Blogging Your Own Way

Source
I'm going to let you in on a little secret. It's more of a cautionary tale, so listen closely.

When I first started blogging I was in my own little bubble, untouched by outside influences and other bloggers. As I began connecting with other bloggers and blogging for a greater audience, I became much more self-conscious about my posts and content. Before I was just blindly writing whatever the heck I wanted. Now I had actual frequent readers and blog viewers, and I found myself thinking more about what they'd want to see in my posts as opposed to what I'd want to see or write.

I evolved by catering my blog to what I thought my readers would want. People like GIFs right? It'll make a post funnier. I'll add some. This blogger is so snarky and hilarious, and people seem to love it. Maybe I'll try being a bit snarkier and add some sass here and there. Hmm this person writes their reviews in such a different structure, should I try it too?

I conformed and melded myself into something that just wasn't me. I knew it wasn't me because I wasn't happy with my posts. They no longer sounded like me; my blog was overrun by a poorly constructed impostor who only shared my name. I'd lost touch with my blogging self.

It's safe to say I went through a blogging identity crisis. Clawing my way out of the abyss was a challenge. The need to conform and please others was too great! I had to take a step back and re-evaluate why I blog. I realized that I shouldn't try to be like others, and there's no one I need to please. I should focus on blogging how I want. I want my readers to stick around because they like my posts not because they like how I've tried to be like everyone else. Because why be like everyone else when you could be yourself? Each blogger has some distinct quality or qualities that set them apart from others, and that's what makes each blog different and special in its own way.

I frequently get emails and messages from bloggers asking how to blog. The answer: there is no correct way to blog. The most important part of blogging is blogging for yourself and being yourself. I had lost touch of that, but now I've embraced everything that I am and am not, and trust me, it feels great.

Have you gone through a similar experience? Any advice to share? 
Rachel is a teenaged unapologetic fangirl and perfectionist.

She loves reading for the escape it gives from reality and enjoys crying over books, swooning over characters, and laughing out loud over funny lines. She is a semi-recovering Netflix addict and a middle child of three.

You can find her on Twitter @yaperfectionist & Goodreads.

26 comments:

  1. When I first started blogging I tended to overthink and sometimes was hard on myself on my posts a lot. I have definitely learned to just be myself, and to make blogging a fun expierence. :)
    Great post, Rachel!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey Rachel.. after reading this post for some reason it randomly struck me that you're a really good writer. Anyway, I completely agree with the fact that bloggers can't conform to other bloggers' ways, or even to what they think a reader would want to read. Sure GIFs are funny, but reading your fabulous words from in your personal voice is so much better.

    -M
    The Life of Little Me

    ReplyDelete
  3. This post truly inspires reflection - for everyone at every level of blogging.

    I feel like every blogger starts off blogging for them - they're their own biggest fan and their own worst critic. But as time goes on there is so much pressure to blog for others. But I think if we blog for ourselves, people like us will love what we blog no matter what. People will read our posts and see our love for blogging in them.

    I am so sorry to hear that you've struggled, lovely. But no matter when, I've always thought your blogging self (and your real self!) have been beautiful, inspiring, and kind. I hope that you rediscover your blogging self and become happy with it once more. Be true to yourself always because you are so wonderful and the world deserves to see that :)

    The best of luck with your blogging career and all other future endeavors, Rachel darling - I just know you'll do brilliantly <3

    ~ Booknut101 @ 21st Century Once Upon A Times

    ReplyDelete
  4. This post is spot on! I went through a similar experience a couple of months ago. I felt like my blog was too much like the blogs around me and there wasn't anything to make it stand out. I was still getting views and followers but in the end, the main reason I ditched my old blog was because I felt like it was pointless to something so similar and sometimes exactly what other bloggers had done or were doing.
    But now my blog is definitely not like most other book blogs..for one thing, I don't always review books and many of the posts I published recently just revolve around writing and my WIPs. I think it's easy to lose focus sometimes but like you said, it's more important to publish posts that *you* want to publish and not just because everyone else is doing it. :D

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love this! I agree when I first started blogging I was trying to find my voice a bit. I love the snarky, sassy bloggers but I found out that isn't me. It wasn't really snarky or sassy from me. I also thought reviews had to be long and found out I like writing shorter ones. Also I like to post stuff other than books sometimes. I just do what I want now and don't worry about it. It makes the whole experience more fun. Plus people still come to it so there is that :) Great post!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great advice and a common problem. It's a lot like growing up! Thanks for the unique look at the issue.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think everyone goes through this phase at some point in their blogging life. I admit following a cookie-cutter serious style which is partly me. But I'm also fun (I think) and I've changed up my style to reflect me. It's not bad to follow trends and other bloggers styles but the trick is to make it your own and not to lose you own voice.


    Glad you decided to be you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yes, absolutely. I can only give "tips" on what's worked for me but it's all personal preference. The whole point of having a blog is that it's your own little corner of the internet and it should be run how you want it to run! Sometimes that's easier said than done, especially when starting out, but I love seeing individual voices, unique ideas, and fun features! It's best to just be yourself :D

    ReplyDelete
  9. I totally agree and went through the same thing! I think that it is so hard as a newbie to not follow what everyone else was doing, for me that was attempting to make a blog button because EVERYONE else had them. Now though, I think I've fully accepted myself.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I can definitely relate to this post. I've only been blogging for about 6 months now and I am constantly wondering if the content of my blog is interesting enough. As a person I have a bit of a quite personality and I think that is reflected in my writing and with so many other amazing bloggers it can feel like I'm just a whisper. However, I also know that the reason I started this blog was so I could communicate with fellow readers and the community has been so warm and welcoming. I think it's natural to compare yourself to others but like you said you should blog for yourself. If I'm not enjoying what I do that is the moment I know I need to take a step back.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I completely related to this! I started to blog in July 2015 and by November I needed a break, I needed to decided what I wanted to do with my blog. I felt like I was writing the same posts everyone was doing, like TTT and WoW. There's nothing wrong with doing this kind of post, but when I started blogging I wanted to do creative and unique posts and I felt like I wasn't doing that. Now that I came back from my break, I'm determined to do the kind of posts I want to do even if they get less views.

    Great post, Rachel!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love this post! When I first started blogging I also had the same problem. Other blogs were so funny, or wrote so beautifully or were incredibly snarky and I loved reading what they had to say and I wanted my own blog to sound like that but after awhile you realise that it isn't you writing - it's you trying to be somebody else. I've mostly found my voice now and I post what I want and that makes me happy, I still suffer occasionally with the "Maybe it would be better if I blogged more like _" but then I quickly remember that nope, it wouldn't be better, they have their style and I have mine and I must learn to be content with that, which I have. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is such an amazing post Rachel! If you try to be like other bloggers, you're going to eventually run out of steam and lose inspiration. Like you mentioned, the key is to be yourself. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! ♥

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love this Rachel! You are SO right. I got caught up in the same types of things earlier on in my blogging days, and then I came to a point where I remembered I started doing this for ME. It has to be fun for ME. I got so burnt out last year and wanted to just quit. But now I've found ways to bring the fun back into blogging and I don't plan on changing them. Hopefully people will like what I've done, but if not- oh well!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Great post! Lately I've felt a little down about blogging because I've been worried my blog isn't good enough. I see so many wonderful blogs and I feel like mine doesn't have a design that's as well die or whatever. But then I realized I just have to be me and I started blogging for fun and I can't take it too seriously. Thanks for sharing this with everyone!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Spot on - blog what you want - your audience will either love it or leave it.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am hugely self conscious about what I post on my blog, much like you said since I built a following. I really adore this post Rachel! You are so honest about what you learned about yourself, which is a good thing you noticed. I learned in life that you are always conforming to the "norms" but its good to go back to how it was before. The need to conform to others is always going to be my struggle. I am glad you embraced what you learned though!

    Great post!

    Amber ❤ The Book Bratz

    ReplyDelete
  18. This was a lovely post, and it is nice to know that I'm not the only one out there who sometimes struggles with their personal blogger identity. I loved what you had to say, and this post is a good reminder to me of why I began blogging.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    ReplyDelete
  19. The problem with being a blogger is that there are some great bloggers that inspire you! I've also tried the gif route and learned pretty quickly that it just isn't for me! Thanks for sharing your story Rachel! :D

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh yeah, and this is part of the reason why I ended up deleting my old blog and walking away for a year. I started blogging how I thought I was 'supposed' to blog, and not how I wanted to. So here I am again, with a second try at this whole thing, and this time around I'm blogging my way and so far I'm really having fun! I think we lose sight that this is an unpaid hobby, and if we're not having fun with it then there's no point in doing this!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great post, Rachel - and I couldn't agree more. In some ways I feel like I'm still in my own little bubble. And I quite like it here. :) I've only been blogging for maybe 10 months or so and while I do see other blogs and their more professional look and their different styles of blogging... I tend to just keep doing what I like to do. I figure there is an audience out there for every style. :)

    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    ReplyDelete
  22. Aw, Rachel, this is lovely! I think on some level, it's hard not to mimic the things you admire about other blogs, even if it's unconscious. But I totally agree that it ends up being a problem when you simply aren't being true to yourself and your own likes and dislikes. And I think that people will definitely respond more positively when they see the real you- I mean, I always want more Rachel in my life ♥

    I think it's so insightful that you were able to recognize these things, and make a change to make yourself happy with what you're putting out there- that's just fabulous!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I totally get what you are saying! But, you do not have to fell bad about losing your blogging self for a while, everyone goes through it. Unfortunately, some people never snap to their senses like you and realize that they are amazing no matter how they blog.
    I have had a couple experiences of losing my blogging identity too. I have never really been an outgoing or outwardly sassy person, but I adore a ton of blogs that excel at both of those things. For a while I tried to fake the confidence and sarcasm of those bloggers with no success and a lot of misery. Then, I decided that my quiet style of blogging works for me and that is what I like, no matter if it is popular or not.
    You are an amazing blogger, Rachel. If you remember that, you will be fine!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I think a lot of people have this identity crisis. I have basically just blogged the way I feel like or want to for quite a while. I know I'm not the hilarious kind of person in my writing, and I use maybe a gif here and there. But I basically do my own thing, and hope people will like it nonetheless ^^ What I found interesting was that when I co-blogged somewhere else, there was suddenly a whole lot more humor there and gifs! But it wouldn't work to write the writing blog like my book blog and I realised that a different blog was a different blogging style for me. You just have to do what your comfortable with. And, for what it is worth, I love your blogging style <3

    ReplyDelete
  25. This is so interesting. I'm new to blogging, and so far I'm only writing for myself. No real page views or anyone influencing what I write....but I've wondered if that would change -- if I'd start to feel pressure to blog a certain way. This post is a great reminder to be ourselves and people can love it or leave it.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I think that in one point of our blogging career, we all have to go through the blogger identity crisis. If you ask me, without that, we would never figure out what kind of a blogger we are and what style is perfect for us. In my opinion, experiments are everything, we need to know ourselves what's going to work best for us. Because in the end, what's the fun in blogging without making any mistakes? :D

    ReplyDelete

I read, value, and cherish each and every comment. Although I don't have time to respond to most of them, I make every effort to comment back on your blog! :)