I haven't done a Sunday Shoutouts post in four weeks...
But I have gotten married, honeymooned in Puerto Rico, and celebrated the first of three wedding receptions since then, so I think my absence is explainable!
Links today will not be restricted to the last week.
I don't usually blog about blogging, but I learn so much from other bloggers willing to share their secrets. I've appreciated all the tutorials about blog promotion, social media, and more. More than how-to posts, though, I enjoy when bloggers share their thoughts on blogging. I mean... what we do is a little weird, right? Can we just all admit that? First we spill our guts to the Internet, and then we change how we divulge all the gory details of our lives just so more people will read about us. I love blogging, and I love reading blogs, but it's weird, y'all.
Recently, Bonnie at The Life of Bon asked: Do you love blogging? I do, but I don't. I love writing, and I love inspiring people. I love reading blogs, and I love the blog friends I've made. But I don't love feeling stuck between serious bloggers and lifestyle bloggers. These are my own made-up terms to differentiate between the feminist and/or Christian bloggers who are often paid writers as well and the large group of travel/beauty/fashion/lifestyle bloggers. I don't love my blog envy of bloggers with more readers and more page views. I don't love how much time it takes to maintain my blog and my blog relationships, even while I value the reward.
A few days later, Bonnie wrote some of her thoughts from a recent blogging roundtable discussion she'd hosted. I totally agree with what she said about pictures.
We talked about pictures and what to do when your post just doesn't have a great picture that goes along with it. I really don't enjoy always having to throw up pictures on my blog posts and I am not good at taking pictures, but I have learned it is kind of a "necessary evil" of blogging. If I want to write on a blogging platform I need to understand that blogging is visual and peeps want their pics.
Betsy from Betsy Transatlantically has also written a lot lately on blogging. I really love what she had to say about relationship capital and blog monetization. Yes, this is a long quotation, but the whole paragraph was too good to edit!
However, as soon as a blogger makes the conscious decision to monetize, be it from sponsorship, with affiliate ads, or through media networks, she takes steps towards being a professional blogger and makes the concurrent decision to view me not just as a reader but as a consumer. That doesn't make me any less willing to support her, but it does mean that my pageviews and clicks directly contribute to the financial success of her blog and I think that does give me - and all other readers/consumers - the right to hold her to a higher standard. If a blogger monetizes in a strategic way, her blog becomes a business; it's therefore disrespectful to her readers/consumers to throw out "it's just a blog and I do it for myself" to explain amateur behavior online when she makes money from our interactions with her. We're all learning and growing in our own ways, everyone makes mistakes, and I love that the blogging community is so encouraging and flexible, but this isn't high school. When a blog generates income from its readers/consumers, the relationships change and the responsibilities are greater.
Finally, my favorite beauty blogger Elle Sees recently wrote about why she does sponsored posts. She is easily one of the most devoted bloggers I follow. She always replies to my tweets and emails, and each time I comment on her blog, she comments on one of my blog posts within a week. Her beauty reviews have convinced me to buy several products in the past, which I now love (even if I rarely wear makeup--I like having it available to me!). I've never had a problem with her sponsored posts, but apparently some people do. But when your blog is like a part-time job, why NOT make money off it?
I have been blogging at Elle Sees for almost 4 years. I easily spend 10 hours a day blogging (that includes anything that concerns the blog), and that's whether it is a paid post or not. I put the same amount of time in, and I don't see anything wrong with getting paid for it.
What do y'all think about blogging about blogging? Do you roll your eyes when bloggers share all their tips and tricks about blogging, or do you eagerly try to learn more? What do you think of advertising, aka what bloggers call sponsoring? And who else totally loves getting free stuff via Influenster?!