the biggest problem with blogging

Blogging

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love blogging. I love the creativity it allows me. I love the independence I’ve gained. I love the friends and community I’ve made. However, there is one massive problem with blogging that everyone knows about but no one really says out loud. The biggest problem with blogging? Unsupportive girls.

When I first began my blog, I was full of (naive) excitement. I was going to do this, everyone was going to be supportive, and it was going to be a big ball of sunshine and daydreams!

I was still in college at Purdue, so there were lots of other creative girls who were into fashion, photography and blogging. I typed up emails, texts and Facebook messages reaching out. I asked for advice on how to start up, what the next steps were, and how they succeeded at building an engaged audience. A few girls were SO helpful and sweet, and I still consider them friends today. But for the vast majority, guess what I got back? Radio silence.

I shrugged it off; maybe they were busy, maybe they didn’t get my message. Despite the excuses I was making for them, I was still hurt.

I moved to Chicago after graduation to work in PR. My blog took off being in a new city with new connections and opportunities. I certainly wasn’t prepared to scale my business that fast, so again, I needed help. There are so many bloggers in Chicago that it should be easy to learn the tricks of the trade, right?!

I attended several events hosted by local companies, slowly meeting other bloggers and growing my social circle. At one particular event, I met a blogger who was big time. She was so friendly, polite and made me feel like she genuinely cared about me. She gave me her card and told me to reach out if I needed anything. I walked away from that event smiling ear to ear – I finally had my blogging guru!

The next week, I was at another event for bloggers. Low and behold, my newfound friend walked in a few minutes after me! She was with a group of other large bloggers and I was so excited to finally meet these girls that I had only seen and admired from Instagram.

I walked up to the group and greeted them. The response? An up-down look and a “Who are you?”

She knew who I was. She and I had talked about my recent move from Purdue to Chicago, how I still visit St. Louis monthly and maintain my status as a Cardinals fan (she laughed and told me I’d be a Cubs fan in no time) and how I needed to find a perfect pair of nude wedges.

Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens alllllll the time to women in blogging. I’ve heard similar tales from countless friends, and each time I am still shocked.

The bloggers who have figured it out seem scared to help other bloggers succeed because they ultimately view us as competition instead of support. This is where all bloggers’ thinking NEEDS to shift.

If someone tells me a secret trick to getting more page views, instead of being worried that my increased numbers would be a threat to her business, she should be SO EXCITED that she just gained loyal follower who will comment and share every post she writes (and probably back link to her).

I’ve also been on the opposite side of this. At a recent event, a girl with a newer and smaller blog came up to me, introduced herself, and we got to chatting as bloggers do. After a few minutes, she made a comment about having issues with her WordPress site. I fired off a few themes I liked and plugins that really helped me when I was starting out. I expected an “Oh, great, thanks!” but I got pure shock. She was completely flabbergasted that I was willing to give her help since she was new and barely had any following on social media.

Let me repeat this: A lovely girl with a great blog and incredible content verbalized that she expected me to treat her differently because her numbers are lower than mine.

Excuse me?!?!

Yes, as bloggers, our social media KPIs and our blog’s UVM are important when it comes to building our businesses, but they do not define us as people. A blogger with 400 followers on Instagram is not “beneath me” and a blogger with 100K followers is not “above me.” Our worth is not tied to a number.

I did not write this post to bash the girls who have treated fellow bloggers, myself included, in ways that have been hurtful and upsetting. Rather, I’d love this to be a wake up call to all bloggers, from those starting out with 0 page views to the biggest blogs making hundreds of thousands of dollars, to remember that we are in this together and we need to be there for one another.

Am I telling you to reply to every single email and DM you get or you’re a mean girl? Not at all! Life gets in the way and clearing out inboxes gets exhausting. What I am urging you to do is to treat every interaction with EVERY blogger equally. Some additional options to support other bloggers include making a resource library, writing a blog post answering some FAQs, or forming blogger support groups.

Other women are not my competition. We are stronger when we support one another: in blogging, in business, in life.

This isn’t just a blogging issue either. I’ve seen this happen in friend groups, at companies, in sororities, etc. This notion of competition with one another instead of empowering one another is troubling but it unfortunately is everywhere. This International Women’s Day, please take the time to really think about how you are treating other women and how you’d want them to treat you. We are stronger together, y’all!

That being said, if you ever have a question or need some advice about blogging, college, job searches, what to wear for XYZ, boy problems – ANYTHING – I’m here and I will try to help you the best I can. Your success is MY success.

xoxo

 

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Liz
    March 8, 2017 at 10:28 AM

    Great post! I’ve seen this happen too many times. We are all here to support one another in our blogging journey 🙂

    Liz
    http://Www.lizzieinlace.com

  • Reply
    allie
    March 8, 2017 at 10:35 AM

    Love that you shared this and love our supportive group!

    XO,
    Allie
    https://alliesfashionalley.com/2017/03/fitflop-x-uma-thurman-moonfish-chicago/

  • Reply
    Kristi Gorski
    March 8, 2017 at 12:06 PM

    This post is so needed! Some people live with a scarcity mindset and that is just sad. There is so much room for us all in this blogging world <3 Keep doing your thang, girl!

    Kristi | Kristi Means Business

  • Reply
    Vuitton Chan
    March 8, 2017 at 12:21 PM

    Needed to leave another comment 😉 of how true and much needed this is! <3

  • Reply
    Caitlin + Dani
    March 8, 2017 at 12:34 PM

    We love you Caitlin! Keep being you and sharing positivity (and maybe play some T SWIFT). We agree that other women are not competition. We are stronger when we support one another: in blogging, in business, in life. Love you!

  • Reply
    Olivia
    March 8, 2017 at 1:15 PM

    Wishing I could type an applause emoji from my computer for this one…I was nodding along the entire time! The support and networking opportunities I’ve gotten from other empowering bloggers vastly outweigh the few negative experiences I’ve had, but those negative ones have really stuck in my mind. Great post girly!

    xo
    Olivia | PrepEssentials

  • Reply
    Chrissey Bui
    March 8, 2017 at 2:20 PM

    I saw this in my Twitter timeline and had to give you a follow and share! This is wonderfully written and a clear problem in blogging… we should all be empowering each other instead of knocking others down. Wonderful post!

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    March 8, 2017 at 3:21 PM

    Spot on, girl! It’s just being a good honest human!

  • Reply
    Molly
    March 9, 2017 at 6:20 AM

    AMEN! I hate that there is so much competition between all bloggers. It’s such a creative and encouraging outlet, until someone sees you starting to get ahead, then there is not as much support.

    http://www.mollyonthemoveblog.com

  • Reply
    Jessica - A Modern Mom's Life
    March 9, 2017 at 7:14 AM

    I love this! You are so right – we should lift each other up, not tear each other down. I am still genuinely surprised when I reach out to someone and they respond with a friendly, timely response. I’m so used to silence, or a curt “No”. I’m not a big blogger but I want to get my words out there, you know? Thank you for writing this and sharing your experiences!
    ~Jess

  • Reply
    Kia
    March 9, 2017 at 7:24 AM

    This is so true! We women need to stick together and support each other no matter what we do. Thanks for the reminder and for the support!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    March 9, 2017 at 9:28 AM

    I really liked this post! It’s very easy to lose confidence as a new blogger when you’re looking at the numbers. This has given me just that little bit more confidence, so thank you!

  • Reply
    Nicole
    March 9, 2017 at 10:39 AM

    There was a blogger I really looked up to and followed very closely. I was totally turned off when she ADMITTED in a blog post that she refused to answer any blogging help/advice questions in her DM’s because she wasn’t going to give away free advice. Not nice! We need to help each other out from time to time.

  • Reply
    Kerona
    March 9, 2017 at 12:05 PM

    AAAAmmmaaaziiiing post , loved every min of it this was on point I have experienced this also and another thing is you share other peoples content always and they never share yours, its great to know that there are other bloggers out there willing to help others, i personally am one of those bloggers who loves to help thats bascially what my blog is about although i dont stick to one niche, i’d love to keep in contact with you!! Again amazing post!! id o hope a lot of these bloggers see this post
    http://www.mssparkleandglow.com

  • Reply
    Crystalyn
    March 9, 2017 at 12:10 PM

    Love this! We can be so much stronger together!

  • Reply
    Chloe
    March 9, 2017 at 3:18 PM

    I LOVED this post! When I started blogging I tried reaching out to girls as well. To try to get to know the blogging community around me and try to make some friends. Some responded and from some I got nothing back. I was even surprised when a blogger asked for payment hourly to talk to them. Getting this kind of response was just so negative. I totally agree with you though, we should grow and support each other. 🙂

    xo, Chloe // http://www.funinthecloset.com

  • Reply
    Tanyi Melvis Bechemnyo
    March 9, 2017 at 4:20 PM

    What can I say? I’ve been a victim myself so many times and even kicked out of some facebook groups for trying to socialize and offer help. The reason why I created bloggers supporting each other facebook group was so we support each other’s blog posts especially. It hurts to pour your heart out on a piece of content and no one even your blogging friends want to check it out. We need more people like you to erase that mentally totally. So thank you!

  • Reply
    Alicia Nicole
    March 9, 2017 at 5:20 PM

    What an appropriate post for Women’s Day. We as women have to acknowledge the negative in order to advance towards a more inclusive future. I, for one, support you 100%. Excellent post. You have a new follower in me 🙂

  • Reply
    Helene
    March 9, 2017 at 5:33 PM

    I love everything about this. We need to empower each other. Blogging is something that can bring so many fabulously talented ladies together if we support one another.

    xo, Helene
    http://www.circleskirtsandpetticoats.wordpress.com

  • Reply
    Tracey @ Pacific VA Collective
    March 9, 2017 at 5:56 PM

     <3 it, I can totally relate to this – the other problem I find constantly is if you have social share buttons please please please remember to actually have your social media handle in the share. For example: great blog here via yourSMhandle… It sometimes takes a while for people to find your wonderful social media handle and not everyone is going to bother to find it to add to the share. After all the effort of writing a post, please remember to add it in!

  • Reply
    Ciara
    March 9, 2017 at 6:46 PM

    Love this post! You put it very well! Also, boiler up! 🙂

  • Reply
    Ngumabi
    March 9, 2017 at 10:29 PM

    Wonderful post and well said, my dear
    I had thought of writing about this but retained myself
    You did justice to it
    It’s so nice to know there are other bloggers you can rely on
    Indeed like you said they feel that new bloggers will be huge competition
    But in the blogging world, I think there is space for everyone
    Thanks for this post

  • Reply
    Shevy
    March 10, 2017 at 6:06 AM

    Thank you for this post!! As a new blogger I also realize the love-hate trend from interacting with other bloggers. Once I see a blogger that I like, I follow or contribute in whatever way I can. I’ve noticed some of the ones with a larger following don’t even follow you back or respond but I’m not going to let that be me. The reason I started blogging in my free was to offer advice to people who have a problem because I love giving advice. I would hate to think that if someone asks me a qs about blogging I refuse to answer because they have more followers. I never started blogging to compete with others and I don’t ever want to loose sight of that. Sadly everyone don’t feel they same. Great post!!

    http://www.travelbeautyblog.com

  • Reply
    grace
    March 10, 2017 at 6:36 AM

    As some one just starting out this is something I have experienced a but, luckily I have come across some wonderful ladies too!

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