So, I drew a blank with what to write about this week; mental health stigma, something about my recovery from a spinal cord injury, or any other ‘general stuff’.
Why did I draw a blank? Perhaps because it’s fathers day and I feel a little low. But I started to think, why do people want to read anything I write?
But then my brain cells starting ticking over. In my search to better understand what blogging is about, and what content I should choose, I have often come across articles that suggest ‘always teach your audience something’. Hook them with ‘5 ways to do ..…’ or ‘3 reasons why you should not do …..’ Basically, lure them in with an offer of fixing some part of their lives, before ‘selling’ them your product or your service.
It seems this is where I always come unstuck, since I don’t believe you can sell ‘authenticity’. You see, unlike many who blog to earn a living (good on them!), or to sell a product, I have no ulterior motive. Yes, I’ve written a book, which I may include the link to now and again. But, I’d probably sell more at a local car boot sale than I do by blogging, so that’s really not the reason.
Have you noticed how you can get bombarded with ads when reading some blogs? This is because some bloggers get paid for advertising other people’s services or products; they find stuff to blog about, purely because they will get paid for advertising other people’s merchandise or service. They are like influencers of the blogging world.
Why I blog
Me though, I blog about stuff, because….. well, I just like to blog about stuff! I talk about things that I’m passionate about – which are often ‘stigma’ related – because I enjoy it, and hope that it may help others in some way. Be it mental health matters, mobility issues, or finding empowerment, they are all things I have experienced and hope others can, perhaps, learn from, or relate to.
I believe we should all teach what we know. Everyone’s experience matters.
I also find writing frees my mind when it gets stuck, and gives me some comfort – especially with certain topics that I find difficult.
Another reason I blog, is to try and improve my writing and grammar skills. (Please don’t point out how many errors there are in this post)!
Sometimes, people connect with me and say they find my blog posts healing or useful in some way. Others, just give me a thank you and say they have enjoyed my post. I’m not going to lie… I do a little happy dance each time this happens!
Why I read blogs..
Well I don’t know about you, but I like to read blogs about topics and issues that I am interested in, or intrigued to learn more about. Often, when we do a google search on something, we find ourselves immersed in someone’s blog post without even realising it.
When I have time, I like to support the writing community on Twitter by reading people’s blogs and often stumble across some really interesting articles. I enjoy exploring blogs that open my mind to other people’s interests or experiences and sometimes, just want to be generally entertained.
But, it really pisses me off when I’m constantly interrupted by adverts, or I’m asked to donate a ‘cup of coffee’ to the blogger at the end. Maybe it’s just me, but it makes the post feel disingenuous! Shouldn’t some things in life be free? I don’t pay a tip or buy the shop assistant a cup of coffee every time I enter a shop to browse clothes!
Things I DON’T want when I read a blog…
To be sold something. (Reviews on products are fine though).
To read negative, opinionated stuff from naysayers.
To be pulled down into someones hole or criticised in some way.
To be drawn into doing some random course that I was not looking to do!
To feel pressure to donate, give to charity or other, when it has nothing to do with the post!
The World today…
Sadly, most things in the world slowly become tainted. I was on internet dating sites back at the turn of the century, when people were genuinely looking for love (novel idea, I know), and not trying to scam, shag, or harass anything that moved in any sex or gender. I watched as it slowly turned into a jungle and the very scary place that exists today. Thank god, I’m happily married!
The same is true of blogging. There are many now who will lead you down a dark hairy funnel where they will trick your granny to part with the last of her savings to sign up and write her memoirs. They give a bad name to those of us who want to genuinely share stuff that entertains, educates or supports you in some way. Sad but true.
The only advice I can give you (if I may be so bold), is the same advice that I give to myself: whatever, and whenever you read something on the internet, keep your wits about you, and ask yourself what the person’s intention is. Does it agree with your morals? Always be careful when parting with money, or signing up to things you are uncertain of.
I would love to now what draws you in to reading someone’s blog?