Home » Give-A-Ways » Authentic Blogging- Who Do You Blog For?

Authentic Blogging- Who Do You Blog For?

Before I even begin, the answer to this question is obvious.  I blog for me.  I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t want to do this for myself.  This blog started as a way to journal my experiences as I went from party girl to triathlon girl to runner girl.  If you have been a reader from the start, you know triathlon wasn’t something I intended to do past the first race.  And I certainly never (ever ever ever) thought I would become a runner.  So yes, I blog for myself first.

But I also blog for you.

Who are you?  Well, I know some of you have been here for a very long time.  Some of you, I knew before my blog.  Some I have met through blogging.  I have stayed in some of your homes and I have raced races with a few of you.  Some of you come only when I have a give-a-way (which is almost never) and some of you are brand new.  Some comment once in a while and some on almost every post.  I write for all of you.  For whatever reason you come here- because you relate to me, need swimming advice, think I am funny, because you want to know how my latest race went or because you know me in real life.  I write for all of you.

Being an authentic blogger is tough.  This is one of the issues I have struggled with most in my own writing.  Not that I feel as though I am not authentic, because I truly believe I am very real.  It is more like the struggle to make sure my blogging is personal, relevant and real all at the same time.  I don’t want to blog about the same things all the time or post a list post simply because I am not sure what I have to say on a certain day.  I want every post to really mean something.  There was a time when I did not come first in my blogging and it was obvious.  And I had to stop.  Having been back writing again, I feel really good.  Yet, I still have days where I struggle with “where do I want to go with this post” or “has this been done too many times already” or “will this matter when I look back on it” when I am thinking about my topics.

When I first started blogging, I had been reading Healthy Living blogs for about a year.  They weren’t nearly all the rage they are these days, but then again, neither were running blogs.  In fact, it was hard to find a good running blog.  The ones I was finding were written by people who were “real” runners and I was just trying not to fall off the treadmill for a mile straight.  One of the main reasons I started a blog was because I wanted to find other people like me.  I have always been a writer but I was so new to triathlon and running.  I figured I would keep a blog as a journal and if I were lucky, I would find other people doing the same thing.  Little by little people did start reading…caring…asking…about me.  It was surreal.  And I loved it.

Gradually, I formed friendships, participated in blog meet-ups and even ran this race with one of the very first people I ever communicated with through blogging.  I really loved blogging.  Then something changed.  With the blog world, with me…in general, I guess.  Running blogs got really big.  Healthy Living blogs had already blown up and now running blogs were too.  Suddenly, some of the blogs I had been reading for years became immersed in ads, give-a-ways and shilling products.  I felt left out and so for a while, I tried harder.  Even though some of the posts that were written during that time are some of my favorites, I am not proud of myself for trying to be someone I am not.  Often I was posting because I felt like I had to, not because I wanted to.  I was not always authentically blogging.

When I stopped blogging (I truly believed I would never blog again) it was because I needed to remove myself from feeling like I couldn’t keep up.  With how much I had going on in my life at that time, I just needed to back away.  When I decided to come back to blogging, I knew I would do it only if I could go back to how it was in the beginning.  Blogging for me first, then for my audience.  These days, most of my old readers don’t follow me.  That’s ok.  I know the ones that do and have been with me for so long are my friends and I am welcoming new readers every day.  I would rather have 10 solid readers who respect what my blog and come here for the right reasons than have to keep up with trends to keep hundreds of readers.

Here is what you will always get on my blog: Real Jillian.  A middle of the pack runner that knows her place in the world.  A regular girl who lives a pretty regular life and likes to document it in this blog.  Reviews only when it is a product I use, like and believe in and a possible give-a-way now and then.

Here is what you will never get on my blog:  product shilling, a boatload of ads, 35 rules to enter a give-a-way or in your face requests to follow me, re-tweet my posts or subscribe to my blog.

You come here for a reason.  If you didn’t like what you read, you wouldn’t.  I know from my stats that this blog gets quite a bit of traffic and people are reading.  I would rather have 5 genuine comments than 200 insincere ones.  I feel like if my blog was full of ads paying me to blog, my posts would become less authentic.  I would be blogging for traffic and not for me.  I would be forced to recommend, through ads and posts, products I don’t use or like.  I like my free not-so-big blog and I love the places blogging has taken me and the people I have met.   The blog is evolving but I am going to remain true to who I am.  Always.  That is my promise to myself and my readers.  The blog isn’t perfect, but it is mine.

What does authentic blogging mean to you?  Who do you blog for?

13 thoughts on “Authentic Blogging- Who Do You Blog For?

  1. Great reflection. Thank you for the share. I think many of us question what we’re writing for or for whom. I would agree it always comes back to ‘you’ but also for others. We question whether or not someone may be able to enjoy, truly enjoy and truly read what youre expressing the best you can. I think you hit the spot, you’re not alone. Cheers.

  2. I blog mostly for myself. i don’t have a big following and that’s ok. If I inspire someone to run, that’s gravy.

  3. I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love this post. Plus it reflects a lot of the reasons my blog has been pretty quiet lately.

    I’ve stopped reading and commenting on blogs schilling products. I’ve stopped entering giveaways unless it’s something I really want. I miss reading people’s stories.

    So glad you are keeping it real here. It means I’ll keep reading.

  4. You already know how I feel about this topic. I clearly blog for myself and don’t try to be someone I’m not. I also don’t get paid a dime and have never received any products for free. Although if someone wanted to give me something I believed in or already use then I would probably be ok with that. Also, you know I don’t even want a ton of attention at the blog. I prefer to only have a handful of awesome readers.
    Also, I’ve always thought of your blog as authentic and real. You are also informative!

  5. Awwwwwwww Donna!!! 🙂

    I stopped “trying” a few years ago during my first stress fracture. I like being able to really connect to those that have stuck around through it all and no longer feel the need to try to get anymore.

    Stay true to yourself!

    P.S. How crazy is it that Donna was 3 years ago and that the last time we saw each other was Boston 2 years ago?!?!?

  6. Great post! I could probably write a very long response… I will try to spare you 🙂

    I have been thinking about this a lot lately, because I know a lot of bloggers who are (imho) getting greedy and all they want is page views, comments and free shit. It makes me fucking nuts. The people I like irl are turning in to assholes on their blogs. Yikes. Pretty harsh, but true. When I read someone’s blog, am too disgusted to comment, then remind myself “you like them irl,” that is too much.

    Oops. Sorry for all the swearing.

    Anyway, I see these people changing. And the more I see it, the more I try to make my blog authentic. Some of the things I write are really silly, but I don’t write something unless I want to (except that training post I do each week, ha ha). I like that you mentioned the list posts. I don’t need Motivation Monday and WIAW and all that. I don’t need prompts. Like Bobbi said, where did the stories go?

    And how about authentic commenting? Ugh. I could go in to that but it would have to be via email.

    Anyway. Yeah. I get you. And I love your blog, so thanks for keeping it real 🙂

  7. I started blogging for myself, I just started running and I was already reading running blogs and wanted to have a place to document my progress.

    But today it’s about everything, I try to tell about my country, about how things are done over here because most of my readers are from different countries. It’s also what I look for in blogs I read, I love to read about things of your country, things you do and see photos of where you live. It makes my world and the view on the world bigger.

    I’m not blogging to get as many readers as possible, I don’t care about that, I don’t want to get paid for it and I don’t want to test things to giveaway on my blog. The readers I have at the moment are mostly with me since I started blogging and I feel like I know them, even though I never met them.

  8. no one lately. lol. (since i haven’t posted in awhile) but yeah, i got turned off by all the product shillings. i know i gave into it a few times, but i’d like to think i never did it too much like ‘some people’ do/did. i wish i could get back in the blogging mood/mindset… i miss it and all my friends! thankful i can keep in touch with the best ones on FB 🙂

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