I will have been blogging seven years this year.Seven. I think that’s almost longer than I’ve held a real job. This girls’ post got my thinking about how things have changed. The rules have even changed, and it seems like they do so constantly! The things I do know is that I think sometimes people treat this whole blogging thing more like a competition, it makes me sad to see it that way because this whole thing, with traffic,brands,advertising,DFP, and pageviews is digital. There is enough room for everyone. You don’t have to step on someone else’s back to get higher. It made me realize the other day as I was asking Oldest for the four-hundreth time why she cares what another person does, is also why we need to all walk our own blog path and why what we tell our children also applies in blogland.
1. You don’t have to like everyone, but you have to be kind to everyone
How many times do you meet someone and they just grate on your nerves, or the very thing they do makes you eye roll. Or you just don’t gel with some one. We’ve all done it, but where is the merit in the gossip,defaming and shunning? none, but kindness pays more than gold.
2.None of us are any better than any one else.No matter what.
We live in a very mixed financial area, and I know sometimes my kid’s view people with more than us as better. In fact I know so because I’ve heard it coming out of their mouths. I try to explain that just because people have more, doesn’t make them better. or if they have less, worse. We are all the same and problems are problems, and we never know what goes on behind closed doors. It can all look glossy from the outside and be falling part on the inside. On the same note, let’s convert it to blogging because it’s all about perception. Just because I’ve been blogging for 7 years doesn’t make me any better than the person who’s been blogging 6 months. Just as 300,000+ page views doesn’t make the best-est blog either, or working with a certain brand or getting a different opportunity.
It just makes us walking our own path.
And let’s get into the real world.I can guarantee the dude shoving my kid’s Happy Meal at me through the window could care less that I am a blogger, or that I wrote a book, or that I blah, blah blah. He’s more concerned with getting his paycheck and going home the minute the doors lock after that last burger has been thrown in the trash.He doesn’t really care that my new drapes were completely awesome and went viral on Pinterest.
So it all goes back to rule number one. Be kind.
3.Why do you care what they are doing?
We all walk our own journey.That’s the biggest thing that seems to come up in our house. How many times has your child come home upset or full of words because someone got something they thought they wanted ? I constantly ask them. “Why, do you even care that so and so is doing? It has no bearing on you. Do your thing. Your journey is different.”
That goes for blogland too. Sometimes it’s hard to watch someone else have this amazing success or have all these things come to them while you feel like you are sitting at home twirling your thumbs.But see, their path is not yours and their life is not yours. If you stick with YOUR thing, and Do YOUR thing, amazing things will come to you that align with YOUR path.
4.. Keep your eyes on your own work, but be inspired by others
Copying is flattering, and many of us put work out there so people can be inspired and try it themselves. But then there are many people who copy work and try to pass it off as their own. Not cool. It’s totally ok to give credit where credit is due. It’s totally okay to say where you got an idea or inspiration. You don’t have to come up with every idea in the whole world by yourself. My friend, Jeanne, just ran an entire e-course on copying Master artists. You can learn and grow by copying others, but not by stealing.
5.Share, and be inclusive not exclusive.
Sharing is important.Including is important. We are all learning and growing. It takes nothing from you to give information whether it’s how something works, a contact or advice. If you are doing your best thing, sharing can’t take anything from you, in fact it will lift you up. And reaching a hand out to someone who looks a little lonely never hurt any one either. I’ve been conferences where I have seen people excluded.I have had friends come back from blog events where they said hey would never go back because it was too clique-y. This isn’t high school and we are all grown-ups.
If someone has the magic secret to get my kids to listen, please share it with me.How many times have I told them something, they ignore me and then are crying later.
One of my biggest downfalls is being dismissive. I know I do it, and I need to work harder not to do it. Someone tells me something and I think that’s not me, I don,t need to know that, or what does she know?…. and BOOM! I get a big bite in the bottom from reality! If I would have just listened with an open mind and think…maybe, maybe that applies to me… it would have saved me soooo much heart ache. Part of not being dismissive is also learning to say “I don’t know.” That is one thing I took to heart while working at the firehouse. It was actually o.k. to say I don’t know and then asking for an answer. If you said you know, and didn’t, and then you killed someone, it was a bad day. To this day I am all for not pretending to know it all.Because the few times I have, it’s come right back to me in a not so good way.
7.Don’t judge others, you don’t know their story.
I really wanted to add this in there because its so easy to make a snap judgement about someone and move on.The grass always looks greener. Blogging has become a business, and it gives many the opportunity to make a decent income. It also lets mom’s stay home with their kids. I know a lot of people don’t like advertising on blogs,but many need the extra income. I know some people go over board, but some people really need the money, and it actually costs money to write a blog with really god content. Some bloggers look like they have it all and are completely struggling in life in one way or another.
8. Be your own best you
Which kind of wraps up number one through 5. Many of us old school bloggers have said this over and over because we know. We have seen blogs come and go by the hundreds and some of them all run together. No kidding. What has made people truly stand out is when they do their thing and become their own brand and find their own way. You might be meant to be huge, or you might never be meant to be a huge blog, your thing might be your loyal readers and that’s fine. But the only way to find that out is to shine in your own spotlight, not some one else’s, to be your own truth.
I know, after working through this list, I can recall many times I’ve fallen short from doing any of these things, and it’s made me not such a nice person. I know I am a work in progress. Every day. But I also hope I can be a really good example for my girls.
For more inspiration and supportive courage, you can pop over here.