According to the Pew Internet Project’s PIP Blogging Report, 46% of bloggers are female and the numbers are growing everyday. However, many woman bloggers are a slightly upset with the lack of recognition in their industry. After a week of research I finally asked myself why aren’t women more prominent on the web? Of all the blog ranking lists, except fashion and celebrity blogs, an average of 12% of women appear in the top 100 of each list. And some sources have the nerve to think that fashion blogs are “personal diaries of style”. After doing some research I realized why so many bloggers and readers today perceive women bloggers differently than men:
Many men bloggers don’t link to women bloggers
Less than 10% of women are political bloggers
60% of women created blogs are categorized as “personal diaries”
Nearly 88% of top bloggers are white American men.
Some guys don’t appreciate being lectured by women
Instead of analyzing RSS feeds and researching list after list, I decided to go directly to the source to get more answers and find out how women power bloggers reached success, how they reach their readers, and what they think about the discrimination towards professional women bloggers in today’s blogging community.
I communicated with four very different women bloggers (Chanel Ward/Hip Candy, Charlene Li/Groundswell: Winning In a World Transformed by Social Technologies, Michele Obi/My Fashion Life, and Julie Strietelmeier/The Gadgeteer) and asked them the same five questions:
What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose this particular niche?
If you could describe your readers in three sentences or less what would you say?
How has blogging advanced your career?
On average, only 12% of women bloggers are featured on top 100 lists. Why do you think that is?
If you could give one word of advice to women bloggers today what would it be?
After talking with these women I realized that a “power blogger” has nothing to do with your ranking on a list but the quality of your posts, the awareness of your reader’s needs, and the ability to look beyond fame and fortune and stay true to your subject matter. This is part one of a two part series featuring women bloggers who have changed the way the world views them and their readers. Today’s featured blogger is Chanel Ward from Hip Candy and Charlene Li from Groundswell: Winning In a World Transformed by Social Technologies.
Chanel Ward / Hip Candy
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It’s hard to pick one of my favorite blogs, but Hip Candy is very close to my heart. From the tag line, “sweet… but not in that fattening kind a way” to the blog’s owner, Chanel Ward, Hip Candy is fresh, exciting and new.
Fashion designer/graphic artist/writer Chanel Ward was featured as 225 Magazine’s Top People To Watch in 2008 and for good reason. After being the voice for the America’s Next Top Model Interviews and one of the finalist for Project Runaway’s fan favorite blogs this fashionista was invited to experience and write about Fashion Week and is soon launching the much anticipated clothing line Hip Couture. Blazing a trail of personality and style her blog and her career has a life of it’s own, but don’t take my word for it.
1. What is the focus of your blog and why did you choose this particular niche?
The focus of Hip Candy is in my tagline. Fashion. Celebrity. Entertainment. Me. That’s basically what I blog about in a nutshell! I like to think of my blog as fashionably fun! I chose this niche because my background is in Fashion Design (graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles, 1999 – http://www.fidm.com) and I’ve always been intrigued by celebrity culture, so I just thought it would be an adventure to start a fun site that would focus on those things, and at the same time, it would keep me abreast of what was happening in the [fashion] industry. Hip Candy is a fun forum for readers to come and share their opinions on fashion, (the latest trends, fashion don’ts…) celebrity (what they were wearing, what were they thinking?!) the latest happenings in entertainment, with a little bit of what’s going on with me thrown in for good measure.
2. If you could describe your readers in three sentences or less what would you say?
I was surprised to learn recently that some of my readers are as young as 12! But I also have more “seasoned” readers, women over 50 and beyond as well as every age (and gender) in between. Hip Candy readers are very opinionated. Even though most of them usually agree with most things I opine, and “wax poetic” about, they don’t always agree with everything I put down, and that’s okay! Having a difference of opinion is what makes us unique! One of my most commented posts (69 comments at last count) has a firestorm of strong opinions on it from start to finish (http://hipcandy.blogspot.com/2007/03/style-verdict-hetero-men-in-heels.html) Anyone who takes time out of their busy day to click onto to Hip Candy, read a post and share their opinions is more than alright with me.
3. How has blogging advanced your career?
Wow. That’s such a loaded question! I’d never really considered myself a “writer”, but after starting Hip Candy, I slowly began allow myself think otherwise. My blog has already reached levels that I wouldn’t have imagined when I started it. I figured it would just be a fun hobby. The response since I started it has been phenomenal already! It’s very humbling. Some of the more noteworthy advancements have been 1) exposure to the masses from conducting the “Top Model” interviews 2) getting credentialed and being invited to Fashion Week from my fashion coverage on the blog coupled with solid readership 3) That same solid readership translating into monthly ad revenue generated on Hip Candy 4) all-expense paid trips to cover trade shows and events ([http://blogs.dreambrizo.com/kbis_2007/]) 5) recognition and acknowledgement from magazines, and finally and ultimately, 6) built in name recognition for a future clothing launch! Blogging has truly been a surprise and a blessing and I look forward to more in 2008!