Why Am I Here? Pondering The Deep Dark Questions of The Blogging Universe

When I started blogging in 2010, I never imagined it would be what it is today.
Honestly, I never thought I would still be doing it almost three years later.
I started it on a whim.
Here is my first post ever.I have come a long way.

 

If you can believe it, this was the profile picture I used when I started blogging.
If you can believe it, this was the profile picture I used when I started blogging.
Of me, pregnant with my second child.
Two and a half years before I started blogging.
What is wrong with me??

I don’t even remember hearing the term “blogger” before I started even though I knew “bloggers” existed because how else would I think to start one?
I am not that much of a trendsetter.
In fact, I don’t even remember what possessed me to start blogging in the first place.
I mean, I know I started it as a stress reliever but what in heaven’s name possessed me to say, “you know what? Today I am going to start writing a blog. Telling the world my problems, fears and under 5 buck craft ideas!”
I didn’t have that real conversation with myself or that would just be silly.
Heh.
Heh.

 

This was one of the banners I was toying with for the blog.
This was one of the banners I was toying with for the blog.
With Ellie’s Leap Frog magnets.
I left it this way because I didn’t know how to flip the picture around.
Sigh.

Recently I read a blog post about someone trying to get into this particular blogging network (not Blogher) and how to do so you had to follow this certain blog on five different social media sites (there are five different social media sites?!?!?!) and jump through hoops like donating your blood and children (just kidding. I think.) to get in.
And it stopped me in my tracks.
Because I had a moment of “why am I here” right then and there after reading it.
Not “why am I here” in the human sense but “why am I here” in the blog sense.
I know.
I am deep.

 

Then I thought I would stand out if I took a picture of my hubs famous chocolate chip cookies and use that as my profile picture.
Then I thought I would stand out if I took a picture of my hubs famous chocolate chip cookies and use that as my profile picture.
Who uses food as their profile picture??

What are we bloggers doing here?
What is the main goal?
To have a tweet that is favorited 1000 times?
To get a million Facebook followers for your page?
To have your blog featured on the Huffington Post?
To get a book deal?
To have your craft room shown in a magazine article?
To make so much money that you never ever have to work or struggle again?
To reach a gazillion page views?

Let me first say this.
If you have achieved the above, I am not at all jealous.
I am happy for you.
Why?
Because that is amazing.
We live in a jaded, jaded society so if you can succeed in the above ways, you have talent.
And we all want the above for our own blogs.
We do.
And you are lying like a dog if you don’t.
Yeah, sure, you are blogging because you love to write and bring happiness and flowers and rainbows to everyone who reads your blog.
Ummkay.

 

Me at my first and last craft show with my friend and my now defunct business.
Me at my first and last craft show with my friend and my now defunct business.
See the great resolution from the camera?
Neither do I.

I love to write.
I love it more than any other hobby I have.
But I also love to be rewarded.
It’s human nature, don’t you think?
So getting my little check from Blogher every 3 months is rewarding.
Going to blog conferences is rewarding.
Getting featured at another blog is rewarding.
Having someone comment on my posts is rewarding.
I could go on and on.
But it’s true.

 

  The old timers will remember this profile picture.
The old timers will remember this profile picture.
It was up on the blog for over a year.
Because I only take a good picture once a year, apparently.

When I started this blog, it was completely for me.
All the way.
As evidenced by my three page views a day feedback (which I think were all from my mom. I love youmom!!).
But I have grown.
Not in leaps and bounds like most bloggers do but grown in what I consider to be very prosperous ways.
I have met so many engaging and affirming human beings since starting blogging in the forms of readers, other bloggers or friends who read my blog and I became closer to because of the blog.
This blog has created such an amazing outlet for me.
I am a better mom because of it, not in spite of it because I get to vent in healthy ways about things I love to do.
Like cook, decorate, paint, write and be sarcastic.
Yes, that can be a hobby too.

 

This is my senior picture.
This is my senior picture.
And my profile for a month in April 2011.
Because I had an 80’s theme going on.
And now you know how old I am.
And that I fit on top of a giant number.
And that I would probably crush that number now.

I also have a long way to go if I ever want to reach the above goals too.
I don’t necessarily want all the above goals.
A few, maybe?
I would love to be successful enough that I can inspire people.
Especially on the cheap decor bit.
Mostly because I live it.
I am cheap, I don’t have a lot of money and I am not ashamed of it.
I can’t go out and buy lots of home decor in one spell.
If you can, then it’s a lot easier to make your home pretty.
But if you are on a small budget, it is really hard.
So that is part of who I speak to with this blog.
That part will never change.

 

This is when I found Picasa and sepia tone.
This is when I found Picasa and sepia tone.
Look how artsy it looks!
No.
No.
It looks sepia.

But I don’t know how to do so many things when it comes to blogging.
I am not really good at networking.
I just don’t want to come off like a salesman when it comes to my blog.
I see a lot of bloggers who self promote excessively and I just can’t do it.
I put my blog out there on link parties, Facebook and Twitter and that is all I can do without throwing up in my mouth a little.
So yes, I don’t have 10000000’s of followers on the three social media tools I use.
But I am okay with that.
Because I am on a first name basis with all of my 200 + Facebook fans.
And I have time to email them back and talk to them like we are old friends.
Because, well…. because we are.
And I like them an awful lot.
I don’t want to become so big that I don’t have time to do that.
Or have to hire someone else to do that.

 

  Mike and I.
Mike and I.
This was my profile picture for a summer.
But I took it down.
Because I write the blog not him.
And I am pretty sure my picture isn’t on his business card.

I even have a board on Pinterest about all things that pertain to blogging.
I almost want to turn it into a secret board because if more experienced bloggers saw what I was pinning, they would hang their head in shame.
And my followers might be a little confused as to why I know so little as it pertains to blogging.
As evidenced by what I am pinning to that board.
For example, clip art.
I pinned a great resource for clip art.
For my blog.
I had no idea you could use clip art on a blog!
SEO?
I didn’t know what that was until last fall.
I thought it was a retirement savings plan.

 

This is my favorite profile picture.
This is my favorite profile picture.
My husband took this.
I may put it back up.
Because I look thin in this one.

Media Kit???
Really?
I was informed about what this was by some amazing bloggers I met in Chicago back in December.
They all had one.
I do not.
Apparently I should have one?

How to attach a document to a blog post???
Why would I ever need to do this?

 

I am watching you. Yes, you. Right there.
I am watching you.
Yes, you.
Right there.
No.
Not you.
YOU.

See how little your resident blogger knows?
So I don’t think you need to worry about me hitting the big time anytime soon.
And that is just fine by me.
Pass the potato chips.
They’re doing something funny over at my friend Sue’s blog.

 

16 thoughts on “Why Am I Here? Pondering The Deep Dark Questions of The Blogging Universe

  1. Antonia Belmonte

    You ROCK!!! I can say it over and over again because I think you do so THERE!!
    I love your blog. You make me laugh. Somtimes just chuckle and sometimes I have to re-read things cause im laughing so much I dont wanna miss anything. And sometimes you put a lump in my throat. Either way. I love you and your blog!!
    You are truly an inspiration in so many ways.

  2. Andrea {lifelovelarson}

    I don't know what I'm doing either, but it takes the pressure off that I do "owe" anyone anything. It helps me keep it real. Your captions under the photos had me rolling!

  3. Leslie Harris

    Kari, this is so weird. How I ended up at the exact post I needed to read today. Which was this one! I was just moaning to the hubby about how I never feel like I'm doing the things I need to do to grow my blog like all those uber efficient, successful bloggers out there. I do link up now to parties. But I'm pathetic about using social media. I still get confused about FB. (My 18 year old son kindly reminded me there's a Facebook for Dummies that exists) And tweets? I'm sorry but even pronouncing that word feels awkward. The wonderful thing is, I am finally getting comments, amazing ones. And making friends, although slowly. So why do I care about stats and followers?
    Luckily now, everything I write feels like ME. And the post titles reflect what's going on in my life, not what I think will get me followers. But sigh, it's tough to keep one's perspective balanced. A blogger friend whom I admire (with several hundred followers) recently told me she often wishes for the days when her settings were private and the only ones who knew about her were her family. I think she was expressing the "work" part of a blog. So I guess we should be careful of what we wish for…Right now, I also can respond to everyone who visits me. And that's a blessing. BTW I loved your photos. And I'm so glad I followed my Pinterest email today telling me you pinned something of mine. I'm your newest follower. And I'm so glad to meet you.
    Leslie (aka Gwen Moss)

  4. Carrie

    I like your current profile pic. I have been blogging since 2005 (running/triathlons, not crafts)- before blogging morphed with social media and sponsors and giveaways and having to thank each person for every comment. There can be a lot of pressure to keep up and grow numbers. I tend to teeter-totter wanting to grown and then reining it in and just allowing my blog to do what it will do and continue to provide me a space for my creativity.

  5. Kari at A Grace Full Life

    Ohh Leslie, I am heading over to your blog right now. Thanks for the comment. It makes me feel so good to know I am not the only one who feels this way.

    Carrie- thanks so much for the sweet comment. And I am totally jealous that you do triathalons!

  6. Laina Noe

    Haha Kari! I have to give props to you for this one. I wish I had the time and energy to devote to my blog these days! Instead I've just let it sit, for going on 8 months now. I keep intending to return an post once a week or so, but nothing has happened so far. Keep up the great work, and keep being you!

  7. Serena

    Hey, Kari! Serena here, from Thrift Diving. I like your current profile pic, too 🙂

    As for blogging, I've been a blogging ninja lately, only because I have come to the realization that my "9-to-5" office job is NOT the career that I want to be doing when I'm freakin' 50. I'm 35 right now, by the way, and I've come to learn that my purpose and passion in life is to: CREATE, INSPIRE, and TEACH. That right there is Thrift Diving (and my new blog I just started, Get Your Life Straight). I am fulfilling my passion every day by blogging, and creating, and it's amazing and addicting.

    But I'm also trying to make it a business, because after all, we need to earn incomes, and by not make my income at something I am passionate about?

    I'm not really early much income right now (just from AdSense and a sponsored post here and there). But I am marketing and networking and pushing and excelling, and this WILL become my dream job. That's how much I love it and think about it.

    But anyhow, I love your blog and style of writing. Keep up the good work!

  8. Michelle Lunt

    Hello Kari, I'm not on facebook, but I hope I'm one of your special friends, 'cause you're one of mine. I agree that being small means having more time for people AND I love all those cute pics of you!

    Warmly, Michelle

  9. Marianne

    I know I'm new here, but this is my favorite post so far! I laughed aloud over the inability to flip a picture and I would totally use cookies as my profile pic. You have such a great sense of humor and warmth to your blog….it's always a joy to visit. And don't forget the flask at BlogHer. We are going to have F-U-N!

  10. Pam

    Hey, you're famous now! I just saw your post come up on my Blogehr sidebar thingie and thought I'd pop over, because I'm having one of those "why the heck do I blog days". Loved your post and loved your old photos. I still have the very same profile pic that I started with in 2010. so that means I haven't taken another good photo in almost three years.

  11. Shannon from Deepest Worth

    SEO as a retirement account? That's funny!

    I love this post and can so relate to what you are saying. I love to write, and comments and validation are golden.

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