Thursday, May 24, 2012

Blog Because You Love to Blog

Recently, I've been feeling a bit bummed out with the blogging world. I open up my Google Reader with hopes to read great content and instead I see giveaway after giveaway. Recently, some blogs have hardly had any content other than giveaways, which is not why I began reading them in the first place. Feeling frustrated, I tweeted this:
Within minutes, I was overwhelmed by an outpouring of feedback from all sorts of people. Some comments were from people that completely agreed with me. Others from people that felt they had strayed too far from what their original purpose of blogging used to be and thanked me for the reminder.

I had previously written about my frustration in comparing myself to others around me. I suddenly realized that was no longer an issue for me. Certainly, as bloggers, we all want to have a strong readership, but for me the numbers suddenly no longer mattered. I was watching other blogs grow on giveaways alone and it hit me. I'd rather have ten readers that care about what I am sharing than one hundred readers that are only in it for the free stuff.

I'm guilty of having the occasional giveaway. I think most blogs do have giveaways now and again. Giveaways are fun, but I don't want to be overloaded with them to the point that my written content comes second to a giveaway. I am not blogging for income, numbers, or solely to provide free stuff. I am blogging because I love to write and I want to share my passions.

I mulled over this idea of writing a blog post about this topic. I didn't know if I should write this post because I am a worry wart. I will probably offend people. I might even lose readers that I enjoy engaging with. But this is my space. And as much as I worry about all of that, I also love controversy. I love debate. I love conversation. So why hold back on who I am and not write about something that really hit home for me, and apparently so many others.

After my tweet, I had engaging and thoughtful conversation from so many individuals, including some of my fabulous readers and other bloggers that I admire. THIS is what blogging is about, I thought. It's about expressing opinions and feelings. It's about writing about what you love. It's about building community.

30 comments:

  1. I agree. Giveaways can be fun (I've only entered, never hosted one on my blog), but that is not why I read blogs. I'm also not a big fan of bloggers who mostly repost photos/ideas from other internet sites. I like to read about people's lives and interests.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I totally agree. I mean everyone wants to win prizes, but I came to blogger to write about my life and to read about others.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I learned this lesson last month when I signed up to be a part of a large giveaway, I just started to feel sick about the numbers while it went on. I realized, I don't care if I grow one reader a month for the rest of my existence, because I want to grow by people who find me and really want to engage with me and be a part of the community---not people who are following to gain a prize. I still have giveaways on occasion, but I'm definitely much more selective about the frequency and quality of them. I totally feel you on this! :) Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Last month I got really into the "numbers" .. I wasn't hosting a ton of giveaways on my blog, but I was sponsoring a lot of people that were doing giveaways, therefore gaining lots of new followers due to that being a "mandatory" part of the giveaway. So once I gained 300+ followers, I thought "Sweet. Now everyone will be commenting on my stuff.." blah blah. Nope, a big slap in the face when I realized that majority of the people that had followed my blog that past month were solely for giveaways and didn't actually read any of my blog. I'm now over the numbers (well, mostly.) and back to blogging just because it's something I thoroughly enjoy doing and I love meeting new people through this blog world. I've made some great friends and I don't know what I'd do without them... I do still have the occasional giveaway (maybe 2-3 a month) but I realized that just because you have a large amount of followers, doesn't mean they have any interest in your blog. Thanks for this post. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Amen, sister! Saw your post retweeted by a blogging friend that I admire, Sand and Starfish, and I'm so glad I did.
    I have hosted a few giveaways but I find so much more joy and happiness in just....writing. It's what I do, it's why I do it.
    My numbers are not that great, but I have still had some amazing success with working with companies and people. If you are passionate about what you write and a HONEST writer, the people you are trying to connect with see that.
    I sign on to Twitter hoping to interact with other people who enjoy writing, blogging, cooking, being a mom....just like me but I see tweet after tweet of promotion after promotion from the same person. I have unfollowed many for this reason. If the only thing I am reading about in your tweets is promotions, then I probably wouldn't care to read your blog either.
    I know some people feel differently. I also know that I am guilty of promoting things when needed. Like our trip to Colorado, I made sure to mention my sponsors but it was not repeatedly. The honesty of my reviews comes out whether or not I say it 1 time or 20 times.
    Happy to have found your blog. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by Liz! I agree! There is a lot of this on Twitter too. Using Twitter to promote is great, but you don't want to saturate your followers with promotions because the content is then no longer interesting.

      Delete
  7. As someone who engaged with you on twitter regarding this tweet, I understand what you mean about it. It permeates twitter and FB too - all I see are tweets about this giveaway and that giveaway. I do one giveaway a month on average because I want to reward my current readers, not lasso new ones. That's why I am trying to run them creatively, like my recent one for a GC that had you write a SuperHero story and I and a friend judged the best one. I'm trying to bring back the fun of giveaways - and the joy of rewards - not the mandatory ten million follow this and that and that and that and that and that....you get the idea ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joanna-- thanks for your conversation the other day! I've been wanting to blog about this for a while, but after talking with others on Twitter it helped me take the jump! I love your idea for your giveaway with the Super Hero story! I'd like to make giveaways more fun in that way on my blog. :)

      Delete
  8. amen & amen!! that tweet?? TRUE TRUE!! thanks for reminding us!! :)


    xx.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm so glad you went ahead and posted this. :) I just finished having a giveaway and it was fun but it's SO much work! There's pressure to draw people to your blog to enter and promote the person doing the giveaway, it's a lot of work and not one that I wish to do every week/month.

    That's why I also have mixed feelings about regular/scheduled blog posts like Wordless Wednesday or Things I Love(whatever day that is) and I don't participate in those. I don't mind reading them but I feel it's easy to become a little lazy and just work on those posts instead of anything with real content.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! Why do people feel that they have to follow a regimen? I know that I post music on every Tuesday, but usually it is because that's the day that works best in my schedule. And it's a bit symbolic too (all new albums always come out on Tuesdays) and considering that I'm nerdy about music I like doing it that way.

      But after having tried writing certain things on particular days, I felt forced. I try to write day by day now or only a few days in advance because sometimes things come up in life and I want to share it on my blog!

      Thanks Marilyn for stopping by and for the great conversation on Twitter the other day! :)

      Delete
  10. I totally agree! I love a giveaway and love to host a few each month on my blog....but I also provide whatI think is quality content. If you're all giveaways and grabbing for numbers all the time, your blog ends up feeling like gameshow and not something genuine. Great post, Heidi!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is great! This is one of the reasons I changed my sponsorship program. I also stopped blogging on a strict schedule and forcing myself to post everyday. We all need that reminder sometimes!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Good reminder. I do love entering giveaways but I do love reading about others like me. I think this is a good reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is something I definitely needed to read. I fully agree with everything you said, it just seems to be hard sometimes to not delete stuff or post it because I'm afraid it's stupid. I'm not against giveaways by any means but when that's all it is, unless that's how they advertise their blog, it's kind of disappointing. I only have a few readers at this point, and when someone I didn't know commented on one of my recent posts it made me so happy! Having readers is great, but if you're not enjoying what you're writing what is the point, right?

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think about this a lot too. I definitely blog because it's theraputic for me. It's like my own little online journal. I could see myself doing a giveaway in the future, but it be more like rewarding to my loyal followers instead of wanting more people to click the follow button.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I feel like I'm only seeing giveaways on my reader and on tweeter. I usually will mark it as read because I don't want to see it again! ha

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is such a fabulous reminder. I've felt like this a little bit too as of lately.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I totally agree! I have changed the way I blog a lot. No more scheduled posts or the same kind of posts on the same weekdays...I do a giveaway here or there, but not for numbers, I'm way past that, I do it to spread the word about the amazing people that support me (most of my ads are swaps anyway!)!
    Love this -thanks for such a wonderful reminder! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  18. while i do love me the occasional giveaways (i won a pair of blowfish shoes that way) i think that the kind of readers that only look for giveaways are not the kind of readers that you want-- they aren't looking to connect with you or anyone.

    thanks for your post :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. this is a great post!! i honestly think i have too many giveaways and am trying to cut back. i sometimes feel like my own posts are second to giveaway posts and that's definitely not a good feeling. thanks for being real about this~!!

    xo,
    sandy

    ReplyDelete
  20. So glad I found your blog (Networking Blog Hop). So glad I checked out your blog today. This post really grabbed me. :) (new follower via GFC and Twitter). Your blog is fresh and something I want to read (both for content AND the nice design.)

    ReplyDelete
  21. I just found your blog from Wonder Forests giveaway :) I totally know what you mean though! Giveaways can be fun but it shouldn't be about the numbers--instead the substance and quality of your blog should be what matters most! Thanks for the reminder! I completely agree with you.
    -Kayla

    ReplyDelete
  22. I loved this blog post, thanks for writing it. Something interesting you said - you didn't want to offend anyone & that you might lose readership? It comes back to the same point, kind of. Unapologetically be yourself, and you will gain SUPER FANS because of it. This does, however, come hand in hand with a few haters. And that's okay :). It shows that you are doing something interesting, something worth feeling about! I'd rather have a few people who LOVE LOVE LOVE what I do than a ton of people who just "like" me. So I'm very happy that you blogged this today! Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I couldn't help reply to what you said about me being afraid to lose readership. That is a good point! Though I think the readers I am afraid to lose are the ones that I already constantly engage with (as I had written) because those are the ones that create the community that I love. I've lost readers before and I think it was because they had joined for a giveaway or they just never read the blog or engaged with it. Communicating with people and relating to each other is what I love about blogging aside from writing. So if I lost or offended a reader that falls in that realm, I would feel a bit sad. If I lost a reader that was offended by this post because they had joined my blog for a giveaway, I don't think I would be upset.

      Needless to say, I agree 100% about what you've said in having a few people who love the blog versus a few that aren't really into it. It all goes back to that community that I had written about.

      Thanks so much for stopping by. Your comment was really thought provoking! :)

      Delete
  23. Well, I have to say I found your blog from the giveaway at Wonder Forest also (the same as Love Sparkle Pretty), so giveaways can't be all bad, cuz I never would have found you and I love your blog! :) Not to say that you don't have an excellent point though...it can be frustrating to see nothing but giveaways all the time. I love looking at blogs for their visual aspects as well as their writing content. I can't judge yours on writing content yet, because I just became a follower, but visually, I love it and I checked out your Etsy store and really love your designs! So I'm pretty sure I will be a longtime follower.
    I think there are bloggers out there like myself, who struggle to get followers and maybe that is because I am not a very good writer and maybe I can learn from bloggers such as yourself. I basically began my blog just to write about stuff that I made, because I love sewing and crafts so much. Initially, I thought of it more of a way to just let my family & friends know what I was up to, but I guess I have gotten caught up in the "monetization" of it. I think that is because it now takes so much of my time, that I feel a little bit of reward would be awesome sometimes, but I don't want to sacrifice quality for a buck, so thank-you for the reminder!
    Lisa H.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm with you on this. I've grown to have a love/hate relationship with the giveaways... On the one hand, I think it's fun to win things and all that, but as someone who participates in them I honestly hate the whole having to follow thing that most giveaways require. I feel so disingenuous when all of the sudden I'm following a blog on GFC and Bloglovin' and Hello Cotton but I don't really care about the blog other than I happened to like some of the swag. Granted, I've occasionally found good blogs via giveaways, but more often than not... It's just creating cruft that clutters up my inbox... I'm not anti-giveaway by any means, but I dunno... I miss it when people just asked for a comment. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm tardy to the party, but I totally agree. It seems desperate when I see a blog that does giveaways all the time (unless they're one of the huge, well-established blogs people write for a living). It just puts me off when I scroll down to the ways to enter and all of them are about getting more followers on their blog and various social media platforms... and then at the very bottom it's like, "Oh yeah, follow the giveaway artist, too. But only on Etsy."

    Anyway, it's nice to see somebody who really gets it.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm tardier than Paige, but I want to chime in because I agree with what you say. It is frustrating when people just blog giveaways because there isn't any content there to learn about the blogger! I HAVE found a few great blogs through giveaways, but most often I'm not interested in following along and that's why I don't end up entering that giveaway. I don't mind hosting giveaways but I'm just as happy for the prize to end up with my loyal followers! It is definitely a good reminder.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...