Things I am Afraid to Tell You about the blogging community

Oh Hi Basil! 
I've seen these 'Things I am Afraid To Tell You' posts floating around and each and everyone that I have had a chance to read has been great.  Bloggers have gotten really real and broke down some walls.  It's really inspiring.  And it's amazing to know that these people are actual humans and not these perfect pod people with prefect lives.

I started to think about some things I could share - but then came to realize that I have been pretty real.  I don't wear really nice clothes - because I can't afford them.  I don't post my most flattering photos {all the time}.  I make fun of myself - all the time.  I talk about my cat - all the time.  But am I real enough?  Probably not.  And why would I be.  I am a pretty private person in real life - why would I be any different on the Internet?  

So I will share with you some 'Things I am Afraid To Tell You' about the blogging community.

I realize that people eat up posts where bloggers pour their heart out - and I understand it.  I eat it up too. The deeper and darker the secret the more I want to read.   But I don't want that for me.   I try so hard to keep my emotions balanced that I don't need to validate them on the Internet.  So maybe this is me being real.  Maybe this is why I blog.  To humour myself.   And maybe sometimes to dump my problems - but rarely.  Trust me - I've got 99 problems. I might tell you about a rough week at work.  A twitchy eye.  A cough that won't quit.  But I don't feel the need to tell you about my really personal woes.  You wouldn't want that either.  Maybe I am misinformed about what it is to be real.  But if I am not coming across as real then I need a reality check.

Also, I have serious love hate relationship with blogging.  I love the community - but then I don't like it at the same time.  I can see people getting caught up in popularity of it all.   The need to do anything to gain followers.  To host giveaway after giveaway and then claim you're super stoked that you have 600 followers.  Dude you just posted like 10 giveaways where these people had to follow you to enter.  Blogging isn't about that for me.  Don't get me wrong - I am super stoked when anyone decides they like my space enough to want to stick around but I can't be proud if I got all these followers from the gazillion giveaways I hosted.  OH let's get this cleared up - I love giveaways - I want to win them all.  Why aren't I winning them all?  I want to give something away myself.  But trust me - these giveaways aren't for the notoriety.  They are motivation to keep me busy.  To get creative.  Otherwise I would never do it.  But I now have over 200 blogs on my reader.  Most of them I follow because of a giveaway I entered.  Most of them I never read.  Seriously I skip more blogs on my feed then I actually read.  I feel guilty about this.  Maybe I will be disbanned from the blogging community for even admitting this.  But it's true. I want to read you blog - but if all you are posting are giveaways - then who are you?  Ed McMahon?

Those are the two things that irk me the most about blogging.  Those are the things that make me want to through in the towel - everyday. There is more - but I have probably just offended more than half of you. 

p.s.  I added that adorable photo of Basil to soften this post to avoid coming across like a Negative Nancy.  The only Nancy I want to be is Nancy Botwin. 

p.p.s.  Maybe the wrong time to ask - but are you going to participate in the 'What's in your closet VLOG?' I am co-hosting with five other babes?  No you don't have to show me your actual closet. And no you don't have to follow my blog to participate.  I just want to see your junk.  Not that junk - your other junk.  So get it ready to post on Wednesday.  It's going to a blasty blast blast.

Hope Squared


  1. i will admit i used to do that in my early blogging days, where if i was offering an item up for grabs i'd want it to go to a "blog reader." but i have since come to my senses and changed my reasoning and i won't enter giveaways that make following a blog the mandatory entry. if its an additional entry, that's cool, or if it's on a blog i'm already following that's cool too. but to make someone follow you is a huge turn off. especially since i am so particular with who's blog i follow. i want to actually like it lol. it's like false advertising, having all those followers when they only followed to get a shot at winning something.

    sorry for the essay!

  2. i agree! haha Ed McMahon! i love it. I'm seriously considering the What's in your Closet? but i'm still thinking through it...

  3. Ok, so I really like you. But like is such a weak word? So I love you. You are real, and your blog is hands down one of the most refreshing (+funny) ones in my reader. With all of that being said, I couldn't agree with you more about the giveaways and the inorganic drive to collect more readers. That stuff makes me cringe a bit too. I actually made a pact with myself like two weeks ago that I would never host a give away on my blog. Ever. Unless it was something outrageously awesome and even then I wouldn't have people liking my pet's page on facebook in order to enter. It's all just too much. And it makes me question people's motives in this whole blogging thing, which only makes me feel even more of like a jack ass than I already am.

    I could say a lot more, but I won't. Just know that I respect this post. And like I said. I LOVE you(r blog)

  4. Oh, balls to the wall. I forgot about the closet vlog and already have my wednesday post scheduled. And you'll hate me, but... part of it is the second part of my giveaway. Oops.
    Hahaha if it makes you feel any better.... I really hate blogs that are full of guest posts and giveaways. Although that may make me seem hypocritical, since I've got two giveaways in one week this month... but that's not the norm. Anyway.
    I, for one, can't stand reading deep, dark, sob story blog posts. Those "real" posts actually drive me nuts. Why should you announce to the world that you're being real? Why aren't you "real" every time you write? When you have a blog post that says you're getting "real," Chances are that I'm going to click away, because I don't really care. Other chances are that I'm going to quit reading your dumb blog because you weren't real to begin with.
    And you know what? I have about 40 blogs that I *actually* read on a regular basis, and sometimes I skip over their posts, too. Sure, I follow a lot more blogs than that, but I don't actually read them. And yes, I have 500-something followers, but I know that not even half of them read my blog on a regular basis, and that's okay, because I have friends that I interact with on a regular basis.
    I could go on and on, but you're probably sick of me, so I'll shut up.
    Kay bye!!!

  5. I love this post! I have been seeing those 'things i am afraid to tell you' posts and though I commend them for sharing - I really don't mind that they don't share their horrible days etc. We don't read blogs to feel miserable we read them to feel inspired and connected!!

    Also I for one read your posts!I am a neat freak in all aspects and like to 'clean-up' the blogs I follow by trashing those ones I just never look at.... kinda like going through your wardrobe and giving away clothes you never wear :)

    But on a giveaways note I have lately been contemplating holding one or two of these in the future to a) give local makers a chance to get exposure and b) give my own creations some exposure :)

  6. Oh girl, I totally get it, Em. As someone who has recently done a lot of giveaways, I have to say it's because of having a sponsor program. I only did it once before to celebrate reaching 100 readers. I see the good and bad sides to giveaways. To be honest, sometimes it takes a giveaway to let people know you exist- it's just another way to promote yourself just like when you pay for sponsorships. I do understand that by hosting giveaways I'm not getting all "true" readers, but it's still exposure. I've ended up getting to know a lot of new people that way, and sometimes the blogs I followed because of a giveaway I'll end up really liking. I think if you're having an outrageous amount during the month it gets tiring for your readers... you have to find a good balance. Though, I don't think I'll ever host a giveaway without making it mandatory to follow. If you don't want to follow, then don't worry about entering a giveaway that I spent hours and hours putting together to promote me or a sponsor. Blogging goes hand in hand with people's businesses... and I totally get that the "sales" part of it gets super tiring. I sometimes wonder if people are just being ultra nice all the time as a motive for you to eventually buy something... I dunno. It's all marketing. I absolutely get turned off by bloggers that talk about their numbers all the time... or promote their shop nonstop, or yadda yadda yadda. I understand reaching a milestone and being proud of it, but the ones that gain 1000's in a matter of a couple months? You know that wasn't done by posting good content... I just reached 800 and I've been blogging for 1.5 years... I think that makes me somewhat real.. right? If your feed is clogging up- by all means- clean it up! I've been meaning to do this... I follow WAY too many blogs and don't even use my reader anymore. I end up reading through returning comments, Twitter, and Facebook. Sad to say, but true.

  7. I'm with you about blogging being a dumb popularity contest. I love the readers I have, and I love that I actually interact with a lot of them. That makes me insanely happy.

    I actually made the conscious decision to make my giveaways open only to people who were following my blog before the giveaway period starts. That way, I'm rewarding those people that take the time to come on over to my blog because they want to, not because they wanna win stuff from every blog on the internet. Besides, I'm into bribing my followers.

    Great post! I'm really glad that you shared this today, it's nice to get a different perspective on the "getting deep on your blog" issue.

  8. I totally agree with the following logs just for a give-away thing.
    I haven't hosed a one on my blog but I think I would not want to ask people to follow just for a give-away
    It is hard to to get caught up in he popularity thing but I do try hard not to

  9. Amen! I completely agree with you and I know how people get caught up in it especially at the beginning of blogging life when every new "follower" makes you a little giddy. This isn't to say I don't enjoy when I notice the number go up but I don't look at it daily or even weekly anymore to see where it is. Also with the last giveaway I did there was no mandatory follow entry. I did however get some new followers from it because they must have genuinely wanted to follow, not because they had to. That is a much nicer feeling then knowing it was just because they wanted the giveaway prize.

    Can't wait for our lunch date! :)

  10. I definitely agree girl so keep tellin' it like it is! Sometimes seeing all the giveaways makes me feel inadequate as a blogger because I definitely can't afford to go out and buy things to giveaway just to gain a few followers or make people like my blog for the stuff I give away. I also get bothered when people talk about their blog besties all the time. There are definitely blog cliques and we get enough of that in the "real" world. It's so easy to compare, but each of us is unique in our blog style and I love yours so keep doing what you are doing and stay true to you and the reason you blog!

  11. This rocks Em. I think your blog is real. To me, it sounds like the you I know :) And I'm with you on not talking about super personal things. It's a little awkward. Can't wait to see your next vlog! :) Oh and pictures of Basil are always appreciated.

  12. I totally agree with everything you said! I guess my justification for being somewhat "follower hungry" is that I want what I write to actually be read, and I'm more concerned with connecting with bloggers and getting to know people on a personal level that I want more people to join in on my journey. It's not so much a popularity contest for me, but I just really like meeting new people! I totally understand your point though.

    As for the closet vlog linkup, I'm SO glad that you reminded me! I'll do it when I get home today :)

  13. Emily, this was such a great post. I agree with you about everything you said! I like to be honest on my blog but I will never air all my deepest darkest woes and all of that either... I am also really private and I feel like you need to keep something private for sure! You do a great job of keeping it real on your blog and I love that! I also totally agree with the love/hate relationship of blogging. Sometimes it does get crazy with all of the numbers and all of that - even if it is just a number that doesn't mean anything like the # of followers after a million giveaways. I usually never read most of the blogs I have to follow for a give away, unless I already know them or if they really are a newly discovered favorite blog. Oh blogging, who knew you could be so complicated? Thanks for sharing all of this, Em!!!

  14. I feel the same way about nonstop giveaways and also about guest posts. I don't mind if you go on vacation, but I was reading a blog that became all guest posts all the time because it was a sponsorship option so I ended up un-following because I couldn't understand why she didn't write her own blog anymore!

    I agree with the above commenters too - just be real all the time. If you need to share deep, dark things, do it. But don't make a big production out of it and expect everyone to hang on your every word because you're doing something rare and "letting your guard down." I eat those posts up too, but there's a limit.

    Also, I think everyone should skip blogs. Not every single blog post is a winner, you know? It's pretty rare that one person's every precious thought is worth reading!

    I'm really looking forward to tomorrow! I made my video last night and like it but really I just can't wait to see what's in everyone else's closets. I'm such a voyeur : )

  15. First of all, I love that picture. Second of all, I know what you mean about having lots of blogs in your reader. I try to be picky about that only because I don't want to have blogs on there I don't read. And giveaways where you have to follow the blog are annoying. Looking forward to your vlog! Not sure if I'm gonna join in or not, but I'll be watching everyone else's!

  16. I love this post Emily! Thank you for always keeping it real on your blog :). I've been struggling with whether or not I want to keep blogging because it is so easy to get caught up in the popularity of it all. But I want to blog for ME, not anyone else! I hate it when bloggers brag about how many followers they have {and cover up the bragging by saying how "blessed" they are!}. And I rarely read blogs that consist of just guest posts, giveaways, sponsors, and anything else to gain followers. I just love that you called it out :).
    PS- I love Basil!

  17. You know I totally agree with this. I hate it so much that I won't enter giveaways if it means I have to "like" or follow a blog. Which means I enter almost 0. Which also means I never win anything....

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  19. Ha! I love this! I am actually doing my first giveaway today (so the timing is funny), but I had major misgivings about it. Followers don't count (to me) if they don't want to be there. I have a nice little group of loyal commentators who I've built a relationship with, and I'm happy with that. I did this one because I scored some great stuff for free and wanted to share, but i won't be doing another one. I've felt weird about it all day.

  20. I think your blog is refreshing :) I don't read any other blogs that are just mainly blogging about life and thoughts - most are tutorials, DIY, crafting, and what not - and I love getting a glimpse into your life, you seem very funny! And you're right, with the bad news things, if its something you would only tell your closest friends or family, why are you sharing it with the world?

  21. I really, really love this. I gave you about 23 mental high fives while reading this. You said exactly what I've been wanting to say. The giveaways just really irk me. I mean, not giveaways themselves, but the constant ones. And I refuse to enter the ones that make you follow them on every social media outlet known to man and then some. I only want people to follow my blog because they want to read what I write. That's the only reason I follow anyone else's blog. Even if it means my blog isn't as popular, I'm ok with that. Quality over quantity.

    Suffice it to say, I love this.

  22. I love Nancy Botwin <3 And I agree with you on 99% of this. It actually may even be 100%. I don't want to read about someone's perfect life but I also don't want to read about someone's problems all the time either. I also don't subscribe to people for their guest posts and give aways. I want to know that person. It's a funny little world this blogger is.

  23. I second what all 34183402 comments say. You speak truth, lady.

    You be Nancy Botwin, I'll be Celia Hodes because in a perfect world, my right hand would be a wine glass...not a hand.

  24. Girl, I am so with you on the giveaways. They get so old. I'm not saying you shouldn't ever do a giveaway... but I have my limits. Also, the day that I unhooked my GCF follows from my Google reader CHANGED MY LIFE. I pretty much hand out follows like candy these days (because why not?) and I've got my Google Reader down to 145, which is way more manageable for me. I like having blogs that I follow with GFC pop up on my Blogger home page for me to read occasionally, but Google Reader means you have to address each and every post, and so I'm more selective about that.


Thanks for dropping by Hope Squared. If you like the things I have to say - I would love to read what you have to say.