Being a Genuine Blogger

6 Jan

Blogging is funny.  It just is.  When I sit and think about it, honestly it’s kind of nuts. I’m sharing stories and experiences from my life to just be read by WHO KNOWS out on the intarwebs.  I’ve often asked myself the ultimate blogger question: are you automatically vain/a narcissist if you’re a blogger?  Which always gets me thinking about why I started a blog, why I keep blogging, and why I read blogs.  (the whole narcissist thing is another question for another time – haven’t worked through that one myself yet).

I’m so vain, you probably think this blog is about me, don’t you don’t you?  

Okay humor clearly isn’t my strong suit. (though I must stay I’m still chuckling about my song to myself :)).

I’ve come to the conclusion that I love reading blogs because I love relating to other people.  I love learning about other life experiences.  I love the inspiration that comes from reading blogs.  And most importantly I love the ability to connect with other people.  There’s definitely a community feeling when it comes to blogging.  And it’s pretty cool.

I love writing my blog because I like putting out my experiences out there for others going through something similar.  There’s something very basic and human about “hey she’s experiencing that, cool it’s normal.”  It’s something that I have found in other blogs “oh good, glad to know I’m not the only one.”  It’s a very unifying feeling.  By nature I feel like I’m a “helper” – I work in corporate training so I’m always teaching and coaching people through learning something new, it’s in my genes perhaps.  This blog has been a way to potentially help people going through similar things (planning a wedding, dealing with an injury, learning not to hate yoga, lifting weights). Another reason I love blogging is because I enjoy creating things – it’s really fun to see something grow from the ground up.  And selfishly, it’s kind of cool to have a record of life.  Something I imagine will come in handy when my memories have faded.  Yeah so I guess there’s that narcissist piece ;)

Whenever I ponder all these “blogging life universe questions” one common thread runs through my thoughts: genuineness.  Whether it’s in the blogs I read, the blogs I enjoy most, or in my own posts there is nothing I love more than someone (or myself) being genuine.  Being real.  Being relatable.  Being you (or me, in my case).  So here are my top ways to be a genuine blogger.

  1. Be yourself.  Blog your own blog. Use your own voice.  In the beginning of blogging I often had the thought “well this seems to be what people do, so I should do that!”  And while it’s awesome to get inspiration from different types of blogs and posts, the most important thing is that it’s YOUR blog and you don’t have to follow a formula.  You don’t have to fit a mold.
  2. Blog about what you’re passionate about.  This has been a big one I’ve struggled with.  I started this mainly as a running blog (yeah with lifting and other jazz thrown in).  But, it’s sort of tough to blog about running when you can’t run.  Womp. And honestly my injury has been kind of depressing – I don’t want to blog about something depressing (at least all the time).  I want to share feelings of genuine interest and excitement.  This is why I don’t feel too badly about blogging about the wedding or other ramblings.  It’s something I care about and it’s my blog so it just makes sense to blog about it.  You can’t really fake passion. Is there anything worse than boring posts about something you can clearly tell the writer isn’t jazzed about?  It’s like a high school English paper.  Doing it because you have to.
  3. Build blog friendships naturally. This is a tricky one.  I know that one of the most recommended ‘tactics’ for getting more readers is through comments on other blogs.  I learned this from other blogs haha.  But here is the thing, it seems really disingenuous to put repeated comments on blogs you aren’t super interested in.  One thing I’ve tried to do is only comment repeatedly (you know, like completely barrage) on blogs that I really enjoy and connect with. Somehow that feels more real and straight forward.  That way I’m not trying to just gain something from a blog, I’m actually starting a connection or a friendship from it.  Not to say I haven’t ever once commented on a blog I don’t follow or read regularly – that’s totally great.  Comments are fun and don’t automatically equate to ulterior motives.  I just mean that I don’t want to view comments as a bartering tool.  I’d rather look at them as ways to connect.
  4. Blog posts that aren’t just for an audience.  It’s important to write things that are interesting and relate-able, and I always strive to do that (yeah I know I sometimes miss the mark, GAH wedding brain)- but that doesn’t mean blog ONLY about things that will get some huge stats and millions of followers and help you take over the world (wahaha cue evil laughter).  Because it’s often when you TRY for it, that it can come off as potentially fake.  I honestly think there’s a balance between ‘blogging for you’ and ‘blogging for an audience.’  The balance is really the sweet spot – at least that’s what I find in blogs I enjoy most.  For example a healthy mix of some recipes or workout tips (something one blogs for an audience, to help, to share) but also sharing a personal life experience (maybe blogged for the blogger to release some emotions, work through something etc) is my favorite blend.  You can relate to the blogger (and feel connected), but also feel like it’s interesting and you can learn something too.
  5. Be willing to be open.  Now I don’t mean SHARE EVERYTHING….because that’s a whole ‘nother disaster zone.  I just mean be willing to share some bad with the good.  If I came here everyday like GUYS, I worked out every single day, ate perfectly, and managed to keep my life 100% together this week… it would seem, well, a little impossible.  And likewise if I came here like a negative nancy bohooing about who knows what every day, that also seems a bit impossible too – really, nothing is good in your life negative Kelly? I try to be honest and share some real struggles (like my knees or anxiety about being skinny enough to play Judy).  They aren’t super fun but they’re also a real part of my life.  That just seems genuine to let people in a bit.  I also like to be positive and share some of the fun, great things!  Because happiness bears more happiness.  It’s contagious!  And those are the types of feelings I like to spread.  Magical rainbows, butterflies and unicorn vomit for ALL!  Yeah, I know.  It’s a problem.

Well there you have it – some of the things I’ve learned in my 10 months of blogging.  I know, I’m quite the expert.  What can I say.  I’ve loved blogging (except when I’m tired of it) and it’s been such a fun way to make new friends, learn new things, and feel new inspiration every day.  What do you love about blogging? Hope your 2014 is off to an awesome start!


How are you a genuine blogger?  Is my list whack?  Do you have more to add?  Is being genuine overrated?

24 Responses to “Being a Genuine Blogger”

  1. Change of Pace January 6, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    I love the way you blog, whether it’s about running, wedding stuff, or your winter show.
    I second guess myself for blogging allll the time, too. It’s an odd thing.
    I think you hit the reasons I do it, too. I only have one runner/triathlete friend, other than my husband! It’s nice to talk about it and ‘meet’ people who I instantly have a lot in common with!

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings January 8, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

      Aww thanks so much Abby! I didn’t realize I was fishing for compliments with this post, but go me! Gotta love some positive reinforcement ;) On a more serious note, I’m glad I’m not the only one that plays the second guessing game too. It just really is an odd thing. But I totally agree… it’s really fun to connect with people that have similar interests. Honestly many of non-blogging friends and family like to hear about my fitness happenings.. just not to this level of detail. It’s fun to find people who are just as passionate about it! :) And to find inspirations like you (Ironman 2030?? ;))

  2. sincerelylily January 6, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    oh I love this list. I have had this thought often too- why do I blog? Am i selfish for wanting to write and joural about me, me me? Honeslty it such a fun hobby, to keep the blog going. I love writing and i love sharing. I love your point about sharing human experiences…. yessssssss.

    also, i love entering giveaways and hosting them ;) hehe

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings January 8, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

      I know! The selfish question gets at me too. And I really have to think that although there are selfish aspects buried in there, that’s not really the motivator. It truly is such a fun hobby – writing and sharing are such wonderful things.

      And I hear you about giveaways – I won my first one the other day and almost cried!!

  3. Catherine @ A Two Storey Home January 6, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    I love this. About once a week I think, “Why the heck do I blog? This is the most vain thing I’ve ever done…” Haha, I don’t have the answer to that either. I remind myself that I like reading blogs, so there are probably people who like reading MY blog, so it can’t be TOTALLY vain… hahaha. I love your list for being a genuine blogger. I know you weren’t fishing for compliments by posting that, but I really think you do an awesome job of mixing helpful tips with real life experience. Your posts are so relatable :) I also love the community that comes with blogging!!

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings January 8, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

      Hahaha your once a week thought matches mine exactly!! So happy I’m not the only one who a) thinks it and b) doesn’t have the answer to it. I guess I’m still working through it…. but it’s similar to where you’re at.. I love reading blogs so maybe I’m bringing joy to others the way other blogs bring joy to me. And I enjoy your blog!! So keep doing it!! :) And thanks for the sweet words – I wasn’t fishing for compliments, but what a totally awesome side effect ;) Agreed about the community piece, it’s just so cool and something I didn’t foresee when I started. Love it.

  4. Britta January 6, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

    I love this! Blogging is absolutely such a funny thing… we literally let THE WORLD read about our lives, mistakes, mishaps, happiness, and frustrations. Sometimes I laugh at myself when I am writing a “happy-go-lucky” kind of post and think to myself.. wait a second, do you really feel like that? I think we sometimes get caught up in presenting to the world that we are always “happy” and if something goes bad we don’t really talk about it. BUT I have learned to let it all out and that’s why I also like your blog and so many others because we can write about anything and don’t have to sugar coat it!!

    I love blogging friends naturally. I have never been one to browse around and comment just because without actually being interested in the blog to receive more comments/followers. I will at first if they commented on my blog to be polite but I will only continue you if I genuinely have a connection! That just seems silly. Oh, and now I have written a novel comment.. oops :D

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings January 8, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

      YES. YES. and YES. I often have to pause and ask myself those same questions – “Do I really feel this way or am I projecting an emotion or image” I think that’s a natural human thing to want to showcase our best sides, but there are definitely ways to be genuine in that too. Because I love me a good happy go lucky post! :) And agree about the comment thing – I’ll often comment on blog posts that I find interesting as a one-off… I just don’t like the idea of harassing blogs that are popular but that I don’t connect with. Agree – it just seems silly. And I LOVE novel comments (both writing and reading) – so you’re in good company ;)

  5. PNWRunner January 6, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    Love your list and I completely agree! I started my blog, because I enjoyed readings other blogs that I could relate too. I thought that it would be a great idea to start my own to get myself out there. I have enjoyed every single moment of it. I’ve had my falls when I didn’t know what to write about, but I still managed to put something together that was true to me. I’ve learned that it is okay to miss days and unplug. The biggest challenge I’ve encountered is how to get people to comment back or show interest. This doesn’t happen over night which I have learned. :)

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings January 8, 2014 at 11:00 pm #

      Yep – love your reason for starting yours, I feel the same way. AND so right about the unplugging. I’ve learned to do it when I feel excited about writing, and not like I “should” that just never leads to fun for me writing or I’m sure to anyone reading.

  6. groggits January 6, 2014 at 4:03 pm #

    I agree with all of this wholeheartedly. I’ve been writing my blog for years. Some blogs get views and comments, others don’t. But the most important thing I’ve learned is to make my blog MY blog. It’s for me and if others like it that’s wonderful, but I won’t write just to get comments the same as I wouldn’t just agree with someone to get them to like me in real life. I didn’t start blogging to make friends, but I’m truly blessed that it has lead to linking with some wonderful people!

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings January 8, 2014 at 11:02 pm #

      I love that “I didn’t start blogging to make friends but…” I have found the same thing! I honestly didn’t even think about that as a big part of blogging, but it truly is. And it’s really awesome! One of my favorite parts, when I initially thought I would just enjoy the creative process :) Surprise!

  7. anna January 6, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    Love your list, especially being open! I think I gravitate towards the blog that have a little more soul and emotional vulnerability, because it feels more real. I think it’s also helpful when you know there’s other bloggers that have the same common goal that you might not have in your ‘real life’ social network, whether it’s finances or fitness. Love the introspection and tips!

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings January 8, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

      Glad you enjoyed!! :) And I completely agree… honestly when blogs are more vulnerable I enjoy the reading and connection I feel with the person. You just really can relate to them. But it’s an interesting line between oversharing for oversharing sake and being vulnerable/sharing. And love the point about the “real life” social network – so true.

  8. fitnessmeetsfrosting January 6, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

    NO! Your list is spot on! Being genuine (I think) is completely necessary to keep readers. No one wants to read fake posts (which we can all spot). I still struggle with what to write a lot of the time. I have to tell myself to just write what’s on my mind and not care what people think or what I “should” be writing about.

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings January 8, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

      You are so right. The fake posts I spot from a mile away. Now it’s cool to have one every now and again – we all get lazy and tired haha. But it’s the repeated fake posts that just don’t keep my interest. And you’re right about just writing what’s on your mind. If you’re interested in it, it usually comes across and people can relate to it!

  9. Kathleen January 6, 2014 at 10:44 pm #

    This is great! I constantly ask myself if people are sick of reading about my life but I guess if they didn’t like it they wouldn’t keep reading, right? :-P

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings January 8, 2014 at 11:07 pm #

      Agreed! I feel like we’re all adults here! We can decide whether or not to read something or not ;) Which means people probably aren’t sick of your life yet! It’s an inspiration!

  10. jefferson January 9, 2014 at 2:29 am #

    I think you’ve got it nailed, Kelly.

    This is your blog. You can make it whatever you want. The connections and the audience all comes naturally, as people will be drawn to your passion. And that, you seem to have in buckets..

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings January 27, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

      Aww thanks so much! And I love that – ‘it’s your blog’ Something that can be hard to remember, but that is the root of it all. Not to be too swayed by the dreaded word “should”

  11. bayrunnerjamie January 10, 2014 at 5:01 am #

    My favorite bloggers are those whose personalities really shine through their writing, and I that’s definitely what I like about reading yours! I started mine specifically as a running blog and I read mostly running blogs, but it’s all of the other stuff in our lives that make the story more interesting and complete-the ups and downs, work, family, weddings what ever!

    Great list :)

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings January 27, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

      EXACTLY! I feel the same way. Just having facts and stats can be a bit dry and hard to build a connection – my favorites are the ones that mingle the information with the personality. And agreed – the story is much more interesting with the bigger picture. Glad you liked the list :)

  12. Lucy @ Lucy On The Lookout January 21, 2014 at 9:46 am #

    Really great post and I think I only realised most of those points you mentioned from actually spending time *as* a blog e.g. when I started I tried to get more traffic to my blog by connecting with other bloggers etc, but there’s been a handful I am still interested in, and the others fell a way (along with my messages). But I guess that’s ok as it let me experiment with which blogs I felt more drawn to, and those which I didn’t. And it’s definitely a “personal” fit.

    I also initially saw my blog as a running/fitness adventure but slowly but surely I’ve realised the ’emotional wellbeing’ aspect (and food!!) is important to me so have been adding bits here and there – like you say, authenticity is the key!!

    • kelly @ racesrepsramblings January 27, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

      Yep!! Completely agree, I went through that same phase until I realized it’s only sustainable with the ones you feel most drawn to. I think it’s kind of the life cycle of learning to blog. Finding those blogs that really fit is such a cool thing – and a great way to make new friends!

      I LOVE your blog and I think it’s so neat to see that natural progression of finding your fit. AND you still always are finding great threads to fitness and health – I just love it. I can always feel your authenticity shining through!

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