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Sep 3, 2015

What is your platform?


Blogging is a weird conundrum.
It's weird because you are basically writing a public diary about your life. Putting thought and effort into each post, complete with pretty, professional looking pictures, in the hopes that others will read it.
You WANT people to read.
You want people to like and follow you. Your want your silly little life to interest others.
And I don't mean to dumb down blogging, but it is kind of silly, right?

Other bloggers get it. They write their words down, and they pour their hearts out with each sentence, and they hope to connect with other bloggers in the same way you would call up your best friend and spew all the little excitements and struggles of daily life.

But then your following grows a bit, and you get excited that people are actually RESPONDING to your blog. How cool is that? You have gained a bit of virtual popularity and it's intoxicating, honestly.
So you can take it one of two ways.

The first way is a no-brainer. It doesn't take much more effort than you originally put into your work. You keep chugging along at the same pace, writing from the heart, and turning down opportunities to write sponsored posts, or leverage your blog into any sort of business.
Your posts get liked by the same group as before, you aren't under any pressure to write, and that's that.

The second way is to make your blog your platform.
Whether it be as a business or an opportunity for your voice to be heard about a subject you are so passionate about, you have decided to transform your little world into something greater.
And this isn't to discredit those that choose not to pursue this. There are good and bad sides to this platform.
The good is you can make money. And that's cool, right? Getting back some cash for writing and not having to waltz into an office to do it. That's the American dream, I suppose.

Or you can make your voice be heard. You can write and educate people about something that has happened in your life. And that too, is amazing.
Both of these avenues come at a price, though. You sort of....lose yourself. Your posts become filled promoting someone else's stuff, or maybe you forgo writing about the less exciting...less fun times in lieu of rainbows and roses. You become such an advocate for something that that is solely what you write about. You never write the fun posts anymore because that may hurt you cause. Or maybe it's because you are just so enveloped in the cause that you simply don't have time for that nonsense anymore.

I think it's cool to follow bloggers through the beginning stages of their blogging "careers" because if and when they finally do decide to branch out, you were there to say "you knew them before"...kind of like knowing about a performer before they made it big, you know?

I still read blogs in both categories.  I applaud the efforts of a few specific bloggers that I follow on the regular, for branching out and making something out their blog.
A few that come to mind are Courtney, Lindsay, and Elena.

Courtney writes at A Life from Scratch, and I have followed her from the very beginning. She is one of the few bloggers that I am also real life friends with, so obviously I'm going to keep reading!
She just recently branched out from food into fashion and home design, two other avenues she is passionate about. And yes, she writes sponsored posts and all that jazz, but at the end of the day, she is building a little empire of her own. As a former working mom, turned stay at home mom, she is taking this new opportunity to hone in on the stuff that she really loves. (because I am SURE that what she was doing at the office wasn't exactly....inspiring). Kudos to her for making her dreams a reality. Courtney, I continue to look forward to what you do next!

Lindsay and I were both newbie bloggers a few years back. She was gaining her roots just like I was. Her blog was primarily about make-up and beauty (Duh! Her blog name is Bourbon, Lipstick, and Stilettos!) She did fine and I was always happy to read her posts (even though I'm not much of a make-up fanatic). But then she started branching out. She started sponsoring other bloggers and her following grew. She is doing all the right things and has found a larger tribe of people that report back with each post. Her blog these days is much more polished and professional, and she is even stepping out of her comfort zone to talk about blogging basics and educate people. Plus, she manages to do all of this while working. I look forward to her new developments, and maybe, just maybe, she will get the opportunity to leave her drone job and pursue a more full time (paid!) blogging gig. Wouldn't that just be awesome?

And finally, Elena. Oh....Elena. A girl after my own heart. This chick lives relatively close to me. No, we have never met, but I follow her blog (Baby Ridley Bump) closely....probably too closely...as she winds her way through her battle with infertility and future motherhood. I cheer alongside at her gains and am sad for her during the tough times. Her blog was solely created as an outlet while TTC (trying to conceive) and she has transformed it into a platform. Making her voice heard as she battles each and every hurdle that is placed in front of her. I am always right there, silently, in the background, rooting for her cause, hoping that she overcomes this disease. I cannot wait until I read that post that she is having a baby. I just can't. (I'm sure she can't either).

So where does this leave me?
At the beginning of 2015, I was starting to gain popularity. The wheels were in motion to do something with my blog. I too, was writing about my struggles with getting pregnant, and will continue to do so, but when those plans were put on the back burner...so was my blog.
I needed a break for all of it, and in doing so, lost my following.
Will I gain them back? Maybe.
For now, I'm stuck in between wanting to make more out of this little space and going with the flow. Like trying to figure out what your company defines as "business casual"....(does that include jeans?)
I am here.
Writing. The good and the bad. The ups and the downs.
Hopefully making you think sometimes, and laugh at other times.

This is my world. I hope you continue to follow along.
Thanks for reading.

5 comments:

  1. I totally get where you are coming from. It was hard to make the decision to "quit" my old blog, travel mi amor, and start a new one. I didnt want to JUST talk about travel anymore, I had other things to say and a new priority in life (my baby and being a mom). So I started a new blog, the spotted bulldog. I lost my following from travel mi amor :(

    And it's funny that you mention business casual - I sort of got called out for wearing something a little too casual on a Tuesday. In my defense I was going to an assembly shop later that day.

    I'll follow you! And for what it's worth I missed your posts when you took a break :)

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  2. You are so sweet!! Thank you so much for all the love today and every day!! Really appreciate the support you've shown as we make our way through this journey!! ❤️

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  3. I really liked your post. It was spot on. I'm pretty sure just my family and friends, and the occasional creep, read my blog. I'm okay with it. Of course I'd love to hit it big and have famous, cool companies send me free stuff and get paid to write randomness. But I've accepted that will never happen. My iPhone pics and grammatical errors are just not that savvy. But I'm okay with that. I enjoy just having a place to express myself. If one person reads it and makes them think, then I'm happy. I have no clue how I stumbled upon your page, but I enjoy your posts - the happy and sad ones! I hope you keep writing, I enjoy reading. xoxo, ganeeban

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  4. Oh Tia, this was such a nice and kind surprise! Thank you so much for the love and for following along - I seriously appreciate it.

    I agree it's totally a weird world. Literally like my family's diary. I tend to write with the aspect that no one cares.....ha. I mean, I get people DO care, but I never expect that. I put my stuff out there and if people respond and engage that is wonderful. If they don't that's totally fine.

    I am a FIRM believer in not losing myself or our....style. I've had pressure from time to time to just write about something to get money. Hell no. Every single sentence about every single product is something I TRULY believe in and use in our lives. End of story.

    It just has to be....authentic, you know? Anyways, enough rambling. Thanks again. I seriously appreciate it!

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  5. Thank you for the love, I really needed it today! Blogging is so funny- mostly I love writing, but other times I just want to take a break. It's a lot to put yourself out there and no one but another blogger can understand that. I definitely struggle to be me while not offending everyone, which is why I don't think I could ever do it full-time. I like to share my opinion a little too often. ;)

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