real-blogger-beauty

I wanted to re-post my #realbloggerbeauty story from June 16th for everyone to read again, as I will be speaking about my story tonight at Ranalli’s in Lincoln Park, along with Maya of Charmingly Styled and several other great people and bloggers. Come join us if you can from 6:30-9pm! It promises to be an evening of support, story telling, sharing of ideas, and being around others who struggle with something when it comes to blogging. Until then, here is my story:

I really love blogging. I’ve been blogging for a while now, and coming this August, it will be one year since I wrote my first blog post. It’s amazing how far I have come as a writer and how many friends I’ve made through blogging. However, as a male in the world of “lifestyle” blogging, I never imagined that I would be the minority. I’m a man living in a woman’s world, who is also someone trying to make a name for themselves in the blogging world ruled by women.

That is my #RealBloggerBeauty story; the struggles of trying to be the “perfect” male blogger in a woman’s blogging world.

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I’m going to let you in on a little secret: being a male “lifestyle” blogger is NOT easy. The biggest struggle for me is trying to be “perfect” in everything that I do when it comes to blogging; mostly because there aren’t many of us men represented in the women-ruled world of lifestyle blogging. When I first started my blog, I didn’t realize what it took to get readers and be treated as a serious blogger. I went through WordPress.com because it was “free” (without the upgrades), and I thought it was my best option. Little did I realize that serious bloggers put a lot of time and money into their blog. Appearance is everything in the lifestyle blogging world, and I realized that it all started with the look of your website. In addition to that, I quickly realized that social media presence is CRUCIAL to being a successful blogger. SO MUCH TO LEARN!

Of course, I immediately jumped in head first, and pretty much fell flat on my face. Though I made a lot of new friends, my blog was going nowhere fast. I went to my first blogger event at American Junkie back in November, and was one of two men in attendance. The other 25 or so other bloggers were women. I was starting to see a trend here, but I kept coming back! At the next blogger event, I was the ONLY male blogger in attendance. Sure, there were a few other men there, but I knew that they were husbands or boyfriends. They didn’t really count in my book.

While my blog has become more popular, I find still find myself struggling with being the blip on the radar screen of women bloggers. I wonder if I am taken seriously, or if I am the token man who women need to “accept” into their club. I constantly find myself in situations where I can’t participate at an event, because I am not a woman. I don’t have long hair, so I can’t attend a hair styling event at a hair blowout salon. I don’t wear women’s clothing, so I can’t attend a summer fashion-styling event. While there are plenty of women’s events in the blogging world, there are virtually ZERO events that cater to men. None. Zilch. Nada. If you know me at least on a semi-personal level, you know that I’ve been screaming that from the rooftops since day one.

Hello BlogHIM and The EveryGUY. I am available.

And then there is my website. Ladies, after seeing all of your wonderful looking websites and blogs, I can’t help but realize that my blog looks like straight garbage. You make me jealous with envy, and that is a struggle with being a man in a woman’s world. Have no fear! I’ve taken matters into my own hands, as I decided to design a shiny new blog and website from the ground up. It’s taking me some time to do it, mostly because my vision of what I want is incredibly detailed to pull off on with a stock WordPress theme. Again, this is perfection showing its ugly head. I need to have a blog/website that looks just as good as yours, if not better. I need to be seen as a serious blogger and “authority” figure in what I write about and offer to everyone.

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Looking all disheveled (and not even close to the fashion-minded person that my mother raised) after a long day of blogging. Yes, Reggie needed a nap too.

So, the battles with perfection occur on a daily basis. It’s a plague.

It’s all your fault ladies!

Seriously though, striving for perfection can be a dangerous thing. Striving to be accepted is something that we do everyday in our lives. It’s in our nature to want to be accepted, and failure can be utterly devastating. I can’t imagine how it is for you ladies, with all the other lady bloggers out there who are striving for that same success as you are. I’ve witnessed some not-so-great things when it comes to blogging, including the bullying of a dear and close blogger friend and the unfortunate exclusivity that comes with being successful bloggers. I try very hard to stay clear of those shenanigans. The best thing about blogging is that I’ve realized who my good friends are, and that they will support me through thick and thin, even if I mess up somehow.

There you have it. That is my #RealBloggerBeauty story for you all. Kudos to Maya of Charmingly Styled for having the courage to bring up a subject that we don’t really talk about. Before this project came about, I always envisioned you ladies at home writing a blog post, dressed up like I saw you previously at a blogger event or a party at 52 Eighty Lounge. Ha! I’m excited to share my story with you all, and to find out if there are others out there who sit on the couch in front of their computer, eating Bon Bon’s and looking all disheveled while writing that great and PERFECT blog post.

Come on – admit that you do it too ladies! Ha!

The Windy City Epicurean