Let’s talk reality for a second. And no – not reality TV shows – I’m talking about real life. Granted, real life typically doesn’t match up with the perfection of a basic pinterest print (see above), but the way the quote was presented was too pretty to pass up!
I’m here to talk about something all of us bloggers have gone through: bringing your blog into the real world.
I’ll start with this tidbit of information: my twitter account is my one and only account so lots of people (school friends, blogger friends, blog readers, etc.) follow it. I could’ve made separate accounts for my blog and personal life, but my followers were already mixed between IRL (in real life) friends and blog world friends. Plus, I always figured that a major part of having a blog is marketing yourself – look at Mackenzie Horan or Carly Heitlinger! Their casual and relatable “everyday girl” media approach is one that is met with tons of praise.
This summer I really poured my heart into my blog and worked on it so much. Obviously I utilized social media to generate more buzz for my posts. Some of the people who clicked on the links to my posts weren’t the audience I imagined; some of my school friends I never discussed this website with easily became frequent readers (…and chances are, they are reading this post right now)
Of course there were some other earlier cases of real life and the blog world overlapping. Once I showed my blog to a school friend, and I also once briefly mentioned it to someone else without giving a direct URL. Another time someone saw that I was part of the Her Campus Blogger Network on Facebook – and I said I had a blog, but the person never pressed for direct information. These vague mentions of my out-of-school hobby were fairly frequent but yet never detailed enough to provide people access to my site.
During this past school year, Laura actually stumbled upon this blog through my Twitter, and texted me after she clicked on the link. Her support was so sweet, and I am so glad she started her own blog too! Being able to bring someone else into my “online world” was great, and then together we both discovered other blogging communities. It was an added bonus to vent to someone in school about how hard it is to gain loyal readership or how annoying it is to start a post only for it to go nowhere!
This summer was when others started to follow Laura’s lead and discover my blog. Maybe they had even seen it before and this was just the first summer where I realized that many different people from my “real life” were checking up on it.
Putting yourself out there means opening yourself up to feedback (both positive and negative). In reality, it’s really hard to discuss a hobby with people when they have no idea where you are coming from with it. In addition, the unknown is scary. To say out of the blue to certain people, “I started a blog” scared me because I wasn’t sure that particular people would be supportive. Also – lets face it – teenagers are judgmental.
The bottom line here is to do what you love; don’t let reality, or more specifically, others around you, deter you from following your dreams. People might judge you or make snide comments… but they also might be really supportive and give you great ideas. (The latter know who they are, so thank you!)
I’m so proud of how far my blog has come in such a short time period, and I thank you (whoever you are) for reading this. In the past few months, I’ve come to firmly believe that my accomplishments on this website should not remain on the online world. After all, I am both Jamie and The Fashion Newcomer, and the two should be interchangeable – my real persona is my online persona, and vice versa.
If you are a blogger and would like to share your story about your blog and real world connection, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Blog & Real World Connection! Whether it be that your school friends knew about your blog from the beginning, or they still have no idea you have a blog, please tell me – I have an idea up my sleeve and I need your help with it!