4 Ways I’m Different from Other Bloggers

Date Tue, December 30 2014

Review blogs like mine are a dime a dozen these days, and you could say the same thing about their bloggers! Even though I’ve been at this for far longer than some blogs, I have become lumped in with some groups despite some pretty obvious differences. Like these!

I‘m Not a Mom

I’ve talked about this again and again. Because while I feel this is a positive due to my expendable time and money, so many of the people who write reviews and host giveaways are mommy bloggers, and I get lost in the fray. Thus, I am ignored because I only have cats and no babies. And there’s a place for those people, but lots of companies start all their pitches with “Hi Mommies.” Sometimes Dads get some love, but I am neither. And many companies look for people who are moms specifically, even if the product would be a better fit for me. Or even if those bloggers aren’t actually any good at writing reviews.

I might be a geek, a comedienne, an honest and thorough reviewer, a loving and well-loved sister, a good friend, a nerd, a Sci-Fi-aholic, an intelligent, articulate and sympathetic person and it all matters not just because I haven’t squeezed a baby out of my vagina. It’s disheartening. Alienating. Divisive. And even worse when it comes from people directly in the community.

I love Tech

What this means: While other bloggers have to pay their hosts to make and restore backups, run to their husbands with computer problems and think of video games as something only their sons like, I do this all myself. I have a DIY approach to technology, I love getting the latest gadgets and I’m not afraid of a little code. I’ll frown upon your poorly-coded giveaway HTML, but I’ll also try to help you by writing tutorials about how to install memory in your laptop or writing about keyboard shortcuts bloggers just need to know.  You can check out even more Internet tutorials at Her Realm, my personal blog. I am constantly answering questions to the best of my ability in a myriad of blogger groups. This definitely saves me money, but I don’t have the liberty of letting someone else take care of problems, and I can become involved in others’ questions too deeply.

At the end of the day, I like to think I make these topics more approachable to people who might not be as enmeshed with them as I am, and I provide a different POV than your typical white, IT guy.

I Write In-Depth Reviews

What this means: If a product works really well or terribly or is just kinda meh, you’ll know. This is great for companies who really value my opinion, but it’s even better for my readers. The most popular and commented-on posts at Reviews by Cole are this one about Deja Vu and even this one about a cheap paper shredder. My honest and in-depth reviews help consumers, which is my ultimate goal. This blog is about you. And I won’t simply regurgitate product info given to my by the manufacturer or fill up “posts” with photos that do little to tell you how something actually works. I’ve seen reviews that companies raved about in the past, and I was literally left wonder what the product was. This is something that really bothers me about reviews.

One of the things I do have to watch out for is posting pictures. I’ve been trying to post at least one decent quality photo in every review. If the item is in my hands, I want you to see what it looks like or how it works. However, this is rather difficult in my apartment, which has no natural lighting. And I’m such a night owl! Oops!

I Have a Day Job

There are similarities between freelance writing and blogging, that’s for sure. But Reviews by Cole is my hobby. I have less time to dedicate to it because I pay my bills through other means, and any income I make from blogging is purely supplemental even though one of the reasons I started Reviews by Cole was to get paid for blogging.

I’ve surely gotten better at juggling both, but this blog or my Facebook page my struggle because of this fact. Reviews by Cole has and likely always will remain smaller in every way. That’s something I’ve struggled with, but something I’ve also eventually come to accept. I cannot compete with the bigger names because I am just one person and this is not my day job.

In fact, I have respect for people who do make blogging their primary income, especially when supporting a family. I’m not sure I could do it. Like, I don’t think I could break even, and I don’t think I could stay sane even if I did. I don’t want my face to actually be the face of my blog, and I’m not so great at networking. But if I keep this blog a hobby, I don’t really have to do those things. Score!

With millions of blogs on the Internet, variety is more than just the spice of life. It’s essential. Every blogger works to stand out from the crowd, and I can only hope I’ve achieved a bit of that here.

As always, thank you for reading!

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