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A room of one's own: changing the perception of women online

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When Virginia Woolf first created the famous sentence on how women who want to be successful writers simply need money and a room of her own, she probably never imagined what the online landscape would look like.

The majority of the bloggers, vloggers, and social media editors today are women - but, to ours and probably Virginia’s big despair, they’re not really getting as much credit as you might think.

You can read more about the topic of feminised occupations and the lack of professional respect on Vox, though, as the conversation will continue to roll for a while longer. Until then, we might as well make it a bit easier for our fellow sisters online.

Here is a handful of tips on how you can take your blog to new heights, and help stop devaluing feminised work.

Take control over your day

In the article above, they talk about how a male chef would receive so much more honour and recognition than a woman who cooks - kind of because she is expected to be good at it. The same can be said for writing, talking, and sharing stories with each other; it’s almost as if we are expected to do it, and we shouldn’t really call it work.

You can have a look here, by the way, for an insight to how much work it actually is.

Women are making a living online all over the country, but they’re also doing every other household chore while they’re there. If you want to turn your blog or vlog into a sustainable source of income, you need to set actual office hours and a room to call your office.

If the house is noisy and full of distractions when you’re trying to work, it’s a good idea to find a corner cafe to do your writing in - or invest in a garden room, which will even add some value to your home. Either way, you need some quiet space to do real work.

Don’t advertise for free

Most bloggers who are experiencing a bit of growth come to a certain point where companies would like them to advertise for them. They have the followers so why not take advantage of it, right?

It might start out as a few freebies where they expect you to test their things and give an ‘honest’ review, or it might be something branded they just want you to show off on Instagram.

Never take on free labour, even when you’re young and fresh to the blogging landscape. The online world you’re in control of is how you make a living, and you won’t be able to do it unless the big companies out there recognise it as real work.

Free stuff and exposure is not a payment - only money is, and that’s what they should give you if you’re going to feature their brand.

Changing the perception

When you’d like your hard work to pay off, it’s important that we manage to push through a change in perception of seeing blogging as a hobby rather than an occupation.

Even when you refuse to work for free and decline every opportunity of exposing your blog, there will always be someone who says yes. It kind of ruins what the rest of us have been trying to build, so come over to the good side and we’ll all make a bit more money.

It’s not something we do just for the fun of it, and even when you’re passionate about what you do, you still expect to get respect and payments for your efforts.

Where to start?

Start by supporting your fellow blogging community, and build a network around helping each other succeed. There are so many supportive Facebook groups where you can find a wealth of information from bloggers of all walks of life.  Or take a look at my blogging section to discover more about what I think about blogging, general tips, advice and my income reports.