Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Little Honesty

Hello friends... I know I've been pretty quiet lately. I've neglected this here blog. But trust me, some wonderful things have been happening which I'm sure I'll tell you about at some point (spending more time with my husband, being really productive at work, cuddling with Bronx, and my two week vacation that started yesterday afternoon, to name a few).

My cuddle bug. Just a preview of what's to come!
But today I wanted to write honestly about something that's been on my mind and honestly has been part of the reason I haven't been blogging much lately. It's something my sister and I have been talking about quite a bit lately and my sister wrote a little about it in her blog as well.

Frankly, we've become a little disillusioned by the blog world of late.

So many giveaways. So many posts about sponsors. So many guest posts. So little of our actual voices and actual lives. Where's the authenticity? Where's the honesty?

When I started blogging last spring, I didn't do it so I could win a giveaway or so I could be pimped out by another blogger who honestly didn't care about me or my blog but had to pretend to because I paid $10 to have my button sit on the side of her blog.

Have I sponsored blogs before? Yes. And after one mistake, I vowed to only sponsor blogs written by people I truly believe in and truly respect. I've only sponsored one since then.

Have I been part of a giveaway before? Yes. In fact today, you will find me as part of a huge giveaway from Nicholl at The Chiffon Diary. But you know why I did that one? Because Nicholl reached out to me personally, even though I wasn't a sponsor of hers, because she likes my blog and wanted to help me reach more readers. She's using her (very large) platform to help the little guys like me. I can dig that.

My point is that instead of forging fake relationships with people simply for business reasons or to gain more followers, why don't we do more to develop new relationships with people who can relate to us and share with us and help us to grow?

And once we develop our own huge platforms of followers, why don't we help the little guys in a more organic, authentic way?

Let's work on reminding ourselves of all of the reasons we started blogging in the first place and all of the reasons we've continued. It wasn't for the number of followers (although I'm not saying it isn't nice to see that little number tick upwards), it wasn't for the amounts of giveaways we could win or host, it was for the community, for the creativity, for the outlet blogging provides.

Let's work on our authenticity. If that means a few less followers, so be it. And if it means meaningful connections, even better.


Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire said...

The best thing about blogging for me are the connections and relationships that I've built. :) Nothing can take that away! I'll never be an all-star blogger, but the quality of friendships I've built by blogging what I want to blog about and reading what I want to read have made this experience worth it. I love it! I know the blogosphere can get "noisy" with all of those other things, but keep wading through to find those gems and the authentic people. They're there!

Maggie B. said...

Thanks so much for writing this!! I've been getting quite tired of my reader & Twitter feeds being bogged down with giveaways. I rarely enter them myself, as I prefer to send little packages randomly to my blog friends. I have done a few (2) paid sponsor posts, but I don't set out to do them. I never accept payment to swap buttons, and I only put buttons on my blog from ladies I love reading.

Sometimes this whole thing makes me want to delete my reader and start fresh.

More power to you for being authentic. :)

Colorado Gal said...

I agree with a lot of this but have to disagree to a large extent (especially considering I have hosted a series of giveaways throughout December to say thank you to my readers, including one today!) These giveaways aren't to obtain followers (it isn't a requirement) and aren't because of fake relationships with companies. In fact, it's the opposite: I have met some wonderful, lifelong friends through my work with various companies that all began with a simple blog giveaway. I now fly across the country to see these people and a group of us are even meeting up in Park City for NYE. So while I can understand the exhaustion with so many this time of year, I hate to see the words "fake" and "not authentic" in this regard. My friendships and relationships I've established in this manner are anything but :)

Unknown said...

I have so much love for this post you dont even KNOW! oh my god.. its just so much wisdom and truth. thank you for writing this! seriously! you're so right! so many exclamation marks! lol

Unknown said...

I feel sooooo similarly. I've been rather disillusioned with the blog world as of late as well, and it's made me really focus on blogs written by people I actually genuinely enjoy, as opposed to blogs that are popular with huge followers. I've removed a lot of blogs from my reader in the process. I would love to grow my readership, but developing relationships with people I really like is more important to me. I have a handful of people I consider my "blog friends" and I'm happy with that. My readership might be small, but at least it's authentic! (I hope!)

Karla said...

I don’t know if it’s the LAZY in me but doing all those giveaways and sponsors stuff seriously sounds like allot of work and I never get to know anyone that way anyway.. but who’s to say I wouldn’t do one in the future?! Who knows all in all I agree with you I love getting comments from the girls that follow my blog all the time and genuinely try to get to know me! Oh and side note can Bronx come over and have a play date with my Yogi? He is totally adorable!

themosbysinchina said...

I love this. Thanks for the honesty. And it's so true. Also, I see from your previous post you travelled to Shanghai! We live in Qingdao, about 6 hours by train north of Shanghai! I love the street sign pic. There's so many signs like that. Super confusing! I love the ones that have arrows going in every direction, including the ground, telling you which way to go! Glad you had a good time!

Katie Price said...

Well said Erin :)

Heather said...

Amen girl! I just found your blog - and what a refreshing post! First of all - your little doggy is just about the cutest thing ever and I love your honesty... we could all use more of that :) Feel free to stop by sometime - would love to be blogger buddies!

Pearls & Paws

Mrs. Pancakes said...

I love what you said in this post..we really do need to remember why we started blogging in the first place build authentic relationships!