Pants: NY & Co.
T-shirt: Forever 21
Vest: NY & Co.
Necklace: NY & Co.
Heels: Alfani Step ‘n Flex
Like the outfit? Click here for more details!
Part of my New Year’s resolutions include some goals for the blog. I’ve had several experiences over the past few months that have made me consider the perception of my blog, and whether I believe it’s accurate. Fair warning, this post might get a little raw and a little ranty, but in the spirit of transparency, I decided to publish this post.
First, the obvious: I’m female. Second, more obvious: I don’t write “for women”. Initially, I started this blog to write “for marketers”, and over the course of posting, this morphed into writing “for business people”. Notice that nowhere in any of my mission statements do I say that I write “women’s content”, “for women”, “about women”, or any statement that otherwise makes it seem like my blog is written for a specific gender. And yet, from what I can tell, the perception is that my blog is a “women’s blog”. Now, I’m happy to have readers, and I don’t have a problem with all of my readers being female, as long as that’s a coincidence. But, I don’t think it is.
One of my MBA classmates landed on the blog on an outfit post, and he told me that he assumed I wrote about fashion. The post in question actually discusses marketing by retail companies, with very little discussion about actual fashion-related items. The post directly below it was a guest post written by a male, describing his corporate life as a sales rep. The post at the bottom of the page, after the other two, was about pricing and deals. Basically, NONE of the posts on that page are written exclusively for females. Sure, the inspiration for one post might have come from a “girly” topic, but there’s plenty of male marketers in the retail industry, so it’s not irrelevant. I usually give a blog a quick scroll-through on the first visit, and visit the “About” page to see if the content might be a fit. I don’t love every post by every blogger, but I’m willing to give it more than just a quick glance if they have a tagline or post title that piques my interest. I wonder how many readers come to my blog on an outfit post, and instead of giving a 2 second scroll (or actually glancing at the content of the post), just bounce, and write me off as another “woman blogger”?
I had a conversation with another classmate, who blatantly said he thinks it’s true, men won’t read a blog written by a woman. Again, this is anecdotal, but my frustration about the breadth of my audience didn’t seem outrageous to him. I debated a lot about the outfit posts, as I knew they were “girly”, but I realize that this area is a huge space for marketing success and failure, so cutting it out makes no sense. I’ve written about cars and bug repellent, both of which are more “manly” topics. I generally write on completely gender-neutral topics like branding, selling, pricing, and social media. I also realize that I generally guest post on blogs targeted at young female professionals, but most of my contribution posts are on gender-neutral topics, like extreme behaviors to avoid in the office, a business analysis of the 5 Love Languages, or making the decision to attend business school.
So, maybe I’ve unintentionally set myself up as a blog “for women”. This wouldn’t frustrate me so much if I wasn’t cutting out half the population from readership! Maybe I’m only hearing from a biased sample, which led me to explore the perception of my blog in this post. I’m not trying to insult blogs that target women, as I’ve written for several, and read many of these types of blogs. But, I’ve also expanded my readership to include a variety of topics, targeted at both genders. Part of my goal this year is to contribute to some sites that aren’t targeted specifically at women, so that I can help myself by being part of the solution. So, readers, how do you perceive my blog? Any tips for making the blog welcoming to both men and women? Like the outfit? Click here for more details!