On Blogging Friends. Or lack thereof.

Except that I’m totally not.
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I’m not quite sure why I’m admitting this publicly, but lately I’ve been getting a little bummed out that I’m not really part of the “blogging community.”

One of the reasons I decided to start a blog was because I love reading other people’s blogs, and I would always hear these people talk about how awesome it was to be part of the blogging community. They would write about how many amazing new friends they had made through blogging and how wonderful it was to have these incredible new people in their life. On and on they went about their awesome and supportive blogging friends, and I would sit there reading from the other side of the screen and say to myself “I want to be part of this community too! I totally want blogging friends!”

So I started this blog, and while making blogging friends was certainly not the reason I started it (by any means), I kind of assumed it would be an added benefit that would happen organically. I assumed that having this forum to write and share would lead to me connecting with all sorts of other bloggers and readers, near and far, and making new online friends.

And well, that hasn’t happened. I don’t really have any blogging friends, and as cheesy as this may sound, that kind of bums me out. I know this is really silly as I have a ton of amazing real-life friends, but for whatever reason I feel like I’m in the unpopular crew in middle school, seeking out ways to connect with the cool kids and failing miserably.

How does one make blogging friends? I just don’t know.

I read a lot of blogs, and I always try to comment on my favorites. Even when I don’t have much to say, I know how nice it feels to get comments, so I try to reach out and say something, just to let them know that I’m reading and I appreciate what they are doing and that I’m interested. And I’m not talking about blogs like Dooce or TheBloggess or other bloggers that already have book deals in progress, I’m talking about bloggers like me that are relatively new and still growing their readership and getting the swing of things. My kind of people.

I’ve taken online classes at AltSummit World Function in hopes of connecting with other bloggers, and I’ve found some really great blogs through it, but it doesn’t seem like anyone has found mine. Or maybe they have and they are just not interested? I get that… I know I can’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I’m well aware that not everyone is going to want to read my blog, but I’d like to think that there have got to be some people out there that read and relate, at least a little? My traffic shows me that people do actually stop by here. But who these people are I just don’t know. If you are one of them, I’d like to know you! I really truly would.

I want to develop relationships with other bloggers, but for whatever reasons I just can’t seem to connect. They remain elusive bloggers that I continue to read from afar, and whenever I read them writing about all their awesome blogging buddies, I get a little jealous.

How ridiculous is that? Jealousy isn’t good for anyone, and certainly not a blog.

Maybe it’s because I’m still not sure what direction this blog is going to take, as I clearly haven’t found my blogging niche. It started all about passion, and while that is still a top priority of mine, it’s pretty obvious that I haven’t been focusing on that as much lately. My friend Lindsey said that I need to find one main topic and stick to it (she suggested I continue writing more controversial pieces, a la my post on white privilege) but the thing is, I don’t know if that’s what I want to really do in this space completely. I certainly enjoy writing about things that matter (and plan on continuing to do so), but I also enjoy writing about silly things, like my obsession with the Hunger Games or a lovely Saturday at Tomales Bay.

So I just don’t know.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been thinking about lately, and for those of you out there that do read, thank you.

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Chantilly Patiรฑo (@biculturalmom)August 28, 2012 - 10:34 am

Hey Serena. ๐Ÿ™‚ I subscribed to your posts after the ‘white privilege’ post and I’ve been coming over every now and then…when I’m not crazy busy…to visit. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Before I started attending blogging conference, I was mostly alone online too. I had some faithful readers, but there was always a disconnect. I think that would be one option for interacting online.

Twitter parties and tweetchats are another great option, and Google+ hangouts, etc. Most bloggers also chat and share together in private Facebook groups (this one surprised me). They form private groups where they can talk about blogging and set up local meetups. There are L.A. bloggers groups and S.F. bloggers groups.

Figuring out what gets people to your blog is one of the hardest parts about being a new blogger…in part because we don’t acknowledge our value and also just because we’re not marketers and have no idea what we’re supposed to do to get people into the seats. That’s something that blogging can teach you over time though.

But I’ll tell you what topics I think of when I visit your blog. You do have a general theme…although I think your friend is right that more focus on 1-5 topics could bring more regular readers.

I see your blog as falling into these three areas…inspiration, exploration and self-discovery. You like to share tidbits of inspiration, you love to explore new places and topics, you’re on your own journey of self-discovery to figure out what your unique voices is and what you have to contribute to the world.

I think that focusing in on these three topics is a really great way to create your own niche and it’s funny that they really do work together in their own way. I think one topic builds on top of the other and adds something to the bigger picture of who you are in this world.

I think that’s a great start.

Anyway, let me know if you’re interested in more feedback or if you’d like to chat sometime. Just wanted to stop by and let you know that you’re not alone out here. โ™ฅ

ShaylaAugust 28, 2012 - 11:51 am

I’m kind of sucked into a situation where I read a lot of blogs but barely have time to comment (which is silly because I love comments on my own!). It’s hard to remember to check back on blogs I commented on, too.

I do think you have an awesome blog, and I think your posts are quite good, and really thought-provoking! ๐Ÿ™‚

SerenaAugust 28, 2012 - 3:19 pm

@Chantilly – thank you so much for taking the time to provide some feedback! I really appreciate it. I had no idea there were private facebook groups, etc. Again, thanks for the help and for saying hello, and I’ll probably be asking you for feedback again ๐Ÿ™‚

@Shayla – Thanks for commenting this time! I have a problem remembering to check back on blogs I’m commenting on too, I need to be better at that ๐Ÿ™‚

nancy @ adore to adornAugust 28, 2012 - 6:52 pm

Your post is so honest and so relatable. I too find it interesting that for such a public forum and for such a sense of community blogging is supposed to evoke, that it’s actually not so easy to develop meaningful relationships with bloggers. Of course, the world of blogging has dramatically changed. Every person practically has one and we all want to become “big” in our own way. But, of course like most things, not everyone can be “big” or “awesome” and so it kind of makes developing relationships more difficult because some people are just trying to build a network rather than friendships (or so it seems!). I know this may sound somewhat cynical but that’s how I kind of feel at the moment. Thanks so much for posting such an honest post! =)

The Grown Up PrincessAugust 28, 2012 - 8:29 pm

I feel exactly the same way! I feel like my relationships in the blogging community hit a wall. I love seeing that my blog as new readers, but sometimes even though I know statistically that there are a number of people following my blog, I want to knock on the screen and ask “is anyone actually out there?!”

I know I’m partially to blame… Sometimes I feel like my comments on blogs are going to come off sounding odd, so I just don’t post them. Which is silly, I love comments!

But keep blogging! Yours is one of the blogs I read religiously!

LindseyAugust 28, 2012 - 9:32 pm

I think you’re a big deal in real life and in the blogging community ๐Ÿ™‚

Your blog is the only one I read religiously so take my advice with a grain of salt, but Chantilly has a great strategy as well. Regardless, I love reading all your posts ๐Ÿ™‚


KariAugust 29, 2012 - 5:51 am

Hi Serena, I am a follower of Nicolas Kristoff and his Half the Sky movement. Your blog came up on my Google alerts and I have been reading every since. I reposted your post about volunteering in an orphanage in Cambodia on my blog but it has about 8 readers so that isnt much help. I love your multi-faceted way of being in the world. Anyway, we are out here and appreciating your sharing.

SerenaAugust 29, 2012 - 12:00 pm

@Nancy – I completely agree that the world of blogging has changed, and that it seems like most people are trying to build a network instead of real relationships, and that’s super shitty because I think there are a lot of people out there (like me) that just want to build real relationships. It’s just unfortunately hard to find those people and connect with them.

@TheGrownUpPrincess – Yes! I see my traffic steadily grow, but no one comments, and I just want to knock on the screen as well! As for commenting, I wouldn’t worry about sounding odd. I think people in general appreciate comments, odd or not ๐Ÿ™‚

@Kari – I really appreciate you reposting my blog post and I think what you are doing is so awesome. It’s really inspiring.

Nicole MarieAugust 29, 2012 - 4:53 pm

hahahah that print is awesome!!

but blogging world is honestly such an amazing place. it’s kind of weird to think about that you’re friends with people you don’t actually know and met online. but i have met so many amazing women and friends that i have finally met in real life.

it takes a bit of time and effort to become part of the blogging community so don’t get frustrated and give up! just gotta put yourself out there!

MeganAugust 30, 2012 - 11:13 pm

I don’t really think you need to have a niche. I don’t read blogs just because they are “Mommy Blogs” I read them because I’ve connected with the person, and their writing. You’ll get there. Jealousy is totally normal, even if you have a big blog, there will always be someone bigger to be jealous of.
I clicked on your blog, because my husband and I just moved out of the Bay Area, so I love reading all things Bay Area because I miss it like whoa.
And I love your Peeta shirt. Like, tons.

MichelleSeptember 2, 2012 - 1:20 am

I’ve found that the relationships that I have mostly formed have been either aided by twitter or through meeting bloggers in real life (blogger parties or just shouting out to people who I think would be interesting to know – scary but often worth it).

Keep at it and I am sure you will get there eventually. And refreshing to see that you consider real relationships more important than the gazillion followers (or money) that so many bloggers are after.

Susi aka SineadSeptember 4, 2012 - 3:49 am

Hello girl! I just found your blog, and I also feel rather alone in the blogging world. I love finding new friends, connect with people and that’s actually one big reason why I blog. But I don’t have all those awsome blogger friends either. For the moment I’m totally ok with it, because I’ve moved around my blog quite a bit recently and people probably got fed up with that. But now that I’m in a good place with the blog I really would enjoy making some connections (and not only connections, but friends too!).

Regarding how to get people to your blog, I totally disagree with what someone said about staying with a certain number of topics. Instead, be true to yourself, BE yourself and let it show on your blog. Don’t post certain things because it would be appealing to people. Post what you want and what you feel. People like to read honest and real blogs.

Keep reading other blogs and leave comments. Link up on networks and blog hops so that you’re “out there”. Just be careful what blog hops you join. Some are just about gaining followers and nothing more.

And – I love the water colour sort of design on your blog!

[…] author, thatโ€™s a problem. ย (I discovered I’m in good company though. ย Serena, over at Spillerena blogged about the same thing as I was struggling with this… made me feel […]

ashleyNovember 4, 2013 - 5:13 pm

this is seriously one of the best blog posts i’ve read! I feel the same way and i’m not sure why it’s so hard to connect to other bloggers. I def feel like i’m in the middle school crew with you:)

I read your blog fyi, but I think this is only my second time to comment:) i’ll do better haha!

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