The blogging clique. What is a blogging clique? I know that I don’t like the phrase. I much prefer “blogging tribe” or “blogging family” or “blogging friends” whatever way you choose to look at it there will always be groups of bloggers. When I think of blogger cliques I think of groups of bloggers who are part of a closed-off circle, who keep themselves to themselves and are unwelcoming to any outsider.
In reality the parent blogging world is far from that. Since setting up my blog in January I have joined some fantastic groups where I have found nothing but support and kindness, including #tribalchat #KCACOLS as well as my #fortheloveofBLOG community, and I have also dipped my toe into waters of the UK Parent Bloggers Facebook page.
All blogger group members I have found to be so supportive, and I love being able to discuss blogging topics, brainstorm ideas, discuss the latest Moz and Tots update, how to go self-hosted or change my blog theme. Without having this support and drive from the group I honestly don’t think I would have kept blogging. These groups have kept me motivated when I’ve lost my blogging mojo, have sent me blog tags to complete if I’m struggling ideas and generally been a friendly place to have a chat.
So I definitely don’t see myself as being part of a “blogging clique” and instead being part of a “blogging circle of friends”. Just like in our everyday lives we have our own friendship groups. These can be friends at work, friends from school, and NCT groups, all of which could be viewed by an outsider as a bit “cliquey” but in reality are just a group of friends. This can also be applied to blogging. From an outsiders point of view a group of bloggers could be seen as “cliquey” which I think becomes so much more apparent at blogging events. Where often blogger friends have not seen each for a long time, or have just met for the first time after months of chatting online, and want to use this opportunity to catch up.
I was trying to think earlier how these groups naturally form. There’s the obvious groups that are related to Linky’s and therefore part of a community. Then there’s blogging support groups such as #tribalchat set up by Katie at Mummy in a Tutu. Katie set up her group shortly after I started blogging, and it felt like a natural part of my blogging journey to become part of this group. It is only natural that we gravitate towards people in similar situations having started blogs at the same time, or those whose blogs your enjoy reading.
If you’re not part of any blogging tribes, don’t worry. It’s not a requirement to be in a blogging tribe to be a blogger, or want to be a successful blogger. However if you want to get involved just get chatting online, join up to Linky’s, be friendly and be kind. We are all a friendly bunch, and here to help. I’ve never come across a blogger who has been unfriendly towards me or disregarded any of my questions.
So that’s why I say that the “blogging clique” does not exist, instead there are many different “blogging tribes” or “blogging friends”.
I asked the UK Parent Blogger group what they thought of a “blogging clique” I was a little overwhelmed by the response. It’s clear that there are different perceptions of the “blogging clique” and when it comes down to it, we are a group of blogging friends or blogging tribe.
Whinge Whinge Wine – I think finding a group of mutually supportive bloggers is fantastic! Obviously it can seem daunting and really hard when you’re starting out to find your ‘tribe’ but we all start in the same place; you just have to keep plugging away, join twitter chats, comment on people’s blogs (and not just for linkies!) and be friendly and banter on twitter and you’ll find kindred spirits! I didn’t know anyone in the blogging world when I started and now, not even a year on, I have met people I’d call true friends who understand the shit that comes with blogging. Hearing my ladies cheer me on at Blogfest was amazing. I completely value the friends I’ve made via blogging more than anything and I wouldn’t still be doing it without their support. I think clique is a negative word for what is a beautiful thing!
Castaway with dreams – I can’t say I’ve ever been aware of any blogging cliques, and I’ve been blogging and participating in bloggy stuff for ages! Maybe I’m just oblivious as I tend to just dive in and start/join conversations and engage regardless. I’ve always found people to be nothing but friendly. Just join in! No-one minds.
Truly Madly Kids – I find the blogging community very friendly, and I’ve never had a negative experience with feeling ‘left out’ or otherwise. I am aware there are commenting circles, and hashtags to encourage extra commenting and liking on various platforms, but I do kinda think that this is all part of it.
Everyones Buck Stops Here – I’m a newbie! Been live 2 weeks. I’m trying to get my head around all it I feel like the new kid at a school trying to fit in but thats not due to any noticed cliques but just the general blogging world!!!
Katy Kicker – I’ve been on the receiving end of a negative blogging clique. They were positive towards me initially, until I defended someone they were bad mouthing. Then they turned on me too. Fortunately I’ve got a great supportive group of people on Instagram and Facebook. We help one another succeed and I can share my successes with them.
Sparkly Mummy – I hate the word cliques I think it’s because it has a very negative connotation for me (school cliques mum cliques) but I have found on the whole other bloggers to be very warm, welcoming and helpful I do feel I’ve found my ‘tribe’ but it doesn’t stop me from mixing with, talking too, other blogger or I hope, supporting others bloggers. I know everyone’s experience is different but I definitely feel a great sense of community which I wasn’t expecting to find.
Arthur Wears – I think sometimes with social media it can be hard to convey feelings and emotions in the way they are intended – and what can seem like a ‘clique’ to an outsider looking in May just be a really supportive, established group of bloggers helping each other out, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they wouldn’t be welcoming to others. It can be hard as a newbie trying to find your tribe, but the best thing to do is treat others how you want to be treated – comment, share, chat, support and the good karma will eventually ensue!
Tippy Tupps – I’m old to blogging but new to trying to write for more than just a diary and I have to say the ‘inner circle’ seems hard to crack but I don’t think that’s from cliquiness (which I agree can have negative connotations) but more from that history and connection of sharing a journey. A relative newbie like me can’t – and shouldn’t expect to – just walk in and join a pre-existing gaggle of bloggers like that. You needs to find your own tribe and build your own relationships: that takes time and effort. I have to say the community as I’ve found it so far has been nothing but positive and helpful.
Wave to Mummy – I think it’s normal to make friends through blogging and that starts to extend on commenting and sharing each others posts. That’s normal and what friends do isn’t it! That said, for an outsider it can get a bit weary if someone you follow constantlypromotes the same people again and again. I might follow all these people on social media and if I get inundated with the same “clique” posts constantly it does get tiresome. Or I might follow one of them but not the others, and then it gets a bit annoying having someone’s content being shuffed down my social media throat so to speak if I am not actually interested enough in following them myself to begin with.
Mouse Moo Me Too – Exactly as Fran at Whinge Whine Wine said – we all start in the same place and I wouldn’t be enjoying blogging half as much if I hadn’t found my little supportive clique groups. There’s being cliquey and these being excluding though, the latter is obviously horrible.
A Life Just Ordinary – I think it’s only natural that people will chat to some people more than others and prefer a particular style of writing over another. I generally prefer funny stuff to read so have naturally drifted towards those bloggers that write funny stuff. I haven’t found anyone that hasn’t been friendly and welcoming so far and I think it’s nice to have a group of blogging friends you can chat to and run things past.
Five little doves – I hate the word clique too, to me it has negative connotations. I do however have an amazing blogging tribe who have my back in the same way that I have theirs. We support each other with not only blogging, but life in general and I am hugely grateful to have that circle of support.
Babies and Beauty – I love having a close group of blogging friends who I know are there to offer advice and support when I need it and vice versa. Especially as a mum, it’s always handy to have likeminded Mums who can sympathise with whatever your going through. Sometimes I wonder what I would have done without some of my fellow blogging ladies.
Mothers Little Steps – I have an honest question though: Is it really important to belong to a clique or a tribe? I’ve also been blogging for a bit now, but new(ish) to joining in FB groups and the like. While I’ve never ever had a bad experience so far, everyone is genuinely lovely and helpful, but is it important to be “seen” as belonging to a certain group? I’ve never attended any blogging conferences, I’ve wanted to in the past, but have realised it’s just not my thing, but this is really just down to my personality. I’m just an introvert, happy to be doing my thing. Have a few bloggers whom I really like personally, but don’t think I belong to any tribe.
Hi Baby Blog – My ‘clique’ are now, genuinely, the best friends I’ve ever had.
Inside Outside and Beyond – I’ve sometimes seen Instagram hashtags and thought – ooh that’s a bit cliquey but the reality is, friendship groups will be made whatever the situation be it school, work, the gym, on a course. I think if someone views it as a clique (which has negative connotations) then the issue is theirs. I gave myself that talking to a while back! Perhaps it’s a little bit of a jealousy thing?
Stephs Two Girls – I think that as in real life, we tend to hook up with people that have the same sense of humour and similar outlooks on life. It may seem difficult to ‘break into’ an established group of friends, but there’s so many bloggers out there that everyone should be able to find someone to talk to. No need to be part of an existing group – I think the tendency might be to feel you are missing out, but if you’re not in it, you don’t really know what you are missing anyway. Groups are great for support, and sometimes (but not always!), the smaller the better.
Ellamental Mama – Really interesting discussion. I have been blogging for nearly a year and I’m not sure I could say I’ve found my tribe. Though I have found small groups and few people who are very supportive and I try to be supportive of others. On groups like this I find people really helpful if you ever ask questions (I don’t have many answers to contribute yet!). One thing I would say though is that it depends on how you are feeling in life in general. I have been struggling with life over the last year and blogging has helped but also because I’ve felt unhappy and unsupported in ‘real’ life those feelings have been transposed into the blogging / social media side so I’ve felt I don’t know how to join in Twitter chats or that people always have a tribe and don’t want me to join etc. But I wouldn’t say it’s the fault of the blogging community. Of course big groups can feel daunting to build personal connections but when you feel low then small groups are hard also because you don’t feel like you belong. But like I say it’s a bigger issue.
Twinderelmo – I cannot imagine not having a group of blog buddies to bounce ideas off, ask for help/advice, rant, share awesome opps and blog achievements with. It makes what can be a pretty lonely solitary thing so much more fun. They can pick you up when your down… and send awesome gif messages to put a smile on your face!
Love Becka – Ooo I don’t know what I’d do without my “blogger clique” and now it’s so much more than blogging! I met my best friend through blogging and now she’ll be my bridesmaid, another friend I met through blogging we now meet pretty much every fortnight and I’ll be at her hen do soon! I don’t think it’s necessary but it’s so valuable once you find people you can trust.
Slouching Towards Thatcham – The topic of ‘cliques’ often seems to come up at conference time, when groups of blogging friends who may only see each other once or twice a year huddle together and from the outside seem to exclude others. There are certainly some close groups and if you wander up to them at the wrong time you won’t be welcomed in with open arms and may appear unfriendly. I’ve never really had an issue with that, to be honest. And sometimes groups hang together because they’re a bit scared of engaging with others too – safety in numbers and all that. I’m sure that at times it may have appeared that I’m a bit cliquey at a particular moment in time but the reality for me (and many others) at conferences is that you often have quite condensed short chats with people and then move on to someone else. But at that moment in time, you might appear cliquey. *shrugs*
A big thank you to everyone who took the time to answer my question, I loved reading your responses and hearing your point of view. I’ve even come across a few new blogs in the process!
For those reading this, what’s your view on the “blogging clique”? Are you part of a “blogging tribe”?