We Need To Stop Calling Blogs “Brands”

I almost didn’t write this blog post because someone once said to me that my readers aren’t bloggers and don’t actually care about blogging, they care about travel. And then I realised that that goes against everything I’m going to talk about in this post. Because actually, blogging is a large part of my life and I want to talk about it. And this is my corner of the internet, so I’m going to.

You see, I’ve been reading a lot of blog posts lately about how we should treat our blogs as brands. Tonnes of super successful bloggers, who have gone full time and are making a living out of their blogs, talk about seeing their blog as a business and treating it that way. And it’s obviously good advice to some extent because these chaps are doing very well for themselves.

But it’s a feeling that has trickled down to the mid-level and micro blogosphere and I don’t know about you, but I just don’t think that’s right for me.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I have a lot swirling around my head so I do occasionally put together a planner to organise when I am going to schedule posts for. And I do have a Media Kit for brand collaborations. These are very business-like things. And I don’t have a problem with them because they make my hobby a lot easier.

But the problem is the pressure that thinking of your blog as a brand has on you.

I’ve said on many occasions that I don’t want my blog to be my full-time career. As much as I love it and it keeps me sane, I think if it was paying my rent, I’d lose the love a bit. And that’s the same thing that is happening when we start calling our blogs “brands”, and most of us aren’t even getting paid for it!

We just have the unnecessary pressure to succeed, when in reality I started this blog as a creative outlet. I didn’t aim to have a beautifully curated Instagram or matching colours on all of my blog posts and social media channels. I just wanted to write some things that might help the odd gal going travelling. And this pressure to be perfect and adhere to the rules of blogging and make your blog a cohesive brand and all of the corporate shit is just sucking the fun out of it for me.

I should mention that this pressure is coming from me, based on what I see on my Twitter feed. It’s no-one telling me I have to do things a certain way. But you know, comparison is the thief of joy, and all that.

Portmeirion, Wales

And I don’t really know what has prompted this post other than a constant flow of seemingly perfect blogs and social media channels that are all branded to a T and have beautiful imagery and never go off subject. And this isn’t coming from a place of jealousy at all. I mean, good for those guys because they are killing it and will go far in this world. It’s just that I feel like this is becoming the norm in blogging and it makes me feel like I can’t post about what I want to post about. Because it’s not in my “niche”.

There have been a few occasions when I’ve wanted to write about something and stopped myself because it’s not “on-brand”. I mean, what the fuck is that?

Even things that I write about a lot, like fashion and food and beauty, I feel the need to make them squeeze into a travel-related category so that it makes sense. But really, does everything need to? Shouldn’t I write about a pretty dress I’m going to wear to a wedding, that would be completely inappropriate to take backpacking, just because I want to write it?

I don’t know, I don’t mean to be super aggy over nothing. I totally appreciate that blogs come with business-like requirements and hard work, like invoices and taxes and all the boring stuff. I just miss when blogs were an extension of our personalities rather than a collection of perfectly curated blog posts that fit into one specific niche, look beautiful and are the right amounts of relatable and shareable.

I guess the purpose of this post is to essentially say – fuck it. From here on out, I’m writing about whatever I want, just because.

Don’t worry, travel is my passion in life and there will still be lots of wanderlusty goodness on here. But if I want to write about feminism or a new recipe or what Halloween costume I’m going to go for this year, I’m going to bloody well do it.

And that is all I have to say on the matter.

What do you think? Have I lost the plot a bit? Would you like to see different types of content on Heels In My Backpack? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @HeelsInBackpack!

Carmel Bunkers, Barcelona

4 thoughts on “We Need To Stop Calling Blogs “Brands”

  • 11th August 2017 at 11:51 am
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    I like blogging and I read your blog, so writing what you feel in this case connected even more to your audience (me) 😊. I completely agree with this piece, yes organisation etc but who as a person is one genre/ brand? We are all getting tired of 2D influencers. There is a hunger for diversity in our influencers. A single person is equivalent to a thousand stories, why limit ourselves to just one volume? Be yourself, be human, after all thats who your readers are. I really enjoyed this post which I think proves the point even more! 💖💪

    Reply
    • Kara // Heels In My Backpack
      12th August 2017 at 10:20 am
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      Thanks so much for your comment Jen, I’m glad you’re with me on this! That’s exactly how I feel, travel is just one part of my life and I want to be able to share more without having to worry about the consequences. Bring on the lifestyle and personal posts I say! x

      Reply
  • 23rd August 2017 at 9:30 am
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    OK I don’t know why I haven’t read your posts before, but I think I’m in a rabbit hole – another one where I’m nodding and smiling because you’re reflecting exactly how I feel. I do actually get jealous of people who have the cohesive brands & are killing it with their numbers, because I just can’t get there. But then I look at their blog / socials and wonder where the personality is gone? It all looks the same to me. I keep trying to remind myself that I am doing this because I love it and I have things I want to say and not because I want to be like everyone else…

    Reply
    • Kara // Heels In My Backpack
      23rd August 2017 at 10:15 am
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      Haha, thanks! Totally, I think the more brand-like you go, the less personality shines through. Because everything seems to be filtered. My favourite bloggers are the ones that go on a Twitter rant with no worries about what it’ll do to their numbers. It’s all just a bit more real, you know? x

      Reply

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