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
and 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 Lisa Lehmann Designs. 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 Greeblehaus. 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.)
WORK IT GIRL!!! I must say I had A LOT of those very same sentiments in mind when I saw that interview as well. AND I must say I giggled a little. THOUGH I do agree that there are way too many bloggers out there copying content, there are way more creating valuable content, fostering communities and countless other things whether they are deemed “EXPERTS” or not. It will be interesting to see the backlash.
This post: Major win.
There are some who still have yet to catch on to the fact that blogging is an important piece of today’s media consumption. How many articles have I stumbled across in recent months that show consumers are more apt to trust a blogger for a review than from elsewhere? Um, several.
I am almost surprised people like Martha are still threatened by bloggers. Why? Afraid of becoming irrelevant? Here’s a little tip, Martha: Learn to adapt. Those who learn to adapt and do their jobs well can still thrive. Those who want to sit on the bleachers and feel threatened will eventually become irrelevant. Period.
Well said. I am still just appalled. I have never been a big fan of hers – even before she was a convict (irony?) – but this just sealed the deal. How incredibly disrespectful. Shame on her for talking down on anyone.
Nothing about dislike Martha Stewart before she was a “convict” is ironic.
Great response Fadra. I worked for Ralph Lauren for years before launching Momtrends. I do consider myself an expert and I consider her unkind and brazen to set herself on a tier above those who publish solo.
Thanks for commenting, Nicole. You are definitely one of the “experts” I look up to in this field on so many different levels!
Lovin’ it! Intentional or not, Ms. Stewart has ruffled many feathers.
I’m with you. The Martha Stewart machine should be honored to work with you. Funny, I was contacted by the Fit Flop powers that be (since comfort shoes are my thing). Similar vein: We’d love to work with you. So I write back and ask for a sample pair to review and compensation for a feature, since that’s how we do it. She made it evident that I should be the one kissing her Fit Flops for free.
Yes. Yes. Yes. Thank you, Fadra.
Standing up and applauding LOUDLY…and cat calling with whistles too. I DID work with Martha Stewart. I was a member of her “Martha’s Circle” of bloggers, the very SAME “who are these bloggers” of which she spoke. I find it interesting that she paid me for advertising, content, etc., yet now I learn that the entire time she’s been looking down her nose at me. I have formally resigned from Martha’s Circle and her ad network. I can’t wait to see how she’s going to “SPIN” the explanation.
I was very curious to see how those in her ad network who she profits from would think… and it’s just as I figured I would. Adios, Martha.
Bravo, Zippy. I admire you for sticking to your guns.
I love this! There are so many talented bloggers that share amazing ideas! What was she thinking.
Go, Fadra! Speaking of expertise, I know several people who’ve tried Martha’s recipes say that something was off or wrong because the recipe didn’t work no matter how many times they tried to make it. How is she defining expertise? Getting paid? Because that’s not expertise; that’s income. Expertise implies education and more importantly, practice & honing skills. Great post.
I have a few of Martha’s cookbooks and I can think of two recipes in particular that just didn’t work even though I followed them to a tee. It was clear that the recipes hadn’t been properly edited or tested!
Um what??? We write recipes that aren’t tested? Any posted on my blog are probably tested more thoroughly then hers. Let’s see her 3 little boys that their version of criticism is gagging on the food and spitting it on their plate. If that isn’t tested I don’t know what is. 😛
This made me laugh. And what an awesome point. However, I prefer my own test kitchen. Yours sounds a little scary 😉
“Bloggers are not experts; the underpaid interns at my companies who do
90% of the work on the recipes and the decorating and such are the experts.”
Betting she does a half-assed walkback of her comments in 5, 4, 3…
Betting she does not. She is Martha F*^king Stewart! She apologizes to nobody, and rightfully so.
Oooooh Martha. You’ve just pissed off a huge part of your audience.
So they wanted to advertise on your site, for free (or for a magazine copy). What an honor! LOL. I gave up on Martha when I tried to make a glass coaster project. It said to go to a glass cutter and have them cut squares out for you. I called a local one and it was going to cost north of $100. All her projects are about as easy as doing taxes. Now I use blogs for crafts and recipes– and found that blogs tend to inform you of potential missteps and how to avoid them, while the “pro” articles often do not. Thus my results are better.
Thank you for sharing, Margaret. I think that people want more accessible and relatable information. It may not come from “experts” but it’s probably more useful for our day to day lives.
Amen! Thank you for pointing out blogger who are truly experts in their field. I may not be trained but I am a mom who knows how to take care of her children!
Thank you so much for including me but besides that… HECK YEA SISTER. Thank you thank you thank you.
You are dead on, Fadra! She is once again showing her arrogance, and it won’t serve her well. I’d bet that I can bake as well as she can – hell, she doesn’t do her own baking anyway.
YOU. are Awesome. Best response EVER. She’s just completely off with this. Obviously she’s still stuck in the oldschool mentality of doing business and new media isn’t her thing.
Well said! I felt her comments were drenched with insecurity – she sounded jealous, annoyed and threatened that she has to compete with “peasants” (aka the untrained Vogue editors).
I <3 this! #Winning I may not be an "expert" in everything…but I'm an expert in knowing with my kids will eat, crafts they can actually do and enjoy, dealing with a child that has mental illness. I may not be perfect in any of those aspects, and no one is, but sharing my stories, my projects…my life…..has given me the ability to connect to a lot of people on a personal level. I'm not reaching them because they saw a pretty picture on the cover of my magazine at Walmart, I'm reaching them because I'm sharing TRUE LIFE I don't have hair stylists, make up artists and a team of people to create crafts for me to showcase. I do it myself with what I have…a limited budget and 3 kids fighting for my constant attention.
Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t read the types of blogs that come from “experts.” I read blogs that feel like my girlfriends are giving me advice on a little bit of everything. Keep doing what you do!
I’m an expert on having awesome friends like you. xo
Yes. You’re very good at that.
I just saw the interview and had to check what all the fuss was about and your post so eloquently highlights the issues with what she said. I much prefer Ree over Martha and never really paid much attention to her. I’d rather make a family friendly recipe from another mom than one of hers any day.
Go Fadra! I never liked Martha Stewart and have never given her my time, attention, or money.
I am speechless. :/
The same things that have made Martha an “expert” are the same things that make many bloggers “experts”… life experience and a willingness to share what they have learned with others. Thank you for sharing this Fadra!
Amen. You said it exactly.
PERFECTLY SAID! I once saw her at a conference & found several of her comments rather surprising to share publicly. Especially when asked if there was anything she wasn’t perfect at? Her answer, after a lot of hesitation was something to the respect of ‘well, I guess anything I haven’t tried yet’. Surprisingly she was speaking to a crowd of bloggers at that time with a room filled with at least 2500+ of us & I was left wondering, after seeing no backlash, that at the end of the day did anyone really care what she had to say? But this is very different & demanded a voice – thank you for saying it perfectly!
Wow, I can’t believe that. She just thinks she is perfect in everything she does. I’ve heard that she is a real bitch in real life…and very OCD. I’d hate to work for her…or be one of her kids. Lord help them! I will not support her in any way…and have always by-passed her products at Michael’s…….but I do spend time/money picking up crafting stuff from Kathy…the Crafty Chica! 🙂
Wow. Way to dismiss an entire group of people. I’ve never been a big fan of hers (even tho she did teach me how to fold a fitted sheet), so there’s no love lost here. Just shaking my head…..
Here’s my question – why do we need to fold a fitted sheet? It’s either on my bed or stuffed in the linen closet. I guess I’m not one to care about wrinkled sheets 😉
YES! You are my new fave 🙂 Love this!
Perfection, Fadra. I cringed as I watched the interview. It amazes me that a woman who so blatantly uses bloggers to market her ’empire’ would speak so cruelly about us as a collective.
Holy crap that quote. HOLY CRAP. Well. Also, great response, and I love that you featured these great women. Amazing women. I actually discount sweet Martha because I have her dishes… from MACY’s that have chipped and faded and scratch from the first weeks. But my IKEA plates from when I first got married 19 years ago? Nary an issue. Money makes people dirty and clouds judgement… not only on great recipes, but on creating quality product.
You reminded me of the fact that I bought my very favorite wine glasses at Macy’s a few years ago. They were, in fact, Martha Stewart. Within 2 years, I had one of the eight glasses left because they all broke so easily!
great post. loved your response to the way you were treated.
Just want to add my kudos because this is so well written. And I LOVE the last line. 🙂
I’ve read several status updates and blog posts of women (mostly bloggers) that are up in arms about Martha Stewart saying in an interview that “Bloggers aren’t experts our editors.” I think folks are missing the point: that’s the upside of self publishing/bloggers – that you/us are “real.” Our background may supplement and possibly give us a heads-up on our blog, but overall, it’s the passion and real life experience is what bloggers use to connect with real people. The same people that Martha is now dismissing. Go YOU for writing this EXCELLENT post – my favorite in this whole debacle.
Maybe you made the point better than I did. Perhaps we aren’t experts but maybe things are shifting so that people don’t WANT experts. They want people with skills and knowledge who are also relatable!
Wow! Never a dull moment in our “little” blogging world. Great job Fadra!
Spot on. Love it.
How do some ladies do it, SNAP! Every expert begins as an amateur. You go, Fadra!!
Yes. That is all.
I wrote about her a bit too this morning, though I feel bad for contributing to even more traffic for someone who clearly can work her magic without us underlings and peons. Cough.
Thank you for saying what so many people wanted to, so eloquently!!
Don’t worry. She’s generated plenty of traffic all by herself. Whether we felt personally affected (I’m a blogger, not an expert) or not, I think that as a community we all took offense.
There are some great bloggers out there. Coming up with original ideas and truly inspiring people more than even Martha can. But some bloggers just do a recipe from a baking book alter a tiny thing and then class it as their own. The contents isn’t original and they give bloggers a bad name. Martha’s comments are not articulated well and she was ill advised to comment in such general terms about many bloggers who are inspired by her, but for some bloggers she is bang in the money.
Pru – you absolutely have a point. Just this morning, I was looking up a recipe for dinner. I found it on Better Homes & Gardens and then about 10 other blogs. The exact same recipe. I frankly consider it plagiarism unless the recipe is changed up or focused on the preparation techniques. I think some bloggers simply don’t understand the idea of intellectual property. However, to dismiss all bloggers in the same breath was just wrong and disrespectful to those who do work hard on creating original content.
I am in love with you.
I’m married but thank you 😉
you gooooooooooo girl!! Just tweeted this!
Well said! Bravo!
BRAVO, Fadra. As someone who works in both the magazine and blogger worlds, I find this comment particularly off-the-mark and derisive. I’ve known talented bloggers every bit as creative as mag editors. Oh, and vice versa! Sure, there are mediocre bloggers out there. There are mediocre editors, too. As in any field, it’s a mixed bag.
You said it! And it’s nice to hear your perspective having been in both worlds. There are unprofessional hacks in every line of work but it’s unfair to generalize in that way.
Cheering for you Fadra! Thank you. I just unsubscribed to Martha everywhere. She won’t miss a retired interior design psychology college instructor who blogs from her heart anyway. I always thought her rooms were too cluttered, too milk toast pale, too country…but, I’m not an “expert.” My research is just from Harvard.
Ha! Love it Jeanette! Now, why don’t you go back to your rocking chair because you can’t possible know as much as a 72 year old design maven…
I have two rocking chairs outside overlooking my pool. Who wants to sip Temecula wine and watch the cloud reflections? Wait, I have a book to send to the editor today. Back to writing because I love it!
Sing it sister! Martha Stewart is absolutely my favorite person to hate, and she just keeps giving me reasons. I am a self-proclaimed “Jack of all trades, master of none” and I am proud of my diverse abilities!
I’ll admit that my opinions of Martha over the years have been swayed by the unauthorized biography of Martha, “Just Desserts.” If you’re looking for good Martha stories, that’s a great place to start.
sigh. here in the blogosphere we keep it ‘real simple’ … play nice, work together, love on others.
All I can say is…WOW! But kudos to you for your clever response!
So very well said. Though I don’t claim to have expertise in anything except being me (and I’m pretty darn good at that) I read a lot of people who know what they are talking about. Or they make me laugh. Or they make me think. Martha Stewart has never done any of these things for me.
Awesome post, Fadra!
You said it perfectly!
Well said! I love how you responded in a letter. Seriously, what was she thinking?
Thank yuo for the shout-out! I have a funny story about the “testing recipes” at MS – In 2007 or so, her staff wanted to have my dad on her show to demo his tamales. (They saw his feature in Better Homes & Gardens that year) Lots of interviewing and screening, they loved him. However, when he turned in the recipe, her test kitchen wanted to replace the lard with something healhier – completey chaing the recipe to what they thought was better. My dad was like. “No.” Needless to say, they cancelled his segment, lol!
Oh, that’s SO funny that you have a personal connection to her in that way! If anyone knows anything about Latino cooking, it’s that lard is key! (But most of us like to pretend that it’s not being used. We don’t want to know. We just want it to taste good!)
It is extremely closed minded to make an all-encompassing statement that (seemingly all) bloggers have no expertise, copy recipes and publish them without testing – and it is disappointing to hear from Martha Stewart. While I have taken many culinary classes and managed restaurants and production kitchens, I do not consider myself a culinary expert – not one bit. I do, however, pride myself on original content that has been tested. I believe the majority of food bloggers are the same, if not experts themselves.
I was not offended though, as I see this as a defensive reaction – I agree that she must feel threatened by the large media segment bloggers hold.
I think that your approach is excellent. And I’m sure that with your content, some are winners and some aren’t. That’s what comes with creating. If I personally worked for Martha in her “blogger’s circle,” I most certainly would have been offended. But since I don’t, I was just merely annoyed.
Great post, Fadra. Very well done.
Wow time for a strike ban on buying Martha’s products.
Not hard to do if I generally don’t buy her products. I actually find them to be of a lesser quality, typically.
you…my friend…are a gem. and I am so very honored. thank you…from the bottom of my heart. xoxo
I have a feeling many bloggers who have followed her and looked up to her, is going to say “bye-bye” Martha! We don’t need you when we have fabulous bloggers who blog about the stuff you do, but better!
thank you. As a blogger, I feel very annoyed by that statement. If she wants high-end stuff that is her. she is not the only person on the face of this earth who is an Expert. In fact in my book, she is NOT AN EXPERT. The interviewer was well off base with that interview. Martha just thinks she is being threaten, and no one will pay her any attention any more. Blogging is a matter of one’s opinion, and everyone has an opinion. Unfortunately, neither is she.
WOW….That felt like a Slap in the face from her!!!! GO You for saying what you felt!!!!!!!
HA! Take that, Martha! She is so irrelevant these days, it’s not even funny. And you know, people say crappy things when they aren’t happy with themselves, so that quote just speaks volumes about her insecurity. GREAT POST!!
Honestly, I think she’s just oblivious and out of touch. No surprise really but I’m sure her PR agency was scrambling!
What a hypocrite! Her, not you, of course! Yet another “expert” dissing bloggers, so sick of it.
LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about this! I hope Martha reads this and realizes how wrong she is.
Nicely done, sister. Martha, that hypocritical smile is not wearing well.
What a classy, well written and thought out response! Love this!!!
Thank you ! And yes I did punch the air ! 😀
Hey Martha! Blogging <- It's a good thing!
LOVE IT. Thanks.
Amazing post, very well said. Thank you for speaking out for bloggers!
Very well said Fadra! Hat’s off to you for being frank, bold, and strong!
Martha proved she was not an expert in PR that is for sure! It was an appalling interview — I think because she is just an appalling self-serving snob and let her true colors show.
My twin and co-blogger Susan posted our thoughts on our site today too. “The surge of traffic in recipes on Pinterest and blogs showing regular people cooking and baking proves people want real recipes from real people.
Test kitchens and photoshopped photos have been all that was on offer in the past. Now that people can find the “real thing” online, their choice is clear.
We want real recipes from real people with real photos.”
Although I do have to say I’ve tried a few Pinterest recipes and they have been disasters but I’m more likely to try a recipe from a peer than from a magazine focused on entertaining a crowd in the Hamptons.
She seems so full of jealousy, it’s sad. She makes millions of dollars per year and yet she feels the need to make the little person feel inadequate. I’m no expert blogger but I love doing it and I appreciate those who do it much better than I do. They are my inspiration.
LOVE this! I had a few choice tweets for her that you can check out if you’d like. I’m a beauty blogger and studied beauty merchandising and marketing. I’ve been living all things beauty for the past 5 years. I am young, but that doesn’t mean I am not influential. I find it funny how she was talking about contracts at the end…”it’s all in the contract,” – the law is kind of like a contract, I’d say…and she broke that and went to prison for it. I may be a lowly blogger but at least I don’t have an inmate number.
Olivia – I think you are an example as to how a lot of us entered blogging. It’s been a natural complement to our professions or in some cases an evolution (plenty of beauty bloggers doing this full time!). Influence is definitely a muddy area these days and being a celebrity doesn’t mean as much as it used to (when it comes to things like this).
Well put Fadra!
Ouch. That was pretty funny.
My Kitchen Well said Fadra. If there is something that you are far better at than Martha it is expressing yourself. I hope that the back lash is long and painful, as social media (that she uses to expend her business) AND bloggers are here to stay. You can’t have it all your own way Martha, no matter how much Ralph Lauren helps you express yourself!
One thing she has done though, is introduce me to your great blog, Fadra
Aw, thank you so much for stopping by! Although I can’t promise that I have rants like this every day 🙂 I’ve put my foot in my mouth plenty of times but usually it was off the record. And I always apologize when I say something stupid!
BOOM! Loved this. Thank you for advocating for us little people. Us “bloggers”.
And to think she was the key note at BlogHer 2012! Great post!
I skipped the keynote. I couldn’t remember why but now I do. She was there simply to promote herself an it wasn’t something I was interested in even then.
This is such a great response. Eloquent, honest, not spiteful but not backing down.
First of all…anyone who uses the phrase “upper echelon” is out of touch with reality. Secondly, of course she thinks Macy’s has great taste…they carry her line.
It sounds like she is threatened by “these bloggers”. Maybe she is upset that someone else is getting attention an she doesn’t have a grass roots following like Ree (hers is more of a “castle on a hill” following). Maybe her 2 million followers on Twitter has become too impersonal. Maybe she is upset that she doesn’t have a interactive blog that speaks on a personal level w/ followers. (does she have that? I wouldn’t know b/c I’m never on her site). I have the utmost respect for Martha. She has created an empire, I just find it odd that she sounds jealous of the little guys. We should be flattered!
I love the “castle on a hill” analogy. It’s so true. And it’s also true that more people have stopped looked to the castle and starting looking at their next door neighbors. Isn’t that why we all read blogs in the first place?
I tend to stay clear of Martha Stewart anything, always have. I just don’t understand the appeal people have with her. As for her comments, was every idea she ever used her own? Has she thoroughly tested and evaluated each and every recipe, craft, product, idea her site has promoted? What makes her so much better than the average crafty person? I’m the first to admit I’m not an expert in most things but with a college degree and a whole lot of life experience, I wouldn’t say I was just making stuff up as I go along or stealing ideas from her site to claim as my own. In fact if I find I have ventured into marthaland, I usually close the screen quickly and look around to make sure no one seen me on the site which shall not be named. 🙂
You’ll find that many successful entrepreneurs weren’t “experts” in the fields they eventually excelled in. And Martha has an omnimedia company. It’s ALL-emcompassing. If you read any of her biographies, you’ll find that she may have been crafty but she’s also been shrewd and devious from the very beginning.
BRAVO!! Great piece – thank you for writing!
Great post! Yesterday when I first saw this video I was angry. Then I thought about it. MS started out as a SAHM who cooked and crafted and turned it into a business with no professional training. I spent nearly 20 years in the I.T. field. I know technology as a result. My blog is mostly food but I am willing to bet that I have taken more cake decorating, cooking and baking classes than MS has in her life. Do I have a degree? No, I don’t but when I was in college I went to art school so I think I can call those classes training.
Martha bashed Rachel Ray a few years back when she got huge. She does not like anything she views as competition and lashes out at it.
All I can say to MS now is good luck at your next blogger conference or event.
I love that your avatar shows the Wilton sign in it! There’s nothing to say that a hobby or passion or avocation can’t become the things you’re an expert at. It’s how many great companies were formed!
I have to respectfully disagree with many of your points, particularly about her publicists reaching out to you to share. That’s what publicists’ jobs are, it has nothing to do with Martha herself or her personal opinions.
While she has an eponymous brand (Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia), she doesn’t make every decision at her company, especially something about which blogs to work with..or even to work with bloggers in general. She probably has no idea in what capacity her company works with brands, nor should she, because that isn’t her job.
What it means for you to be on MSLO’s radar is that means someone in her company who is trained in public relations (but perhaps not as an “expert…” by your definition) has identified your blog and wanted to see if their content would help you with anything you’re working on. It’s called earned media.
There are some people who can absolutely be self-taught experts, I completely agree with you. However, to give examples and then back them up with the assertation that someone is “…a pretty awesome person” doesn’t prove your point. Martha never said that bloggers were bad people.
I really don’t know why I’m so fired up about this, but I’m surprised to see SO many people overreacting to what was obviously just a poor choice of words from someone in a very visible position.
I work in marketing and PR. People slam my line of work in public forum every single day and I sleep fine at night. If one doesn’t like Martha, don’t promote her products or company. It’s that easy,
I’m also not sure why you needed to knock New Jersey to make your point.
First of all, I’ve worked in marketing and PR myself. I understand the nature of the business and the nature of the pitches I receive. Did I think Martha personally wanted to work with me? No. In fact, I was toying with the publicist because of the way the pitch was worded about “working together.” I’d prefer someone to clearly say, I’ve got some great stories ideas that might help you with content for your blog. In which case, I probably delete or respectfully decline. As for earned media, I’m well aware of how prominent that is in this space. Many companies, as a policy, only work with bloggers as earned media. And choosing to work with those companies is a decision only an individual blogger can make. If I were a crafting and cooking blog, it might fit for me to feature some of her content to drive my own personal traffic. In this case, it did not.
As for the blogger examples that I chose, I know them all to be professionals with background and training that lends to their social media presence. Whether someone is awesome is really just my personal endorsement and not a measure of their expertise.
As for Martha’s poor choice of words, you have to understand the context with which Martha has worked in the women’s blogging community. The parties, the networks, the keynote speeches, all lavishing praises on bloggers. To make a generalized statement that dismisses the creativity and expertise of bloggers is hypocritical. And since I’m a blogger, I prefer to make my own statement about it instead of leaving a long comment on the Bloomberg site. Just as Martha can share her thoughts, so can I.
Finally, the comment about Nutley, NJ has to do with Martha’s humble beginnings. One of her biographies frequently mentioned Martha’s desire to rise out of her ethnic and working class neighborhood to become something bigger and better. Something I think a lot of bloggers can relate to.
“What?” says Mizz Martha, “You say you’ve suddenly lost a whole boatload of followers? Here’s a crafty solution for using up those leftover bloggers that you just can’t bring yourself to throw out after a round of holiday partying. String two together by a 17-3/8th inch length of slightly-used navy blue typewriter ribbon (Remember those, girls?), attach two wires each and shape miniature glasses frames, then suspend them from a bough of evergreen or perched atop your seasonal cornucopia. Don’t forget that touch of glitter in the hair – that’ll make things truly homey – and freeze-dry any extras for those dull boring post-holiday slump days. What? No spare bloggers this year? Use politicians! They’re out of favor this season and should be just as easy to find.”
Now THIS should be a blog post!
Your personal experience with the Martha Stewart brand was the perfect opening to comments about this Bloomberg interview. Your piece inspired me to write my own about celebrity bloggers. (I’ll copy you on Twitter.) Websites like Pinterest exist because of blogs and micro blogs/Tumblr. This is content written mostly by women who have amassed all types of personal expertise in whatever field that interests them. So in many ways Martha’s comment was sharply focused on women. I hope that women will respond with confidence and strength. BTW I recall an interview at BlogHer 2012 in which she said that she uses Twitter efficiently. She checks it for something like five minutes a day.
Disagree. You are taking this out of context. working in the food industry there is a vast majority of people who post blogs without experience or expertise, copying material from cookbooks and passing this off as their own. Perhaps its a case of looking at both sides of the coin rather than just the stance that you think you will get the most coverage out of
This piece wasn’t written for coverage (although I’ve been granted a lot of that). Do I agree that there are many many hacks in the blogging world? OMG, yes. There are bloggers that have literally copied other bloggers ENTIRE SITES. There are others that make a recipe from a cookbook and post it on their own site. I get that. There ARE no prerequisites to becoming a blogger. But if you look at the context of Martha embracing bloggers through her network and through hosting parties for bloggers and speaking at the largest women’s blogging conference where she praised this entrepreneurial generation, you might see the hypocrisy that I do.
Interesting that this came literally on the heels of an email telling me my subscription to MSL had expired and wasn’t I sorry and didn’t I want to come back? And I thought to myself, Nah, I get the best info online from the blogs I follow – who needs Martha anymore?
Great post! There is good and bad in everything, including blogging. But, there’s a lot of good and her forgetting where a big part of her base comes from is concerning. Thanks for doing such a nice job of pointing that out.
Very well written. I have been following Ree for years and I would 100% say she’s an expert. Well done!
Bravo. Very well said. Thank You!
AWESOME, Simply awesome!!!!!
Hallelujah! Amen! So very well said. Kinda bit the hands that feed her, huh?
Oh, my dear Fadra. Because I needed just ONE more reason to love you. You go and write this ^. (fist bump)
I think that lots of blogger are writing from their life experiences and the readers know that. We are experts when it comes to things that we have tried, done and wanna pass on. Shame on Martha! With all the poor publicity she gets…who is she to lump all bloggers into one group and say that we are not good. Yes, there are some out there that are a waste of internet, but you know what, they need that outlet too. IF you don’t like it, don’t read it! tinkartist.blogspot.com and howtoinamerica.blogspot.com Come check me out.
Oh Fadra… I just love you. That is all.
Love it well done thanks for showing courage and put things under perspective, loved your article!
Right on! I used to watch her show, YEARS ago, when it was new. I enjoyed it……initially.
Then she went all into perfection mode. Everything had to be PERFECT! Say what?
I have a family, a crummy little house, and just ME running the show. I like to cook and I love to craft, but I most certainly don’t have millions of dollars and hundreds of people helping me do it. How dare she call herself the “expert”? She isn’t……her hard working staff is responsible for the expertise. I quit having anything to do with this woman, or what she hawks, well before she became a convicted, greedy, crook. I still stay away and NEVER purchase anything she sells. This interview, and your insightful take on it all, convinces me to STAY away.
Thanks for your write up.
For Martha, it’s ONLY about Martha! 😉
Nice Fadra! Martha? Not so nice.
Fadra! That was wonderfully put, and I feel proud to call myself a fellow blogger alongside you and all the others! This is what us young people call a MIC DROP! Way to go! (Giving you a standing ovation from Seattle!)
Martha Stewart is forgetting that she started her career BEFORE the power of the internet, social media, and blogging. It sounds like she’s being resentful of the opportunities we have today to gain influence, and put our voice out into the world. She knows good and well that if she started out today, she’d be blogging and using social media influence right along side the rest of us. I hope she doesn’t think that her criticism and unsolicited narcissistic opinions will actually deter any one of us from taking full advantage of our present day opportunities. So let her hate on people all she wants. The only thing she’s accomplishing with that sad little interview is she’s going to lose business and respect from a lot of people.
“She knows good and well that if she started out today, she’d be blogging and using social media influence right along side the rest of us to share her passions and her voice with the world.”
Denise – you are a genius. Of course she would. It’s a different world with different opportunities to become self-made women. Some bloggers aren’t experts but the cream always rises to the top.
Perhaps leaving her an expert name or two or her blog? Nah, probably not. That would improve her SEO
I laugh when people over the age of 60, whether it’s Martha Stewart or Rush Limbaugh or whomever, bash social media and blogging. What we do, you and I Fadra, is connect with people who would otherwise have no voice and figure out life accordingly.
Expertise? Maybe she’s right. I once dumped stock like she did, in the late 1990s, and it ended up costing me money I could’ve sent my oldest daughter to college, on. So she has me there. Of course I stayed out of prison.
The important part of your post is that you are calling out hypocrisy and elitism. In this case, you’re the expert, not Martha.
A long time ago, after starting a small catering company out of her home, she became a self proclaimed “expert” on “good things” with no professional training on those good things, as far as I know. With that alone, I can’t help see the irony in what she is saying about all of us now. And to your point, many bloggers really are professional experts in their field. Well said.
Aren’t good things really subjective anyway? 😉
I’m still trying to figure out how Vogue editors are qualified EXPERTS. What did they go through some class that lets them determine if a certain dish is delishsh or not. People have different taste. What might be tasty to someone could be disgusting to another. And YOU KNOW Martha Stewart isnt making any recipie she finds on the internet, so she cant say they arent good. Some people just love putting their foot in their mouths Martha is one of the BIG ones
I’m sure the comment about being a Vogue editor is focused on the quality control that goes into published media. And it’s true. We aren’t held to the same standards. Then again, we don’t have magazines that are half filled with haute couture ads.
I’m an actress who blogs about personal finance. Am I an expert financial advisor, no way, but that’s the point! I’m a real person, with real lessons and mistakes to share. I’m not hiding behind a professional facade with ulterior motives.
People need creative, real-life lessons when it comes to money, especially from someone like an actress that doesn’t always have a steady stream of income. In fact, I think bloggers could learn plenty of lessons from you!
I understand what she’s saying, but she’s way too general about it–obviously some bloggers are experts and some are incompetent. Almost like they’re . . . wait for it . . . people. And I think she’s angry/frustrated that people are taking a different path than she did, particularly since it’s a path that simply wasn’t available to her.
But the idea that you have to be the Vogue editor (or equivalent) to know what you’re talking about? Nonsense.
Yep. You said it perfectly. There is some truth to her statement but coming out of her mouth, it sounded wrong. And this is a changing world whether she likes it or not.
As ever, well said. And, Martha has her facts wrong. There are a good number of us who ARE traditionally trained writers and editors who learned the craft at top titles, but the publishing industry so badly fumbled the digital transition that they reduced the industry to a fraction of its former size, leaving us to practice our craft elsewhere. Martha’s just upset that all these talented, charming, funny, loved and treasured bloggers are eating her lunch. And breakfast, dinner and hors d’oeuvres.
Scotty – you are not in the minority when it comes to traditional media making the move to social media. It’s not a choice, it’s a necessity! And as one commenter put it, if Martha were starting out today, she’d be trying her damnedest to make her mark in social media and blogging!
Brava Fadra!!! Brava! Yes, so true about this on so many levels. Sure, we’re not “experts” in a conventional sense, but in reality we are experts on things that we care about and we attract like-minded souls. Oh Martha, you were so busy looking down your nose at people, you didn’t see how you were putting your foot all up in your mouth! My hat’s off to you Fadra!
You are right in that so many people online are looking for “like-minded souls.” I mean, if I’m looking for the perfect turkey recipe for Thanksgiving, I might turn to Food & Wine. But if I need an idea for storybook character day at school, I’m going to consult with my peers!
I’m not a craft/food blogger, as my blog is in a different niche, but I’ve found some amazing things on those kinds of blogs. For Martha to make a blanket statement that bloggers aren’t the experts (don’t know what they’re doing) seemed pretty out of line. I have enjoyed some Martha-empire things, but what makes her the sole expert anyway? It’s not like she went to crafting/baking/magazine college. She apparently majored in history/architectural history (if you trust wikipedia.)
She’s a self-made woman and all I see is a sea of women who are also trying to make themselves. The means are different but the idea is the same.
AWESOME. Kathy (crafty chica) tweeted you and I had to check it out. A blogger myself- will definitely unfollow martha stewart.
Thanks for speaking so eloquently and kuddos to all you lovely people who devote your time, talents and expertise to blogging. I love you girls and guys.
Looking at her statements from the design blog world, she’s right, so I have to image that she’s right about the food blog world, with which I am it totally familiar.
Major bloggers have their shit together, but we all know that there are thousands of crappy blogs out there that dilute the overall level of professionalism among any blogging segment.
Step outside of your pro blogging world and look at the absolute junk that some people are churning out. The VAST majority of blogs totally suck and back her up.
Imagine what the world would be if only “experts” were allowed to express themselves! We look into bloggers opinions maybe because they are not so experts (or don’t show off as such) and more close to real life, people with whom we can identify as a “friend”. Everybody has the right to say what they want (even her and I don’t like it). Sometimes copying something may turn into a good adaptation that improves the original idea. Specially in cooking, how many “new” ideas are really out there (besides molecule kitchen or whatever the name is)? It is about adapting what other have done before. The trend is now going back to the caveman diet, isn’t it? (irony)
You’re right. Everything is cyclical and most bloggers are just trying to put their own spin on things. Now you have me thinking. Maybe it’s time to resurrect the era of jello molds…
I’m really shocked that Martha said that because I saw her at Blogher12 in NYC and she praised the bloggers. She gave all of us a year subscription to all of her magazines. She even told us that we should find a way to get paid for our work. It was very inspiring so that’s sad to know that she is now retracting her statements. Kathy is a great person. I love her. I met her almost 10 years ago and she still acts as friendly as ever when we talk. I don’t know about the other women you mentioned. I’ll have to look them up. However, the Pioneer Woman had some negative publicity like Martha Stewart. Do you remember that? Something about how she wasn’t authentic with her audience. Something like that. Thanks for writing this post. I am still shocked. 🙁
I’ve never met the Pioneer Woman (unlike the other bloggers I mentioned) but I do know that she is actually the reason my husband started reading a blog! And people that have met her in real life tell me she’s super friendly. Regardless, people respect her writing and her cooking and that has turned her into an “expert” at what she does.
I’ve often said that the difficulty in blogging is that there are no prerequisites. Anyone can start a blog at any time. I think that’s a wonderful thing. But those that work at it from a social media, content creation, and marketing standpoint are usually those that are successful. Do I worry about the 1000 awful blogs that were started last month? No. Because most of them will die a slow death over the next year. The cream rises to the top. Call it natural selection or survival of the fittest but I can’t put someone down for trying.
Martha Stewart isn’t an expert anything (except maybe fraud). She has researchers who find out how to do things for her. As a matter of fact, I once watched one of her shows in which she was teaching woodcarving…THE WRONG WAY. WITH SHARP TOOLS. I was a professional woodcarver for years and wanted to reach into the television and pommel her because I would be amazed if no one got hurt by her “expertise”.
Ooof. Martha, Martha, Martha. *shaking head*
Ree Drummond has a show on Food Network – obviously, above and beyond everything else, she’s got some creds.
[…] I don’t pretend to be Martha Stewart (mainly because I wouldn’t want to be), I do like to set a nice table, complete with china, […]
I’m a “little late” with this, but superb post. You hit the target every time!! It really is a shame that some people just can’t wind down gracefully, but just keep clawing to keep on top. And fans just keep loving her. Amazing! I initially liked her, but lost respect for her professionally a long time ago. Thanks for sharing, and keep up the honest approach.
[…] week, I wrote a post about Martha Stewart. It was a bit of a tongue in cheek piece written as an open letter to her, expressing how I felt […]