I have spoken to a lot of bloggers over the past couple of years and a lot of critics. There are SO many generalisations out there and I want to SMASH the shizzle out of some of them.
1 – Bloggers are self-absorbed.
Yes – they are self-absorbed. The great bloggers out there are self-absorbed in sharing their passion. How amazing to be so passionate about a subject that you spend time creating free content for people to enjoy?! Granted there are thousands of blogs out there, some great and some not so (also all down to personal preference). In my opinion the best blogs are the ones that have passion written all over them.
In 2007 I got the word passion inked on my arm in Thai. To cut a long story short, passion will always be my favourite word because without it life would be extremely dull. Stay true to your passions and never let anyone drag you away from them.
2 – Bloggers need to get a “real job”.
It may always be a passion you share or it may turn into a career like it does for many. It did for me. I turned a passion (something I would do for free) into something that allows me to use my skills and experience AND earn money on my terms and around two young kids. I get to work with some amazing brands and I have already met some wonderful people.
I have talked people into starting up their own blogs who now have incredible careers out of it (this isn’t just blogging either). People have quit jobs they felt lukewarm about and used the exposure from their blog to do something that gives them purpose. Something they truly love. Because, the best blogs have a very powerful story behind them. A story which is part of them.
My story for starting Mummy Jojo was intitally because I was afraid I would be hit by a bus when my little girl was a baby. I suffered from parent anxiety. I wanted her to always have a part of me. Somewhere she could find my heart and soul if I wasn’t around. Then I lost someone I loved. He didn’t die but for a while he wasn’t with us. My passion for mental wellness all stemmed from my story you can read here.
3 – Bloggers are a bunch of geeks.
AMEN! This is an amazing thing. Be a geek in your subject of choice and it will open so many doors. It will truly accelerate the content you put out there on your blog. The more passion, the more geek. Live and breath your topic. Embrace it because to quote Roald Dahl – lukewarm is no good.
4 – Bloggers are lazy.
Often bloggers who do it as a career work around the clock. Personally, being a part of Generation Y, I get that older generations don’t understand the power of social media or content creation. They think that millennials spend too much time on their phone. They think we are lazy. The truth is that millennials are insanely hardworking. The truth is that with hard work from a phone and laptop, millennials are using their skills and creativity to do incredible things. Let’s stop shaming people who have the option to work anywhere in the world from their phones.
I used to watch LOADS MORE TV. I have missed Love Island that everyone is RAVING about because when the kids go to bed I am often too busy creating content, reading or “working from my phone” and hashtagging the hell out of life. But I love it so that is ok.
5 – Bloggers are pretentious.
I think there is a fine line between passion and pretense. If you have a passion for fashion, food, wine, fitness, coffee, wellness, economics, interiors, makeup…. whatever it is – embrace it. Personally, the bloggers I have met are passionate as hell about the topics they choose to put out there. Now that inspires me so much.
6 – Instagram is pretentious.
Instagram is the social media platorm that mostly looks pretty. Call it pretentious or call it art. Call it creativity. Call it a place where brands go to find bloggers. For a lot of bloggers, regular insta stories and nice images are essential if you want to be open to new and exciting projects. That might involve people, or even friends who just don’t get it giving you a hard time.
7 – Selfies are shallow.
There is a great deal of criticism of selfie culture and an implicit assumption that it makes us shallow or, as the press reported this week, even psychotic. My take on it is that it is all about balance. Even the most caring, wonderful people I know LOVE a selfie or 10 on a night out when they are feeling their best. It is not my place to judge. But at the same time, during social occassions the phone needs to be put away out of sight too because they are highly addictive. Especially for bloggers who post daily across the social channels. I do struggle with the balance at times.
A few weeks ago a girl I was on a night out with said to me “You are such a good listener, that is a lovely quality because not many entrepreneur types I meet are”. That compliment really stuck with me and meant so much. I love a deep conversation (even more than I love a selfie).
What I love most about blogging is that words stick with us. My passion is to use words to help people to feel better. That is what drives me. Because, as I recently wrote, we never forget how people make us feel. Some people say nasty things to us, they hurt us and create negative emotions. Some say things that build us up and make us feel great. There are enough critics in the world. We need a lot more positive chat. Let’s look for the good in people, rather than trying to find the dirt.
8 – Bloggers are wankers.
I was at the Edinburgh blogging conference recently and someone commented:
“I love this conference because it’s full of nice bloggers, not those w8anker ones”.
This made me laugh. There are good people and bad people and that is all down to perception. My perception is that if you have respect for people, talk to people nicely and are not harming anyone with your actions or words – then you are pretty damn special.
If you are a blogger geek that is passionate about something then amazing! If you don’t blog and are passionate about something – also amazing. I love a geek that is full of passion. Keep at it and keep following your passion because lukewarn sucks.