Blogging has lost its luster, its appeal, its purpose for me. And I’m going to reclaim it. It’s my blog and I can make it what I want. Mostly.
First let’s just make something perfectly clear… I’ve received some opportunities through blogging that are amazing and I’m extremely grateful for that. But there are also some challenges that make it less fun. I mean… the allure of earning money from this site is definitely an exciting thought. But I do have a full-time job that expects much of me. I don’t need PR folks breathing down my neck demanding that I acknowledge their emails when the vast majority of the time, I was just fine not knowing about whatever they’re pitching. And I really don’t want to write a ton of sponsored posts where I have to awkwardly weasel in a catchphrase for a product, I’d like to maintain my voice. Sponsored posts are a great opportunity, but across the board they’re very stilted and I don’t want to become that.
So here are some ground rules:
I will still review running-related items (gear/shoes/clothes/gadgets)
I got my start reviewing running items that I purchased because I was interested in them and wanted to share my thoughts with others who might find it helpful. And some of my favorite things to review this past year have been things that I sought out myself. Although, there have been things that I will repeat purchase. If I get offered something for free in exchange for a review, I will consider it but it has to be specifically relative to running.
No more supplements
I’m tired of receiving bottles of pills. It just seems kind of insane to use my body as a testing ground on products that I don’t really care about all that much and there’s no real way to review it. “I swallowed some pills and nothing seemed to change, so it’s either fine or not fine?” I’ve had chronic health problems for the past couple of years and maybe some of these supplements I’ve been offered would help. But if that’s the case, I think I’ll seek them out myself. And probably not write about them, because I’m not really interested in sharing the details here. (Hence the vague mention.)
If I hate a product, I may or may not write about it.
Some items are annoying and dumb, but really not worth my time/effort to even share them. I’m sure marketers would prefer to not have some really negative post about their product out there and I don’t need to waste my time. That said… sometimes things are just to the point of being so bad I will feel the need to post about them.
My child is not part of the deal
Sorry people who offer to send me kid stuff… this is a running blog primarily. And a blog about me. (Like, the only thing that’s ME ME ME left in the world!) If I write about my child on this site, it will be on my terms and because I elected to do so. I’m not going to accept a freebie product with the condition that I force my kid to play with it, photograph my kid and share that online. I’m drawing a firm line on this.
Giveaways are a pain
I have been inching away from giveaways. There are people who troll the web looking for giveaways and often I’ve noticed those are the people who end up winning. I try to be fair, I use a utility to run the giveaway and randomly select a winner. But I do feel a little pang of sadness when I give something away to a person who obviously spends their days tweeting about giveaways for a gamut of products to win anything and everything. I will limit giveaways even more and when I choose to hold one, it will be because I feel it’s a good reason.
Time is valuable
I work full-time, my husband works full-time and in the off hours I like to play with my kid and be able to run. That’s pretty much it. I don’t have time to do all the workouts I would like to (yoga, barre, TRX, group classes, strength training). I like writing… a lot. When I was a little girl I said I was going to be a writer when I grew up. But I don’t like writing about something I am indifferent about. If I were a reporter, that would be different. But this is a personal blog and I am allowed to have my own opinion and choose what I write about and build my own schedule. And if that means I choose to ignore the blog for more personal fulfillment, I’m doing it.
I miss the feeling of community that blogs used to have. Comments are way down on my blog while traffic is up. I don’t know what the “right” course of action is, but I want to get back to enjoying blogging. And if I don’t feel that enjoyment during this year, then maybe I’ll just archive the site and move on. I’ll keep Tweeting/Facebooking/Instagramming as I appreciate the interactions that occur there.
Happy New Year!