If you’re a new blogger, you’re likely coming into this industry (ugh, I hate that word) to an array of “how to be a fantastic blogger” posts all telling you to do X, Y and Z in order to succeed in this pool of bloggers all trying to do the same thing. I write what I hope are “helpful” posts for new bloggers (and not so new – you’re never too old to want to improve!) but I always state that the advice I’m giving is what has worked for me or is currently working for me and you’re under absolutely no obligation to take any notice of it. But some of these “helpful” posts certainly have a different approach; less ‘here’s a suggestion, why don’t you give that a go?’ and more ‘if you want to be successful you have to do this because if you don’t you suck and you’ll fail miserably’. Jog on.
And sometimes, these sort of posts don’t actually teach us anything. Instead, they leave us feeling down-trodden, overwhelmed and downright guilty about all the stuff we “should” be doing but aren’t. But I feel like I’ve been on the blogging block long enough to be able to safely say that there’s not a damn thing that you, as a blogger, should be made to feel guilty about. Not a damn thing. Here are some of the most common guilt-trips we’re taken on as bloggers and why you should throw that guilt straight in the bin:
“Only” blogging as a hobby
I really am baffled as to why some people think they need to comment about the reasons behind why someone blogs. We’re all doing this for different reasons; full-time, part-time or a hobby and all our voices are valid. But if suddenly you find yourself making big bucks, don’t look down on bloggers who “only” blog as a hobby. And if you fall under the “hobby” category, you do you, boo. I no longer fall under the “hobby” category myself but it makes absolutely no difference to me how someone else is blogging; if I like their content, I’ll support it. Simple as!
Blogging as a hobby is a fantastic creative outlet and can give you so much pride and enjoyment – just like any other hobby. I love gaming but don’t get paid for that. I love reading and spent hours reviewing books which I never got paid for but thoroughly enjoyed. Music is another great hobby that so many people benefit from but don’t get paid a penny for. If you’re a guitar player, you might find the website Guitaarr.com particularly useful!
Having no niché
I am sick to death of reading how if you blog, you have to have a niché. You have to pick your topic and stick to it. No exceptions. THAT is the way to success. But it’s not. I fail to understand why this is even an argument but I think whichever way you swing, it’s brilliant. If you only blog about one particular topic which you love and know loads about, then that’s amazing that you’re sharing your insight on that. If you want to blog about a bunch of a different topics that appeal to a wide range of interests, that’s great too!
Not posting consistently
Life gets in the way sometimes. Our mental health affects our day / week / month, we have problems at home, at work, with fuck boys – whatever. But at the end of the day, life still happens when you blog and sometimes the two won’t align. And that’s okay. Don’t feel guilty about not posting for whatever your reason.
Not being online much
Similar to the above point, sometimes social media gets too much for us as well and we just want to shut ourselves off from it and focus on our “real” lives. The next time you’ve found yourself not online and you’re about to post that, “Sorry I’ve not been active much recently” tweet, I DARE YOU to delete the word “sorry”. It’s not needed; you don’t need to be sorry.
I’m certainly no saint when it comes to wondering why some people have blocked me. I’ve definitely tweeted about it before, wondering why certain bloggers who – sometimes I’ve never spoken a word to – have blocked me. But there may be bloggers out there who are wondering the same about me. At the end of the day, if someone just doesn’t sit right with you, if you’re constantly triggered or upset by their tweets / content, if you don’t agree with their views and values and would rather not see them then you’re well within your right to block that person. I’m all for curating our feeds to be our safe spaces.
Not responding to hurtful comments
Literally, why do we need to give people our time and energy who have nothing nice to say? Even if they’re “trying to be constructive” but end up just sounding downright rude. Your time is precious, don’t waste it. No guilt.
Using stock photos
I wrote an entire post about this here when I used to use a lot of stock photos so most of my opinions on this one are in that post. I have started working harder on my blog photography and I’m very happy with my progress but again, that’s a personal thing for me. In the grand scheme of things, as long as you’re following the guidelines on stock photo websites and aren’t doing anything wrong, then you shouldn’t feel guilty.