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?
This post really got my thinking about my blogging values. I guess I’ve thought about the reasons why I blog, and what I want my blog to be, but I haven’t ever wrote them down as values. I might just have to give it a go!
I think my values are very similar to yours. When I read through the responses of my reader survey last year I was pleasantly surprised to find that most of my visitors come for my personal posts. I feel like the blogging world is so curated nowadays with people only sharing the positive aspects of their lives, but we all know that’s not real life and nobody has a perfect life. So that’s why I’ve very transparent and honest on my blog, and I love to find other bloggers who have the same approach.
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?
yes. however, rather than labeling them as rules, i’d like to call them standards. as long as i enjoy writing and wish to nurture my hobby, i will continue to blog. as for the type of content written on my blog, i used to not care about stuff like categories on my blog but it made me think about how messy my blog is so i end up thinking of the contents based on categories.
i have never really clarify my blogging values into lists – i mean, i think about them and most of the values you listed above are something i agree. but i haven’t really sit down and think thoroughly to list them, if that makes sense. however, i have to say… my values won’t differ from what you have written above especially the part where you will write honest reviews and will not use the blog as a place to rant and post the deepest saddest truth about my life. it’s really fun to read blogs that are meant to be editorial or for business purposes (such as how some famous lifestyle beauty blogs are today) but still have that personal blog kind of feeling haha i wonder if that makes sense.
Hannie Arden Blaise
I find this post to be super accurate and relatable and just.. preach it gurl! I share your views completely.
Hugs & Hope you have a great week!
Bless this post.
I’m sure you’ll look back on this and still more or less fit these values you’ve drawn up. I mean, when you and I both started blogging, we were not only very different bloggers to we are now, but very different people. We’ve grown up a lot.
I like value number 6, about your blog being your happy place. I think that’s really inspiring. <3
I love reading reflections! Mostly because I like writing them too. I find that this resonated a lot with my own personal experience. I had depression too and often used my blog as an outlet but like you, have stopped blogging anything super negative just because they are triggering. Not only for others, but mainly triggering for me in that they made me more depressed instead of relieved, aha.
I’ve never thought about blogging values before but now that I think about it, most (if not all) bloggers probably hold to their own set of blogging values. Thanks for sharing!
My blogging values used to be to never monetize and to always be brutally honest. Now… well, those seem rather the antithesis of modern blogging, haha.
Thank you for sharing your blogging values :). It is interesting to see what blogging values people have. This makes me think of mine (on a serious note aside from my usual ghetto phrases). Being honest in your reviews is important because if you back up a notoriously defective product, your reputation is on the line because readers are questioning the validity of your review. Honest review = more people will believe in what you truly believe in :) (product-wise).
I’m the same when it comes to being honest with my life. Being truthful with whatever you share goes a long way! I have some personal problems that I avoid blogging about because I know it’ll bite me back later on. I’m happy to hear that you write for yourself! Some people have the misconception that ALL bloggers blog to impress other people/try to prove something/whatever. (Haters gonna hate). In my case, I like to blog because I see visible self-progress over the years. I’m far from being “the best” but I’m doing what I can in this world.
It’s good not to get publicly angry. That’s a bit embarrassing because it shows the nasty side of *you* (whoever makes the post). On top of that, it’s worse to write some defamatory posts based on hearsay.
I’m definitely seeing some positive vibes coming out of this domain. Loving the blogging values that you align yourself with. My blogging values need some further refining (to be continued).
This post really made me think about my blog values. I have so much to share and for me I sometimes worry about what others would think, but now reading this, makes me realize that it does not matter what they think. I want a happy place to share my life, hobbies, business, and that’s what I am aiming to accomplish. You’ve really made me think about why I blog.
Aw, I’m happy that my comment got you thinking a bit more and inspired you to write this!
I think that your values resonate with a lot of us, including myself. I also always try to be as honest as I can be on my blog, otherwise it’s not really my blog, and I don’t think it’s fair to me or my readers to give false information or false ideals of how my life actually is. So while I also resonate with my blog being my “happy place”, I also am not afraid to talk about issues or struggles that I’m going through. It’s about keeping that balance. And I think readers enjoy it when we keep it real.
It has been really fun to watch you grow as a blogger, writer, and just overall person, Georgie. I think your genuine-ness (is that a word? haha), your optimism, and your friendliness keeps a lot of readers sticking with you over the years. I know that if I ever quit blogging (which I hope I don’t!) that I would still read your blog! :)
I thoroughly agree! Not everyone’s life is perfect and mine certainly isn’t – there are some very personal things I keep off my blog, but I am not afraid to say I’m going through a rough patch if that’s how things are. I don’t want to pretend to be happy – I know people want to know the real me. :)
Aw thank you Becca! You’re one of my most loyal readers and a great friend. 💖 I don’t see myself quitting blogging any time soon, either. ;)
This post certainly gave me something to think about (& blog about!) in terms of what I want to do. I’ve been struggling for a few months to try and decide what kind of content I want to create and struggling to keep myself motivated to actually keep up with it. I go through phases every summer where I want to keep going and get back on track before the semester starts in August but then I just lose track completely.
What I mean to say is I think that your post is inspiring me to have some blogging values that I can go and look back on when I doubt myself in times like these. I’m happy I discovered your blog by clicking on the link on Kya’s website because this post just helped me immensely.
Thank you Alyssa! If you’re feeling unmotivated, don’t let it get you down. You definitely don’t have to be blogging every week or even every month. Sometimes you won’t have things to blog about and it’ll take some time to find your groove and even find what you are comfortable with sharing. Over time you will change as well, and I find a blog is great to look back on your own development. So in the end it doesn’t matter how frequently you write. I am glad you found some inspiration in my blogging values :)
This is the first time I’ve seen a blogger post about their values openly! It’s pretty hard to come by with the wave of beauty/lifestyle/fashion bloggers that have taken over in the last few years. I tend to stick to number 2, 4 and 6 myself, as they were reasons I wanted to start my blog back up again. It’s so nice how honest you’re being here.
I actually started blogging/web-designing in 2006/2007 and had your heartdrops.org URL bookmarked, having recently started again in 2016! It’s crazy how much you’ve grown yourself, it’s actually really weird even writing a comment here right now. It’s like I’ve had a 10 year writers block lol!
Anyways, lovely post and hope you’re having a great week!
Hey Devamsha! :) I’m glad you liked my post about my blogging values. You’re right – a lot has changed in the way of lifestyle blogging, at least from the point of view of someone who started blogging long ago. Even 2006 was a very, very different time to the “influencer”-heavy era of now. Ahhh, it’s also mind boggling to know that you knew my old URL, haha!
Keep on writing and writing 💖