Reflections…Am I a real blogger?

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:

  1. To keep an online memory of what I’d done and where I’d been, much the same as I would do with photographs
  2. So that I didn’t have to keep repeating over and over to family and friends all the details of my trip
  3. 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.

Reflections

31 Comments

  1. August 4, 2016 / 12:24 pm

    I think you’re looking at things too analytically, and also doing yourself disservice! You write a blog, therefore you are a blogger. You don’t have to have a niche to be doing a good job. And if you enjoy it and it’s for you before anyone else then numbers don’t really matter.
    Those are all the things I tell myself, anyway!

    • August 4, 2016 / 5:21 pm

      I went to my first Bloggers event last night and realised that not everyone is a super-duper pro blogger…loads of people are just like me! And you’re right, this is for me, and if anyone else stumbles across my blog it’s a bonus! After all, you found me 😁
      Thanks for reading and commenting x

  2. August 5, 2016 / 12:33 pm

    Ha, there’s a blog post coming soon about my social anxiety at these events!

    • August 9, 2016 / 4:29 am

      I have been thinking about going to a blogging conference for a while now and I don’t know when I will have the guts to do it. I also relate to you in the sense that I don’t know where I stand as a blogger. I feel as though I am forced to do so much outreach and if I don’t I’ll fall behind and this blog will be a spec of dust in the oblivion. I just try to step out of my comfort zone a little more each and every day until I can finally be proud of my little space on the internet.

      • August 9, 2016 / 7:02 pm

        I think that if your blog becomes a struggle or you have to force yourself to network then it’s time to take a step back. You should definitely be proud that you have this outlet, and enjoying it is key to being a successful blogger…even if it’s just in your own small circle 😊

  3. October 3, 2016 / 12:42 am

    I’m reading your blog so you must be a blogger. As long as you enjoy it there are no other standards to meet.

  4. October 28, 2017 / 1:53 pm

    You blog, therefore you are a blogger!
    You are like me in so many ways, in that you don’t have a niche. But the fact of the matter is that the variety on your blog is what keeps me coming back! ( and I hope the same goes for my inane ramblings too!)

    • October 28, 2017 / 2:21 pm

      This was written when I first discovered that there were bloggers who took things a hell of a lot more seriously than I did! Now I’m back to that “I blog because I love to write” phase and it flows a lot easier than when you stress about writing for an audience x

      • October 28, 2017 / 2:26 pm

        So true Em! I went through that before realising I write because I want to… not because I have to!

  5. October 28, 2017 / 2:18 pm

    I think each blogger blogs for a different reason. Yes, many blog for many but vast majority of bloggers don’t! Continue blogging for happiness it brings you!

    • October 28, 2017 / 2:22 pm

      I blog because it’s a great outlet for everything in my head! And that makes me happy – thanks for stopping by!

      • October 28, 2017 / 2:32 pm

        It definitely is! That’s the reason blog came up for! Keep blogging!

  6. October 28, 2017 / 2:24 pm

    I often feel the same way! What I’ve been struggling with lately, though, is coming up with ideas– have I told all my funny stories already? Are people tired of listening to me ramble on? But, like you said, I persevere; I keep going because I do it for me– for the fun of it, the connections I’ve made, and of course because I love to write!

    • October 28, 2017 / 2:26 pm

      I think its the rants and rambles that come naturally that tend to get the most engagement! If you try and force them, your readers can tell…

  7. October 28, 2017 / 2:36 pm

    I most certainly count you a an experienced and fully fledged blogger. I look up to your blog!

    • October 28, 2017 / 2:39 pm

      Aww shucks, thanks Orla 🙂 #fakeittilyoumakeit 🙂

  8. October 28, 2017 / 4:07 pm

    Aww, this sounds perfect for a blog 🙂 Write because you love it and nothing else. That’s why I blog. I admit I fell off that wagon thanks to social media numbers a few times, but I’ve climbed back on and started writing again for the best reason: Because I love writing and working on my craft. Whoever reads, reads. That’s it 🙂 Ten years and going strong. You’ll love the ride. Stay on it 🙂
    PSSST: I am horrible at food pictures too, so I don’t even try 😉

  9. October 28, 2017 / 5:12 pm

    This is the exact same reasons I started writing my blog!! Haha it has not helped much with #2 because most of my friends and family are too lazy and would rather have me regurgitate/summarize everything. I was thinking of pulling up a post and narrating it for them. Do you feel any different now another year later. So is your blog about 2 years old now?

    • October 28, 2017 / 7:14 pm

      Thank you Hanna, yes – a year on from this and I am proud to call myself a blogger now! My writing hasn’t changed but my confidence certainly has. Thanks for stopping by Hanna 😄

  10. October 28, 2017 / 7:59 pm

    I know you wrote this a while back, but it’s describing a feeling I think a lot of bloggers have. That they are not a “proper blogger” because of x, y and z reasons. But you are, I am, we all are. I agree with you on the food thing, I rarely travel far, and I’m far too self-conscious to pose for outfit of the day posts. I’m usually just chilling in my dressing gown, to be fair 😉 but we write, people visit our pages, they enjoy it or disagree with us, we’re part of a community and really, new and exciting things happen all the time. So I’m really glad to read that you’re much more confident now, you deserve to be ☺☺

    • October 28, 2017 / 8:19 pm

      Thanks Em, communities like Big Up Your Blog – and the Brum Bloggers scene – really do help by making you realise that you’re not alone!

  11. October 28, 2017 / 10:03 pm

    I don’t write for the family because for the most part they aren’t that interested but I do it because I love having a creative outlet and it is sort of like a portfolio. I love to travel and show off my city as well. Another side reason is that I want to get better at photography and writing.

    • October 29, 2017 / 9:52 am

      That’s very true Trudy – why have a hobby you love if you don’t intend to improve?

  12. October 29, 2017 / 12:00 am

    It’s not just Ma and Pa Lee you have an avid reader here 🙋 I think there’s more bloggers like us out there than we realise. I look at what some people do and focus on and think that’s just not for me. I like that your so relatable and just love reading about your adventures if they are away or in Brum.

    • October 29, 2017 / 9:19 am

      Thanks Mel ☺️ The Big Up Your Blog community has been instrumental in me realising that other people do enjoy what I write – as well as helping me find some awesome other bloggers in the process!

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