My reflections as a blogger

While I was away, Ember Adored made a blog post regarding feeling tied down as a blogger, and how she broke free of the stress that tends to come with blogging nowadays in Second Life. When I read the post I really wanted to respond, but wasn’t able to.

Hair: Exile:: Eyes On Me (@ December’s C88)
Skin: Glam Affair – Summer v3 – Jamaica – August
Glasses: Glamistry
Sunglasses PU2002
 Earrings: Chop Zuey – Pentecostal Shoulder Duster Diam Earrings
Jacket: Mutresse… Tita Coat (@ December’s C88)
Location: The Cyprian Garden

It’s no secret about how I feel about blogging; I have shared some of my sentiments in the past.

https://monisworldsl.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/blogger-sponsorship-in-second-life/
https://monisworldsl.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/why-do-i-blog/

And I have also had meetings with fellow bloggers:

https://monisworldsl.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/sl-blogger-meetup-today-at-9-am-slt/
https://monisworldsl.wordpress.com/2016/06/26/bloggers-office-hours-today-1-5-pm-slt/

When a blogger creates a post, it’s comparable to creating art. You have styling (fashion), staging a scene (H&G), taking a photo (involves photography), and writing up a post (for those who still like to express their sentiments). And whereas it’s nice and can even boost our self-esteem when our art is appreciated, I believe that bloggers that are in it for the long run are intrinsically motivated. That is who I feel content creators should look for when selecting bloggers, and not base it on criteria that can be easily manipulated. But what do I know?

Let’s get to the questions that Ember asked us:

What are some of the biggest things you have agreed to in an application in order to get into a bloggers group?

Honestly for my own sanity, I stay away from too many crazy requirements. All of the stores that I blog for at the moment have reasonable requirements. For events it can get a bit more hectic, but that is more so because of the number of items that you receive. This is why I am hesitant to join a monthly event.

Some of the following requirements have turned me away from applying:

  • Blogging ALL releases. I have no idea what you would release in a given calendar month, and just because you want to overextend yourself doesn’t mean I am able to do the same).
  • Getting 99+ faves /1k+ views on every Flickr photo. Suppose if my audience doesn’t like a particular photo that I did. Does that really take away from me being a blogger? It’s another thing if you were working as a social media manager and the team notices that certain releases aren’t responding well to the public. But that is marketing and research, not a personal blog.
  • Blogging x% of all releases. This is the same as the first requirement. Suppose if a store wants 50% of all releases blogged, and one month they double or even triple the amount of releases. It’s not like you know in advance that this is happening – all you see is the huge amount of releases sent to you, and you get slammed with work.
  • (For events) Blog x amount of posts, and have at least x amount of items in each post. This can be tricky to do if you do not know what you are getting in advance. This requirement wouldn’t necessarily turn me away, but I would have to look into it before making a decision.
  • Assigned stores to blog (for an event). This is not necessarily a turn off either, but what tends to happen is that while your assigned stores still have not sent out the items for you to blog, other stores are sending items. These are items that you want to blog as well. Then the event or blogger manager sees that there are lots of posts that feature the same content creators, and get upset that people are not doing their job. So yeah – this is not a deal breaker but it can get messy.

Why do you blog? 

I blog because I want to share my experiences with other SL residents. It could be how I experience fashion, issues that come up, or where I like to visit wearing cute clothing. I hope that the info I share through my experiences will continue to be beneficial to others.

Editing photos can be quite relaxing. I like how a good photo comes together. I don’t really consider myself as a photographer, but it’s nice when what I wanted to portray in a photo comes to fruition, and people can see it and like it as well.

Let’s look at what reasons Ember mentioned in her post:

  1. To be SL Famous?

SL is too big and too fragmented for a person to be SL famous. Sure certain circles will know you, but many more will not. There is too much involved with blogging to do it for the potential perception of “e-fame”.

  1. To get free stuff? That you will wear once or twice and forget you own.

Quite frankly, I am tired of people saying this as a “valid” reason as to why bloggers blog. For every item the average blogger receives, they probably pay at least 3 times that to set up a proper post. Think about what someone typically wears: Skin/applier, hair, shoes, and clothing. Assume one of these items was a promotional copy, and then calculate the cost of the rest of the items. Calculate the time it took you to set up the scene, whether you had to locate the ideal location to take a photo. Take the time it took you to set up the post for that item. Sure, that item was “free”.  For some bloggers, they may be lucky and have all of the above as a promotional copy. But this is not the typical blogger. The only people who believe that bloggers do it for “free stuff” are the scammers who masquerade as bloggers, or those who do not appreciate nor value a blogger’s time.

As I have said before and I will say it again. We do not call copybotters content creators, so why do we insist on calling scammers bloggers? It’s a double standard that needs to stop.

  1. To help others?

I have used my blogging platform to help others…in particular when I see events that do not have good coverage. When the events are done for charity, it is even better. I have done the same for hunts – full coverage for all of the items. There has been a lot of good feedback from providing coverage on my blog, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I also like to repost blogs that I feel that can be beneficial to my readers.

Think on that and then think of the pressures you are applying to yourself.

winter_00111webI didn’t mean to take this picture with my eyes closed..it just happened 😮
Leggings: !:Lybra:! Liza Leggings
Boots: N-core – CALYSSA (group gift)
Pose: an lar [poses]

My main pressure is me feeling that I am not a good enough blogger.Some thoughts that may go through my head can be:

  • I don’t blog often enough.
  • I don’t consistently take photos that are 99+ faves on Flickr and have over 1k views.
  • I haven’t blogged enough for certain designers to show why I will make a good blogger for their brand.
  •   I don’t have enough visitors to my blog.
  • I’m not well-known enough for people to give me a second glance.

It is really more internal pressure than anything else. I know that I am a good blogger, but sometimes knowing isn’t enough…not when you have several deadlines to meet and you are churning out posts to make it.

I think as bloggers, we all go through these feelings of not being able to do enough. I know people who do 20-30 blog posts a month and they still feel it wasn’t enough.  But because bloggers create content that we can’t wear, sell, or can be physically seen in SL, our struggles get brushed aside. I have had to listen to people minimize my struggles and go, “Oh it’s not a big deal”. Some bloggers even go as far as feeling like if they don’t have a content creator co-sign their blog by allowing them to blog for them, then they aren’t a “real” blogger. Of course they are bloggers, but for their own reasons, they feel that if their content is not valuable enough for someone to entrust them with their items, then they are not a “real” blogger. And that is important to a significant number of people.

Is it fun?

Yes blogging is fun. If I’m not having fun it’s probably because I am stressed and need to take a break. Sometimes I like to take pics of my friends for their own personal look or their own blog posts – we both feel better cause we don’t have to do both the photo and blog post set up.

Is it worth it?

I believe so. I have met many people since I have started blogging, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I think we need to have more open dialogue about how we feel as bloggers, and to help each other find the balance that we all seek.

No more competing…no more feelings of superiority or inferiority…no more isolation.

 

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3 thoughts on “My reflections as a blogger

  1. SL Naturist staff says:

    Excellent post, and the reasons why WE at SL Naturist blog are more or less mirroring your own.

    Exactly right. Blog for your OWN reasons, not because ‘everyone else does it in such and such a way’. Because we’re a lifestyle blog, we’re less at the behest of designers making demands that we blog everything they produce. In the past we’ve tried to link to skin designers, on the basis that we’d blog them ‘fully’, not censored as so many bloggers do with skins, but refused to meet the demands they’d wish to place on us. We blog on our terms, not theirs.

    We blog for ourselves, not others, and 1m blog views later we must be doing something right.

    Thanks for this post, Moni. Sometimes it feels you’re blogging into a void, and it’s great to hear someone else validate their blogging as you do. We feel the same way.

    Ella @ SL Naturist blog.

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