06 September 2014

Good blogging is all about love.


I've been hearing a few murmurs of worry amongst the new bloggers. 'Am I doing this right?' 'I don't want to compete, I just want to write for the love of it.' 'When will I be recognised?' 'I feel like I don't fit in.' 'I just can't get the engagement that others have.' A lot of this has stemmed since Problogger, and I think that understandable because there were so many passionate bloggers talking about it all at once, and there were so many messages of how to grow your blog, how to make money and how blogging has moved from solely writing to being on all the social media platforms. (I've encouraged bloggers to write for the love of it, and not to feel pressured by what others are doing. Bloggers blog for man reasons - to make money, to share knowledge. to write and to connect. Blogging can be anything you want it to be.)

The reality of bloggers feeling anxious because they don't feel like they fit in, or a part of a community, or even feeling like they're overlooked (for competitions, brand sponsorships or even just readership) makes meet sad. Because I've felt that way too - in blogging and in other aspects of my life. I wrote this on my Facebook page and wanted to share it here.

(I know I've had a high concentration of blogging posts lately, but I'm just so inspired by Problogger. I will space them out soon.)

Being a blogger is so rewarding. There is readership, friendship, the practice of writing, and some perks. As bloggers, we put our heart and soul into our work - writing, photographing, sharing and connecting. Putting yourself out there is brave and scary and should be noted. For many it costs money to blog - website design and hosting, education courses, travel and tools. These reasons make it hard. It's bloody tough. If can be isolating, competitive, cliquey, costly, overwhelming, pressured, hurtful, tiring and downright dead-ending. And it's constantly changing. I met a ghost blogger last week, who adopts different personas for blogs. What even is this?! I thought!

Sometimes bloggers just don't feel like they're a part of a community. They give and give with little reward - both in terms of community and remuneration. One of my favourite bloggers, Little Wolff, has decided to say goodby to blogging. She feels burnt out. This post made me cry.

I discovered her blog one night last year and devoured it - reading years of archives and commenting on almost each post I read. I love her writing, her view point and her creativity. Her photos are amazing. We've become online friends and I am so thankful for the advice she's given me recently.

While many bloggers (including me) are writing for the love of it, sometimes there is frustration and anxiety about a low readership, about missed opportunities and about not fitting in. I've felt this way.

Good blogging is about the love, as The Everywhereist says. And that love goes both ways as bloggers.

I urge you as bloggers and blog readers to tell your favourite bloggers what they mean to you, and to share your favourite blogs so they have a wider reach. It's easy to drop someone a quick email to tell them. I did this a couple of weeks ago; and the blogger said I made their whole month!!

Bloggers: include new bloggers in the community - if they write to you to tell you you're awesome, take the time to write back. Give them shout outs on your blogs. Recommend them to brands. If you guest blog, even if you're not a blogger, share that post with your online networks. (I admit to being pretty disappointed when someone who wrote a post for me - whose story I was so excited to share and put a lot of effort into doing so - didn't share their guest post on their highly subscribed network.)

And brands/publications: give these smaller bloggers a go. Look at engagement and passion, not just page visits. Take note of their commitment and skill. If they do well on their blog, chances are they'll do well for you. Blogging is more than a hobby now, it's an industry, and for many, it's their main income and creative outlet.

I'm always sad to see a blogger go - many cite giving up blogging is because of lack of time. But it makes me even sadder when it's because they don't feel part of a community.

Do you agree?

I challenge you to give a shoutout to the not so well known bloggers you love in the comments below. I will share each one on my Facebook soon. And let them know they're awesome by leaving them a comment. Let's bring back the community spirit.




  1. Awww really?! I love that blog and blogger and will have to pop over. Lovely post Carly. I have felt the sting of many of these worries as a blogger too. It is a very lonely thing to do and I try to remember why I blog with every item I publish to stay focussed. So sad to hear this news and I agree that there's a bit of a culture of snobbery about too which is a shame.

  2. A great post Carly! I nearly gave up my blog earlier this year. I didn't write anything for 4 months, so I have definitely been to the point of wanting to give it all away. I would love the opportunity to give a shout out to my three fave smaller blogs which are MumsTake Five, Sheridan Anne and Nanny Shecando... we are part of a little blogging group together and share a lot of bloggy love so thank you Carly for the opportunity to do a shout out to all three! :-)

  3. Awesome post Carly! It makes me sad too that bloggers stop blogging because they don't feel part of the community. The whole reason I blog is because I love having somewhere online that is mine, a collection of my stories and the things I love, and a place to meet new people. I've made some really good friends through blogging, and it's this that keeps me coming back to it (I've had a few small breaks over the years). I'm a big believer in supporting new bloggers and like to get around and show my support when I find a new one. I've started participating in Blog Society's #blogtribe Tuesday, giving a shout-out to a blogger on my Facebook and IG account. I've been thinking about also opening up a guest-blog spot on the blog once a month and you've inspired me to open it up to new bloggers, make it a virtual handshake and introduction to my little community of people.

    A few blogs is love to give a shout-out too... "Help!! I'm Stuck!", The Windmill Paddock, Mumma Tells, The Climbing Tree, Mrs. Organised, Redemption in Progress, to name just a few.

  4. Carly, I completely agree with you. Although problogger was great, I too was overwhelmed and questioning what I was doing (or should be doing) with my blog. I actually feel quite burnt out. There have been so many times when I have wanted to throw in the towel, I've compared myself to others and wonder if people actually like what I write because my traffic grows in tiny tiny amounts. I would like to give a shout out to Belinda at A Mums Dream and Sarah at Creating Contentment.

  5. I love this post. I'm reasonably new to blogging and think it is both an incredibly exciting and positively frightening experience. While generally I've found the blogging community to be lovely, I have come across enough negativity to make me somewhat reluctant to join in with the cool kids. This post is a wonderful reminder that there are some people out there that are more than happy to help and encourage us newbies.
    Thank you :D

  6. Heartily agree and nodded my head the whole way through your post. Hope Lila comes back, her videos were pretty awesome as are her content. I loved reading Lila as I truly felt she wasn't after scoring points, my type of blogger x

  7. I love that blog too! How sad! Sad when any blog ends!

  8. Great post.
    You sum up perfectly what I have been thinking lately too.
    I think part of why I loved Problogger so much this year was because I realised (well before the event) that for me, blogging is my release. I enjoy it. And I don't put pressure on myself to "succeed" in terms of anything except pleasing myself and my community. So I was able to take from the event the messages of love and ignore everything about SEO!

  9. I'm all for diversity. I think there is room for every kind of blogger. And that every setback or disappointment is just more writing fodder. I try to remember that not everyone will want to read my blog and that suits me fine. It's not compulsory reading. :-) Small but crucial, I feel connected to a world I don't get out in much anymore, thanks to my blog and social media. I am grateful for the platform.
    I'm also sad about Lila's departure. I respect her choice. Life has its seasons.
    Thanks Carly, for your loving kindness. What a beautiful post. Your friendship and generosity shines through. I'd like to shout out to my bloggy friends and supporters Sarah's Heart Writes, One Small Life and I Give You the Verbs. All lovely warm hearted bloggers who give a shit about other bloggers. That is worth celebrating!

  10. This is such a great post. Blogging for me is ALL about my love of telling a story. I've blogged for about seven years on various sites, but it's only this year I've got serious about focusing my efforts onto stories about places I've been. Whether those tales are read by 5 or 5,000 doesn't matter to me so much. I'm happy just to talk to myself!! The blogger who inspired me to take that first step and start a blog of my own all those years ago was the fabulous photographer/home stylist/teller of tales - Lea at http://house-n-baby.blogspot.com.au/ I'm giving her my shout out!

  11. Thank you for your wonderful post. I have recently (in July) re-entered the blogging world after an earlier blog started in 2007 petered out, and I am astonished at how the blogging world has changed. Back then there were few professional bloggers, Twitter etc didn't exist, and blogging was mostly about people telling their day-to-day stories.

    Now it feels like a scary new world where the blogs getting the most hits are those telling others how to earn money from their blogs. Blogging feels like more work and more effort and its one helluva lot harder to generate hits, at least for a new blog.

    I am passionate about my topic (kitchen gardening/food/sustainability) and hope that translates (eventually) to a passionate and engaged reader base. But we'll see. At the moment I feel shamefully aware of my meagre Facebook and Twitter numbers and would love to know how to 'get out there' but in a meaningful way.

    Kate (my blog is rosehipsandrhubarb.com)

  12. Thank you for this post Carly. I read most of your posts, but comment only sometimes. I found your blog years ago when I was the wholesale manager of tiger tree jewellery and you liked the new Facebook place that I set up for it. What a rewarding click through that was.
    Dani @ Sand Has No Home

  13. Very uplifting post Carly. I've been a blogger for a couple of years and still getting my head around what it can do for me. It gives me a creative release and the minute I start becoming anxious about why I haven't yet earned money from it, it stops giving me joy much like freelance writing which I go by one pitch at a time. Thank you for writing this. Blogging is definitely a journey and it takes time especially as there are so many of us right now. I'm giving a shoutout to schoolmums.net which I found recently.

  14. This is a fabulous post Carly. It is easy to overlook the smaller bloggers but I think they deserve as much encouragement as possible. I'd love to get a more engaged readership on my blog and perhaps attract more regular readers but I have to say that I do have some loyal readers who have stuck with me ever since I started. I first dipped my toe in blogging in 2008 but I gave in. I have been blogging fairly regularly since 2011. I currently have two blogs. They are called Wandering Sheila and An Italophile. But I want to give a shout out to my blogging supporter Janine who writes a blog called Destination Umbria, which I love. http://destinationumbria.wordpress.com/

  15. I have only just discovered Little Wolf and very quickly fell in love. I spent a long time going through her archives before finally following her via bloglovin (my favourite medium). I couldn't believe that the very first post from Lila in my feed was her goodbye. I am heartbroken that we never got a hello.

    This is a great post, yet, I think it is unneeded. Perhaps, though I've been lucky in my experience of blogging. It doesn't matter what you do or where you go, there will always be people that are not so inclusive. I've learnt that this is nothing to do with me, rather it is all about them. I understand though, how hurtful it can be. Last night I felt unloved so had a suicidal moment. I'm learning that it is not that I am unloved, but rather that those that love me find it difficult to convey it in a way that I understand. So, I understand the importance to keep telling those you love that you do love them. Over and over and over. Then do it again. We need to remember this both as writers and as readers in our blogging community. So, thank you Carly for this reminder.

    And! How cool is it that reading these comments!! There is MY name!! So so SO cool!! Thank you Eva. And thank you Carly for providing another platform to tell people that we love them. I love you Carly. xS

  16. Thank you for posting this. I find it a bit daunting to think that I am up against so many bloggers who have been around for such a long time, with thousands of pageviews and sponsorship. Today I got a message from a girl in high school who I hardly spoke to in twenty years, who has thanked me and said that what I wrote touched her. That is why I started and THAT is all that matters!

  17. I am so excited to have found your blog. This is very inspirational to myself and to other new bloggers. I learn something new everyday and am excited when a new follower comes along. I took a small break and am really trying to engage with other bloggers by helping to share giveaway opps, twitter parties and anything else I can do. I really try to utilize the blogs I read, I think that is why I never finished my own post in a timely manner. (I get easily distracted and want to follow them everywhere haha).
    Thank you so much for sharing.

  18. Great post Carly! One of my favourites- though not exactly new- is www.sandhasnohome.com Dani writes beautifully.http://lifeonwallace.com/ is also great as is http://eeniemeeniemineymum.com/ :)


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