A Brummie Home and Abroad is almost a year old yet I still find it awkward to call myself a blogger.
When I first tentatively starting reporting my trips online, blogging was as it said on the tin. I was “logging” on the “web”. I started doing this for three reasons:
- To keep an online memory of what I’d done and where I’d been, much the same as I would do with photographs
- So that I didn’t have to keep repeating over and over to family and friends all the details of my trip
- To give some (hopefully) useful info back to people who had shared their tips and suggestions with me online beforehand
A fourth – and probably the most important – reason is that I enjoyed writing, taking my experiences and presenting them in an amusing way, like a storyteller. I never wanted to simply list what I’d done (“I went here, and then I went there, and then I went somewhere else…” Zzzzzzzz); I wanted readers to share how I felt, what I saw and heard, to capture snippets of conversations and be able to work through my thoughts in writing.
I’d never even thought to write a blog until Mr Fletche and I went to America for the first time in September 2010. There was so much going on, so many different sights and experiences that keeping a diary was the only way I could remember anything. And I’d read other people’s stories beforehand and had found them so useful. So I carried on capturing our trips from then on. But make no bones about it…I’m more on the tourist end of the spectrum than a traveller. I don’t travel in order to create a blog; I simply create a blog from what I do and where I go. And I’m not convinced that anyone ever reads it anyway. Apart from my mom and dad (Hi Ma & Pa Lee!). I’m not even convinced Mr Fletche reads it…
So when I decided to create my own blogpage, rather than using Travelpod, I had a bit of a look at what else was in there in the blogging world. And it was an eye-opener. Quite frankly, it scared the bejeesus out of me. Apparently I had to “network”. I had to be “visible”. Know about “SEO” and “keywords”. Set up social media accounts on every single platform going. Think of a catchy name that “captured the essence of my blog”. And that’s the stuff I’ll never be particularly good at. I soon realised that I didn’t go on enough holidays to legitimately call myself a “travel blogger”. So I decided to capture local stuff too. And I realised that I didn’t go out to enough different places to legitimately call myself a “Birmingham blogger”.
I’d be a terrible food blogger… I don’t have a particularly sophisticated palate, and I’m always slightly embarrassed taking photos of my food. And it’s usually half eaten before I remember anyway. Food reviews would generally consist of “Mmm, food was nice!” with the occasional “well-presented” thrown in. And when I see networking and PR events aimed at local bloggers I always assume they can’t mean me. Because unless it’s something that would interest Ma & Pa Lee, it’s not going to reach the intended audience.
But I’m going to persevere. I don’t think I’ll ever make any money from blogging. I don’t think I’ll ever get any more than a smattering of followers. But it gives me a creative outlet – I love to write, I love to travel and I love eating and drinking around Birmingham. And so I’ll carry on doing it for me. And for Ma & Pa Lee.