28 August 2011

social commentary Sunday . . . 'competitive blogging'

 Greetings all,
I check out a wide variety of blogs - i like parenting, design, style, fashion, cooking, health, exercise, vintage, renovating, gardening, farms, life . . . they all interest me.  Recently, I’ve noticed a few bloggers getting competitive about followers; making money; & attending blog conferences – with follow up advice posts on how to gain more followers, make more money & receive invitations to more events.  The information about pigeon holing or '5 key words', argh, just because you’re a mum - are you a “mummy blogger” - why can’t you be several types of blogger, posting on unlimited topics?? 
These conferences have left some bloggers feeling left out by either not being invited OR going along & not feeling like they fitted in.  Maybe I’m na├»ve or so out of the loop, but . . . isn’t blogging just meant to be fun??  Is it because some mega bloggers are making SERIOUS money with cook books, advertising & television shows, all from starting a blog . . . that everyone wants/ hopes/ competes to be the next big thing??  Has that changed the motivation & manipulation of blogging from the heart?? 
When i started blogging, i did 45 posts in my first 3 years.  I really didn’t think too much about it, other than a nice way to chat with other mums & designers.  I was home alone, my 4 children in school/ preschool, a husband away at war, living in Darwin . . . blogging was like my adult/ office chat.  Then in January last year my husband moved to Brisbane (we're in Canberra) & went back to war, it was time to pick up the blog & those connections again.  I put a 'follow' button on & had about 20 followers already (who knew??) & I started blogging more frequently, mainly so my husband could watch the children grow & see what we’re up to.  I’d promote markets I was attending, products & new stores I was stocking.  
Then offers to promote products (a freebie, post my thoughts & offer a giveaway) came my way.  All brands I buy/ use/ blog about for free anyway, like Lego, Disney, books & IKEA.  I’ve not drawn a salary for a decade, happy to have things I’d pay money for, sent for freenot wreaking of desperation.  So while I hum along with this type of blogging about my family, design work & sponsored giveaways + an exciting number of followers (hello lovely people) . . . still, i have never been invited to a blog conference or meet up.  It doesn’t faze me, I’m a ‘here & now’ kind of person, passing in many opportunities with interviews, magazines & collaborations due to the fact I have children (zero babysitter); my husband can’t have his photo published (waste of handsomeness);  I live in rental Army housing (not a gorgeous home filled with colour & interior design); I live in Canberra (hardly a hub of blog conference activity) . . . yet I don’t feel left out, unpopular or like I’m missing out, it’s just not my time, I’m patient, if I want those opportunities when my children are older/ my husband has retired/ I’m in our homestead filled with colour; I’m available to travel interstate – sure, maybe then.
What are people’s bloggie motives??  I heard on the grapevine at a NuffNang conference a person who didn’t even have a blog yet, asked, out loud “so if I start a blog & get 50 000 hits a month, how much money will you pay me to advertise with you”.  OMG, seriously, are you Oprah??  I openly have on my side bar “I dabble in blog advertising” but i prefer to save my promotions for my own business – the financial return is a whole lot better than some ‘click through rate’ which adds up to cents - blog advertising is a very slow way to make an income.  
Are there still bloggers out there who blog from the heart as they have something genuine to say, blog as therapy, post to keep in touch with real friends, honestly don’t care about hits or followers??  Can you gain true self confidence from on line popularity??  I wonder if I went back & did my psych degree now, how much influence social media would play in the subject content of . . . the number one human emotion . . . acceptance??  Is social media the right place to get this satisfaction?? 
I rarely bother with FaceBook myself (i don't understand Twitter) & won't allow my children to have it.  I recently had a hot chocolate with a gorgeous mummy who has older girls at my eldest's high school & she grabbed my attention with this enormous statement "my daughters waste so much time on FaceBook, they will post something & can barely sleep until it's been validated by a dozen other people".  Oh move over body issues, this is what is worrying our teenage girls, validation on social media!! 
Now the point of this post is really not to bash competitive blogging, all power to you if you have the time, but . . . 'we can smell it' & don't be sneaky about advertorials or edvertorials, we're smart enough to tell the difference, disclaimers or not.  Perhaps take a step back & consider what really counts, social media & on line personas, genuine blogging - as i think your precious followers will start leaving if you become yet another advertising blog & to nurture those friends & family in the real world.  
Is this something you've noticed too??  Are you still true to what you set out to do with your blog??  If you have children, are they watching you count on social media for attention or validation??  I'm quite interested to know, considering i have two giveaways this week.  Happy weeks everyone, love Posie

65 comments:

Amanda said...

A very thought provoking post!! I initially started my blog when Grace was a newborn and I was looking for some 'me' time (non-baby related) and a way of networking with other 'like-minded' ladies, not necessarily Mums though. Initially, I can't say I wasn't excited to see my followers numbers increasing and nowadays, I still smile to see a new follower appear or someone new comment, more to make it feel that there are readers out there who are interested in what I have to say. I've never been interested in blogging for financial reasons, it's a hobby for me and about sharing things and about gaining inspiration from others as well as connecting with those who I now consider to be friends x

Posie Patchwork said...

Absolutely, i am always so thrilled to read comments & see a new follower join the blog, i really appreciate those who follow & take the time to comment.
I have formed some lovely real life friendships with ladies i've 'met on line', i'm just not coming from a competitive angle where i'm trying to get noticed, certainly not aggressively.
I'm interested to see if paid advertising actually puts people off reading some blogs??
Love Posie

Amy said...

Great post Jennie. I blog for me, and only for me. I started blogging through my depression as a way to connect with people that had been through the same thing. I also wanted to talk about my PND without having to watch my friends sqirm with uncomfortablness.

I do do giveaways, but I don't get anything to do them really. We have had kids DVD's. I do them because the kids love the treat. I have recently had some PR companies contact me and have since done a Country Style mag giveaway (I got 1 copy for my time) and am currently running a Koolaman Designs giveaway. Again I haven't received anything for this review and giveaway. But they are offering my readers a $200 voucher. So if I can spoil someone, then I am happy with that.

I do like it when my followers number increases, but I really hope the turn into commentors too. I love chatting with people and it is hard to get out and actually talk face to face with three young kids and a hubby that does shift work.

Posie Patchwork said...

Oh yes, isn't that interesting when you see these blogs with like 2500 followers & only a few comments each post??!! Much rather fewer followers & meaningful comments, then it's like a win win, give give for everyone.
Thanks for the points of view, i wasn't sure about this post topic. Love Posie

TexWisGirl said...

i do have a few ads on my site - like you said, adds up very very slowly as few folks click. and my giveaways are personal gifts from me to my followers, created by me solely for the purpose of sending a bird drawing out to give someone some cheer. but i still love to gain followers. i still work hard to return their visits, comments, thanking them for their time and attention. i do pour a lot of myself into my blog - not just in photos and posts but in building those connections across the world. and i spend a lot of time doing it - more than i would have if i was working right now. and i do enjoy the social acceptance i get if folks like my posts. but i'm not out trying to morph into some style to please the masses. or use keywords or whatever. just me. trying to be a happy place for folks. :)

A Spoonful Of Sugar said...

You raise some brilliant topics on your Social Commentary posts Jennie! I started blogging for the same reasons as you, and have been pleasantly surprised that my blog has grown over the past few years. I now have a few sponsors and run a couple of ads which helps to cover costs of craft supplies. I stop reading blogs when they become one big advertisement; only re-post content from other sites without offering any of their own original ideas; or post several times a day about nothing. I much prefer reading blogs like your which are real.

Kerry said...

I loved reading this Jennie and have had many of the same thoughts. There are as many motivations for blogging as there are bloggers (ok, probably not that many!). What I've come to understand in the 18 months or so I've been blogging is that there's room for all of it. What we choose to do with our blogs will appeal to some and not to others. Other's blogs will draw us in and interest us, some won't. Whenever there is an element of competition, wanting to do something better than someone else does it, have more followers or more comments that's when I think the wheels could start to come off at an individual level. Paid advertising is for some, not for others. If the content is good, the advertising won't put me off but it's unlikely that I'll be experiencing the closeness with these bloggers that I do with others. For me, like many others, it's introduced me to some wonderful people I would never have had the opportunity to connect with without this medium. And that's prize enough in my book :)

Mrs Woog said...

I love writing stories and if a particular post resonates with people, then that is just a totally delightful bonus. I run paid ads, sponsored posts and love attending catch ups with other bloggers, and that is the sprinkles on the icing of the cake!

And if I can earn some dough on top of that through my little patch of cyber-space, that is my shoe money.

Great post xxx

MonetPaisley said...

I am a long time craft blog follower. I srarted my blog to get some feedback of other people with crafty interests. Because I have kids at home and a limited budget I can't go to sewing groups and get help and feed back. I treasure the advice of all my crafty peeps and am really happy with the progress I have made wirh my craft by trying new things. Really missing having a computer at the moment, all I have is my phone. Not having a computer.giveaway are you? He he :-)

Lizzie said...

Hhmm, well you know what I say on my blog Jennie!! I can't tell you how many blogs that I've deleted off my reading list lately, I just can't deal with the 'how gorgeous am I and look at me I can cook, blog, dress in designer clothes AND someone comes in to clean the house, watch the kids and probably blow their noses for all I know...'blogs..!!!
I did a big sponsored giveaway a few weeks ago and I was offered another just last week but I said no. No more. I cleaned up my blog, shoved all the gadget things down the bottom and it's now just my blog..! Sometimes it's a quilting blog, sometimes it's all about the photographs, this week it was deep and meaningful next week I'm hoping it's about some little bears and a huge amount of time it's about my family. The bottom line is that it's my blog, I say what I want, do what I want, it's for me and if someone doesn't like it, tough...I don't want some corporate sponsor telling me what I should and shouldn't write..
Okay, finished ranting now, going out to take some photo's..
Lizzie
xxx

ps. yes, paid advertising most definitely makes me hit the delete button, just don't want to see it..

Danielle McDonald said...

This is one of those posts that I will think about for days afterwards. I'm not really sure why I started blogging. I think it was a bit of a new technology that I wanted to get involved with, (yet I'm scared of facebook and I don't understand twitter!) Over time I've come to see it as a bit of a self promotion kind of thing. I don't have a website, but as a freelancer I've like the idea of the blog being a "get to know a bit about me" thing rather than a "this is what I've done and who I've worked with" that a website tends to become.
I've never really thought about the money side of things though. It's not for me. I think it might change the way I approached my blog and the things I post about if I thought of it as a money spinner - or that thousands of people might be reading! I often post as if it's just a few close friends following along (because that's usually all that is!) and I hope this creates a bit more of a personal feel.....anyway I'm rambling now! Thanks for such a thought provoking post.

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Yep Posie I still am doing what I set out do do with my blog...just my journal of what I do...I truly did not expect to meet as many nice people as I have..and I will continue to just blog on what I have been doing...whoever thought that just doing everyday things would amount to so much!!! Love, Dzintra

Georgie said...

I really enjoyed reading this post Posie. I read the odd blog that has built up a big fan base more often than not with giveaways or posts designed specifically to build traffic, but mine is not at all like that. I haven't given anything away or written any posts geared towards PR. Mine is day to day life at SJW and it's wonderful to have followers along for the ride so I can share our gardening accomplishments or house progress or some recent photos. Simple as that! gxo

polkadotpeticoat said...

I started blogging to meet wonderful like minded Mom's, so I can ask advice, bounce Ideas off of and just look into how different my part of the world is from theres. It has made for me living in Alaska with its long winters a joy. I found a lovely blog once and so enjoyed watching her home remodel and her life experiences then one day her blog had been deleted. Out of the blue she commented and to my joy she had started a new blog but I soon realized that she deleted the first blog and soon deleted the second one because she was angry why some woman have thousands of followers and she didn't...silly if thats why your blogging you missed the whole joy of the experience! thanks Momma for always keeping it real!

Christina said...

I think it's a great post topic and you've offered some great insights.

I don't have any problem with blogs that have ads in their sidebars, especially if it is for something related to their style and interests. Like fabric shops on craft blogs, or yarn shops on knitting blogs. But I am skeptical of blogs that have lots of sponsored giveaways or that are always doing reviews for things that don't seem to fit well with the blog. It tends to undermine the trust you put in the rest of the writing on the blog.

Amy at Badskirt wrote and interesting post about giveaways and the like recently that you might enjoy too - http://badskirt.blogspot.com/2011/06/giveaways-are-futile.html

:)

Posie Patchwork said...

Wow, what a fascinating response, all while i was in a Pilates class, thanks ladies!! I'm loving the insight into how you look at blogs, giveaways, promotions - so glad i did this post now, i wasn't sure how it would read or be accepted, but hell, it's my blog, i'm publishing it right!! Love Posie

The Provincial Homemaker said...

Another great post. I have been blogging for a few years in various guises - I tried book blogging, craft blogging but found my voice was really in a mish-mash of everything. A blog has to reflect who you are, really, or it just comes across as inauthentic. So, if that means I only ever have a handful of followers so be it.

In terms of reading blogs which read like a long paid advertisement - I don't have enough time in my day to be reading blogs that don't mesh with me anyway:) Actually, your post has just prompted me to clean up my google reader list.

Kate said...

Great post Jennie!
Recently while that conference was on and twitter was FULL of advice about how to grow your blog etc etc I wondered (tweeted) 'am I naive in thinking that if you publish great content people will read your blog full stop!'
This professional blogging thing makes me feel icky. x

Sarah B said...

A very interesting post! I started blogging to document our home renovation but it has grown to show other aspects of my life as we don't have the funds to reno at the moment. I do love reading comments and treasure the friendships I have made through blogging. I much prefer to read the more personal, day to day style, friendly blogs rather than the big ones. I have been approached by companies to have guest posts but it's just not my thing, nor is advertising. Each to their own I say :)

Ms Styling You said...

I started my blog to market my business - so it has always had a commercial element to it. Now I do sponsored posts and take banner advertising as well - and my readership and engagement continues to grow. Guess I might be doing something right?
I don't compete with others, choosing to support and foster other bloggers with posts that might help them on their blogging journey.
And I choose to go to blogging conferences as it's fun meeting other bloggers and I always learn something that helps me with my blog.

Taylor Made said...

I began to blog encouraged by my youngest sibling living in another state so she could still learn of what we were up to and I could share the wisdom of our mum even though we were miles apart....that sister is moving back to within ten minutes of where we live..so now need another motivation....oh I know a beautiful memory / journal for my kids! Thanks for sharing.

Rhi@FlourChild said...

Love this post!
I started my blog because I had been a long time reader of a few gorgeous blogs and I thought "I can do this too!" and I wanted a way to keep in touch with people while I was living overseas.
I can't imagine my blog ever doing advertising, and have never had a giveaway or anything...
I don't mind reading the odd sponsored post here and there, if the blog is usually a good read, but I hate it when an otherwise good blog tries to giveaway a mop or a cleaning product, and that is such a forced post, I can't bear to read it!
X Rhi

deux chiens et un garcon said...

Fantastic post sweet Posie.

I think I blog for me, but the friends I have found has been an unexpected bonus.

Sometimes I catch myself thinking like a teenager. Then I tell myself to pull my head in and be true.

Much love
Jill
xxx

Posie Patchwork said...

Yes, some of these posts i'm talking about, complaining about why some people get invited or are chosen for promotions, say it's like high school all over again & feeling inadequate or unpopular. This is my concern about relying on social media, competitive or not, as a influence in our confidence or the opposite, killing our confidence. Love Posie

designed to a T said...

Wow Jennie what a great response and some interesting thoughts along the way.

I started blogging because I thought it might be a way to 'get my name out there'. I was looking for a way to transition from Banker to doing my creative bit as a money spinner. As I've gone along it's become less and less of that.

I still want to finish working in the finance industry in the next few years. I'm still young enough to do something different and I probably will.

Recently I haven't done much on my blog, things have been happening, in fact today was the first time I've actually blogged, at length, about myself.

I don't have advertising, I do a giveaway every now and then, and it's usually something I've made. I read a lot of other blogs, but don't usually comment unless it resonates with me. I do have twitter and facebook, but it's a bit like one of your commenters said, you see tweeters waiting for validation. I just read what's going on, but only on the train to and from work.

I have a regular weekly post...'A thought for you...', just as an outlet and a way for me to commit to a post a week. I also am thrilled to read comments and see new followers, I don't have many, and my type of blog won't suit everyone.

It's mine, and I do and write about what comes to me. Soon it'll probably be all about the new arrival. Not exactly the type of content I first started writing about, but that's life, and it's my life. It's my life on my blog! If anyone wants to read it you are more than welcome to. No competition here...T

Tracy aka Mad Quilter said...

I've never felt like I fitted in with the trendy bloggers anyway so the conferencing and competitive elements of blogging have not overly impacted on my blogging.
I started my blog when we moved from Tennant Creek to 'Down South' and I was missing my friends and they were missing us. the blog was my way to stay close to them.
I just unsub from any of the blogs I follow that get too commercial. I don't have a lot of time to read blogs so I like to make those I read quality. I very rarely will enter competitions, tend to only do it if the blog has very few enter, I don;t want someone to feel sad :D I tend to unsub from blogs that never reply to comments I leave either.

Miss Rosie said...

I love your blog, and not because of your giveaways!!!

I have an amazingly crap blog. I blog mainly as I live so far away from my family and friends. With my blog they can see some of the boring, day to day stuff I get up to and see what my little boy is up to as well.

I do not consider myself a blogger, just someone who has a blog.

Miss Rosie said...

I love your blog, and not because of your giveaways!!!

I have an amazingly crap blog. I blog mainly as I live so far away from my family and friends. With my blog they can see some of the boring, day to day stuff I get up to and see what my little boy is up to as well.

I do not consider myself a blogger, just someone who has a blog.

LatteJunkie said...

My first blog was (and still is) a link for family and friends to watch Monkey grow.

LatteJunkie was started as a way to get the crazy out of my head. It still is although I did get hung up on page views etc for a wee while. I am heading back to the talk-the-crazy-out now that I am going out of my circle of friends into the unknown that is Sydney.

So basically I am in it for me and if people get enjoyment out of it - WIN :D


I love that you found my little blog and have made the time to comment! Thank you!

Miss Rosie said...

Oh I should add, I am adicted to reading blogs though and leave comments.

Making It Vintage said...

Some very interesting viewpoints, the main reason I blog is that I love to write and love connecting with others, but just lately I've realised that a big plus of my blog will be a record of my crafting/family life.........something my children can look back on when I'm gone and see that mama had a brain in there somewhere and a passion for crafting and writing.

It's lovely to have followers, but to be honest I love the followers more if they comment, not for validation, but it's so fantastic to hear others opinions and thoughts..............almost an online conversation, I always try t reply to the comments via e-mail or their blog, almost an online conversation if you like. I'm not one of lifes travellers, money and circumstances prevent this, so to be able to connect with other women from all over the globe and see the way they live their lives, their passions and interests is just amazing.

I would one day like to sell the crafts I make via folksy or etsy but I'm not interested in using my blog as a selling tool for big companies through advertising...........it just isn't me, it's my space and I want to keep it that way.........when you have four children, having a space of your own where you can write about your passions and what interests you and connect with like minded people is a godsend.

Hope I didn't prattle on too much, thanks for giving us a chance to air our views on such a thought provoking topic.

lily x

Mademoiselle Poirot said...

Hi Posie, that's a great post and a subject I have thought about a lot. When I started my blog, it was mainly to share all my handmade creations (back then I had my own market stall in Greenwich/London) with friends, family, people who wouldn't otherwise be able to see them. Then others joined and I shared my creations with even more people which was great for feedback.

Since I had to give up my stall, I've been blogging a lot more about life and design in general, so it has changed/evolved in that sense. I have gained followers along the way which - I have to admit - makes me happy as it does make me feel like people like what I do. Yes, it is important to me as I tend to see my blog as a little piece of (pop) art with some of my opinions thrown in.

I'm not the most competitive person when it comes to my blog and the very open and crass self-promotion I find on some blogs makes me cringe. That's also why I have a giveaway where you don't have to be a follower to enter. No conditions, no bribery, no "I'm doing this for more followers". However, when I lose followers, I do tend to feel upset about it because it feels personal. I know I shouldn't, but because my pictures are my own and so are my words, I feel that if somebody doesn't like my blog, they don't like me...

So far I'm not blogging for money, but should it ever come to that (I don't want to completely disregard the possibility) then I will only advertise products/companies that fit in with what I like/believe in/would buy.

Sorry for taking up so much space here, I could carry on and on about blogger meets, competitiveness, blogs with no (in my opinion) substance but thousands of followers...

Thanks for your comment on my blog, I really appreciate it. Have a lovely Sunday, Love from London xo

Bec said...

Such a great (and timely) post! Many of the crafty blogs I used to love I have recently 'un-followed' due to way to many promotional posts and not so much craft! Interestingly these were all US based blogs, seems to be easier over there to make money from blogging! I certainly don't mind the odd giveaway but blatant promotion of unrelated items is really off-putting! Anyway, that aside - I love your blog and your thought-provoking posts :-)

Kathryn said...

I started my blog as a way to keep people updated about our designs and shop. It was a "behind the scenes" type of thing. But I kept finding other things I wanted to say and share, whether it be a photo of something pretty or to share a trip we had been on.
I don't blog for money or fame - but if someone offered me lots of money I probably wouldn't say no!

CHD said...

I always appreciate your honest, open and thought provoking posts. Sometimes I am put off by blogs with lots of product promotion. I started blogging to document the things I make and as a motivator to get things finished. I have been delighted to meet some new people along the way and am often inspired by those blogs I read. It would be amazing if I had inspired someone else too! Mine is very much a craft blog on a small scale. I enjoy craft blogs and often even more some of those that are more open and personal. For me due to my husbands job and request for family privacy, I keep mine just to craft. I don't see it as a competition, but it is always a buzz getting a comment or to see a new follower. I so appreciate people taking an interest and it really took me by surprise that there were actually some people interested. The real friends, connections and inspirations I have gained since blogging have been such a bonus.

little love said...

Funny, I've been thinking the same thing. I started my blog because I just liked the idea of it.I liked blogging about my kids, my handmade prjects, my little biz. I liked 'meeting' other like-minded people too. I've toyed with the idea of offering 'sponsorship' on my blog to those little businesses that are along the same line as my blog. Nothing major, but something I could put towards saving for my design course. But I've shelved those ideas for now. I do have a Nuffnang ad unit(with no ads!) & I do have my blog on Top aby Blogs but I don't push votes. I'm also hapy to accept things to review & giveawy on my blogbut only if it's something relevant. Recently I've noticed the blogging world has become a lot like highshool! I've 'un-followed' a lot of blogs that reek of pure money-making incentive. Yeah, it would be nice if I could make some money off my blog but I doubt I ever will. What drives me is more that my blog is a place to share my ideas, my little business, to meet other people that are into the same things as me & some sort of record of little snapshots of family life. I also like toblog about my projects so I have some incentive to actually go ahead & finish them!I don't think anyone is going to stop breathing if I don't post something once a day! xx

Nic said...

Such a great post. I started my blog when I got into sewing, as wasy of sharing my creations with the other EB girls. I then expanded it this year to be a general "about my life" blog - really just to keep my family in England up to date with what is going on in our lives here, and for any friends who care to read it! It's probably a very boring blog to read for many people, but that's not why I write it. I have to be honest and say if I see that someone has blogged a sponsored post I often don't read it - I don't read blogs to read advertising. So that answers your question - yes it definitely puts me off. I like an open, honest blog that really gives an insight into the life/interests of the writer :) I cannot ever imagine anyone sending me free stuff to blog about!
But I love your blog :) x

Jody Pearl said...

Pretty sure I blog 'cause I love the sound of my own voice!

I started my blog as a way of keeping students, past, present & prospective in the loop with what as happening in and around my workshops however none of them blog or knew what a blog was or is - maybe it's a WA thing or maybe it's just me?!

Blogging is another form of creativeness for me - did I mention I like the sound of my voice?!

I don't take alot of notice of advertising - if a blog is interesting then I'll hang around. Some are very messy and very popular - just not with me.

I like you - think I'll come back!

Flibbertigibbet said...

"I'm interested to see if paid advertising actually puts people off reading some blogs??"

Yes, absolutely it has.

I won't name names but I no longer follow them. And when I do make the effort to go and check, I read a couple of posts and remember why I stopped following in the first place.

There are other blogs with advertising that I can happily read. The bloggers are up front and at times even cheeky about their sponsors and the perks. Some people just have the knack of it.

As for my blog, it will die of neglect one day soon. Need more hours in the day ...

ally said...

I really enjoy your social commentary posts Posie
I'm so new to blogging that a lot of this makes no sense to me but here's my 2 cents worth anyway;
- yes blatant product promotion/advertising puts me off
- yes I find it very scary that young people are so attached to their phones, their facebook and rate themselves on how many "friends" they have
- am hoping I will meet some of the lovely bloggers one day and until then I hope they keep keeping it real and interesting.

xxx

Cass said...

I started blogging 5 years ago initially to connect with some online crafting friends. When i was selling at markets I probably posted more and had more followers but I still have my regular followers now. I don't do sponsored posts and if I do a giveaway it is usually something I've made, something I picked up somewhere etc. Ive made some fantastic friends through crafting and my blog, many I've now had the pleasure to meet in real life and who I would not imagine having in my life now. I also see my blog as a way for my kids to look back on not only what is was making but also what was happening in our family life.

Jane said...

Ah, a fabulous topic, Jennie. You know me - I'm not into advertising. It's my space, for me to express myself and foster lovely friendships with fellow bloggers like you.

I am approached by advertisers almost every day but respond with a polite 'Thankyou for your approach but this is purely a not-for-profit and personal blog etc'. I have explained my approach on one of the 'pages' tabs at the top of my blog but you'd be amazed as to how few advertisers bother to read it before approaching me. Most don't even know my name!

Each to their own, as Sarah says. For me, right now, it's my space alone. That may change down the track - I'll see whether something appeals to me and my values enough to make me change my mind. J x

notquitecrafty said...

I started blogging purely so I could go to SIT! And now I blog for me - I don't have any followers and not many readers, but it gets things out of my head. I also use it to keep on task for the 12WBT program (weight loss & fitness).

I don't really follow any blogs either. I have some favourites that I jump into regularly to read. Paid stuff doesn't bother me too much, but if a blog does become all about the ads it does turn me off, and I check it less.

It worries me how caught up some bloggers are in their stats - I have one online friend who I have known from preblogging times who becomes devestated when people unfollow her, and it has become all about the blog conferences. I think some of them need to spend more time in the real world.

Great topic Jennie!

Mama of 2 boys said...

What an awesome post Posie and coming from one of my fave natural bloggers too! I'm not even a year into blogging and I've totally worked out what it means for me and what I want to be reading in other people's blogs also. I just find it downright fun and also quite informative. It's great to 'virtually' meet dozens of Mama's, crafters, photographers, artists, designers every day just by picking up my laptop. I love reading about people's lives and their stories. I'm more than happy to read reviews or opinions from my fave bloggers, but find the whole advertising thing quite boring in general. I much prefer to read a well written post, than a product review. With my own blog, I started it as a record for my boys and myself really. It continues to be that today. I'm a tiny fish in the big blogging ocean, but I don't mind that at all, because the connections I have made are priceless. More than I could have asked for. Thanks for another interesting take on what seems to be a contentious issue of late xo

Agnes said...

Very interesting. I vastly prefer blogs that aren't 'trying to make it big'. I like honest, real, down to earth blogs that aren't about blogging but about life. I like to see the person behind the blog, I like to feel that I know him/her.

Aunt Spicy said...

Brilliant post! I started my blog as a creative outlet for me, and it has pretty much stayed that way. I dont have a problem with those that have sponsors or advertising as long as their content is still real, and still true to who they are.

What I did not expect when I started was how many amazing people I would meet through the blogging world! From that aspect, I do enjoy finding new followers. But if I removed the followers button I would still keep blogging, quality over quantity!

SARAH said...

I like your comments . I don't bog but I enjoy reading blogs mostly quilting, decorating and crafty blogs. I have really been put of lately with some blogs I have enjoyed for a while going very commercial. If you read a blog for a few years you do get that persons approach to life so it feels wrong when they start using and giving away products such as junk type food.
I have also stared feeling cynical about product placement type posts. I have seen a few blogs mention the same thing around the same time maybe a coincidence but I feel they are trying to fool me by not saying they actually got that thing for free.
most blogs I read are SAHM's so I can appreciate they are enjoying earning some money it's just a little sad when it changes their blog so much.
I enjoy you blog Posie
SARAH

Anne said...

I don't have a blog but like to read them. However i am toying with the idea of starting one. Having made the huge decision that in the middle of next year husband and I will take to the road and work our way around the country (possibly for years!), I'm thinking that it would be a great way for family and friends to keep up with where the heck we are! The kids have 'allowed' us to join Facebook and even consented to 'friend' us so that they will be able to keep up but that doesn't really cover the ageing parents and others without facebook. Any suggestions/tips about blogging gratefully received as I am a complete novice.
Love your blog.
Cheers
Anne

Amanda said...

Great post Possie. Doubt that I am ever going to get an invite to a blog conference or whatever and I don't like advertising on blogs and miss out on it because I mainly read through google reader.

Seaweed and Raine said...

Well said. There are a few blogs that I have been following for more than a year now that I feel about ready to ditch because of the blatant advertising. It's just not where I'm at.
When I started blogging last year, it was a way for me to share some of my crafty projects with my friend who was then living in the US. Somewhere along the way, other people found my blog, and obviously something there clicked with them and they started following. I still think that it is cool that there are people who are on a similar page to me. I have made some lovely friendships with a few that follow, and I'm honestly content with that. When I hear from them it may be by blog, or email... I do smile when I see someone has commented, but it's more often then not because it's one of my interstate/international friends popping by to say hi or comment on what I've been up to.
I haven't done the monetise/advertising thing... I did consider it for a while - but I don't want what I post about to be dictated by what my advertisers want. Enough said.
I enjoy your posts Posie. I like that you just seem to be you - no pretence. Thanks for keeping it real.

Shelley @ My Shoebox Life said...

What a thought provoking post, made even better by the engaged comments you receive! I blog purely for myself. Sometimes I read blogs more than write on my own! I love the connections, the comments, the thoughts and ideas that are shared. I will keep on doing it as long as I enjoy it. It's my hobby. xx

Maxabella said...

I so needed to read this post today, Posie. I feel exactly the same way and find myself getting caught up in other directions that I don't want to go in just because I'm happy blogging and people seem to like what I have to say.

I blog a little bit too much from the heart some days - I'm taking a bloggy break because I just need to get over myself a little bit.


Anyway, you already know all this about me and I of you. I'm off to read all your lovely comments to see what others have to say.

Thank you. I love your honesty and forthrightfulness a lot. Always have. x

Becky said...

I blog for me. I love that I have followers and I love comments, but at the end of the day I would still blog without that.

If I don't feel I have anything worth blogging I am happy to sit quiet for awhile as I feel that it better than simply pumping out posts.

I have stopped reading a few blogs that have moved in the direction you are talking about because I think it take some of the warmth away.

I love a giveaway, but prefer the kind were it is just a product you love so much you want to share it rather than a sales pitch.

Natasha in Oz said...

Wow, what an interesting post! I too have noticed a few Australian bloggers discussing these same issues and I am quite interested by the discussions. I actually started my blog to keep in touch with technology and learn a bit more about html. Having said that I don't have a Facebook account and my kids are not allowed to have one either. ( I do tweet though-I love shorty and snappy!)

My blog has grown over the past year and has a largely American audience according to my stats so I guess I tend to cater to them rather than an Aussie audience but that would also be because I have many dear friends and family in the States and go there nearly every year so I have a real connection to all things American. I have also started advertising on my blog and have dabbled in give aways but I don't think I will continue with the give aways. The advertising is just a bit of extra pocket money since I don't work full-time and it pays very very little! I think Aussie bloggers dislike advertising as they might think it seems to make a blog less authentic but if we continue to write from the heart about things we love then having ads on a blog really shouldn't make any difference at all.

I look forward to reading the other responses and thanks for initiating an interesting conversation!

Best wishes
Natasha.

PS Thanks for popping by and sharing your crafty tips too! Much appreciated.

Just Martha said...

53 comments! Jeez Louise!!! Just joking. Well said dear Posie. I blog for me and to fulfill my passion of reminding woman that they are truly wonderful beings as they are. Yep, that's about it. Present company included of course!

Lee said...

Great post Posie. I am new to this hobby, which is what it is for me, and I started as I was feeling quite isolated, having moved to the country and as a WAHM. What blogging actually is has come as quite a surprise and I feel like I've found these pen pals and yes I admit some validation. I guess the real problem is why aren't we getting any validation from our "real" lives. Hmmm. Thanks for the food for thought.

Tas said...

I started blogging to share my sewing and other crafty pursuits. Somewhere along the way, I started writing about other things as they sprang to mind. I enjoy the chance to write and I do get some validation from having followers and receiving comments. But I don't want to my blog to become a commercial venture.

I don't tweet or Facebook so, as a semi-hermit, I do enjoy interacting with people through my blog and through other blogs. I am internet-friends with a fair few like-minded people now and it's a fun and generous space to share.

I haven't had to worry about anyone chasing me too much to "sell" on my blog so far. Just a few programs or embroidery patterns etc. I think I'd be fine with casual product promotion if it didn't involve selling my soul. It'd have to be things that I loved or believed in. So if you see me promoting anything like that, ever, slap me hard :P

brismod said...

HA! I'm trying to take over the world. Mwah ha ha ha!

I blog because it a great way to keep a record of our renovations and makes us more accountable. If I blog about a planned project, it will generally come true! That said, blogging has lead me back into the paid workforce and I am back doing freelance corporate communications. I owe this mostly to the blog which has kept me up-to-date on technology etc.

And I read and comment on blogs that I enjoy. Ads don't deter me if content is good. The money I've made on my blog usually goes back into my blog or into other people's blogs, so it win-win from my perspective.
Great post by the way! xx

ingrid said...

Ahhhhh Posie, what a wonderful post. I am another one who has been thinking a lot about this stuff lately. I have been blogging for 5 years and throughout that time I have blogged for various reasons, but generally it comes down to the fact that just like Jody Pearl, I love the sound of my own voice.

I have never been the popular girl on the block or had a large following and no conferences or advertising deals for me, and you know why? - because I am too selfish. My blog will always be about what I want to say not what I think others want to hear or what will get me more followers or hits and whatnot. I don't have a facebook page, I haven't tweeted in years, technology is generally beyond me but I love my little blog and the space it gives me to pretend I am my own little online magazine. Sure some of my posts are crappy, others probably exceedingly boring but I like to think most are quite lovely or interesting even if only to myself and my family. And I have made fabulous friends though blogging. It gives me a chance to connect with people with similar interests and hobbies, and that is a great thing for a stay at home mumma. I don't have the same social outlets and connections that I did back in my career girl days so blogging is a nice way to fill that space.

As for advertising I am all for bloggers making a little extra money if that is the path they want to take but I will admit that it seems as though many of the crafty lifestyle blogs that have chosen that route have become a little soulless to me. That makes me sad. But there are so many blogs out there these days that if I don't like it I just close the page - another blog is only a click away.

Coal Valley View said...

Hello!

It's so interesting reading your post and the comments of others who have been blogging for many years.

I am completely new to all of this - read my first blog a few weeks ago and started my own the very next day (like you I've been busy with 4 kids!). Wish I'd started years ago! It's a great way to document ones life and interact with other people you may never have met otherwise.

I like the 'raw' blogs much more than the overly advertised ones. A giveaway fine but It's disappointing to hear people feel pressured to move in a particular direction or base their blog success on followers. I do like getting comments from others.

Congrats on a great blog!

Mel

Sam said...

Some very good points! I am fairly new to blogging and am also a stay at home mum, so I'm blogging for me as a creative outlet and to connect with other like-minded people. I guess it's a little therapeautic and to receive comments back does give me a buzz. I like to challenge myself with different topics, projects and styles of writing, but this is not something that can be contrived. I love getting comments on my blog, for the social interaction and feedback on the relevance of my blog to others. I also love to read back over my posts from to time, and it does feel like a journal to me. I don't mind if a blog has a little advertising on a sidebar that is relevant to the blog,but don't like to be bombarded by it. I prefer blogs which are more personal and honest, otherwise I may as well buy a magazine or switch to tv on. x

Helen said...

great post! i'm one of those people that blog for me and don't collect followers or try and make money from it or do giveaways or comment on every blog possible just to get my name out there.....
i pretty much write an online diary that i occasionally write in and people occasionally comment on :)

BarefootBride said...

"Are there still bloggers out there who blog from the heart as they have something genuine to say, blog as therapy, post to keep in touch with real friends, honestly don’t care about hits or followers??"

I say YES, YES, YES! That is me. I was never the popular one at school anyway so it doesn't bother me, even now at 40.

Well said :)

Sarah said...

Once agin a fantastic post.

I started blogging because I wanted to be part of the community. I saw how bloggers got behind and supported another blogger when her husband passed away. And I thought I want to be part of that sense of community.

At times I would love to go to a blog conference, but reality is I have small children, I live rural, my husband works a lot and honestly the anxiety of a social meet up would be just too much.

I do a review here and there, which is a bonus. I would love to use my blog a bit more for self promtion of my business but I am taking baby steps with that one.
I would like to earn money from writing, which will come in time and if the blogging world helps then that is a bonus

I would like to blog more often than I do. But it just doesnt happen. And I try my best not to beat myself about that. As this is just who I am.

So I blog to connect and be part of a community. Plus I love to just read and be inspired by others.

Cherie @ 'a baby called Max' said...

Thankyou Posie. So much.

This was exactly what I needed to read today.

I read it, & just seemed to be saying, yes yes yes yes throughout.

So yes. To all of it. And yes to you :) Wonderful you :)

P.S spent my entire life in rental defence force housing, some of my best memories are there.

xx