Monday, January 31, 2011

What I hate about blogging

My blog was born just over a year ago. It began as an outlet through which I might extract the feelings from my heart and release them into the world. And shortly thereafter, I let ego and ambition get the best of me. I had a vision of making my blog something marketable, something through which I could get money and products.

That is where I went wrong.

In a recent post, "the age of me", I described blogging as a narcissist's dream. Most of us like to write about ourselves, our kids, our lives. Many of us think that our stories are amusing and worth a quick read. Myself included - I love writing about my life as a part-time worker and full-time mom. I love interacting with people who share my perspective as well as those who can open my eyes to a totally new one.

But what I hate most about blogging? The shameless self-promotion. There are so many blogs that reek of desperation. Have you ever seen one of the top successful bloggers post 23 "follow me and I'll follow you back" comments through a blog hop? Um, I don't think so.

One of the big-time bloggers, someone I truly admire, recently asked a question on Facebook. She asked, "What are your favorite parenting blogs? I need some good examples. (feel free to pimp yourself!)". Clearly, many commenters read only those last five words. Many of the comments were simply links to their own blogs.

I don't see how that helped answer the question at hand.

What makes a good blog? Confidence. A true voice. Writing in such a way that readers can physically feel your emotion. Being a real person. Someone to identify with. Quality writing. Entertainment.

Sure, I can click the follow button and become a Google follower to a hundred blogs. Do I ever have to actually read those blogs? Nah. I can click that button and never come back again. I can follow you on Twitter in an attempt to win a prize, just to un-follow you later because I don't really care about six giveaways and four fabulous product reviews every week. Companies lean on these numbers to decide which bloggers are "worthy" of their free samples. But personally, I think those numbers are easily skewed and tell nothing about the quality of a blog (and I buy media for a living!). I don't care how great your blog is, I will stop coming back if it is a never-ending commercial.

On the flip side, I know there is a market for giveaways and reviews. I'm sure thousands of people like to click follow buttons and win prizes. I won a few prizes myself, and it's very exciting. There is a big audience for this kind of blog. And if you get enjoyment out of that, then more power to you.

MY blog?
Isn't about that. My blog is about whatever I want it to be. Whatever I feel, think, or want to show the world. I am not a professional writer. I was never an English major. I do not agonize for hours to perfect a blog post. I just like to write.  I simply regurgitate the words swirling in my brain and the feelings in my heart.

Will I never do a review again? I didn't say that... but I will limit this aspect of blogging. I don't want to do it just to receive something for free or to boost some numbers that really don't mean anything.
I am not going to do this for numbers.

I am not going to do it for free products.

I will do it for the love of expression. For the chance to interact with some fabulous people. As something my own mother can read and be proud of. As stress relief.

So, follow me if you want. But if you don't? That is okay too.

There - I said it.
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