I think every mom blogger has been a bit taken aback by Josi Denise’s post “Dear Mommy Blogger“, which attacks the genre in no uncertain and ruthless terms.
The aim of this post is not to be another attack on her, but rather to draw some uncomfortable lessons learnt from this whole exercise, as well as draw on what other bloggers are saying. I think there are a couple of things I’d like to point out.
- You don’t have to turn against a community you were a part of and even helped create.
I think this is the saddest part of the whole post. She admits that she ran an “American Mama Media” connecting brands and bloggers. She attended conferences. She was part of Facebook groups. And yet she chose to alienate the friendships she had built up through all these avenues.
According to a comment on this post (oh, her post has comments closed, I guess she didn’t want the feedback), Josie was part of a private blogger Facebook group. She did not take kindly to the idea that her post was hurtful and decided to copy confidential information to support how bloggers were being mean to her.
Moral of the story? Support each other. Do not pull each other down. Josie had some valid points. She chose to share them in a way that alienated people.
2. Don’t be a fake blogger.
Ok, going back to the idea that some of her points were valid.
I think the main issue she really raised is that there are a lot of bloggers out there putting out inauthentic content, never sharing the negative stuff, and sharing stats that are either not true or bought.
The bloggers I enjoy reading are not like that. They share their good times and their hard times. (You can read all about my latest tantrum episode here). Yes, the brand reviews are more often positive, but we do know that bloggers also choose not to write about products or experiences they weren’t happy with. They choose to highlight the good stuff too. Nothing wrong with that.
You will still get those who will post whatever a brand or PR company will give them, but the real authentic reviews are those that relate to real life, and that is what we will always strive to do. Brands actually prefer real content. People respond better to it.
As far as inflating stats or buying followers are concerned: unfortunately there will always be people that do this. These fake followers will not stick around long, in any event. South Africa is not immune to this. Just remember that people who are really interested in your story will stick around and be a true follower. And that’s what you really want.
Talking of which, don’t be a slave to the numbers on your social media, says Cindy, who just cut 100 followers from her Instagram and feels suitably liberated. (On Cutting Down and Letting Go)
Sharon asks: why do mommy bloggers have this bad reputation? The answer is that there will always be the fakers. We just have to rise above them and prove that we are not like that.
3. Don’t post when you are angry or unstable
Sharon reminded us of this at the #JoziMeetup and it was Laura’s first point on the Facebook thread. I think a good night’s sleep (or at least a few hours during which you wash the dishes) provides a great barrier of thought to what you want to say.
Apparently Josi is not in a good place at the moment. Here’s another comment quoted on this post.
Josi’s got some issues going on in her personal life right now and instead of blogging about them, she lashes out, trying so hard to hurt others. I don’t know if it’s just depression, or a mix of a few things, but either way it’s time to move on from someone who is unstable.
I have a gut feeling there is a whole lot more going on here that we don’t know about. Something happened that clouded mommy blogging for her. Something went wrong. And she lashed out at all of us.
4. We don’t need another blogging battle/ war/ mommy war
Which brings me to the next point. This shouldn’t be about tearing her down. The above commentator made an assumption about Josi’s mental health which she denies in a follow up post.
I thankfully do not struggle with depression, nor have I ever written about it. Spreading lies about someone’s mental health on the internet, including an entire blog post dedicated to me, because you can’t accept that they have a differing opinion or they don’t like the same things and people as you? How much lower can you go?
However she is a bigger hypocrite here because she was the one that shared private Facebook posts to create more drama in her follow up post.
5. Mommy Bloggers DO make a difference and you can be proud of what you are doing.
Laura has written a post here about this.
Trisha Cornelius had this encouraging thing to say on the Facebook thread: “Once upon a time my life was saved by a mom blogger”.
I know that in some of my toughest parenting moments (eg those late night newborn feeds) it helped to know that there was someone on the other side of the computer who was going through the same thing.
Keep telling your story because you never know who you may encourage and to whom can make a difference in their lives.
And don’t let yourself be taken down by a bitter ex mommy blogger.