Friday, December 31, 2010

Eight Things Learned from Blogging in 2010 (or the post with the most parenthetical asides)

I'm seeing lots of "year in review" posts from bloggers since we're on the verge of 2011.  Well, that made me want to write one, too. (Peer pressure is a powerful thing--even when you're not a teenager anymore.)  But Moana Saves has only been 'live' since the end of August so my "year in review" would only be "four months in review"--it seemed a bit staged to write something like that.
Instead I thought of writing about what I’ve learned about review blogging since August. So here we go:
1. Social media is a vehicle and not the thing itself
It transports your message and that message is best delivered within the web of relationships that social media creates.  I’m still learning about social media and networking (check it: I’m not a social media maven ((yet)) and am leery of those who call themselves that ((still))) but I’m amazed at how social media connects people in significant ways.
2. Blogging is a process not a product
I’m constantly adjusting the blog interface—tweaks here and there.  And I’m always thinking about content although those changes are still in the works.  I’ve never been the kind of girl who re-arranges the living room furniture although I’m compelled to do the equivalent of that on the blog.  But here’s the important thing: blogging as a process is FUN!  For me, its become a creative outlet (that I truly needed!)--especially when I look back and measure what I’ve learned since the launch of the blog.  This may motivate me to move the living room sofas around and put up some new things on my walls at home . . . nah . . .
3. Writing is the meat and potatoes of review blogging
I hope I don’t get in trouble for saying this.  Good writing and strong writerly voice=fun-to-read, engaging product review.  Good writing is an important component of excellent PR and I’m happy to provide that on the blog (not just talking about myself, peeps—the review bloggers on Moana Saves ROCK!).  I love blogs that reflect this and hope we are in the process of becoming one.
4. Monetizing your blog doesn’t mean you’ll make money
Hahaha. Its true.  While I’m not in this to make big bucks, I’m surprised by all of the different ways to monetize your blog.  However.  Monetizing your blog doesn’t mean you’ll get rich quick.  A blog still needs a steady stream of good content over a long period of time to benefit from monetization.  Which means we haven’t. Yet.  A review blogger who is particularly transparent about affiliate blogging/advertising/etc is Stacie over at Simply Stacie.  You should read her if you’re interested in monetizing your review blog.
5. Blogging ethics are everything
And they can’t be separate from your every day living ethics either.  Some people think that how you act online can be different from how you act in real life.  They aren’t.  Trying to manage your on- and offline personas like that will get you into trouble.  Like some of my sista review bloggers say, “Transparency is everything” and that’s something I truly believe.
6. The power of the product
Its important that a review blogger reviews products that she feels good telling her mother about.  Or her daughter.  Product reviews for the sake of having something to talk about on the blog will come back to bite you.  If I’m offered a product I wouldn’t normally use, I won’t do it and I learned that one by experience (no, I’m not telling you. go ask Alice.  seriously! ((inside joke))).  As a result, I’ve also been drawn to products that make my family ‘greener’ and I think this is because I’ve internalized the responsibility one has as someone who promotes something in a public forum.  What you do says a lot about who you are.  That is not to say that I’m anti-consumerism.  Its more like saying I’m pro careful consumption.  I hope we reflect that philosophy on Moana Saves.
7. I love you guys (sob)
I’m bowled over at how fabulous everyone is in the review blogging community.  Everyone, from seasoned bloggers (thass you, Kailani!) to PR reps, is wonderful and in indirect ways have worked to make Moana Saves a better blog.  THANK YOU!  It has been a pleasure interacting with you!  I love you! (oh wait, that’s getting out of hand.)  Most of all, I appreciate the review bloggers who blindly committed to writing for Moana Saves.  Jayne, Kristen, Lisa and Liz, I love you almost as much as I love Chevy the Super Dog (and that’s a lot!).  Thanks for your careful, engaging reviews and for hanging with me on the blog.
8. I’m long-winded
If you haven’t noticed.
And lastly, mahalo nui loa for reading to the end of this post and for coming to visit us at Moana Saves.  I loves ya and I wish you all the best that 2011 has to offer.  Happy New Year!

1 comment:

  1. Aw, I love you too, Anna!
    Thanks for letting us come along with you on the ride!


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