Linky Cut Down
I love linkys. I run a linky. But one thing I have learnt in the past six months of blogging is you can't humanly join every linky in the whole wide blogging world. Know your talents. And play to them. There are some amazing craft linkys. I can't craft but there was a time when I would try to craft. Purely for a linky. I would try to join the beautiful photo linkys. But my photos aren't amazingly beautiful. I now have a linky calendar and only join in ones I know are right for me and ones where I can cope with returning the comments. Which leads me to...
This is the bit I find really difficult and was stressing me out beyond belief. So much so I nearly disabled the comments. Blogging is not my job. It is a hobby. Teaching is my job. That is not a hobby. That puts food on the table and pays for my nice flowery dresses from Peacocks. So limiting my linkys. Meant limiting my comments I had to make. And if I have a really busy week at work? Then I'm sorry I can't join your linky (and as a linky owner this is OK! We won't get cross!) as I can't commit to commenting. Same as if I have a week off work I maybe will join in more. Remember blogging is a fluid thing. We are making our own rules. If you go on holiday? Go on holiday! I was commenting on linkys from hotel rooms. This (to me) is not normal. So love linkys. Join in with linkys. Just don't do every linky. They are, along with commenting, however amazing at getting your backlinks and raising your stats. Which leads me to...
I once had a breakdown about my stats on social media. I was that girl. Who got really upset and sent Sally Whittle at tots100 a really arsey email. And an outraged tweet. She was sooooo polite back as she must be inundated with such madness monthly. Now? I don't talk about stats. They are on my blog. I do look each month but they are not the be all and end all. I'm not saying don't be proud if you are in the top 100. You my friends are amazingly hard working people. Talented and brilliant. But I think on stats day. Look at them. Reflect on what went well or what you could do better. Sulk for half hour. Then? Have a nice cup of tea and move on. I am allowing you one whole half hour of anger. Then reality must resume.
My thing is funny. In my group of friends at school I have always been the 'Chandler'. I have always been the one standing up in a school assembly and my skirt falling down (as teacher NOT pupil). That's just me. I am just a dick. Which I've kinda hated my whole life (we all want to be Rachael) but blogging has allowed me to embrace my stupidity. And I've found a voice by talking about cleaning my privates with baby wipes. If you have a beautiful home? Or do wonderful art with your kids? Or have gorgeous clothes? Show off about it! Be you. You don't have to stick to one niche but always be you. I talk about loads of things but always try and be me. A bit of a dick.
So one of the massive perks of blogging as a hobby is the free sh*t. I'm not a pro blogger. They get money. It's their job to comment lots and work to deadlines. The ones I know are amazing and work bloody hard at it. I just get the odd freebie here and there. But you can turn things down. It got to one stage I had lots of things that required reviews and I had one million books to mark and a lesson observation to plan and I felt stressed. About my hobby. Which is ridiculous. So now I have made a rule to a) only accept things I really want b) that I can commit to writing well about and c) always send a really polite email back saying why I can't review their brand new snazzy thingy me bob.
Blog your life. Not live for your blog
Once I forced my whole family to go to some lavender fields for a blog post. The photos were amazing but as we were on the TWO HOUR drive back. It dawned on me. This is a bit of a f*cked up situation. This isn't normal. So now if we are doing something that we are enjoying and I will take photos anyway then I will blog about it. But sometimes I do things. And don't even blog it. I know! Madness! I probably will Instagram it as I love Instagram and that makes me so happy. But you should blog your actual real life. Not live for your blog.
I have a YouTube channel. In my head? I am Zoella. In reality? I am a chubby middle aged woman sat in her bedroom talking rubbish. But I love it. I have hardly any subscribers. But I have fun. It makes me just so ruddy happy. It brings no views to my blog. It is just purely for fun. My kids love it and I love it. It's like I'm pretending to be Philip Schofield in the broom cupboard. Remember I am a dick and stupid things make me unreasonably happy. Not everything needs a motive or a plan or a need. Somethings in life are just for sh*ts and giggles.
So that's what I have done to make me keep fairly normal about this whole weird world of blogging. There are moments when I ignore all of the above and bore my friends and family to tears with stories about rude PR people, or get really jealous when a friend gets two balance bikes FOR FREE (you know who you are b*tch). But I'm trying to be a bit better. And if you see me starting to lose the plot on twitter. Please, please don't stand by on the sidelines giggling in your dressing gown showing your husband my insanity. Tell me to wind my neck in and shut the f*ck up.
Now if you are really bored go and watch with your eyes my face and
hear with your ears my brummy voice over on my YouTube channel!