daily blogs like yours.

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  9. This is a very thoughtful post, on a topic that I think many if not all bloggers ponder at some point. I did here: http://missmuggins.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/a-little-word-for-2013.html. I am in the process of writing an "about me" page and your post has got me thinking and musing and considering some more. Thanks xx

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