Sunday, 26 October 2014

Blog your life. Don't live for your blog.

Blogging. I'll be honest? Has sent me a bit cray cray. I've gone from a relatively sane, quite bored, Mum of two. To a little bit of a (read a lot) social media obsessed, competitive, loon bag. So in the past few weeks I've had to try and wind it down a bit. Or else? I would either a) end up divorced or b) end up having a twitter breakdown and going mad. And yes we all LOVE watching this from the sidelines (fess up we have all done it). We don't actually want to be the one telling another blogger they have never met to "f*ck off" on social media over a free bag of crisps. So here's a few things I've had to do to remain sane, whilst I enjoy the world of blogging.

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...

Join my linky...if it makes you feel slinky (it makes no sense but rhymed)
Commenting
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...

Eek! Stats!
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. 

Be yourself
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. 

#dick
Free sh*t
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.  

Hurry up! It's going to take us two hours to get home!
Have fun!
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!

65 comments:

  1. lol, I've had to do a few of these things as I find it hard to do something and not be competitive with myself to be better than the month before (stats) and even had a no twitter day yesterday (shock horror, I picked it up first thing this morning wondering what on earth I'd missed)! But I try to remember that there was a time when I thought Twitter was a total waste of time!

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    1. And me. I used to hate twitter! Now I am obsessed. Saying that I do turn my phone of at 8pm every night to try and have some quality time with the hub x

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  2. I actually think I might love you.

    I had a massive cut down with linkys earlier on this year. I also found I was part of far too many projects and had to stand down from those as it was all too much. I spent too much time giving linkbacks to others, making them happy and supporting their blogs and not really getting the same in return, which would usually be fine but you know, we all have a blog to promote. xx

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    1. Love you too! I like linkys and think they serve a good purpose but you are right. There comes a point where we have to limit them really or else we couldn't cope! x

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  3. Yep I can relate to the above. Linky's were the first to go for me too then the reviews for items I didn't want.

    I also love making videos :-) I am enjoying my blog again now I have remembered I was blogging for me.

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    1. Yay! Hard saying no to free stuff though isn't it? x

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  4. Oh Em can you be my life coach? As always with all your posts - spot on. I think you hit a point and go ohhhh ok let's chill the fk out! Blog camp has helped me do that I think. Keep being a dick - we all bloody love it
    Ps - I totally had forgotten about the cleaning your bits with baby wipes AHAHAHA thanks for a giggle again x

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  5. I don't write as much as I like and I don't make enough time to interact with other bloggers but I am making a concerned effort to be more sociable. I used to worry about stats some days I habe 3 views others 100. It's all give and take I think. :) xxx

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    1. It is hard as you do kinda need to be in touch with other bloggers but I just make sure it's not all the time x

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  6. Great post....I used to link up to so many linkes and it just got stupid!! I cut back and I'm happy with the one's I do now.
    I was actually watching your YouTube videos last night.....hehehe

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  7. Oh you are SO sane and sensible and together. Be my super-cool blogging big sister?!

    Seriously though, I needed to read this today and now I have, so thank you for writing this and sharing. It's a really great post.

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  8. As a new blogger - thank you for the top tips! I am *trying* not to be obsessive but..........

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  9. Hee hee :) You do make me laugh. It's so hard not to become obsessed though isn't it? Damn you TOTS100 driving us all mad and crazy...!! Anyway, you keep making us laugh out loud, and I agree, balls to the rest of it. Great post :) xx

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    1. Curse you tots! Glad you liked the post x

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  10. I think you and your blog are lovely and please don't step back too much from blogging as I want to keep meeting you at events :)

    I started blogging before I had kids and when I found the 'mummy network' I got really excited about all these linkys and charts and tried to do them, but it felt really awkward. I agree you have to blog for yourself and sure I may be missing out on traffic and comments, but I want to enjoy the time I spend writing posts.

    However, I admit I often feel jealous about the offers I see other bloggers get. I'd love someone to offer to do a birthday party for the kids or to take the family away on holiday. But then, I also know I don't put myself out there as much as other bloggers because it is not me.

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    1. Lovely to see you too! It is hard I think especially the seeing what other people get. I try not to look at those posts now and just concentrate on any nice things I get for my two. Hopefully see you at Mumsnet! x

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  11. I love this post Em! You are 100% right...I went to Westfields with Shannon on Friday and in my mind I was going to take lots of photos and film it but we were having so much fun I totally forgot and do you know what? I'm not even that bothered!
    However I am indeed a Zoella (actually scrap that) Sprinkle of Glitter in the making and we shall be holding our on Amityfest soon xx

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    1. Obvs! Just watched Louise's new look book. I LOVE HER! x

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  12. So true, all of this. I agree that you can only do what you can reasonably do. It's so hard when you get addicted to blogging to let go and take some of the pressure off.

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  13. Aww my lovely Em. You are the most hilarious person I know and totally perfect at being you! And everyone loves you for it. Great advice and a brill post chickpea xx

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    1. Weird but I dreamt about you last night? How odd is that? You took us all to the fair in Ireland. Oddness x

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  14. Great post. My blog was a bit neglected this week, but that meant I got to go to bed early THREE times and I got TWO baths. My stats are down. Way down. But that's okay. My baby is teething and has a cold and is waking up three times in the middle of the night, but I still feel a bit more human than I have in weeks. Don't stop doing your linky though. I love it too much. :-)

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  15. It sounds like you've come to a really good place. You are not alone I think every blogger goes through all the things you have described and we all get mad about stats for a while and then realise it is not the be all and end all. I'm now 6 yeras into this bloggign lark and I get amazing oppotunities (I've just returned from Washington DC) but i just do what suits me and my family now and my blog does not run we. I find regular breaks really help to keep persepctive. Nice to meet you, it is my first time here. Mich x

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    1. Wow that's amazing! How inspirational! Wonder if I will last six years??? Nice to meet you too! x

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  16. Yes, just this! Fabulously written, glad you're staying sane....some of the time..! Xx

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    1. You know me bab. I will never be sane x

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  17. Spot on. It's all too easy to get gradually drawn into doing just a little bit more, and before you know it you're spending every waking moment doing blog-related stuff. There are only so many hours in the day, and family comes first. But do keep up the good work - I enjoy your humorous, self-deprecating style a lot.

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    1. Thank you! And I saw you won the Love All Dads blog award. That's fab! x

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  18. Lol great post lovely, I think all of us go through cycles of being a bit blog obsessed and then putting on the breaks a bit! Xx

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    1. Which I hope you are doing now you lady with your beaut new addition! x

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  19. Love this! It all had to be said, I especially like the title. Nails it! After blogging for a few months, I find myself reeling it in a bit and remembering why I started in the first place. And that was a pretty gorgeous picture at the lavender field!

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    1. To be honest? The pics were bloody beautiful so I am happy I did it. My girl did cry a lot though! x

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  20. I think every single blogger goes through this. I have been doing this 3 and a half years now and I definitely have gone through swings and roundabouts with it all. At one point I was all about the stats, posting every day and trying to be someone I wasn't. (I used to hardly post any photos and be funny) which wasn't me. I sound found what I loved writing about, our family life and taking photos. It isn't for everyone and some people might read and think it's all a bit nauseating but that's what I enjoy and like you say you need to blog for you. I now don't get wrapped up in my stats and I stay away from all the drama on twitter, I am probably a little out of the community but I do try and be supportive as much as I can to newer bloggers and I love to find new blogs to read. Yours is a really new find to me and I am so glad I found it, you definitely have my sense of humour and I really enjoy reading it. So keep being you! :) x

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    1. Yay! Thanks for the nice comments and I cannot believe you didn't do photos in your blog! That's crazy! I often wonder if I will be in it for the long haul? I think the only way I could is if I just take the pressure off myself a bit really. It's too hard to maintain all the time. I've had a little break this week and it feels nice x

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  21. You're so right with all of this. I too have gone through stat anger & am now where you're at! I don't actually read them anymore as my blog is my hobby too. I've been sent two t-shirts for sweet bea for review & I felt like I'd won the jackpot, it's these little thrills that help keep me abit saner in an insane life with a preschooler & toddler!! I'm not going to set the world alight & that ok. But if I can give a small encouragement or make someones day then that's worth it to me. Will follow you on Bloglovin! Cheers Lizzie XO

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    1. Yay! I love getting the odd little top for my kids. You are right it really makes a nice treat doesn't it. Thanks for the follow on Bloglovin. Something I am yet to get my head around! x

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  22. I actually love u lady! You have written this at a point when I have reached a similar point in my blogging journey. I was joining in with a linky most days and in the end I was finding I was writing posts specifically for the linky. I am tired, I have a baby and a toddler who loves to wake up at 2am, I cannot be doing it!! I do love your linky though as it is just a photo, no pressure to write millions of words. Got a cute one for this week :-)
    I am definitely going to try and cut down and blog about what I love. x

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    1. This is why I did a photo linky! So easy to do and nice and quick to comment. Works well for everyone! x

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  23. Oh my god I bloody love this! I genuinely laughed out loud whilst nodding in agreement to just about everything you say here. On the subject of Linkys - my new Truth About linky starting tomorrow (Tues) could have been designed for you! (It wasn't but don't let that put you off!) I reckon you could choose just about any post from your archives and it would be fit for purpose (although new ones are even better obvs!). This post would totes fit in as 'The Truth about Blogging' ;-) (sorry about shameless plug! I know I'm obsessed too! Xx

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    1. Sorry Sam! I missed this. Will go and look for next week. I am trying to limit them at the moment as it is so busy at work I can't commit to commenting on lots and then get the weird guilts! Will go and have a look laters lovely x

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  24. Oh, I LOVE you!! Your posts never fail to make me laugh.

    I've had a bit of a step back from blogging, I was putting pressure on myself to blog every day and then getting stressed out about it. You've totally hit the nail on the head here - we should just be ourselves and enjoy it.

    Jenna at Tinyfootsteps xx

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    1. I defo did the blogging everyday thing and it is just so much work! I now just do a few posts a week and that is enough for me x

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  25. Love this Babs, it's funny as my blog is my job so there's a lot of cross over but on the whole I have a healthy relationship with it, I bloody love blogging as you know so that helps plus I'm strict about switch off, most nights unless on crazy deadlines I switch off, same with pick up and dinner and try not to work weekends, had to this weekend as we are away this week. I always turn off when we go on holiday too! I think you have to do what's right for you. Re linkies I always say just comment on a couple if you link up but there is never, ever any pressure to join in to any of mine. I say keep doing what you're doing, you have a strong, funny voice and are one of my favourite bloggers, keep being you and never worry about anyone or anything else, there's room for everyone to shine and you darling shine brightly x

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  26. I say I always switch off on holiday but I a reviewing a hotel this time so likely to be tweeting etc! Thing is work or not, I do it anyway! You are right about moderation, when it feels unhealthy take a digi break x

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    1. LOVE Digi break hun. That's fab! It's brilliant that you have found something you love to become your job. I am really lucky I love teaching still which is why sometimes I need to take a break to concentrate on marking and planning lessons. And thanks for the lovely comments! xxxxx

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  27. Yes bab! You know it :)
    I don't do linky's no more, only comment in bulk once or so a week, only post about once a week, don't go on twitter much = a much happier and less stressed me. Totes a hobby here too and hopefully all the genuinely nice people (YOU) understand if i don't always keep on top of replies/comments etc xxxx

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    1. Bab I have said all along I don't expect people to comment back. It is just not possible all the time! Sometimes I have 50 comments and as much as I would love to I can't go back and comment on all those blogs. It's just not something that is possible. See you soon beaut! x

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  28. Great post. I have never accepted things for review we wouldn't use, but I know plenty of people would. I have no time to review them and why would I bother anyway? As for linkies, I never join them on holiday or when I don't have time to comment on others - plus I've noticed it's not uncommon to only get about three views through it anyway!

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    1. No I am only going to join when I have the time to comment otherwise it is just not fair really. I have done stuff on holiday but next time I will try not too defo! x

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  29. I have had many breakdowns, as you well know. I love this and nodded along like a loon. I like writing lots and linking lots, but I have learnt not to feel guilty if I don't blog much one week or can't join a regular linky. And it took me a while to get there!! xx

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    1. You work so hard with linking up and it is totes working in your favour! x

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  30. Yep, yep, yep, yep. I love the Lavender fields admission!! I remember you going and thinking I should do beautiful shit like that with my fambo instead of going to Asda and sit down Greggs for a day out. And I can vouch that your youtube channel is mightily entertaining :) xxx

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    1. Ha ha The Greggs thing made me giggle bab! x

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  31. I love this post soo much and could relate. Well done :)
    Sensitive Epidermis | Rainbow
    xxx

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  32. I remember that post about the lavender fields! The kids were scared of wasps, or was it bees? Ha ha! You are right, live and blog about it rather than doing stuff just so we can blog about it. It is hard though, isn't it? Blogging is an addictive hobby... I sometimes think I should have started knitting instead! xxxx

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    1. I always think I should have started exercise! Seriously! I would have lost three stone by now! x

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