No, it is not a riddle or a joke like “How many bloggers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?”. It is a serious question.
When you first start blogging, it feels like you are on an island by yourself. Massive cruise ships are sailing by. You can hear the partying and laughter but no matter how much you wave, send up smoke signals and gather rocks and strategically place them to spell out SOS, no one notices you.
You spend your days reaching out to people but it seems like everyone has already created their cliques and they are not looking for new members. It can be a huge whack to your ego. You start to double think everything, including whether or not blogging is for you.
I admit it is great working for yourself but it can be very lonely. And honestly, I don’t always give myself the best feedback. You long to find your blogging soul mate or tribe. As human beings, we want to make genuine connections especially in the blogging world. You want to share your journey with someone who understands what you do and why you do it.
First of all, understand that on-line, blogging friendships closely mimic relationships in real life.
- There are those that develop hard and fast because of one commonality but fizzle after you realize you don’t really have any further connections.
- There are those that you make not by conscious choice but rather because you have one other mutual acquaintance.
- There are those that are like old friends. You pop in and out of each other’s careers and lives, never missing a beat. They are always there when you really need them but they don’t need to be made aware of your day-to-day activities.
- There are those that you need to talk to everyday and they are the first ones you think of when something funny happens or you make a stupid mistake and shut your whole blog down.
- Then there are the ones that either ignored you on the way up and now want to be your friend or those that only use you to advance their own interests and drop you like a hot potato when your usefulness is over.
In real life, you may also have friends for different facets of your life, like work friends or those that enjoy the same hobbies as you do. That is pretty much how my blogging tribe is constructed. I don’t have a traditional tribe of multiple people but a multitude of single people. I have different people who support me in different ways and I them.
My go to techy and idea person is Ashley of Blog Genesis. I found her through her 14 Day Blog Income Challenge. Before I registered for that free course she offered, I hadn’t even thought about making money from my blog. It is thanks to Ashley that I now have a somewhat steady income from blogging. We became fast friends and it is truly a lot of fun to have someone to bounce ideas off of and brain storm on up-coming projects. I love how we get each other thinking outside the box.
Then I have my very own cheerleader, Laura of Skinny and Single. And I am not talking about my blog though Laura does spread my stuff around, she is the one that knows what is going on in my personal life too. I can always count on “How are you?” and “Let me beat the crap out of them for you”. She makes me laugh and not take myself too seriously. Always have someone you can share and vent to in your tribe without having to worry about it being judged or shared. It is very therapeutic and cheaper than a psychiatrist.
And last but not least is my friend Suzie from SuzieSpeaks. Suzie was the very first blogging connection I made over 2 years ago. She taught me how to share from within and make my blog my own. We have seen each other through a lot of shit, blogging and personal. And believe me, it is a big pile. Make no mistake. Blogging is a business and many out there will step on you on their way up and spit on you as you pass them on your ascent. We have seen a lot of really good bloggers give up because of it. But here we are. Still blogging, sharing, growing and i dare say, thriving.
So, back to my original question, “How many bloggers do you need to make a tribe?” The answer is just one. You don’t have to be in the same niche or at the same point in your blogging journeys but you must be equal in wanting to support and raise each other’s game. You have to be comfortable enough to tell them when something is bad and gracious enough to accept that kind of criticism. Never must you feel like you are in competition with each other and you should never feel used.
Does it sound like you need to find a unicorn? They are more common than you think. And when you do connect with one, it’s magic.
If you have not found your blogging buddy, please use the comments below to connect with others.
Hi! I’m newish to the midlife blogging but I’ve had a lifestyle blog since 2008. I do a lot of work in the DIY and craft industry but they seem so YOUNG these days. I’m looking for some pals closer to my age. 🙂
Hi Vicki! Nice to meet you! if you are looking for more gal pals, you can join my fb group here: http://www.facebook.com/groups/midlifeluv. It is open to all ages now but we still have a lot of over 50 bloggers as members. Be sure to check out my online magazine at http://www.makingmidlifematter.com. You may want to consider submitting content or becoming one of our sponsors. If you need any other help or just want to connect, I am here for you.
This is going to sound naive and demonstrate my greenness to the blogging world – but I didn’t even know tribes existed!!!! One more thing to add to my list of to dos. Thanks for the information!
This is such a thoughtful and thought provoking post. I’ve been blogging for ever, over 15 years, and the first half really only saw development of one lasting friendship. But I started attending BlogHer and have finally found a few supportive bloggy midlife friends. The midlife blogging community when through some tough times a few years ago and as it shattered some flying glass pierced my heart. It was so disheartening to find that your last bulleted point is very, very real. I started a local meetup for bloggers and that has provided a tribe, friends, support and appreciation I would not have thought possible. I highly recommend that if folks have not found a tribe.
I would love to start a local meet-up. Thank must be so much fun! I am so sorry you had a bad experience but I am happy you have found your tribe now.
Sounds like a great tribe you got going on there! 🙂
They are fabulous! I hope you “accidentally” find your tribe. lol
I find the blogging community helpful and friendly, but I don’t have a plus 1 friend yet!
Ah, I hope you find one soon!
Elena, I really loved this post! I have made so many blogger friends, and have actually met some in person. Writing does make us somewhat vulnerable to others as we share our lives via our blogs. I have met Kimberly in person and she is fab. I’m going to the BAM conference and hope to add to my tribe 🙂
You are so lucky to have met her in person! I hear BAM is a great place to meet fellow bloggers.
Brand new blogger. Would love to find a tribe! So much to learn. So much information out there. Would love to have people to bounce ideas off of!
It does make a difference when you have one. Let’s hope someone connects with you.
I used to be part of a great tribe, Elena, but it went south when some one had a fall out with someone else and others started blogging on very fundamental Christian themes that I wanted no part of.
Now I’m on the look out for a tribe. For now, I’m happy to be a part of the wonderful group you’ve created!
I honestly think it gets complicated when the group gets large. There is bound to be personality clashes. I prefer one on one.
I love having you part of our group Corinne.
Hi Elena! Once again you’ve touched on a subject that all of us relate to living. I’ve been writing so long all alone that I figured out how to do it alone. But I have to admit that it is much more fun and engaging when we do it with others that we have an affinity with. You are very fortunate to have found your “tribe” but I believe it’s because you always give out so much of who you are. Thank you for that! ~Kathy
I think bloggers are just natural givers anyway, aren’t we?
Thank you for this. It was exactly what I needed to read today!
So glad you found it helpful. I hope you find your unicorn.
This post underscores what a generous community really does exist in the blogosphere–cultivated by people like you, Elena. I’m so grateful to have met a number of you (if only virtually), and appreciate how welcoming you’ve been to this relative newbie.
I am so glad I met you too Roxanne and I hope one day we get to meet in person.
I’ve been blogging for a few years and I think I’ve hit every category you’ve mentioned. I’ve seen a lot, both good and bad and everything in between. I was blessed to find a few great bloggers who always have my back and I have theirs, and was doubly blessed to meet them in person at BlogHer ’13.
Now I’ve added you and Katie because you (get ready to blush) have gone above and beyond to teach me the ins and outs of blogging, Canva, Pinterest, and well, you know the rest. You are amazing ladies that I wish I could hug, but New Jersey is not near either of you! So I virtually hug you.
Today of all days this post was particularly important for me. So thanks you, dear Elena, for writing it. You are a true champion in my eyes.
Thank you so much Cathy! I love helping people and rarely see myself as going above and beyond but I appreciate the acknowledgement.
Thanks for this. I’ve been a lonely little cruise ship for many years, but suddenly I’m meeting up with all sorts of fellow travelers and I love it. Now to find my tribe. 🙂 I’ve also just signed up with Genesis – and “accidentally” joined SU. I intended to do that “sometime soon”. Thank you. 🙂
You are too cute. I have done many a thing “accidentally” with my stupid touch screen. This time it will be a win for you. I hope you do find your tribe and it is so nice to have you as a member of my facebook group.
I’m loving blogging so much more now that I’ve made a few blogging friends. I just found Blog Genesis and signed up for her challenge. Can’t wait!
So good to hear Katy! Let me know how you do. Make sure you do all the homework!
Great analogies! My problem is I am not consistent as my ‘day job’ gets so crazy during wedding season I don’t get time to do anything else then all the connections I made fall by the wayside! But I’m still here, in the shadows watching & listening 🙂
It is so hard to find the time to do everything. Just decide how much time is right for you and just keep at it.
A few of the party goers on the cruise ships are starting to notice my little island and I am so grateful – I love this analogy. I had no blogging buddies before starting about six months ago and it was incredibly lonely as my real life friends don’t really understand what I’m doing, or why. I am starting to make a few connections and actual friendships and it is, like you said, magic.
You might as well be speaking a different language to your non bloggy friends. I am so glad you are making some connections now. It will make a huge impact to your blog.
Thank you for the mention!!
PS bloggers don’t change lightbulbs, we work in the dark until morning. 🙂