Well hello! Hi! Remember me? I did a rebrand and just went silent on your all. But today I’m back and writing just for me, for the very first time in absolutely AGES! WHY? Because I think I found the energy, or perhaps the courage to tell you why I opted out of the SA Mommy Blogger Community and in that sharing, reclaim my words. I’ve been silent about what happened for more than a year, but after reading this post from You Baby And I, I decided to share my experience.
YES, A T-Shirt Made Me Do It!
I’ve been blogging for more than 10 years now. While I have never considered myself the star of blogging, my audience, my words, my reach has grown consistently and steadily over that time. I’ve won numerous awards, attended thousands of events, participated in hundreds of campaigns and pretty much loved every aspect of being a Mommy Blogger.
I never set out to be anything but a quiet little blogger, happy to record my thoughts and experiences and engage with other moms online along the way. But then blogging and online influencing hit big in SA and everything changed. Suddenly, we weren’t just a group of moms encouraging each other through motherhood.
Suddenly, we were the competition!
Money and freebies became involved and in an instant, our entire community changed. Suddenly, we weren’t just a group of moms sharing in each other’s trials of motherhood, we were small businesses competing with each other for a slice of that pie. But through it all, as more and more moms joined the melee of mom bloggers, I always tried to be supportive. I was daily, weekly, monthly contacted by mom bloggers, looking for advice, looking for insight, looking for tips and tricks of the trade. Looking to me to help them on their road to success and I did it, willingly and happily. I almost always shared my experience, my contacts, I always shared my knowledge and my experience. I naively believed that my support of others would be reciprocated.
A T-Shirt Showed Me It Wouldn’t.
Then last year I got an intriguing message from a company who wanted to create merchandise for bloggers. We would work together to design and market our T-shirts and then split the profits made. At first, I couldn’t believe anybody would even want to own a T-Shirt with my branding or slogan on it and I declined, but then I saw other bloggers creating their T-shirts and in an effort to be supportive, I went out of my way to purchase every single T-Shirt, it was such a fun, community building initiative, seeing as each T-shirt got released fellow bloggers sharing images of themselves wearing other bloggers merchandise and pretty much promoting the hell out of each other. It was amazing.
Then it was my turn…
And my T-shirt went on sale and sold out in under 24 hours but there was absolute crickets on the sharing front. Not a single other blogger sharing how they’d bought my T-shirt. Not one other Mommy blogger promoting me, when I approached the anonymous enigma behind the initiative and they confirmed that indeed, while my T-shirt sales had been excellent, not a single blogger had supported me.
For a long time, I was hurt…
And extremely angry. It became very clear how my working to support others in my community was totally onesided. And the more time I spent thinking about the entire situation, the clearer it had become. I didn’t fit into any of the cliques and I wouldn’t be on the receiving end of much support. Pretty much I was only good enough to privately pump for information, assistance, and support, but not publically support.
For a long time I was so angry, I lashed out at the community as a whole, I removed myself from all the WhatsApp groups and Facebook groups and accepted that if my space on the internet, my brand couldn’t survive without other bloggers, then it was the end of a journey.
But the opposite happened….
I learned that I can stand on my own and still thrive, that while the support of others from the community is nice to have, it’s not a must-have in order to succeed.
And then the Kween B was born
And now none of it really matters. I’ve moved past it, I’ve learned from it, I’ve grown from it and I’m super excited for what the next chapter holds. I won’t lie, I hid away and licked my wounds for a long time, all the while feeling utterly ridiculous for being so hurt and so angry but time moved on and it really doesn’t matter anymore, which is why I decided to share.