Some of you might have noticed that recently we’ve been blogging a bit less frequently than usual. While I ordinarily look forward to sharing our stories and pictures here, lately I’ve been struggling a little. Today I thought I’d share some of the thoughts I’ve been having about blogging and talk about some of the concerns I’ve been grappling with…
It’s strange this blogging thing. Sharing (parts of) our lives with people from all over the world, who we will likely never have the opportunity to know beyond this space. While I cherish the connections I have made with people through our blog and am seriously honoured to be a regular feature of your readers, emails and internet browsers, putting ourselves out there can be hard. Especially as in “real life” I’m actually very reserved and private, and really quite shy around people I don’t know well. Though we have been fortunate enough to mostly receive really positive feedback on House of Humble, I am awfully sensitive, and sometimes just knowing how much of our lives we expose to people we don’t know makes me stop and think. And worry. We have never shared stories or pictures of our friends or family as they are not our stories to tell, and we are selective about which of our own stories we tell here too, because I think that it is important to keep some parts of our lives just for us. Reubs and I always want to be honest and authentic with you all, and for the most part I’m very comfortable with what we share on House of Humble, but I am an introvert at heart. Sometimes blogging just makes me feel a bit vulnerable.
There is also the issue of monetising. I have a million thoughts when it comes to the commercialisation of the blogosphere and to be very honest, most of them aren’t terribly positive. While I love that it is possible to earn a living blogging (and I respect any blogger’s choices on how they use their blog to do so) I’ve become quite disenchanted with sections of the blogosphere where sponsored posts, c/o items and giveaways have taken over. Reubs and I decided really early on that we would never participate in sponsored posts or partner with companies that did not align with our ethos and as a result of that choice, we’ve turned down some big opportunites. We really value the trust of the people who allow us into their lives by reading here and we never want to jeopardise that trust by “selling out”. That said, saying no to potentially lucrative partnerships when the cash would really come in handy isn’t easy! I totally understand the lure of a paycheque.
Reubs and I don’t earn anywhere near a living off our blog. We’ve intentially kept our advertising rates really low so they are affordable for just about any blogger or tiny business, and as a result we earn just enough to cover the cost of our website hosting with a little extra pocket money. But lately, I’ve even been rethinking our sidebar ads. I love supporting the bloggers and little businesses in our sidebar but I think monetising a blog, in any small way, creates some level of pressure. I know in the last few weeks I’ve found myself thinking “I really need to post. We have people paying to adveritise on our blog and we aren’t posting enough!” but I know that blogging because you “have to” does not make for good content. I think there is a lot to be said for blogging purely for the love of it, without financial incentive or obligation.
Finally, there is the age old blogger’s dilemma of documenting life versus living in the moment. I’m so glad that some of the highlights of the last couple of years are preserved here on House of Humble, but at the same time, I don’t want to be the girl who has to photograph every nice meal, every pretty sunset, every cute moment with our pets. Sometimes I just want to let go of the need to record and just live. A few weeks ago Reubs and I had a delicious brunch with some friends then we all went for a walk at Harcourt Oak Forest. The food was lovely, the winter sun was shining, the leaves were yellow, red and orange… It was picture perfect. And naturally, our camera was out of battery! But you know what? I was actually kind of relieved. Instead of worrying about capturing the gorgeousness of the day, we just enjoyed it. I think it’s really important to sometimes take a step back from trying to capture every special moment and instead just soak it up.
I guess after two years of blogging I’m still just trying to find the right balance. Of sharing enough and not too much. Of making this blog financially viable without compromising on our integrity and values. Of documenting and living in the moment. It’s a difficult balance to strike!
Fellow bloggers, how about you? Can you relate? Do you struggle with blogging balance? What aspects of blogging do you find difficult?