July 19, 2016

'But, What Even is a Blog?' | The Misconceptions of Blogging


Even before I had my own blog, I knew what blogging was. The concept was never alien to me. Growing up in the digital age has meant there's rarely an IT term that stretches beyond my vocabulary. I think sometimes my natural abilities when it comes to computer literacy seem so natural that I just (wrongly) assume that everyone else is on the same wavelength. It was only when I started blogging that I noticed the following: blogging isn't as widespread as I had assumed; there are loads of blogs out there, but many of them have been abandoned, and; the majority of non-bloggers have many misconceptions about blogging.

The vast majority of reactions I receive when I tell people that I run a blog are positive. Most are inquisitive, curious and happy to talk to me about what I do and why. Then there are those who snigger, roll their eyes and try desperately to change the conversation whenever there's a small chance of my blog being raised in conversation. These are the same people who bash me for promoting my posts on my Twitter and Instagram feeds and poke fun at the things I write about. I try to give these people the benefit of the doubt. I think a lot of these negative reactions are due to a lack of knowledge and understanding. It may be 2016, but I guess what I need to come to terms with is that a lot of people don't even know what a blog is. So here I am, to tell you.

People often assume blogging is extremely narcissistic. That's not the case whatsoever! I don't blog because I feel so self entitled that I deserve a special place on the internet where it's all about me, me, me. Not at all. However, I do love this space, because it is just for me. I can do what I like here. I can change things up. I can write what I like (within limits) and express myself freely. We're constantly told what to do - by our bosses, parents, teachers, landlords, other halves. So it's really nice knowing that this little space on the web is entirely for me. It's an escape; somewhere to go at the end of a hectic day; somewhere where I can speak with like-minded people about the new shades of Stila liquid lipsticks and how ridiculously expensive that new Too Faced palette is. It may seem silly to some that I devote time and effort to writing about my latest lip liner or shampoo, but it's all a bit of fun for me. If I've had a rough week, I can vent to my heart's content on my blog and the love and support I receive back from perfect strangers is so uplifting, it instantly pulls me out of that rut.

Another huge misconception when it comes to blogging is that it is 'nerdy' and that we must be blogging because we have no friends... *eye rolls for days.* This one makes me laugh no end, because the same people who say things like this are the ones who could instantly tell you how many lipsticks are in Tanya Burr's new line, what Zoella's latest video entails or where Lily Pebbles ate lunch on 5th February 2010. That's right... you wouldn't dare call any of these big names 'nerds,' now, would you? Now, it is true that I don't have a great deal of friends; I'll give you that. That's simply because I'm very picky with my friends. I'm very cautious when entering new friendships, as I've been stung too many times before. However, the friends that I do have are bloody amazing and I'm seriously lucky to have them! I've met a couple of lovely people through blogging, so jokes on you, pal, for saying I have no friends, as I now have more than  did when I started this blog!

Here's another classic: 'do you think you're a makeup artist or something?' Ugh. It just gets better, doesn't it? Of course I do not think I'm a makeup artist because I sometimes write about new lipstick releases. I find makeup artistry fascinating and I'm a little envious of anyone who is lucky enough to work in this field, but it was never for me. I'm an academic and I've been an aspiring lawyer for a good proportion of my life now. I'd say I have some degree of success doing my own makeup, through years of practice, but I seriously doubt I could ever do anyone else's makeup to a standard where they don't look like a clown/hooker hybrid. I'll leave it to the professionals. Asking if I 'think' I'm an MUA is a bit like asking someone who watches the 6 o'clock news if they 'think' they're a news broadcaster all of a sudden... it's madness, right? You are entitled to be interested in something, even if you don't have inside-out knowledge of it!

I've saved the best til last here... so here goes: 'you must do it for the freebies! I should totally start a blog, ha!' This never gets old. I recently wrote this post here about forging PR relationships, which detailed the true extent of the work required to gain 'freebies.' I write for fun; I blog because I wanted a creative outlet, an escape, an ongoing project. I do not blog for a free bottle of shampoo here and there, and this never crossed my mind when I signed up to Blogger and founded this blog. No way. What a lot of people don't realise is that to even be considered for that free bottle of shampoo, you have to put a serious amount of work in! You need to take and edit high-quality pictures, have an impressive blog aesthetic, proof-read your posts a million times, promote them endlessly, take the time to interact with other bloggers, post regularly on social media, and, most importantly, build a following! I didn't just gain those 760 odd followers over night, y'know. They chose to follow me because they obviously saw all that effort I put in and liked what they saw. The followers can be bought; many people resort to this. Personally, for me, it's all a part of the journey and not necessarily a measure of success, anyway.

Allow me to summarise for you: in effect, 'blogging' is modern-day scrapbooking. It's a way of collecting all your thoughts together, sharing things you do like, and sometimes things you don't like. It's a way to be heard, to prevent you from fading into the background. It's a hobby. Something to write on your CV? Sure. My blog acts as my therapist, my diary, my scrapbook, my bucket list, to-do list, my photo album. I've had my doubts about where this blog is going recently. I'm not sure I'll still have the time or the willingness to update it when I'm in the full throws of full-time work. Whatever the direction it takes, I can't wait to look back on it when I'm older and reminisce.

Please think carefully before mocking anybody for something they are passionate about and remember that reactions can have just as big an impact as actions. Words cannot be taken back, so think carefully before you speak. However, silence often speaks volumes, too. If you know somebody who blogs for fun, why not express an interest? Ask how it's going; offer to take some photos for them; comment on their posts. Tell them how proud of them you are.
Share:

11 comments

  1. The same happens to me. People are bothered about my tweets and photos on instagram but im not gonna stop doing it because they want me too...if they dont like it then they should unfollow :D
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely! People don't utilise the 'unfollow' button because they just like having something to moan about!

      Delete
  2. This post is written so perfectly. I had a conversation recently about someone who knew about my blog and wanted to start their own blog so that they could work with these companies and get these freebies. It didn't take me long to let them know that they wanted to do it for the wrong reasons! :) xxx

    Sarah Sarah Smiles

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It's good that you let them know that's not how it works xxx

      Delete
  3. Fantastic post and so well expressed. Blogging is a creative outlet for me and I love it. I have a pretty stressful job so to be able to have this other creative side gives me a mental break and above all I enjoy it. I think sharing your knowledge with others and having something tangible to show for what you enjoy is something to be proud of xx

    franklyflawless.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you lovely! I completely agree, I love having something to show for my free time xx

      Delete
  4. I love how real and honest this post is!! I also struggle with people understanding that the whole process is very time consuming and thinking a blog post is as quick as a text message- not quite!! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you enjoyed this post and agree!x

      Delete
  5. Thank you for this post! For me, the most annoying part is when people think I am superficial because I write beauty posts. Like, why do women have to be defined by one trait? You`re either pretty or smart, god forbid you like beauty and also have strong opinions about the world.

    http://www.beautynerd.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah I totally agree! Thing is, when I post something about anything other than beauty, it attracts far less attention! You can't win!x

      Delete
  6. I have never read a post that I've just been like, 'yaaaassss' the whole way through. Some of the reactions are so ridiculous. It's a hobby, an interest, just like sports and art. The 'vain/superficial' judgement genuinely makes me SO frustrated.

    JaynieShannon Beauty & Lifestyle

    xx

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I read every single comment and am happy to check your blog out in return. If you have posted a question, please check back for a reply. Alternatively, you can tweet me for a faster response @lauragale94

© Laura's Beauty Binge | All rights reserved.
Blog Design Handcrafted by pipdig