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
As a "new" blogger myself, I am in awe of all the support and inspiration you give to the blogging community. Thank you for everything. Keep being your beautiful self!ReplyDelete
One of my fave articles Joelle!! So true! Keep it up girl! Xo, ChristineReplyDelete
Thank you for that inspired post keep doing what you are doing. You are doing amazing job.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing this post Joëlle! I agree, as a newer blogger myself it can be tough sometimes and you wonder how you will ever get a break and build your brand up. But its really wonderful to hear a well established, successful blogger such as yourself say things like this. The blogging community can be such a wonderful thing if we all lift each other up and support one another. Power in numbers! xoxoxReplyDelete
Omg I can't believe that story about the two girls laughing about new bloggers. Even though I've been blogging for a little while now i still feel new in a lot of ways. Hopefully people will learn to leave the mean girl attitude back in high school. New blood in any industry can only be a good thing and I agree pushes people to look at things differently and evolve as a whole. Such a great post xoxoReplyDelete
Loved this post, Joëlle! As a newer influencer this highly resonates with me - I used to be sooo starstruck to see my favourite bloggers at events but when I went to talk to them, they would stare blankly at me even though we like each other's photos and comment on each other's insta-stories all the time. That was really disappointing because after attending a few more events, I realised that many people are not who they appear to be online.ReplyDelete
I can definitely vouch that you stand behind your words in this post because out of all of the OG bloggers I've met at events, you and Jon @mr.cavaliere were one of few that have been super nice to me and remembered me from previous events (that's a big deal because you have no idea how many times people have introduced themselves to me after I've met them & had drinks with them 5-6 times before). Definitely appreciate it and thought you should know that!
Thank you for this lovely article Joelle! Made my Friday :) We're stronger together.ReplyDelete
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Love, love, loved this post, Joelle! I think you totally hit the nail on the head! I remember chatting about this at Sorry with you, and I'm just so perplexed at the Mean Girls attitude that some people have. I'm all for inclusion and unity. We need to be nicer to each other and welcome everyone into the community we have :)ReplyDelete
Thanks for writing this! It's strange to think that even the OG bloggers started somewhere and that they likely felt the same way that new bloggers now are feeling (like me) but it's sad to think that they've forgot about that.ReplyDelete
You are such a lovely lady both inside and out. I cannot believe I just discovered you -I'm an OG 'mommy blogger' (I guess, if I fit any category, I started blogging back in 2006 just as monetizing was starting in that community but didn't launch into that as some of my blog pals were). Now I've started experimenting with an Instagram account to see where it might go, for fun , and thinking about a companion blog to go with it. Who knows where it will go. I love how you've made this a career and are so open with your journey. What a success you are, your journey is so inspiring.So I will now follow/stalk you on social mediabut promise I'm not a creeper. I'm Karen at @ontheksideReplyDelete
this is so beautifully written! I absolutely love your blog and look up to you SO much! Also, loving the personal posts!!ReplyDelete
Oh my gosh! I cannot believe that experience you had with the other bloggers. It's ridiculous how catty girls can be!ReplyDelete
I think this is a great idea for a post. The blogger community should be more welcoming!
YESSSSS! I am so glad that you did end up writing about this topic! I remember when I first started as well in this community. My first event was actually at Maman and I was so nervous because I hadn't really met up with very many bloggers by that point. However when I got there, Isabelle was the first person to recognize me because we had been commenting on each other's account for a little bit. She was the very first person to fully embrace me at an event and I have always been thankful for that. I think a lot of established bloggers are simply a bit weary of new competition. No one really loves change and no one likes the feeling of an expanded market where more and more people could score the contracts and partnerships that might have gone to you otherwise. However, I think that they just need to stop thinking of it as a competition and see it as it truly is: a big loving community. I have been so blessed to find some of my dearest friends thanks to Instagram (you included) and if everyone would simply be more open minded about it, then they truly would see that new bloggers simply help to freshen the blogger pool and to liven it up.ReplyDelete
Very honest post, as always, and I love that you share your experiences so that us new bloggers feel that what we're going through is normal. You have always been supportive and you are the first blogger I met in real life after following you:) Love your blog and IG!ReplyDelete
Really interesting read, I had the unfortunate situation in spring of this year when I attended an event at B GOOD near the St Lawrence and a blogger I admired, who had previously posted advice about just walking up to people at events and introducing yourself, completely shunned me when I attempted to say hello. She was at the event only briefly, and didn't interact with anyone other than the other person she recognized from her clique. It left me disappointed, and I felt like all her advice had been false. She was not the kind sweet genuine person she lead others to believe.ReplyDelete
As a new blogger in this city, reading posts like this just solidifies the reason we moved to Toronto. I have found the creative community to be so welcoming and open, and clearly we have people like you to thank for this warmness. Thank you for sharing your own story and for showing all of us how much more lovely the blogosphere can be when we are all a little kinder.ReplyDelete
Thank you for saying this! I've been around the blogging scene for a long one time now, but only got serious about it a year or so now and can totally relate to what you said at the start of your post! It's hard sometimes, I have a group of great blogger friends from my area but sometimes there is no one I know at events and it can be kind of intimidating!ReplyDelete