Blogging Awards Time

It’s blogging awards time again. This isn’t a blog post asking you to nominate me because why would you?  You need to have a voice, a strong voice that people enjoy to read. You need to know your audience and write about what you know.

This is a question I’ve seen many bloggers ask especially as part of blogging tips posts.  Apparently we should know our audience and blog for them. I look at google analytics and realise so many people haven’t completed all their stats. As a result of this I get a lot of answers that aren’t helpful. I also know I don’t  have hundreds, let along thousands of readers who come back every time I write a post.

So who are my readers?  I can see who leaves comments then look at their blogs, if they have one but I can’t identify my typical reader type.

I wonder what I should blog about but if I don’t know my typical reader how can I guess the type of person I’m writing for.

Do I just write what I know about?

I’m a single mum, do I write about that?  There are other single mothers who write about single parenting so well. I don’t think I do it particularly well. There have been too many people knocking me, criticism about what I do. I’m not one of those bloggers who can turn my failings in to a joke. I just feel like the joke parent. I don’t do anything spectacular I just do my best which a lot of the times is not enough.

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I don’t do wonderful activities with my children, I don’t to fun crafts, fun outdoor adventures. Even though I am a blogger I don’t take them to endless blogger opportunities or events. We’ve never really managed to catch the eye of PRs. This really isn’t a problem but we do normal things and normal doesn’t seem right on a blog post. People aren’t interested in reading about normal especially when it comes from a single parent who has kids of 12 & 13 and aren’t cute anymore. Readers want fun, excitement, to read about activities you can only dream about. They don’t want to see me struggling in a wheelchair. There’s nothing glamorous about that.

Another thing I know about is chronic illnesses. Oh I really know about those. Today is my birthday, I’ve been lying in hospital for the past 24 hours hooked up to a morphine drip which is doing nothing but making my head spin. It’s doing nothing for the pain. I’d rather be home in my bed, away from a lit noisy hospital ward where I won’t feel guilty screaming out in pain. Where at least I can lie in a comfortable bed. The pain might improve if I’m in my own surroundings, a place I feel safe. I don’t feel safe here. I feel a burden. I feel I am wasting people’s time. I feel I have to explain my chronic  illnesses, the incurable illnesses to complete strangers and their relations. All I want to do is shut the noise out and sleep. I don’t want to hear the whispers, what is wrong with her, why are her curtains closed. I want to be left on my own to get better. Just shut the world and complete strangers out. Having nurses who understood what my illnesses were would help so much.

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I’ll forget the comment that a complete stranger has just made saying I can’t be ill as I’ve just had a slice of cake. That slice of cake that I ate, that 1 mouthful of cake was my birthday cake. I’m feeling ill but not that heartless to refuse a bite of a cake my 12 year old daughter has slaved over cooking for me. I’m not about to break her heart because somebody would soon judge me for that if she started to cry. It really is a no win.

Would people really want to read any post that is just depressing?  Blog post after blog post writing how ill I am?  I don’t want to be reminded of that and therefore struggle how others would want to read it.

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I could join the fashion bloggers but I don’t do clothes well. If do plus size but I can’t even do plus size good as I’m such a strange shape carrying all my excess weight I the same place. Fashion blogging wouldn’t work.

Then there’s beauty blogging. I’m in my 40s. My age is starting to show on my skin. I’ll health and side effects of medication are starting to take an effect on my skin. I’m not a great advertisement for beauty posts. I’m also pretty rubbish at doing makeup. I mean I don’t look like a clown or like I’ve used a trowel to apply it but it’s never great. I could do a how not to apply your make up post which might be successful lol.

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What other topics does that leave me to write about that my non identifiable readers might like?

Health and fitness. Well health consists of chronic illnesses and fitness is non existent. Don’t think I could even manage a wheelchair race to the end of the drive right now!

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Then there is gardening. I used to love gardening. A nice well cared for lawn and boarders with lots of pretties.  A picture of my overgrown garden doesn’t exactly cut it in the inspiration stakes. I enjoyed having an allotment, growing my own fruit and veg. But my good old health won’t allow that.

I still keep my chickens and would love some more, ones that lay unusual coloured eggs but it’s getting a covered run and coop sorted that is holding me back. Physically I can’t do it on my own and getting help is hard.

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House improvements/DIY. Having just moved house I’ve plenty to do. The thing is being ill my income had reduced. I’m still working but my spare cash at the end of the month has gone down and is being spent on practical things. Safety hand rails in the shower don’t inspire. In fact I think they’d be a big page turner to leave my blog. Who want to think about home adaptions like that in their 40s?  I love home decoration but I’m physically unable to do it myself right now and funds don’t allow me to pay anyone meaning jobs I could have done in a weekend are going to take months to save up for. Blog posts wouldn’t be very inspiring. Here’s the starts, 2 years later, this is what our work in progress looks like.

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So as a disabled single mum geek who doesn’t know her audience who should I write for and what should I write?  To be a success I’m told this is what I should do.

Not everyone wants to win blog awards and not all of us will. I’ve seen some posts and discussions about people saying it’s not for me, it’s just a popularity contest. These people are then jumped on. But that’s what completions/awards are; the popular people win. If you aren’t popular you won’t be nominated as people won’t know about you.

I’ve read I need to turn my blog and all my social media in to a ‘brand’. But I’m a human being, I’m not a brand. Why do I have to pretend I’m something else to be a success?  Even the slightest tweak to me means I’m not being true to myself. I don’t know about you but I’d rather not be liked if I have to change to be liked.

A geek like me who has always been an outsider can struggle at times like this. I don’t need or want to win an award to validate what I do but at the same time I don’t want anyone telling me it’s not s popularity contest. It’s is. All awards are.

I don’t need to be told what I should be doing with my little space on the web. I never started my blog to please others. I never started my blog to fit in with the crowd, I’ve never fitted in with the crowds my whole and I’m fine with that. I don’t care that I’m different, that I watch from the side lines.

What does upset me is people who think I should be happy doing this, who think I should join the crowds then I might, just might win an award. But, I might just be far more happier being me. Knowing I’m doing my best for my children. Bringing them up to realise you can’t always get the best of everything, people are different, it’s good to be kind and emphasise with those who are ill. It’s good to not get everything you want handed on a plate because life isn’t a picnic. But deep down it’s good to learn you don’t get awards for being you. Love and happiness are the true rewards for being you. Turning yourself in to a brand and not letting the true you shine is not something to be praised.

The last few years I’ve seen people go to such extremes to get nominated and then pleased for votes. Many people have been so disappointed when they don’t win. Put these awards in to perspective. It really isn’t that important. Your health, your loved ones those are the things that are important. Don’t push them away while you try to drum up votes. These awards will soon be forgotten.

35 Comments

  1. 21st March 2016 / 9:08 AM

    Happy Birthday! And I do hope you get well and feel better soon.

  2. 21st March 2016 / 10:29 AM

    Wow, that really was spilling your guts for all to see! In a good way, I mean. I know exactly what you mean about turning yourself into “a brand.” I am having that very same challenge with my own blog, and finally I realised that you know what? I have done everything within my power to make it right in the eyes of those who define success. I am extremely proud of my little blog, as you should be with yours. I know being proud doesn’t pay the wages, but I also feel that your genuine, honest posts will be far more beneficial in the long term. We just have to figure out where your audience are likely to see it, and then get your blog in front of them… Now that is a challenge! And, Happy Birthday, by the way 🙂
    Catherine green recently posted…A Little Tipple to Aid the Creative Flow #amwritingMy Profile

  3. 21st March 2016 / 11:15 AM

    I do hope you see some improvement in your health, pain is horrible. Try and have a happy birthday, who needs blogging awards? The friends we make are enough for me xx
    Cathy Glynn recently posted…Chocolate Nest Cake for EasterMy Profile

  4. 21st March 2016 / 11:47 AM

    Happy birthday and sorry you had to spend it poorly. eat all the cake you like, if it makes you or even your little one smile then its cake well eaten!!

  5. 21st March 2016 / 4:02 PM

    Blogging is a funny old world. I don’t think any of us write to ultimately NOT be read, but if you are looking to write for an “audience” then as you’ve seen, it’s not always easy. The closest I’ve come – as a guy who has decided to adopt the “lifestyle blogger” tag for no other reason other than it’s all-encompassing – is to write what I want, when I want and let people choose to read it from there. Some will, some won’t. In the meantime, keep smiling and keep writing. Hope your health picks up soon too.
    DannyUK.com recently posted…Bearded Backchat with Geraldine from Jog on MumMy Profile

  6. 21st March 2016 / 4:13 PM

    Lovely post. I am not interested in blog awards. It doesn’t put food on the table. If I win one on merit (not nominating myself) then great.
    Fashion and Style Police recently posted…Homewear Wishlist 2016My Profile

  7. 21st March 2016 / 4:14 PM

    Hope you had a nice birthday even if you only managed a mouthful of cake. I don’t know my niche or my audience, I like a lot of bloggers write about what I want to and you should carry on doing that too!

  8. 21st March 2016 / 5:42 PM

    I agree 🙂 you be who you are! that’s the joy of blogging, your normal isn’t necessarily someone elses normal and that’s what makes it interesting! You have your own corner of the web and you make it exactly how you want it! screw the haters! and I hope you are feeling at least a little better soon xx
    Charlotte recently posted…Cats Vs Toddlers – The Rules For a Happy HomeMy Profile

  9. 21st March 2016 / 6:03 PM

    Happy Birthday. So sorry you were not well. You have a good point here although I think some people may find it very difficult to put themselves forward for a vote but I think they do it so then people are aware of it. I feel like the whole thing is very overwhelming. You should carry on doing what makes you happy, 🙂 x

  10. 21st March 2016 / 6:57 PM

    Happy Birthday lovely lady <3 I so do hope you feel better soon 🙁 x

  11. Hannah Wood
    21st March 2016 / 7:31 PM

    Awww gosh poor you and happy birthday to you too. I was into the awards big time once but not a huge fan anymore.

  12. 21st March 2016 / 8:03 PM

    Sorry to hear you aren’t well (especially over your birthday too!) 🙁 This is a really strong, heartfelt post and we respect your honesty. We’ve entered the campaign trail for the MADS and the BiBs, we don’t care either way if we win or fall flat, as blogging is our hobby and our passion. An award means diddliy squat in our ‘real-life’ we’re just curious about how far we can push our blogging boundaries and put our little blog out there. The little voices must stand up against the ‘supperbloggers’ 😉
    Baby Isabella recently posted…Finding treasure on Hayling IslandMy Profile

  13. 21st March 2016 / 8:09 PM

    I am sorry to hear that you’re in hospital and especially on your birthday. I enjoy reading your blog and especially jealous of your ability to bake the most delicious cakes – I am hopeless at that. You should always blog for you, that’s what I do. Yes I blog about days out but that is genuinely what I do anyway – I like to tell people about the amazing places to visit we have in our country! I will admit I have been amazed to make it to the finals in previous years and disappointed not to win, but that’s life. I grumbled to myself for an hour or so and then forgot about it! Happy birthday and hope you’re feeling better soon xx

  14. 21st March 2016 / 9:04 PM

    so sad yet so much rang true with me – blog for you and what you feel and what you love and the readers will come I hope your feeling better soon x

  15. 21st March 2016 / 10:17 PM

    I hope you feel better soon! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with writing about what you know, even if it doesn’t seem like the norm.

  16. 22nd March 2016 / 12:35 AM

    I couldn’t stop reading this post. It was so informative and insightful without sounding contrived in any way. That is what I love-honesty. Not every part of life is a party,picnic, or rainbows and sunshine. But to have the strength to write about the hard times, the challenging times (I mean really, spending your birthday in the hospital, geez) that’s what blogging is all about- writing the words that are on your soul. It’s not for awards or recognition (although to be honest-simple acknowledgement that someone “gets” it helps). It is for your heart and for those that read and embrace the messages, funny,sad,endearing, what have you-that is why. All the advice I’ve read has said if you want to be a successful blogger, you have to find a niche. Well, the more I write the more I discover that I don’t really fit a “niche”. I’m a little of this and a little of that, and I guess(?) that’s ok. So glad I’ve found and now follow you. Well done.

  17. 22nd March 2016 / 1:02 AM

    This really touched me , to know that complete strangers are judging and assuming that they know who you are is wrong. We are told to be marketable but like you said we are just human beings and even if you don’t have the biggest following or don’t know your niche it does not matter. As long you are being true too yourself who cares what other people think? xx
    Ana De- Jesus recently posted…It’s Ok To Not Be PerfectMy Profile

  18. 22nd March 2016 / 11:32 AM

    I completely agree. Be you!
    I feel the same. I think that as long as you’re being true to yourself, you should write whatever you want. Nobody’s personalities fit into a nice neat box, so why should what we write?

    I’m sorry you had to spend your birthday like that, but I hope that the cake was nice and that you feel better soon. 🙂
    Laura xx
    Laura @ Dot Makes 4 recently posted…Supporting WomenMy Profile

  19. 22nd March 2016 / 1:35 PM

    Happy Birthday! I don’t think you need to have a blogging niche to be successful. I write a bit of everything because that’s what I want to do so you shouldn’t try to box yourself into a “beauty” or “parenting” category. Just keep being you 🙂 Hope you feel better soon!
    Laura recently posted…BEST NOODLES IN PARIS: TROIS FOIS PLUS DE PIMENTMy Profile

  20. 22nd March 2016 / 2:09 PM

    Happy Birthday, i hope you get better real soon! Dont listen to anyone else, write about what you want and you will find your audience. I love posts from.the heart and about real life, so im an audience memeber that loves this post and will be coming back to see how your doing! Marie xx

  21. 22nd March 2016 / 4:00 PM

    Awards season is a strange time in blog land. The thing is I’m sure everyone has already made their mind up any way. It should be about how that blog has performed over the whole year and I blog post banging the drum when they open shouldn’t really make a lot of difference. I think it’s great if you can win an award as it does help your blog no end, but I’m not sure I like what it does to people along the way. Blog how you want is what I say
    Zena’s Suitcase recently posted…5 Awesome Places On My Travel Bucket ListMy Profile

  22. 22nd March 2016 / 8:52 PM

    happy birthday, I hope that you get home soon so you can rest in your own bed. I for one love your blog just the way it is. I don’t have a target audience or a brand or anything like that either, I much prefer just real life honest blogs like yours that are about anything and everything xx

  23. 23rd March 2016 / 10:14 AM

    I have been blogging for almost 5 years and I have just found out that someone has nominated me for the MADS awards. I was so excited. I know that is has far as it will go, but it’s just nice to know that at least one of my readers enjoys my blog
    Natasha Mairs recently posted…Non Chocolate Easter GiftsMy Profile

  24. 23rd March 2016 / 12:54 PM

    Having just written a post about nominations, its good to see a different perspective. I would love to get nominated based on the fact I would like the adventure of attending the awards event! Another thing to blog about, as it were. I have no illusions of winning – the event itself would be great to go to 🙂

  25. 23rd March 2016 / 1:24 PM

    Happy birthday, hope you are feeling better soon. I don’t expect to be nominated and it doesn’t bother me. I’m a little fish in a huge ocean x
    Jenni recently posted…Detox With Teatox – GiveawayMy Profile

  26. 23rd March 2016 / 9:14 PM

    Happy birthday! I am writing just for me at moment but I have no idea who my audience is?! I suppose it depends what you really want to get out of your blog and what it means to you.
    Idaintyit recently posted…Ziggybaby Swaddle Blankets – ReviewMy Profile

  27. 23rd March 2016 / 9:44 PM

    I completely understand where you’re coming from. With regards to turning into a brand, for me, I feel as though my blog shows what I’m all about but this year I’m taking a more relaxed approach. Saying no more and blogging even more on my terms and loving it. Be proud of your corner of the internet, I love it! xxx
    WhatLauraLoves recently posted…FASHION | Plus Size Fashion Styling with HannaWearsMy Profile

  28. 24th March 2016 / 5:42 PM

    Just blog for you, you don’t have to fit into a category 🙂 People would much rather read a real, honest blog like yours.
    Sonia recently posted…Instagram Weekly 14th-20th March 2016My Profile

  29. 24th March 2016 / 9:05 PM

    Happy belated birthday! I feel sad reading that you spent it at a hospital though. How great that your daughter made you a cake.
    With regards to questions you raised about blogging audience, I will echo what other comments already said about blogging for yourself. Continue sharing insights into your life and just be you. Wishing you all the best and look forward to reading future posts X

  30. 26th March 2016 / 11:04 AM

    A Happy belated birthday and sorry to hear about your health but nicely written post, stay true to you and share what makes you happy and not what others want you to do.
    Miranda (Anosa) recently posted…12 Months of Happiness – 3 of 12My Profile

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