I Disagree

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I have a blog pickle. And it's juicy. And dill. And looks like a green, warty big toe. . . . Brace yourselves, you aren't going to like this post.

I recognize I'm in the .0003% minority here. I fully admit that I'm a big fat blog snob. (They should offer therapy classes for gals like me.) I also recognize that this could all sound like a post coming from a crankity old lady whose panties are a little too tight around her crotchbiscuits . . . and you're right. They probably are. You're more than welcome to disagree with me, in fact, I'm sure you already do. I just thought the world deserved a different opinion. 

Sometimes I feel like blogging is one fancy club, and I'm the awkward, overall-wearing girl who's standing in the corner twiddling my stubby thumbs and pretending like I don't care. But I do. 

But at what cost?
I've asked myself this lately, because I feel that if you ain't sponsoring you can't keep up. There. I said it. Sponsorship. 

This past month I've read a lot of "Why I Sponsor" posts. They're all the same. They all spill the same crusty lines that no one's buying, including them. "It's not about the number of followers on my sidebar" always puzzles me. If it's not, then why are you trying so desperately to woo gals to click that fancy gold button? Why are you shelling out money every month in the high hopes of gaining an attentive eye? Why? Be real with yourself. You want the followers. We all do. 

For me, it's more than that. 
I want people to actually care about the silly nuances about my little life, the stupid words I come up with in the hopes of getting a chuckle, and my daily failures as a wife and housekeeper. And in my eyes, that doesn't come from sponsorship. That doesn't come from clicks on my sidebar.

Maybe I'm being too optimistic. Maybe I live in a land filled with donuts and roses and free ad space, but I want people to come to my blog because THEY want to read it . . . not because I paid someone with more followers than me to post a tweet to tell them to or because I'm hosting a giveaway for a Michael Kors watch.

But Jena, it's advertising. DUH. 
Well sure, I'm not against advertising. (Wanna swap buttons?) I am against the fake. I mean, who are you more inclined to believe? Someone (who has probably never read your blog) who was paid to tell you about a little space on the Internet, or some sweet soul who wanted to put a button up . . . just because. For me, it's the latter. I love seeing sweet blog posts or emails from readers who merely wanted to tell others about me from the goodness of their hearts. Any button on my blog are gals I actually read, and any blogs I follow, I do so because I actually, ya know, follow them. 

I've never spent/received a dime on the ol' blog. Maybe that's obvious. 
My twitter/blog posts shout outs have come from friends, who I know genuinely read my blog--girls who are truly interested (for some reason) in my writings and weird buns stories. Now some would argue that I have a long way to go before I become "successful" (whatever that means). And that's absolutely right. I'm well aware of the fact that I'm but a tiny drop in the blogosphere pool. But I love where I'm at with my blog because I know I have genuine readers, a real audience. I didn't pay anyone to "advertise." I didn't buy "followers" through some fantastic giveaway. I just wrote and read other girls' blogs, and people eventually found me.

That's why I don't pay/receive payment for sponsoring. Paid sponsorship cheapens this whole blogging thing. It makes it about some number and not about actual readers, friends, and the community I've so grown to love.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go try to get rid of this massive chip on my shoulder . . .

92 comments:

Erin said...

I love your honesty and this post SO MUCH. While I have sponsored a handful of blogs and also accept sponsors, I get where you are coming from. I despise the mega group giveaways... I really do. THAT to me is 'buying followers' and it seems to be allll I see in the blog world lately. I do think the giveaways differ from advertising, simply because if I buy an ad space on someones blog... my blog might get exposure to readers that normally wouldn't have found mine. Just my two cents :) You know I love your blog!!

Love and Such said...

I LOVE THIS!!

I love your blog so much- it's seriously one of my favorite blogs to read. You are funny & love hearing about your adventures & you are REAL! You go Jena!

xoxo

Melissa Knott said...

I don't know when I followed you... or what inclined me to start... but your posts always brighten my day. Your made up words and all.

Nicole said...

You're doing great! Some random girl is sitting in a lecture in a little town in the UK reading your blog!! Nobody made me follow..I just love it :) have a good day! Xxx

Sarah said...

I realized a while back that blogging is a lot like high school, and I often feel like the misfit smoking cigarettes under the bleachers. I don't do outfit posts (no one wants to see that), I don't talk about Jesus, and I'm not friends with the cool kids. Having that little epiphany was freeing. No more obsessing over the numbers until my eyes bleed. No more feeling inadequate because my husband farts and sometimes my kid wears the same Sonic the Hedgehog shirt 3 days in one week (because I actually did laundry before it swallowed us alive). Kudos to you for standing up to the nonsense. I went 6 months with only 2 followers (1 was my husband and the other was my sister in law), but I'd rather go back to that than lose my soul.

lo @ crazy ever after said...

I'd like to know where these bloggers get the money to sponsor all of these blogs! I have enough expensive hobbies (is eating a out at nice restaurants a hobby?)...I am not going to pay money to write my thoughts, or rather, pay money to have more exposure to what I write. I admit that I am a snarky snatch, but 98% of these sponsored posts I peruse are so contrived and fake. And it makes me want to pop a few of these big box blogger loons in their bony thighs (CHARLIE HORSE!) for thinking they are actually convincing us they are genuinely OMGsoINLOVE with their blogger of the day. Uhhh, no girl. You gots money to write that. Get off it. It's just all so ridiculous.

Janna Brandon said...

I agree with you...mostly. Sponsoring blogs have become the norm these days and if you don't offer it on your blog, it's like you have the plague and no one will come near you. It seems like everything is about the money these days and not actually creating friendships or a sense of community.

Now, onto the part where I differ. A few weeks ago, I decided to offer sponsoring on my blog. I don't charge anything but I go out of my way for my advertisers. Why? Because I want to create a community and so I can help them grow without money getting in the way. In the process, I have met some amazing women and I won't lie, my blog has grown from them.

I don't think sponsoring cheapens the blogging aspect. It just can skew it for new bloggers who think you have to buy followers as opposed to doing it the old fashioned way and being patient.

Recently Roached said...

Totally agree! Maybe I should clarify and say "paid" sponsorship cheapens blogging. Good for you for offering it up for free! :)

Kerri Andersen said...

i agree with every word you wrote just now! i really like 'real' bloggers like yourself :)

Elle Noel said...

Refreshing, witty, and totally honest! This is why I love reading your blog!

Sara said...

I've been thinking about this a lot recently. I think it's easy to get caught up in the numbers, and thinking the only way to make a blog into anything special is by sponsorship and advertisement. I'm like you, I follow blogs because I genuinely like to read them, yours included. :-)

I'm not opposed to sponsorship or advertisement for blogging, because I am totally guilty of it, but, it shouldn't be all about that. It shouldn't be all about the numbers, although I think at one point or another we all feel like it is, and the reason we started bloggin in the first place gets skewed a bit.

Thanks for putting this out there. :-)

Kelly B. said...

A-freaking men.

you CANNOT buy sponsorships and claim to NOT care about numbers. why the hell else do you do it!? What kills me is NOBODY will come out and acknowledge WHY they want readers (if they're the ones who are buying sponsorships). I'm 100% convinced that people who buy sponsorships to jack up their reader count do so in the hopes that one day they'll have 2,000+ readers and can sell their OWN sponsors, so they can make money off their blog. I mean really, be honest! Why else invest so much time doing sponsor posts, giveaways, etc. Especially after Living in Yellow (not to knock her in any way shape or form. I think she is very good at what she does) posted just how much she makes a month in sponsorships, consulting, etc. from her blog. I'll admit it, I drooled a little bit too. But I went to law school to devote my career to the law, not to blogging, so I use that as a gut check. This will always always be my hobby, a place I enjoy coming, not something I expect to turn into a money machine. If that's what these gals want, great! just ADMIT IT!

Elle said...

Soooo freakin' agree. I blog because i enjoy it and I follow blogs because I like to read theirs. I'm happy to host a button on my page if someone asks, but I'd NEVER ask you to pay for it. That's ridic. They are blogs I actually read and am happy to share with others. Let's all just get over the numbers game and lets quit doing giveaways every 30 seconds...my mommy always called that bribing ;)

Ashley from The Kitchen-Sink Chronicles said...

You said this so much better then I ever could! I don't do sponorships either... and I hate giveaways with 9000 entries. I'll definitely be sharing this all over social media land!

Angi said...

TOTALLY agree with you. I used to do button swapping quite a bit but then I realized that I'd rather just put up the buttons of blogs I love and read daily, and I swap them out myself sometimes. I care about follower count - we all do - but not enough that I'm willing to sell out and start doing a thousand giveaways a month just to get "readers" that don't even "READ" my blog. And I also refuse to enter those types of giveaways - just sayin'. Anyway, bottom line, I agree with you completely.

Kalen said...

I have 10 followers and I couldn't be prouder that I got them all by myself :) I've been noticing a lot of giveaways on the blogs I usually read and have been getting a little annoyed. I agree, I am jelly of other bloggers follower count sometimes but then I'm remember I'm not in it to make money, just to have a creative outlet for those who want to enjoy it with me!

Janna Brandon said...

Well if I am totally honest, my main reason for buying a sponsorship is to gain more exposure for my blog and the women's ministry I am creating. I want to reach as many people as I can. If that amounts to 2,000+ readers or just where I'm at now, that's okay with me. I'm looking to create a community and not just buy followers. That's why I sponsor. However with that being said, I only sponsor blogs that I have things in common with and what usually happens is that we become friends which then of course helps in growing the community. For me, it's all about creating friendships and helping each other out as opposed to seeing how much money I can make.

Courtney Carlton said...

Ditto Courtney Carlton. As evidenced by... well... my blog. I obviously don't give a rip about my number of followers, but rather, the people I'm followed by who I care about, because they seem to care a little bit about me as well.

Its, like you said, about the back-and-forth relationships and friendships that are made through the art of intentional correspondence. It's about the "I read your blog because I like what you say," and the "I comment on your posts because I can relate to what you say."

With ya, sis. You're not alone :) Keep doing your thing! 772 loyal blog friends love your blog for it!

Lins - Domesticated Working Woman said...

I love this post. I have felt for some time now that my blog is sub-par or below others in a way because I don't accept sponsorships or have 500+ followers. I have felt numerous times as though I needed to invest more money in it to make it bigger. And I realize that does work. I also realize investing money will make it better, however, I want my readers to legitimately READ my blog, not just follow it. I may not have fancy design, pro pictures, or people offering me money, but I pour my heart and soul into my writing. I want to inspire and motivate women. The reason I started blogging was because I became inspired by other writers and I have a passion for doing the same. I would love to swap buttons if you're interested. I love your honesty.

lo @ crazy ever after said...

A few more questions:

When one accepts sponsorship, do they accept just anyone that is willing to give them money? What if you can't say you genuinely like the person's blog? Do you still take their money and talk about them like you're besties? That's why I couldn't do it. I like a very small amount of blogs I read. I'd never want to feel obligated to write something about someone or something if I couldn't really get behind it. Of course I like money, but accepting it from someone I don't necessarily like? Gross.

Sarah said...

AGREED!! Amen sista! I loved my blog when I first started and then all of the giveaway and sponsor posts on my feed starting making me feel like I wasn't doing it right. I literally just came to terms with this and realized that my blog is my blog, for me, and anyone else who feels like reading it. I have 21 followers and most are friends that I actually know but I decided that doesn't matter much anymore. I am definitely not going to sell anything or give anything away for people to read, and I've actually stopped reading those posts from some of my favorites. Shouldn't the blog be enough? Sheesh! Glad you said it because it needed to be said!

Daliene said...

I wrote about who I had a good experience with as far as advertising about a month ago. I thought getting some followers would up my motivation to blog. Lol well I took Feb/March off from sponsoring and will now only do one a month because it is silly to spend $$ without some kind of financial return which won't happen since I just have swap buttons on Alamo Adventures. I was really annoyed by all the giveaway requests. I say we go ahead and create that awkward club. I'll be the secretary. Lol

Laura Nelson said...

oh my goodness! i LOVE this. i thought i was the only one! i just want people to like me for me and not because i paid someone to tell other people to like me! (that sounds a lot like high school!) and i am so glad that you are saying something! you may still be in the minority but i'm right here with you!! you have so many loyal followers because you write sincerely and you're hilarious (really. don't let anyone tell you different!). i know i'm here to stay!

Nessa said...

I'm not sure where I stand on this topic, because I dont think I'll ever be an interesting enough blogger to have a big enough following to even consider making money off my blog. While I'd love to make money off my blog (I have kids to feed and dress :p) I don't have the time or energy to put in to it anyway. I blog because I enjoy it. It's where I document my life, and more importantly my daughter's life. It's a hobby, not a job. I don't have a problem with people who do it for whatever reason. I just hate when a blog turns into nothing but a boring money-maker. There's no stories, no content, just a whole lot of "pay me money!" All the blogs I read, I read because I like them, and I like what they're saying. Some I've found through clicking on an ad. So hey, whatever works. I do see your point on the fake-ness though. I'd much rather a recommendation from someone who actually reads and loves my blog, rather than someone I paid to do it.

Cassie said...

i totally agree. it's very cliquey..... no ok with that. BUT is a real true friendship for those "big time" blogs. NO. i started my blog for my family and friends. and that's what i will continue to do. i enjoy your REAL true blog. keep it up lady!

Veronica @ Passion, Pink & Pearls said...

I completely agree Jenna, and I thought Janna's comment was spot on too. I don't understand paying for sponsoring at all. I do all free swapping because it's more fun that way anyway!

And I think blogging should be free...cause it's just a little side hobby for me, a place to talk about life, what I'm doing or whatever.

ps: I got into the whole blogging thing by reading your blog!
pss: If you ask me, you've got several readers and they're active, so you're a successful blogger :)

Nicole said...

I've been blogging for almost 3 years, and ALMOST have 100 followers. I write about my life, what I love, and things I find interesting. I've only had one offer from a company to put a button and link on my blog, and I declined. To me, blogging was never about the money, it was about sharing my journey. A way to share my life with my family and friends, and the occasional stalker. Although not a lot, my blog has grown all on it's own. I'm in the middle of my second giveaway I've ever done. I'm giving away a $25 gift card to a steakhouse...I'm a rancher and we grow beef, so my giveaway is related to my life, not just because. I love when people do that sort of thing, not just a random giveaway.

And I think you're doing just fine! I LOVE reading your posts, mostly because you're hilarious and say things like "crotchbiscuits."

Kelly B. said...

okay, I overlooked the fact that people may have some different motivations with what they do with their blog, I totally get why you'd want more exposure for something like that! Same with people who have etsy shops, or things of that nature. But girls who just write about their life? I think most of them are definitely doing it to try to turn a profit. And ones who claim the money they get from having sponsors goes back into sponsoring others-- sure, for now. But you can't tell me you someday don't hope to stop breaking even and start turning a profit! Otherwise what's the point?

Amy said...

::STANDS WHILE WILDLY CLAPPING HANDS {and some possible booty dancing}!!!::
:)
Seriously, i agree 100%...why? Because, like you said, i want people to "follow me" because they like what they see and actually enjoy reading what i write or don't write. Jena, hands down i read your blog because you are real, honest, hilarious, and i think we'd be bff's if we lived down the road...not because someone wrote a little blurp about you somewhere. Blogging is for us, the bloggers, to keep an account of our lives, stories, successes and mishaps, and if other people want to read them, great, if not...that is ok too! It is REALLY hard to not play the numbers game, we all do it, but it's always good to remind ourselves why we started blogging in the first place!
:) Bravo girl, great post!

Heather Rahn said...

I agree with this 100%. When I look for new blogs to follow, I look for blogs like yours...blogs that don't have 9 million ads on their page and do 2390578 giveaways and guests post a week. And when I start reading a normal, down to Earth blog, as soon as they start with the sponsors and guest posts and blog dates and super secret blog handshakes, I stop following. My blog is not about me making or spending money, it's about having a place to document the boring solitude that is my life. You are not alone, in fact I think you are in the majority of real honest bloggers.

Ashley said...

I agree!! I think people have gotten away from the reason why they blog!!! It shouldn't be a popularity contest! We are not in high school anymore!! Great post!!

Andrea Franklin said...

Clearly you're not as alone as you think you are ;) This post was excellent. I only read a handful of blogs and ones like yours that are completely honest and clutter free (i.e. sponsored posts, etc) are what I lean towards. Blogging is about self expression, not making money so thank you for staying true to the true nature of blogs!

Sarah said...

Amen!

Sarah said...

For the record, eating out is totally a hobby.

Also, you know what I hate? Tweets that are like, "Did you see what @crazy_everafter wrote about her husband?" and then a link, and you follow it and it's the worst (or most boring) blog post ever, and then you realize you followed a sponsored tweet. #eff.

(BTDubs, you would never have the most boring blog post.) End rant.

The CSI Girl said...

I agree! My blog is my business but I have found more ways to make money with it rather than just advertising. I used to have a new sponsor every week and it was fun but this year I made the announcement that I would only promote products or companies that I know my crafty readers truly want. This is not a popular choice as many craft bloggers advertise and promote many companies but it works for me and my blog is still going strong so I applaud your honesty and genuine thoughts. Just know I stand with you in blog land.
Dee, The CSI Project
www.thecsiproject.com

Lindsey @ Life on Countryside said...

"you are not alone.....I am here with you...." stands up and takes my lighter out and sways to the music (name that tune).

I will admit I have paid 2 people for a sponsorship - when I first started out. One has become a really good friend of mine and rocks my socks. the other....meh. we will leave it at that.

But I agree with you fully - once I got out of the new blogger syndrome - I realized that paying for sponsorships is a little cra cra. I like you want people to read cuz they wanna read! well said sista friend, well said!

Brandy Orgeron said...

This is great. I started blogging as a way to write down my feelings.. yada yada...but I'm not gonna lie, I have thought of buying a spot on a popular blog to get more followers..I am at just four followers..and I know if people like what I have to say, that will grow.. without a sponsorship.

Katie said...

PREACH! I am so right with you on that girl! I started blogging (only a month ago) as something for my self. I shouldn't have to pay people to be my "friend"! I agree 110% that paid sponsorship cheapens the blogging experience. I follow you because you make me smile, not cause some other person told me to.

Katie Did What said...

PREACH.

(I love you)

xo

littlemissread said...

Your blog makes me laugh every time. I love this post. I have 20 followers and can't figure out why they want to read my ramble but I love that they found me by accident and stuck around, rather than by sponsorship

Kelsey Eaton said...

I think it is all about moderation. If someone wants to knock themselves out spending hundreds of dollars sponsoring other blogs to get more "exposure" so be it. I think it is quite obvious when you look at a blog whether it has a ton of followers yet nobody actually reads it or if there is a blog that people genuinely care about.

It bums me out when I see blogs that host giveaway after giveaway and don't write hardly anything. What is the point of blogging if you don't even blog? I guess that is up to them though. I personally though dont want to read a blog that just has giveaway after giveaway in it.

I'll admit I started offering paid sponsorship spots on my blog because my ad swaps were so backed up. If people wanted to pay to have a little square on my little blog that was fine with me. I'm unemployed right now and the extra income definitely doesn't hurt.

On the other hand I do not sponsor other blogs. To me blogging is fun and a way for me tp update friends and family, and to be a creative outlet for myself. I enjoy it a lot but not enough to spend my own money to slap my face on the side of someone's blog.

Okay this is officially the longest comment ever so I'm going to stop haha, thanks for the great post Jenna. I think you are terrific and love your blog so much!

Rachael said...

You're blog is one of my favorites, for sure!! I love your made up words. Way to stay true and stick it to the man!! ;)

Sam said...

Jena you're honestly one of my favorite bloggers that I follow and I'm happy to say I found your lovely blog the au naturale way, without sponsorship or vain advertisements!

Syndal said...

you are not alone sister! I will never participate in sponsorship for the exact same reasons! My blog is not my job, it's my hobby. I'd rather have readers, not just followers.

put a bow on it [kaitlyn] said...

I love this post and I LOVED your tweet last night about this because I feel the same way sometimes. It brings out all my insecurities that I'm just not good enough for this whole blogging thing. I've sponsored some blogs, but each one has been because that girl is someone I consider a friend and/or they were new to the sponsoring thing and I wanted to support them. What I don't get and can never get behind - when someone sponsors someone that they don't like/agree with. That is SO obvious that they're doing it to get followers. And when I see things like "my blog went from 30 followers to 1000 in three months! Let me help you grow your blog" it just makes me really...well I don't know how to put it into words, but I don't like it. How many people out of those 1000 are actually reading because they want to? (Or really, reading AT ALL.) Or because they wanted to win a watch and they had to follow 20 blogs to unlock the other 30 point options on the rafflecopter?

Sarah said...

What a great post! I became your follower because I loved what I was reading- not because following you would win me a giveaway or increase my readers. As I grow my small blog, I am trying to stay true to myself and not get side tracked with gaining follower- even though I would LOVE more people to read my blog, but because I want to write/talk about what I want and I want people to want to read it. Hang in there- you are doing a great job!

julia rose. said...

I'm totes with you on the donuts, rainbows, dill pickles, roaches, roses, and free ad space. Which is why I love you so dearly :)

Paige (The Last Doughnut) said...

I am with you 100%! And just to add something that drives me crazy: I cannot stand all of these "link ups." Every single day seems like a day of "travel" or "what I ate today," etc. With multiple people linking and talking about the same topic (even if it's different foods/locations, whatever), it is just PLAIN boring to read about the same topic all day long. I like it when people are original and don't have to wait for their friends to decide what they'll all write about. Some people might love it...but I am NOT on that bandwagon!

Ashley said...

Here's my thing about paid sponsorship...there's a right way and there's a wrong way to do it. I have been burned so many times by people I've sponsored (people not doing what they said they were going to do, and not even paying me the slightest attention)...so from them I've learned how not to do things. I only accept a few paid sponsors a month, because I really want to promote them. I actually read their blogs, and try to help them grow by giving them the exposure that they deserve. I take a lot of time with it, so that's why the paid part is beneficial! :-)

I think you're fantastic, Jena!! :-) Thanks for this post...I'm always a huge fan.

delcers said...

I personally LOVE your blog for the reason that you don't have that crap all over your page! It all seems so fake to me. I'm not huge into blogging, but I like reading people's posts that make me laugh, or make me feel like I know someone. Thanks for being real and keeping me entertained! :)

Audrey said...

I just found your blog a few weeks ago. I also graduated from OU, in 2010 and saw your blog from a mutual facebook friend. I have to say in the short time that I've been reading your blog I've become obsessed. Not many people can be both hilarious and real, but you've mastered it! I have a modest little blog, mostly for my friends, but eventually (once I figure it out) I'd love to put your button on my blog!!

http://anaudblog.blogspot.com/

Bri Lamkin said...

I understand where you are coming from. I was reluctant to get into sponsors. I waited until I was absolutely ready. And I know this sounds bad, but honestly, I'm poor. Really poor. And although I love this blogging thing that I do, I love it that much more if I can make some money off of it. I am still totally rah rah, create personal blogger relationships. and I think I have and I love that. But I think you should do what you feel comfortable with. If there are things about this internet world that you don't like, don't do them. I say, more power to ya, girl! Also, i really enjoy your blog. :)

P!nky said...

I agree with your disagree. hear hear

Madeline Grace said...

I agree with this post 100%

Kathy B said...

Oh Jena, you are a fine, fine lady. I whole-heartedly agree with what you say here; blogging is about the writing. Blogging is about wanting to be read. I love it when lovely folk load up my page because they're genuinely interested in hearing what I have to say (cripes, how did that happen?!), and I read blogs for the same reason, not to try and win some fancy hair product or whatever else may be on offer. Admittedly I do enter giveaways at times, but only if there are no terms and conditions such as... 'TWEET ME, FOLLOW ME, LIKE ME, HUMP ME, LOVE ME, KISS MY ASS, DO ME'.

So yup, I completely see what you're saying here. You're a wise ol' owl. And I absolutely love loading up your page and reading about you and your splendid life adventures. I practically urinate with excitement every time.

Don't ever leave.

Xx

Krista Lynn said...

What a great post Jena! I was recently caught up in sponsoring and after a few months realized there is a good, bad and ugly side to it. Some are genuinely interested in helping your blog but most you never hear from, you don't see any results and the giveaways are just out if control. I never understood why you pay for a sponsorship and then pay additional to be included in a giveaway-- shouldn't that be included in the initial sponsorship payment? I dunno..I guess I've got a lot of mixed feelings on it!

Krista

Stephanie said...

So refreshing to read this. I absolutely love your blog and look forward to reading your posts. Your honesty with this post makes me even much more of a fan :)

jessica renee said...

I couldn't agree more and just wish the insanity would stop already! I don't think many bloggers realize when enough is enough! And do they not realize that the blog world is over saturated with sponsor posts, group giveaways, etc and that it's pushed many bloggers to start ignoring that stuff? Or maybe that's just me. It's all too much. I started blogging in 2009 as a journal and the added perks of making friends and maybe randomly getting a product to review (which didn't even start for me until last year!) are nice but not why I started to blog. I personally would be embarrassed to ask for $ - my blog's crap half the time ;) But to each their own I guess. It's just nice to know I'm not the only one who feels this way!

Brandy said...

I agree with you! Of course we all want followers, or readers, because I think we just don't want to seem like we are talking to ourselves allll the time. Haha. If I get shout-outs I want it to be because the person likes me, not because I've paid them to like me for 2 minutes. Or if someone puts up my button, I want it to be because they enjoy reading my nonsense & maybe want others to stop by also.
By the way, I actually do like your posts! I can't even remember how I found you, but glad I did. :)

applesandglue said...

I love this post. As a brand new blogger I want people to want to visit my blog/leave comments because they care about me, not because I advertised the heck out of myself.

As it stands, no one cares about me or my blog yet. But I'm hopeful lol!

Lin said...

Preach it sistah! I've written about this in the past & still believe it. I'm not a "sponsor" kind of gal. The few dollars I do have left over at the end of the month are sure as hell not gonna go to someone who tweets my blog out a few times a week, no way. More like, girly manicure here I come! haha

Ive been blogging for almost 4yrs and it's taken A LOT of social interacting around the blogosphere to get me where I'm at. Good news is it's worth it because I know the people that are reading/following are legit and there because they actually want to read what I have to rant about.

Great post doll!

Laura Ann said...

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! Thank you. I feel validated.

Jenna said...

Agree agree agree!!! I had a huge moment of blog clarity a couple weeks ago and it was about this exact topic! I came into blogging seeing that the way to attract readers was through sponsorships so I hopped aboard that bandwagon fast. I just haven't found most sponsorships to be geniune and I've noticed that I just don't have the time (aka I don't want to waste my free time) to put into sponsors on my blog. So I'm donezo with that and it's made me enjoy blogging again!

PS I've been semi-MIA in Bloggerville these days...I've missed catching up on your life. Hope you're doing fantabulous sunshine :)

Kristin said...

I love that you somehow got into my head and wrote out what I've been thinking for months. I want followers. But I want readers more. I want people to find my blog and like it, whether they decide to follow or not.

I think this needs to be shared with as many bloggers as possible.

Kristin :)

Allison said...

Yay!!! I'm so glad you said this. It seems like when you've been around the "blogger block" a time or two people think you have to sponsor just because. Let's live in the land of donuts, roses and free ad space together forever. Haha.

Vanessa Jade Smith / www.7jaded.com said...

I like this, and I like the way you write, hahaha. Well, I have yet to pay for sponsoring someone else's blog, I've been lucky and won a bunch for free.

When I first started blogging in high school, it was SO much different than it is now. Then I came back to it right before I graduated college and just focused on writing and design, and then all of sudden started noticing the "secret club" of bloggers you mentioned. So I added sponsors to my sidebar, but it's not really something I feel the need to foster.. I think I may get rid of it. I don't even know what to say sometimes. I just like to write about my life, and I guess blogging has just turned into all business now.

Michelle said...

AMEN. You perfectly captured my exact thoughts. A few months ago I saw two big bloggers who are way into sponsoring and giveaways admit to each other on twitter that they use giveaways to buy followers. It infuriated me. I don't understand that mindset and I don't want ever be like that. Not sponsoring has been the best decision I've made with my blog. It keeps it fun and not a chore, and I know my readers actually want to read what I write!

Jodi said...

I agree! The good thing is we can all choose which blogging "path" we want to take. I choose not to have sponsors or make money off my blog. I blog for me and to keep track of my life. If someone else wants to have sponsors then good for them. I think there is plenty of room for all of us in the blog world!!! :) P.S. I do find all the HUGE giveaways that have been happening a lot lately to be really annoying. I don't want to HAVE to follow 30 blogs to win something - so I don't participate in those!

Noelle said...

Well I LOVE that everyone else agrees as well--- blogging for me is journaling so someone might stumble upon what I write one day and say "hey- me too"! I LOVE your blog Jena and screw advertising :) you clearly said what everyone else was thinking!!


Noelle

thelifeofmrsmckaig.blogspot.com

Alex Helton said...

I don't remember how I came across your blog but I am seriously so glad I did. Love this post (and all of your other posts)

Sarah Lillian said...

And that, my dear, is why yours is one of my regular and favorite reads :)

Samantha Horseman said...

Wow! Jena, I have been "following" your blog for a while and haven't gotten to really read a whole lot of it but Veronica told me about this post and I had to check it out! Now I am more excited than ever to read more of your blog :) Thanks for being so honest and saying what so many of us would like to say! I would LOVE to swap buttons with you if you're interested!

XO Samantha
Designer in Teal

gin said...

i don't really know what this post is all about. i found you recently and read you because i like your funny posts, i like your life style. sponsoring, advertising, and giveaways do not lure me to blogs. I read and follow and keep up certain bloggers because they entertain me and i keep coming back for me. so keep giving us a peek into your life every day.

Morgan said...

I feel you Jena! I even stopped allowing reader comments on my blog because of this reason!

It's not at all about the number, but people make it seem so much like it is!!!

Whitney said...

Honestly, I don't think that you're in the minority. Hell, I'm sure you've seen from your comments that you're not alone! I agree with you somewhat, but I definitely see the positives in sponsoring too. This is exactly why I love your blog though. Your honesty is so great!

Holly said...

THANK YOU. I never understood why bloggers have paid sponsorship unless they are a big name blogger. I paid for my background but that's all I've ever bought for my blog. I never received any money for it and quite honestly I don't know why people follow my weird and random life, but whatever!! I got followers the same way you did. I think you're more in the majority than you think, girl. But thanks for posting this :)

Jessica K said...

Thank you. I would say you are in the majority. I am a new blogger but I feel the same way. And when I actually got some balls, and asked one of my favorite "big time" bloggers how to get out there - her answer way to pay for it. Buy readers. I was shocked. Thought the blog world was fake at that point. Paying for readers? I want friends. I want people to care about me the way I do about them! I totally agree with what you say!

Andrea @ Love is... said...

Ah-mazing. Great post lady!

ngnrdgrl said...

Wonderful post! I totally agree. I have recently been thinking about why I am blogging and what my end purpose is. I had an epiphany that what I am about is truly a hobby blog and that this idea in my head that my blog should grow to be X big isn't really reasonable for me. That I should be doing this for fun, because that is the original reason why I started. I love the community that has developed between myself and other bloggers. Instead of trying desperately to bring in traffic, I should direct more of my energy into developing these new friendships. That this energy should be spent in sharing with them via the blog and also sharing on their blog via comments. Thank you again for voicing your opinion! It is an echo of many of our own thoughts.

Julie Mason said...

I love this post! I'm a new blogger and I've thought the same EXACT things! Your not the only one who feels this way and YES there are girls like you {like me} that enjoy to read about your thoughts, your life, your silly words, etc! That is exactly what I started a blog as well! For those who are interested in my life! Not to see how many followers I can get. : )

www.justjuliejoy.blogspot.com

Suze said...

True that.

Anonymous said...

Love this post! I read your blog ALL the time and I love it! We are the same age and I am married also so I easily relate to so many of your posts! You are posting for All the right reasons and I am sure there are many girls like me who follow you because we love yor real life stories. Thanks for all the great and honest posts :)

Lauren Gardner said...

Holy cow! Check out the comments yo! I too love this post. I got caught up in the number game and I found out that I really don't care. You said it better than I ever could express in my own words. I "follow" a bunch of blogs but yours in one of only a handful that I actually read. I get tired of reading about bloggers and their perfect lives. It's depressing! Makes me feel like I'm not hacking it as a blogger if I don't put makeup on and take cute pictures. I'd rather people read my blog and laugh because of real life situations I find myself in. I just love you! I can't wait to get my daily dose of Jenna. :) you go girl.

Lauren Gardner said...

Holy cow! Check out the comments yo! I too love this post. I got caught up in the number game and I found out that I really don't care. You said it better than I ever could express in my own words. I "follow" a bunch of blogs but yours in one of only a handful that I actually read. I get tired of reading about bloggers and their perfect lives. It's depressing! Makes me feel like I'm not hacking it as a blogger if I don't put makeup on and take cute pictures. I'd rather people read my blog and laugh because of real life situations I find myself in. I just love you! I can't wait to get my daily dose of Jenna. :) you go girl.

Melissa said...

THANK YOU!! I came over here b/c you convinced a blogger that i follow (beeautiful blessings) not to do sponsorships & it made me so happy. Ha! I have blogged about this before - how i think it's ridiculous - but maybe not so bluntly or cleverly. (Is that a word?)

I honestly don't care how many followers i have - i know i have 200-something, the exact number i couldn't tell ya! I just put up blog buttons of people whose blog i read regularly - b/c i WANT to! The sponsorship posts are SO old. And some of them say how they have made SUCH AMAZING FRIENDS through the process - um, so have i. LIFELONG friendships. Without paying for it! Geez.

Annie said...

I thought I was the ONLY one who hated the "mega group giveaways"!! Whew... They totally are a really silly way to gain followers and it's unreasonable and just cruel (almost). I also do like advertising my blog or swapping buttons w/those blogs I already value; i.e., I pay very special attention to the blogs I advertise w/. And I have to admit I also like giveaways, as long as they match my blog, of course.

Annie said...

I liked that you emphasized how all the available blogging schemes out there can overwhelm new readers. The whole "paying for followers" thing is so tricky! I'm glad I'm not the only non-fan out there. I've been blogging for a couple years and have done a few sponsored posts and advertised on other blogs because I have a genuine interest in what they're about..

Playing devil's advocate, though, I'll admit there *are* good sponsored posts out there :). I know you weren't calling out all sponsored-post-authors, but I definitely try my hardest to write a good post when I've been paid for it.. Otherwise, I'd have never taken on such a "burden"/opportunity. There, that's my defense :).

Cool comment! (I saw on your G+ you worked in the Army, btw, so THANKS for your service!!)

Claire Berard said...

I'm not sure where I am in all of this... maybe because I don't quite "get" it. I do giveaways.. for free.. when friends ask me to. Then, I ask people to follow me because.. I have no idea what else to ask on the dumb Rafflecopter. The blog buttons on my sidebar are my besties.. so.. wanna button swap bestie? Love ya! Claire

Christina said...

Amen! This is one of the reasons I have stepped away from it lately. Love your blog though!!!

Rachel said...

It truly means so much that people do come to care about you and read your blog because they genuinely enjoy it. That's exactly the kind of following I want to develop!

Katie said...

Jena, I love this. A lot. Now I am going to be honest, I have paid to advertise on blogs and would probably do it again. Reason one is because I feel like it is helping support some of my favorite bloggers but the second reason is yes, for followers. I'll admit it. It IS about the number. But I don't know. I do agree with you. I would prefer to have someone follow my blog simply because they liked what they were reading and not because it was advertised by someone else. I doubt I will ever do sponsors on my blog. It just isn't me. but darn straight, I am going to talk about all my fave bloggers a lot and give them plenty of free advertisement cause I gotta share the blogger love :)

Shanna Johnson said...

I'm sorry I'm late in reading this, but DANG!!! I love this post! For real. I'm with you, I don't understand or like the whole sponsorship thing. Other than paying for my blog design (which I needed b/c I'm web-design illiterate), I haven't paid for any blog ads or space or sponsorship, or whatever it is. I haven't been doing this blogging thing for long, and I don't have that many followers, but it's not about that for me. It's about having a creative outlet to put my thoughts out there & get them out of my head. And, to be honest, a place to say and share any and everything that I don't want or don't feel comfortable sharing with people who actually know me. I trust my friends and family, but only 1 of my friends knows about my blog. Sometimes it's easier to be your true self, whether it's goofy or nerdy or weepy or bitchy, when nobody knows who you are. Am I crazy for thinking that? Maybe so. But I'm still gonna think it.
Love your blog, you have such a wonderful sense of humor! And so pretty! You're a beautiful girl, Jena!
Shanna
www.flipflopshanna.com