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.
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.
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!