For the Love of Stuff & Money

This blog is at a turning point.  And, as of right now, I’m not sure which way it’ll go.  I’ve decided a hundred times to print out all the posts I’ve written so far, let the  domain name registration expire, and have the whole site just disappear. But 101 times I’ve decided to keep the cursor blinking…waiting on new words, new thoughts, new ideas, new posts.

This blog began as a way for us to keep our parents up-to-date with our growing family.  And it quickly changed to a space that I could use to talk.  It was so lonely when Marshall was in residency.  My blog was one of the few places where I didn’t have to focus on my kids. Of course, there are a lot of posts about my kids.  Plenty of pictures, too.  But I’m not all-mommy-all-the-time here.  I guess I’m technically more of a “life blogger” than a “mommy blogger”, but really aren’t “mommy bloggers” just blogging about their life?  I’m not really sure that I understand the controversy over semantics in this case.

Through blogging, I’ve met some really incredible people.  But I know some really incredible people outside the blogosphere, too.  If I were to quit blogging right now, there would be people I’d miss.  Really miss.  But it wouldn’t be remotely as hard to leave the blog behind as it was to move away from my IRL BFF.

But on the other hand, I’m an ok writer(sometimes).  And I usually have a decent number of regular readers.  I get anywhere from 75-100 hits a day, on average.  But it’s really nothing to write home about and, ultimately, I’m a D-list blogger. A lot of my readers are people in my current community and the town I left behind.  Some of my readers are friends from out of town.  And some of my readers are internet strangers who have become internet friends.

But like I said, I’m at a turning point.  And sometimes I really do just want to stop blogging.  I mean, I see sites like this one belonging to an old college friend and his wife and think: Seriously, Chris and Katie are blogging about being missionaries in Africa!  Expensive dolls, Bollywood movies, giveaways, and my random soap boxes can’t compare with working for Jesus in the hot African sun.

And I’ll never be as big or as popular as some blogs.  Nor do I think I want to.  It seems to be that being a popular blogger leads to more headaches than it’s worth.  To me, at least.   People being mean just be cause they can.  I’ve only had one “troll” situation, and I promptly removed the comment and ignored it all together.  There have been two bloggers in my sphere of reality who have unexpectedly lost children in the past few months.  Both of them, at one time or another, have had some kind of controversy within the comments of their blog.  I know bloggers are supposed to grow thick skin, but I’m not sure I could handle some comments as gracefully as I’ve seen these ladies do it.  My blog is very personal and important to me, and when you insult it, it hurts my feelings.  It probably always will.  I’m tough, but I have a hard time with opening myself up and then getting hurt.

And there seems to be another problem that I’m not exactly sure how to handle: free stuff.  Once upon a time, I would come upon a blog with a review and think: “Wow!  They really love this fill-in-the-blank-wonderful-life-changing product.”  Now my first thought is: “Did they get paid to write this review?”  And if they did get paid, are they giving their actual opnion, or is it swayed by the free-ness?  I’ve, so far, had 3 give-aways on this blog.  One of them was an item I made.  One was a gift subscription I paid for out of my pocket.  And one was an item that I found, loved and asked the company if they could spare one for a giveaway.  But now, after being to BlogHer, I’ve already been contacted by 2 people/companies who are willing to help me give away some free stuff.  And I have decisisons to make.  Do I keep blogging?  Do I keep giving away free stuff?  Am I really selling my soul to the devil if I do give away free stuff?  And isn’t there a line there?  A line that says “I’ll pimp your stuff if I actually like it.  And if I don’t like it, all you lost was one product and a miniscule portion of your revenue.”

So to blog or not to blog; that is the question.

And if I do keep blogging, am I really selling out if I give away free stuff that I actually believe in?  I am open to PR.  But only if I can be honest.  Is that asking too much?  It shouldn’t be.

7 Responses to For the Love of Stuff & Money
  1. alaina
    July 29, 2009 | 1:09 am

    keep blogging, duh. i like reading your blog and so do plenty of other people.
    it’s not selling out to give away stuff you believe in. just give yourself a reality check when writing your opinion of said stuff… do you believe in it because you believe in it, or because of the free-ness.
    all in all i say: it makes people happy, it gets you free stuff, this is a win-win. nobody’s getting hurt here.

  2. Peapodsquadmom
    July 29, 2009 | 2:11 pm

    good grief, girl. keep blogging. but don’t do it to get rich, to be popular, to change the world. do it because you love it. do it for the community it has brought you into.

    swag? freebies? personally, i don’t see what all the bruhaha is over this. as long as you are honest about where the stuff (or money) came from…what’s the big deal? here’s my policy (that i make clear to the companies who contact me). if i love the product you send, i tell my readers that. if i don’t, i post nothing and send you back the product. i will never be dishonest in a review. it’s not nice.

    love you! missed you! glad you’re back! now keep blogging. k?

  3. citystreams
    July 29, 2009 | 3:35 pm

    I think the issue at hand is about guilt and greed. And girl, you are not greedy. So you don’t have to feel guilty. Do what you want to do with this space and don’t let other people make you feel bad for it. You are just as much in control here as you were in Chicago. You can skip the boring stuff and walk around exploring. No one’s holding you back but yourself.

    But I say all of this with my fingers crossed behind my back. Because I’ll be really sad if you do stop blogging.

  4. Jess
    July 29, 2009 | 3:38 pm

    miss you too friend!

  5. DesignHER Momma
    July 30, 2009 | 8:42 am

    It is a big decision – what direction to go when you are at a cross road. I say keep blogging – but ya know, I like to blog too.

  6. punkinmama
    July 30, 2009 | 10:59 pm

    What peapodsquadmom said.

    Keep blogging. Be true to yourself. That’s all we can ask.

  7. Issa
    August 1, 2009 | 12:16 pm

    Okay, so my two cents?

    Keep blogging. I adored meeting you and I think you are amazing. Keep doing what you want on your blog and it will be okay. I’ll keep reading. 🙂

    And shoot woman, you get ore hits than I do. Serious. Well not this week, but that keynote crap will die down soon. Then I’ll go back to being nobody. As long as you have your peeps, the rest isn’t worth worrying about.