I've been bothered lately (though that's nothing new). I struggled trying to put this into words, but here it is.
I've been blogging for about two and a half years now. In that time, I've learned a lot. My blog has changed multiple times, as I personally grew as a human being. Blogging is an immensely personal experience, regardless of what you blog about. It takes a lot of creative courage to put yourself out there like that, and there truly is no right way to do it.
That being said, has anybody else been bothered by the influx of blogging experts these days? Maybe it's just because of what my own personal concept of what blogging is (though I don't necessarily think it should be anything). In my life, blogging isn't something in and of itself; it's more of a venue for self expression, a way to communicate your life, or thoughts or talents to the world. I don't blog just to blog. I blog to share my life, and to hold myself accountable for my own personal and professional goals and values.
Now, I am in no way saying that those who curate content aren't legit. In my mind, anybody (and I truly mean anybody) can and should create their own safe space to share whatever it is that they love or that motivates and inspires them. I've been known to use content that isn't my own, but curate it in a way that is original to me.
I guess what I'm trying to say is...there is no one perfect way to blog. It's too personal for that! That doesn't mean I need to read every blog out there. I still have my own preferences on what I want to dedicate my time to, and I want to find other bloggers and people who I'm compatible with, even if that means the content doesn't match with what I personally blog about.
I think that's why the concept of a blogging expert bothers me so much. Don't get me wrong; I've spent plenty of time and money consulting with other people on how to grow my own blog, but in my experience, I've grown exponentially more when I am vulnerable to my own vision and reality.
There's a difference between soliciting design advice, or how to grow your sponsorship program on your blog. But those are very neutral topics. Someone who is a fashion blogger, in my mind, doesn't necessarily have the (legitimate) expertise to help you figure out your voice on your lifestyle blog...because it's your voice!
Maybe consulting with someone in the same niche as you may be beneficial, but I would just warn you to be wary of all of these experts out there. If you are just starting out, know that trial and error is just part of the process of creating an amazing blog! There is no formula. Putting your URL in the Facebook status of some big blogger so they can critique you (because they offered) says more about them than it does about you. They may be able to tell you that your blog design sucks, but unless they know you as a person and as a blogger, they aren't going to give you the personalized feedback that you may be looking for.
So stick with it. Read other blogs of all niches for inspiration, not necessarily advice. Engage with your readers, and ask what they want from you. That's what should matter to you. Don't listen to mean online forums. And know that your experience is your own. Don't let someone else create that for you.