Friday, November 23, 2012

My Take

Photos: Taylor Love Studios // Glasses: c/o Firmoo // Earrings: c/o Christine Marie Studio

One of my favorite parts about blogging is figuring out blogging. What works. What doesn't. What is fun to promote. What isn't. What bloggers I like. Who I don't need to read everyday. What designs work for me. Which don't. Who I am as a blogger... and who I'm not.

I've been blogging for a little over a year now (on this blog, anyway). I began my very first blog in 2010, but as most of us grow to learn, sometimes it takes 1-2 blogs before we figure out who we are and how we want to represent ourselves. I started that first blog, No Naked Nails, a nail polish & art blog, which launched in December of 2010. I had a lot of fun with that blog, but less than a year later in October of 2011, I wanted something different. So I started yet another specific-topic blog—a hair blog, Bye Bye Beehive. Again, less than a month after that, this blog, Aunie Sauce (originally Simply Aunie), was created on November 10, 2011. I wanted a place for all the things that I liked. A place that was representative of me as a whole. And a place where I could just write to get away.

I have to say, I've learned so much from then until now. I hope it gets to a place where I never stop learning. Where I never stop writing. Where I never stop believing that I can do it. I also wanted to share a couple of my thoughts lately on this thing we call blogging. When I tell people about it, I don't say, "I'm a blogger." I say that I own and manage a website.

I shared my last blogging thoughts post in August. I figured it was time for another one. Here are some of my other thoughts...
  • Pinterest. In my last blogging review post in August, I mentioned these exact words, "And I'm not even on Pinterest. Not. Going. To. Happen." Well... I now have a Pinterest account. And to be honest? I only got it because I'm a contributor to the Yes To Stylista board that Yes To Carrots put together for me. So, if you're following me on Pinterest, or want to, that's amazing and thank you! But if I don't update content on there regularly, please understand—it's just not my thing!
  • Answering Emails. I know I'm not the only person who sees the emails building up in my account and frantically exits out of my browser in an "out of sight, out of mind" fashion. In fact, life lately has been so crazy that I have sometimes had to go several days before addressing unread emails in my inbox. BUT—one of my goals, and something I strive so hard for, is to respond to each and every one with sincerity. I even check my spam folder for stray emails just to make sure I'm not missing anyone. Thank you for each and every email. Even if I take 5 days to respond, I always do, I promise! And, if you think I need a virtual assistant, let's now transition to the next bullet point, and know this—you're probably right.
  • Virtual assistants. I get quite a few emails about generous girls offering their virtual assistant services. While I am so thankful for their consideration, this just isn't something I'm going to take them up on... despite how much I may need an assistant some days. Number one, I can't pay anyone right now (or trade services). I barely make enough money at my job to pay for the wedding expenses that we just incurred. Number two, I know that when (and if) you send me an email, you're looking for an organic response from me, not someone you don't know. I really want to keep that as something special... and private. Whether it's an email from a reader who usually comments anonymously, an email asking about advertising rates, or just an email to say hi... I want to be the only person to read and respond to those. I know I could set up different accounts, etc., but I don't want to. Everything that I do on my blog, I can do. I like to do. I want to do. And no matter how long it takes, I know that you appreciate that it comes from me, and not an assistant. I don't mean that to sound harsh, I just want to be honest. I know a lot of bloggers use virtual assistants, and I think they're smart! So if you use one, or are one, trust me, I value you and the work you do. This is just my true and honest opinion and how I operate at the moment. In the future, this all may change.
  • Product reviews. While I love (and completely appreciate) being sent free things, I have found that product reviews are not something that I care too much to write. I will not write a post from someone who "requires" me to include a certain amount of links back to their site. Product reviews, while I write them truthfully, can sometimes come off as persuasive, and I know that. Though, everything I have ever written is something and a product that I stand behind. So, in the future, I plan on doing more photo features in style & lifestyle posts, but I will probably not be writing much (or anything) about that product.
  • Sponsor calls. I love when people think well enough of me that they are willing to pay for a little ad space on my blog. That is one of the biggest compliments that another blogger could give me. They trust me to promote them. I really appreciate that. That being said—you will never see one of the kinds of posts on my blog where I ask for advertisements. Yes, I do shout out advertising specials & when I'm taking new ads on my Facebook and Twitter... but I won't ever dedicate an entire post to my rates or tell you that I'm looking for ads for the next month. One tiny sentence in a post? Maybe. But trust this, when you visit my blog, you can know that you'll get a real post every day. If you're interested in advertising on my page, I think you know well enough that you can click my little "advertise" page to find out that information for yourself.
  • Blogging for me. While I love so much that people come to this page and read my blog every day, I don't blog for you. I blog for me. If those priorities ever change, that's when I would take a step back from my blog. When you read my "on my heart" posts and when I truly write a post where I open up and just let loose, that is why I blog. THIS is my place to be me. To express everything. From my little style posts (that don't have much writing), to hairstyle ideas, to little bits and pieces of my life with Daniel... this is my place where it is 100% my own.
I don't ever intend for these "blogging" posts to be so long. But for some reason, I find myself rambling. So if you made it to the end of this, congratulations. Maybe you learned something, or maybe I sparked an idea in your mind. Either way, my ideas & thoughts on these topics are always evolving, so you can most certainly expect another one of these blogging reviews in the future.

But for now, that's my take. End scene.


    Lily said...

    And that is why I love your blog! Because you blog for you and you're so real. Sometimes I have to take a step back and remember that I blog for me. I actually have some drafted posts that I've yet to publish for fear that no one will like it. But anyways, I see that there are only 7 more days until your wedding:) XoXo

    Cody Doll said...

    This is too good. I agree with everything you said. I know how you feel and I was going to post something like this tomorrow. I think that you writing is so true to you and is so great. I love that don't post a million+ things about other people or products. I know when I come to your blog that I will get you for you. I love that and you. =] Hope that is okay?

    Thanks for sharing,
    Cody @Solemn Sound

    Stephanie @ Shades of Color Art said...

    For all of that is why I follow you and read you! :)

    Anonymous said...

    HA! You're on pinterest! Just give it a while and you'll be hooked! Trust me, it took me months to get hooked!
    And honestly, I loved the long post. And it's great for you to write the blog just for you. It's one of the greatest things about blogging.

    Anonymous said...

    Love everything about this post!! And this is why I keep visiting your blog! I'm still trying to get into blogging more: personal, real, and just more. Thanks, ALWAYS for your honesty and sharing your heart!

    Katie said...

    This is why I love your blog. I know it will always be quality. I know that you don't put stuff out to just put stuff out, and you are AUTHENTIC. I also appreciate that you don't have a virtual assistant respond to your emails. To each their own, but I'm more likely to follow someone who takes care of things themselves. Just my opinion though! And I love your take on blogging :)

    Desirae said...

    Like everyone else said, one of the things I love about your blog! Very well said, and it all makes perfect sense. I plan to base my blogging around just about everything you listed. I blog for me, and no one else!

    Why Girls Are Weird said...

    Oh I search my Spam too for emails... I've had it happen often enough and I don't want anyone to ever think I'm ignoring them, you know?

    Chelsea Olivia said...

    All very good points Aunie! As I get more and more into blogging and I am learning more and more as well. I am totally with you on the VA thing. Yes, it's a great idea and works for some people, but I honestly think that no matter how big my blog gets or how full my inbox gets, I want to tackle that on my own. While some days I may dread getting down to the actual task of sorting through my inbox, I really can't imagine someone else answering my PERSONAL emails. Something that someone else took the time to write to ME, not my VA. Love you!

    Erica said...

    I am with this post! One thing I've always admired about you is your genuiness (even though spell check is telling me that is not a word!) and your ability to really connect on a personal level is unlike many other bloggers out there! I admire you for writing each and every day your own individual post because sometimes there is nothing more annoying than going to your favorite blog to see an entire post dedicated to their sponsorships-what a bummer!

    Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire said...

    These are great points, and being that you're so wise and a rock-star blogger, I'll take your thoughts as advice. :)

    Anna said...

    haha, aunie you got pinterest! :) not a necessity, but i've enjoyed it. I love your comment about virtual assistants. I've seen people talking about offering those services and I've wondered how popular it is with bigger bloggers. I, for one, love that you're keeping it organic and all from you. It's a commitment, but readers can tell, I think, and we appreciate it. promise. :)

    Anonymous said...

    You are just so gosh darn cute, Aunie!

    Danielle said...

    You my dear friend have inspired me to take a step back from blogging and really focus on writing what I want and sharing MY story. It's such a fabulous space we all have here and we should be using it for good!

    Also, I totally hear you about hiring a virtual assistant. With school getting busier every minute I've definitely felt like I needed some help. Like you, I really didn't want to because I love that it's JUST me. ME answering emails and ME being the only one to read those. But I knew I just couldn't handle it all. So I hired Skye who puts together my group giveaways and that has been a *HUGE* help. No e-mails, no passwords, no sharing my blogging space. She's just there to help put together the photos and that's been so worth it.

    Unknown said...

    This is great Aunie! It's been said before, but you are such a genuine and sincere blogger. It's refreshing! I think blogging takes a lot of trial and error, but it's important that you stick to what works for you. Keep up the fabulous job my dear! We all love you :) xoxo

    Annaliese said...

    Awesome post! Bloggers like you are an inspiration to me. I totally agree about the starting multiple blogs thing too. I just started my second blog a couple months ago to celebrate the fact that I was starting college. :-)

    xoxo Miss ALK

    Unknown said...

    Your take on sponsoring is refreshing. I admit to feeling bummed when my fave bloggers post about always makes me think of money and then I get distracted. lol I think I will have to check out sponsoring YOU now! :)

    Unknown said...

    love. this. love your honesty... and i made it all the way through... =) and i always love your heartfelt posts..those are my fave, but all your pictures are so cute too..

    Karina said...

    Hi Aunie,
    What a fantastic post. The openeing picture is so adorable. and the writing is very insightful. Thank you for sharing.


    Emily @ Anna Delores said...

    I totally feel you, girl. This is a great post. And WORD about product reviews. At first I was like, free stuff?! Heck yeah! But it feels wrong to try to peddle wares to my readers. I'll probably lay offa that myself. Good call. :)

    Kelly said...

    This is sooo good Aunie!!!! I really love reading posts like this from bloggers I think so much of (and you are obviously one of those my dear :)). I am changing things a bit on my blog next month and I'm excited to do what I can do HONESTLY and FAITHFULLY and that's it and it's ok. Yay for freedom to do whatever i want b/c it's my blog! WHOOHOO LOL

    Haleigh said...

    Thanks for sharing what really is important, you writing for you! I appreciate the way you write and are considerate of your readers, but are also enjoying the experience.

    Kelsey Eaton said...

    This is such a great post! Thanks for being so genuine. I've had a pinterest for a while and sometime I'll go through spurts where it's a fun pass time but I just can't get into it!


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