Highs and Lows of Blogging Stars–Beating the Bloggy Blues

christy-walkoffamestarI was chatting with a friend the other day about Whitney Houston and how difficult it must be to deal with the highs and lows of being a star. One minute, you’re on top of the world, the next people barely remember you exist. And as we were talking, something dawned on me. Bloggers go through this on a smaller scale on a daily basis. One day you’re being flown across the country for a gala event, and the next your email is filled with generic pitches for socks and cold medicine.

While the star-quality of bloggers runs a wide spectrum, we fall into three main categories:

A-Listers – It’s a short list, but these folks get more invitations than they know what to do with. They are ambassadors for so many brands it’s surprising they can keep track. If you’re at an event, you expect that at least some of them will be, too. I don’t know if these sought-after bloggers deal with the highs and lows so much, given how busy they are, but it’s likely that even they are sad to miss out on a choice experience. Keep in mind that although A-Listers are almost always talented and hardworking, sometimes it’s mere circumstance that has catapulted them to ultimate stardom. They may just have “the look,” a compelling backstory, or the good fortune to be in the right place at the right time. It doesn’t mean they are better than you are.

Starlets – These are the new bloggers, those that blog occasionally as a hobby or for personal expression, or those who haven’t figured out that you generally have to look further than your own blog to get noticed. Since they don’t ever get invited, they aren’t as obsessively checking their email. A invitation is a surprise and a large treat. Starlets may have less experience – or less interest – in the glamorous aspects of blogging, but don’t count them out. Some of them are the best writers out there.

B-Listers – This is the rest of us and we are a diverse group. We have big blogs and little blogs, we span all ages, ethnicities, and socio-economic backgrounds. The only thing we have in common (other than our blogging) is that some opportunities will come our way, and some won’t. This is probably the most difficult space to be in. You know that you’ve got enough influence or built enough relationships or done some other thing right to catch the attention of the powers that be, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating when a dry spell hits or when you miss out on the most amazing opportunity ever. It’s even harder when we’re surrounded by the seemingly never-ended good fortune of our social media friends [here’s a tip… most likely, unless they are A-List, they’re going through the exact same feelings you are!].

Day after day I watch my fellow bloggers struggle with the ebb and flow of attention that comes with an established blog. A blogger may one day be announcing a fantastic ambassadorship, and just weeks later lament about how no one knows they exist. Just after an amazing trip where they were pampered, they talk about not being a “cool kid” or liken themselves to “redheaded stepchildren” [to which I must comment that this is offensive to redheads and to stepfamilies, many of whom are as loving and supportive as any other family type. AHEM.]. There are days when your mailbox is filled with goodies galore, and those where there are only bills. And as much as I am occasionally inclined to slap people upside the head for complaining, I get it. The highs are addictive, and the lows can make you question everything you’re doing.

I’ve put together some tips for holding onto the highs and riding out the lows:

  1. Remember that each opportunity is limited in scope. If there are tens of thousands of bloggers who could possibly be included and only 25, 50 or 100 spots, you can’t always get in. Remind yourself that it’s good to spread the love!
  2. Try not to take it personally. Your blogging talent isn’t necessarily what they’re looking for. You may just not meet the demographic, numbers, style, or vibe they are looking for. It could be that your blog is pink and the person reviewing blogs has something against pink. There’s not always a lot of science going on here.
  3. Stay true to yourself and your message. Do NOT start adding topics to your blog simply to try hook more opportunities – it dilutes your message/voice and can make you look flighty. Instead, find ways to broaden your coverage while still holding onto your niche. For example, if you blog about travel, but want to integrate more technology, make it a point to highlight the technology in hotels, airports, and tourist destinations. If you blog about your kids, but want to start covering fashion, talk about outfits that are great for moms who are short on time (and possibly money). You’re still maintaining expertise in a particular area, but you’re showing versatility as well.
  4. Don’t beg, whine, or gripe in public. Trust me when I say that you are not the only one who is disappointed. See point #1. Handling it with grace at the very least keeps you from looking childish or unprofessional. You’ll keep your bridges intact and be in the running for another opportunity.
  5. If something comes about that you are truly passionate about, send a short note to the person coordinating it. Let them know (briefly) why you think you’re a good match, how you think you’d benefit the company, and that you’d love to be considered for future opportunities. Don’t beg for an invite as it puts that person in a difficult position.
  6. Throw your energy into your blog. Rather than moping around, sit down and write a fantastic post for your blog. It’s healthier and it brings you one step closer to the success you’re looking for.
  7. Create a “Keep the Highs” poster, folder, binder, or bulletin board. Every time you get a great opportunity or a cool gift in the mail, print out or create a visual representation and place it somewhere you can see it. I think it’s most powerful as a poster or a dedicated bulletin board, but a binder works if you don’t have wall space. This is your reminder of all of the great things that have come your way, and just a hint of those to come.

My biggest tip of all deserves its own paragraph: Do not let the whims of PR and marketing teams impact your self-esteem. A red carpet event is not the measure of a person or even a blog. At some point, you have to take control over your own destiny and not let the offers and opportunities drag you this way and that. Create your own magic, in whatever way you can!

14 Responses to Highs and Lows of Blogging Stars–Beating the Bloggy Blues

  1. I’m starting a new personal blog that currently in the design phase mostly to learn a new skill so my brain doesn’t turn to mush. I found this post very interesting.

  2. What a great post, Christy! This is something I often struggle with and I think what makes it so much harder is that we are in such a social space with our peers, seeing their news as it’s shared can be both wonderful, but also discouraging. What I agree with most is to NOT change in order to get opportunities. Staying true to yourself is the number one priority.

    • I agree… the social nature of the space magnifies the situation. I think social media has that impact across the board. There are more amazing things happening, but also more tragedy. It’s just an emotional space, especially since we are more likely to share things on one end of the spectrum or the other.

  3. You must be reading my mind! A few days ago I was wondering if any bloggers were driven to destructive habits. I thought about writing about it, but didn’t want to make it seem like bloggers were celebrities. I find it much easier to disconnect sometimes to focus on what’s really important. The more and more I hear about who’s doing what, I don’t care. All of that stuff will still be there after I focus on home, family, and sanity. I know what bunches of events and too many blogging opps do to me, so I’m happy to be able to relax. Sometimes no news, is good news.

    • I think we are celebrities in the social media space. It’s a microcosm, but it’s the arena in which we spend a lot of our time. Anyway, I love your attitude. I try to disconnect as much I can, but also remind myself that I’m not blogging/working/building a business for the sake of getting opportunities and attention. Those are largely fun byproducts. I would love what I’m doing even without those.

  4. I quite love this Christy!! As someone who is now officially a has-been? I think I’m putting this in my bookmarks to send to friends who are or will struggle with the whims of bloggitude.

    You rock, as always, my friend.

  5. As an authentic redheaded stepchild, I concur! Good post! It’s a good reminder to focus on why you are blogging to begin with and not the perks it may or may not bring.

  6. Well, that explains it all. I must get rid of the pink on my blog. I knew there had to be a reason. ;)

    Seriously, good post. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason. And tomorrow is another day….

  7. Love this post Christy. So true and since many of us left our careers to pursue this passion, it can be hard to be the freshman in high school again. Wanting to be invited to prom. But knowing that just doing what we do best will bring its own rewards and that when the opportunity does (or opportunities do) come along, we’ll know that we earned it, which makes it so worthwhile.

  8. Loved this post. I’m a newer blogger and know what it is like to want to build my blog, but also feel this pull to write about what I love and am interested in. Thank you for this beautifully written piece.

  9. […] Highs and Lows of Blogging Stars–Beating the Bloggy Blues Bookmark on Delicious Digg this post Recommend on Facebook share via Reddit Share with Stumblers Tweet about it Subscribe to the comments on this post Filed Under: Blogger Resources About StacieStacie is the mom of two girls and lives in Nova Scotia, Canada. She loves to read, write, travel, shop and of course, blog! document.write('') […]

  10. This is so very true. My blog turned 3 in January and that same month I got my first event invites ever. It felt amazing to finally get invited to something and I had a blast. Now that they are over I am on a little bit of a low. I’ve got nothing coming down the pike. But I do try hard not to compare myself to others. I’ll just keep plugging along and eventually, something will come my way.

    P.S. Thanks for the link. :)

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