My Thoughts On Blogging

Jun 12, 2014

As promised, I'm back, and sharing my thoughts on blogging. Is it wrong to air out my thoughts on the blog?! I don't know, but I'm just going to go with it. So yes, blogging about blogging. Instead of banging my thoughts out alone, or watching poor Martin glaze over. I thought I'd jump over here and chat with you guys. Most of you have blogs and are a wealth of sage advice. Right?! ;) K, here's the thing. Last week, I decided to start a personal & private blog. A place to document a photo or two from my day and just write about my thoughts and daily happenings. I thought it would make for an adorable keepsake for our kids one day, and for Martin & I. But... something awesome kind of happened, all of a sudden I felt free to write, post less than perfect photos and basically felt no pressure!! Um, kind of rad, which also got me thinking - isn't that what blogging is supposed to be like?!

Blogging has changed a lot over the years. I think in the beginning it had a really indie vibe, a super thriving community and girls were blogging to have fun & connect. But then blogging started to explode and become a real thing, a career, a powerful tool for companies and bloggers started to make money. Lots of money. Which is awesome and commendable, but that doesn't have to be everyone's goal, right?

I'll admit, here & there, I've gotten sucked into the notion that I need to work really hard on my blog and make it the best it can be. But do I?! Don't get me wrong, I love photography and taking gorgeous photos. But sometimes, that's not where I want to be investing time, ya know?! I'd love to take a more casual approach to blogging. I'm not trying to turn my blog into a huge money maker... so why set the bar so high? Or live under false pressure?!

Does that make me sound bad? Do I sound like a terrible slacker?! Ha, I don't know, maybe I am. But for those of you who blog... I'm sure you've felt these things too. Sure it's fun to take photos while you're out with your main squeeze + friends. But then again, it also takes you out of the moment and stops you from being present. I've started taking my camera out less & less. Although, I still love snapping a quick iphone photo or two. I love writing, capturing moments from our life and connecting with this awesome community. I've truly made so many amazing friends through this space, and it's how I keep in touch with many of you!

So now what?!! Well, I have no idea! Take a break? Um, no! I'm way too addicted to blogging for that! But, I'm slowly learning to pull the plug on pressure, and I hope to become more free & spontaneous in how I do things. No need for schedules, or rules, or any other nonsense. So yeah, I'm still working through the fine details. But I wanted to share none the less and get your input and start a conversation. Spill guys, spill... why do you blog? Do you feel the pressure? Or are you able to take a super casual approach?

PS - see ya next week, less rants, more posts!! ;)

33 sweet notes:

  1. Great post, I think we all want our blog to be successful but I always make sure not to let my blog consume my life. I have shooting time set aside for taking blog pictures, but if I'm having dinner with my friends or just hanging out I try not to do anything blog related. For example, I may be wearing a cute outfit, but I won't fret over not documenting every single thing. I also started leaving my phone in my bag and focus more in my surroundings and paying attention to the people I am spending time with. I think it can all be managed but just like we plan for our blogs, we need to do the same for our personal life.

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  2. I feel you on the pressure thing, that's kind of why I walked away from my old blog and started with a clean slate, on a totally different platform. It allowed me to take a step back evaluate the real reasons I blogged, and assess what moments should be just for me (and Ryan) and which ones should be shared. The result- a blog I post to A LOT less, spill my guts out in often, and feel little to no pressure to perform through. My followers are few, but my passion for the genre is regaining strength and I have loads of ideas simmering for when I'm ready. One of the biggest steps in this evolution was that I stopped following the blogs I was feeling pressure from and focused instead on finding niche blogs that spoke more directly to my personal interests.

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  3. I think blogging is at it's best when it's authentic! What do you want to get out of blogging? I blog because I want to do as you have expressed by making a personal blog, keep a journal and photos to remind of me of special moments. Before I started blogging I had no pictures of myself! It's easy to feel pressured to make your blog something more, but you have to be authentic to yourself and your blogs purpose.

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  4. I have a very small blog and every once in awhile I start to think that I should try to have a bigger, better money-making blog because, you're right, it feels like that's were blogging is heading. And then I remember that I already have a full time job and I really don't need the pressure and unhappiness that comes with having a second one.

    Great post, I enjoyed reading it!

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  5. I totally know what you mean! I try not to take my blog too seriously since it is a hobby after all (and I have no plans to monetize it as of now). Sometimes I get really caught up in the "must have perfect pictures!" mindset and I've been trying to let that go because it's not that big of a deal...I hope, haha! I just have to remind myself (often) that I started this for me and it's okay if I don't post on my schedule or don't have exactly the right photo. I feel the most pressure when it comes to having the best outfits to share, but I'm reminded that it's cool to be relatable! ;)

    xo Kimi
    www.twentysomethingsimple.wordpress.com

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  6. At some point in my blogging life I felt the same way, like I was caught in a corner and I can't quit and there is too much pressure and no way out. And then I just let it go and let myself be less blog perfect. I truly enjoy the blogging community and I've met so many amazing people through the blog that I'll always be thankful for it. I love taking photos, I've always been doing it, long before the blogs and the social media, so now it seems only natural for me to share the photos and keep improving.
    I hope you find your non-pressure blogging routine! :-)

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  7. I totally get that. I honestly only snap pictures while I'm out with my iPhone and use those for my blog, even my outfit pictures are with my iPhone. I keep on a somewhat regular schedule but Im a new blogger. I also just like the community of girls I've met through blogging. I also do it for myself, kind of line an online journal for others to read. I do take weekends off though, mostly because I find I'm too busy to post saturday or sunday.

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  8. I've seen a lot of my long time favourite blogs just become uninteresting lately because it's so so so sponsored. I don't mind a sponsored (relevant) post or giveaway every now and then but when you don't even hear the bloggers voice in their blog any more it's sad! When I started my new blog I wanted a no expectations place to share my adventures, life experiences, and whatever else I become interested in along the way with no pressure on replying to everyone in a timely manner (I really want to but I just can't get to everyone quickly and this is what really burned me out from my last blog honestly), posting regularity, and watching the stats. I found coming at it from that approach really made blogging even more enjoyable! I've never been a journaling kind of person so it's great to have a little life log and meet some great people along the way! great post, I'd love to have a revival of the small indie blog and this is a great discussion to kick it off!

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  9. I love your thoughts, Veronika! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm in complete agreement over this. For me, while it's fun to dream about the possibility of The Common Creative becoming a small business, in the end I don't want to invest that much time into making that happen and our blog is more about connecting with each other (and other creatives) anyway. I have been thinking about how I enjoy painting WAY too much and really want to see myself grow in my career as an artist rather than blogger.

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  10. SUCH great thoughts, Veronika!
    I find blogging overwhelming as soon as I start comparing my blog to other blogs, or when I start comparing my blogging motives to other people's motives. I have to remind myself, much like you have said here, that *I* am often creating the pressure I feel to post certain content, or a certain number of times a week. What's with that? That's no fun at all! The moment I start thinking about my blog possibly becoming my career, the pressure mounts, and I realize that it's probably not for me. So should I stop blogging? Of course not! I still love it, and it's an outlet that allows me to build skills that are important for my goals & dreams. I just have to keep reminding myself that. Thank you! This post has allowed me to do just that!
    I love hearing your thoughts, V - please keep sharing!
    -Carley
    xx

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  11. Loved this post, and I love how real you are compared to other bloggers out there!! I can definitely relate when it comes to having to take your camera everywhere and sometimes you're right it steals the fun out of the moment!! I blog though because I love spilling out my thoughts and diving into deep conversations like my Coffee Talk posts, & because I think it's neat that girls can actually make a living just through blogging and having that spotlight through other companies!! I'm hoping within the next four years I'll be there too!! :)

    http://abeautifulheart07.blogspot.com/2014/06/a-beautiful-giveaway-beach-tote.html

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  12. I totally get wanting to put your best effort forward- and then getting completely burnt out by it. It's just *a lot* of work putting a post together well, and then sometimes it's super disconcerting when you feel like a lot of your readers aren't really reading your stuff but quickly blowing through it. Sigh. That's usually when I start getting bummed out and needing a break, haha. But honestly, I think whatever you do with your blog, the readers that love you will stick right through it! I personally have always loved whatever you post- it was just fun hearing from you, ya know/ I never really felt like bloggers had to apologize or validate their decision to go a different route- it's your space!!

    Can't wait to see where you'll take this :)

    xo marlen
    Messages on a Napkin

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  13. Dear Veronika - I think ANYTIME we do something in a "public" forum, we're bound to feel a certain degree of pressure; it's human nature to care what other people think!! So unless you happen to be living a life of complete isolation, trying and/or wanting to meet others' expectations is inevitable. I started my blog because I absolutely LOVE dressing up, and I wanted to create a diary of sorts for all my different looks. Yes...I'd be incredibly happy if my blog would develop into a new career for me; so I take care to approach it with some "business sense" (posting at regularly scheduled intervals, for example.) But I also make sure that I live in the moment, and have lots of "unplugged" time, too...I don't think I've taken more than five photos with my iPhone since I got it in March (and my previous cell phone didn't even HAVE a camera!!) As with most things in this world, I believe it's all about finding just the right "balance" for yourself!!


    www.StyleIsMyPudding.com

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  14. Oh Veronika, I LOVE that you wrote this and shared it with us!
    That's what blogging had always been about for me, but then I got caught up in the sponsors and possibility of "popularity" and what not. However, this past year, I've started taking a more chill approach and just blog whatever I feel like and talk about whatever is on my mind. It's led to less sponsors and perhaps others think it's less successful, but I'm content with it. Blogging is fun and has led me to meet so many wonderful people! :)
    So glad to count you as one of them ^^

    The Dragonfruit Diaries

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  15. Veronika, I've been feeling exactly the same way about blogging for years! Thank you for approving and giving permission to chill out about it! Do what makes you happy, and I'll do that too.

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  16. Lately, my approach to blogging has been super casual - particularly compared to this time last year, when it was my full time job and I devoted all day, every day to making it the best it could be. I still want my blog to be great but... in a different way. I've really come to embrace the idea that my blog is a platform for me to express myself, not a way to make money and I will no longer let myself feel any pressure to accept collaborations or try to earn from my blog if I don't want to, simply because that's the way the trend is going. Blogging, for me, is fun, and that's how I want it to stay. Such a great post, V - very thought-provoking! Wishing you a lovely weekend, my dear!
    xox,
    Cee

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  17. Bekuh, thank you for sharing your thoughts and personal process!! <3 It's comforting to hear you've gone through this... and found a way to make blogging work for you!! I adore what you're doing with your new space by the way - the simplicity & creativity of it speaks to me in volumes!! xoxo

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  18. Shy, thank so much for sharing your thoughts!! And yes, you're right I've also experienced burn out with whole commenting thing. Girl & Closet used to get over a 150+ comments per outfit post and I use to try and answer them all. Nuts! And heck ya, to an indie revival, right?! I feel like we need to take back blogging and make it our own again!! You do an amazing job of this with your blog by the way... I love your space, it's authentic and incredibly creative! xo

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  19. Aw Carley, thank you so much!! I'm thrilled to hear you loved the post... especially since I was damn nervous to hit publish. But happy I did because reading your thoughts & knowing I'm not alone in this experience is incredibly encouraging!! And yes, comparison, will steal the fun out of everything!! Happiest weekend, love!! xoxo

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  20. Awww, lovey! Thank you!! I'm so thrilled we've connected via blogging, and for me that's definitley the best part! Love to hear you've found a chill approach to your blog and are having fun with it. I'm excited to do the same with my space. Sending big hugs & a happy weekend your way!! xoxo

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  21. This is a really interesting post to read.

    Blogging is such a strange phenomenon to those that don't do it, but as a blogger, it's so interesting to see the variances from one to another.

    I blog for myself and because I love connecting with other bloggers. It's a hobby, and an outlet for me. Sure, it would be "nice" to say that I could make a ton of money and a career out of it, but I think that if that's your main goal, it really shows in the quality and overall realism of the blog. There's some that I stopped reading over the last while because I've seen that transformation and it's just too bad!!

    xo Jackie

    Something About That

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  22. Thanks for writing this, Veronika. I have many similar feelings myself. Originally blogging when I was a teenager from 1999-2002, it was so so so different than what it has become today. Coming back to blogging in 2013, I still find it very overwhelming, sometimes TOO personal, and I'll be honest, vapid and materialistic, and contrived. (Ouch, I know). Also, being a doctoral student, my academic perspective makes me feel a lot of weird feels. (Not only do I study criminal justice, I am also working towards a specialization in Women and Gender Studies). So yeah. It's easy to say I have a lot of feelings about blogging.

    And maybe someday I will share them, maybe I won't. But I love your idea about a personal space to just write and where you can be you.

    Thank you for helping me remember that.

    XO Alison
    looksharplansing.blogspot.com

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  23. i read lots of different blogs for several years before i ever decided to give it a try. my biggest reason for trying it out, was to bring myself out of my shell. i'm very quiet and shy by nature, and i felt like this could be the way i express myself. it's a constant struggle to put out content i'm 100% happy with. call me a perfectionist, but i'm never satisfied with my content, and i always feel it could've been better. but then i stop myself, and remember why i do it. to make myself happy. i try really hard not to feel the pressure. the pressure to put out picture perfect content. the pressure to try to acquire sponsors. but that's not what it's all about. it's about putting the real you out there and maybe making a friend or two :)

    xo jac

    thesunshinedistrict.blogspot.com

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  24. This is such an interesting post, Veronika. I tried commenting last week and for some reason the comment field wasn't loading. It's interesting coming back and reading all the lively comments below.


    I started blogging in 2007 and it's changed light years since. When I began, bloggers could achieve media recognition, gain opportunities, and even score book deals if they had something compelling to say and said it well. Many of my favourite blogs were opinion-driven and penned by well-read, sassy ladies. By contrast, the blogs that gain traction these days seem to much more visual, driven by beautiful images, affiliate advertising, brand collaborations and creating consumption opportunities for a blog's readers, rather than provoking thought.


    It's an interesting shift and I'm not saying it's bad. I've certainly benefited from it and been granted opportunities I wouldn't otherwise have. This new blogging model has improved the quality of online imagery by leaps and bounds, e.g. DSLR-shot images are the norm and not the exception.


    But I still grapple with the authenticity question you and your readers are considering and more. When you read someone's outfit post and every single item is c/o, do you trust that blogger? (I for one try to limit the number of c/o items in an outfit post for that reason.) When a blogger calls every new product they've been given a "must-have" or deems it an "essential" because they've worn it 3 times in the last 2 weeks, is it disingenuous? When a blog is nothing but photos of yourself, is it narcissistic? (Interesting: I posted a makeup tutorial I photographed and wrote up, and a reader mistakenly thought the model was me.)


    Definitely a lot of food for thought...

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  25. Sarah! Firstly hello, and thank you for your amazing & insightful comment. I agree with you on all counts. And I especially agree that sometimes when something becomes our "job" it kind of sucks the fun out of it. I think the biggest struggle for me with blogging is how it creeps into everyday life. Instead of laughing with friends over a meal, I end up trying to find the best composition for a photo, or I’m unconsciously writing a post about the evening in my head. Blogging does that I think, blurs the lines and can zap you out of the moment. However, I definitely feel like I’m starting to find a balance... so that’s feeling pretty great!! <3 Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts... sending big cyber hugs to you!! xo V

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  26. Jacqueline, I love your view on blogging and it's exactly what I'm aspiring to do with my own space. I too hate when I start putting to0 much pressure on my photos, or what I'm wearing, or feel like I have to go "do something" so I have fun content for the blog. I'm excited to remove all that nonsense and start having more fun with this space. And I'm so thrilled for all the friends I've made!! :D Big, big hugs to you sweetest lady!! xo

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  27. Veronika,


    I LOVE this post. I am just now getting to read it because my life has been so crazy lately and I am glad that I didn't have time until now. I just got back inside after going out for the sole purpose of taking blog photos and they all turned out overexposed. Something that shouldn't be a huge deal but made me so mad! The wedding planning issue of the week is finding an affordable string quartet and I just had a mini meltdown. Then I read your post. I haven't posted anything in almost a week. At this juncture, I don't have time to post like I used to and I have so many other stresses going on with "real life" that simply take precedence over blogging. Thank you for reminding me that blogging should be fun and it shouldn't always have to be perfect and it might not always be an everyday (or even every other day) thing. Trust me, I look forward to these "rants." Thanks for posting this.


    xoxo
    Amy
    www.urbanfrill.com

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  28. Thank you for posting this. It's a much needed reminder that the blog shouldn't be all-consuming. I try to post each weekday and I put undue pressure on myself to get a post done. But, you know, that's not always realistic. It's not my job; it's my hobby.

    Bedknobs & Baubles

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  29. So true! It is a lot of a pressure to get quality shots, post constantly, have polished outfits. Haha man I never anticipated all the pressure when I first started this! I try and give it a 100% effort when I do it but if I fall of the wagon for a week or so and don't post I can't beat myself up over it. It's such a beat weird balance of like trying to be a business and trying to be authentic—I think that's what the next phase of blogging has to endure. Great post!

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  30. GIRL I hear on the pressure and it's all about having fun and enjoying what you do. I agree with you completely. I always think about starting something new where I can swear a ton and not have someone's mom reading it and feel pressure to keep any brand I work with happy. It's a freeing feeling to share whatever the hell you want when you want it and blogging has changed so much even in just the four years I've been doing it. It's kind of spiraled out of control and I commend you for doing your own thing, you've started this new blog and I love it and you take it where you want it to go and I respect that. I appreciate your genuine attitude, pictures of dogs and of you and martin. You's real and I hope the pressure at some point subsides so you get the same feeling here :)

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  31. I know how you feel. So much that I stopped blogging about 2 years ago. (Shhh...I kept the appearance that I was still blogging using secrets and magic.) It wasn't until I did an entire rebrand recently and essentially started over with my audience. It's been liberating! And I think that's what it is--when we find our audience we gain something WONDERFUL. Something most bloggers/writers/creatives want--readers and fans. But we also lose a bit of our privacy (okay, a lot of it!) and we lose the free time we once had. Blogging IS a full-time job. It takes a lot of work. I don't think you're wrong for wanting to sort of hide out somewhere private. It can be extremely invigorating and it can refresh your creative juices. Have fun with it! (Found you via Lucky Mag.)

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  32. this post was in my feed since it came out, i wanted to give it a good read through. and i couldn't agree more! even though i started my blog purely for myself and out of fun, you really get sucked into all the things around it. i still need to find my place within this world and be at peace with it, but as long as it stays fun!
    xo, cheyenne

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  33. Veronika, this is such a great blog rant! It's exactly how I feel sometimes, and, since blogging is an "internet business," there's always more we can do! Thanks for sharing your sentiments-- really encouraging.

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