When I first started my blog, it was more of a quick way to update my website with all the little bits and pieces that didn't really belong in my portfolio. I wanted to share those weird little doodles and half-arsed pictures but had nowhere to put them. That was a fair few years ago now, and since then blogging has become so much bigger and bolder that it's turned into an art form in itself. Blogs seem to be demanding more and more out of their owners and it's hard to keep up.
In all honesty, I find the whole thing overwhelming. I just wanted to show off a few scribbles, but now it seems there is far more to it.
I have to write articles, push myself on social media, give advice, run competitions, give things away, answer questions, count keywords, be a constant presence... As someone with a full time job and an overreach of projects calling my name [and, if truth be told, a lazy bum] I find it hard to live up to the expectations of what it means to have a blog these days. With so much going on it's difficult to sit down and dedicate time to a well thought out and aesthetically pleasing article.
Time to write being a separate issue, my first real problems are as follows:
Every time I go to sit in front of the screen and type something to post, these glaring facts about myself stare me down like an angry swan at the park. Ready to strike, it knows that I don't belong...
The world of blogging doesn't really seem to have a lot of space for me. As a grouchy, brutally honest British girl with a stiff upper lip and low tolerance for shenanigans I can't seem to find the right voice. All the popular blogs I've come across seem to be written by blissfully delusional stay-at-home-bake-and-sew-doting-housewife-mom-of-twelve types. Not saying that I have a problem with it, but it's just not me. And if that's the audience then what do they want with the opinions of a 26 year old ginger living in sin with her equally cantankerous boyfriend?
The answer is not much. But at the end of the day, everyone is different and the key is embracing who you are and what you have to say, rather than fighting to emulate other people. After reading a few issues of Artful Blogging and doing a bit more actual research, I jotted down a few good tips for getting a little more serious about writing articles for my blog.
I call them 'real articles' because some of my past attempts haven't really felt that way. They've been ploys to trick more traffic to my site, or lazy attempts at keeping my site fresh with content I don't really like. With these guidelines I wrote for myself I'm writing higher quality entries that make me feel better about my brand, which is what's important when trying to carve a space for yourself on the web.
Now that I've got a system in place that works for me, I've found my blog much more enjoyable to interact with. Before I saw it as a chore, something that loomed over me like overdue chemistry homework. It's still time consuming, and a struggle with myself to do something constructive rather than sit with my feet up and a cup of tea watching true crime documentaries. But with all this in place it's getting easier with every new entry, the difficulty now is how many witty metaphors I can come up with in a day...