Reviews

Struggling for authenticity in the blogosphere

I started blogging way before 2013 but I never knew how big the blogosphere was until that year. It was when I learned that marketing was no longer as we once knew it, and that content marketing was king. It was a new territory and it was very exciting!

When I started blogging, it was because I’ve always been a writer and I needed a platform to tell my stories. I learned later on that the blogosphere is more massive than you can imagine, and I jumped right in because I wanted to tell my stories to a much bigger audience.

kaitlyn-baker-unsplash

I started off well. I networked with fellow bloggers, accepted invitations to blogger events, and I collaborated with different brands and PR agencies. I met different people and enjoyed many benefits. But the joy wore off fast. The freebies were great, they still are, but I wanted to be something more.

Then I got busy because my son, Pablo, started acting in theatre and I was the designated chaperone. I couldn’t sacrifice my full time job, so between that and my eldest’s professional commitments, I was left with very little time to blog.

When I got back, I found myself lagging miles behind other bloggers in terms of numbers. The blogging landscape had changed and I needed to do something if I wanted to stay in the race.

I considered giving up the blog because I was discouraged by what I’ve been seeing. I wanted to stand my ground and didn’t want to compromise my principles. But I prayed about it and I realised that I have not been doing enough.

Becoming more Accessible to my readers

This year, I decided to make myself much more accessible to my readers and social media followers. I’ve always spoken true but the language needed a few adjustments. At the suggestion of Donna Donor of Everyday Adventures with Donna and Kib, I’ve been micro-blogging daily on Facebook since January and I’ve been using tag-lish as a medium for it.

I was hesitant at first because I’ve always been a conventional English writer, but I decided to give it a go and it seems to work for me. It wasn’t before long that I have established some level of trust between me and my readers. It made it less awkward to invite them to read my blogs or watch our videos because I have been chatting with them more personally through the page.

Granted that many of my followers found my Facebook page because of the giveaway that Donna and I hosted at the beginning of the year, but here’s the thing – what’s a message without a receiver?

I can write the most incredible blogs, but if I have no one to read them, they’re useless. So you toss that net out to sea and hope that what you catch can become something more.

Presenting myself well to my readers and followers

When I was still performing professionally, I never showed up to a venue without looking like a star. It’s just how I was trained. And the principle behind that was because we value the audience we have. We do not take their time for granted. I haven’t worn makeup nor played dress up in years, but this year, I put on make up and I dressed up for the online events I attended. It’s silly, I know, but I realised that my followers and the brands I collaborate with deserve more from me.

I know it’s not about the aesthetics, but if you want people to regard you and what you do professionally, don’t show up an amateur.

Staying authentic to myself

It’s tempting, but I still think that I should remain reasonably picky with the events and brands I work with. It’s only right to collaborate with brands that resonate with me and accept products I intend to use.

And yes, giveaways are good. The tricky part is that I don’t want to attract followers who are only after my giveaways, I want people to read my stories and be able to take home something from them. I’m really just a writer searching for my audience in the hope that I can help them and give them even a flicker of hope through my writing. I certainly do not want my blog to just be a multi-paged advertisement billboard. I want a blog that has substance and value.

It’s a fine line to thread, and I’m still learning the ropes.There will always be a part of me, or a glimpse of my life, in every blog that I write. And I hope that through my stories, I can show people how God is real in my life and in my family.

It’s been 9 years but I think that I’ve grown so much over the last three months. The breakthrough happened with I got off my high horse and became willing to adapt changes to make it work.

I look forward to more years of blogging and vlogging, and perhaps, in the near future, through it, I’d be able to publish a book, or even win a Palanca, you’ll never know, right?

“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” Philippians 2:3.