Pouting In Heels

Award-winning UK Parenting & Lifestyle Blog

IS BLOGGING BECOMING ALL A BIT TOO SERIOUS?

WHEN I first started this very blog back in 2012, I had no idea where it would take me.

If indeed anywhere!

I had no objectives or game plans, no goals to meet or things I ‘had to do’, just a real urge to write honestly about what it feels like – from my perspective- to be a woman in this world.

I can still remember the first blog post that resonated with people. It was this one here.  My first golden post! A piece I was desperate to write and one that many people responded to, even though my audience at that time was teeny tiny and I could probably count my readers on just two hands.

It was the first time people commented on this blog. The first time I received some social media shares and I can remember it like it was yesterday, because it absolutely made my day!

I was so happy that people enjoyed it. So happy that it had ‘spoken to people’. I felt on top of the world.

It may sound a little bonkers but I often forget that people actually read my work. Writing is my happy bubble and as I’ve said many times before, I would still write even if no one popped along to visit this online world of mine.

I blog because I love it. I write because quite simply, I have to. Putting written words together is as necessary to me as the air that I breathe. Necessary and magic.

So I began with no desire other than just to create. But now, four years on? Well it’s safe to say that things have changed somewhat.

From a handful of readers, I now find myself with thousands popping by each month. And now besides just writing for myself and my audience, I also have clients to keep happy as I’m in the very fortunate position of being able to work with some super brands.

My blog has become my ‘job’ and my main source of income, putting food on the table for my daughter as much as helping to fill me up creatively.

And I see this everywhere now.

Hobby bloggers who have become professional ones. Blogger pals who have become commercial. Blogs are taking people places and the blogging future looks bright!

Yup, times have most definitely changed and are changing as I type.

New bloggers on the block are savvier and more commercially driven from the beginning whilst us more experienced bloggers are continuing to roll with the changes in the blogging world, as we strive to build on our success.

We can see the opportunities out there. Right in front of us. Hell lots of us have even experienced many of them!

Our future blogging success is dangling in the air, just waiting for us to grab it with both hands.

But yet why then I wonder, does it often feel so out of our reach?

Handbag 5

As all bloggers will know, the biggest misconception about blogging itself, is that it’s ‘easy’ yet the truth of course is that it couldn’t be more different. A blogger’s work is demanding, relentless and all consuming. So much to do. So little time!

And I so can’t quite help but question, if perhaps we’re all beginning to take this blogging malarkey a bit too seriously? Or even if it’s getting the better of us?

If we are now allowing our blogs to run our lives, instead of us running them?

Around a month ago, I experienced a dark spell of a couple of days in which I seriously contemplated ending my blogging career. Nothing new there. I’ve experienced this a few times before although admittedly – perhaps because I’m pregnant – this time around, it was a little tougher to take.

The dark cloud soon lifted.

But the thing is, the more I look around, the more I am continually seeing bloggers suffer from serious doubt or major confidence dips. Talented, brilliant bloggers who sadly feel like they’re sinking in ‘to do’ lists and losing in the blogging arena.

Bloggers who have wonderful blogs and voices yet feel anything but proud or happy with what they have created.

Just why are so many fantastic bloggers feeling so bad about their online worlds? Is it the pressure? The competition? The never ending work?

And just when when did blogging become so hard?

Four years ago I was just happy to write and play around with this space of mine, secure in the knowledge that I’d found a small loyal readership and that blogging enabled me to to write openly and honestly.

The blogging community was growing but relatively small and there was little external demands. But now, it’s a different ball game.

There are rankings and awards (all of which can make you feel incredible or utterly miserable depending how it goes), Facebook groups you need to be active on, blogging tribes you ‘should’ join and social media channels that demand much more work than they ever did before.

Blogs are becoming brands and if you want to make a living from your blog, well the stakes get higher still.

Demands are tougher, competition is super high and dare I say it, but to me there is an overwhelming feeling of desperation within our community, that lingers over us all like a bad, dark cloud.

A desperation that I absolutely understand but nevertheless makes me sad.

Having a blog is one of the best things I have ever done and blogging for all of it’s many challenges, continues to bring me happiness and opportunities in droves that I could never have imagined.

But I’m becoming saddened to continually hear about talented bloggers who feel like their online space isn’t good enough. I’m frazzled by the continuous demands that face all of us and I’m really fed up with bloggers not being paid enough or respected as we deserve.

Blogging is brilliant. Blogging can absolutely be life changing. But when it’s starting to make so many of us feel miserable or desperate, I can’t help but wonder if it’s time for us to do something differently? To come at it from a kinder angle and take this blogging game with a great big pinch of salt?

Because if our blogs aren’t continually helping us to create a life we desire, then in my view, something has gone very, very wrong.

 



 

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19 Discussions on
“IS BLOGGING BECOMING ALL A BIT TOO SERIOUS?”
  • Nodded my head along to this Katie, I’ve felt every emotion that you’ve covered here. I have to say, I get annoyed at all the super pretty blogs that have no substance whatsoever, and there are more and more of them cropping up.

    I’ve always loved the ‘it’s anyone’s game’ element of blogging, but lately I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not entirely true. Because unless we are being championed by a larger force, be it through big brand collaboration or a massive website with hundreds of thousands of followers sharing our posts, then we aren’t likely to get very far in the blogging game…

  • I’ve been blogging even longer than you – since 2005, and I agree, commercialisation has changed the way many of us blog. And that’s GREAT!

    I’m v pro blogging because it provides a source of income for women who are often at a stage in their lives (be it new mums or new grads) when they’re excluded from paid opportunities in many sectors.

    Blogging can be a great job. It’s flexible, it’s accessible, requires little in the way of specific qualifications and the like. Blogging can also be a fun hobby. You chat to people, try out fun experiences or products, rant about stuff you feel strongly about, meet up with friends… awesome. It’s a great hobby.

    I think the challenge happens when people start blogging for fun, turn it into a job, and wonder why it isn’t fun any more.

    When blogging is your job, it’s no longer the odd freebie or day out – it’s pitching for clients, deadlines, media packs, development, SEO, building up social media, invoicing, accounts, chasing invoices…

    Like any job, it can suck sometimes and it will work better for some personality types more than others. I don’t think that’s a big shade on blogging, or bloggers. Everyone hates their job sometimes, and sometimes we move careers because we hate our job SO much.

    Not everyone is cut out to be a plumber or a teacher, and not everyone is cut out to be a commercial blogger (I couldn’t do it, for sure)

  • Brilliant post, it really resonated with me. I’m not a pro blogger in the general sense of it being my job, but I do earn the odd but from the occasional sponsored post or ambassadorship. I write for the love of writing and lately the backlog of reviews I owe had me questioning what the heck I was doing so I’ve stepped back and am writing what and when I want to; it’s liberating!
    I’ve always known that even if I wrote the most spectacular article and adorned it with perfect photographs, it still wouldn’t be a big hit because quite simply I’ve been a wallflower my whole life and that transcends into my blog life. Sometimes it bugs me when I write something that I think deserves to do well and resonate with people and yet it goes nowhere, but overall if I’m happy with what I’ve written then that’s what matters because that’s why I started xx

  • Great post Kate. Like you I started blogging in 2012 and it was very much a hobby but when Troy was born and I was getting up at 6am each day and with maternity leave stretching out ahead of me I decided to try and make something of it, to take it more seriously and to, hopefully, make it a part time job one day.
    Three and a bit years on from that and I am starting my last week on my day job and from Saturday afternoon I will be a fully self employed blogger – with a full time job as a blogger and not just the part time income I had thought was possible. But throughout all this I have always loved blogging. It has it’s more difficult or boring days but on the whole I can’t imagine doing anything else and being able to live a life I love is something I never thought possible where work is concerned. I couldn’t be happier. But, like you, I do think many bloggers get so down but I think it’s in each blogger whether they feel that way rather than it being about blogging as a whole – if you get sucked into charts, awards, stats and missed opps and dwell on them then that is an individual choice. I realised long ago that life is too short and I try not to dwell on any of that. I roll with it and on the whole I love it and I try and inspire others to love blogging too – whilst realising their worth. This was a really great read – thanks Kate x

  • Thank you. I’m relatively new to this blogging world although have dipped in and out since 2001. This time round I’ve been caught and captivated by it and feel like I’m around for good. I have ups and downs all the time and it annoys the hell out of me… It’s every time I look at trying to make a few pennies out of it. I love how blogging gives me something that is a bit more than just a mum! Thank you I said at the start for making me smile

  • Great Post Katie. I think it is so important not to compare ourselves to others we are all different and we all have something different to offer. Blogging should make you happy, its like any job though some days are a challenge, too much to do not enough time. But sometimes a challenge is good. I hate the thought of anyone thinking they are not good enough, we are all good enough. Thanks for such a great read lovely as always. xx

  • It’s interesting to see my own thoughts echoed here on the listings and awards etc – the blog almost becomes a means to be recognised rather than the outlet it was originally intended as.

    I’m guilty of this too, I’ve not been blogging long and I’ve recently been thinking “oooh I wonder if anyone will send me stuff to review or pay me for a mention?”. That’s not why I started it.

    Thanks for the wake up call. Back to basics I think – I’m just going to keep doing what I wanted to do, and if anything comes then I’ll look at it rationally rather than over-excitedly!

  • Great post, Katie. It’s so hard to get lost within the noise and lose sight of why we started. So many blogs these days are full of sponsored content I find it really off putting when there is nothing left from the heart and sometimes even relevant! *sigh* xx

  • Great post! How I haven’t been following your blog is a mystery as I always click from twitter.

    Anyway! This post completely resonates with me. I started blogging as a way to document our TTC journey and (hopefully) our life as a family (eventually). I didn’t want to monetise it or really do anything “pro”.

    Years on and I still don’t want to monetise it as I’m too lazy to register myself or keep up with finances, but every now and again I get reviews and some fun stuff to do and yet I STILL wonder why I don’t get approached for cuz or what people think of my blog. Why? Who knows? I guess secretly you want to hear nice things about something you’ve created.

    It’s silly and I shouldn’t care – it’s not why I started blogging after all. I should also be pleased with how far I’ve come in such a small space of time.

    New bloggers should definitely read this. Great advice.

  • This is a brilliant post. I agree with Sally in that if you start doing anything as a job it will naturally become less fun – we all have bad days at work and the nature of the online world is that we’re probably more liable to the whole Comparison Syndrome thing than in many other industries.

    Plus, if your main income comes from writing about your family and sharing snippets of your life it’s natural that it could all feel a bit too much at times. There’s a definite pressure (as with anything) when money is at stake, and whereas with many jobs you can shut the door at the end of the day and forget about it, when your income comes from writing about family life and sharing photos etc there’s the danger that you never really switch off and the two parts of your life are always merged, which might not be that healthy.

    I love blogging and my family blog forms an important strand of my income. However, it’s not my main or sole income, and I don’t think I would want it to be. I continue to pitch and take on commissions for magazine features, build up my interiors blog and take on paid video work, because I don’t think I could take the pressure of my family blog being my sole earner – and I don’t think my family could either! This is a really interesting and thought-proviking post Katie, thank you for writing it!

  • Wise words! Blogging is brilliant but I think we almost put pressure on ourselves to do more more more, get higher stats, get more paid work. The problem for me is that there’s no ‘off’ switch. I can work whenever and wherever I want – whether it is sending a quick Tweet, taking some pics of the kids, being at home on a Sunday evening. The solution? I haven’t found one yet ;)

  • Oh, Katie. You’ve just put it so well. So eloquently. Honestly, I just want to give you a massive hug and say thank you! I’ve only been blogging a year and it’s the hardest I’ve ever worked for nothing! But I was so unhappy in my 20+ year pharmacy career because I’m a creative person. I’ve lived writing but suddenly the need to ‘make it work’ so i never have to go back to work has sucked me in to stressing and worrying about charts and stats and pitching. Today I wrote a post about my kids growing up and although I love my interior stuff and my creative stuff…I just love writing from the heart. I realise that makes me happier than a giveawAy post that might get lots of hits. I can see from the few comments I’ve had that it resonates so much more. I’m a person not a brand! This has been a roller coaster week where I applied for a job and then withdrew it, not wanting to go back to that old, unhappy, uncreative me. I just need to remember what I love about it and if I want something paid then explore other writing oops whilst perhaps letting my blog be my happy place. Anyway! Plenty of food for thought. Thank you for ‘getting it!’

  • Great post Kate and one that I’m sure will resonate with lots of bloggers.

    This is one of the reasons why I’m glad I blog for me and that I could never see myself doing it professionally. A little bit of monetisation is fine, but I think I’d get too caught up in it – and I know I’d never be the type of person to push myself out there and really get to the top.

    Subsequently I don’t think I’ve ever had a downer on my blog. I love it, I’m proud of what I’ve done with it and long may that continue.

  • I totally get what you mean. I love blogging, and I’ve ventured into commercial blogging now too, and it is even more fun but can create so many pressures too. All of a sudden you want more followers, better stats, more this and more that because otherwise your blog will not get anywhere and so on… There can be a lot of pressure when you try monetise. But I suppose as long as you do your best and not stress about it too much, it can still be enjoyable.

  • Well said Katie. Another old timer here (2008) and I think I’ve finally reached that elusive place of being OK with my blog being good enough – not perfect but OK. I love writing it, it helps people, it brings me opportunities and it pays for holidays – result! I hope all the bloggers that go through the doubts come out the other side feeling they are OK too and choose to carry on in their own unique way. Mich X

  • I had a blog that began small in 2009 and grew and grew, and did well in the rankings but never became commercial. The pressure to succeed was making me miserable and I was so torn because it was posts on autism that brought in the most readers and I had to stop writing them to protect my now teenage son. So I closed it a few months ago and began a new blog just for me. You find it in any of the rankings, but it’s already doing better than I had hoped, and I’m enjoying blogging again. It’s about what works for you really, isn’t it?

  • Good common sense advice, as ever. I’ve been blogging since 2007 in various guises – at one point I had four blogs on the go – and parent blogging has changed a lot in that time, but particularly in the last 18-24 months.

    It’s now much more professional and commercial. In many ways that’s a good thing – it raises standards and forces brands to treat us more professionally too (although many don’t!) In other ways, though, it’s also more competitive and it raises expectations. Nowadays everyone has to be an ambassador for 10 brands and have 10,000 Twitter followers and run a linky and have a DA of 40 and be in the top 100 (preferably the top 20) of Tots – all by the end of their first month. And if you don’t achieve that, well, you’re a disappointment and a failure.

    Pardon my French, but bollocks to that.

    I completely get that blogging is a serious, full/part-time job for many. It can provide a valuable income from flexible working patterns. If you’re really good (and a little lucky) you can make a good living out of it, appear regularly in the media, get a book deal – whatever floats your boat. But here’s the reality – is that really what you want or what you think you want? Are you setting your expectations too high, too soon? Is it really the end of the world if your Tots ranking goes down one month? We’re all brilliant in our own way, but there is only so much success to go round and you know what? Sometimes brilliant writers get lost in the crowd. It happens. But does it really matter? Or are we getting caught up in the competitiveness of blogging and forgetting what really matters to us?

    I’ve always been fairly relaxed about my blogging. I haven’t been driven by monetisation opportunities or rankings (although I don’t criticise those who are). Some people think I’m mad for not exploiting the audience I have. But it just isn’t me. And the truth is, nearly 10 years on, I still love writing. So O’m pretty happy I must be doing something right. :-)

  • Such a great and truthful post. Can relate so much to this.
    I’ve been blogging a similar time to you, yet, I don’t feel I’ve made a ‘mark’ at all.. It’s bittersweet really. It is just a ‘hobby’ at the end of the day. However, we all want to better ourselves and there’s nothing wrong with that. :)

    Caroline.x
    http://www.carolineelgeywhite.com

  • Oh yes to all of this! I do blog as my job but we are not dependent on the money so it kind of takes on a different slant for me. If I land a big contract it feels amazing, and I’ve had some brilliant opportunities but I have at times let my blog take over my whole life and it’s not because I want or need to make bags of money it’s because I want to really succeed, the thing is it’s very difficult to measure success in this here blogging world of ours and getting top of the charts for running competitions or having thousands of ‘followers’ on SM doesn’t really define it, does it? All I know is the more ‘serious’ I am about blogging the less time I have to spend with my family and that quite often makes me want to give blogging up.

    Fab post, thank you xx

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