Once upon a time, there was a girl who started a blog.
She didn't really know what a blog was, or that there were literally millions (or so it seems) of other bloggers out there, doing the same thing she was.
She wanted to write. She wanted to make people laugh, and smile, and cry.
She wanted to connect.
As time passed, she met other bloggers and joined forums and online groups to make friends, learn how to be a better blogger, and network with companies. She learned that she could actually make money by writing about products and services that she was using anyway.
Her friends and family said, You go, girl!
She turned her very personal Twitter account into a PR-friendly, social networking tool. Instead of using Twitter to simply talk to other people with similar interests, she had to market herself as a blogger too.
Goodbye, F word.
She began reading a ton of blogs, commenting and sharing.
Good bye, free time.
She learned that she had to build a Facebook Fan Page, Google+ Page, lower her Alexa ranking and increase her Klout score.
Goodbye, even more free time.
She had to learn the basics of HTML and CSS to make her blog pretty, professional and attract readers.
She worried about traffic. How to get new readers, how to keep them reading, how to get them to share her posts with their friends.
She stayed up late at night, reading about SEO.
She hosted a few giveaways for cool products that companies asked her to promote.
She increased her Facebook followers and received very nice thank you emails from her winners.
She started to learn a thing or two about blogging. A few new bloggers reached out to her, asking for tips on being successful.
She beamed with pride.
She was chosen by a blogger as her writer for a trip to Jamaica, where she went on her first press trip.
She was ecstatic.
She watched her traffic grow, and finally decided to put up ads on her site.
She made $16 a month. LOL
She saw other bloggers writing about how they disliked certain things that other bloggers did: running giveaways, writing posts specifically that will do well on sharing sites, using certain themes and blogging platforms that they didn't care for, "cheating" on their stats by requiring a Twitter or Facebook follow as a contest entry option...
And she thought to herself, who cares? It's just their opinion.
This is my blog. I paid for the domain name. I pay the monthly hosting. I have spent countless hours learning HTML so that I can design my site how I would like it to look without having to spend $$ hiring a designer.
I have spent hours upon hours, days upon days, learning the basics of SEO. Crafting each post to be visually pleasing and to be somewhat interesting, at least. I network like a champ. I take a zillion photos of everything, all the time, in case I want to use the photo later in a blog post. I sit at my laptop for hours each day, visiting other blogs and showing support and sharing the love.
This blog? I made it. It's mine.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Instead of worrying about the criticisms of others, I choose to ignore them.
There will always be people who disagree with you, with the things you do or say, and how you conduct yourself. Sometimes they have a valid point or helpful advice, and sometimes they don't.
When I read those posts from other bloggers that are helpful, I pay attention. When I come across posts that are mean spirited and full of envy and hate, I ignore.
There are thousands of blogs out there, just waiting to be read. When you come across a mean-spirited rant against bloggers, just ignore them.
I am far too busy trying to make my own blog successful to spare any time visiting bloggers who are mean and hateful.
What about you?