Monday, February 2, 2015

Travel Link-Up: The Unexpected Benefits of Blogging


So. BUH-LOGGING.

I started writing this blog in 2010, but I didn't start "promoting" it until, maybe, a year or so ago.

What do I mean by "promote"? Well, I mean doing things like: tweeting links to posts, creating a Facebook page for my blog where people could effectively subscribe to and "like" my posts, signing up to Bloglovin' (another subscription platform), and joining blogger communities like Zomato, where I could meet other food-obsessed bloggers like me.

At that point, I was only very barely beginning to think of myself as a blogger. Before then, I'd shyly describe it as a "you know, a sort of thing, that I've got going on the side." Isn't that crazy? I wrote for four solid years and never thought of it as legit blogging.

I sat in a roomful of bloggers last weekend who've been blogging for 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years (at most) and not a single one of them hesitated to describe themselves as bloggers when introducing themselves. Yet, I did.

What was my hestitation?

I so wanted to be taken seriously. I still do. Truthfully? I was embarrassed by the "blogger" label. I thought that it'd incite a lot of eye-rolling and dismissive hand-waving. Because, you know, nowadays ... everyone has a blog, right?

And then there's my "real" job. I really like my job in publishing, and I'm so grateful for it - I know that hundreds of other applicants would love to be in my position and to have had the career trajectory that I've had. I know that I'm lucky to have gotten where I am without having to do a single stint of unpaid work experience or internship.

But maybe you've guessed from reading this blog that maybe - just maybe - my day job isn't everything.

And once I allowed myself to accept that?

Bingo.

I became a blogger.

I started writing posts like these, and made myself more vulnerable to my audience. In doing so, I started to build my readership, which inadvertently began a dialogue in the comments section of my posts.

And let me tell you: that's been one of the most rewarding benefits of blogging. I've told you time and time again: reading your comments makes my day. Hearing about your personal experiences, or how my story has reminded you of yours is a phenomenal bonus I receive from blogging.

And when I started following, chatting and conversing with other bloggers, well, then, I hit the jackpot. The blogging community is incredibly supportive. I've met some terrific bloggers that I'm now lucky to call friends. You know, when I was lying awake in bed at my parents' house this past winter break, mentally preparing myself for staring at the seat in front of me on the plane 72 hours later, my heart sank at the thought of leaving the comforting surroundings of my family home and returning to a grey, cold, and unfriendly London. But then I remembered that I had brunch planned with Rebecca of Runawaykiwi and that Robin, who pens the beautifully-written Second Floor Flat, was just on the other end of an email if I wanted to talk, talk.

And my heart lifted a bit. It lifted a lot, actually.

So that's definitely one of the most surprising benefits I've discovered about blogging: I didn't expect to make so many new friends. Friends who are incredibly generous with their time and friends who are incredibly generous with their knowledge. Friends who are incredibly generous with their kindness.

The free meals, products, and PR parties? That's all icing on the cake, for sure. I'd be lying if I didn't say I enjoyed those "benefits" very, very much. But the friendships?

Just ... amazing.

Becoming a blogger has been a humbling experience. It's made me realize that, while my experience may be unique, there are thousands of other writers out there expressing the very same things I've strived to express in a thousand, beautiful different ways: love, heartache, wonder, worry, amazement, and excitement.

And yeah. I'm a blogger.

Photo by Emily Tapp, taken at About Time Magazine's SETSessions. Check out other bloggers' inspiring stories about the unexpected benefits of blogging on Emma, Kelly, and Rebecca's blogs.
SHARE:

31 comments

  1. I didn't know that you'd been 'blogging' for so long. I know what you mean, there is a weird stigma attached to blogging, but for those that get it, it's a wonderful, wonderful thing!
    Lots of love,
    Angie

    SilverSpoon London

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Angie! Yes, my blog archive on the side there dates back to 2010! Eeks! It's definitely fun and very rewarding. Thanks for stopping by - I loved your post and read it this morning! xo

      Delete
  2. I completely understand where you're coming from. I don't really label myself as a blogger either but it's such an awesome community, I need to start embracing the label more and all the great things that come with it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should, Stacey! And you're right - it *is* an amazing community. We're lucky to be a part of it!

      Delete
  3. This is beaut, and absolutely spot on. I think blogging is especially comforting when you're an expat, because you can almost be anywhere in the world when you have this lovely network of bloggers around you offering support and friendship (whether it's online or in "real life"). You are most definitely a "blogger" and a very talented one too, so kudos to you for finally embracing it! ;-)

    Polly
    Follow Your Sunshine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Polly! Thank you. You are so nice. I really appreciate your words. And I totally agree that support and friendship - whether it's IRL or online - is one of greatest benefits of being a blogger.

      Delete
  4. Oh, you sweet girl! First of all I am ALWAYS on the other end of an email (/bottle of wine) if you ever want or need to TALK, talk. Second of all, I completely relate in every way and in my experience have found that the bloggers who are hesitant to title themselves as bloggers tend to be the ones with the blogs that are most worthy of reading. All of the "real" people out there are initially hesitant to over-promote themselves or show off their fancy freebies and partnerships, likely because they didn't create their blogs for those reasons. Instead, their blogs were more likely created exercises in creativity and in a search for community. I guess my point is that I'm glad you've started promoting your blog because your work deserves to be seen!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no words to reply to that, Robin, other than, THANK YOU - and, as always, you've cut through alllllll the bullshit and right to the heart of the very matter. As always. Agree, agree, agree.

      Delete
    2. Yayyy for friends! (That's my 'cut through the bullshit' reply this time.)

      Delete
  5. Replies
    1. Haha, thanks! I remember feeling so gross that day. I'm glad the photo doesn't seem to reflect that! And those shoes will always remind me of your encounter with my mom on Instagram. Sigh.

      Delete
  6. Hey great article! I've also met a lot of people through my blog and they've turned out to be great friends and travel buddies - its awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Elizabeth! Great to hear about your positive experiences as well.

      Delete
  7. Blogging is a great way to meet new people. Totally agree.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you agree, Jaklien! Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  8. That's interesting about now promoting yourself as a blogger. By the way, liked your post about where to buy flowers in London, I didn't know Stems in Holborn.

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Suze! Yes, I always find buying flowers a challenge!

      Delete
  9. Your blog is refreshing, authentic, honest, and is so well-written... therefore, promote away! i hope everyone has a chance to read your blog. I also think that balancing a full-time job on top of your blog and all the events that come with it, is a magnificent feat!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you :) Couldn't do it without your support.

      Delete
  10. Love this piece, what you think and thought is exactly how I do/did - so true!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I agree, there is nothing better than getting lovely comments on a rather pants day! The friendships are amazing! xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. Embrace the blogging title I say! Blogging friends are awesome friends! So nice that you've made so many.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sara! Yes, blogging friends are the best. Really thankful for this community. :)

      Delete
  13. I totally get what you mean about calling yourself a blogger (a dime a dozen, right?) but there should be no shame in that game - you write beautifully and always have something interesting to say. Not only have you been lucky to get support from other established bloggers but you have generously supported other new bloggers as well (I'm the lucky recipient of some of that support!). xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhh ... thank you so much, Katie! Glad to help any time - you have a wonderful blog and I love your work, so the feeling is definitely mutual xoxo

      Delete
  14. Love this post. I've had that same thing about not wanting to call myself a blogger...OR a writer. I've talked about that with other peers, too. It's like the title should be earned, but we'll never feel like we've earned it no matter what we do. Weird. Your blog has been one of my favorites ever since I seriously started looking at how to get myself to England permanently. It's funny, honest, helpful, and just plain fun to read. And it is ABSOLUTELY legit. Yes, you are a blogger -- a great one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your sweet words, as always, Gianni. I want to take this opportunity to thank you personally for always leaving such insightful, positive, and thoughtful comments on my blog. It means a lot to me that you read all my posts and take the time to respond to them.

      Your writing is inspiring and I am thankful to have "met" you through blogging!

      Delete
  15. I love your blog Jamie,it's one of the best written ones that I read. I love that you do write about what you're passionate about and make it personal,it's quite inspirational really.

    You are a creative,beautiful blogger and writer xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Kara! What a sweet thing to say - your comment brought tears to my eyes. It means so much to me! Thank you so much. I've enjoyed getting to know you via socia media and through your blog; I think what you're doing is great and I so look forward to reading more! xo

      Delete

© angloyankophile

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services - Click here for information.

Blogger Template Created by pipdig