Tuesday, December 30, 2014

My Thoughts and future Wants....

A lot of people, in the blogging world, have written recently about how the blogging world has changed, or affected the way they live their life. I thought I would add my penny's worth, but also to talk about the changes my mind has gone through.

The blogging community is an ever changing being. As blogging has become more popular and well known, in the UK, the attitude of those involved has changed it greatly. Particularly in the last 12 months.

I've been to a few events and, in all honesty, felt a little 'pushed out'. Don't get me wrong, this little blog has put me in touch with some truly wonderful people, that I really am glad to have in my life. However, one time in particular, I was by a fellow blogger who, quite frankly, was so 'up herself' I genuinely wanted to slap her face! (Not like me, at all, I might add).

I have found that cliques have formed. I thought I'd left that behind, when I left school. 
Unfortunately, just like school, I find myself feeling like I am on the outside looking in. 

I don't fit.

It's as though, as bloggers, we have to fit a label. I can't do that though, as when I write, it's just me, pouring my heart out. This last year has seen me go through many lows, mainly down to my depression. I'm sorted now, it was a medication blip that was easily sorted.

I am left wondering what the year ahead brings for me, in the blogging scene, and have come to some conclusions:

1. I don't fit in, but I'm not sure I want to. I don't want to change what this blog is, because it's me.........and I'm not changing for anybody.

2. I'm not good with PR, I don't approach companies, I wouldn't know where to start! I am more than happy to be approached, and if the product suits me, or my family, I'll review it. Otherwise it's money for old rope, and there are far more PR savvy bloggers, that will take it.

3. I'm still considering moving to WordPress. I like to play with the images/theme of my blog, WordPress offers more opportunities to do this. It would mean no change to my readers, as I own the .com and .co.uk. I'm very lucky to get little in the way of spam, which is why I'm not in a rush to change it. If I do, I will attempt to do it alone, as I don't have the finances to pay someone, so if anyone wants to offer free advice........go ahead. I won't be offended if no one does, however.

4. I love checking my stats and rankings. I find it fascinating that, even after 2.5 years, people still click the links!! The numbers don't upset or offend me though, my blog being a lower ranking than others doesn't make me competitive, I just love to watch it.

5. I will make some time. Like I'm doing right now, I'm going to take myself out, into my conservatory, and write. I am going to allow myself some, totally guilt free, time to write. Also to read the news, look at other blogs, read the forum sites. As a stay at home mum, I always feel like I should be doing something! Even working mums get down time (and before anyone takes offence, I was a working mum. I only gave up when no.3 came along, and had difficulties that require me to be around).

I have more to write on this subject, but this is already a very long post, by my standards. So I shall leave it as a 'to be continued'.......

I would love your opinions, good or bad. Discussion is healthy.

25 comments:

  1. I hear ya!
    I know I don't fit in to any of the niches, and couldn't give a toss really, I only wish there was more variety rather than the same ol' same ol.
    I think some bloggers have taken the whole PR thing too far, it's entirely their choice, but something other than a review or sponsored post is nice, we need to get back to organic writing, rather than writing motivated by cash, products or link backs.
    There is way too much focus on stats; seeing how people get upset/elated every time the Tot scores come out is a real eye opener, I'm glad you're happy with your numbers and don't let them get to you; it's just a number after all.

    This blogging community is so, bizarre and at times ridiculously fickle, will be interesting to see who is still around in 12 months time.

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    1. I've wondered the same. So many have started, then disappear just as quickly. I probably do less PR now, than when I started! I just love to write my thoughts here x

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  2. I feel exactly the same as you about a lot of things.....I feel like I don't fit in....I have met some lovely people through blogging but I know exactly what you mean by being on the outside looking in.....I blame it on the fact I don't go to blogging events....I'm so shy to start with so being in a room full of confident people who know each other is my idea of hell....I'm not implying bloggers are scary it's just way out of my comfort zone....hehehe I think I'm quite happy in my little blogging bubble.
    I have seen the cliques too....I just carry on regardless....I will comment on anyone's blog if they have something which interests me....I will chat on twitter if they say something interesting....I just want to be friends with everyone and I don't like drama....
    You just keep doing what you're doing! I love reading your blog! Good luck with the move to Wordpress if you decide to change....The thought of moving scares the life out of me....I think I will be sticking with blogger for the time being....
    Sorry for the long comment....hehehe :D x

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    1. Some of these events after scary! I love them, but I'm finding I socialize less, and just be me. If you want to come and talk to me, I'm happy, but I'm equally happy focusing on myself. I would love to leat you one day, I have the feeling we would get on well x

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  3. I really identify with what you are saying and I'm another one who doesn't feel as though I fit. I also really agree with Amanda's comment about some people taking the PR just a bit too far and I've had to stop following certain blogs because I can't see the person through the sea of reviews. But it is individual choice, and I suppose I feel that way because I enjoy personal writing. It's just a shame that it seems to be more difficult to find these days.

    In general I do write for myself. I've never done a single sponsored or review post on my current blog and all my posts are about our life or my feelings. I do sometimes feel a bit down about stats, however, but only because I get so few page views - I had an average of 3 per day recently. If no one reads what I write, it may as well be a paper diary! I sometimes feel like it's impossible for me to "break in" as it were though, like everyone else is so established and so confident and I'll never be able to fit in to that.

    I think keep doing what makes you happy is the best attitude though. I hope 2015 is good to you!

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    1. I think many of us don't 'fit' and we are slipping by the radar. Don't stop writing, just use it like a paper diary, because something you write one day will strike a cord with someone, and help in ways only you will understand. Just be you, because that's fab xx

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  4. I loved chatting to you at BritMums Jo. Because you get it! I've met lots of lovely people through blogging but there are only a handful that genuinely seem to want to talk or help. My lil blog is way down in the rankings compared to most and i'm fine with that as, like you, I love what I do. Thank you for taking the time to talk to me at BritMums. I do hope we will meet again some day xxx

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    1. I enjoyed our chat then too! I felt really comfortable in your company, like we had always known each other, not met that minute. I home we get to meet again, are you not going this year? xx

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    2. Yes I am!! Got my ticket already!! Whooop!!!

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    3. See you there lovely (finances allowing) xx

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  5. As always Jo, you've taken the words from my mouth, I'm in the middle of putting together a reflection on the past year of my blog, that touches on the subjects you've mentioned!! I've noticed a shift in blogging this last year, there seems to have been a shift in attitude etc, I'd toyed with the idea of going to a blogging do, but most of the posts I read after Britmums left me feeling like it wasn't all that & when I factor in the cost of attending I worry that I'd hate it!
    I've also taken the step of removing myself from Tots, this is in no offence to them, I just didn't feel like I cared any more as to what my rank was any more.
    I'm not very PR savvy, I'm a Mam of 3 kids from Llandudno & I wouldn't know how the fuck to promote myself or my brand, however I don't short change myself, I do a good job for my blog & I do expect something back, once upon a time I was too polite to ask, I got sweet FA, lesson learnt from then on, Honest Mum has some good tips that I try to utilise, like I think of myself as a professional blogger so that I don't sell my blog or my time short, because my blog & time are precious!
    Best thing I ever did was moving to wordpress !

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    1. I am currently playing with the wordpress site now. It's easier than I thought, but maybe I'm more tech savvy than I thought? I found last years BritMums hard, but I'm still going this year (finances allowing), it is what you make it. I like to learn and listen x

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    2. If you need any help let me know, though I have to say I found that there were lots of tutorials out there, Tots 100 have some I think!

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  6. Totally with you on all of this! I don't think I fit either - I don't write to please others, I write about my family and the things that matter to me. If people read, that's great! I'm never going to pretend to be something I'm not just to gain something from it. Likewise with the PR stuff - I never ask and if I'm offered I only take what is totally relevant to my family. I'm not going to waste anyone's time by accepting other stuff and I'm certainly not going to compromise my own blog to do it!
    I'm very glad I moved to wordpress, but I had help to do it!

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    1. I'm not finding it as complicated as I thought! eeep! Exciting times, to go into 2015 with. I think you may see a renewed vigour on my blog in the coming weeks, now I've got this off my chest x

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  7. The great thing about life Jo is everyone is different and fitting in would be like being a piece of a jigsaw puzzle and who wants to be an odd shaped bit of cardboard?! Not you or me, simples ;-) x x x

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  8. I second every word you say! And I don't think that you don't fit in, it's just that you fit in with a different group, as do I. I've never been to a UK blogging event (some Irish bloggers have), I rarely do reviews, I miss all the 'drama', I don't have a theme, I don't write to a schedule, but I love blogging. Let's just keep going without worrying about the so-called rules that others follow, and I bet we'll be around for longer xx

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  9. I get you. I still find blogging events daunting but perhaps that sometimes says more about me than other people. I am coming to think that we cannot fit with everyone and we have a few quality people who we do fit with, we are better off than most. You are loved in the blogging world by some and certainly at home. I do like all the stuff about you taking time to do what you want to do and also get the bit about almost having to justify your decision to stay at home. You fit with me and are such a good friend. You are intelligent, sensitive and funny. Off to read the comments to see what other folks have to say;

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  10. So get every word in this post. I never exactly know where my blog fits and I'm happy just doing it for me and if anyone wants to read and understand a little, that's a bonus.
    Look forward to seeing you again in 2015 x

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  11. Why be the same and 'fit in'? I can't be bothered with that! :-)
    I write my rubbish and if people read it, great. But if they don't, it doesn't bother me. My blog is cheap therapy and I no longer look at my stats (well, only sometimes!)
    I have a wordpress blog for photos. Personally I prefer Blogger.

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  12. I have noticed huge changes in the lat 12 months too. It has forced me to think about what I want from blogging and basically I keep coming back to the fact that it's a hobby and that's all it ever will be for me. As you say, we shouldn't change because we feel we should. A blog is an extension of you and like-minded people will come. If you're being someone else, they will not. I am not certain that there are 'cliques' as such, just certain people feel they need to belong to a tribe. That's not for everyone. Just keep on being you. It's obviously worked so far! x

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  13. Love the way you've been your usual honest self, Jo. V refreshing. And v interesting that you've sensed the same thing that others have, including Annie Spratt herself, one of the 'in crowd' of bloggers although she'd hate to be referred to as that. Her blog post last week talked all about how the blogging world is changing, more commercial and PR savvy, and how its not the one she had 'signed up' to. If only she was 40, I'd have had her featured on Post40bloggers! Blogging will die a fast death if it carries on that way and if people like you, and many others, don't stay true to themselves and blog because they LOVE it, and not primarily for the money. I see it as an outworking of the professionalisation of every area of our lives, as women who have professional careers bring that to blogging too, esp those who've left careers to have kids and become SAHM bloggers (like me! Only I don't do it for money - I don't do any reviews). Lets keep writing for the love of it, for being true to ourselves. And remember, at most conferences, most people feel out of it, they just put on a smiley face! PS I won't be at BML this year largely as i find it too big and commercial now. But I'd like to start an alternative smaller one.....anyway, sorry for the long comment. And well done!

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  14. Well said Jo. I feel like I don't fit in and it used to bother me , my blog has always been a niche but that is how it evolved I think blogging has become same each blog writing about the same thing. I like blogs that are different, heartfelt. Britmums I felt I stuck out like a sore thumb in my wheelchair but like yourself, claire and others helped me relax. Unfortunately the blogging community has changed

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