When I started blogging I was a dreamer in search of a place to write. I'd done some freelance work, but I wanted a place that felt more ME. So I started a blog. That blog has changed and evolved just like I have through the years.
Recently I had a visitor mention that because I've started to share more of my personal life and photos from my actual day-to-day, that perhaps I've “sold out” and maybe my blog isn't as authentic. At first I was annoyed. Honestly “WTF” was what went through my head. The reason was that in a couple of my personal photos somewhere in the room was a Starbucks cup. Huh… is that selling out?
The answer is… aaa.. no. I like friggen Starbucks! And the more that I thought about it the more energized I became about loving Dancing with Fireflies because it isn't bleached out and sanitary.
Here's the thing about being authentic… you have to stop being just like everyone else.
As a blogger you have to pick and choose what parts of your life you are going to share and what parts you need to leave private. Sometimes I'm tempted to talk more openly about the drama that happens from time to time. But I usually hold off because it doesn't fit into the flow of what's going on in my blog.
Some bloggers choose to focus on showing the world their style and you always see them dressed up and looking like they have a crew following them. And some of them really do.
One fairly famous Instagram gal that I met, has a full hair and makeup crew to style her before her photographer follows her around taking “candid” shots of well placed handbags, kitchenaids, and cars. That's her job. And cool for her! Seriously, she's found a way to use the power of Instagram to create a job for herself that she is proud of, and that is amazing.
Other bloggers are more gritty and talk about the ins and outs of their lives. Fantastic! From Mommy booger blogs that focus on the day to day of raising little children to blogs that I also love that talk about the realities of being a lesbian woman. I love those blogs too! Why? Because they are doing what feels right to them and they are authentic.
There are moments here on DWF that I swing towards being hardcore real, but it is also along with that flow of where my head is at the time. Dancing with Fireflies is sometimes erratic, sometimes it means you dance to the slow songs and cry in the moment, other times the tempo is faster and you need to kick off your shoes and feel the joy.
But let's talk about sponsors for a quick minute. Almost all successful bloggers have sponsors. Some sponsors are seen with the ads placed around the blog and others are through sponsored posts. Making money through blogging is not selling out. In fact it is ensuring that a blog can continue and grow. Blogging isn't free. It costs time, fees, and in order to become better at your trade you have to put into it as much as you can. That's why sponsors are so important.
That being said, Starbucks is not my sponsor… yet. Unless they really want me, then yeah, I'd probably love them even more. But just because you see a product you might recognize in the blog doesn't mean they are paying me to say nice things about them. In fact, just last week I blogged about how the Pink Drink kinda made me want to puke. And I am NOT trying that unicorn in a blender! NO thanks!
So if you are a blogger thinking about where to take your blog next, here is my best advice. BE YOU. Everything else is already taken.
That's my rant for the day. Love me or hate me, I gotta be real. <3