Stepping into the world of blogging can be intimidating - I remember the experience myself all too well. It's one thing to announce to the world wide web that you're starting your own blog and sharing ideas; you feel shielded in the safety of how big the online world can be and comforted by the fact that you can remain relatively anonymous. It's a totally different situation when you start getting engaged in local blogging culture. All of a sudden you're face-to-face with an already-established community that you're required to insert yourself into, and your quiet little online sanctuary becomes your real-life link to this new world.
I still remember when I first started attending blogging events in Toronto. Back then the community was much smaller and, as a result, much more difficult to break into. My first few events were painful to say the least, as I may as well have been invisible. I started to bring friends with me, my mom even in some cases, and while that made things easier it was still hard to get a conversation going with other bloggers. Most girls were friendly enough when approached, but rarely initiated an interaction and almost everyone greeted me with a blank stare when I introduced myself - which was confusing, since we would like and comment on each others Instagram photos!
The worst situation happened at an event that I attended with another new blogger. We were so excited to be at a fancy hotel, at an event put on by a large brand! We approached a small group of three girls, one of which we both already knew, and started chatting excitedly with them. While the girl we knew was all to happy to sit and chat, I noticed that the other two girls remained silent. When there was a break in the conversation, one of the two silent girls turned to the other and said "isn't it nice that they're starting to let new people into these things?" The two girls started laughing, turned and walked away. My friend and I were left silent, stunned and embarrassed.
After that one experience, things started to get better. I started to meet more new bloggers and we became friends. Slowly more and more new people became interested in blogging and joining the industry - girls who were graphic designers, photographers or just naturally gifted in their own right. The quality of work that these new bloggers brought to the table was incredible, and slowly not only did the blogging community start to grow, but the bar for content began to raise. I'm always constantly in awe of what talent that comes from our community of bloggers, and am excited to see how this talent will shape and mould the industry in the coming years.
Now, after years of blogging, I find myself in the completely opposite position as someone who has been in the industry for years and is watching a whole new wave of new bloggers join our community. Rather than feel threatened, I embrace the change. I know that these new girls and guys will continue to raise the bar for quality, and push the industry to work harder. As creative people, we should welcome anything that challenges us to create and keeps us from becoming complacent.
So my point to this long, convoluted post is to be nice to new bloggers. Celebrate them and welcome them into the community that has welcomed us. Smile, be kind. I would never want to make someone feel like I did when I first started. We're stronger together.
|Dress - Lovers + Friends via Revolve c/o, Shoes - c/o Le Chateau|
|Jewelry from Mejuri|
What do you guys think? What was your experience when you started blogging? Do you like these more personal posts - I'm very curious to know!
Photos by Laura Clarke Photography