Dear Social Media Land,
May I interrupt the political rants, photos of feet positioned in front of a pool, and adorable animal videos, to share from the heart on behalf of your blogger friends?
“Blogger friends?” you say. “What are those?”
Well, I know this might come as surprise, but you probably have at least one blogger friend in your life. If you haven’t noticed them yet, it’s probably because they are currently buried behind a wall of self doubt, a regular job to support their real passion, and Cheetos (to ease the pain of the aforementioned self doubt). Or perhaps their posts get lost in the sea of political rants, feet-next-to-pool photos, and adorable animal videos. So, no worries there.
But I wanted to bring your blogger friend’s existence to your attention.
And yes, this is partly self serving because I’m one of them. I am but a lowly blogger. I have been blogging for nearly two years now, and I have many blogger friends. (I feel a little like The Lorax right now. “I speak for the trees!”)
Bloggers are passionate about writing, and, consistent with the history of the writing profession, only a small percentage of writers actually make a decent living from their writing.
The rest of us bloggers/writers are gluttons for punishment—working another job or two in order to do what we love…writing in the wee hours of the night or early in the morning to not take away from time with family.
We don’t want you to feel sorry for us though. Even if we were living in a cave with nothing more than stone walls to etch words into, we’d still write.
We can’t help it. It is an inextricable passion.
We see you helping out your friends who are selling vitamins, or essential oils, or those crazy wraps that make you skinnier in just a couple of hours, or the cool nail sticker things you can do at home, or that stuff to make your eyelashes thicker than Bambi’s.
And we see you supporting your other entrepreneur friends, and we love that! Really we do. We just wanted you to know that we’re entrepreneurs too.
We just wanted you to know that we’re entrepreneurs too.
Whether or not your blogger friend wants to be vulnerable and bear his or her soul to you, I’ll tell you it’s very likely that it’s his or her dream to make a living off writing full time. The service bloggers offer is in the form of tips, how-to’s, research, inspiration, and beauty with our words. Sometimes we articulate something you might have been thinking, feeling, or struggling to express. Sometimes we might expose an injustice and bring awareness to a great need. We write because we truly think our words might help someone.
We write because we truly think our words might help someone.
Sometimes we build bridges or understanding with our writing. (Or sometimes we suck. I don’t know, maybe I suck… BUT, we might not suck tomorrow. Our writing might get better and better if our friends and family are there to encourage us to keep learning and trying. Because it’s what we love.)
The cool thing is that we’re not asking you for money.
In fact, most of us are too timid to ask you to do anything at all. We’ve spent our own money on writing classes, and hosting fees and the URL cost for our website, logo design, photos, and more. We spend our free time trying to be seen, drive traffic to, and monetize our blog—despite Facebook’s complicated algorithm and despite a crowded world of other bloggers who seem to do it so much better than we do. (There’s that self doubt again.)
So with all this in mind, here are THREE THINGS that most of your blogger friends are too shy to ask you:
1. Your blogger friend would LOVE it if you would read their stuff.
Take a few minutes to read his or her stuff once in a while. Not all the time. Just like, every fourth or fifth blog post maybe. Click on the link. Set a timer on your phone for five minutes if you must, and just read as your poor little blogger friend pours out his or her heart about something he or she is passionate about it. You might not agree or be interested 100%, but you’re giving the gift of your time and support and that is HUGE. Also, you’ll learn a little about your friend in the process.
2. Like and comment on their blog post, or their social media post about their blog post.
Writing is a lonely profession. Sometimes writers put something out into the Internet, and we’re not sure anyone cares. We’re not sure we’ve helped anyone. Or we’re not sure we’re on the right track. We’ve put our heart out there, and to ask you to hit the “like” button would make us feel like we’re selling our wares on the street of Agrabah. So we don’t. But when you like or comment on one of our blog posts, it is such an encouragement to us. We think, “Yay! Someone heard me! Someone liked it! Someone understands! I helped someone today!” And somehow in that tricky Facebook algorithm thing I mentioned before, when you like and comment on our stuff, it helps our writing show up in your friend’s news feed, and helps spread the word for us. For free! (‘Cause remember, we poor…’cause we writers. So, free advertising is GREAT!)
3. Share it.
You know what is like the Christmas present of all Christmas presents for your blogger friend? When you share their stuff. You like and share stuff from people you don’t know, all the time, am I right? And when you do, you’re putting money in strangers’ pockets, because—believe it or not—that website that posts funny cat videos or sports bloopers or celebrity gossip is making a killing off advertising or affiliate marketing. So how’s about you help to put some money* in your blogger friend’s pocket by sharing their stuff once in a while?
Anyway, I hope that was educational, helpful, or inspirational in some way. And if you enjoyed it, please throw this self-doubting-orange-Cheetos-fingers writer/blogger a bone by liking, commenting, or sharing this post.
*It should be noted that some writers never make a dime on their writing. I have not in two years, haha! Many writers do it purely for the love of the art of writing. And they want to share that art with you.