This session was captured by Jennifer Swafford of ItSuxToBeFat, a weight loss blog, featuring two sisters trying to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. Follow ItSuxToBeFat on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
To start the session, everyone (speakers and all attendees) introduced themselves and talked about what they do, what was important to them and their struggles.
People talked about daily struggles and life struggles and trying to blog in the midst of it all. The main theme of everyone sharing is how to find the time to do it all with a life to live.
We all agreed that we could really use an assistant.
They began discussing struggles and if the readers know we as bloggers are struggling.
One of the attendees said she does not go into detail about her marriage or her children. She is very cautious (Because her mom reads her blog) as to what she shares about her family – in detail. If it is not “out there” in detail already, she is cautious. As far as her life, she will put it all out there.
Madeline talked about her husband being in the military and the security issue about being married to someone in the military with sharing. She talked about the fine line we must walk between being transparent and still remaining somewhat private.
Another attendee stated that she never states where she lives or puts her son’s face/real name on her blog. She struggles with whether or not to put out there when she is having a hard time and struggling because she doesn’t want to be considered “whining.”
Readers can tell when something is going on in your life and they appreciate your honesty and that is when you will get the most comments and likes. Readers like to see someone sharing what everyone is thinking.
The days when you are most nervous to hit the “publish” button is the day when you have the best post and the readers connect with you. It is a vulnerability that we are not comfortable with but others can relate to.
We discussed the issue of readers thinking some bloggers are “super mom” and “doing it all.” In reality, the blogger is feeling like they are losing their mind!
The advice was given that even if you don’t want to publish your struggles, put them in the draft. One day, you might feel like hitting “Publish.”
Sometimes the best thing to do is be up front and honest with your readers and tell them up front, in the beginning of the post, that this was a hard post to write.
Be real and tell the issues as parents that you deal with so that readers can connect and know that we are “normal.”
We have a big responsibility because our readers look up to us. We have huge pressure to fill the mold of what platform our blog stands on. We feel the need to fit this mold and not go outside the “square” that we are supposed to be in. However, it is important to be truthful and honest and write about, say, buffalo wings and beer(on a weight loss blog).
Sometimes, as bloggers, we really are just living a normal life and we have to make ourselves do something fun so we have good stuff to talk about.
The group then went into a discussion about Instagramming unhealthy foods and constantly being on their phones. Then, we talked about “fake instagramming” where people will take pictures of food on a plate and then not eat what they are saying they are eating. They are not being honest and transparent to our readers. Just don’t talk about it. Live your truth.
People are using your blog as a guide. For some of us, it is not about the sponsorships or the monetization. We have real jobs and our blogs are extra. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that the blog is “extra.” Stop pressuring ourselves to blog everyday. Set up a schedule of realistic days that you can blog. The readers will appreciate the consistency of the days every week.
We are all guilty of “throwing up a post” to get something up there. Then, we realize that those do not really help anyone.
Presley said that she posts everyday but Saturday and it is not always good content. Then, her husband asked her, “WHY?” Why is she so worried about the comments and such? WHY?
Do you feel pressure to align yourself with a certain sponsor or brand? Someone said that she was offered an opportunity to buy cheese hot dogs and give them to her kids and get paid. She turned down the offer because it is not real and authentic to her.
An attendee posted a post about a month ago that got very popular. Now, she is struggling with having a whole bunch of followers that don’t know her. She is struggling with this brand new audience. She is struggling with maintaining who she is and who she has been for the past few years.
Advice was given to possibly put a disclaimer on your posts that says what you are really about (the posts that get the most traffic). They suggested talking to Katie that knows everything about monetizing but being transparent.
Be careful aligning yourself with companies that you do not fully support.
The suggestion was made to create a secret Facebook group that is a mommy group or a blogger group where you can get support and a lack of judgment. Find your “people.”
The group discussion ended with everyone agreeing that it is nice to talk about our struggles and know we are not alone!