10.04.2011

Blogging 101 :: Be True To You

In the blogging world, it is so easy to get caught up in what others are doing or writing or saying. Before you even realize what's happened, you're imitating their style, their photos, their writing, even their blog layout. I know all about this - I've been guilty of it in the past. It's good to keep in mind that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and just because you see a tutorial of how to make a sweet blog header and then you copy, copy, copy (as I have done), doesn't automatically mean that you're trying to become someone else.


So what am I trying to get at here? Well, let me see if I can clarify...don't loose who you are by trying to be someone else (or someone's blog). You know, the one with 10,000 followers, who gets 50 bazillion comments a day, even when the post is only about a coupon that someone else shared with them. Or there's the start up blog who got more followers in the first 6 seconds than our blogs might get in the lifetime of our blogging careers. It's easy to get discouraged and to wonder what it is that you're missing that is holding you back. I know I've struggled with that - and I've even shared that with you on the blog (and got helpful feedback as well - like Sandy B's suggestion that I talk back to you in the comments).


Would I like to have a bajillion "followers"? Um, yeah! Would I like to have my blog mentioned by "big-time" bloggers? Well, who wouldn't? But more than that, I don't want to waste my time (and yours) trying to be someone else or to write like someone else or to take pictures like someone else. I want this to be a place where I am free to be me. I never want to get to the point where I'm writing what I think you want to read (or what will bring me more "followers") instead of what God has laid on my heart, or simply about what interests me at the moment.


Like now. I've been convicted multiple times in the last week of jealousy towards other blogs. Oh yes, the green-eyed monster was roaring up inside of me before I knew what hit me. But instead of wallowing in self-pity or wondering why they get all the blogging breaks, I'm working on being happy for them and learning how to rejoice with their success. Why? Because I would hope they would do the same for me if one day I got the blogging break. I'm not saying that's going to happen, but I know it won't happen if all I do is try to be someone other than me.


I have really appreciated your kind comments recently, and I honestly try not to let them go to my head (although there might be some slight {happy dancing} that occurs from time to time over a comment). But more than anything, if you blog (or just for life in general), I want to encourage you to be YOU. Don't worry about what other bloggers write, how people decorate their houses, what they eat, what they read, how they dress...you know what I'm talking about. If you get ideas from those blog posts, that's awesome. If they make you stretch outside your comfort zone, even better! But never try to be someone else simply because you think it will make you more popular or gain some new "followers".

This is the blogging lesson I'm re-learning this week. What lessons have you learned as a blogger or in life this week? Care to share? I'd love to hear!


9 comments:

  1. Nicely written. I think the thing I've learned most succinctly from being a blogger is to stop looking at my stats. The truth is I blog because I like to blog...not to be popular. I don't have followers (i haven't added that feature), I don't look at my sats unless hubby asks me about them, if I get comments or not it's ok because I didn't start blogging to be successful...I started blogging for the love of writing and community.

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  2. Lexi - I totally agree. For the longest time, I chose not to have a following link on the sidebar because it turned into some kind of competition. Then I gave in earlier this year and added it...and I started watching it. Your comment was an excellent reminder that I should probably nix it again (it's now gone - except for the email option, which I don't understand how that works anyway!). So, thanks!

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  3. Carrie, I totally get what you are saying. I started blogging to keep family and friends updated with us but I've found it to be a great way to document this part of our life. I TRY to keep it just that. Something that is about us and our life... not a copy of everyone else's. Although it can be hard NOT to compare yourself with others :) There have been times that I've been ready to shut the whole thing down and stop because I don't feel "successful". But when it comes down to it, I look back at my posts and they make ME happy (memories that make me laugh, things that make me nostalgic, etc). Which makes it all worth it.

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  4. I have a blog to expose my new business to pass information out to the internet world about it. I do get discouraged when I have little to no activity on it...but that is because I want to build my business! :) I could never blog just for fun, I'm not creative enough, witty enough or really have any worthwhile insight to share...so I do get a big jealous of those like you who do because I wish I did but I love reading my friends blogs and DIY creative activities and I do learn. Don't be discouraged...there are those of us like me who you are light years ahead of! And I don't say that to put myself down. I am very happy with the way God made me! I'm much more fun in person than in writing!!! lol!

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  5. Erika - You're basically using it as an online scrapbook, which I love! It has been a fun way to see what your life has been like over the years (it's been a long time since Sunday School on Virginia St. at GFC!), and see what's happening now. I'm glad you have fun with it and I'm glad you share it with your friends. :-)

    Katie - I totally understand. It's like when we were trying to push Peter's book and I set up a website and I waited...and nothing happened. Discouraging to say the least. But you know what? You never know unless you try! I hope your business picks up and takes off, and in the meantime, I agree with Lexi...sometimes it helps not to look at the stats for a while.

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  6. I agree with others - I blog for myself. If others find joy in reading my words, more power to them. One thing I love about blogging with Wordpress is that there is no Google Friend Follower. There is nothing I hate more than the "I'll follow you if you follow me" mentality. It just seems so fake and not at all what blogging is about.

    And don't even get me started on people who misrepresent themselves on their blog for the sake of advertising money (Ms. Pioneer Woman, I am looking at you....).

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  7. I agree with Lexi, I stopped looking at stats a few months ago and it's been the most freeing thing.
    Thanks for the encouragement and more importantly thanks for being Carrie here. It's what keeps me coming back :)

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  8. Thanks for such a good piece of advice. I definately want to stay true to who I am as a writer on here and since I am new at this (even though my accounts been here since 2009...LOL), I want to write how I love to write and not get pulled into losing the passion behind it. I don't want to put my time into writing without having readers....thats me being honest = ) Thanks Carrie = )

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  9. Karen - I'm with you on that one (and others). I would really hope that if anyone met me in real life, they wouldn't be surprised with how different I am, but rather, how much I'm like I am on the blog! :-)

    Aww - thanks Molly! :-)

    Irish - It's only fair that you want readers as well. It's no fun writing when you think you're the only one reading it. I've got you on my reader now, so will try to be a more vocal presence. ;-)

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There are more than 400,000 words in the English language. My only request of you is this: Use them wisely.

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