So, there are a lot of things I’m *supposed* to be doing today. I have several projects I need to start. I have photographs to edit. I have posts to write and schedule, and deadlines to meet. But I’ve accomplished very little because I keep getting distracted…and angry. Why? Well, there’s someone out there who’s been discrediting and insulting bloggers. And it’s not just anyone. It’s Martha Stewart.
Yesterday, Ms. Stewart made an appearance on Bloomberg Television in which she commented on the role of bloggers and social media. If you like, you can view the full video here or read the article about it, but I’ll quote you the piece that’s particularly relevant to me and to the other bloggers whose posts you read every day.
‘Who are these bloggers? They’re not trained editors at Vogue magazine. I mean there are bloggers writing recipes that aren’t tested, that aren’t necessarily very good, or are copies of everything that really good editors have created and done.’
‘So bloggers create a kind of popularity, but they are not the experts. And we have to understand that.’
I don’t know about you, but I’m shocked and incredibly offended by these comments.
Perhaps Martha Stewart has forgotten her own background: she learned sewing and cooking from her mother and gardening from her father. Originally, she worked as a babysitter and model, then opened her own catering company after her marriage. Surely, a female entrepreneur who built a business enterprise on the shoulders of skills she learned from her parents and a self-taught flair for decorating would encourage and celebrate other women making the most of their talents, right? Apparently not. Apparently, the skills we taught ourselves, learned from our parents, or perhaps even developed in various programs, classes, and schools do not qualify as experts who should be sharing our creations.
Perhaps Martha Stewart is unaware of how many advertising dollars her company spends paying bloggers to promote her product. As you all are well aware, many bloggers work in partnership with brands and companies as a way to make a supplemental income. I, for one, have received Martha Stewart’s paint, stencils, decoupage, and other products as well as monetary compensation in exchange for creating projects with them and sharing them with you, my friends/readers. I know many other incredibly talented and artistic women who have done the same, making beautiful and original things that show off those products in a way a store display never could. But apparently we are not experts, so what we share has no value. Fortunately, there are plenty of other brands and companies that value our time whose products I am happy to use in my upcoming projects.
For my part, I just wanted to take a moment today to speak to my fellow bloggers. Whether you create recipes, home decor, jewelry, kids crafts, or anything else, keep on creating. The whole reason we all started in this business was because we wanted to do, as my motto says, “Create, Share, Love, and Inspire.” We wanted to take what we love, what we’re passionate about, and share it with whoever might be interested. We may not have be editors at Vogue, but there are an awful lot of things we have to be on a daily basis if we are going to succeed. In today’s digital world, our niche is ever-evolving. Today, bloggers need to do far more than make something and toss it up on the internet.
In order to be successful we must strive to be:
– professional writers
– professional quality photographers/photo editors
– graphic designers
– marketing experts
– brand liasons
– HTML code writers
– social media experts
– community builders
all in addition to producing high-quality, original content…crafts, recipes, whatever it may be.
Yes, I get to work at home, on my time, and sometimes in my pajamas. Yes, I get paid to play with glitter. There are most definitely perks to what I do. But there is a lot of time, effort, creativity, and passion that goes into what I do. Fellow bloggers, I want to salute you today and let you know that you are awesome. The time and energy you put into your blog does not go unnoticed.
Perhaps most of all the kindness, authenticity, and humility with which you build your communities means something. Martha Stewart may have more money than I will ever possess in my lifetime, but I would rather have an engaged community built on trust, honesty, and mutual respect. That, to me, is *honestly* so much more valuable.
Whew. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, back to work I go! Time to create!
Hugs & Glitter,