On Blogging

If you blog, I’m sure you’ve gotten some form of negative feedback at one time or another. Whether it be from the jealous friend who blogs, but just can’t seem to get as many followers as you, or from the non-blogger, who can’t quite understand how you can be so self-centered that you expect people to care about what you have to say. I know that I’ve received plenty of negative comments, both anonymous and straight to my face, about my blog. But those are few in far between, and I know without a doubt that any negative perception about my blog, or blogging in general, is outweighed a thousand times over by the incredible experience that has been this blog.
Here are a few things that I’ve learned about blogging in this past year.
Number One
Blogging is more than just a platform for you to write.
It’s a community and a support system. It brings you out of your comfort zone, and dares you to face your dreams, while we are here to support you. It brings a personal aspect to the abstract concept of diversity, and forces us to confront the idea of hardship, even if we’ve never experienced it ourselves. It gives us the opportunity to develop everything from our fashion sense to our writing to our photography, and allows us to find motivation and strength from each other.
It changes you and challenges you and is so rewarding, beyond anything you’d ever thought it would be.
Number Two
Blogging is what you make of it.
People have made careers from blogging, or have found their dream careers because of their blogs. It does take effort, but if you’re willing the put the work in, you’ll find that you truly get more from blogging that you ever thought possible. And I’m not just talking about all of the free stuff, and the potential to make a bit of money. I’m talking about everything I mentioned in the first item on this list, and then some. But again, blogging is what you make of it. It can be for fun or for personal growth or for career advancement, but you have to put in the effort. Don’t expect people to just magically start following and commenting on your blog, if you aren’t willing to put yourself out there and follow and comment on other blogs. It’s necessary, and the right thing to do.
Number Three
Blog friends are the best.
Remember when Facebook first came out, and all we wanted was to get as many friends as possible? And then we grew up a little and realized that the number of friends you have on Facebook doesn’t really matter unless you know them in real life, and maybe Facebook in itself is kind of stupid? Well, blogging kind of screws up all the ideas you ever had about Facebook, because it shows you that you don’t really need to know someone in real life to know them.
I have “met” some amazing friends through blogging, even if I’ve only met a handful in real life. These are people that have a genuine interest in being my friend, and who are always there cheering me on through this crazy thing called life. They are some of the most sincere, honest, trustworthy, and caring people I’ve met. They are amazing, and I appreciate every. single. one of them.
Number Four
Blogging isn’t about the number of followers you have.
I firmly believe that it’s not the quantity of followers that you have that’s important, but the quality of the relationships that you have with them. We can get caught up in the number on the sidebar of our blogs, and checking our stats obsessively, but that’s not really the point. The point is that we can make connections, amazing connections, if we just stop caring about that number. I’ll admit, it’s taken me a while to get to the point where I don’t care about how many followers I have (and anybody saying that they’ve never cared about that is lying), but letting that go is just so freeing. It gives me the chance to post what I want to post, without caring about what will draw in more people. If readers like you, they’ll stay. You shouldn’t have to compromise who you are to make them happy.
Number Five
Sincerity wins. Always.
We’ve all seen them. The bloggers with the great job and the gorgeous husband and the perfect hair and the huge closet. They also seem to never have anything go wrong in their lives. Ever.
But let me tell you a secret: nobody’s perfect. Even the bloggers with their adorable babies and immaculate homes aren’t perfect. I’m not saying that they are lying to us, but that they aren’t telling us the whole truth. And I’m not saying that they should air all of their dirty laundry over the internet. But a little sincerity, and authenticity, never hurt anyone. We might like reading those blogs sometimes, but I can tell you without a doubt that my favorite blogs are the real ones, the ones that I can relate to. Because it’s these bloggers that I can learn from, and who can learn from me.
Number Six
Blog envy is real.
And it’s inevitable. We all experience it at some point, and we always will. There will always be a blogger who has more followers or a better design or a nicer camera to take pictures of their prettier clothes. I get envious all the time. But then I tell myself that they are just like me, and are probably envious of someone else.
I’ve realized that it’s these moments that I have the potential to learn the most, because they have something to teach me. Want to know how they got so popular? Ask them! Interested in getting some advice about sponsorship or photography or Twitter? Ask them! That’s what they {and in reality, we all} are here for: to network and create a dialogue. Blogging isn’t one sided. If it were, blogging would be obsolete and unnecessary.
*     *     *     *     *
What are some things that you’ve learned from blogging?


Faison said...

I love love love this post! I've received several negative comments recently, and I decided to write a post about the unwelcomed negativity, but didn't post it. The way you've approached the subject is a much nicer way than I did! I totally suffer from blog envy sometimes, and I have to slap my hand to snap myself out of it. You couldn't have written this post any better!

Erin said...

This post is amazing. You are a blogger with integrity and sincerity. I just really related to this post and think you are amazing. This post is a huge win in my book! Thanks for posting this lady!!

Amanda said...

I am so glad that you posted this. Not only is it a reminder for myself, but I totally agree, especially about the community part (blogger meet-up, holla)! I have "met" some incredible people through my blog, which started out as a way to document my life, and it's probably one of the best decisions I've ever made. Other bloggers inspire me in the best of ways, and it's so great that I'll always have this little blog to go back to when I'm older.

jozen said...

Hi Joelle!

Love your little corner of bloggyland here!!! I love love love this post :)


Mara Kofoed said...

So fun to read! I'm a new blogger, so I especially loved reading this stuff....
thank you!

Christianna said...

Joelle, can I give you a huge virtual high five, or a hug, or maybe a hand hug? Yes, there really is such a thing as a hand hug! This post was freaking awesome, and so are you! This is all soooo true!

You wanna know a secret, I was gonna write a post about blogging for tomorrow, and now if I do, I'm gonna link this up! Hahahaha. Not that I took your idea, but well...

Julie @ The Smitten Mintons said...

You are so right about all of this! So happy to have met you through this wonderful thing called blogging :)

Heidi said...

I'm convinced you're reading my thoughts! This post is actually what I needed to read today.. I've been suffering from a bit of blog envy and a need for followers and it's taken me awhile to realise that it's all rather pointless and only affects the quality of my blogging. I should be having fun with this whole blogging experience instead of sitting around wishing I had a successful Etsy store just like one of my daily reads.

And I absolutely agree with #3! Some of the greatest friendships I have developed this year have been through my blog, and I wouldn't exchange for them for anything! I really would rather have my handful of talented & lovely blog friends than hundreds of anonymous followers.

So sorry for the long comment! ;-)

Sandy said...

My Mystical Photography The word photography comes from two ancient Greek words: photo, for "light," and graph, for "drawing." "Drawing with light" is a way of describing photography. When a photograph is made, light or some other form of radiant energy, such as X rays, is used to record a picture of an object or scene on a light-sensitive surface.

modern jane said...

Well said! I agree with all of these comments:)

marissa at the boot said...

standing ovation joelle! this is so true, especially #5! i was literally JUST looking at a blog and thinking, "how does she get her hair to look that good?" haha! awesome advice and keep up the good work!

Whitney said...

I love this! It's important to remember no one's life is perfect. Bloggers choose what they show us. On the outside, it may appear to be perfect. In actuality, they are going through struggles, stress, or something else like all of us. It's so easy to get caught up in the number game or see your fave bloggers comment on everyone's blog other than your own. So, that's why it is important to develop and establish relationships with others.

Claire Kiefer said...

I found you through Christianna, and I'm a new follower. :) I loved reading your take on blogging. I've never written about it myself, but I'm always interested in hearing what others have to say. It's a pretty incredible world we have, here, and one that's so hard to explain to those who don't blog. I've made some incredible friends through blogging, several of whom I've gotten to met and get to know in "real" life, and they've made my life so much richer. I'm so thankful for our community!

Katie said...

Thank you so much for this post. I'm relatively new to blogging (the last five months or so) and I really loved reading this post! What a wonderful attitude you have!

Viviana said...

Love, love this post! It's true that the friendships you build in the blogosphere are absolutely unique and so special.
Found you via Cornflake Dreams and am now following :)

Alexa said...

What a great round-up of what blogging truly means for many of us I think. I totally agree about the blogger friends part. Feel like I've "met" so many great people in the blogger world!

Carolyn said...

Such good tips! :) These are all really important things to remember when blogging. It's so easy to get caught up in being the "cool" kid... but blogging is so much more than that!! :)

Amanda said...

I can't put into words how much I love this post! It's amazing how easily I can relate to all of these tips and tidbits. I'm also loving the new name of the blog :)

Emma Frances said...

I love this! It is so perfect and concise and not at all focusing on the negative comments that all bloggers get!

Lost&Found said...

This is an amazing post! I agree with everything! I just stumbled across your blog and I love it already! Totally with you on #3 and #5! Blog friends are the best!


Kate @ Daffodils said...

Beautiful post, well said!

MarieHarmony said...

Very True, Joelle your post is really good. I could see myself at the different stage of my blogging journey. Thank you.
I think the most important I learnt is write from your heart, you won't please everybody but the most important is to be true to yourself.
And I also met many people from all over the world, people I would have not met if I had never set foot online. I also found many friends who are very dear to my heart.

Have a wonderful day!


Christina said...

Another great post. I agree with everything!

jillian m. said...

You make some great points here. I love the one about sincerity. Whether you're awkward, self-deprecating, hilarious, sarcastic...I like to see a personality shine through in posts. And I hope that mine shows too!

Btw, I'm tweeting this post! Love it so much :)

Betty said...

Great post! I think you've talked about so many important things for people to know about blogging. Since I've gotten over my fears and been more active in blogging I've really learned how amazing the interaction that occurs in blogging is! Thanks for reminding me why I blog!