Staying True

Image Source

Blogging has become an excellent medium to make money these days. Be it with reviews or with contests. Almost every post we write these days reaps some benefit. Be it in the form of a consolation hamper or a participating voucher. The recent 'Happy Hours' by Indiblogger is like a honey pot. It not only tests the writing skills but also the agility of the writer. I myself have sat for minutes looking at the 'Submit Now' button, hoping to make it to the 100 or 200 list. It happens you know, all of us need the extra cash/vouchers. A little extra never hurt anyone after all. But going all crazy and maniacal over it is something that is purely unethical. Write, there is no problem with it. But write about what matters to you and what you can connect with. That is how I function. There are so many contests and happy hours that I choose not to be a part of, because I not agree with the theme or I have no clue about it what so ever.

The latest happy hours by Indiblogger was about Pampers and the theme was to write about the bedtime rituals that you share with your child. I saw so many posts go up on this topic and more than half of them are not parents and the quarter of the rest were not married even! I was shocked by their imaginative minds. I have no clue about babies and their needs. Let alone their bedtime rituals. I saw the bucket list happy hour and wrote a post for it, because it was something that I could relate to. I have my dreams, my passions and my wish list. I just was sharing the same. Nothing of it was made up. And then there was this other happy hour activity about a phone being a valentine. I wanted to laugh my ass off. Here people are putting on their creative hats and writing posts about how to make the day perfect for your partner, and the same set of people are the ones who are writing about six reasons why a phone is your ideal valentine. Seriously, wow!

But the topic that surprised me the most was the Garnier pure active one where people were asked to write about the common problems they face due to pimples and the effects it had on their everyday life. See, I have been battling acne since I can remember. Plus, my PCOD problems are making it worse for me. But that is all there is to it. I use top class makeup to hide the scars and where the zits pop-out I just let them be. They are just a part of my exterior and have not hampered my life in any other way. Be it in terms of confidence or anything else. If the topic was to write about how you did not let pimples bother you, the I sure would have taken part. But this topic was all about using the product and talking about how you transformed into a beautiful swan from a pimply duckling. There was a large number if posts for this activity and I personally know some of the people who wrote these posts and I can safely say that most of them do not have even a tiny dot on their face, let alone a pimple. The lucky people who are blessed with spotless, flawless skin were writing about how a zit ruined their life and how they lost out on a partner because of it. No, I'm not kidding.

Blogging now is not how it used to be before. Earlier it was all about just expressing your views and sharing your experiences. Now it is all about benefits and prizes. Thankfully, I have managed to hold on to what I believe and have stayed true to myself. I will not praise a product/book just because I received it for free. The first condition that I mention to authors who contact me to review their books is that my review will be absolutely honest and brutal. My views and opinions are not for sale. All the products and websites that I review are also a part of my experience and something that I personally use or believe in. I have problems with my hair, so I accepted a hair challenge that came my way. Had I smooth, silky hair, I would not have bothered and I would have taken it as an insult. Obviously!

There are a set of bloggers who do not write anything else apart from contest posts and happy hours posts. And that too not just one. I know someone who writes atleast three posts per contest.  Maybe it is to receive the participant vouchers or the early bird prizes. Thankfully Indiblogger has limited their happy hours submission to just one post. The useyourand contest by Blogadda was one of the contests that was very close to my heart. I could open my heart and soul and write for it. This post of mine is an all time favorite post of mine as it reeks of me in every word. I may or may not win this contest, but I'm glad that I got an opportunity to write about myself this way. If not for this activity, there is no way I would have written so much about myself. Yes, the narcissist in me is dying a slow death.

I love the blogosphere and the ample opportunities it gives writers like me. Be it monetary benefits or just a platform to showcase our work. It is very easy to get lured by the temptations that come up every now and then. But we need to realize that we are niche bloggers and there are only certain things that match our style of writing or the theme of our blog. Not everything can be written about. It is very difficult to stay true ourselves these days. But it is not impossible. I'm glad that I have been able to hold on to what I believe and talk/write about only the things that matter to me or strike a chord within me. Posts which do not come from the heart might guarantee a prize, but I would feel like a failure inside for selling my words when I do not mean them at all. 

Am I the only one who feels like this?

23 comments:

  1. Oh My GOd this is exactly what I've been thinking foe weeks now! I agree with you completely, girl. I blog about whatever the hell I want to, and only since the past two months have I started to participate in these contests - but my reasons are A.) They give me a prompt and an irregular blogger like I had been in the past year, it helps me a lot, and B.) Like you said, I ONLY blog about topics that I feel strongly about. Blogadda's UseYourAnd was an amazing theme and I love it too. I have a baby and I wanted to blog about the bedtime rituals but then I read a few blog posts by people who clearly never even held a baby and it put me off. So I didn't participate. This frenzy is too much, really.
    But then, it is also helping the cause of Blogging, I guess, so it is a good thing. Pros and cons, really - but I am completely on your side!

    Aditi's Monologue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so proud of you :)

      Thank you for reading!

      Delete
  2. Can I hug you multiple times over for this post? I wrote for Useyourand primarily because it was the trigger I'd needed for thirteen years to tell my story. Similarly, I wrote on the love band one on my fiction blog because they said I could write a fictional piece and submit it too. All others don't resonate with me. The same goes for book reviews. I promise no accolades, only honest opinions.

    So, nutshell, participate but check your blog niche and do so accordingly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can hug me as much as you want :)

      I'm so proud of us that we stuck to what we believe.

      Delete
  3. This is an interesting post and a topic that I have thought about a little bit. Full disclosure - I am still a very "conservative" blogger, in that I liken my blogs to my journals, so I don't ever write posts about products or promotional posts. (I wouldn't promote products in my journal, therefore..) So, at the outset I agree with your points.

    While it is true that, blogging is not what it used to be before, it is probably natural for the medium to get exploited as anything that reaches a ton of people would.

    However, I am curious to know why you think blogging about topics just to participate in contests is not being true to oneself. I think of it as being on a debate team and arguing for a point. You'd argue for something that you don't necessarily believe in, because that's kind of the point of it. Similarly, people write with an intention of winning the prize, as long as they're clear about that, they're still being true to themselves, right?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe that's your opinion, but I feel that one should write to write. And not to win.

      Atleast that is how I feel.

      Delete
  4. Well I have nothing to say considering I haven't participated in contests except this 1time and nor have I done reviews.

    Blogging should be blogging.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was off blogging for a couple of months and when I came back, I saw so many of these Pampers and pimples posts. It took me a while to figure out why people were writing about these things randomly and not with any relevance.

    I wrote for Quikr Happy hour contest and my submission was late, but it didn't matter, because I wanted to share my experience and not win anything.

    I completely agree with every word in your post. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is so annoying na.

      Welcome back :)

      Delete
  6. I so agree with you, I participate in a contest only if the topic appeals to me, gelling well with my ideals and the general theme of my blog, which is why I never write blogs about gadgets and beauty care as it is just not me! I did write about my bucket list (Indiblogger), feed a child campaign (Blogadda). I like to move ahead in life with conviction and not be wavered by tempting rewards that force me to spend my precious words on things that are meaning less to me. A fantastic post, I'm all applause for you :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I share your views, Soumya.
    I wrote for and/or contest as I wanted to present a tribute on my Blog to my Ayee (maternal grandmother) on her 1st death anniversary.
    For IB HH, so far I have taken part in just 1- why chat messages are better than phone calls! I shared my personal experience in online selling for that post :)
    True. Some people can & do write anything and everything for prizes!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading Anita.

      I hope people understand that winning is not everyting.

      Delete
  8. Neither do I write such posts nor read others' such posts... I don't know why but I find them a bit monotonous and redundant... The TV is enough with advertisements for me, I don't need them on blogs...

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm totally with you. I won't compromise my integrity for money. I remember once I got approached to write a post for a cosmetic surgery organisation and I'm not for cosmetic surgery unless the person has been in an accident. I promote healthy body image on my blog and the organisation was just not a good fit for me so I declined their offer. It annoys me when I see bloggers selling things without a disclaimer or as you've said, lied!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Writing what you connect is what blogging should be all about, be it your own thoughts or a thought triggered by a prompt or a sponsored review. If you don't connect with it, you are not writing what you would have written from your heart.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Pretty nice post. I have in fact enjoyed reading your website posts. I have been googling blogs and sites in related manner recently and i have to state you have a nice
    SMO Training

    ReplyDelete
  12. This post gave an insight into the other side of blogging.Haven't participated in any contests or reviews yet.But when I do,I guess my attitude is going to be the same as yours.Nice thoughts Sowmya!

    ReplyDelete

Care to leave a word or two? Thanks for dropping by :)