At three and a half years old, my daughter said to me this week “Mom, I don’t want to be anything when I grow up. I just want to be me.”
I have been struggling with writing this post for a while now. Lately, everywhere I look, I read posts written by people who are trying to tell you what you should do to be considered a worthwhile blogger to read.
I’ve read posts that say if you want to be a review blogger then you shouldn’t talk about yourself too much, then there are others that say you should have mostly personal content. There are ‘experts’ who will tell you that you shouldn’t write too much, then there are others who will tell you that you need to write more.
If you are new to blogging, just be — wait for it — YOU! You will find your readers. You will find your community. But before you find these things, you need to find yourself first.
I began my first blog in September of 2005, one month after I was married and my husband and I moved 14 hours away from the life we once knew. When our first daughter was born, I closed that blog down to public view and started this website in an effort to remain connected to a world that seemed to be moving on without me. I started with what I knew at that moment — saving money. We were down an income, and I had taken it upon myself to find ways to seriously save money since making it was not an option at the time.
Last year, I took a long look at my website and realized that who I am is a combination of many things, but to remain happy in the blog that I now occupy, I need to make some changes. I am more than this person who saves money, I am also a wife, mom, woman, sister, daughter, website owner, business partner and social media superstar (possibly in my own mind). I am sometimes a delusional domestic goddess and always a fiercely loyal friend. So many people talk about finding your niche. My only caveat to what I will post is that it must be relevant to you, my Canadian readers.
I stepped away from the popular belief that “you need to have a niche”. And designed myself in to a blog that shares ‘all the thoughts in my head, without the voices’. That’s right. I’ve become the person who talks about whatever she wants in the many roles that she stars in. This is not to say that you should not have a niche (some of my favorite blogs have a niche, some of my other favorite blogs don’t). This is meant to say that you need to feel comfortable in your own skin.
If you have ever thought about becoming a blogger, please don’t get discouraged. If you write the way you want to write and you are true to yourself, then you will stand out from everyone else who is just trying to do what they think they should do.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t search out help in regards to blogging. I’m saying that you need a filter. There are some fantastic posts that tell you how to set up a blog, what information and pages you may want to include in your blog, how to copyright your blog and so on. But stop at those posts that suggest you change your personality and your writing style. I’ve been blogging since 2005 and I have yet to finish reading a blog post that suggests that I change who I am and how I should write.
My posts are not done until I am done. I never shorten my content to try to fit in and I never add ‘fluff’ to my content just to get to a certain word count. Not on my own website. What you read in my posts is everything I have to say on that particular subject. I love my website. I adore my community; my readers (both on my blog and those who interact with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc) and the companies, brands and PR pros I get to work with.
When I think about my website, I think about this quote “Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self” by Cyril Connolly.
Your readers are out there. Don’t let them down.
Deep breath. Publish.