January 22, 2013 by Katie
Don’t worry, this won’t be one of those happy go lucky posts where I spew out all the great ways that the blogging world has improved my life. Although that’s all still true!
Great Blogging Friends!
Remember how I reviewed the book It Starts With Food, and discussed how I’m considering following their 30 Day Challenge to see if it has a positive effect on my health and digestive system?
Well I got a lot of negative responses about going on the program (no one was rude, just concerned). After that I reconsidered whether I’d do it (still on the fence for various reasons) and one big thought that kept coming up was: “Will I lose readers if I follow this program?”. Um, WHAT?
Whether or not I wanted to follow the 30 Day Challenge was a decision about my health, and shouldn’t have had anything to do with the blog! Having that reaction got me thinking – how much does blogging affect my life?
I know many of my readers are bloggers themselves, so I thought today would be a good time to step back and really talk about how to handle mixing “real life” and blogging, especially for those of us who blog merely as a hobby, rather than a real source of income. I’ve discussed many of these issues with fellow bloggers and I thought it would be interesting to get everyone’s perspective in the comments.
The biggest issue that I’ve seen with those of us who blog as a hobby is time. When we blog for fun, sometimes other things come first – such as school, work, family time and other hobbies.
I know of my favorite bloggers (and friends!), Tessa, took a lot of time off blogging because she is pursing her nursing degree and couldn’t keep both up at the same time. Blogging can take a lot of time, when you add together writing blog posts, remember to take photos and edit them if you choose to, posting to twitter, facebook and instagram (again if you choose to), and participating in things such as sponsorships, reviews, or companies like fitfluential.
Another way blogging affects my life is being influenced by other blogs. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve learned so many positive things from other bloggers, anything from great recipes or workouts (LOVE Julie’s workouts!) to getting some great personal support from women I’ve never met or only met once!
However, I’ve personally had to stop following certain blogs because they’ve had a negative affect on my own personal mind-set. Seeing other women appear to be “perfect” in their exercising or eating can make a reader feel insufficient. This is silly because 1) we should never judge ourselves against others and 2) someone’s blog is not really a fair representation of their real lives!
As I mentioned before, blogging can influence decisions that I make in my own life. Bloggers often think “what will my readers think?” or “how will this look on the blog?”. Although it seems silly, honestly these thoughts come up in my mind (and I’m sure others as well!). I know I personally worried that everyone would get bored of my vacation recaps, and despite page views and comments going down that week, I chose to keep posting vacation recaps because I love having those recaps to look back over in the future.
Yes, it’s important to think about my readers when I blog, because I write as not only a creative outlet for myself, but as a way to connect with YOU. However, this shouldn’t dictate what I do in my daily life.
Finally, I thought I’d throw this in here because it was brought up by several family members and friends while I was at home: blogging affecting my personal safety. Julie wrote a great post about thinking about personal safety when blogging, but I think it’s important that we not share too much about our lives. Although I personally find it incredibly unlikely that I’d gain some sort of stalker through my blog, it’s very possible. It’s important as bloggers to keep this in mind when posting, but also when “checking in” on social media outlets.
I realize this post is a bit all over the place, but I had so many thoughts! I’m not trying to say blogging is bad, I LOVE writing this blog and everything I have gained through my experience with it in the past year and a half. However, I thought this would be a great discussion post.
What are your thoughts? How does blogging, or blog reading, affect your life?