What a powerful time at BlogHer ’12 in New York City. You weren’t there? Well, I’m here to catch you up on some of the political discussions that happen when over 4000 women bloggers get together. One of the themes that I heard time and time again during the conference is, “Oh, I’m not that political.” But as witnessed by the fact that President Barack Obama addressed the crowd via a live videostream, we are a political force to be reckoned with.
Image Credit: BlogHerAnnual
And these women who “are not political” filled conference sessions to hear panel discussions about getting women elected into office, about Latinas in politics, about using social media to advocate. Women stood in line for sold-out sessions of Writing Lab to learn how to interview, cite sources, and advocate through editorials.
As I spoke to a full table of bloggers eager to learn the basics of effective op-ed writing, I asked who was a political blogger. Not a single hand went up. But in talking to women at the Writing Lab—and all around the BlogHer conference—I met health bloggers, family bloggers, food bloggers, religion bloggers, culture bloggers. They don’t write about politics, but they do write about organic food, about living with chronic illness, about breastfeeding, about finances, about education, about discrimination, about marriage.
Perhaps you want to write about the tough issues in your topic, but you are afraid of alienating your readers, of not being expert enough, of offending your family or friends.
Guess what? You may not know it, but you ARE a political blogger.
The incumbent President of the United States values your opinion. Publications, including The Atlantic, The Business Journals, and the Huffington Post are recognizing the influence of women who are the majority of social media users, and control most of the financial decisions of their families.
Shouldn’t you recognize your political power, too?
So that post you were thinking about writing? Go ahead, write it. Even better, learn about the laws that affect the issues you care about. Find out how your elected officials stand on them. Tell your readers about it and give them action items: dates when bills that affect your issues come up for vote at the local or national level, links to email politicians, ways to volunteer for candidates that support your positions.
You might decide you want to be a political blogger after all.
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