Monday, February 25, 2013

Staying True With Elembee

Dear readers, I had a lovely little intro all written up for today, but when this guest post arrived in my inbox I realized that the topic doesn't need anything more than what's written below.  After all, Lisa - blogger extraordinaire and self-made businesswoman and wonderful example of how to brilliantly be unique while a part of a larger whole - has this down.  Thanks, Lisa, for visiting today!


Hi! I'm Lisa, a web designer and blogger at Elembee. I love how Betsy is not afraid to start a discussion on her blog, so I was excited when she asked me to share my thoughts on staying true to yourself while being active in the blogging community.

I think the biggest thing I've learned through blogging is that you don't have to have it all figured out — blogging is about the process. Chances are, that blogger you admire so much is sitting on top of a number of archives that make them cringe at the thought of how lost and random they were in the beginning. Even the ones who seemed to have it all together from the beginning were probably pulling from previous experience, whether they had another blog first that you never saw, or some unique life experience outside of blogging that helped them develop their skills. Our experiences and interests, and simply getting better with practice and growing as people, shape our blogs and, at the risk of sounding really corny, make the possibilities endless. That's the awesome thing about our community — just because someone followed one particular path to success doesn't mean you can't make your own way.

When you start doing anything new, it's natural to want to imitate others so you can learn the best way to do it. And with so many success stories spawning so many resources on what you should and shouldn't be doing, it's no wonder things can get repetitive quickly in the blogging community. Yes, certain types of posts are popular for a reason — because we all like to read them! It's totally fine to follow a format — in fact, I think as creative people, having a little form to follow helps us narrow down the many ideas we usually have running through our heads at once.

But I think the key to staying true to yourself is always asking the why. Why do you want to write that post, what do you want to get out of it? I think it's totally fine to talk about polka dots when everyone else is too, but you have to make it personal — don't just do it because everyone else is doing it. Maybe you have a top you want to figure out how to style, or maybe it's the one thing missing in your closet and you need to find the perfect piece that goes with other things you own. Or maybe you really hate polka dots! Tell us all about it, and I'm sure some of us feel the same. And if you don't feel strongly about them either way, then find something else that does excite you to talk about — who knows, you could be the next trendsetter! I think if you can look for ways to explore what interests you and do something for yourself through blogging, you really can't go wrong.

So the point is, have an opinion, and don't be afraid to share it — that's kind of the point of blogging! Yes, there will probably be times when it's better to keep your mouth shut — this is the internet after all, and what you put out there stays there forever. How much of yourself you decide to share is up to you, but know that there is a place in the community for every kind of opinion, and the community is built on open discussion.

How do you think you can stay true to yourself in the blogging community?


15 comments:

  1. Great advice, as always. In the past I've posted about some things just because everyone else was and in the end, I wasn't happy with the direction my blog was headed. I've given that up and I try to only blog about what interests me. Currently though I'm trying to fine tune it even more so that I only blog about a topic if it interests me AND adds value.

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  2. I really appreciate how thought provoking your posts always are. I am always working to make sure that my posts represents things that I am interested in and speak to who I am, sometimes this means I don't post for a while because I don't want to post for the sake of simply doing so. Nice to hear other bloggers thinking about this same things.

    Alana

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  3. Adding value is a great way to look at it!

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  4. thank you! blogging is great because it gives anyone who wants it a platform, but I think that, as Lisa says above, we shouldn't use that platform just because it's there. use it because you have something real to say!

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  5. thank YOU for writing! this is fab - even though we've been talking about this for a while, you always bring up points I've forgotten.

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  6. as someone who is currently resisting the urge to delete all and start over - i love this. you have to start somewhere b/c you won't figure out what you really want to do and focus on until you actually get started! i think determining what works for you will always be a focus for any blogger, but i love that more and more bloggers are moving towards more authentic content. thanks lisa and betsy! such a great read.

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  7. Great advice Lisa! I do find myself looking to others for inspiration and its hard not to want to just completely start new and do it like they're doing it. But being true to yourself is definitely important.

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  8. don't do it! those early posts are part of your journey, and letting others see that is such a wonderful connection. that being said, I fight the urge every week or so...

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  9. I'm always a bit uncomfortable when I see a brand new perfect blog. like, where was your learning experience, blogger? but as Lisa points out, we almost never know the whole story!

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  11. Such great advice. It's always so hard to remember that everyone was a beginner once. It's too easy to compare in the blogging world. This was a nice reminder to be true to yourself!

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  12. La Chapstick FanatiqueFebruary 26, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    I love this! When I go back into my archives I definitely cringe! Haha.


    http://lachapstickfanatique.blogspot.com

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  13. it's like a giant public scrapbook... eek!

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  14. I finally had the chance to read through this whole post - absolutely love it :) Lisa - thanks for your perspective!! xoxo

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I love reading your thoughts and suggestions! Please do leave a comment so we can get to know each other better.