May I call you Martha? I mean, I feel like we practically know each other. It was just two months ago that you reached out to me, as a blogger, and asked if I’d like to work on any story ideas together. Imagine how flattered I felt.
Martha Stewart contacting me! Well, okay, it wasn’t you per se. It was “your people.” But the pitch was very clear:
I’m reaching out to let you know that the September issue of Martha Stewart Living is on stands today! Please see the highlights below and let me know if you’d like to work together on any story ideas.
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia
601 West 26th Street New York, NY 10001
Finally, someone had seen the genius of my work! My frequent ramblings had finally caught your eye! Was it the business minded posts that I wrote over at Social Dialect? Was it the social good work I’ve done with blogger on Charitable Influence? Or was it simply my quirky little take on every day life?
I wasn’t sure so I asked.
Hi (name withheld),
Thanks for reaching out. I love the magazine but wanted to better understand what you meant by working on any story ideas.
Thanks in advance!
Turns out all you really wanted was for me to share your stories from your magazine on my blog. My little ol’ blog. And you offered to send me a free copy of your magazine!
I meant to respond and politely decline but I didn’t. I got too busy working with major brands and PR firms that value my time, my voice, and my influence. But I didn’t say that magic word. That word that inspired this whole post. My expertise.
Let me remind you of the interview that was released on Bloomberg.com yesterday.
(In case the video doesn’t appear, you can view it here and read the key quote from her interview below.)
“Who are these bloggers? They’re not trained editors at Vogue magazine. There are bloggers writing recipes that aren’t tested that aren’t necessarily very good, or are copies of what really good editors have created and done. Bloggers create a kind of a popularity but they are not the experts. We have to understand that.” ~ Martha Stewart
I like that you say exactly what’s on your mind. I like that you criticize the very people you reach out to to help elevate your business into the social media space. You take your lumps and you like it. Even when you were sent to prison as a convicted felon. You owned up to it and you took your punishment and you thrived after your release.
But let’s talk about expertise for a moment. I’d like to introduce you to a few of my favorite bloggers:
Lisa Lehmann, blogger at Studio Jewel. Lisa is a trained artist and metal smith who handcrafts beautiful pieces of jewelry while following her commitment to the environment with use of 100% recycled metals, as well as genuine fair trade gemstones. She’s also a really awesome person.
Aimee Giese, blogger at Greeblemonkey. Aimee has her degree in graphic design and has grown her expertise in social media, amazing photography, and beautiful web design. Coincidentally, also a pretty awesome person.
Kathy Cano-Murillo, blogger at Crafty Chica. Kathy is one of the sweetest and most soft-spoken people you’ll ever meet but don’t let the exterior fool you. She’s a savvy businesswoman having sold her crafts to major retailers, written a syndicated newspaper column, and authored several successful books.
And finally, I have to introduce you to the Martha Stewart of our world, someone whom I’m sure you keep a very close eye on.
Ree Drummond, blogger at The Pioneer Woman. Ree studied journalism and gerontology. But her real claim to fame was moving from Southern California to the ranch life of Oklahoma. As far as I can tell, you’re finally right about expertise. She doesn’t have a background in the culinary arts. She’s never been a Vogue editor. Kind of like you, Martha.
Ree created her own life, as have many other bloggers. Some of them bring their professional expertise to their blogs while others are simply trying to find their path in life, or as you may better understand, find their way out of Nutley, NJ.
Frankly, your statements don’t surprise me. You’ve often shown yourself to feel threatened anytime your “expertise” is challenged. So I guess in retrospect, your concern about the rising popularity of bloggers is simply evidence that we are a powerful force in media.
Thank you for your insights. They actually turned out to be a very good thing.
Blogger, Writer, Marketer, Teacher
(Check my LinkedIn profile, I can back it all up.)