Sunday, 15 May 2016

Ten Unworldly Blogging Commandments We've All Heard


The curious outsiders really don't understand the inner complex world of blogging, do they? Admittedly I wasn't all that knowledgeable when I was a dummie but once I began to reveal my online secret hiding place to those around me and developed in my learning curve I realised just how many misconceptions there are surrounding the industry that's fast becoming a major passion turned selling point. Of course, people sauntering through average everyday life with absolutely no idea how blogging works, or what the connotations of the word really are, will assume it's all sunshine and rainbows; especially when it's the highs rather than the lows that are explained in the answered question making the notion seem nothing but thrilling ("she gets all sorts sent to her" - thanks for that, mum). 

As the general public aren't well informed with blogging it's easy to just pass by their comments with a smile and a nod of the head. It's not offending as such, but it does spark a storm inside that makes you want to hit these unconscious beliefs and myths with the honest truth as you grit your teeth. So, what better way to vent my disagreement than with a humour intended chatty Sunday post? After all, we can only take it with a pinch of salt, laugh it off and hope as the future evolves, so does the reality of what blogging really entails. Enjoy...

Thou shall start a blog to receive freebies | oh, if I had a pound for every time I heard that (I certainly would be able to make a living from the words of others if that was the case). You'll know the familiar remarks of intrigued surprise going along the lines of 'wow, that sounds great, I wish I could do that, I might start my own' as you secretly snigger to the naivety of the effort it takes to get to that stage of building up a trusty relationship with brands. If only they knew it wasn't as simple as laying in a shower of samples and being gifted so much you don't need to go out and buy for yourself. Hey, if you were to look really closely you may even be able to see the stress lines hovering around a mind that's constantly in overdrive on how to reflect these 'freebies' into creative blog posts!

Thou shall create a blog and be invited to every flash event/location | being a blogger means you have automatic access to the party of the year and an all exclusive trip to the Bahamas, right? Obviously wrong. As much as I'd love to hop on a plane or head off to the latest launch night, that's not the case. My get up and go has certainly improved since becoming a blogger but that's about it; it's a way to get me out of the house, to mingle with others and discover all these fancy schmancy places but I usually don't benefit any other way. Don't give me that deceptive glare when I state it's all done from my own back, I did try and warn you about being awkwardly stood around whilst you find comfort and friends.

Thou shall paint entire house white in order to become successful | it's the ultimate blogger cliche  isn't it? An all white house, tons of natural lighting, vintage floorboards, tulips and roses, marble and copper accessories, pretty notebooks and minimal interior. Realistically, for me, it's a squishy corner next to the nearest suitable window in a darkened home in urban Leeds which features a pile of mess, cardboard, sticky back plastic and a stiffened back trying to perfect that flatlay. I'm sorry if my insta photos give a false vibe, but you gotta keep with the idea of owning the residence of dreams, right?!

Thou shall question why always having a camera to hand is so important | if you want to attempt to understand blogging, you've gotta register the fact every movement means an opportunity of potential professional looking shots. What do you mean you don't carry your hefty DSLR around with you on your visit to the local coffee shop? The fear of missing out on latte art, photogenic cake, the charming interiors and a side pose of you gazing longingly with a mug of tea to hand is way too risky.

Thou shall be pretentious and confident 24/7 | it may appear as though us bloggers are appreciating our own presence and self-induced vanity constantly but just because our faces are plastered all over the internet doesn't mean we're oozing with confidence. It's much easier presenting ourselves for the virtual world to judge us, opposed to how we would be analysed up front. Sharing fragments of your life is just that, so prepare to face the woes of kicking yourself in the shin, hating your reflected view, wallowing in your shy traits and taking a giant huff of despair when that unflattering angle just doesn't match up to the ones above you.

Thou shall dedicate just half an hour of my time a day | I don't know what ever gives the impression that blogging is a plain sailing passage to freedom and an unchallenging way of life. I'm not a blogger with a blogging career but I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to have people tell you you have it easy because for me, even having someone suggest blogging is a breeze is a step out of line. As they say, there's no rest for the wicked; the reality is sat in front of your laptop till 2am with square eyes and a desire to finish off to a standard you're happy with, replying to a bulk load of emails and repeating the pattern, promoting in chunks of social media, photographing, editing, planning, ordering, crying about computer problems, having a breakdown over the lack of quiet, and the list goes on.

Thou shall write a premature piece and watch the comission roll in | it's common knowledge that you can earn money from advertising and reviewing products as a blogger or a vlogger but it can't be that hard to grasp the solidity of status you need to evoke to reach that point. It takes months, even years of writing expressively, familiarising brand expectations, finding natural composure and method in the way you word your own integrity, as well as that nightmare sequence of blogger's block you can't seem to snap out of until you start to notice a real change in being recognised. 

Thou shall always appear glamorous | how many times have you had people insinuate blogging is all about the glamorous, high class image and that if you dare have a hair out of place you are letting the team down? Well let me tell you, it's far from it. Behind the scenes it's a different story, being sat in your pyjamas with un-brushed hair and not a scrap of makeup, reeling in your need to freshen up but urge to get your schedule typed and finished, going straight from a suited and booted outfit photo to a trip to the supermarket in your lounge wear. No matter how much I try and stress to people that the real you isn't always shown 100% and that we pick and choose the best of the package that will do us justice, it just doesn't seem to go in. 

Thou shall sit back, relax and let the selfie do the talking | wouldn't it be fine and dandy if all it took to be successful was discovering the best position to snap your facial features? We may lust over Kylie Jenner's lifestyle, hey we may even love a good selfie or two, or three, or four but it takes time consuming dedication to turn a hobby into an honest living. As much as we'd love to make believe that our demeanour alone reels in the page views and publicity, there's a million more qualities and skills to consider.

Thou shall live the life of luxury and happiness | in a nutshell, the quest to undemanding blogging bliss will be a bumpy road and quite frankly, won't ever exist. You'll feel the pressure and the struggles of engaging with an audience, you'll compare your authenticity and adequacy, you'll have stages of feeling guilty, worrying whether you've said the right thing, you'll always be on alert, you'll sometimes miss out on the 'real world', your online network will overpower and your social life will most probably include at least one link related to blogging. You'll also be super grateful, gracious and heightened but in no way will you be on the pedestal of royalty. Being completely polished isn't integral to blogging, there's so many elements that contribute to the way we're conceived and seen in the public eye. Blogging has given me a completely new outlook on life, allowed me to be organised, accept self satisfaction, a genuine purpose and a reason to honestly put myself out there. It keeps me on my toes but it definitely ain't as easy as ABC so maybe just maybe, the interlopers with a superficial attitude will think again in their hypothesis that starting a blogging journey is just an excuse to bag a free pair of shoes. 

Have you ever experienced this kind of fantasy delusion? 

Bridie x


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