Sunday, May 19, 2013

The moment I became excommunicated

This is a rant and it's not meant to look or sound even remotely pretty.
You may even want to stop reading here.  Yup now because I'm sure I'll be covering some recent posts that even my favorite bloggers have written.

I have a few pet peeves with blogging.  I like to blog because I like to write.  I actually like to write and not just share random pictures of bottles of liquor or a skirt that can be used for two different outfits.  If people enjoy my writing, pictures, and anything else I share on here than that's awesome.  

I blog because it's a lot of fun and I really, truly enjoy reading the stories of other people.  But that being said, maybe I'm just not a cool kid.  I've been blogging for over a year now and am so glad to have the readers that I do.  I not only write for myself but on issues and things that I feel other people might care an ounce about.  However bloggers,  not excluding myself, care a lot about their self-appearance and branding themselves.

That's why it appears that some bloggers drink an obscene amount of alcohol and are in a constant haze of drunken stupor.  My question is, are they constantly that drunk?  *side-eye*  I mean that's one helluva a trip on branding your blog. 

This branding and levels of readership also quantifies absolute crap writing.
I talk about crappy writing a lot on this blog.  I'm sorry, I'm a content snob.

I have been invited to participate in buy-in giveaways and I have seriously thought about it but I am still not comfortable with the idea.  I don't care if you participate in buy-in giveaways because the prize is awesome and allows for people to discover different blogs. 

It's just not for me. 

I don't want people to follow my blog, Twitter or Instagram because I threw in money into a pot.  I've also seriously started to dread sponsoring other blogs for this same reason.  When I visit a blog, do I check out the  If a blog can speak for itself, I'll find it and if they have quality posts then I become a loyal follower.  This week alone I found two blogs that I just love (A Beautiful Mess and Delightfully Tacky).  I want more readers but part of feels like if I can't step up my writing and posts, then the readership is an actual reflection of that.    

I'm at a stage where despite not having a "ton of readers," I do get e-mails.  What does that mean?  It means that I don't get free product, which is fine, but I get told about it.  So yes, I know about that fun clothing company opportunity that costs like $50 a month.  You don't need to go out and buy a new dress as long as you can subscribe to our dress rental membership


I am always polite and considerate to people who e-mail me.  But I am not interested in an opportunity for you to overcharge me or my readers on a dress subscription service.  If I'm going to put down anything over $30 on a dress or outfit, I'm probably going to buy it from KiKi LaRue because I have been wanting to purchase a dress from there (plus I follow the company on Instagram and they always have great customer service).  There is no way on God's Green Earth that I am going to subscribe to rent a dress for the cost of a dress.  What are you smoking?

So I think it's safe to say that you e-mailing because you felt that I would be interested in an overcharged service was you making a wrong assumption. 

Speaking of sponsorships, I have consistently seen companies sending product to bloggers who have zero credibility for,  like sending children's products for a blogger to review who doesn't have children or glasses to someone who doesn't wear glasses.  Insert Mean Girls quote: she doesn't even go here.  As someone who studied marketing and advertisement, I'm going to tell you this, I am not going to trust the opinion of someone who doesn't wear glasses or contacts.  Why? Because they don't know the annoyance of finding a pair that does not consistently fall down the bridge of your nose or that the arms of the glasses go too far past your ears or that they look nice with the shape of your face.  I could go on and on because I've had glasses since fourth grade and not just for a tripod photoshoot.  The second "what are you smoking" moment.

Finally, assumptions made on bloggers.  When a blogger says that married life is difficult is because it is and that's no joke.  There are certain events of a young person's life that are difficult.  We all have bills and eat a lot of Ramen.  However, the difference is that you combine that with not just living with another person but being unified with that person.  You are sharing the same bank account and as easy as it is to share that in a sentence, it's a whole different enchilada when it comes to applying that in real life.  You share everything and not just an apartment space.  So those big girl and big boy loans become a shared asset and insurance, taxes, mortgages, etc. all become shared.  I did all of those adult style bills while being single and of course after I got married as well and I can tell you that it's significantly more difficult as a married person.  So when someone says that marital life is completely different than handling singledom responsibilities, they are telling the truth.  It's certainly not glitter and rainbows either way, but do not think that marriage is going to be this cake walk because you've got yourself a career and have doing the big girl thing for awhile now. 

I already have a post up but I just wanted to rant.  I needed to get this off my chest because despite trying to put out quality posts I see this nonsense up all of the time.  I like a variety of bloggers and I don't think we should all be the same because we're not.  However, somethings just don't make sense to me.

I'm not going to end this on a funky note though.  I did participate in Bout of Books' Read-a-Thon with Twitter chats called TweetChats and it has been a blast.  This has been a great way to discover different bloggers and people who just enjoy reading.  If you like to read, need an excuse to sit down and read, or have a pile of books calling your name, check out Bout of Books.  It was such a fun opportunity and that experience kind of showed me that I need to re-tailor my blogging experience.

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  1. Kim, I have to admit I am not quite sure who you´re referring to in the first paragraph but as a blogger myself let me assure you that I get tons of company emails as well. I guess it´s what we´ve signed up for when we made our contacts public, no?!

    So I don´t even read those kinds of emails - marked as spam - trash - thank you very much.

    I also don´t listen to anonymous comments anymore. Those people don´t have a life or are unhappy and invest their energy in bashing others online instead of making their very own lifes better. Again - marked as spam - trash - done!

    No one ever sent me stuff for free to review. I don´t wear glasses - only sunglasses and therefore I would tell people upfront but when this blogger you referred upon decided to go for it and the company thought it´s a great match - then let the readers and customers decide. I would not buy plussize clothing from a skinny girl - that´s for sure - but to each their own!

    Still, I don´t think you have to have kids to review kids´ products to be honest. I took care of kids all of my life with younger siblings, as an aupair abroad and even as a nanny during summers off school. I guess I could review kids´ products - funny side note: a few friends of mine just had babies and they are only childs and didn´t even know how to change a diaper and stuff - they ALL turned to me for advice!

    I also have a different approach to the marriage-subject. I am not married but I am in an exclusive relationship for almost 5 years, we live together in an apartment - it´s not a roommate situation - we have a life together, share bills and decide together.

    You don´t have to be married to do just that. Also I know married couples who don´t share a bank account. I also have to say I experienced this in the US as the normal thing to do when you´re married, but I don´t know a lot of Austrian/German/European couples who share a bank account.

    From my perspective, I start to roll my eyes reading blogs from married couples who rushed things and then they complain about how hard everything is. I know for a lot of couples it´s quite common to move in together after their I do´s. Frankly, I think that´s a big mistake. First I think you learn so much about yourself living on your own and second when you move in together that´s the point where you REALLY get to know your partner - the good, the bad and the ugly.....

    So of course when couples rush things, the everyday things seem to upset them BUT as a blogger and reader of blogs the decision of following, interacting, reading or just leaving a blog altogether is mine. That´s the great thing about the gazillions of blogs outthere - as I said - to each their own :)

    The longest comment ever, haha :)

    1. Thanks for commenting Martie! I appreciate you taking the time to express your thoughts on this and honestly this is why I wrote a more controversial post as so people can really lay it down. I always admit that I am a content snob but reading these comments alone, provides more passionate and in-depth writing than what I've been seeing on a lot of the more frequented blogs.

      I don't mind receiving the company e-mails because that's just part of the beast of blogging. However, I've seen companies try to switch up their marketing towards bloggers and it doesn't always make sense. Like you said about the glasses, if you don't wear them then why would you be reviewing on them? My main problem with company sponsorships is that I occasionally see companies give bloggers ill-fitted product. For example you said that you have experience being a nanny and having friends with kids. If you had a product review on children's items, I'm going to assume that you would look to your friends with kids or the children that you sit for and also have them include their thoughts on the product. Companies do have that privilege of deciding who they want to have review their products, however, I'm less concerned about that and more concerned on what it does to the blogging community. It's become a numbers game where at X number of readers, I qualify for free products that are targeted (usually) to women in their early 20s to 40s. If a product fits your blog, what you write about and your lifestyle, I'm definitely going to want to read about that product or outfit, etc. However, if they're just reviewing random products that don't fit anything that a blogger has talked about, then it adds to this blogger culture. It's where regardless if a product is a good thing for your readers or even yourself, you "deserve" this free product. That I'm not ok with.

      I feel like I struck a nerve with the marriage content of this post. I definitely understand that you don't have to necessarily be married to share bills, etc. I know a lot of couples who are in committed relationships but aren't married and share many aspects of that. That's nothing new but what I was trying to address is that there are elements that do change when you get married. Ryan and I have both had separate bank accounts and shared and we've also lived apart, I definitely know how that story goes. We also have wills and if I die Ryan gets funds because of that. I think the original blogger was frustrated at seeing so many "marriage is difficult" posts but that's because it is- any relationship that has requires extended time, dedication, etc. is going to have its ups and downs.

      Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. I really do not understand the point of this. But you know what i do when i do not like a blog or one i have been reading for a while starts to get annoying? I simply stop reading it. We all have our own likes and dislikes, and i do not think it is fair for you to say something is crap writing. Whoever posted this so called crap writing took the time to post it and obviously does not think it is crap. I would think you, as a lover of writing, might understand this. How would you like it if i told you i think your blog is annoying, makes me roll my eyes, and is full of crap writing? I bet you would not like it. It also would not be nice of me to say. I do not mind reading a post about a cute skirt. There is no harm in it. And if somebody likes to drink, let them. It is their life, not yours, and certainly NOT for you to judge their lifestyle.

    I came here to see the P2S linkup, and instead found this. You could have perhaps saved it for at least a day. But then again, this is your blog and who am i to criticize your blog publicly?

    difficulties you have with marriage. But i think it goes without saying that marriage can be difficult, look at the divorce rate.

    1. Ignore the last bit. I went to write something else and deleted it...but my nook doe snot make it easy to edit and delete text.

    2. Hi Nina! Thanks for commenting. I think this type of discussion is great and I like to see comments like this because you're passionate about what you read.
      I do the same thing when I don't like a blog, I stop reading it. However, this isn't about one specific blog, this is a post with my statements on how I feel about the lack of quality that is starting to happen. I also prefaced the post by saying that this is not meant to be a pretty post and that I will be ranting and gave the reader the opportunity to stop at that moment.

      I would disagree with you on saying that I don't have an opinion on saying what is crap writing. I do because if a blog takes in not just sponsors but business reviews, I become a potential consumer for either the blogs that are investing in ad space or businesses that are sending product for review. Now I'm not saying that all posts from one specific blog or all blogs have crap writing because if that was the case, I wouldn't be a blogger. That just wouldn't make sense. What I was referring to, in that brief sentence up above, was the use of filler text. From what I can see this occurs when people need posts to fill a quota and have nothing to write. This isn't usually a bad thing because that just happens, not a big deal. However, instead there is a greater increase of filler text. I also think you may have misread what I wrote on branding. I have no qualms with people drinking, I was discussing branding a self-image. I personally don't think that many bloggers out there drink as much as they allude to but to upkeep a niche that they fulfill on their blog, they talk about how sloshed they get on weekends. If that's what a blogger does, go on with your bad yourself. I personally don't care but I think it's interesting that there's an upkeep of that image then.

      If people think that I do sloppy writing, then they don't have to read what I write. That's the beautiful thing about blogging. However, I don't have sponsors write now that are paid and I represent my own self-image as a smaller blogger who consumes the work and reviews of other bloggers at the moment. With that being said, it's an interesting point that you brought up that you were looking for the link-up. Timing is everything, as well as with posts. I will leave it up because again it's my choice to represent my frustrations and in the e-mail I sent out there are three links leading to the actual link-up, so people can bypass this completely if they so choose.

      The main point of this post was that I think that certain aspects of upkeeping a number of readers (the importance of numbers), plus fielding sponsorships, and product reviews has created a blogging beast. One that causes really good bloggers to put in more filler text than necessary and to stray away from why they started. People change, I get that, but it's also disappointing that at X number of readers you're qualified to review on products that don't make sense with your lifestyle, your blog or who you are. Hopefully all that I wrote makes sense :)

    3. Of course you can have an opinion on writing and thinking it is crap, however, I don't think it is nice to be calling it crap outloud for everybody to see. I think it can promote feelings of insecurities for people wondering if somebody is going to think that somebody out there is going to call it crap. i just don't like it as it promotes negativity. you are usually pretty positive when it comes to blogging and bloggers so it comes as a surprise

      I think a lot of bloggers just want free stuff and to host giveaways to maybe get more readers. if that is what they want to do, whether or not their promotion is related to their blog or not, then so be it. I get contacted all the time for things and say no to all of them except the race entry giveaways. I don't want my blog to be full of sponsored posts. I also wish I would stop getting emails from companies who can't even get my blog name right. :)

      If the really good bloggers want to host sponsored posts that becomes filler stuff, that is their choice and too bad for them if they lose readers, etc. I read two of thw bigger bloggers, the rest are little blogs because that is the content I want to read.

  3. You need to ignore the things about blogging that you don't like. People blog for so many different reasons. I know that the list of blogs that I follow consistently changes. Our interests change - and so do other bloggers - so content is always shifting as is our attention. There are a lot of fashion blogs and many people enjoy posts that are filled with pictures rather than words. If that's not for you, take some time to find some new blogs and replace the ones you've grown out of.

    As for sponsors (and product reviews), that's a crazy side of blog land that I can't even think about getting into. While you blog to write (and I really appreciate your posts - I love reading about your life and your thoughts), there are some bloggers that run their blog as a business - which is where branding becomes essential.

    There's no denying that married life is difficult. However, so is single life. I think being an adult in general is a struggle - in completely different ways depending on the person. I'm not married myself, but I've been with my boyfriend for almost eight years now. We dated long distance for eight months and have been living together for seven years now. We share expenses and plan our lives like any other married couple. I think it's important to remember that we don't know what things are like in other people's lives. Someone who is single may find life just as difficult as a married couple. Someone in a relationship may have similar issues to a married couple. It's all a guessing game.

    If you ever want to chat or rant, you know my email. :)

    1. I totally agree that blogging changes over time and the list of the blogs that one chooses to follow definitely changes. I follow a ton of fashion blogs and I don't mind blogs with a ton of pictures because I love photography. I think this post stemmed from my frustration with how companies mold blogging. I don't mind reading product reviews or hearing about new things, I usually trust bloggers who openly recommend something. However, what I'm seeing is the numbers game being played where at X number of readers, I deserve free product. It doesn't necessarily mean that product fits my lifestyle, readers, or anything I can even relate to because they're going to send it to me. I saw something similar to this with a blogger who doesn't journal and openly admits to not really enjoying writing yet was sent a 10-year journal to review. I randomly came across that, so in some sense that business strategy worked but if I'm going to look for reviews on fun writing products then I'm probably going to go to bloggers (with bigger numbers) who focus on writing. I'm more frustrated that numbers and products equalize what is a substantial blogger. To me it just defeats the purpose of product reviews.

      I certainly hope you didn't think that I was downplaying single life or committed relationships because that wasn't my intent. The original post was her frustrations with "marriage is difficult" posts but realistically marriages are difficult as Nina pointed out with the very high divorce rate. She brought up many of the same points where she shares many of the bills and expenses and for some people even mortgages. I totally get that and with committed relationships there are difficulties and ups and downs. What I immediately thought of was aspects of health insurance, shared accounts, and if I died Ryan would get not only get money for my death (I know that sounds morbid) but also my remaining debts including school loans. To be honest, I don't know if that's the same for committed relationships but I definitely understand that both have many aspects of difficulty. Thanks for commenting :) You're wonderful as always

    2. I don't understand WHY so many bloggers do product reviews for things that don't fit their lifestyle, but I think it comes down to people just wanting free things. To each their own, I guess. While I know that type of posts you're talking about - I follow some blogs that have that sort of content occasionally - they're not often bloggers I get to know personally.

      My boyfriend and I are considered common law, since we've been living together for so long, so all laws applicable to married couples are applicable to us too (such as insurance, debt, etc.). I'm fine with people writing posts on how marriage is difficult, or delightful, for that matter. Same with single people writing about how their life is difficult/wonderful. I generally enjoy learning about people's lives.

  4. I wasn't around over the weekend, so I am late coming to this...

    What I get annoyed with are some of the same things... But also, I do feel that quality content is based on the heart and authenticity put into a post, over whether the reader feels it's quality. I mean, not everything is for everyone. I love authentic blogs. Even if it's not about something I'd usually read, I appreciate the realness and human quality.

    What gets me, are the oodles of shallow blogs about pretty much NOTHING (i.e. liquor and skirts, as you mentioned) with TONS of followers. It's like some middle school popularity contest and the mean, pretty girl wins again. It's pretty sad...

    And the product reviews and sponsorships kill me. Back about 3 years ago I accepted review requests because it was money and who doesn't want to make a living off their blog? BUT, at the end of the day I found it's almost impossible to remain authentic and use your space to promote someone's business... You either sell out or you stay true. Harsh? Maybe. It doesn't mean no one should do them. I guess it just depends on the focus of your blog, your audience and your goals...

    I am rushing off to check out Bout of Books because i am intrigued!!!

    1. What you said about not everything is for everyone is incredibly true. However I see it as I don't purposely go to a blog with the intent that I'm going to dislike it. If I like the posts I'm going to follow the blogger because I like his or her style. I'm just disappointed because I'm seeing a trend in bloggers where their once really awesome, attention-drawing content is now becoming something less than that. I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment about shallow blogs. They're fun but it does feel a bit like high school and for me personally, it doesn't feel like it does journaling or blogging justice. Again, that's just my opinion.
      I am totally not judging people on doing product reviews because like you said, that's money in your pocket. Ideally, one day I would love to blog and have that be a job. However, I want to stay true to myself and my readers. That's why I love blogs like Little Miss Momma and Delightfully Tacky. They have thousands of readers, make money, go to conferences, and to me still stay awesome.

      Bout of Books is awesome! I think it's just wrapping up but definitely join the next one. That experience showed me what it's like to connect with readers very quickly but in a fun and genuine way :) Thanks for the comment!

  5. I'm a bit late to this, but I just wanted to let you know that I agree with almost everything you say in this post. I've recently unsubscribed from a lot of blogs I read because it was consistently, in my opinion, crap content. I think some of the comments you've received are being a bit harsh, as you're just expressing your opinion, but I suppose that is the double edged sword of blogging! :) Like you, I'm in that category where I don't have a ton of readers, but I get a lot of emails, and so far, I haven't had one that actually had anything to do with me or my blog, so I totally understand the annoyance there.

    The only part I don't agree with is the marriage part. For me, married life was really no different than single life. My husband and I already lived together and already shared all of our finances, so the transition was rather seamless, and even when we first moved in together and started to share everything, it wasn't that hard for us. However, I know that is the exception to the rule, (and by no means am I trying to imply that marriage isn't hard!), but in the sense of what you were referring to, for me, it really wasn't hard.

    Anyway, I appreciate the honesty and great post :)

    1. Thanks for the comment Serena! I think just from the lack of quality posts, I'm going to unsubscribe from several blogs as well. At first I was reluctant to do this because I still want to be a part of the blogging community but then I realized that there are still several larger blogs out there that remain true to their mission statement. I spent a good hour on Little Miss Momma today and I just love everything she puts on her blog. I hope that one day I'll be like that. The other day I found Delightfully Tacky and she's the same way. To me, it's not impossible to stay genuine despite a number of readers. The problem is that businesses feed into a certain cycle and then people believe that that's the expectation.
      That was one of the main reasons I love your blog is because of your genuine posts and you post frequently.
      With the marriage part, I realize I'm bringing a really different perspective being young and in the military so I should have prefaced that better. I think the ill-fitted product reviews just got me rolling and I couldn't stop lol.

      Thanks for commenting :)