Paying Dues — Stand for Something or Fall for Anything

Sign: "I'm lost. I've gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait."
Sign: "I'm lost. I've gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait."
Sometimes you must step outside of yourself to really see what you’re doing.

“Everybody wanna be a star, don’t wanna be who they are.”

— Beanie Sigel, “Everybody Wanna Be A Star”, The Truth (2000)

You can get sucked into the game faster than you can blink.

Build an audience and people will start knocking at your door. Brands, would-be collaborators, haters — making yourself visible for all to see will make you a target for all sorts of attention, like it or not.

But never forget what they came for in the first place.

We’re Bringin’ Blogging Back — YUP!!!

The blogger brand’s diluted. Everyone’s fighting for the same piece of pie and many bloggers are more than happy to do whatever it takes to stand out and go home with the biggest morsels. Some of us fight to keep our integrity, but often feel like integrity doesn’t pay. Commissions pay. Sponsored and affiliate posts pay. But at the same time, if you don’t do it right, they can take away from your brand  and everything that you stand for.

Many of us follow the same formula. Sure, we might tweak it — add a personal touch here, an amusing anecdote there — but ultimately, there’s a finite number of opportunities for a finite number of players, all who’re learning from each other how to keep those opportunities coming.

It’s all too easy to lose your way. I love a good event — the chance to practice photography with interesting subjects and to experience things that I wouldn’t otherwise. When brands send me on experiences because they want to see my words and understand my take on it, I’m honoured and flattered. But if I don’t keep a balance between event/product reviews and posts about what I’m really thinking, not only am I alienating my audience, I’m not being true to myself.

So where’s the sweet spot between integrity, relevancy and profitability?

Why Blog If You Can’t Keep It Real?

Cheryl Lynn had it right back in the 70s — “Got to be real!” And in keeping it real — it’s not easy to feed mouths from blogging alone. People are skeptical — selling stuff to people over the Internet takes an insane amount of charisma and influences; not just anyone can separate people from their hard-earned dollars. And being even more real, what incentive do many bloggers out there offer brands to trust them with the products and images that they’ve poured millions into? The idea of free labour and an engaged audience might seem like an attractive package to offer from a blogger’s perspective, but your following of a few thousand is nothing compared to the millions consuming TV, magazines, movies, etc.

If you don’t stand for anything — if all you do is parroting what other bloggers are doing and hoping to get the same success, you’ll soon find that first impression are the only ones to make impressions — you can’t pull the same stunt twice on the Internet and expect it to stick; people are always looking for the next thing. You are not the next social media darling. You are not the next big-time blogger. You’re the next you — what is it that you can do that no one else can?

 Going Back to Myself

In the end, this is my promise. I will stand for a higher standard. I will work to stand out from the crowd not through elitism, but through telling a story and sharing thoughts that improve the world, not simply beat to the rhythm it already has. I will challenge things and ask the hard questions. I will be a blogger — and not just a mouthpiece.

Stand for something or fall for anything. The world’s waiting for you to be yourself — why be the next whoever or act like everybody else? Show us what makes you different, and the world might start paying attention!

–case p.

Author: Casey E. Palmer

Calling the Great White North his home, Casey‘s spent the last few decades in pursuit of creating killer content. From novels as a kid, comics as a teen, to blogs and photos once he could grow a beard, he’ll use whatever’s around him to create amazing stuff. When he’s not creating, he’s parenting, exploring and trying to make life as awesome as possible for everyone around him. Because a boring life’s not a life worth living!

4 thoughts on “Paying Dues — Stand for Something or Fall for Anything”

  1. Awesome post Case (again),

    This goes back to so many of our late night discussions on how to improve ourselves, what we do and how we do it. We are more than just our metrics (see what I did there?), we are individuals with varying experiences and abilities and needs.
    I think we can really start to bring bloggers to the movement. Authentic and interesting conversation is hard to find… bloggers are loosing touch. Let’s get back to us! Why did we start to blog? Who are we? What do we love?


    1. Ha, thanks for the reference to the guest post 🙂 I need to explicitly link to it in a future post!

      I’m willing to challenge this little bubble or system that’s been put together; I feel like too many of us are just falling in step and not actually doing much to assert ourselves individually, and I don’t think it’s healthy.

      I have a lot of ideas I’ll be sharing in the next while — just need to sit down and write it all 🙂

  2. (Whoa – what comment system is this? Looks so cool!)

    Totally agree with you about us bloggers learning from each other. I take inspiration from so many people (in my life and successful ones that I follow) and I think that’s what motivates us to keep going. It also helps when we take no negativity towards others and promote each other’s work as well! The blogging atmosphere is more about making + supporting friends, I know it’s the same for you too. 🙂

    Yeahhh, show us what makes you different! Love that. 🙂 OKAY peas. xo

    1. Heh — thanks for the comment, Anum 🙂 What you’re seeing in action is CommentLuv, a system used to promote blogs and offer automatic backlinks so that we can all better connect to one another. I switched over after some in-depth discussion with some other bloggers that I’ve come to respect, and find that it’s HIGHLY useful.

      I’ve learned a lot from my peers, definitely — I just hope that we all take what we’ve learned and keep remembering to put our own spins on it so that we’re not cluttering the blogosphere as clones of one another! I’m not OVERLY worried about it, though 🙂

      Have a great one and keep doing you!

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