WARNING: Rebecca D. shows flagrant disregard for the rules of punctuation... She uses ellipsis with wild abandon... Punctuation interventions have been done to no avail... If you are offended by such irreverence to the rules of grammar... The very glue that holds our society together... STOP READING NOW... Move on... There is a little button at the top that says "next blog"... You would be well advised to use it... You were warned...

Why I'll Never Be A "Big-Time" Blogger...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Be prepared to be bored to death... This is going to be a too long, picture-less post... According to "the experts" those are the death of a blog... If that is true, my blog is practically suicidal!

What am I talking about you ask? Well a few weeks back I got an email that there was going to be some big time bloggers coming to my general area of Maine (if you count a little over an hour away close... In Maine we do!) for a little mini conference and for a relatively small fee they would evaluate your blog and meet with you personally. I checked out these "experts" blogs and although only one of them was remotely aimed at my kind of bloggy friends (aka. "My Audience") they all did in fact have rather impressive followings, so what did I have to lose?

I got to the picturesque Bowden College Campus early... I was so excited... The only bloggers I know are you guys and a small hand-full of  friends who blog... And I am going to be honest, of the bloggers I actually know in real life, I probably have the biggest readership. So I couldn't wait to rub elbows with these fellow bloggers and feel all kinds of professional... I found the lecture hall and nobody was there... By "nobody was there", I mean not even janitors... The lights in the hallway were still off... Ok, here is where I realize getting there 30 minutes early to get a good seat, and make a good first impression actually made me a bit of a bloggy loser... I didn't want to be that weird person that is standing in a dark hallway waiting for the speakers to even show up! I momentarily thought about just waiting in my car, before I remember that Paul had dropped me off and was off to Freeport... So I did the next thing I could think of and went in search of coffee... After all, this is a college campus, coffee can't be far... Right?

I did find coffee, but also ran smack into the entire panel I was there to see, also going for coffee... I recognized a couple of them from their blogs. What comes next kinda set the tone for the my day... One of the big time bloggers turned around and saw me in line behind her... I figured since she had evaluated my blog, the look on her face was one of reconition... I felt so official, until she asked if I got my scarf at Target? Yes, it's not me she recognized, it was my scarf... To make matters worse, she told me she had thought about buying it for her mother as a gift. She was at least my age, so her mom had to be at least mid-sixties... Yes, I am so hip, my accessories weren't even cool enough to be the scarf she actually picked for her AARP aged mother!

My next loser moment came immediately after buying my coffee... I walked around the corner and there they all were again, walking very slowly back to the building we were supposed to meet in. What do I do now? Creepily follow them slowly across campus? Introduce myself a wee bit late and walk with them? Sit awkwardly on a bench and wait for them to get far enough ahead before I follow? Oh how I wish I'd done any of those... Oh no, instead I take an awkward half step, catch the toe of my sandal on the walkway, let out a scream as I fall to the ground splashing one of the male bloggers/speaker with my coffee... Yes, there I lay at the feet of the big time bloggers, hands dripping in spilled coffee, trying not to burst into tears because I scraped my hands and knee... What did I do? I laughed... What else was left? As they helped me up, I introduced myself and tried to laugh the whole thing off like the confident woman I am... OK, I faked it, but I did seem to win-over some of them and the person I splashed was wearing brown pants and didn't seem mad about the coffee. In fact he seemed more concerned about me then the condition of his slacks... (I was fine by the way, other then a scraped hand and bruised dignity.) I walked with them back to the room they were speaking in and kinda felt like I belonged there... Silly Rebecca...

I wish I could say that I got tons of useful information from this panel of bloggers... Alas, I did not. First of all, I would be lying if I didn't admit I had no idea what they were talking about half the time. I didn't know that there is a secret language that every other blogger on the planet knows but me. It also came a a bit of a surprise to me that all the other twenty or so bloggers there only wanted to learn how to make money from their blogs... Seriously ALL they wanted to know about was marketing their blogs and making money from them. I'll admit I did have some ads on my blog when I started up, and I have considered having them again... I have even been temped to do some product reviews, but so far nobody has asked me to review anything I would actually use in my day to day life, so I have held off. (To be painfully honest, only two people/companies have asked in the two and half years I've been blogging.) But these bloggers seem to only blog for the money... One plus of this experience is that since then I have really examined why it is I do blog... I have decided to share that in a different post...

Anyhow, back to the conference, where I spent several hours listening to the panel bestow us with their knowledge, most of which clearly did not pertain to me... I then ate a box lunch with a bunch of bloggers who barely noticed me there as soon as they realised knowing me would in no way advance their blogs, and then sat through an afternoon Q & A session all about making more money from your blog... I was wishing I hadn't spilled my coffee that morning... It might help me stay awake at this point.

Next came the part of the day I had hung around for; because let's face it, it was really hard to not leave after lunch time. But I had prepaid for an evaluation, and I wanted to hear what these "big time bloggers" thought of my tiny little blog. It turns out, they didn't think much of it... I'm serious... I went into the room and sat at a table with the bloggers and only two of the six had any notes on my blog. (Oh, and the notes of the blogger who was across from me so I could read his notes only said "Small time, middle age, mommy blogger... Mildly funny.") They all pulled my blog up and at least pretended to remember it. Wanna know what they said? That I need to stop "boring and confusing" my readers... I bore you by doing what I am doing right now... My audience doesn't like long posts with no pictures and since I have never picked an identity for my blog, I confuse you too. Am I a Christian blogger? (Turns out there in a niche for that, and a lot of money making opportunities, and that would be my best avenue to "exploit." His word, not mine!) A "Party" blogger? An "idea" blogger? A "humor" blogger? I need to choose an identity if I want to "succeed" at blogging. At the very least I need to develop tabs for the heading  on my blog so people can find the posts they are after. (This might actually be good advice, but was it worth the money I spent to go and the time I spent there? Not so much, since I had been planning to do this anyhow.) My "private" consultation lasted all of seven minutes, which was a far fry from the 15-20 the other four bloggers who paid for this consultation got... I was told that although I am a decent writer, unless I "focus" I will never be a successful (money wise) blogger...

Oh well... I guess I can live with that.

Thanks for listening,

PS. This all actually happened months ago, and I typed this post when I got home... I just was not ready to share it until now.


  1. Wow. I don't even know where to start. I sat and read, made "hmph" and "tsk" noises, and I still don't know where to start. I'm sorry-- this comment will be a NOVEL.

    A NOVEL.

    First off, I shall never, EVER be a big time blogger, either. 90% of the time, I am perfectly satisified and happy with this.

    I will never make big money. I never began to blog with any intention of making any money whatsoever. I remind myself of this all the time.

    2nd, I hate blog conferences. I am sick to death of hearing about the really popular ones everyone flies into with their business cards. I have had private convos with other bloggy buddies about how we don't want to hear another word about "Snap" or "Haven" or whatever else.

    I had a bloggy buddy ask me if I was going to "Snap", and I said "UM, heck no I am not spending $300 so I can feel like I'm back in high school and don't quite fit in". She hasn't talked to me since. Ever. That was a year ago.

    This bloggy buddy also happens to be a HUGE success in the bloggy world. Guess what? I still love her from afar, but she's a blog climber. She thought (so wrongly, and years ago) that being friends with me would somehow be advantageous to her blog. Then she figured out that I would get her nowhere. Now she never talks to me unless she desperately needs help with a project that is over her head.

    Do I sound like sour grapes? I guess I do. Sorry.

    I wrote a blog manifesto or what the crap are they called? You know where it's like a promise or theme of your blog or whatever. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT. Mine contain many sentences like this:

    -I do not blog for money
    -I will never rush a project so I can blog about it
    -I will lose followers and I need to be okay with that
    -I am not a craft blog
    -I am a "ME" blog
    -I will never do a project solely because it is unique, or I believe that it will be popular in the craft/DIY blog world
    -I will blog about whatever the he#$ I want to
    -I will never put my blog before my family
    -I blog because I enjoy it

    And I could go on and on (seriously it was very refreshing). I don't give a CRAP about what they talk about at those conferences: (how to make more money, making your blog easier to navigate, using feeds, google+, more social networking, picture quality, blah blah blah blah blah-- I don't care)

    I am tired of what I consider to be a craft/DIY/home design blogger clique (seriously it's bad here in UT-- think of most of the craft bloggers and they're here in UT and they are best buds acting like they are back in jr high, high-five-ing each other).

    I just gotta be me. Always have been-- always haven't quite fit in. It's just how I am.

    Sorry for the novel. Please send me a personal email and tell me who these bloggers were! I have to know.

    1. you crack me up.
      And, I totally agree with your rant.
      I was just wondering, however, since you are a Utah blogger, where is your "Families are Forever" sparkily flashing button? Shouldn't you have at least one on your sidebar. I'm pretty sure all the other Utah bloggers do. ;)
      <3 <3 <3

      ps. Rebecca, I want to know who the "big-timers" were, too!!

  2. Actually, that post kept MY interest because I'm mildly curious about what I'm missing out on in the big world of big blogs ... sometimes I dream that I'd like to have 1000 followers and then I think "too much pressure!" ... sometimes I dream that I can support my family by blogging and then the reality hits that I can't even host a successful Mary Kay party. Oh well - count me in on the small time bloggers who are content (usually) to just write from the heart when the spirit moves. :)
    And for what it is worth, MY analysis of your blog is that it is JUST RIGHT. :)

  3. Oh Rebecca, I am CRACKING UP! Sorry about your wasted day, though.

    It all comes down to the motivation. If your reason for blogging is To Make Money, then their advice totally makes sense. They're talking just like advertisers/promoters. What will "drive up your readership", etc.

    But for many of us, that's NOT the motivation.

    When I started blogging, my goal was to record many of our family memories/activities because I was quickly falling behind (YEARS behind) with scrap-booking. I thought some of our more distant (in location) family members might enjoy reading and seeing the pictures.

    I have no "theme"... or too many! (Religious? Family life? Humor? Deaf issues? Quilting? Education?) I'm not trying to focus on one category and attract readers/advertising. I'm just recording things that matter to us, from time to time.

    And I've found some amazing friends along the way - people I'd love to share a back fence with :D I've found encouragement from friends I may never see in person this side of heaven, a network of supportive mom-friends (especially helpful lately with Tate getting a cochlear implant), and all kinds of wonderful (and crazy) ideas I can take or leave ;D

    And our far-flung family? Most of my in-laws, who gripe that we don't spend enough time with them, stiff-arm the opportunity to at least see what we're up to because "we're not blog people". All righty. My most loyal reader is my my own mom, who lives 15 minutes from us and sees us at least weekly.

    Certainly I'd be right there with you in earning the disdain of the "professional" bloggers, but it's "just right" for me. Just like your blog is just right for you! That's why I read it - because it's a slice of your life!

    Keep doing what you like to do :D


  4. Well, I have to disagree with the big-timers.
    Firstly, I LOVE your posts... the long ones, the short ones, ones with pictures, ideas, stories, the trials of your life, the parties you plan, the humor, whatever characterizes each one. seriously!
    Secondly, I'm with you when it comes to exploiting. I was offered a product review that was for a Japanese shoe company who sold extra-small, narrow "ladies" shoes (size 6 and smaller!!). How I would review them with my size 9w feet, I do not know. I turned them down, needless to say.
    Thirdly, not every single blog reader out there is expecting every single blog to only offer one specific thing (such as decorating). Most of my favorite blogs are ones where people share their story. Because let's face it, it's much more interesting to read someone's REAL life story on a daily basis than fake product reviews and "useful tips" on how to get your toilet to sparkle.

    I love you & I hope you blog for at least as long as I live, so I will have something REAL to read on the internet.
    <3 <3 <3

  5. I would never want to go to one of those conferences . . . . yikes! Just blog the way you want to blog. Do it so you enjoy it-otherwise, what is the point?

    As far as vacation rentals-yes it is worth it. It is a LOT of work (we do it all ourselves), so if you find someone else to manage/clean it, it won't be much work, but you won't make as much, of course.

    You have to furnish it, provide linens, etc, etc. But for it, it is worth it still at this point. (But it someone were to offer to buy it at a pretty good price, we would surely sell!)

  6. The posts that bore me ARE the product reviews and things bloggers do for money! I enjoy the real life 'journal' blogging!

    I could sooo relate to every thing you were feeling/thinking. Well right up to when you fell. LOL I have yet to do that one. Ha.

    Let's hear it for us 'small time, middle age, mommy blogger, midly funny' bloggers!!

  7. Well, I guess I will have to suffice with your failing blog since it is the only one I check on a daily basis. And I also come back daily to to check all the blogs you follow since I don't really have an internet life. Thanks for blogging anyway though you don't gain anything financial from it. You are a special person to me though we aren't currently connected in "real life". I appreciate your realness and humor, your love for God and desire to live for him. I love how connected you become with the people around you since I am almost the opposite of that. So I peek into your world, and I appreciate that you are willing to share a glimpse, I cherish the encouragement and entertainment (let's be honest) I glean from your writings. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to care about your life... cuz otherwise I would be oblivious to your world here in MA.

    1. Ok, I give up... Who is this? Why aren't we currently connected in "real life"? Facebook/Email me and tell me who you are! :)

  8. I like your blog just the way it is and for all the reasons the other commenters mentioned.

  9. WOW! I love your blog. Its one of two that I try to read at least weekly if not daily. Your passion for life, God and your family inspires me! Thank you for doing your blog how you want and not how others tell you. :D


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