Lessons I’ve Learned While Blogging – Dealing with Drama

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If you ever want to start a blog, it can be LOTS of fun.  Blogging can be an outlet, it can be a venue for many different things.  It can even, in some rare cases, make you some money!  I’ve been actively running websites and blogs now for nearly 4 years and so I thought I’d write a 10 part series on what I’ve learned!!  This week, it’s drama. 

I am constantly amazed at how blogging is so much like high school!!  I LOVE blogging, don’t get me wrong.  (I hated high school btw).  I get to share so much with readers and users on WeUseCoupons and everyday is an adventure!!  From my videos to my fun posts, blogging has become such a fun learning experience for me.  But let me tell you something (and imagine me sayin’ this with a nice southern drawl), I have learned long ago that I am just a person.  I’m not superman, I make mistakes, I still have to sit on the pot like everyone else and wipe.  We are all human.  Some bloggers get big heads.  They think their voice is important.  They have this many followers, x number of fans that well, that means I’m important.  I have clout, you should and will listen to me they say.

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned in my four years:

  • Big heads often explode
  • Arrogant people develop enemies and often don’t last long
  • No one really likes the mean girls
  • Feeding fires is dangerous

Big heads often explode

People get big heads.  Bloggers, especially, get big heads.  It’s funny, a few years ago I was at a conference and was in an elevator.  I was about a year into my blogging experience, and this woman got on the elevator as I was going down to the conference level in the hotel.  I smiled at her and asked her what her blog was, trying to make polite conversation, I was extremely nervous and one of the only men at the conference.  She looked at me with disdain and replied, ‘I can’t believe you don’t know who I am.’  Of course, I didn’t know what to say.  I was literally rendered speechless.  First I didn’t want to be disrespectful and say something snappy back, because after all she was popular.  No self respecting geek wants to make the popular girl mad.  She may run and tell her friends, and we all know how that ends!  I was saved only by the bell as the elevator doors opened and the awkward silence ended.  I was curious about her, naturally, and asked around to the few people I knew who she was.  It turned out that she was a relatively good sized mom blogger.  It’s been three years, and just for kicks, I went back into my notes (yea I save everything) and found her site and it appears she has retired.  Maybe her audience got a taste of that big head to many times, or maybe her head exploded.  Maybe she couldn’t take it herself, I don’t know, but she isn’t blogging anymore.  My point with this story is that her attitude was the problem.

Blogging lends itself to all different types of personalities, but kindness is universal.

I have been on national television, been interviewed by countless reporters, have a successful website, but you want to know a little secret…..the majority of people in the grocery store still don’t know my name.  Looking back, I see why I shouldn’t have known hers.

Arrogant people develop enemies and often don’t last long

It is hard to please everyone, but make an effort.  As your blog grows, you will start to realize that some people just don’t like you.  Embrace that reality.  But don’t go out of your way to make new enemies.  I have developed a good policy of overlooking passive attacks.  Sometimes people (other bloggers) will make snide comments.  Their comments come in this form: ‘Well I don’t think I’d ever do it that way’ or ‘Don’t you love it when someone copies my idea.’  My wife would call that a passive aggressive comment.  Over time you learn that those people either will generally become enemies or go away.  BUT there is no need to hasten the process.  By ignoring or being pleasant they may find another person to target.  Enemies are no fun, trust me.  Being someone who has been in the public eye, people naturally will disagree with me.  They don’t like my methods or just don’t like me.  But I try not to give them any more reasons.  Getting into an email war, a public battle of words, or a Facebook fight never ends well.  Both parties generally look childish, your friends side with you and vice versa.  My advice is to make an effort to avoid conflict.

No One Really Likes Mean Girls. 

Do you remember high school?  Now if you were like the majority of the population you probably had a few friends but were NOT uber popular.  You went about your business and for me prayed for it to end.  But there were always people you avoided.  Everyone knew who they were….the mean girls (or boys).  Blogging has the same problem.  Usually the ‘mean’ girls form mini ‘elite’ groups.  They are the ‘it crowd’ and don’t like new comers to the party.  I don’t remember where I heard this but it has become an almost life motto, ‘the best revenge is success.’  You don’t need to be in the ‘it crowd’ to succeed.  Look at me.  I’m a guy.  I coupon.  I’m not your atypical coupon or deal blogger.  People on facebook when I mention my wife say, ‘I didn’t know you were a GUY.’ I chuckle a little and say, and how long have you been following me!!  I made my own crowd.  I refuse to let a snotty little bloggers (did I just say that) make me feel less about myself.  I did that once in my life, I’m an adult now, act like it.

The other point to make is that very few blogs actually succeed on negativity.  A successful blogger told me once that ‘complainers will only complain for so long, everyone tires eventually.’  I have found this to be true time and time again.  Whether it’s a competitor complaining about you, or an individual, persevere through the ALL trials.  They will give up.  Few make careers out of complaining.  Which brings me to my next point.

Don’t Feed Fires

Drama is dangerous.  Let me repeat that for those that don’t believe me, drama is dangerous!  I have been through the fire.  I’ve been called every name in the book, trust me, just Google it!!  But you know what my response has been every single time.  I ignore them.  Now why is that?  Why would I ignore a bully.  Why would I ignore another blogger or person that is posting nasty things about me.  Well my father told me this years ago and it applies in almost every area of my life, ‘don’t ever feed a fire, starve it and it will die quickly.’  When you respond to meanness you only empower the bully.  When you respond to the nasty comments you only embolden the commenter.  Never EVER respond on their terms.  If you respond, do it on your terms.  Do it in a way that is classy and professional.  But what I do and it has served me very well, is don’t give them the light of day.  The bottom line is this, they WANT to affect you, they WANT to make you mad.  They genuinely want to make you feel bad about yourself, and I refuse to let them.  Don’t give them that power.  In life, only a few people matter, don’t make them someone who matters.

Blogging is lots of fun, coming from a person who has been around the block, arrogance isn’t attractive.  My favorite bloggers are humble, real people who embrace their faults and are quick to apologize.  I’ll name one by name, Crystal Paine.  I know she isn’t perfect, but she, at least to me, is a great example of a blogger how understand this game.  I wish I would read her blog more often.  Humility is a virtue in blogging, and one that most should embrace.  Drama and blogging are two words that often go together, but I would humbly suggest that if bloggers put more effort into their blogs and less effort being dramatic, their blogs might have a lot more great content.

Lessons I’ve Learned While Blogging is a 10 Part series.  Next week’s article how Networking Leads to Support

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the article, I have been blogging now for 2 months now and I feel like a little fish in a really big pond. But to see that you painted a picture that things do take time and you will run into some speed bumps along the way was helpful. I admire you alot and you have come such a long way. I look forward to your next article!

  2. rchick says:

    Amen to that!  For some reason I always seem to find the bloggers/reviewers (on unrelated subject matter) that think their way/opinion is the only one, which isn’t always true.  Once I start seeing holes in their stories I move on.  Thanks for being such a humble host and blogger – I really enjoy and appreciate you! 

  3. Justme says:

    I have been blogging for 4 years as well and wish I was able to read this 4 years ago.

  4. I love this article! I have only been blogging for a couple of months and I would have no idea who anyone is in person! I am not sure I would even know some people who are famous if I saw them since people look different when it’s close and personal you know? I really do like your website and I hope to get to the point where you are at within 4 years! Keep up the good work and happy blogging! :)

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