When you first start your blogging journey it can be a very lonely time in your life. While that might sound contradicting since the internet is a window to the world, don't be fooled. In order to give yourself a sense of belonging and fully get yourself seen and heard in the blogging world, you need to build strong relationships by connecting with other bloggers (and it doesn't always mean bloggers in the same exact niche).
Any blogger that I've discussed this topic with has been down the same road. They've struggled and they've felt like giving up, but because they chose to stick with it, they ended up finding their tribe.
I've had the great honor of connecting with Michael from freefrompanicattacks.com. After hearing his struggles, battles and success with blogging, I asked him to describe his blogging journey to share with my readers. Keep reading to discover Michael's story!
When I first started blogging, I thought I'd just jump right in, "join the family" as it was or is. Become part of the already large group of bloggers across the world. I'd be in that small section of people that wrote blogs and of course talk to others that did the same thing.
I was in for a shock the first time I tried to contact another blogger. I got no response at ALL. I got mad at MYSELF because I thought I entered the wrong email address, so I resent the emails again to the same bloggers and once again waited for a response.
Again, no response. I was confused. I thought to myself, "why would no one respond to me?" These people make a living off of talking to people and writing about TALKING to people so what was the problem?
"Maybe I DID send it to the wrong address". Sometimes, I can be sloppy when I'm in a hurry. Again, I mumbled to myself—trying to convince myself that it was my error over the fact that I was being ignored by EVERYONE I sent an email to.
The more I checked the emails, the more my heart sank. Every email was correct and truly, no one had gotten back to me.
Now I was upset! "I'm a damn good person and a damn good blogger" I said out loud to an empty room.
I decided to write one more email to one of the bloggers that first amused me with his online name, but now I felt the name was meant to be smug since he didn't have the time to respond back to me. Obviously, since he didn't know me, I decided to let him have it. What harm could it bring? HA! Be careful of what you don't know, it can definitely come back to haunt you!
In a short summary I told him he should be flattered that I took the time to email him as many times as I did. One day in the future, he might be the one writing me and I'll be the one doing the ignoring. I went on in much more detail but I think you get the point.
I was disappointed at the blogging community and the way they "opened their arms to me", or should I say rather—turned their backs on me. I thought when you began your blogging career there'd be groups of bloggers that would welcome you in, that actually supported their own kind. Unfortunately, I didn't find any at this point. I was left all alone in the cruel blogging world.
Now, I was feeling depressed and I was anxious to start my blogging journey. I had all these wonderful ideas I wanted to blog about and I wanted to bounce the ideas off of another writer—not just one of my buddies that says "yes" to everything or "no" to everything that isn't something of interest. So, it was important to me to talk to other bloggers.
As I sat there in the darkness of the early morning, I'd been sitting there since midnight now trying to write just ONE darn blog post, but I'd been stuck trying to pick a topic. It isn't like I didn't have a topic to write on, it was the fact that I had too many to choose from. I heard a 'DING' from my computer saying indirectly that "You've got Mail".
Can you believe it? It was an email from the blogger that I told off earlier in the night. I was almost afraid to open it.
I stared at the subject line for over 20 minutes. I don't know if it was because I was frozen with panic and anxiety or if I'd dozed off, but when I looked at the clock it had said 5:10 and when I clicked to open it, the time opened said 5:32. It made me wonder why it took so long to open.
The email went on to chew me out telling me I had no right to even email him—never mind to talk to him the way I did, but.. BUT ..he would pardon me this ONE time. He also wanted to let me in on a little known industry secret. He went on to say that in the blogging world, it's not what you know, but who you know that gets you to the top.
You may get lucky by going the old fashioned way and "earn" your way through it by searching out writing gigs and getting credit on stories for newspapers, magazines, radio and television sources and then eventually you may or may not catch on.
If you get in with a clique of bloggers and that clique is accepted by channels and papers, then your writing will most likely automatically be accepted by those networks and papers too.
No one just "gets in" he said and then he proceeded to tell me to quit bugging him until I found my into the "in crowd". He also made sure to mention that I better have some super content and be quick on the draw to beat out others when offers suddenly surface.
After reading that email, I didn't know how to feel. Was I to feel MAD? Mad for that he told me the truth—that it's going to be a tough up hill battle until I connect with the right people? Who do I go and meet? Where do I find them? Or was I to feel HAPPY? He sort of told me how to get "IN". At this point I knew I had to be quicker than other writers to get the offers, as well writing my ass off and writing better than any of them. Now I just had to figure out how to get into this "in crowd". If I was up to the challenge then I was "IN".
Such a wide range of emotions in such a short span of time. I was exhausted. I was exhausted not only from being up all night waiting on a response but from the emotional roller coaster I'd been put through. I needed to find other bloggers that understood what I was going through.
I talked to my brother and he told me about a group of writers that are also web designers that do just that. They blog all the time on niches that they choose and help each other build better blogs. In case you're wondering what that group is, don't worry—I won't leave you hanging. You can find this awesome group of bloggers here.
After checking out the group my brother recommended, I found my group of bloggers and I've been there ever since. I've built two websites with their support and have been blogging with confidence daily. I'm grateful because I've made a bunch of great new friends and the tools available are wonderful.
I never have to worry about what to write for there are always ideas and people to bounce ideas off of there. They even have a 24/7 chat room for live questions if you need help on the spot. There are over 600, 000 members!! If you have some spare time, Click the link and check it out. You'll be impressed. I hope as impressed as I was!
Are you a blogger that can relate the struggles of blogging? Are you a new blogger trying to find your tribe? If so, don't be shy—leave us your thoughts and comments below!
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Author Bio: Michael is the owner and author of freefrompanicattacks.com which helps others learn how to handle stress and anxiety from the experiences he has had in a career spanning over 25+ years and a second blog
sports-apparel.org. He also started to blog in different forums from LinkedIn to Wealthy Affiliates since 2010. He has been an active writer for several bloggers and writers and is posted on several websites and news sites for his expertise in the food industry and for his knowledge about stress and anxiety as well.