Monday, July 15, 2013

to my fellow bloggers


There seems to be a state of unrest among many bloggers that I follow. There seems to be an abundance of self-doubt, in my own head included. Being interviewed by Chris last week got me thinking more about why I blog and what I would tell someone who was just starting out blogging. 

A huge goal of mine in this space is to simply inspire. Whether that is through my faith (or sometimes lack thereof), my personal style, my sometimes flawed - but hopefully accessible - recipes, my diy projects, my handmade businesses, or whatever...I hope that it's never a boastful attitude coming across, but a desire to share gifts that I have with people who want to read it. 

It's easy to get caught up in what other bloggers are doing. It's easy to focus on what they're good at that you aren't. My friend, that is straight up bull poop and it isn't going to get you anywhere except for maybe an invitation to your own pity party. 

I've been writing this blog for almost four years. My readership has fluctuated like crazy and it wasn't a lucrative venture for me for a long time. However, that was never why I was in it. I felt I had something to offer, something to share and I was doing a disservice to myself if I didn't follow through with what I had started. My "success" ((I use that term loosely, but know that only I can define what means success to me for this space)) wasn't overnight and I've worked so hard for it. I've spent countless hours editing photos that I didn't have the right settings set on the camera and didn't know it until after I took all the photos and tore down the set. I've used up numerous evenings coming up with projects that I could share with you. I've spent many ((many)) dollars creating recipes and series and product lines that don't always get pinned, commented on, or retweeted. But you know what? It. doesn't. matter. 

Sure, in my flesh, I'd love to get recognition...but that's sinful and takes ALL the fun out of blogging so I try to never ever focus on trying to create things that will get recognition. I create things that I love and that will hopefully inspire you, but if it doesn't? That's okay, because this creative outlet for me is life-giving and hopefully it is for you too. I know in my heart that God gave me these gifts and talents and I simply don't want to keep them to myself...and that's why I blog.

At the end of the day, you need to know that you have something to offer. You have something to be proud of, even if it's simply that you are putting yourself out there. 

You could be bad at crafting and a terrible cook, but you are a hell of a writer and someone comes back to your space to read your words that you've poured your heart into. Focus on that person.

You could be a mediocre writer, but you are super creative and come up with recipes that are easily accessible for someone who doesn't have a ton of time to prep meals for their family. That gal is growing in the kitchen because of your blog. Focus on that person.

You could simply have an incredible eye for photography. Your photos that you post inspire someone that is struggling with depression to see the beauty in life. Focus on that person.

You could have a great fashion sense, but you don't have a ton of money to dump into your wardrobe. You get creative with what you have, blog about it, and that's inspiring to a college girl who is working her way through college and has a similar style to you. She is thankful for your practical style. Focus on that person.

You could be passionate about beauty and your hair+makeup tutorials help a woman on the other side of the country - who didn't grow up with a mom to teach her how to fix her hair or do her makeup - feel beautiful. Focus on that person.

You could have a blog with only 10 readers. You are simply processing your struggle with infertility and your miscarriage story is giving someone that you don't even know comfort that they're not the only oneFocus on that person.

You could write a blog that is meant for family and friends who know you well. You share about your faith in Jesus and how He has saved you from your sought-after perfectionism and pride. He's rescued you from an eating disorder and reminds you that you are Redeemed by the cross. There is a woman in her thirties who has been starving herself for years to look "perfect." She somehow stumbles across your blog and finds hope. Focus on that person.


That's your audience right now. It could grow. It could not grow. You can't find your worth in that either way. You can't be jealous when someone gets put in the limelight and you don't. I would have quit a long time ago if I had focused on trying to keep up with others. Again, you need to KNOW that you have something to offer. Your words mean something. Your gifts are inspiring. Your story is important. Whether you have ten readers or ten thousand readers - share your story and share your gifts with boldness & confidence.

love.

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50 comments:

  1. I agree, you don't have to have a million readers to blog (although it would be incredible to reach that big an audience). I think what's important is that blogging is an avenue to express oneself; and we need that once in a while.

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  2. This is exactly why I love your blog. Thanks for sharing and inspiring. :)

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  3. I love this. It's so easy for all of us to get caught up in the comparison game, isn't it? The best part of blogging to me? There is plenty of space......we all have something to offer each other!

    Carly
    www.lipglossandcrayons.com

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  4. this is so spot on. thank you so much for sharing. it can be hard to be caught up in the 'competition' or the feeling of it. but we need to remember why we started blogging in the first place and keep that close to heart always.

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  5. Awesome post. I don't need a million followers. But one or two would be good! Lol.

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  6. Needed this today. It's easy to wonder why-- what's the point of blogging. But it can be as much for yourself as for others and I think it's important to remember that. Thanks.

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  7. Kim, this is such an amazing and encouraging post. I am currently working on a blog to encourage women to get their lives back, follow Jesus, and love their feminine hearts. So often I have thoughts like "will anyone like this?" But you're absolutely right. You've gotta push through and focus on that one person whose live could be changed by your work and words. Love your kind and sincere heart! ♥ I'm a new reader and loving your blog.

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  8. Oh thank you... I swear you must have just read my mind this morning. So thank you... you have been an inspiration (as always!)

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  9. I love this!
    Beautifully said and oh so true!
    Thank you for sharing your talent with the world. =)
    (((hugs)))

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  10. Exactly! People always say to me, "I am thinking of starting a blog. How do I get sponsors and money out of it?"

    It kills me! If you're blogging just to make money, you'll never find joy in it. I blog to share my thoughts and ideas and to meet other creatives who share in my interests!

    Thanks for sharing, Kimmy Lou! :)

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  11. Great post. I already know that there is almost no chance that I will ever have 3k followers. Or 1k. And thank goodness that's not why I started my blog or else I would have quit a long time ago. It's what you make it and it's got to be something you enjoy your you will hit blogger burn out real fast. Sometimes I get discouraged but it's posts like these coming even from a "big" blogger that help me to snap out of it. I want people to read my blog. Of course I do. But, I have to blog for me first and then hope that everything else follows the way it was meant to.

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  12. Beautifully said on how and who to inspire! Great great post, thanks for taking the time to write down your thoughts and sharing it with us.

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  14. really love this post. perfectly said. sure, i look at a lot of blog favorites (yours included!) and think dang their site is beautiful with a capital B .. but for right now my purpose is connecting with others, finding ideas to love, and a way to journal my family :) awesome post, thanks!

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  15. Thanks so much, this is wonderful!

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  16. Amen, girl! Seriously, it's so easy to get caught up in the numbers, stats, and all of that stuff but in the end, that was not why I started this blog--so it shouldn't be why I continue writing this blog (of course, it's always nice to know that people read my blog, but still). Anyway, thank you for reminding me to channel my inner self, not the ten thousand other bloggers that are famous and successful. We all have our blogging stories and no two blogs were made to be alike. Thanks for the reminder, girl! I seriously love your heart. :)

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  17. Good good stuff! Thanks for sharing your heart today, couldn't agree more. This just like any other community needs to be positive and supportive and I think it starts with ME first creating that culture.

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  18. I've recently found your blog via The Influence Network and I am planning on tuning in to your "Fashion Blogging" class next week. Thank you for this amazing message: it's exactly what I needed to hear! I've definitely been struggling in finding my worth/identity in my blog and that is not why I started it!

    Blogging is life-giving to me and I do need to focus on that one reader. Thank you for your beautiful words of encouragement.

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  19. Thank you. Thank you. These are such perfect words for me as I try to revive my blog. I really love blogging but I often get bogged down in the worry that no one is reading or wants to. But I know that those doubts are not founded and I need to remind myself of why I blog in the first place...for me.

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  20. Oooooh-hoo-hoo...chills. And cheers to that.

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  21. Wow! Thank you, Kim! If inspiration was your goal, or maybe that tough love kind of kick in the pants, then you have achieved your goal. I have been 'mulling' over the idea of starting a blog for more than a year. why have I been hemming & hawing, so long? Because, I couldn't see what would be so special about anything in my blog, that people weren't already getting from any of the multitude of other blogs. You just explained it to me. Its me. My own words my perspective, some little something that is a little different that might click in some one's head or heart, not because my message is all that different, but my delivery is. My perspective is. Its time for me to get the lead out, & get started.

    Thank you, Kim!
    Carla

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  22. What an incredible post–it feels like you just busted through all the unspoken anxiety I've been feeling about blogging and got right to the core of why we all (or should) do it. Thank you, darling.

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  23. I just fell even deeper in love with you my friend. :) Thank you for having a heart of gold!!

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  24. is it stupid that this made me cry.....lack of sleep, lack of caffeine (or too much), brain in a mush, whatever.
    this is fabulous. You always need that reminder to keep doing exactly what you are doing and not to worry about others. Funny, it's exactly what I say to my fourteen year old, we just have to say it to ourselves from time to time also.

    hugs to you. and a small fist bump...whoop there it is

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  25. THANK YOU. This is beautiful and so so true. You rock my socks off Kim!!! I agree with everything you said here <3

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  26. LOVE this!! :) SO beautiful!!
    :) Rebecca

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  27. I think a lot of people fall into wishing they had a larger audience, but don't think about what happens AFTER they have attracted all of these new readers. You have to keep them. What happens when people unfollow? What about the people we wish would just unfollow us but instead continue to leave rude comments? We definitely can't find our value and worth in a blog...if that is why we blog it is the wrong reason!!

    Amen, Amen, Amen !!!

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  28. This is so encouraging! I started blogging about a month ago, and have found myself having a lot of questions about who I'm writing for... and whether I'm posting the kinds of things that I truly love, or just what I think people will want to read.

    Preach it. :)

    Lyric
    lyricalbits.blogspot.com

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  29. This is great! As a total newbie blogger, this post was timely and encouraging. Thanks!

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  30. Well done and well said. thank you for putting it out there. xoxoxo

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  31. This is beautiful. Well said! Thank you!

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  32. Wow, excellent. Thank you! :)

    This is so great to hear... I struggle with blogging confidence from time to time and I've even written about it recently on my blog, but it's a real comfort to hear this from someone else, and someone who's been doing it successfully for a while. Thank you.

    --Erika
    http://www.chimerikal.com

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  33. Just what I needed to hear... I was just trying to explain this to my husband who is very logical and only understands the black and white side of things. Although he's supportive, my colorful endevours throw him off and I was beginning to think that maybe that was what others felt as well..... until I read this.
    Blessings
    VANESSA
    http://missesboy.com

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  34. Just what I needed to hear ... thank you for this! I've been struggling with trying to explain this to my husband who is logical and seems to see only the black and white side of things. He's very supportive, but the colorful side of me just doesn't always make sense to him, so at times I feel like maybe my blogging is in vain. This just jump started my heart. ♡
    Blessings

    Vanessa
    http://missesboy.com

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  35. THANK YOU! As a new blogger I have found myself becoming discouraged and wondering why I am even doing this. But reading this helped me to remember... I named my blog "Framing Cali" (Cali is my daughter's name) because I wanted to remember the little moments - I wanted to "frame" this time in our lives for HER. So from me to you....thanks. Keep it up!

    -Whitney
    framingcali.com

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  36. Beautiful, thanks for posting

    Christiana
    sewamusing.blogspot.com

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  37. I've started blogging 3 years ago, and even though at first I didn't want it to be public, as the time passed, I discovered tons of blogs that had thousands of followers and hundreds of comments on almost all the posts. Slowly, I started to think twice if I should post this or people would want to see that?!.. It didn't bring me any more followers, it just made me bitter because I wasn't me on the blog, and I didn't get any followers.... In the last year, I've been trying to get back into posting regularly, but between working full time and home is just too much. Anyway, when I do blog, I am posting only whatever speaks to me. There are so many moments when I get discourahed, but like you said, the thought of "maybe someone will be encouragedsomeday" keeps me going. Thanks for the encouragement!!!

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  38. Kim, what powerful words and how my heart needed to linger on these truths today. Thank you for writing this. Its so easy to try and catch up and not focus on the sole purpose of why I started blogging to begin with-- to write and share things that I LOVE. And one person being impacted with their life changed versus thousands merely commenting, that is what makes it worth it. So many bloggers, or just people in any work force caught up comparing or feeling like they can't be like the rest, need to read this. AH, thank you!

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  39. I am so. so. so. so. glad that you said something about my silly headband at the Eat, Drink, Create event tonight. Because I'm sitting in a coffee shop now, just after, where I'm supposed to be working; but I just had to check your blog first. And I was so excited to see your posts on faith, so I clicked here first. And this. I just needed this. 30 seconds of meeting you and tonight you've already poured into my life.

    I hope we meet again, new friend.

    Sarah

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    1. A meant to be friendship. Now then, where'd you get those pants? :)

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  40. This post was so incredibly needed. I great reminder of why I started blogging in the first place. Thank you!

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  41. I have linked to this post on my blog. I hope you don't mind! Thanks so much for your honest words! I needed this reminder.

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  42. This is such an AMAZING post, Kim. I love it. I have been thinking about jealousy and comparison a lot lately when it comes to my job, and it's sickening how debilitating it can be. But I think it's something I've dealt with my entire life, and now that I'm learning the lesson that worth comes from within (and from God), I'm starting to feel the chains being torn away. It's such a relief, but still a battle everyday. I needed this encouragement today. XO

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    1. break those chains! i'm learning it's okay to battle it. at least we're making an effort!

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  43. As a beginning blogger, this was a great confirmation of positive thoughts I'm already trying to keep up. That I don't need to suit everyone's taste but to just focus on doing what I'm good at. It's not about the audience or me but what I can offer others. Not about being boastful indeed! Thank you for such a loving, encouraging post~!

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