By Lauren | September 30, 2016 | 0 Comment
Since I was a kid, I always loved to write, I had diary after diary, I loved writing stories, quotes, poems, whatever it was. Although I was told by English teachers that I wasn’t cut out for university level English classes, and was even in an extra help class while in elementary school for reading and writing, I find it ironic that I’ve wound up where I am today.
When I started this blog, it was to build my profile, I had started guest writing a bit in other places, and thought that I really wanted a place to write what I wanted, when I wanted. After building this blog you’re reading now, I realized I was spending so much time writing about what I do everyday in my job, and was spending really little time writing about my other passions like travel. In January 2015, that’s when I officially decided to launch my travel blog, Twirl The Globe (at the time called, Wanderlust). Between my two blogs, I learned a lot about the blogging industry really quick. I attended conferences, and listened to the advice of several “bigger” bloggers. What I realized was that many people would attend these talks, and go home and try to implement every piece of advice these bloggers/experts would share, only to realize that what worked for them, didn’t work for themselves.
The internet is full of people wanting to become full-time bloggers or “influencers” but thankfully for me, since I have a full-time job already, and don’t plan on making a full income from my blogs, it’s allowed me to really stay true to myself and what I believe in. We see bloggers we idolize all the time, spin off from their regular self and all of a sudden out of nowhere, they’re promoting and encouraging you to try and sign-up for a program, or buy a specific product, or do something that you think, “this really seems out of place”.
Recently I was watching Instagram stories of some of the past Bachelor/Bachelorette show contestants that I follow, and all of them were promoting playing Candy Crush. It seemed unauthentic, random, and to be honest, I highly doubt any of these grown adults spend most of their time playing Candy Crush. As a follower, I hate this! So here are five things I’ve sworn I will never do as a blogger, in hopes to not annoy my readers as much as some bloggers and influencers have annoyed me.
I know how much my time and work is worth, so I’m not going to just jump on any opportunity to make any money that comes my way. If it doesn’t seem like the right fit, or is not in line with what I should be making, I won’t agree to do it. I’m not in this for the money and I didn’t start for the money! I don’t want to lose sight of that.
Especially on my travel blog, I get a lot of people reaching out to me to write about different travel destinations, but I’ve made a pact that if I’ve never been to the destination before, I’m not going to write about it. I don’t feel I’m qualified to provide advice on a place I’ve never experienced myself, so why would I? Same goes for products, if someone wants me to review something I wouldn’t normally be interested in trying or using, I won’t take on the project just for the free stuff.
I did try to monetize my blog at one point. I tried the affiliate programs through places like Amazon and a few through Commission Junction. For some bloggers, they swear this is where they make most of their income, but as a smaller blogger, one without 10,000+ readers a month, no one was clicking these links, and it wasn’t worth adding all these links into my content for no reason. I also opt out of putting advertising (like banner ads) on my website. To me, I just have never liked the look of it, and I hate reading blog posts that have a random ad placed right in the middle of an article. Plus, I would never click one of these ads, so I don’t expect my readers to either.
When you’re juggling a full-time job and a blog, it can be easy to just quickly put something together and throw it up just to get something on your blog that week. But the best part of your own blog, unless you’re trying to meet a deadline with a partner, you really can be on your own schedule. No one wants to read shitty content, and to be honest, people will notice when you throw up something you rushed through that isn’t inline with what you’re used to producing. So if you don’t have time one week, or don’t have anything to write about, just don’t. Simple as that.
Overall, my whole objective of both my blogs is to not ruin a readers experience just for personal gain. Yes, they’re my blogs, but they wouldn’t be anything without my readers and fans. I don’t want my readers to love reading my content and one day come to my blog to find a stupid post on why they should sign-up for this random program (p.s. when bloggers do this, it’s likely that for every sign-up they get, they earn money). I like to think about what would annoy me on the blogs I like to follow, and try to make sure I don’t make those mistakes.
Staying true to myself, and what I believe in is what makes my blogs authentic, and real. For some bloggers, the above works or doesn’t work for them, but for me, this is what I’ve sworn by. I don’t want to lose sight of why I started my blog in the first place, and that’s because I enjoy writing and sharing my experiences and expertise with people.