I’m pretty much an introvert. If you throw me into a crowd, I’ll be the quiet one, trying not to get in anyone’s way. If I go to a party, I’m typically the one doing all the listening and none of the talking. Even at dinner parties and family gatherings, I’m not one to talk unless asked a question. Aside from playing sports, I’m not a group person that much. I’d rather read or hang out with my family than go to a party or an event.
However, blogging has started to change me in the past three years.
It has started to make me brave.
When I first started blogging and going to group events or blogger parties, I was scared to death. I didn’t know anyone, I had a minuscule blog compared to most who were going, I didn’t fit in with trendy clothes, the latest iPhones, notebooks, or DSLRS. Everyone seemed to know each other and were having the time of their life staging photos. But, now, I try to take a plus 1 (either another blogger friend, or my husband). I’m not afraid to stage photos, because, hey, everyone else is doing it. And, I’m able to converse in some light chitchat with other bloggers.
Asking For Products
I used to wonder how lucky the bigger bloggers were to get so many free products to review and giveaway. I didn’t feel worthy of any product review since I was such a small blogger, so whenever I had the chance, I was beyond grateful for the opportunity. Last year, Provo started doing a food truck round up. There were tons of new food trucks, and it was both hipster and blogger mecca. I decided to home make some business cards because I’ve heard stories of presenting yourself as a blogger with a business card and getting some free products/food in exchange for a review. Well, at each food truck that we purchased something at, I handed them a card and hoped for some free addition. That didn’t happen, but it took a lot of gut to present myself. I’ve also done that once or twice on etsy, but my mistake was doing it around the holidays. I had a few Etsy owners say they’d love for me to do a review, but didn’t have any extra product to handout for free, but instead offered me a discount. I’m going to be working on a media kit in the next few weeks and put myself out there again. Even though I’m still quite the tiny blogger, I feel it’s a matter of presentation and confidence to get product for reviews.
I used to hate getting pictures of myself. I don’t believe that I’m photogenic and I just always look and feel awkward…getting our engagement photos done was murder for both of us! Fashion bloggers are always outside posing like models in public places. I’ve wanted to do a few fashion posts, too. But, being outside in front of my housing complex, with a tripod (and now an infant in a stroller), taking pictures of myself while cars and people pass by, is still embarrassing, but not as much as it used to be. I used to pretend like I was fixing my camera whenever someone came near. Now, I just grin, bear it, and wave.
Bigger Bloggers and Collaborations/Hosting Events
Bigger bloggers used to intimidate me. I felt unworthy in their presence. I remember last year, two of my favorite bloggers were pregnant and due at the same time as me. All three of us were teachers as well. So, I gathered up courage to ask them if they wanted to do a collaboration of our decision of staying a working mom or SAHM. I was sure they’d reject the idea, but they were both really into it! After going to a Scentsy party for one of my bigger blogger friends, I was thrilled to death when she asked if I wanted to host one for her. I now have quite a few bigger blogger friends with babies or toddler or are pregnant, so I decided to organize a baby play date. They were all wanting to come, but as plans rolled out, only half were able to make it, but it made me feel so good that they wanted to come in the first place!
I love meeting other bloggers and getting tips and suggestions on how to improve my blogging. There are a lot of bigger bloggers with 1000s of followers, medium sized bloggers with 500+ followers, then there is me with 160-250ish on any given platform. I used to feel unworthy to add to the discussion–who would listen to someone who can’t seem to grow their blog big? However, I’ve been blogging for 6 years now am an avid blog reader and writer. I feel that I do know some know-how. On Saturday, I went to one of these. There were only four of us, and I knew all of them. Two were 1000+ followers, one with almost 1000. And me. But, I was able to explain how to use Latergramme on the laptop to them and something about Disquis. It made me feel so good. And the fact that they listened to me and made me feel just like them made me very confident.
Friendships and Confidence
Once I left Virginia after I graduated high school in 2008, something changed in me and it was harder to make and develop deep friendships. But, blogging has helped me through that. Yes, many of my friends are “online friends” who I probably will never meet in real life. But, we know every detail of each other’s lives, as if we’d been friends for years. And, some bloggers I have considered long-distance friends for years. Many bloggers here in Utah I’ve met in real life, exchanged phone numbers with, and talk with a lot. I love blogging for this very reason. I don’t and won’t feel alone. Next year, when I’m a full-time SAHM, I can just go online and hang out with friends, or I can call up one of my local blogger friends and go get brunch or have a playdate with them and their kids.
I feel better about myself because I am a blogger. I feel loved because I am a blogger. I feel like I go out of my box because I am a blogger. I feel confident because I am a blogger. I feel brave because I am a blogger.