The point of blogging

That’s a bit of a misleading title actually. What I should have said is ‘the point of this blog’. I had to face up to that a bit in redesigning it, and it got me thinking about all the different reasons for having the site in the first place, and how I got here.

My blogging history is pretty much LiveJournal… Vox… (brief foray into Blogger)… here. My LJ was locked, my Vox was not under my real name but I gradually put real photos on it. And then I started working in this field and thought it would be a good idea to have an online home for me.

Of course there are downsides to that. When I had a blog not in my name, I could blog about family and friends without making their identity public (to this day if I’m going to say anything really personal about someone on Twitter I’ll do it by DM. It’s not fair otherwise- it’s my public profile, not theirs). I wrote about my pregnancy before I told work, which was a wonderful outlet. I could be, I think, a little more honest and transparent, as we all are under a film of anonymity.

But I also couldn’t easily talk about my work, and was always second-guessing how much I could say about myself.

Part of the reason for creating this site was essentially to have something that could serve as an online CV. It’s good to have a place to collect achievements and things I’ve been involved with. Every so often I update my real CV without doing anything with it, just to give myself a sense of what I’ve learned and where I’m going and I often come back here to remind myself!

That’s why I couldn’t call this a blog about anything in particular. I talk about social media because they’re the basis of my job and a major interest. I talk about babies and parenting because that’s my life at the moment. I talk about Disney and cakes and books and feminism and cats because I want to.

I used to think that maybe that was a weakness of this blog, and I think it put me off updating it sometimes. I’ve got so used to the pro-blogging world that I felt like this blog ought to have a niche area of interest and stick to it (fairly) rigidly. But of course I’m not trying to make money out this blog. (One could argue that ultimately I’m trying to make money out of me, but I think if you’re considering hiring me for something then it’s okay if you know I have a life outside work. I would have thought that would be a bonus, actually). I’m not trying to appeal to a particular audience. I’m just using this in a simple, cave painting kind of way: to talk, to share, to vent. And, if I’m lucky, and people are interested, to listen, too.

I’ve just gone back to the start, really, and just taken blogging for what it is for most people, most of the time.

But you know if I were ever going to launch myself down the path of pro-blogging for myself, I’d want to keep this bit of Pro Blogger wisdom about not comparing myself to others in mind.

And now maybe I should get on with the actual blogging about stuff other than, erm, blogging.

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5 responses to “The point of blogging

  1. First up: I absolutely love the redesign, the header is just fantastic πŸ™‚

    I’ve come to more or less the same decision recently about Forever Amber. When I started it (also fresh from livejournal, where I was friends only, and could talk about whatever I wanted) it was basically a journal, and I wrote about a little bit of everything. Then I started my other blogs, and I’d find myself thinking, “Oh, I can’t write about that here, that’s what X blog is for.” Or “I can’t write about this, because that’s not the kind of thing the readers of THIS site expect.” In the last few weeks, though, I decided that, what the hell: it’s my blog, it doesn’t need to have a niche, and I’m going to write about whatever I want to write about (although with caveats, obviously: I’m sure most of my readers think I have no friends, for instance, but I just don’t feel comfortable writing about people other than Terry and my parents, who’ve all told me they don’t mind. Even then, I still run most things past them.). So I’m all for going back to the start!

    • And indeed that’s why I read FA – because it’s you, in snapshots and snatches, and I really love that about it. It’s obviously quite different from your commercial sites which are very good pro sites that I enjoy reading too, in a different way. πŸ™‚

      And thank you! It feels more ‘me’. πŸ™‚

      Sent from my iPhone

  2. I’ve been through the same thought process, and it put me off wanting to blog for a while, thinking I needed a niche and would never get more readers otherwise, because you read that SO bloomin’ often. And much as it’s not the foremost reason I write, I do want readers. But I’ve realised that if I had a niche I’d feel hemmed in and unhappy, and I think that would be less successful than just writing what I want. Plus, my fave blogs to read are still personal journal type sites. I’m nosey, what can I say? πŸ˜‰ And the most popular posts I write are always the ones about my feeeeelings, so why stop now?

    • That’s exactly it. And while I’ve been musing on not having the freedom to say certain things I’ve also felt like I’ve finally given myself permission to not feel like every post has to be a perfectly-researched article about something (not that it ever was, but I felt like it SHOULD be). I can just talk about what’s going on and if people are interested and feel like they can relate to what I’m writing about then those are the only kinds of people I really want to talk to anyway.

      Emotion, relationships – they make blogging interesting. And are bound to keep more readers in the end, too!

  3. Exactly! All the bloggers I like who have niches β€” I like them for their personalities more than their subject matter anyway. I’m sure it’s easier to classify a blog if it is more niche-y, and that can be useful, I’m sure, but all business, all the time, is not the most fun reading.

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