Earlier this month, I spent a weekend with 15 bloggers who I admire and had only known online. It got me thinking about why I started blogging, how all my friendships have grown in Chicago based on blogging and in general what blogging friendships have meant to me. I’ve been asked before, “How did you build friendships through blogging and how do I connect with other ladies online?” After this weekend with these successful ladies and thinking about my friendships in Chicago, it was the perfect time to write about blogging friendships, how to make friends through blogging, and what can you do for each other.
*Even if you aren’t a blogger and are trying to figure out how to navigate friendships after college, read on! You can still meet plenty of people by going out, through friends, mom groups etc.
The lovely ladies Kelly and Victoria of the blog Wilson Gabrielle invited us to Vegas for a 2-day blogging and bonding trip. From rooftop drinks at the Red Rock Hotel (which is also where we stayed) to yoga, a pool party, and fantastic dinners, we spent two full days together getting to know each other. I learned a ton about blogging, about each girl and met a few ladies in Vegas I am excited to see again (when I head back)! Below are cute photos of the whole weekend and I’ll answer a bunch of questions on the bottom about blogging friendships.
The host ladies!
Dinner at T-Bones at the Red Rock with all the girls!
You know it is a serious blogger trip when they get me out of bed to do yoga! All our work out gear is from Athleta.
I never ever thought I could do this and for someone that doesn’t work out at all, I was pretty proud of myself!
So if you have been following me for a while, you know I started blogging as a way to meet people in Chicago. I was new to the city, I didn’t have roots or friends here and with my fashion background and my sister’s pushing, I started blogging as a hobby (and praying I met like-minded girls to be friends with). Here we are 7 years later, I have a great group of friends and social friends that I have met all through this lovely platform.
How do you meet bloggers?
If you blog or don’t blog, you can essentially meet them at events. Most of us host events and that is the best place to start! RSVP and go to events. Don’t be scared to go alone – I did and it made me talk to others and connect. Be friendly, support, and if you blog, stay connected by commenting and following along on their journey.
If you are a blogger, you’ll essentially start seeing the same group and it’s an instant connection. Pass info, and schedule a lunch or drinks after work!
If you aren’t a blogger, show up and support through different events, comment on their Instagram and stay connected through social media. We do notice the ones that stay connected with us and are a part of our community!
What NOT to do when you first meet?
I would say whether you’re are a blogger or just meeting someone for the first time, don’t aggressively throw questions at them. It’s intense, I feel like someone is interviewing me or wanting to drill me for their own benefit. Many times it’s a combination of asking me for my number too soon and telling me I have to tell them how I grew my blog and Instagram to where it is. Well, babes, friendships don’t start with what can you do for me, it has to start as a natural progression and both need to feel comfortable to open up. Oh yes, don’t spend 30 minutes talking about yourself, lol. Natural conversation is all you need, and be aware of your approach and body language.
Online Blogger Friendships? What is this?
So strangely enough, in the past, we had pen pals and now we have social media pals that we’ve never met but they feel like friends. If you are new to blogging, commenting and liking consistently for months/years helps you create your own community. You’ll find some are friendly back, you’ll get invited to things, you’ll end up in a comment pod together, etc. It just happens and a lot of times, it is through liking, commenting and direct messages through Instagram. Sounds strange I’m sure to most people, but there is a whole behind the scenes method that some use to network.
The more time you spend consistently engaging, the more people notice you. It’s crazy but right now there are some that either spend all day or they have an assistant doing it but with so many of us trying to blog full time, the way to network and grow is by doing this!
The biggest tip: Do go to events to meet people, go outside your comfort zone, smile, talk, be friendly and let it happen ORGANICALLY.
In the model behavior suite at the Palms hotel which is epic! So girly and so big!
How did blogger acquaintances become real friendships for me?
After seeing people at events several times, you start feeling like you know each other. I love connecting and asking questions. Remember things about people and what they say, and it is two things. Time and connection. Just like any friendships, some feel easier and some feel forced. The ones that are easier to connect to are the ones you should invite out to breakfast, lunch, coffee, drinks, or whatever feels comfortable to you.
I’m a planner so for years I was the one planning group dinners and inviting people out. This has enabled me to connect with so many different people. I wasn’t afraid to reach out or invite people out and from there the friendships grew. Planning group things help and most of the ladies love these outings!
The best instagrammable cafe in Las Vegas – Café Lola
How has blogger friendships impacted my life?
With blogging and my life pretty much colliding into one, these friendships have meant the world to me. #1 They understand my struggles with blogging, social media, and work. #2 The customary photos and being on your phone when you get to an event or at dinner without talking is normal #3 I am inspired and motivated by so many who I know in person and online. It pushes me to write and create better content. #4 The support is INCREDIBLE. From attending events to just being there, I don’t consider blogger friendships just about our blogs, it’s been about true friendships that were created due to a platform. #5 I would not have been able to call Chicago my home or live through the past year without these friends. In the end, blogging and social media have allowed similar like minded women to bond together in life.
Are there negatives?
Yes, as with any friendships between girls, there’s arguments, layers of drama and some competition. But I choose to look at the many positives and to remember, sharing on social media doesn’t mean those are true friends. True friendships and memories happen behind the curtain and if I am included or not, I know who my friends are.
There are too many wonderful things that have happened because of this blog and Instagram for me to focus on the negatives. The travel, the bonds, the collaborations and the the surprises along the way are where I have to pinch myself daily that I’m getting paid to do these things and share my journey. And the best part is that I have friends at these events and along for the ride!
For those of you who haven’t blogged but have thought about it, the only way to find out where it will go is to take that step forward.
How to be successful navigating bloggers and social media?
Be comfortable, only compete with and focus on yourself. Too much focus on others success, not being included or being competitive will drive you crazy and can put you in a bad spot. Navigating this world, focusing on what you CAN do and supporting others will get you much farther.
Easy steps in developing friendships.
- First, make sure you are going out there and putting yourself out there and a lot! It took me YEARS to develop close bonds.
- Take the first step, beyond conversations, invite them out to lunch or coffee!
- During the meetup, it is easy to develop a friendship through conversation and friendships develop by really knowing about the other person and texting/talking when you can. Keep this up and it will organically become a friendship.
- The other way is to bring a group together! Have a new friend meet another friend, etc. Bring groups of friends together and your group will get bigger and you’ll develop more friendships.
- At the end of the day, it’s the effort you put into it. Make the effort, be friendly, listen, and be open.