Monday, February 10, 2014

Should bloggers blog "for fun"?


These are my friends.  I like them.  
I always cock my head like an idiot for pictures.

Because I mentioned it yesterday, I feel like it would be fair to tell you that Greg and I did see our little baby hopping around on an ultrasound today, and we did get a good idea of the gender.  We are not 100% sure yet, though, so for now we are going to keep mum.  I decided the timing and the way in which we announced the pregnancy so Greg is in charge of revealing the gender.  All I know is that it may involve a cauldron and a prophecy, and it will for sure come in the moment you are least expecting it.  Ladies and gentlemen, my husband.

Now.  Onward!

Today I want to write a little about good old blogging.  I know blogging about blogging has gotten a bit old and I get kind of tired of it, too.  But sometimes I have these new thoughts in my head that need to rest somewhere and sometimes these thoughts are about blogging and so they must rest on a blog.  Still with me?

A few weeks ago Whitney wrote this post entitled "Writing for Fun."  The general idea of the post was this- Whitney started blogging years ago "for fun", and while she now receives some monetary compensation, she would still blog five days a week without any money.  She is frustrated with the idea that many bloggers seem to only blog to generate revenue and that "So many bloggers are, practically, selling their souls to get views instead of focusing on what the actual purpose of blogging is. To write."  (Did I summarize your main arguments correctly, Whit?  Let me know if I messed anything up!)

I wrote a huge long comment on her blog.
And then I kept thinking about it.  
And thinking about it.
And finally decided it merited a blog post of its very own.  A rebuttal, if you will.  Because I'm an English teacher, and I like to rebut things and I like to use words like rebut.  Boo-yah!

1.  I, too, can get annoyed with blogs that turn themselves purely to sponsored content.  Tis true.  Who doesn't?  HOWEVER, I try to be patient with these bloggers as I realize they are going through some growing pains, and one of two things will inevitably happen.  1- the blogger will figure out the balance and continue with enough regular, non sponsored, genuine content to maintain an audience or 2- the blogger will self destruct through sponsorship.  She will drive off her audience with too many sponsored posts, and she will either stop blogging or blog on a much smaller platform, unable to keep a large audience satisfied.  Usually the former happens- bloggers figure it out.  And if they don't, they lose a lot of their audience.  It's pretty simple.

2.  I don't believe a blogger has to be willing to blog five days a week for free in order to be a pure or a passionate or a good blogger.  The fact of the matter is there are a lot of things that we may enjoy doing, but still probably wouldn't do without receiving some kind of compensation.  I don't think it's fair that as a blogging culture we expect bloggers to be willing to produce content five times a week with no pay.  Most bloggers with a fairly large platform do receive some kind of compensation, but just the idea that all bloggers should love it so freaking much to come here every day regardless of pay is expecting too much of bloggers.  No one has ever asked me to show up to school and teach without pay.  No one has ever told me that unless I'm willing to do it for free that I don't really have a passion and love for it.  I do have a passion for it, and I do love it.  I hope to teach throughout my entire life.  I get great satisfaction and fulfillment from teaching- I teach a subject I love, I grow and learn as a person, I form meaningful and lasting relationships with students and co-workers.  

But. 
I wouldn't do it without pay.

So how about blogging?  Would I be writing this post right now if I didn't receive compensation from my blog and want to continue to do so?  Nope.  It's 10:42, I have been up since 6:10, the day has been a nonstop Monday, I still need to read 30 pages before I teach my AP class tomorrow, my stomach is being fussy.  

So, no.  I wouldn't show up to blog tonight if I weren't receiving some kind of pay.  That doesn't mean I lack for passion.  It means I lack for "It's 10:30 and I'm exhausted, but I love blogging so freaking much that I will blog right now for no other reason other than pure, unadulterated love!"  Fair enough?

3.  If you start a blog with the sole purpose of making money, and then you do, in fact, make hordes of money with purely sponsored content- more power to you!  Blogging is a very tough business, so anyone who can manage to make any money at all from it has mastered something about the art.  I know there are people who start blogs with the pure intent to make money.  I don't think there's a thing in the world wrong with that.  It may be ridiculously hard, and it may take them months or even years, but if they start rolling in the dough and generate a sick income and sponsor the crap out of their blog- then freak.  Good for them.  If that's where they want to take their blog and they can maintain an audience doing it, who am I to tell them not to?  They're baby geniuses!  I know that I sure as heck haven't figured out how to do that. I'm not going to look down on anything for figuring out how to make a buck or two off of an internet site.

4.  Blogging is a versatile platform and can serve a myriad of purposes.  In her post Whitney said that "So many bloggers are, practically, selling their souls to get views instead of focusing on what the actual purpose of blogging is. To write."  I agree with Whitney in the sense that my purpose in blogging is definitely to write.  I love to write and I love that blogging allows me to publish when I want what I want, and it allows me to receive immediate feedback from readers.  I love the dialogue that it creates and the community of support.  There is no doubt about it- writing is my main goal with blogging.

But a lot of blogs have nothing to do with writing and are still very successful.  Some blogs are for pictures, some are for making your homes look purty, some are for food, some are for oogling over pictures of babies or dogs.  Some are for couponers, some are for fashion divas, some are for travel.  

A lot of these blogs write. A lot don't.  I don't believe the "actual purpose" of blogging has to be to write- I believe that writing is only one of its many, many purposes.  And that is what's so great about blogging- you can use it for anything you want, baby!

Alright, now it's time for you to chime in.  Do you think a blog should stay true to its roots and stick to the basics of writing and blogging?  Are you okay when your favorite blogs start showing a lot of sponsored content?  And would you ever tell your favorite blogger that you were disappointed in the direction her blog was going?  Can't wait to hear your thoughts, and I will be responding to all comments on this post!

49 comments:

  1. Ah man, such an interesting subject! I think I'm halfway between you and Whit right now. I dislike seeing blogs turn into mainly sponsored content, but I get why they do it. The second I started accepting sponsorships (even tiny baby ones!) I felt horribly obligated to post 5x a week. Before sponsorships posting 5x a week was easy. And somehow now it feels like an obligation. Yet I'm not going to turn down any sort of compensation that helps me maintain the hobby of blogging in the first place. It's a very weird balance.

    I think that for me, losing the "to write" purpose of blogging would be really sad. Because writing is the main reason I blog. And reading is the main reason I "read". I don't like blogs with only pictures or only "how-to's" or only advice. I don't like reading a blog unless I can feel like I really know the person behind it. That's one of the reasons I stick around here for every post. Even the sponsored posts seem like they have so much YOU in them. But I totally accept that people do run blogs that have very little to do with writing, and I accept that. They just don't get very many views from me in the long run.

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    1. Thank you, Kylie, I appreciate that!

      Writing is also the main reason I blog and read blogs. But I guess I don't think there's anything wrong if that isn't somebody's main reason. I probably won't read it, but there are others who will.

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  2. You both raised some valid points, and I love that you took the time to rebut. Hey, that is a fun word!
    Ok, moving on.
    In my opinion the beauty of blogging is that there aren't any set rules. There are guidelines, sure - but the purpose of blogging for me is the expression of creativity.
    A blog is a living, breathing creature. It is impossible to predict where it is going. And just like we change, so do blogs.
    If my favourite bloggers change, grow, quit, whatever - it is their right, and I wouldn't dream of giving them a hard time! Nobody forces me to keep reading, I can stop whenever I want. It's as simple as that.

    Excellent post, bonnie!

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    1. Yes, rebut is the best word!

      I love that about blogging- no set rules. I think as long as we understand and are okay with the fact that our audience may change as our blogs change then we're fine.

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  3. I have to admit when I started my, what I call my "open" blog, I did it mainly for all the review sites I was doing and that was all I did. I came to realizing well silly, you are going to be getting a lot more regulars and chatter if you do more things that are personal to you. I have started doing that for about 6 months or so now and wow, what a difference. Now I get so annoyed when I run across blogs and all I see is coupons, sponsored, giveaways. I know we need these, heck its how I mainly earn money, but come on throw in some personal stuff there too to draw me in more.

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    1. It's funny you say you have to "admit" that because to me there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If then you chose to go a different way with your blog (which you did) there is also nothing wrong with that. Good for you!

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  4. For me, blogging is fun. It is a collection of my thoughts and memories. I've been blogging on/off for 10+ years, but have had my current blog for 5 years.

    I do get sponsored posts and free products, but to me, those are perks. My blog isn't my income, my brand, etc. It's essentially a diary.

    I get really annoyed when I see so many bloggers think they need to do this or that to be successful. It seems so many want to be "blog famous," and the chances that will happen are slim. I also think some bloggers try to create a "persona," instead of being real, which is a huge turnoff. I want to relate to someone, know their struggles, celebrate their happiness.

    I try to blog 3-6 times a week, but it is because I want. Even if all the free products and sponsored posts went away, I would still be here 3-6 days a week. I was here long before those opportunities, and will still continue to be here.

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    1. I also think lots of bloggers are trying to "keep up with the Joneses," and make their blog a business. I understand some bloggers legitimately have businesses, but others don't. I like when bloggers are authentic. That's the way it should be.

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    2. To me a blog can only truly be a diary if you don't have an audience. I know and interact constantly with a lot of people who read my blog so I am limited it what I can say about people, my work, my marriage, my family, my fears, my insecurities. As soon as there is an audience I feel like you lose the ability to be 100% honest. (Also like reality tv.) If I were writing just for me, my blog would be VERY different. Also I see a diary more as a monologue and a blog as more of a dialogue. I think I will write in a journal until I die- I don't know if I will write on a blog until I die.

      Also, I totally understand about the "keeping up with the Joneses". It's always interesting to me when people want to make money from their blog without effort- no original content, no striking pictures, essentially nothing new to bring to the table. It's like we all just wanna get paid for living here. Maybe we do.

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    3. Creepin' on the comment section! Whitney, I really liked your comment. Bonnie, I think you are correct when you say that a blog is like a dialogue and a journal is a monologue. It makes me think how I approach my own-- because I use it as a substitute for a journal. Mine is small enough that I can afford to be more personal (I still change names, rarely write stories from work because of the dang HIPAA that is ruining my life, etc..) but it's definitely not the same.

      I'm of the mind that you can't really have a successful blog unless your heart is in it, but I know that that isn't necessarily true. More power to you if you make your blog a success and you aren't passionate about it...I'm just probably not going to follow it.

      Anyway, sorry for babbling.

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  5. I think if you take it out of online context and consider, say, a garage band you can follow the logic thought process more easily. Hey, we love rocking out and jamming to music - let's start a band. We are practicing our butts off and kinda, sorta starting to sound like we are actually making music. What's that? People want to hear us (and aren't just calling the cops??) Sweet! Yeah, we could play at your graduation/birthday/funeral just give us a call! Ok, this is getting serious. We *have* to practice now and pop out original music because people are expecting us to. Wait. If they want us to play and we have to play, shouldn't they pay us to play?

    And so you have the evolution of garage band turned crappy gig cover band with dreams of making it 'big' someday. You see where this is going. Eventually, a few of them make it. And by 'make it' I mean get signed and sanitized and paid to play music they loathe. And they do it and hate it and develop horrible drug addictions...er they have that moment of clarity where they remember WHY they wanted to bang on those drums all day in the first place. And they go from there...

    I doubt, sincerely, that even the bloggers I've come to despise in this 'industry' started out with the intent to get rich. In fact, I think those are called 'marketers' but I digress. In every arena (music, sports, modeling, acting, etc) you have creative types who just want to DO their craft to the best of their ability and be good, heck great, at it. And somewhere along the line the whole notion of fame & fortune suffocates sincere passion.

    The real question is how do you avoid that, as a blogger? Do you stop joining all those damn FB groups where quasi-pro bloggers tell you how to write posts to game the social media numbers? Do you stop linking up here, there and everywhere to try to improve pageviews? Do you watch Matt Cutts on repeat trying to interpret his hidden meaning like a Pink Floyd record? Or do you just DO what you do, cross your fingers and wait til you have to decide should fate toss you that bone?

    I do. But it took me over a year to figure that out & I made some enemies along the way. Meh, I can't ever please everyone. Case in point - up there, someone said she doesn't read DIY How To blogs so that poor soul will never know how wonderful I am. And truly, that's all I really want to do - share my stuff. But I have learned to be okay with that. Because you know what? There are only so many hours in a day. We choose accordingly.

    And I'm too busy banging my paint brush to unknown musicians to worry much about what everyone else is doing. (wink)

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    1. Great garage band analogy! I love that!

      I don't think the "notion of fame and fortune" has to "suffocate sincere passion." I think it can, but I don't think it has to. I suppose, then, that would be the danger of getting paid to do anything you enjoy. Doctors may surely feel that the pressures of the job squelch their innate desire to help people, but that doesn't mean the passion isn't still there most of the time.

      I have also "made enemies" along the way. It is hard not to.

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    2. Yes, that's true. I've always said that as soon as 'it becomes work it loses it's luster' whatever the 'it' represents. You've said it yourself, your work as a teacher is dependent on payment for services rendered. I think Drs and lawyers and policeman feel the same way. It's a fine line to toe and every single person finds themself teetering at one point or another. Why? Because it's the great Matthew 6:24 debacle. The ever present, on going battle between the devil on your left shoulder & the angel on the right. :)

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  6. I'm going to throw out a really easy answer, and it's just that obviously, the ideal would be a happy medium. The blogger creates quality, original content on a consistent schedule with a few sponsored posts sprinkled here and there for monetary purposes. Everyone's happy. But yes, unfortunately, it's not really like that all the time. For me, as long as there's more original content than sponsored content, I'm still good with the blog - any more than that, and I'm a little iffy!

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    1. Great summation! I guess my whole point is that if a blog DOES want to go 100% to sponsored content then I don't care. I won't read anymore, but I don't care.

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  7. I think a blog should go in whatever direction the blogger feels it should go. Quite frankly, it kind of irks me when people freak out on a blogger for posting content differently than what they "expect". Take Kate at The Small Things for example, she just wrote a post about how she got complaints that she was writing about her baby too much so she's only going to keep it to Wednesdays. I thought it was very nice of her to be flexible to her readers but I was also really really irked at anyone that would have the gumption to tell someone to stop talking about their kid. It's rude! In my opinion, if you don't like a post that a blogger wrote that day, you skip over it and move on. If you find that more often than not you are skipping days, then just unfollow the blogger. I think it's inappropriate to tell anyone what they should or shouldn't write about.

    Now, as a blogger myself, I'm not going to lie and say that I don't find it frustrating that people who started up blogs after me are "bigger" and have more followers and generate enough page views to be sponsored. Especially if what I feel they are posting is crap. But you know what? If they've figured out some secret to getting more followers and making money faster, then more power to them. I'm also not going to lie and say that I don't intend to try and get sponsored one day myself. But I didn't start blogging to make money, I started because I had this nagging itch to want to write and share myself with others. The money aspect just happens to be a nice perk if I ever get big enough to do it. I've been blogging almost a year and I haven't made very much off of it at all, but I haven't stopped because 1. becoming rich off of blogging is like moving to California to become famous, lots of people do it, but only few succeed 2. it's not why I did it in the first place. I genuinely enjoy blogging and making friends with people I would have otherwise never knew existed.

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    1. I agree with your statement about not telling bloggers what to blog about, but only to an extent. I think that as soon as someone is making money off of an audience, they need to cater to the audience in some way. If I didn't have an audience I couldn't make a dime off of my blog so it's not unfair for an audience to ask me to stop doing certain things or they may no longer be a part of an audience. I guess because I realize I do blog to some extent "professionally" I have to deal with things professionally and not always personally. Book reviews get negative reviews on their books and fans tell them they don't like their characters, etc, and writers have to deal with it. I suppose blogging is in essence the same.

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    2. I never really thought of it from a business perspective, so your point does make sense. Either way, thanks for posting this and creating such a lively discussion, I enjoyed reading everyone's opinions.

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  8. Ohh, great post. I think about this lots at the moment. I really want to grow my blog, but don't want to sell my 'blogging soul'. I'm still a tiny blogger, but I hope to be able to grow both my blog readership and monetising options while still blogging about what I want to blog about! It's about community as much as anything else, so I guess it's all about finding a balance... Thanks for posting a thought provoking blog!

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  9. I just started this whole blogging thing and I gotta tell ya - I did not realize how complicated it was! There are so many different platforms like you said - travel blogs, fashion blogs, blogs that are just strictly writing. It is difficult to find a happy medium (at least for me). I think a blog can be whatever it wants to be for that person. This does start as a hobby, as a passion. I don't feel anyone should be told what to do with their blog (or how they should convey it). It's basically like someone telling you how to live your life. I don't know all that much about blogging, but I do know that my favorite kind of blogs are those that write about something I can relate too. As nice as it is to see picture after picture of an beautiful outfit, I personally get bored after a while. There is only so much to gain from that. (A few posts a week on style are fine, but 7 days a week is just too much for me). Being that, I wouldn't necessarily choose to follow blogs that are strictly for fashion. I think it just depends o the person, the person blogging and the person reading the blogs. You only do what it is that you want to do.

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    1. I agree with your statement that no one should tell anyone how to blog IF they are merely blogging for hobby. If they start making money off of their audience, then I do believe they need to take the needs and wants of the audience into account.

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  10. I'm one of those terribly naive bloggers who blogs away several times a week, sharing my creative projects, photos and stories, with nary a thought about making money. I would say it's 'just for me', or 'just for my family', but that would be a lie. I post because I want people to to read & look. I think I have an awesome blog, full of interesting things. But I have absolutely zero interest in promoting my blog in any sort of way that would tie me down and obligate me to create on a certain schedule or promote certain products. I often promote my blog through FB and a few message board sites I belong to. Otherwise, most of my traffic comes through Google. Because, ya know, I blog about interesting stuff sometimes!

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    1. Love your honesty! I think we all "want people to read & look" or else why would we post it in the first place? We would just write in a diary, no need to put it on the web for the world to see. And I get most of my traffic from google too :)

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  11. I started out blogging to the mysterious infinite anonymous cosmos that is the internet to practice my creative non-fiction writing. I didn't blog very often..only every so often a month, but my writing (to me, at least) was beautiful. I feel that I've honestly lost some of myself since then.

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    1. Love this comment, Tayler. Sometimes I'm sad too, to see how my writing has changed as my blog has progressed, but for the most part I feel like my writing has remained a true indicator of myself. Also, I never responded to your one comment on the mommy post but I wasn't offended at all by your choice to not drink Pepsi! As long as you don't make me feel guilty for drinking diet coke to my heart's delight I will let you make whatever decision for your baby!

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  12. I agree with both sides of the argument. I'm just now gaining that large audience and being reached out to by sponsors. And it feels great. It makes me feel like people care about what I have to say, but I also get sick of blogs that only do sponsor posts and hope I'm able to keep my little blog space, for the majority, for me.

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    1. It does feel great, doesn't it? I suppose in a way it's a little bit of validation for all the work we've put in.

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  13. To me, blogging is a "to each his own" kind of thing. I think it is silly to assume that we are all here for the same reason... or that our reasons are static. I originally came to this world as a way to escape from long study sessions studying for the bar exam. I now have my own blog where I intend to document our lives as well as make a little cash. But that's not to say that it is everyone's goal...

    If I don't like what someone is doing with their blog, I stop reading. That's the joy of their being so many blogs. There is always something else "on" and I can change the channel anytime I want.

    -Kate
    www.theflorkens.com

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    1. I love that idea! Our reasons for blogging are NOT static and it's okay if our blog changes as our life and desires change. I suppose in some way I am grateful when a reader tells me they don't like the direction my blog is taking, though, because it allows me a chance to redeem myself before they "change the channel."

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  14. I adore this. I really do. There are so many types of blogs AND Blogger's out there, and we all have our own reasons for what we post and why. If you earn money from it, good for you. There is a balance to how much to do sponsored stuff and it takes TIME to figure out this balance, as you said. None of us are perfect, or "get it" early on (or do we ever?), and if people like what we post, they come back. I'm not a big fan of pigeon-holing my own opinions on everybody. We are all so different, we all blog for different reasons, and that is okay. Great post;)

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    1. Thank you Meagen! Pigeon holing is a great term for it and I agree with you completely. I hate being told what to do and I hate telling other people what to do. I just prefer to do my own thing!

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  15. I'm so glad you did a rebuttal! I personally loved Whits post, but I have a bit of a different view on things I suppose than both of you. I don't make money off my blog. Not that I'd be against the idea, but at this point my blogging doesn't generate any revenue. I blog on a daily basis because I like to write and mostly because I want to have something to reflect back on in coming years. I want a log of what I did and how I felt, and that's why I continue to write on a regular basis.

    I would never say anything to any other blogger who changed the things they blogged about, because like mentioned in other comments, I don't have to continue reading, I can stop whenever I want... With that said, blogs that are solely about sponsorships, reviews, and making money don't generally interest me. I want to know the blogger behind the post, and I'm not learning about you if you're constantly introducing sponsors or consistently doing reviews that mean nothing to you, or me. That's another thing, so many of the blogs I read, I read because I can feel the passion the bloggers have for the things they write about. I don't want to read a review about some product that the blogger couldn't care less about, even if it made their life a little easier or something. I mean, I wear little make-up, so doing a make-up review would be silly. Just my two cents!

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    1. Great perspective from the middle! I am not interested in purely sponsorship and giveaway blogs either, but I don't care if people write them. As long as they know I won't be reading!

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  16. I think a BALANCE is needed when it comes to sponsored posts/giveaways/etc. Many of my favourite blogs have sponsored posts and giveaways, I do to, and YES it's only when I feel like my personal life will benefit from it (does that sound bad?) or my readers will benefit from it. The blog is about me, at the end of the day, so if I like something or think I can offer my readers something awesome, why not? However, I still love to write and writing and sharing my life will always be the main focus of my blog.

    I think that her blog post is somewhat hypocritical because she does all the things that she is complaining about. She should have clarified that BALANCE is writing and sponsored posts/giveaways is what is more necessary.

    I agree, there are so many different types of blogging, not just for writing.

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    1. Balance is key, I agree. BUT. If someone loses the balance completely they will inevitably suffer a loss of audience and then change their tune. So usually I just wait it out and sure enough, within a few months the blogger has figured her shiz out.

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  17. Coudln't agree more with you. One of the great things I love about blogging is that I'm "A little bit of everything" blogger (is that a category?) That's what's great about it being your own blog...you don't have to feel like you HAVE to post about any certain thing...I had to convince myself that people who want to read will and people who won't..won't. Do I shun sponsored posts? Heck no. I consider that a perk! But I do choose those ones carefully. I won't do a post about things that don't really fit me. Then people will start to think of it as "she'll write ANY sponsored item" blog. Those can get boring for readers. Great post girly...and even more kudos for writing it with a cranky tummy at 10:30 at night...I would have been in bed...in a Brianne Ball.

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    1. haha! I was in a Bonnie ball for sure... trying to crank out something coherent. Tonight I'm definitely doing my blog EARLY.

      Love the idea of being selective about sponsored posts... it can be hard when people are trying to throw money and products at you, but it is key!

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  18. I go back and forth on this topic all of the time. Right now I've been trying to blog 5x a week and have been doing so (mostly successfully) since May. Which isn't bad! I love writing and I want to write every single day because that's how I'm going to become a better writer. I love reading other blogs and getting to know them and it's how I can organize my thoughts and keep in touch with people. I love the blogging world.

    But I don't get paid for it. I don't even have sponsors, and it's frustrating. I've gone back and forth if I should have sponsors (mainly so I can have some extra cash for when I want to sponsor others) but I feel like I don't have enough followers/enough hits. Then I feel like I need to sponsor other people to get more but then I'm even more poor than I was before... and it's exhausting. I've been blogging for about three years now and while I love it, I also want to know why I haven't been able to get to that next level. Yes, I'm glad to do it for free because I love it and it's nice to not be paid because then if I want a break I can do so without much guilt or anthing. But... some perks would be nice.

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  19. The great thing about creating a blog is, it's YOUR blog... you don't have to follow the norm! write, post pictures, DIY crafts, vlog.. what have you! However, personally I love following life style blogs because I can relate. Seeing a ton of sponsorship posts is dull and frankly I don't care about you growing your blog... I just want to read it! I will unfollow anyone that has too many sponsored posts or giveaways, I think it puts a damper to the quality of your blog. Balance is key, to everything in life including blogging. A little bit of everything will do you good, able to keep your follower count, grow, and help your fellow bloggers out.
    I have a blog I write for fun, I don't plan to earn money from it because it's just a blog about my personal life. Also I do have a blog just for pictures because I love me some pretty pictures, I have a good balance of both but I keep my two blogs separate.

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  20. Whether or not your intent when you start a blog is to make money or if you started it for fun and then made money makes no difference. In both scenarios money is being made so I don't think it matters what your intent was. I don't see a thing wrong with making money off your blog or just doing it for fun. To each his own. The hardest thing for me was the changes that I started to see in the blog world when certain bloggers blew up and did start making money. I don't tend to like change but I do get used to it and I have learned to adapt my expectations of what blogging is and change a bit myself. That's life. And I think it's fair to want some perks for showing up to blog 5-6 days a week but the reality is that's not going to happen for everyone. You either love doing it or you don't and you either make money blogging or you don't and how you choose to run your blog given either scenario is going to be different for everyone.

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  21. I've been posting three days a week for over a year, waiting for the time when I had time to post five days a week and then. . . I'm not sure where I was planning to go from there. I wanted to grow my blog and get more followers, but I'm not sure if I want to put the effort in without producing any revenue. I'm just at a place where I need to make a decision about the direction of my blog. Just tell me what to do Bonnie :)

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  22. I blog for fun but also to educate. I get that money is a big reason some people blog but it's not what I'm all about.

    Congrats btw!!! I just read your last post about the baby on the way. I felt like I dropped off the planet since I missed a week of reading different blogs!

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  23. When I started my blog I did it because I needed to document and hold myself accountable in my new role as wife and mother. I found blogging connected me to women from around the world who could help me in my new roles. I had ran across a blog when I was pregnant that was very helpful and I wanted to be that for someone else. It is great to have those memories posted as well.
    In regard to bloggers and their money making-I do think people who have worked hard should be compensated for their work. I personally get agitated with a blogger when everything sounds like rainbows and sunshine because they want to keep their image squeaky clean. Some people don't want to put their drama out there and that is understandable but the overly fake happy is too much at times. When a blogger writes a post about Kleenex like it is magical and not something you wipe your nose with I tend to get frustrated but I do understand why they do it. I think it always comes down to balance. When I love a blogger I try to support their sponsor posts also just to help them out and support all the work that they do.
    I seriously can't wait to find out what y'all are going to name this baby.

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  24. In the two years I've blogged (and that's really more like one since I took a very long hiatus), I did one sponsored post, and I ABSOLUTELY HATED IT.

    But, I am also a publicist and I work strictly in earned media. So, I'm warming up to the whole advertising thing. Still, I felt icky. And so, to a degree, what bothers me about sponsored content is when it lacks authenticity. Unfortunately, the whole concept of blogging, much less monetizing it, is so new, no one really knows where the lines are.

    So, ultimately, I think it comes down to what each blogger wants, and is comfortable with.

    To your earlier point Bon, that your audience has a right to ask for things once you start making money, I don't necessarily think that's true. You're still the Creative Director here, and the Editor. You certainly should value your audience, but you shouldn't aim to please everyone either. Brands evolve, and sometimes they lose members of the audience. But it's a vacuum, and they attract new ones as a result.

    There will always be haters, but there will always be people that really love you regardless of what you do.

    There really aren't any rules, but trying to navigate that space in between every major decision can be insanely frustrating.

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  25. the reason I love about blogging was apart from being a reader, I do really love writing.
    being a student who is going to be a TESL teacher is hard, and one thing I can do to make myself ready to go out to teach someday is to start writing. and am still trying hard to keep up.

    this is my first time dropping down my comment on your blog Bon. Love your writing!

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  26. I definitely agree with you, Bonnie! I think that every blogger should optimize their time and energy and OF COURSE they should accept sponsored posts that work for them. I've been blogging on and off for about 3 years, and though I'm extremely happy with my readership and the amount I've progressed, there's still going to be a part of me that wants to grow, and absolutely there's a part that wants to make money!

    Blogging is all about what you make it. Do what you want with what you got. Work hard and it will pay off!

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  27. I agree with this post so hard.

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