Here’s to being authentic

I’m doing more face to face interaction where this website is concerned and I love it. I love meeting other local bloggers and having conversations. However, one of the biggest conversation starters is always “What do you blog about?” and it’s what has me thinking today.

There are mostly buckets other folks would like you to fit in to when explaining your blog/brand/website. Whatever the case may be. For Real Food Bloggers, this is an easy answer. Sure their family life is part of it – but the main focus of their website is Real Food. Their passionate about it, it’s what draws them a crowd.

Advertisers, networks and sponsorships LOVE a crowd.

Other buckets to fill are the Frugal bloggers, Travel bloggers, Fashion, Coupon, DIY, Home Improvement, etc etc etc. It goes on. On the bottom of that list is the Mommy Blogger.

I. Am. Not. A. Mommy. Blogger.

The whole reason I still write here is because I need something OUTSIDE of the life I live as a mother to keep me sane. I write about my life, period. Where’s the bucket for that? Where’s the crowd so an advertiser or sponsor sees value in ME. Because, folks, that’s what this is. Me.

Pitching a website like this is like selling yourself, not unlike a salesperson in a profession. Real Estate, Home based businesses, Consulting of any kind. Your “customer” (in this case a “reader”) has to buy into Me. Like Me, eventually care about Me.

Let’s just take it to the basics.

Mega bloggers have catapulted, mostly by accident, into an audience that already cares about them. The “un-bucket” blogger has to navigate the thick and tricky waters in order to find a footing. And maybe we’ll grab our audience as we stumble through the wires.

There’s probably no room for validation for this kind of blogger, the un-bucket writer who wants to feel value in the form of acceptance from their audience, an advertiser … a sponsor. So how do we define our websites? Do we have to come up with a niche? Even if it’s broad? Do we have to create a community – even if it’s small – that will support the pull of a network?

Where’s the conversation going for a blogger like me? Do I have to decide that I’m doing this just because?

I live out loud. I take photos of it, spend my time writing about it and often times directing friends/readers/traffic to other sites because I can. Because I want to. Because it’s fun. I never did this to make money, but 10 years later … there’s money to be made.

Why the hell do I have to fight so damn hard for it?

If you want a niche – here it is:

I’m a Diabetic, gluten free foodie who makes food for my family according to their blood types. Then I write about it. I’m a How-To junkie. A hobby-photographer. A woman. I’m learning to love fashion and I’ve always loved to decorate. I’m a mother. I’m a wife to a Serial Entrepreneur and we’re business owners. Plural. I’m a gardener and wanna-be bee-keeper. I have a life list and I live out loud. Take it, or leave it. But please … take it.

**I have nothing against a self-proclaimed Mommy Blogger. I read their sites and love them, I just am not one and am super tired of being thrown into that mix. I am a mom, I do blog, but about WAY more than parenting and kids. That’s my disclaimer. I love you all.

11 thoughts on “Here’s to being authentic

  1. To further the disclaimer, I wrote this earlier today after receiving some rejection so things were raw. I’d like very much to not sound like a complainer but take full responsibility if it comes across that way.

    I realize that this post is directed at “corporate” and “the man” so please no offense to any one person.

    That is all. šŸ™‚

  2. Love the post, Jodi. You made a lot of valid points about non-niche blogging! Honestly, some of the most interesting blogs to read are simply just about YOU/ME/I… I mean think about PW who really doesn’t blog about any one thing in particular (though, ok, she has a cookbook) and has an amazing brand.

    Random: you do the blood type diet?? As in D’Adamo? I’ve been doing in for about 4 years now and have had amazing success. Would love to chat with you about that more!!

    ~Jolon

  3. Jolon – yes! I’m new to the Blood Type diet but would LOVE to chat about it! It’s amazing how food affects so much and how the “right” food can make or break your health. for me, it’s making it, for sure.

  4. Hi! Stumbled across your site, and I just wanted to say that I can relate to this post in some ways. I do mainly personal blogging, and although I started my blog mostly for me, I’ve got to admit, it IS nice to have an audience reading and following.
    But whenever I think about this, people tell me that the only way blogging will work out for me is if I find a NICHE!! (lol) and that personal blogs are not that successful. I decided recently to just screw it all and continue writing what I feel like writing. If people like it, they like it, if they don’t they don’t!
    Thanks for the post!
    Aja

  5. I love what you write about! When I have a list of unread posts in my google readers, yours is the first I go to! : ) And, btw, I just heard about the blood type diet and just ordered a test kit to see what type I am! Sounds like a good post topic : )

  6. ok I’m totally holding you to that conversation… at some point in the near future.

    what is your blood type, anyway?? I’m an A.

  7. @Jolon, I’m type A (positive) as well šŸ™‚ Can’t wait to continue the conversation!

    @Meghan … yay! It’s so interesting! I still have to read the book but I’ve been reading up on it online and going from there. I’m super new to it – but it’s helping.

    @Aja thanks for commenting! I hear ya on “I’m just going to do this because I like to” and feel that’s where I’m at and I love it, actually. I guess for me I need to think about what I really want to bring to the internet (for my own sanity) I love to be an open book and vulnerable and raw but it might not be serving me well to do so. All good things to think about!

  8. Well, you already know most of my thoughts on niches. But I’ll talk about it anyhow :O)

    I think niches are wonderful. I have wonderful little folders in my Google Reader that organizes the blogs I read into their niches. Thank you, niche writers, for keeping me organized!

    But I am not a niche writer. I’m more of a “just spew it out there” kind of writer. Yes, I am a mommy blogger. I am a mom who blogs. But I’m a woman blogger, a wife blogger, a pissed off consumer blogger, a wannabe-runner blogger, a tech blogger. I write about whatever I’m thinking about that day.

    I’m often jealous of niche bloggers because they have a focused platform and a specific audience. Advertisers and PR companies love this! Those companies don’t tend to look at blogs like mine because I’m not focused. I like to talk about kid poop one day and really cute sexy shoes the next. I HAVE NO FOCUS! (not sure why I had to yell that)

    Anyhow, I’m so with you on all of this. I just want to be a known as a writer. And be encouraged and celebrated as a versatile writer. Is that so much to ask?

  9. Oh how I love you all! Stacey, loving your thoughts on this. (ps, deleted video and will be remaking it- the husband said I had too much attitude and his impression of me (he did a Live one) made me cringe … so, it’ll come back, just later)

  10. I get this too. I think that’s the biggest problem with my blog is that I feel like I need a niche. I was previously a “mommy blogger” and never made money, but I had a niche and a following. But I frequently wrote about things that I really didn’t care about just to have a post each day. And I finally just cut the cord. With this “new” blog of mine, I need to just remember that it’s mine – “free to just be me” is the motto and I need to live by it (and write by it too!)

    Great post yet again Jodi! Love your “un-bucketed” blog!! <3

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