21 Oct 2016

What is is to be a blogger- IMHO

Photo courtesy of Pixabay- Edited using PicMonkey

I saw a heading on social media that was something like 'what a blogger does' and that got me thinking. What does a blogger do? There is no job description for being a blogger. Perhaps some unwritten roles for social media etiquette, but beyond that it's bit of a mystery to me what it might be like for other bloggers.

So I thought I would share what I do as a blogger. Now I'm a part time blogger, I have a day job to pay the bills etc and I see blogging as my hobby. I think I'm a long way off from being anywhere near calling it a job. I've always loved writing, always loved being creative and enjoy getting to know like minded people. So blogging fits my needs perfectly.

I started my blog just over a year ago on a whim as I was looking for a hobby and I thought I would give it a try. I had no previous experience to go by, just a curiosity to learn how to actually make a blog and engage with other bloggers.

So a bit of background before I get to what I do as a blogger...

I was looking for an easy to use platform for my blog as I don't have any coding knowledge and my husband, who has experience with blogging suggested I would be good to try Blogger.
So I signed up and started with one of their basic templates. When you sign up you have to think of a name for your blog. That can be a bit of a minefield if you don't have anything to mind, especially as there are so many blogs these days, a lot of names will be in use.
I'm not quite sure how I came up with Abbie Chic. I sort of just came to mind. A play on the Shabby Chic phrase, which is just my style and the fact that Chichester (Chic-hester, geddit!) is where I live.
It worked so I stuck with it.

I started to then look to other social media outlets for other bloggers and found Twitter was a place where a lot of bloggers 'hang out'. I started to follow a number of like minded bloggers and in turn they would follow me back.
I was soon discovering a lot of great looking blogs. Great photos, well written content and slick templates.
That made me want to raise the bar on my blog. So I started to search for blog templates and have since played around with various designs before you see the one I have today.
It's super easy to compare yourself to others, and I would be lying if I said I didn't do it myself, but I try to step back and just be sure I am happy with my own blog and at the moment I am. But sometimes it can help you tweak your blog when your inspired (but not copy) someone else's blog.

So to now...

I would love to say I'm super organised with my blog. But I'm more of slack type of blogger right now. My health (both mental and physical) has not been the best over the last month or so, so I have taken a step back from my blog to focus on getting better.
But there is always a pull to wanting to put up regular content. I've worked so hard since I started my blog that I want to do it justice by not letting it go 'stale'.

Prior to my health issues I was creating a list of dates I wanted to post on. I believe it helps keep you focused if you have set days/weeks/times that you post on.
At the moment I'm not practicing what I preach as I'm utilizing the moments I feel ok enough to blog, so my posts are a bit here and there in their timing.

I used to post twice a week, but with a full time job I found it time consuming committing to writing up two posts every week.
Some people may say it's only a bit of writing, but any blogger will tell you that it's so much more.
For example:

Post idea
Coming up with an blog post idea itself can be a task within it's self. You want to be original, yet you want to write something that someone may just want to read. And you don't necessarily want to repeat yourself either with previous posts. (Unless it's a Favourites monthly post for example).

Writing the content
Then comes writing the content which could take several drafts or even just starting again and again until you get it right. I've seen it written on other blogs that as great as your photo's may be, if the actual written content isn't strong then your post/blog may not get the respect it deserves.
I'm not saying my content is on point, but I do try my best to make it as good as I can. I'm not trained in writing, pretty much failed English at school, but I hope my passion makes up for it!

Adding photo's
So I've got my content, I do like to add photos to a post as I feel it helps bring the post more to life and especially if you're writing about a product for example. Show it off. Be creative. Have fun with taking some photo's that reflect you and your blog.
You could get a fancy camera, go on a photo course, whatever but I haven't and I don't feel it's done me any harm. Of course if you are trained in photography/have a great camera than that's cool too, but don't feel you have to.
As like with the writing, the photos can end up being trial and error and experimenting. Look on Instagram for inspiration (but don't beat yourself up if you aren't making photo'st that get 1000's of likes). Be yourself and do what you do. Your blog is your piece of the internet, so make it yours.

Sharing with others
Once I've completed a post I like to share it with other like minded people and as I said before these tend to be on Twitter. I like to share my post with my followers on Twitter. You can also use Bloglovin'. Some bloggers love this, some see it as a pointless exercise. I personally see it as another avenue to get your blog out there.
You may like to use Instagram, Snap Chat, whatever you like. I guess it's finding the way you feel best works for you to get people over to your blog.

It can feel like a numbers game though. Trying to get more and more followers, page views, comments. And whilst to me that isn't necessarily an issue. It's good to have goals to work towards, but for me it's about sharing what you love, what's on your mind etc and not all about having thousands of followers. But each to their own I guess.

Working with brands
I occasionally get an email from a company wanting to work with me on a post. Which is great for someone to reach out to me, I am grateful, but sometimes they can be a bit impersonal.
For example one recent email was saying they had been to my blog, even stating the name of my blog but addressed the email to Admin. Now if they had been to my blog they would know I'm Abbie, not an Admin! Delete email!
Some though can be a delight to receive. For example I have reached out to some smaller brands and one more well known brand and they all said they would be happy to work with me.
Let me say now I'm not blogging for free items. I have deleted many an email as they do not reflect my blog and only accept work from a brand that I genuinely like. And if they are kind enough to reciprocate my post with a gift then that's a bonus. And I also disclose if I have worked with a brand on any posts. I can only be honest and upfront.
But like I said I don't get emails that often and almost everything I feature on my blog I have brought with my own money.

I have found at times that blogging can be a bit of a chore, normally when I have set myself a regular deadline to go live with and then I'm not feeling it. But I would rather not post then post something random for the sake of it.

But all in all I blog because I like to blog and enjoy creating content I am proud of. I have also had the pleasure meeting and working with some other bloggers, which I would never of got to met if it wasn't for my blog.
To share ideas and meet people who get what it's like to blog is refreshing. Sometimes I can feel like a one woman show with my blog so meeting others reminds me of what a great community bloggers have created!

And with that, I'll draw this post to a close. I hope it's been worth the read and if you have any questions about blogging, please do share in the comments below and if I can't answer it, I'm sure to find a fellow blogger who can!

Lot's of love,




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