When I look at Blogher it’s like seeing two side of a coin. On one hand, you are given the opportunity to expand you audience in ways that blogging alone could never achieve. If you are able to get onto the front page or most popular list, thousands of people would be exposed to your writing. However, with that in mind, it is also difficult and discouraging to submit your work on sites like Blogher if you are a young, upcoming blogger. There are so many people, posts, and links on that site already that your posts may be lost in the sea of information. Unless you secure your spot on the front-page of the site where people can find your articles easily, your goals may be difficult to achieve. One thing that is good is that Blogher organizes the different topics well. That way it is easier to connect with people who are interested in your particular niche. However, since Blogher has a certain set of organized tabs there is a chance that your blog is not within the allowed topics. If your blog happens to be outside the subjects that Blogher shows you might not know where to put your blog and the actual publicity that you receive might only be as much as if you tried to blog and market independently. Overall, I believe that Blogher is a decent idea. However, the amount of actual success that you receive may differ for different people and blog topics.
You would think a network of Bloggers would be a good thing – lot’s of publicity, connections with other writers, etc. Why take the risk of starting your own blog when you can join an already massive network of bloggers who get to write about what they want? It sounds like a good idea, and it also removes the need to gain recognition from all the way at the bottom. The reason it sounds too good to be true is because it is too good to be true. I just looked through BlogHer and looked at maybe the first two pages of the food section. It was a mess. The amount of content that was released in a single MORNING (mind you that It’s around 10:30AM right now) is staggering. The first page was only from October 29th, 2013 (today), as was the second. There was just such a massive flood of content that I could barely focus on any particular author or blogger. That’s when it hit me. That is the major problem with blogging networks. You’re not an individual in a blogging network. You are a part of a massive web of interconnected people that form one mega blog that has no real distinct voice of its own. Sure, the writing style differed from post to post, but in general I couldn’t care less about who wrote those posts. It was like looking for a single fish in an ocean. The network was just too massive to even look at any particular writer.
As I said before, a blogging network saves you the trouble of building up your website’s reputation, but what it doesn’t do is give you immediate popularity as a writer. In fact, it’s probably much harder to gain a good writing reputation because of the fact that your posts will most likely get flooded out in a matter of hours. That is why I prefer having my own blog. I get to build it up myself without any help. If it gets popular, I know it will be from my own ability. Sure, a blogging network could help people discover your other articles, but I think the initial cost of joining a blogging network outweighs the positives. Taking a look at my own blog, if I had joined a Japanese music blog network, I don’t think anyone would care for what music I listened to. Hell, people barely even care right now. Putting myself up against other individuals who are in the same position as I am would only cause me to sink or swim. In most cases, I would probably sink. I’m going to stay away from blogging networks and stick to what I know, even if I’m giving up the chance to be on a frequently visited website.
I think joining a blogging network like BlogHer is a good way to attract readers to your blog, to an extent. If I were to follow this network, I would be seeing a lot of posts that aren’t yours as well, so while SOME of your posts may become popular, your blog as a whole may not, as many posts may go unnoticed. Also, I feel like if I was going to talk about this post with someone else, I’d say “oh I saw it on BlogHer” not necessarily the exact blog that it came from. It’s probably better to establish credibility and a following on your own blog if you are seeking high success, though this may help to attract readers initially.
I believe it is possible to carry on both your own blog as well as social media as a blogger. One health blog I follow is a young woman who lost a tremendous amount of weight and now inspires other girls to do the same. She posts healthy recipes, talks about her workouts, but also gives insight into bits of her personal life. At the same time, she is active on social media to truly inspire and stay connected with the girls reading her blog, motivating them to eat well and exercise. Additionally even to that, she runs another blog where she chooses several girls to be on her “team” and moderates their blog posts and adds her own- kind of like watching their progress and giving extra tips and staying very connected to those chosen girls. While it doesn’t seem like she has another job, so she has a lot of time for social media and blogging, she does a great job balancing her different sites while maintaining the healthy lifestyle she promotes.
If I were to join a social blogging network, I would assume it would be a group of younger DIY bloggers. I like to post things that are easy for anyone of any skill range to post, but I focus on college girls based on money, availability of supplies, and especially the recipes. So, I think my blog would fit in well with a site dedicated to college girls, kind of like HerCampus but for a varying range of blog types. It would be cool to be able to read a site that has DIY things, recipes, video games for girls, movie reviews, etc.. all focused on college age girls and eliminating sarcastic or “slut/betch” posts. It would be more serious and interesting/helpful rather than entertaining. All the bloggers would have a common goal and they would maybe link to other girls’ posts within their own, if relevant.