Friday, September 18, 2020

Why I Quit Blogging

From 2010-2015 I was a blogger - I cringe when I write that because the term has turned into a ridiculous, eye-rolling description of someone - bLoGgEr *~* I won't get into how misused that term is. . . at least for now, but a blogger is a person who has a blog - blog is short for weblog (web log, not we blog). A blog is not Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or Facebook. 

I have a journalism background, and I've had two blogs, in addition to writing for hundreds of business blogs: 

• Diamonds, Dog Tags & Diapers: a military spouse, parenting and lifestyle blog, as the name suggests: Diamonds: me, Dog Tags: Marine Husband (Ex), Diapers: my son. I knew this name would only make sense for so long, and I was fine with that, I went hard with it as long as necessary, but in 2014/15 when my son was 3/4 and out of diapers, it was time to let it go. I transitioned the community I had built to the new blog (this one). There wasn't a big shift in social media content as I was always posting about anything and everything - not just marriage, and parenting, in fact, I think most of my posts were product recommendations with sprinkles of parenting and military life. I'm going to stop there - military wife life/blogging is a very interesting and detailed post in itself.

• Chelsea Rhane: I've had this domain for years, and if you're trying to poke around to find the old posts, you won't. In 2015 a lot happened, a cross-country move, the start of a divorce, and I met the love of my life. It was time to put the blog down.

I'm sure I'll bring back some old posts from both blogs, there are some pretty funny and informative ones - you'll just have to remind me or beg for them 😉

There are so many reasons why I stopped, why I miss it, and why I'm dipping my toes back into it - not for you, not for the free stuff or partnerships (great perk) but because writing is my therapy (and I also have a degree in journalism).

Two things really stand out when I think about why I stopped, aside from the lack of free time I had: the state of influencers, privacy, and decline of blogging in general. 

Back in 2014/2015 the term influencer really began gaining traction, but with that came a lot of fake reviews, posts, and just lifestyles portrayed online, in general. If you know the slightest thing about me, you know I'm a no-bullshit, super authentic person. I was referred to as authentic before it was a buzzword. 

For me, when I HAD to write a product review for a case of wine I HATED but it benefited a good cause, that's when I had to take a step back. Back then, even if you didn't like something, when you agreed to the partnership, you agreed to review the product -- I'm sure I could've written a bad review, but that really didn't feel right, plus I was getting paid for it and a portion was helping out the military. I have said no to partnerships and products.

A lot of mom and military bloggers got so damn dramatic and fake. I remember there were mom bloggers that would write letters to their little kids like every week, but they'd be SUPER emotional and packed with all these life lessons blah blah blah - it's a load of shit - it's for the views and the comments. I can't do stuff like that. If I wrote my son a letter, it would be private and in a place he could read when he's older - not all over the internet - same with photos of him, but I won't go down that rabbit hole. 

I often wondered if husbands ever saw their wife's content - mine, at the time, would've been like WTF are you doing and who do you think you are? (if I acted like the other women - my blog was not that way) That's not how you talk or how we act or live our lives.  I knew mom bloggers that legitimately couldn't stand being a mom, hated their husband, and had a shit marriage, but put on this big damn show on their blog for the world to be jealous of. 

I can't do shit like that. 

And you're right, no one said I had to, and I didn't, but it was so exhausting to be surrounded by. This was before Instagram even blew up - when we all actually read blogs (thank you for being here). I didn't blog about military family life often, and quickly put a stop to it altogether because it became such an obnoxious community. Can you imagine if we ran around and said "I'm a marketing wife!" EYE ROLL. 

I did not want my husband's job to be what defined me, and it sure as hell didn't. So while the readership was there, I couldn't sit around and talk about being a Marine Wife all day - it really isn't any different than being a wife of a businessman - they're just gone more often. Whoop de doo. I don't need the pity party. I knew what I was marrying into. 

I didn't want to talk about a day in the life of, every move my kid made and didn't want to become an outfit influencer, even though at the time I was really good at shopping, styling, and actually getting dressed. So, I slowly closed my blog planner, stopped planning posts, accepting collaborations, and gracefully bowed out. 

I left my blogs published for a while, and then I realized (with software) there was really only one person obsessively reading them. If you know, you know. If you don't, it doesn't matter. So to essentially take away that person's joy of obsessing over me, I unpublished the blogs -- but they probably have screenshots of every post, like they do of my Instagram (yeah, I saw it) ;) 

During my time as a blogger, I talked about some real shit, as I do. My friends and family didn't make me feel good about it. I would remind my mom before she read a post that I am a good writer, and I know how to write for my audience, so some posts concerned her even with me saying "everything is fine, it's just a little more dramatic for the readership." 

I would rather receive comments from strangers than people I know IRL. Pretty messed up, right? If they find this 'new' blog, fine, but I won't be posting it on Facebook, self-promoting on Instagram (at least for now) and will really only be sharing on Twitter where the people I DO know IRL won't make me feel like shit. You're probably really curious to read my old posts, but I honestly don't think they were that polarizing -- it's just that Midwest mentality that can't really comprehend blogging / social media / education? I said it. I don't mean the whole Midwest, but in my experience and the people I know, I kind of mean it. 

I met, and still keep in touch with, 20+ readers from my old blogs, and I love it (love you guys)! 

During the time of unpublishing both blogs, I met the love of my life. (Yes, the divorce was already in progress and doesn't deserve its own story - what's done is done, and it's all good!) With that came true happiness, I never felt the need to post about what I was doing on the blog or even on Instagram. When you are truly happy, you don't seek outside validation or attention. The selfies stopped, the play by play of my day stopped, and so did the judgement. I was living in the moment -- so that was a big part of why I stopped writing, too. 

I also got REALLY busy with work and my social media marketing clients. 2019 was the most financially successful year of my life, but I absolutely cannot say that about 2020 BECAUSE HAVE YOU MET THIS YEAR?! 

I know I could dig a lot deeper and explain very specifically why I quit, but the TLDR is I enjoy living my life without everyone knowing about it, cannot be fake for one second, influencers and mom bloggers left a very bad taste in my mouth, and people I know in real life didn't make me feel better about sharing my life. 

Misery loves company and I don't want to be that kind of company. 

I'm back. I think. 

I'll dive into product reviews - I honestly still appreciate that former readers still come to me this many years later knowing I will know where to find the best deal, what's hot at Sephora, and anything else you can possibly think of. 

I'll occasionally talk about boating and spending time with marine mammals - but you can check all of that out on my Instagram @ChelseaRhane

I have a lot to say about marketing and social media - a lot of it is spewed daily on Twitter, but I do need a place to dive deeper and explain my thoughts and strategies. So this will be a little bit of everything, and probably resurfacing of old blog posts like Blogging 101 and I was adopted. 

What do you want me to talk about?

And yes, I'm still designing the blog because I am miss indecisive about everything for a very long time. Anxiety? Perfectionism? Who knows, but for now, it's a place for my thoughts that are too long for Twitter.  

If you're here from the past - welcome back! I now have 3 dogs (RIP Maverick), 2 bonus daughters, a bearded dragon, a snake, and a Blake, and I've been back in Southern California since 2015. 

Coming soon: taking care of yourself out of pocket (no healthcare) how much it costs & why you shouldn't put it off. 


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