Who are “bloggers of substance?” you might ask. I’ll tell you. They’re bloggers who focus on content; writing blogs that are thought-provoking, encourage conversation, challenge your mind, stir emotions, and maybe even make you laugh once in a while. The goal of WOW is to unite these bloggers so that these like-minded individuals can find one another and support each other’s blogs. I am excited to watch this community grow, and am eager to meet more bloggy friends who are more like me.
Lovely reader, if you’re looking to connect with bloggers who want to put the blogging back in blogs, go visit WOW.
I’ve been blogging for about five months now. Well, here at least…I did the whole myspace blog thing for quite a while, and I did a few posts on another blog I’d setup, but this is where I’ve settled in as a blogger; my little home on the internet, if you will. In that amount of time, my readership has grown, thanks in large part to SITS. I’ve found some brilliant blogs and bloggers though SITS, and am very fortunate that other brilliant bloggers found me.
The concept of SITS is wonderful, and I’m pleased to have gotten some great followers as a result of participating in the community, but I don't really get all that much blog support anymore. Lately, all I really get from SITS is the occasional commenter who stops by to point me to their own blog rather than to read mine. I’m sorry, but that’s just a waste of my time. If you can’t stay long enough to read even one post that I’ve written and to make some sort of meaningful comment beyond, “Stopping by from SITS. Nice blog!” (tell me what’s nice about it, for example), then clearly I will not waste my time visiting your blog.
Look; I know my posts tend to lean towards the lengthy side, and I know that’s not for everyone. But, if you’re going to take the time to comment, you really should read at least part of what you’re commenting on. It just seems trite and meaningless, and leaves me feeling a little used, when all you have to say is, “Hi! Now, come visit my blog.”
Through visiting blog after blog that I’ve found on SITS, I’ve noticed some trends in blogging that I just can’t get on board with. At the risk of alienating some readers, I will summarize them below.
The “mommy blog”
You’ve probably heard it before, “Don’t mess with the mommy bloggers!” I recently read/heard, “Mommy bloggers are taking over the world!” If you’re a mommy blogger, you see that as “girl power,” strength in numbers, and a call to arms, which is great for you. Since I’m not, nor will I ever be, a mommy blogger, it's a scary thought and really just irritates the crap outta me.
I’ve figured out that the majority of bloggers out there are mommy bloggers, so they are, in fact, taking over the world. I just wish they could leave some small part of it for the rest of us. I used to make it a goal to visit as many bloggers doing SITS roll call as I could. I don’t do that so much anymore, because almost all I’m finding is mommy bloggers, and that’s just not what I’m interested in.
Don’t get me wrong, lovely reader; I don’t hate moms. Well, okay, I hate bad moms. (If you’re a mom, and reading this blog, and I’ve read and commented on your blog, you are not a bad mom. I try not to associate with bad moms, because they just make me want to punch things.) However, I don’t understand why one would want to define themselves only as a mom and nothing more. I know that having kids kinda takes over your life, and that it’s hard work, and blah, blah, blah; however, I don’t understand why one would completely give up her identity to her children. I don’t need it explained to me either; it’s not a concept I’m interested in understanding.
What I’m trying to get at is that I don’t much care for, or about, mommy blogs. If I want to see cute pictures of kids or hear stories about the super funny things they do, I’ll talk to my sister, my mom, or my cousin; I know their kids and like their kids and care about the things their kids do. I know that being a mom is a hard, often thankless, job. I don’t care to read about just how hard and thankless it is, especially over, and over, and over, and over again. Many mommy bloggers seem to forget that they chose motherhood. As a result, you only get to bitch so often about how hard and thankless it is, okay? I don’t want to hear about it, so I’m just not going to read it.
I have met some cool moms, some of whom I'd consider friends, who are bloggers and many other things: wives, daughters, friends; and funny, witty, intelligent women. These fabulous women understand that they, and their lives, are more than playing the role of mommy. Thus, I can relate to them on other levels, and when/if they occasionally choose to write about their kid(s), the stories are usually interesting and/or funny and/or make me really really really glad that I’m not a mom and will never be a mom. (To humans, at least; I love being a dog mom, and that’s also sometimes very hard and very thankless.)
Advertising, Sponsors, and Giveaways
I started my blog as a way to document my journey through school as an adult student. I thought maybe there were a few people out there who might be interested in how I approach the whole experience, or maybe I could encourage someone who’s thinking of going back to school, or perhaps I could answer questions an adult might have about returning to school.
Eventually, I evolved to writing about my life as well. It was scary at first; opening myself up in such a personal way. However, the feedback I received was fantastic and supportive, and encouraged me to continue blogging.
I write for me, and I write to write.
That’s why I’m absolutely baffled that there are people out there who’ve managed to turn their blogs into businesses, and many others who are trying to follow in their footsteps. Many of the “do’s” and “don’ts” of blogging involve commentary on how to draw advertisers and sponsors to your blogs. Giveaways are apparently a good way to draw traffic to your blog; perhaps helping to increase the number of followers one has. You just won’t find that stuff here.
In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll tell you that I would absolutely review a product that I’ve wanted to try. Were a company to contact me with some cool thing that could be helpful to adult students, something fun to have or use, or something to possibly improve my life, I would gladly accept the product and write a review for it. That’s as far as I’m willing to go though, and I most certainly will not seek out these types of opportunities.
I don’t have any delusions that I am really the next big thing; I'm not just waiting to finally be discovered. I’m a relatively simple, thirty-something woman who happens to enjoy writing.
Social Media Overload
I don’t understand why bloggers simply “must” have Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts tied to their blogs. It’s enough for me to just maintain this blog. I can’t imagine having to update a Facebook page and Tweeting (is that even right?) as well. I would seriously run out of ideas for blog posts if I were throwing out every single idea that crosses my mind as soon as I have it! If you have a blog, a Facebook fan page, and a Twitter account, kudos to you for being able to balance all of that!
I understand that social media is yet another tool to draw traffic to your blog, but I’ll pass. I know my limits, and I don’t want my blog to become a chore, so I’ll maintain the status quo.
Speaking of drawing traffic and increasing followers, some of Bloggyland is a little too high-schoolish for my tastes. There are some really competitive, really cliquey people out there. There are also some really big egos. I hated the high school bullshit when I was in high school, so I most certainly won’t take part now. Also, I have enough drama in my life. I don’t need to seek it out in the form of blog wars or narcissistic rants.
Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy followers and comments just as much as the next person; I think it's awesome, and I'm really flattered, that there are people who enjoy reading what I write. I also love feedback, good or bad (though bad gets a better reaction if it’s respectful and/or constructive). I appreciate every single one of you who has taken the time to read and thoughtfully comment on my posts. I hope I show you how much I love and appreciate you when I respond to your comments and visit your blogs.
I also hope, lovely reader, that if my head ever started to get too big or my ego evolved into a nightmare of epic proportions, that you'd
If you genuinely enjoy reading what I write so much that you decide to follow me, that is incredibly cool and means a lot to me. If, however, you’re following me in an attempt to get me to follow you back so that you can watch your empire grow, you will be sadly disappointed.
I follow blogs that I find interesting. Period! If I like the writing style and attitude of the blogger, and can relate to them in some way, I will follow their blog. I visit the blog of every single blogger who comments here (as long as I can find the blog and the comment was meaningful), and if I like what I see, I’ll follow or subscribe to the RSS feed. If I’m just not interested in the blog, or don't feel a connection with the blogger, I’ll try to leave a thoughtful comment; then, I’ll be on my way.
It’s not personal!
I wouldn’t want you to force yourself to follow me simply because I follow your blog. Life's too short for that kind of tit for tat! I want you here, reading my posts, because you want to be; not because you feel forced to by some arbitrary Bloggyland rules. I don’t take it personally if a blogger chooses not to follow me back, partially because I don’t check to see if they do (Who has time to keep track of that?!), but also because that’s just the way the world works. If everyone loved and appreciated everyone else the same way that everyone else loved and appreciated them (did ya follow that?), we wouldn’t have racism, classism, sexism, hate crimes, etc.
I seek out and spend time reading blogs that challenge my thinking, give me insight into who the blogger is, make me laugh, have good content, educate me, encourage conversation, and restore my faith in humanity.
THAT is why I’m so incredibly happy and excited about WOW.