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Inspiration

8 Things You Should Never Say to a Blogger

By Aug 20, 201456 Comments

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As bloggers we all know what it’s like to have a friend look at us with a blank stare when we tell them that we blog. Then we automatically launch into explaining what we mean, giving them small details, backing up from the initial excitement we had about sharing this to begin with.

It’s been so awkward that many a blogger has turned their statement into a whisper. “I have a blog.”

Let me tell you something. There are so many things that you can say in response to that seemingly small statement. So many supportive and incredible things.

And so many you should not.

never say to a blogger

Eight things you should NEVER say to a blogger.

I have been on the receiving end of so many of the things that should not be said to a blogger. Just so you know you are not alone, I’ve compiled some of my least favorite responses to, “I have a blog.”

1) Oh, that’s cute!

Puppies are cute. Babies are cute. Blogs aren’t cute. Bloggers work hard at coming up with fresh content regularly. They brainstorm and design and find new ways to inspire their readers. It’s not cute. It’s fantastic.

2) Why?

If someone tells you that they blog and you ask them why? That’s like someone asking you why you read a book. Or why you go to work. Or why you pick up your kids from school every day. They want to. For many bloggers they have to. It’s a part of who they are.

3) Do you think you’re going to write a book or something?

Maybe. Just maybe. But with that attitude I’m pretty sure that I’m not going to trust you enough to tell you.

4. Oh, I blogged once.

Once? One post does not a blog make. If you have real blogging experience? PLEASE. Share. Talk to us about what happened. Why you stopped. Let us tell you why we haven’t. Don’t brush us off and think you know what blogging is all about if you blogged “once,” because it’s not cool. I’ve skied once, and believe me, I still know nothing about skiing.

5. That’s nice.

Yes. It is. But that kind of response is pretty canned. This is something we do because we love to. It’s kind of like your pottery, jewelry-making, Etsy shop. It’s a part of who we are. It’s nice, but it’s more than nice. Wouldn’t you like to learn more about it?

6. Do you know ______ (insert *famous* blogger’s name here)?

Sure, the blogging world may seem small, but that’s like asking me if I know your aunt because she grew up in Brooklyn. I probably don’t. But if you ask me if I know OF someone, I probably do.

7. What do YOU have to write about?

It’s the accusatory YOU there, that is off-putting. You know what? I write. And people read what I write. So there!

8. And lastly? Whatever might be upsetting to you if someone asked you that same question or said that same comment about your job or your interest or something that is important to you.

Because if you were asked a question that insinuated that what you’re doing wasn’t of value or seemed somewhat condescending? You’d be cranky, too.

So if you have a friend who blogs? Ask them for their website. Offer them support. Ask them what they write about. Find out why they like it. Because I’m certain we could all learn a lot from one another that way!

As a blogger, have you ever had someone say one of these things to you?

Keep Reading

Are you looking for more blogging support? Here are a few posts you’ll find helpful:

About Andrea Bates

Andrea blogs regularly about being a mom, family and relationships, life in the south, how much she misses New York, lots of great books, and whatever else crosses her mind over at Good Girl Gone Redneck. You can also find her sharing ALL.THE.THINGS over at her Facebook page!

56 Comments

  • Kim says:

    Oh so true. All of this. I find it interesting when I am on campus talking to fellow students and they make it seem like blogging and dealing with all of the things involved with it is just so simple or worse, pointless.

    I have to admit I laugh because these are journalism and PR majors whose careers will depend quite a bit on writing and learning how to network. I feel blogs are a crucial tool for showcasing your skill as a writer and even as a photographer these days.

    Telling anyone that their blog or blogging is cute or making it seem like it’s just some lame hobby is rude and unnecessary.

  • I’m new to blogging so I haven’t heard these yet, but I’ll definitely be prepared once I start telling people more and more what I do. Great post!

  • Marisa says:

    Love this! Luckily, I haven’t been ask these questions—YET. I’ve had friends let me know they too wanted to start a blog. But there’s always that one person who WILL say at least one of those things.

  • Tamara says:

    The question that gets under my skin is how do you make money doing that? I understand that people are curious but tone and inflection can make anything rude. A follow-up question is how much do you make? Which I think is very rude. I would never ask someone in our first meeting how much they make.

    • Kate Love says:

      Exactly, Tamara!

      Another similar one I’ve gotten if I tell someone I’ve written an eBook is: “How many copies have you sold?”

      Because, first, it’s rude and none of your business and, second, you wouldn’t ask that of someone with a book being sold in major print outlets. Well, I guess the second goes back to the first: it’s just plain rude.

    • Filomena says:

      I know, right? That’s the one thing people always ask me, ‘how do you make money from THAT!?’ it’s soo rude! x

  • Denise says:

    I loved this post! I’m a member of Sits Girls and a pro blogger and can certainly relate. I started my new job today and I love the brand, wanted to share. It’s called Appath.com and it’s a cloud based system to streamline ecommerce, they offer a free 30 day trial! If y’all are selling online be sure to check it out, wrote my first post introducing myself today.

  • Jamie G says:

    I can’t believe people would say these things! How Rude!!

  • Emily says:

    This is all so true. I have had indifference and lack of interest from almost every close person in my life. Except my husband, the first few weeks he was my one and only faithful reader. Now that I am amounting a following and mild, small, success my family have come around. My Dad even said “Oh, you have like a real blog.” Yes, it is in fact a “real” blog. Others have stated, “well I figured you must do something with your day since you just stay home otherwise”. One also said, “what, so you think people care about how your house looks?” They obviously had never been to my blog. The point of my blog is relating to others, sharing my home, and making tutorials so others can create a dream space too. So many don’t get it, fine. Just don’t belittle it. Also, I can and do make money from it. That blows peoples minds too.

  • Amen sistah! lol. Luckily, I haven’t been on the receiving end of any of those condescending comments. I think the worst for me is getting those blank quizzical looks when I tell someone I’m a blogger. I remember being with my dad one time and he is THE biggest fan of my site. He was trying to explain to a family friend what it is I do, and I just had to tell him to stop. “I’m a writer.” is what I ended up telling this woman who had the most perplexed look on her face. lol. My blog has given me the opportunity to be on television a few times and I’ve even been in a few large publications – yet there are STILL friends who, I’m sure, are confused about what it is I do. I think it just comes with the territory.

  • Elizabeth says:

    Andrea, I think this is so great! I must admit that even I didn’t know what blogging was really like until I started blogging! I think so many people put it down and just don’t get it, and then I remember that I didn’t get it either. I still don’t flaunt that I have a blog, and feel awkward when others bring it up, but I am working on brushing off those that don’t get it, because very likely they haven’t been there. They don’t understand. Thanks for a post that really connects. Love it!! 🙂

  • “Oh, that’s Cute.” Ugh, can’t stand it! How would you like if I took a 10 second flip through your 20 page dissertation and said, “oh, that’s cute.” LOL totally with ya on that one!

  • Yup, totally been there and done that. It never gets old and like others have said, I just do my best to roll with it at times.

  • Alli says:

    I must have really loyal friends and family because they all love my blog. I have an aunt who prints all of my posts and takes them to my mom and dad (computer free) so that they can read them. My sister, who lives across the country from me, shares my FB posts every day. She’s my biggest fan!

    I’m sure there are a few of my friends that don’t get it, but they have never made a negative comment.

    However, I did have another, more experienced blogger, make the comment that she just “loved my little ole blog.” 🙂

  • One of the first friends I had the courage to tell told me she doesn’t blog because “who would care about her life and it would feel too narcissist for her.” I thought, wow, what a way to let me know how you really feel.

    Other friends have commented that “Well, it’s not like you’re going to write a book or anything.” or “Well, it’s not like you’re trying to be one of those big mom bloggers.” What if I DID want to write a book or big one of those “big mom bloggers”? Why do they think I’m too small to do either of those things??

  • Jean Lynd says:

    My favorite s when they ask if I actually make any $$! Self-centered, though authentic.

  • Mari says:

    Andrea OMG I have heard each of those statements in one way or another!!!
    Wonderful share I finally accepted a few months back that even your so called friends and loved ones may not be supportive of your passion or passions.
    Calling what I do cute is extremely rude and pisses me off every time.
    Your wonderful for writing what I have been thinking for over a year!!! Xo

  • I get crazy comments and questions sometimes, so I understand how they would drive a blogger out of her mind. Thanks for the post, always learn great things around here!

  • Akaleistar says:

    This is so true! It’s reassuring to know that so many other bloggers go through this, too 🙂

  • The blank stare followed by “what’s a blogger” always gets me. I remember looking in my rearview mirror while being stuck in traffic. I could read the lips of an elderly lady driving behind me asking her husband “what’s a blogger” – I have a vanity license tag that reads “BLOGGER”

  • Every bit of this is true… I also hate hearing “blogging is not a real job”! SO many people have said this to me, they really have no idea how hard I work and it’s super insulting. It’s so hard to hold back the frustration at times, but I try to remind myself they just don’t “get” blogging.

  • I have two very successful sisters. And I am a housewife who blogs about romance and erotica. NOne of my family has ever even looked at my blog. Yet they are always all up to date in the other family members’ businesses. What, me bitter?

  • Danah says:

    I think this is why we have so much value to the blogging community. It is really nice to feel that support. Sometimes we just have to get it from our blogging family! But love is love regardless of where it comes from. Rock on!

  • Soufian says:

    Great, thank’s you so much 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    No matter how small someone’s blog is, never refer to it as their “little blog.” 🙂

    • arjun limbu says:

      Yes, i totally agree with you. Everybody wants to express what they feel about life, and not necessarily have to be a great writer or a poet. there are people who listen to you from your blog.

      When i blog, it just makes me relief.
      When i receive comment, i am Curious.
      When i receive negative comment, i take it as to learn other side others of life.
      When i receive positive comment, i take it as there are people who also feel same as me.

  • NJ Rongner says:

    I almost always tell people that I’m a writer, if asked. If they ask where/what I write, I go further and tell them I have a blog. I just get so tired of the comments from jerky but well meaning clueless people.

    Bloggy comments on the other hand, NEVER ever tired of those!

  • My friends rarely read my blog. My sister reads it but not once has she asked me about it or talks about it. I only found out through another relative that she reads it. So, actually it would be nice to get a little respect for the written work. A simple, “hey your post was great this week” OR “what are you writing about on your blog these days?” would even be ok. But to completely ignore it is kind of strange. It would be like me never asking my closest friends or my sister about their work or their kids. Great post!

  • My boyfriend use to get annoyed when I would tell him I needed time to write some posts. Now, he is the one out there telling everybody how awesome my blog is and how great it has been for our family. It’s really kind of nice. I’ve had mostly family that didn’t understand how much time and effort I put into my site. They are starting to come around to seeing it as a job, after about 3 years.

  • My friends rarely read my blog. My sister reads it but not once has she asked me about it or talks about it. I only found out through another relative that she reads it. So, actually it would be nice to get a little respect for the written work. A simple, “hey your post was great this week” OR “what are you writing about on your blog these days?” would even be ok. But to completely ignore it is kind of strange. It would be like me never asking my closest friends or my sister about their work or their kids.

  • Tammi Young says:

    Spot on! I’ve heard a few of these from family. Some say, “That’s cool. I don’t have time to read blogs.” They say that but I bet they do read blogs they just don’t realized it’s a blog (or Pinterest 😉 ).

    Sigh, oh, family.

  • Amanda says:

    Great list. I get the “Yea, that’s nice. I don’t read blogs.” Um…thanks. Funny enough, most people that say that LOVE Pinterest. Don’t they know that most of the stuff on pinterest is from bloggers?

    I just think that because it’s such a new profession, that people don’t know what to think about it. It’s foreign, and they don’t know what to say.

  • Evey says:

    sigh. All I can say in response to this post is: WORD. -_- My personal favorite one that I got was “I saw someone pin you on Pinterest! I had no idea your stuff was good.” Gee. Thanks. I mean, I know there was a compliment somewhere in there, but dang. I AM good at why I do, it’s taken years of dedication to get there! Thanks for noticing what I’ve been doing for YEARS is good, and yes, profitable. This person was a family member. Yup. LOL

    Awesome post! <3
    xo
    -Evey

  • That is why I don’t tell many people about my blogging and by people I mean family and so on 🙂

  • My favorite response that I’ve gotten is when I was asked, “Can you actually make any money doing THAT?”

    um…yup. And eff you.

  • Allison B says:

    My family thinks I blog for a hobby to keep myself entertained with the kids. I keep getting asked what I’m going to do net year when all the kids are in school. Every time I say I’ll spend more time blogging they look at me like I have 3 heads and say “no I mean for money.” After 4 years they still don’t get that I make money blogging.

  • I suppose I am one of the lucky ones. I’ve actually never heard anyone say any of this to me. I have had someone ask me what a blog is and that threw me off, lol. I didn’t think anyone didn’t know what a blog was (especially not anyone in our generation). However, most people ask me what I blog about and say they will check it out. A lot also say that they have tried blogging and want to do it more but (insert reasons here). So I try to help them. But I’ve only ever encountered the pleasant side of it. I don’t know how I would respond to these reactions.

    • My sister use to be really bad at the, “You should get xy or z for me for free and write about it.” I would get so frustrated because my time really is valuable! It was mostly just family that said stuff like that oddly enough.

  • This is cute! OR nice! Or both! Haha! I have encountered lots of these comments. I just roll with it.

  • Kathe says:

    Terrific list Andrea! Yes, I’ve been asked everyone of these. One that is missing is, “how much do you make blogging?”. How rude! How would you feel if I asked you how much you make at your job??

  • Lauren says:

    This is so true… I get the ‘Are you going to write a book’ comment all the time!

  • I honestly have not had any one say any of these things to me, when I say I have a blog they ask me what’s the name of it I’ll go check it out.

  • Tammy says:

    I can’t believe someone would say any of those things, how terrible. I have been fortunate, so far, that my friends and family have been very supportive.

  • Kelly says:

    Boom!

    Yes, I’ve heard all of these….and then some!

    Keep on keepin’ on.

    🙂

  • Star Traci says:

    Well said, friend. I have definitely had that moment and have often couched what I do with self-effacing phrases and humor rather than declaring it as something I do that has value.
    🙂
    Traci

  • Ginny Marie says:

    I had to explain to my aunts what a “blog” is, and they still don’t get it! But they are proud of my writing, anyway. 🙂 Some people also don’t understand that I write new content all the time. They think it’s a static website, so if they look at it once, they’ve seen it all.

  • Glenda says:

    Yes, just about every “friend” has asked or responded in one of these ways. Now I say nothing about what I do.

  • This is a great post. Luckily, I haven’t encountered any haters, but that’s probably because I have a fear one of these very scenarios would go down if I did mention it. I’ve already gotten those type of responses in other things I do, so I’m pretty sure it’ll come soon about my blog. I’ll be ready for them!

  • Lisa Howard says:

    I have a fairly strong personality. I don’t think I allow enough time for these type questions. Much like a steam roller, I hit ’em hard with my excitement and leave ’em wondering what hit ’em. lol. Actually, I have encountered similar comments at times. Some people just don’t “get it”. Your post does a great job of pinpointing that very thing. Great job!

  • Charlotte says:

    Yes, sadly… I’ve heard quite a few of these. I remember telling an aunt once that I was thinking of writing an autobiography and she scoffed. It reminds me of the “What do YOU have to write about” statement. I don’t think people realize how damaging those words really are.

    Thanks for this 🙂

  • Laina Turner says:

    OMG so true:) Great post.

  • Tiffany says:

    These are all so true and unfortunately I’ve heard each one. You’re right it can take away your excitement but thankfully never my passion. If they don’t understand – I’ll explain, if they don’t wanna listen – I move on. Great post Andrea!

  • Adrienne says:

    Ha! Great list, Andrea. Talking to non bloggers about blogging makes me so uncomfortable.