If you love a blogger...
At the risk of sounding like an old lady wishing for the "good 'ole days", what I keep hearing over and over again is that a lot of us miss the circa 2008-2010 years of blogging. The years in the before. Before Instagram. Before Reward Style. Before the algorithm of social media messed everything up for us.
Before, regular people created blogs just to share some of our thoughts, writing, and photos with likeminded people. Before, we created content just for the love of creating content and connecting with others. Before, we were delighted if someone (anyone!) outside our immediate family and college roommates read what we put out there. Before, we didn't even know it was possible to do this for a living. Before, we didn't give one iota about maintaining a personal brand.
"Before, we didn't give one iota about maintaining a personal brand."
But you know what? I am encouraged. Look! You're still here! And so am I! I know there are a lot of other places online you could be right now, but you're with me despite the fact that my photos aren't professional quality and my content is what I like to call "whatever I feel like writing, whenever I have the time".
I have a theory as to why some of our favorite old school bloggers have thrown in the towel by now. As someone who languished in her own online space for a long season, I have to tell you: putting your stuff out there is a little like shouting to your friend who's on a crowded shoreline while you're on the deck of a massive and crowded cruise ship headed toward the sunset. A lot of days, it feels like we're tapping the mic and asking, "Is this thing on?"
So can I ask you to help turn this ship around? Can you join me in encouraging the creative people in our lives?
Ashlee (the captain of the Coffee + Crumbs ship) wrote a post on her personal blog called How To Support The Writers + Artists You Love. It's worth the read, but basically she says that you can do the following to show appreciation to those of us who are still here. Ashlee's thoughts and reasons are on her blog, but mine are below:
- If they write something that resonates with you, leave a comment.
This goes for blog posts, podcast show notes, and heartfelt Instagram captions. Yes, it takes time to leave a comment, but it's the equivalent to going to your friend's play and staying for the curtain call and clapping at the end. It's a way for you to say, "I was here! I appreciate your work!"
- Share the link or tag someone else who would appreciate the post.
I could go on and on about how evil the FB and IG algorithm is, but suffice to say, sharing the link with others is super helpful. For us, it's like when a new restaurant starts getting good Yelp reviews. It moves you up in the searching rankings, so other Yelpers start coming to the restaurant.
- Send them an e-mail.
This is one of my favorite things, ever. Reader and listener emails make my heart sing. I know your time is precious, so if anyone takes the time to write me an email, I'm smitten. My inbox is mostly pitches and sale alerts. A kind email from a person is like getting snail mail in a mailbox usually stuffed with coupons and bills. Such a welcome and rare delight!
- Leave them a glowing review.
This helps establish legitimacy which in turn helps other people find their work and take the next step to visit their webpage. Let us be a people who take the time to leave nice reviews instead of only taking the time to write when we don't like something.
I know the last thing you want is more email, but if your blogger buddy or podcast host has an email list, get on it. It's one of the few ways she can talk directly to an audience who has opted IN for her content. When you invite me into your inbox, I know we're next level. It's like when a neighborhood friend, who I see around often, invites me in to her house for the first time.
- Tell your friends.
I found Coffee + Crumbs though my friend Katie... and became a fan. And now we both work for them. Her simple, "Hey, look at this Instagram account!" while we were on a walk one day opened up a whole new world to me. Word of mouth is still so important!
- Buy their things or their sponsor's things. Click those links.
If a brand has chosen to sponsor an episode or one of my blog posts, it's because they want to connect with the women that I've connected with and I said yes because I thought you'd like them. They've underwritten my content which means that I can contribute to my family's bottom line by doing something I love. When you take the time to click a link, you're showing the brand that they chose the right gal to pair up with... and maybe they'll do it again!
- Go on a liking spree!
It takes no time to double tap on IG or to click the thumbs up or smiley on FB. It's not like we have a limited number of likes. Be generous. These are easy warm fuzzies and they're free!
- If you're reading the work or listening to the work of a friend you know IRL, tell her!
It means so much to me when my friends let me know they've heard my latest podcast or when they refer to something I've written on my blog or on IG. I love being able to talk with my friends about some of the things I didn't get to write or say online.
- Support them on Patreon.
I used to happily pay for good magazines, but now instead I happily support several of my favorite podcasts and blogs on Patreon. Trust me: every dollar makes a big difference. As someone who works for a Patreon backed blog and podcast, I am (along with our producer and editor) largely paid through reader and listener support. You're not just giving dollars, you're supporting our mission when you back us. And I'm super proud to be a part of a team doing big, big work in the world: