My Blogging Values
Do you think about why you blog? Or what type of content you write on your blog? Do you have certain personal “rules” that you tend to stick by?
Becca mentioned some time ago that she liked the idea of blogging values:
I really like the idea of blogging values – something I know I’ve thought about but never given that title. It would be so beneficial to actually write those out and have those guide you.
I mentioned having blogging values when I wrote about how I will not “growth hack” my blog because it goes against my values, and Becca’s comment encouraged me to write this post.
Because what are my values?
I began thinking about my values, but the more I thought about it, the harder it became to actually word my feelings. So while I had some free time on my flight to Perth last month, I had a think about what my values should be and wrote them in my notebook. I revised them and looked over them, and I will write about them below.
1. I am honest in reviews.
Every now and then, I review products. Things like tea, stationery, food, books, music. Sometimes I paid for these products and decided to write a review because I either really liked the product and wanted people to know about it, or really wanted people to know about it because the product was one to be avoided.
Other times, I receive the item for free in exchange for a review on my blog. I usually include a disclaimer in the blog post with my review, to explain that the opinions are my own and whether I received the item for free or purchased it.
I am always completely honest to my readers and will give my honest opinion on a product. If I don’t do this, then what is the point of sharing my “opinion”?
2. I am honest about my life.
I know not everyone blogs, nor does everyone feel comfortable with sharing a large amount of personal information on their blog. But whatever I write, I make it honest. Sometimes I’m vague because something is too personal to write about, or involves the private information of other people. But I try to make my blog best represent me.
Many of you have known me perhaps from the “dawn of time”. I used to write deep posts about my depression and my family, but I stopped out of respect of my family and because posts about depression were very triggering. I wanted to respect the people who read my blog.
Despite this, I have continued to blog about my life because that is exactly what kept my readers reading my blog in the first place.
3. I will not be so professional or business-oriented such that my personal blogging fades away.
My professional life and career is a big part of who I am, and I don’t hide the two from each other. I am the same loud, semi-outgoing and aspirational person I am at work as I am with my friends.
Although I have written more about work and my professional life recently, I will not never allow that to drown the fact that I love writing in my blog like a diary.
4. I will keep blogging not for as long as someone reads it, but for as long as I love and enjoy it.
I have not stopped loving blogging. Over the years, I have seen people lose interest and I never hear from them again. This has not happened to me.
Many people have asked if I would stop blogging if no-one read my blog. Although I love my readership and they often influence my decision on what/how to do things on my blog because I care about them – ultimately I write for me. I don’t write for anyone else, and the fact that people love to read my blog only makes it clearer to me that I should continue doing what I love – not continue doing something because other people like it.
5. I respect the people who read my blog.
Most people who read my blog (or at least leave comments) are respectful of me. I am the same to them, and especially people who also blog and have their own blogs. I do my best to visit the blogs of people who read mine – I love interacting with people and making new friends. However, there has been some negativity and I have encountered people who are not as nice. In the past I was quite naive and I would get publicly angry, but now I deal with these people in a more mature way.
I have respect. I have respect when:
- writing about people, and
- interacting with people who read my blog.
I know of people who have written posts (negative and even positive) that mention and link to people’s blogs or websites, and the mentioned people find out and are not okay with it for whatever reason. They might be trying to be secretive. They might not want anyone else to know about them. You may have written something defamatory about them – this is not OK.
Because I have seen situations like this unfold, my personal policy is that often I like to check with someone before I give out information about them on my blog.
I usually assume that they are alright to have their website linked, especially if they share it with me, but any more revealing information – like their last name or location, especially information that I might know but was disclosed to only me – is something I will ask about first. I often ask Nick if something is okay to write about. Usually our dates and adventures are fine to share. :)
6. My blog is my happy place.
For some people, their blog is an outlet to rant and write about private things that people they talk to in real life may have no clue about. Or they may not want these people to know about it. That’s fair enough.
My blog is really public and readable to everyone. This does play a small part in why I choose to refrain from being a negative person on my blog, but it is not the only reason:
- In the past I have gotten into trouble from several different parties for being negative on my blog – even slightly negative.
- I also moved away from my old URL Heartdrops.org because it had negative connotations and reflected a sadder part of my life.
- I can be a very emotional person, and, like most people, say really hurtful things when I am angry. I do not want that kind of writing on my blog, so I never use it as an outlet to rant.
- Having previously struggled with depression, and stemming from the above point, I wanted to deal with my emotions better and not just resort to letting it all out in public. I wanted a better way for me to heal and recover.
These are my blogging values and I stay true to them as much as I can. I don’t think they will change, and this is the way I have felt about things for many years regarding my blog.
Although my blog has undergone a handful of changes, many of my readers stick by me. I don’t think I, as a person, have changed much in the writing on my blog. Even though my life has changed a lot.
I am certain that many bloggers have their own set of values or things that they keep in mind as they continue to blog.
This was something that was a little difficult to think up and write about because I didn’t want it to sound like a hard-and-fast manifesto, but more like a reflection that encompasses me in the recent past, as well as the present, and how I still want to continue in the future. But I hope that this is something I look back on later and see that I still hold myself to these values.
Do you have ‘blogging values’ or have you ever thought about them? What would your blogging values be?