Tuesday 27 November 2012

Do You Have a Blogging Bone?

Where is blogging headed?

There's been THREE posts lately that have ALL struck a chord with me:
  1. This one by Crystal Jigsaw about Linkys
  2. This one by Michelle Twin Mum at Mummy from the Heart; and
  3. This one by Claire at Lazy Girl Blog
I think the style of blogging some of us are tuning out to is an advertorial style of blogging.

I love it when the advert is part of a story, where the product features as part of the writer's (and their family's) life.  Some bloggers, like Inside The Wendy House make an art form out of this.

But if it is out and out an advert, I just click away, and move on.

Anyhow, let's pretend that a blogger is a species, and let's say that species is developing:

Are we going forwards or are we going backwards?

Are we progressing or regressing?

Or, do we often go full circle, reaching for dizzy heights and then coming 360 degrees BACK to what is important, and why we started our blogs in the first place?

Are we working with our creative brains or our reptilian brains? << not heard of this website before so I am not endorsing it but I do believe the paragraph here

And if a blogger is a species, are we all of that species, or are there any other animals in the jungle?

For example, if brands went out of business and sponsored posts were a thing of the past, and freebies, what freebies...?!?!? how many bloggers would be left?

How many are purist bloggers who have a blogging muscle that has to be exercised daily, weekly or monthly.

How many people really value and appreciate their VOICE on the worldwide web, and their readers/audience.

Now I am not going down the road of Liz Jones and saying we're all one big Women's Institute who only make cupcakes so that we can blog about them.

But what I am saying, is do we all have a blogging gene/bone.  Is blogging part of your genetic makeup and DNA?  Is blogging a chore or a pleasure?  Is blogging good for your soul or is it purely a means to the end, the end being the bank balance? or is it a mixture?

I think some blogs need to become websites.  Where the "blog" is one tab on that blog, and the other stuff, well it is other stuff.  I may be very wrong but I am brain storming here.

A kind of show and tell:
here is what I bought today.
here is what I reviewed today.

It is not really a blog.  Not in the purist sense.  But then what and who defines a blog.

Wikipedia attempts to:
A blog (a portmanteau of the term web log)[1] is a discussion or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order (the most recent post appears first). Until 2009 blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often were themed on a single subject. More recently "multi-author blogs" (MABs) have developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors and professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, interest groups and similar institutions account for an increasing quantity of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other "microblogging" systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into societal newstreams. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
The emergence and growth of blogs in the late 1990s coincided with the advent of web publishing tools that facilitated the posting of content by non-technical users. (Previously, a knowledge of such technologies as HTML and FTP had been required to publish content on the Web.)
Although not a requirement, most good quality blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via GUI widgets on the blogs, and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites.[2] In that sense, blogging can be seen as a form of social networking. Indeed, bloggers do not only produce content to post on their blogs, but also build social relations with their readers and other bloggers.[3]
Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries; others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important contribution to the popularity of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (art blogs), photographs (photoblogs), videos (video blogs or "vlogs"), music (MP3 blogs), and audio (podcasts). Microblogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts. In education, blogs can be used as instructional resources. These blogs are referred to as edublogs.

I find the above quite out of date.

What defines a blog is purely up to the author of that blog.  

We can all vote with our feet and decide what we read.

I know I am more and more drawn to blogs where I get absorbed by the story, and the writing.

The thing is the bloggers at the top look real sexy, so we climb up the social ladder to get there, but what we often don't realise until there is that what they are is a duck - above water floating leisurely it would seem, but with feet below (and out of sight) feverishly treading water, to stay above water.

THAT is only fun, and sustainable long term, if you enjoy it.  You only have to read the comments on Mich's post to get the sense that people have "been there and done that".... So that is why Mich says "be careful what you wish for" as she is trying to save you the back breaking work of climbing up that ladder as it aint necessarily heaven that is at the top.  It's a lot of work that may take you away from other life priorities which is what brings me back to the point of this post.

Do you have a blogging bone? Because I suggest, unless you have blogging in your bones, you won't want to do it any longer once you realise what it entails, unless it really is truly in the blood.

It needs to stay cathartic or fun, and if it isn't, time to have a re-think maybe?

Plus, who dictates what heaven is? A number on a badge? Honestly it is not worth the hours we put in, unless we are getting from it what we want, without losing aspects of our lives in the process.

I met a Mum a few months ago, who makes a SALARY from her blog.  None of you will have heard of her as she is not part of the "community" but she works with 5-6 brands and makes enough to have her children in childcare.  It is the equivalent of a competitive salary.  Not bones chucked - in the form of sponsored posts - from the big brands meal table.

She has a "Mum" blog but did not even realise that there are thousands of Mum blogs and doesn't participate in the community.  She just quietly maintains her blog, and online magazine, and raises her children, making a steady rewarding income.

I find the twists and turns that blogging is taking very interesting, but I would say we all need to be true to ourselves and not be swayed by the crowd.

Get out of blogging what YOU want to get out of blogging.  Don't be dictated to!


  1. Great post. The blogging world is a diverse and interesting place. I am really aware that my own blog has become predominantly commercial as I work my way through my commitments to PR companies. Sometimes I long to strip it all back and simply 'write' but the direction I have found myself going in, is going so well. It allows me to provide extras for my family while I'm at home. That is a strong motivating force. I still enjoy what I write and keep it as personal as I can. My blog is still about my family life, which was my initial remit, but it is now more about what we do in the name of blogging as we are more and more influenced by what my blog has brought to our family life. I could never have predicted the evolution of my online experience...and I am happy to continue in whatever direction my future evolution dictates. One thing's for sure though, I do genuinely love being a part of this phenomena and I know that whatever happens I will continue to blog for as long as my desire to do so continues. xxx

    1. You do commercial really well Wendy. Whenever I think of a blog that reviews a lot but does it well you are my first thought. A very hard working blogger indeed. Mich x

    2. So you approve of me linking to her in that respect then :-)
      Great minds and all that x

  2. I have the bone Liska, I was here before I ever received anything commercial. I now say no to 99% of the approaches and I'll still be here in 3-50 years time.

    Mich x

  3. I wish I could be more commercial but being an expat a lot of companies pass me by as they want their products 'on the streets' of the UK - obviously. I have received payment from a book company and an online travel company to insert links in archived posts but that was only once - it wasn't enough to give up my day job, LOL. I would love to make a salary from my blog - must think harder about how I can do this...

    1. I think we must all be true to ourselves. Say what we want to say and when we want to say it. It's really liberating whether it be for commercial gain or not.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting - I can always rely on you sweetheart and I hope your cease fire has been maintained.

      Haven't heard a thing on my radio for weeks but there's been other local news dominating my headlines.

      Lots of love, Liska xx

  4. I think we all have a need to express ourselves and writing is a form of that. Everything is always evolving and we'll all find our way x

    1. That's such a diplomatic but pointed reply it made me sit upright and further back in my seat.

      You're right.

      And we will :-)

      Liska xx

  5. Thank you for the mention and linking to my post - that was really decent of you.

    Blogging has changed so much that it's not really blogging anymore. I don't think people actually know 'how to' blog anymore to be honest. There are more blogs about now that focus on making money, advertising etc, and this is a total change to what blogging used to be about. In some respects, I do feel it's a easy way for a stay at home mum to make some money and that's great if you have kids to see to and you can't get out to work. So blogging is whatever you make it. Anything goes on the blog these days.

    Unfortunately, I think it's changed too much - for all the wrong reasons.
    CJ x

    1. Of course I would link to you sweetie. Pleasure.
      And even more of a pleasure that you stopped by to say howdy.
      Liska x

  6. Hi there – as you know I’ve been writing about the kids for about ten years now. I didn’t dawn on me for a while that I was leaving a record of my children’s childhood – and adolescence now – and neither did I realise at first what writing/blogging was doing for me.

    Writing as a Dad, I’ve come to understand my own Father far better than I did when he was alive. As I say in one of the columns, I’d quite like to go to Heaven, if only to apologise to my Dad – not only for the number of times he was right but also for being such a complete prick as a teenager!

    Like a couple of other people I can’t now conceive of not blogging on a regular basis – it’s a part of me as much as the way I look is a part of me. Quite what I’ll do when my daughter leaves for uni next year and we only have one at home I don’t know at the moment – theoretically that’s going to radically reduce the amount of material I have. The blog will have to evolve again, but evolve it undoubtedly will.

    As to working with a brand, I’m not averse to it but nothing will ever compromise the absolute integrity of what I write (unless someone is offering to fly me to the Monaco Grand Prix, in which case disregard this paragraph…)

  7. I have blogged since 2005 and have never received a freebie or done a sponsored post... That's just how I like to roll! ( not that I'd say no to free running shoes or a spa treatment! ;)

  8. I stand by my current tag- I am me. I have no idea where I am in the grand scheme of workings out, I just do what I do, if it gets boring I wont do it anymore.
    Great post Liska.

  9. Hello Liska, I really like your post on blogging as it is. Definitely food for thought.



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