*Warning – for context, this post features some swearing so if you’re easily offended then you might want to turn away now.
OK, before I begin, I should probably warn you all (yep, another warning) that I’m pretty angry.
Which means I’m ready to rant and put the world to rights. If you’re not a blogger, you may not give a tuppence about this post although I’m hoping you’ll hang around anyway for a nosey. But if you are a blogger, I would love to hear your thoughts on this.
Because I don’t know about you, but I am sick to my back teeth of hearing how bloggers are disrespected. It’s gone on far too long.
But first, let me set the scene and explain where this little rage has come from…
Last Thursday evening I was invited to the press launch of a new restaurant opening in Sheffield ( it was for The Botanist, gorgeous place, lovely food, fab drinks – if you’re in the area I can highly recommend it.)
Whilst I was there I was doing the usual blogging thing of sharing snapshots of the place on social media and I sent a tweet which received a good response, bar one. From an angry podcaster who was livid that his booking had been cancelled by the restaurant because of said press night.
Fair enough you say. I’d be a bit miffed too.
I didn’t reply as it wasn’t my place to (only the restaurant can deal with that) but I did pop over to his Twitter account for a nosey because he was making a bit of a who ha about the whole thing.
And then I became livid.
Because amongst his various complaints and whinges to other, it was clearly apparent that he was particularly furious about the fact that bloggers were attending. So furious in fact, he said, and I quote, “fuck bloggers” before continuing in his next tweet to say that he didn’t have a problem with ‘proper press’ attending.
Really Mr? Really?! I don’t think so.
But it begs the question, why the aggression? Why the hostility? And is it me or does it scream of jealousy? Was he feeling rejected per chance? I think so.
But hey, he was OK with the press attending. Just, you know, not us bloggers.
And yet, for the silly likes of him and just in case I need to point this out, we are press.
Just like journalists from newspapers, magazines, TV & radio, we too are content creators and sharers. We too have audiences, and incredibly loyal ones at that. We too have people who read what we publish. (Many of whom will even share it.)
We have readers who revisit our blogs numerous times, daily, weekly or monthly because they like what we create and – more importantly – because our words resonate with them. We have people who buy what we recommend or ask for our advice. Readers who email, message or tweet us to say hi.
So yes we are part of the press gang. And make no mistake, we are powerful.
Powerful because we have voices which touch and inspire others into action. Real human voices that share stories, warts an’ all.
Because we give of ourselves to others? Because we make people feel less alone? Because blogging gives us a democratic voice, where otherwise we may not have one?
Because we get to attend occasional glamorous events and drink cheery cocktails with the ‘real’ journalists? Because we can make a living from writing what we choose, when we want? Because we have readers who like us? Who cry over our stories and share in our triumphs?
Blogging is brilliant.
It has changed my life, and me, for the better. I will talk to anyone whose interested, about it’s power and how it can transform your days.
But this misinformed hatred, this envy, this patronising attitude and damn right hostility towards bloggers is sadly part of the course.
It shouldn’t be and yes, it makes me angry.
Because bloggers deserve respect and I’m not just talking about the big ones – the ones who command mega bucks or have superstar status – I’m talking about everyone.
I’m talking about every single blogger, small, big, teeny or medium sized, who dares to put themselves out there and share something.
Because let me tell you, non blogging friends, it takes a whole lot of courage to start up a blog and a great deal of hard work, determination, resilience and self belief to stick at it and keep it alive.
Far from what people think, it really is not easy. In fact, I’ll let you into a secret, it often feels impossible.
Like journalists we too have deadlines. Like newspapers we too have content we need to deliver. Like radio shows we too have to entertain and yet unlike all of these media organisations, we have to do it all mostly alone.
I’ve blogged for over four years now and I do 99.9 per cent of everything for this online space of mine.
I take the photos. I write the words. I share. I promote. I come up with the ideas. I work with the brands. I do my emails. I look after the tech stuff. I keep on top of it all.
I’ve been part of the press set for years after starting my career as a trainee journalist on magazines.
But let me tell you, from my experience, blogging is tougher. Blogging demands more. Blogging requires creativity and courage in droves.
So yep, I’m livid that blogging is seen as easy. I’m disappointed that blogging is still not taken as seriously as it should be. And I’m furious that bloggers are still too often mocked, despised and treated badly for no fair or just reason.
We deserve respect.
The traditional media has its place, but when you’re looking for a real human voice out there that isn’t employed for an agenda, blogs are where you will find us. Frantically beavering away, doing our best, working all the hours, to create online spaces that work for both us and you.
So angry little podcasting man, if you’re reading this, I have an idea for you. You know, from one creator to another…
Stop hating bloggers and start learning from us.
Because maybe then, when you understand that the secrets of being a successful podcaster are very similar to that that of being a successful blogger, you’ll get your own press invite one day and can come and stand amongst us.
Until then, you’ll find me drinking my (non-alcoholic) cocktail proudly at the bar and enjoying the occasional high life, as much as the next press person.
Not because I’m lucky, not because I’m there to make up the numbers, but because I’ve damn well EARNED it. Cheers.