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Stop Judging Other Bloggers

Photo by Flickr user GenBug

I’ve noticed a very disturbing trend in the craft/DIY community that I’m not okay with. There seems to be a huge influx of bloggers judging other bloggers verbally, on social media and in blog posts. It seems everyone has an opinion not only about their own blog these days, but about everyone else’s. I’m hearing a lot of comments like the following:

  • “Truncated posts are bad. She is just trying to get more page views.”
  • “She runs too many giveaways. One giveaway a month is definitely the maximum.”
  • “Getting paid for blogging is wrong. I don’t get paid. See?”
  • “She did a sponsored post about a vacuum cleaner. I would never do that.”
Guess what I think? It’s time for it to stop, and immediately. It’s unhealthy, it’s not inspiring and it goes against the positive vibe that I’ve felt in our community for years (and want to continue to feel). I remember when I started blogging – how supportive every one was, and what a pleasant “place” it was. It’s definitely still that way, but I feel the negativity creeping in more and more frequently these days. Perhaps it’s because there are more bloggers and it feels crowded; perhaps it’s because we feel we have it figured out so we have to defend our own choices. Whatever the reason may be, I’m asking that we all get back to our roots and stop with the negative posts and social media criticisms. We should start today, and I will lead the cause.

Of course I don’t want to leave it at that; I think it’s important to tell you where my head is, point-by-point. Plus I love providing lists, if you haven’t noticed from my other articles. So here you go: why you shouldn’t judge other bloggers (including me).

You’re causing unnecessary drama. Let’s face it, when you get a lot of women together, there can be drama. I’m guilty of it myself. We form close bonds and tight relationships, but we can be catty and talk behind each other’s backs, too. I’m sure guys do it too, but I’m not a guy so I can only speak as a woman. We have enough drama in our personal lives; let’s keep it out of the blogging world. Plus, a lot of these bloggers you don’t even know in real life. Why are you causing drama with people you don’t really know?

It’s not productive. I’m not trying to sound like a jerk, but unless you are in my close blogging circle, I really don’t care what you think. I run my blog the best way I know how. I look to my readers first for their guidance on what I should be doing, since I owe it to them. Just because you don’t think I should truncate my feed doesn’t mean 1) that you are right or 2) that I’m not going to do it. If you want to be productive, write an article for a blogging site (like this one) and make it impersonal and as unbiased as possible so that people can make their own informed decisions. That is helpful. Otherwise you are wasting your own time.

You haven’t walked in my shoes. I’ve been blogging for four years and while it might not seem so, there is a method to my madness. I do things for specific reasons, and trust me when I say that I think things through as thoroughly as possible before I do something. This is my full-time business, and I treat it that way. Maybe I posted about dish soap and you would never do that, but that doesn’t mean my reasons for doing it are invalid. Until you’ve done a Freaky Friday and sat in front of my computer, you can never really know why I do what I do. Please assume the best from me, because I assure you – I’m doing my best. I’m not always going to make the right decisions, by the way. Let me learn from my own mistakes.

Everyone is still learning. Blogging hasn’t been a profession for that long. I feel like I have a pretty good mastery of it, yet I’m still learning new things every day. New blogs are coming online all the time and we are all at different stages. Maybe Sally hasn’t yet figured out that talking video ads aren’t well received. She might not have a blogging community. If her blog looks like a train wreck, you could always direct her to Crafterminds.com or invite her to be part of your blogging group. Be the solution! Oh, and it’s not always newbie bloggers either. Maybe you see a snafu on the part of a seasoned blogger, but remember, everyone is still learning. Even big bloggers make mistakes.

You might not have the same audiences. I’ve learned in the last year or so that I have a very different audience than a home decor blogger (for example). My readers don’t comment as much and they don’t enjoy complicated projects. Given that there are different blogging audiences out there,  you can assume that different blogging tactics work for those audiences. Sure, there might be some overlap, but let a blogger decide what is best for her audience. If she does too many sponsored posts or giveaways and her audience doesn’t like it, she’ll pay for it in page views. Let her readers decide what works for her and let your readers guide you.

Your readers aren’t bloggers. I’m confused as to why anyone would waste a blog post about blogging in general, much less criticizing what bloggers do. Do you know that most of your readers are not bloggers? And if you aren’t a blogger, it’s hard to understand what it’s like to be a blogger. So unless you are giving some sort of behind-the-scenes look just for fun or writing something educational and not been covered before, you are just wasting a blog entry. Several years ago there weren’t a lot of articles written about blogging; now there are tons in existence (and craft bloggers have written a lot of great ones). Why recreate the wheel? 90% or more of your readers (maybe more) completely missed the point because they don’t know what you are talking about. Not only that, but you are abusing your power and encouraging mob mentality. Your readers trust you and are loyal. It’s not fair to try to foist your opinion on others when they don’t understand the dynamics. I want my readers to make informed decisions, not just jump on board with me because they like my blog.  Let’s give our readers what they really want: inspiration!

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Are all bloggers good bloggers? Do all bloggers make good decisions? Absolutely not. Does that mean that you need to speak up, tweet it or write a blog post? Not necessarily. If you feel a blogger is doing something that is harmful to bloggers at large, send them a personal e-mail expressing your concerns and then let it go. Let’s share information with each other and be friendly about it when we do. Pick and choose your battles, and go by the saying “live and let live” as much as possible. Run your own race. You’ll be better for it, and so will our entire community.

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