Something is happening in the blogosphere, change is coming and I can feel it. And no, I’m not talking about a new blogger trend, social platform or WordPress plugin. Something much bigger, I’m talking about a Blogger Rebellion.
At the moment so much of my twitter feed is bloggers sharing content with titles such as ‘How I used Pinterest to double my stats’ or ‘How to grow your email subscriber list’ or ‘How to write content that is guaranteed hits’ – it’s a constant How to, How to, How to one after the other.
Don’t get me wrong, those posts are super helpful, I’ve even written a few myself and I’ve got a whole Pinterest board pinned with really useful ones. But when did the biggest thing to write about in blogging become, well, blogging? Everything is about statistics lately.
Back in January, I decided that since I was on the hunt for a brand new job and would no longer be trying to make an income solely from this site, that I would change how I blogged. I decided I would still pre-plan content, support my blog across social media and of course I’m still going to say yes to (the right) sponsored and paid content – like this recent piece which was almost a perfect client and a dream to write – nope, none of that would change.
But I decided that I would return to blogging about whatever the f*** I wanted, in whatever style I wanted, circa Tink Jayne 2011!
Back then, in the beginning, something would happen and I would write about it. I would go somewhere and I would write about it. I would try something new and I would write about it. I’d tell a story. And I loved it.
These days it doesn’t feel like that. When I wanted to begin writing about my marathon training I panicked about it and felt nervous because technically it wasn’t in theme with my blog or my brand. Because that’s what we are all working on, turning ourselves into a brand. And it feels like there is a big pressure on us as individual brands to have the BEST content, to get exclusive content, to get exclusive invites, to go viral, to be liked, to gain likes. And it turns out I’m not the only blogger feeling like this. It’s only Wednesday and I’ve already seen two bloggers open up online this week about similar feelings.
First there was @erincxa who I follow on Twitter; she admitted she would no longer be blogging because she just didn’t know how to anymore. Erica still had big plans to write and to share her work, her poetry and her fiction, but she admitted she felt like blogging had become all about stats, engagement and working with brands – all things she wasn’t interested in.
“I don’t want to check my numbers or buy expensive cameras or schedule 50 tweets a day; I just want to write” – Erin
I can’t say my situation is exactly the same as Erins, I love working with brands and my camera is (along with my phone) my most used item EVER. But I can completely see how blogging these days can take the fun out of writing. I told Erin I had a huge amount of respect for. I kinda felt she was going through what I had gone through in January.
And it turned out another blogger I follow was going through something similar!
This week Katy of LittleMissKaty.co.uk wrote a post called ‘Time to be honest with myself’ about the pressure she has put on herself to follow a certain set of Blogger rules that she (and I’m sure a lot of us) felt she had to follow.
“The pressure I’ve been putting on myself to write posts I’ve agreed to, and posts I know people will read, means my words have dried up completely” – LittleMissKaty
I could totally relate! And that’s what inspired me to write this post. As Katy ended her post with her plan to “ditch the rules, stop giving a fuck, and just do what I want” and as Erin exited the blogosphere stage left, I began to wonder if more of us would begin to rebel against these ‘Blogger Rules’ that seem to, somewhere along the blogger timeline, have been set for us.
Even though I am trying to break these rules, I still crumble to the blogger pressures that we put on ourselves. On the eve of Pancake Day I had a meltdown because I felt like the only blogger in the country not to have prepared a blog post for this Googletastic marketable holiday. I began clicking through folders and old archives for any pictures of pancakes, wondering if there was something there for me to pick up on, but I wasn’t being inspired by any of them. Next I began writing a piece on a local café where I ate pancakes a few weeks ago, deciding to make it a last minute pancake review, that’s relatable, right? But it just felt totally forced and if I’m honest, it read that way too. Then I reminded myself – if I don’t want to write it, it’s simple, don’t write it. Why was I killing myself, drining coffee at midnight to stay up mega late, trying to write a post I thought I should write instead of a post I wanted to write. And frankly I didn’t want to write any post, I wanted to go to bed. And that’s what I did.
But since mid-January I have pretty much been writing whatever I want, and writing it how I want. Most of my articles since then have been posts about personal experiences, told through detailed writing and I have honestly loved writing every single one of them. I’m a storyteller, I always have been and that’s how I started this blog, by telling my stories. Are they my most popular blog posts ever? No. Have they been getting overwhelming responses? Nope. Does that mean I should stop writing them? Hell. To. The. No.
I’m going to blog my way, my style, my stories. Screw these so called Blogger rules – WHOSE WITH ME???