I just wrote a bit of a Sunday ramble and then just thought I was rambling a little *too much* so decided to start a fresh. The past week has been a phase of crisis of confidence for me. Particularly when it comes to the blog and my place in blogging.
Earlier in the week I tweeted about how it can be very hard to keep a clear head and separate the personal and business sides of blogging. A tweet probably isn’t enough space to have explained what I meant, so I’ll expand a little here.
When you start a blog, you do sort of ‘put yourself out there’. From the design, to the name, to the images, the writing, your social media updates and your presence at events… every inch of that will be you. Be it you being hands on or you choosing someone or even a team to help you do these things – if you’re a blogger, then you are the one holding the reigns and still for the vast majority you’re everything from copy writer to social media manager. When this is the case, everything from that post you spend days working on to the tweet you sent out whilst watching Ex of the Beach (just me?) it is all you. Therefore the whole business of blogging IS personal.
Now, I’m not necessarily talking personal content as such – as an aside – I wish at times I had the guts to be more personal than I am. I think personal content is what gives a blog it’s heart. It’s what can make someone come back and read time and time again. It makes the person behind the pretty photos real. When it comes to personal content, I fully believe each blogger can and should be as personal as they as an individual feel comfortable. There are things I’d love to write sometimes, but I know I don’t feel comfortable, so sometimes I do hold back and keep some things offline. But from time to time I do like to use my blog a little like a mini therapy session and get my more open feelings out there.
So, all those points aside. The thing I’m trying to get to is the connection in blogging between business and personal. Not just as a blogger, but the role of blogger in relation to brands and working with agencies. At the end of the day, a brand, PR or ad agency has a job to do – whatever their objective – if they’re working with bloggers there comes a time when they need to select one over another, make a shortlist, decide on invitees, who to send product to, make decisions over splitting budget or who to be a brand ambassador. There are so many bloggers out there, that I’m sure that for a lot of brands they spend a lot of time and effort looking into this and making sure those decisions are made with the best insight possible. Sometimes guesswork plays a part. Sometimes existing relationships come into it. But decisions are made.
Therefore, as a blogger there are likely times when you might face rejection. You’re not chosen for a project, your email is never replied to, you’re NFI to an event, you quote for something then the communication goes dead (I’d rather get a ‘no thanks’ email than nothing!). It’s easy to say it’s ‘just business’ and YES it IS just business. They chose the better/bigger/cheaper option over you – for whatever reason and rationale it is in the situation. Maybe other bloggers fit the target market, they’re going for a new angle, they want a certain reach…. whatever the reason, as a brand, PR or agency that’s their job to make those calls and the last thing on their mind is the feelings of a blogger. Because it’s business, feelings don’t come into it.
Yet, as a blogger when your blog is rejected it IS personal. It does hurt your feelings and no matter how rational you can be about the reasons, there are likely times when it stings. Sometimes it’s easy to feel that pang for a moment and brush it off. Other times it leaves a bit of dent in your confidence and it’s harder to shake off. Over the years I’ve been blogging I’ve had many moments where it’s been a bit of an ‘ouch’ – but then I’ve had a tonne of amazing pinch myself moments too. Although, in those ‘ouch’ moments the latter can be hard to focus on through the feeling of disappointment…
But having written this post, I was thinking a bit of a ‘what am I writing this for’ question mark over hitting publish. I guess I mainly wanted to share a bit of the side to blogging that I personally can find quite tricky. Mostly wanting to share because I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels it, plus it’s a way of venting a little and making sure I do focus on the amazing side to blogging that has been the thing to keep me going for *almost* seven years. The hesitation being I wasn’t really keen on the idea that this post might show my feelings maybe more than I’d like. But am opting to go with the former rather than be led by the latter. As you can probably guess if you already read this far.
Anyway, in the wise words of Dory… “Just keep swimming” and taking some life lessons from Taylor Swift…. I need to “Shake it Off”! I want to use the ouch moments and put them into more motivation for the blog going forward. Whatever that may look like! Keeping a level head where I can look at it rationally, but never loose that spark that got me into all of this in the first place!
Let me know your thoughts on the topic – I’d be interested to hear!
Update: My good friend Zoe wrote a post that explains a lot of how I’ve been feeling lately in a far better way than I ever could. Have a little read: zoelondon.me