Tuesday 3 November 2015

I'm a Good Enough Blogger, Are You?

I'll just go ahead and answer that question straight away, no point in leaving you hanging.

Are you a good enough blogger? Of course you are. We all are.

Who is it up to anyway? Who gets to decide what is OK and what is not with YOUR blog? This is your space after all, only you can say. You are the judge and in this case you are the jury and YOU get the final say.

Now I know some of you reading this might be arguing with me in your head or even shouting at your screen. "No Michelle, it is not all about me. There are so many people judging me - my readers, my family, other bloggers - the top bloggers even (*Yawn*), PR's, Companies etc etc. I have to perform, I have to do well, I have to work on my blog 24 hours a day, I must never take a day off, I have to grind myself into the ground, I have to be active on every social media networks, even those ones no-one has even heard of yet. I want to be a success. So. I. Must. Work. Super. Hard!

Well I think you are wrong, you don't need to satisfy anyone else in particular to be good enough. Let me explain.

For a long time now I have blogged about good enough parenting and I have received feedback from hundreds of parents agreeing with me, that we are all the best parents for our own children and that the best way to parent them is the way we feel right doing it. Mums and Dads should go with their gut and listen to their intuition, it is why it is there. Gina Ford, The Baby Whisperer and Super Nanny can all take a run and jump as I am the authority on parenting my children.

Well guess what? It is the same with your blog! Amazing, huh? Have you ever thought about blogging in this way?

Yes it is really useful to read an article on Pro Blogger, the Huff Post, BritMums or anywhere else but it is just an article with advice. Advice that you can take or you can leave and in the same way that as a parent of a newborn I followed Gina Ford's routines, I also encompassed The Baby Whisperers techniques too and then at times I went totally renegade and just did my own thing. You make your own formula for success - be it at parenting or blogging.

At some point or another every one of us bloggers gets sucked into the vacuum of sameness. The top bloggers all have white blog backgrounds - I need one. The top bloggers all have curated beautiful Instagram feeds, I need one. The top bloggers all work with XYZ holiday company and therefore when I get a holiday from them to review I'll know I've made it too! Poppycock!  Have you really asked yourself if you want to work with XYZ company?  If yes, then great pursue that goal but you'll do it best by being you. And if no, then forget that company, who cares if you work with them and follow the crowd.

We all need to be the best version of ourselves, an authentic one, rather than a poor copy of someone else. My advice to every new blogger over the last 8 years has been the same - be you, tell it from the heart, show your passion, be a little vulnerable and do not imitate. It may be a form of flattery but it will always stink of someone else. You are never going to be able to do 'them' as well as they can, so why even bother tiring yourself out trying.

Let me share with you just a few of the reasons why I'm a good enough blogger, some of them might apply to you too -

1. I've got Regular Readers. I've still got some readers that read my blog six or seven years ago. My readers come back time and time again. Yes some leave and I never see them again and that's OK, others stick around and bring me joy.

2.  Blogging brings me joy. It is where I share my passion and can inspire and reassure others going through similar situations. When I first blogged about my eating disorder I was so encouraged by the emails and private messages I got from readers telling me no-one ever talks about overeating and they could relate.

3.  I've made real friends. People I would still see even if I never wrote another blog post again. People I care about and they care about me. You know who you are.

4.  I can do good. Through blogging my heart for the poor has grown and it is my blog that has opened new doors and allowed me to travel to Ethiopia, Belarus and America, working with some amazing charities and campaigning organisations, like ONE.

5.  Other bloggers have chosen to nominate me for awards.  I've never won one, I've always been the bridesmaid and it doesn't matter. What matters is that someone thought I was good enough to nominate out of the thousands of blogs for that particular category.

6.  I write what I like, when I like. I am my own boss. I know how to say no and I just take up the opportunities that suit me and my family. When the blogging police tell me I should not take follow links, I tell them to bug off. When other bloggers tell me I do not need to disclose on a post I tell them to do what suits them and I'll do the same. I'm not dancing to anyone else's tune, just my own.

I could probably go on and on but I think you get the picture.

You too are a good enough blogger. You might not have been blogging for 7/8 years like I have but time is inconsequential, what matters if that right here, right now, you can say I like my blog. It is me and I am content with where I am at. I too am a good enough blogger.

What do you reckon, can you say that?

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