I think one of the more difficult parts of being a blogger isn’t really the job itself but is in finding people who can understand your daily life. I am a part of many Facebook groups where I can network with other bloggers and we help to promote each other. I’ve failed to make any true friendships through them though. Occasionally a blogger has emailed me or send me a private message on Facebook. The reason those didn’t turn into friendships is primarily that I’ve only ever really heard from bloggers who are after something specific. Most of the time when I’ve had a blogger email me, they are asking me if I’ll share information for how I grew to partner with a certain brand. Some just outright ask if I’ll share the email address of a PR rep for a certain brand. I am not a fan of “gate-keeping”. I don’t think that keeping another blogger down will help me out in any meaningful way. I’m happy to share my experience and advice in a general way with anyone who is trying to get started blogging. It’s just being asked to share brand information that feels like a step too far, particularly when I have never talked to the person before. In many cases, brand reps do not want their email addresses widely available so they would not appreciate me sharing. It also seems to imply that the ‘secret’ to getting to work with a brand is always just having access to the right email address, when in reality that is not the case most of the time. I just find it off-putting to have a stranger reach out asking me to share an email address with them. I typically do not respond.
So, I really just have one friend who is a blogger, we met on a media tour for bloggers several years ago. She isn’t a full time blogger though, it is more of a hobby for her. I adore her friendship, but she doesn’t spend hours a day doing blogging-related things like I do. I often wish that I had a blogging friend who was roughly where I am at with blogging, who wanted to just be my friend instead of only reach out to me for favors. Seems how I made my one blogging friend at an in-person event, I was hopeful that going to a blogging conference would result in some new friends. I met a handful of women at the blogpaws conference in 2016 who I talked to quite a bit over the course of a couple of days. I emailed them when I got home, explaining how I was happy to have met them and would like to keep in touch via email, and asking a few questions in hopes of sparking conversation. Most of them never responded at all. One did respond, but essentially just said she was happy to have met me too, so the conversation died off.
I’ve thought about trying to reach out to others but just haven’t found the guts, I suppose. My excuses for that are not really knowing who to try to reach out to, not knowing what to start a conversation about at first, and worrying that they’ll assume I am out to get a favor. Though I know the only way to make a connection is to reach out so I guess I should try.
I’m thankful that Ryan is always open to hear me talk about my work. I can vent to him at least, and I share tidbits with friends or family members sometimes too. I just think it would be really nice to have someone who could personally relate and share their experiences, ideas, goals, projects and so on, with me and vise versa.