I am about to confess something that will likely leave some of you laughing, scoffing, or shaking your head at me and thinking “that poor, misguided woman.”
The single, most important reason that I love blogging as much as I do is because of the real friends I have made.
“Real friends,” you say?
“You mean those people who you have never met in real life,” you say?
“You mean those people who know nothing about your real life,” you say?
I say: yes, those people.
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t consider every blogger out there my friend. I don’t even consider every blogger I interact with a friend. I am not THAT crazy. But there are some that I feel I have truly connected with. Some that I know I would get along with beautifully in “real” life. Some that I respect and treat the same way that I would respect and treat a close friend. Some that have impacted my life more positively than some “real” friends have during the past year.
Does that make me crazy?
You might think “hell, yeah, that makes you crazy.”
I say, no, it doesn’t. Because each of these bloggers has bridged that great internet divide and given us a glimpse of who they really are through their content. Through their humor. Through their creativity and originality. They are warm and welcoming to each of their readers, and create an atmosphere that is inclusive, not exclusive.
Just as we are each drawn to the individuals in our “real” circle of friends for specific reasons, we are also drawn to certain bloggers for specific reasons. There is something about them that resonates with you – something that makes you feel a kinship with them.
That “something” is their authentic voice…. which just so happens to be the topic of this week’s Friend Friday questions! So, let’s get on with it…
1. Most readers and fellow fashion bloggers value authenticity in the blogs they read. How would you describe blog/blogger authenticity? I described some of my thoughts about what makes a blogger “authentic” above, but I think the main element is this: they let their personality inform their content.
Bloggers with truly authentic voices are not focused on selling something. They don’t set out to impress their readers. They aren’t marketing themselves as “the next big blogger.” Instead, they focus on writing in such a way that is true to who they are as a person. As an individual. They offer unique and compelling content that is infused with personality. They don’t talk down to their readership and instead embrace them. It’s difficult to do that as a writer, but the bloggers with true “authentic voices” manage to do just that. They manage to sprinkle their posts with just enough personality that you feel like you are reading something a friend wrote.
2. When it comes to your blog how do you infuse it with that true/authentic feeling? Honestly, I am not sure how to answer this question. As an anonymous blogger I think it is a difficult thing to do because there are no visuals of me(for the most part!) to create that sense of familiarity. Instead, I have to do it solely through my writing.
I try to be real in my writing. I don’t write anything for the sake of getting hits or exposure. Instead, I focus on subjects that interest me. When I am passionate about something, the writing comes naturally, and I think the authenticity does as well. You can’t force authenticity – I am not even sure you can really explain it – it is either there or it isn’t.
I must be doing something right because I have received comments indicating that I do somehow manage to do this, including this one just this morning:
“i really want to commend you and your blogging skills. one of the things i adore is that you can make your blog *so* personal, and give us such a great idea of who you are, and yet you are anonymous. so many people can’t even do that when they’re sharing actual pictures of themselves.” – Kristy Eléna of Vogue Gone Rogue and Full Time Fabulous
Notice she doesn’t really say how I do it. I honestly believe that authenticity just is there (or it isn’t). I don’t try to be someone I am not… I just try to be myself. If that doesn’t appeal to someone, they can move on to one of the other countless blogs out there!
3. Have you stopped following a blog in the last three months? What made you lose interest? I have actually stopped following quite a few recently, for various reasons:
- Due to sheer volume, I have decided to focus on “smaller” blogs and have stopped regularly reading most of the big guns (I still read them on occasion, though!). There are so many talented bloggers in our StyleNation that it seems to make more sense to focus on the ones that are often overshadowed by the greats like Gala Darling and BryanBoy.
- There are certain blogs that, to me, appear to have shifted from true style blogs to marketing platforms for their respective owners. Those are blogs that I stop following.
- Content, content, content: unique, unregulated content is key. If that is lacking, I won’t be following.
- Aesthetics: I admit, there are certain blogs I stopped following simply because I couldn’t stand the way they look. They weren’t user friendly at all.
4. We can’t communicate effectively on our blogs something we don’t live in real life… what are some ways you try to live an authentic life? How exactly does someone not live an authentic life? Seriously – I can’t quite wrap my head around that concept.
I make no apologies for who I am. Either someone likes me, and all my idiosyncrasies, or they don’t. I refuse to change who I am for anybody, and if someone can’t handle that, they know where the door is. I don’t pretend to be someone I am not . Someone may not be privy to all the different aspects of my personality – I am complicated, I admit it – but they still know me. I am who I am.
5. Give a shout-out… Which bloggers do you think are truly genuine and why? For all the reasons described above:
- A Brit Greek
- Bella of The Citizen Rosebud
- Casee Marie of The Girl Who Stole the Eiffel Tower
- Katy of Modly Chic
- Kristy Eléna of Vogue Gone Rogue and Full Time Fabulous
- Marissa of The Well Appointed Catwalk
- Vahni of Grit and Glamour
What about you – how do you define authenticity?
To see what other bloggers are saying about this topic, click here.
For more info on ModlyChic’s Friend Friday series, click here.