Like any other creative industry whereby you “put yourself out there” in some way; be that through art or music or acting, blogging gives you a platform to express yourself, network and… be judged. If you’re giving a part of yourself to the online world, there are hundreds of thousands of other people all doing the same thing, all looking to each other for guidance or inspiration and there are some who look at others and will judge. I’ve done it. You’ve probably done it, too. It’s bad to judge but some of the things I’ve seen bloggers be “judgy” about, I don’t find intrinsically bad, at all. And those are the points I want to talk about today.
I mean, we could be here all soddin’ day debating the things us bloggers get judged over: the quality of our photography, how many typos in our posts (there are loads in mine and guess what? I don’t really care), what brands we work with, our writing style, the list is endless and if we spent all day worrying about all those little things, we’d never write any posts ever again. To be a blogger, you have to learn to channel those negative points out of the forefront of your mind and forget that yeah, actually, there probably are a shit ton of bloggers on Twitter judging me right now but you know what? It doesn’t matter.
But there are certain things I see cropping up again and again. Now, I’m not pretending I’m a highly established blogger who has been around the block for years and years; a mere 4 years is no time at all really and I’m not sure whether these things have always been looked down upon and I’ve simply missed it because I wasn’t “involved” enough or whether they literally have got worse over the years but let’s take a minute to talk about some of them and why they’re not bad and we shouldn’t be judged for them.
Blogging as a competition
Blogging is a creative industry. Whether you blog for fun or for money you are a part of this massive, extensive industry where topics will overlap and bloggers will look at each other’s successes and want to improve themselves because we mostly all want a lot of views, the best collaborations and the recognition from our peers. Healthy competition isn’t a bad thing and I will never see it as a bad thing. You can let the competition make or break you and there is nothing wrong with healthy competition. You can use it and utilize it to strive to be better yourself; that’s what I do.
Comment threads / pods
I’ve recently started taking part in comment threads on Twitter (just for those who might not know, a comment thread is where a blogger will post a set of “rules”, such as 1. Retweet this tweet, 2. Leave a reply to your latest blog post, 3. Comment on a least 2 other people’s posts from the thread etc. etc – you get my drift. A comment pod is kinda the same but you get put with other bloggers to comment on each others posts – Google it) and it’s a great way to find other bloggers, who you may not have ever found before, read different types of blog posts and potentially share yours to a bigger audience and gain a couple of comments whilst you’re at it. I’ve seen many people comment that this is “fake interaction” for people who are “desperate for views and comments” and okay, fair enough well don’t take part then but really it’s just a nice easy way to integrate into the blogging community and interact with others.
Caring about stats
Now this one… Oh boy, this one grinds my gears more than anything else mentioned here. Everyone blogs for a different reason; at the beginning, I blogged for me and now, I don’t and I thrive on comments and interaction on my blog posts. Sometimes the comments are better than the actual post itself! I have worked incredibly hard on my blog and seeing those numbers rise just validates that my blog is constantly improving. The more I see the numbers rise, the more motivated and inspired I am to work hard and create good content that people want to read. There is nothing wrong with caring about your stats; followers, likes, comments and page views. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to see your hard work paying off. There’s also nothing wrong with not caring about your stats and I have never seen any one judge someone else for not caring. So why is it so different the other way around?
Making money from blogging
If you simply use your blog as an online “diary” and find any views, comments or follows as a “bonus” and aren’t bothered about anything else then COOL. Some people blog as their full or part time job; are constantly networking, collaborating with brands and marketing. And there’s all kinds of people in between those two and guess what? Not a single one of them and not a single reason for blogging is wrong (except maybe you just want free stuff and don’t bother actually reviewing any of it in which case, you’re a tw*t) and making money from your blog, striving to make more money from your blog and wanting to make money from your blog certainly isn’t wrong. There’s ways to go about it, of course and it won’t happen overnight or within the first 10 minutes of creating your blog but do your research, work hard, create a good “base” then go from there.
Jealousy in blogging
Jealousy in every aspect of life is deemed a bad thing; and sometimes it truly can be. In blogging, it can also be a bad thing, I don’t dispute that. But it can also be healthy and motiving. But we don’t often see people talk about that, do we? I get hella jealous of bloggers when they get an amazing opportunity or hit a huge follower milestone or get tons of interaction on a blog post whereas mine that day hasn’t done particularly well. I do get jealous. But what the heck is wrong with that? I don’t use that jealousy to be bitter and slag people off, post nasty indirect tweets or wish misfortune on that particular blogger with my voodoo doll. I look at what they are doing and analyse what I am doing and how I can change positively or adapt to make myself and my blog better.