Posted on 30 Comments

Are Scottish Bloggers Just Shy?

Update 2024. Hahahahahahaha. I am laughing at myself with this post. I wrote it so long ago, that the whole online landscape has done a backflip, forwardflip and backflip again. Bloggers aren’t young adults to middle age people any more and youngsters think they invented the world. I think I’ll be chuckling to myself the rest of the day. Scottish bloggers shy – bwahaha. They’d think I’m a dinosaur nowadays… They’d be right.

This is the question that has bothered me for a while now. ย Are Scottish bloggers just shy? ย Could it be how we are brought up? ย I think it has something to do with the lack of regular female bloggers living and working here in the cold frozen wastes of Scottish Heathen Hinterlands, hiding under their family tartan, mud huts and cave dwellings.

Look at England, Wales and the US.  Bloggers are confidently marketing, self-promoting and selling their blogs to the world.

They display little in the way of embarrassment at any sign of success for their blogs and proudly hold their heads up and announce their success to the outside world.

Head to Scotland, and at times, I also think Ireland, we sit in our pooky wee holes and pretend that we don’t really exist to the outside world.  Yes, there are times when we have to stand up and be counted, and there is absolutely NO denying the work it takes to get to the point where Google sends you a few hundred or more visitors daily,  so why do we play down the amount of work it takes to get there?

In London, I saw the English and US bloggers sit proudly with their heads held high when they talked about their blogs.  I sat and wondered why there are so few of us in Scotland.  Perhaps the Scots are just late to the party and lots more will catch up with the blogging machine, but we’re not anywhere near matching our English compatriots yet.  It could also be a population numbers things, so bear with me.

It does have to be said, that for a group of supposedly loner bloggers who spend their isolated lives living at keyboards interacting with each other, we all have plenty to say when we meet.

I’ve gone off track, so back to the bloggers in Scotland.

In my blogging community, the majority who promote themselves in our neck of the woods are almost all either former US or English citizens with a smattering of us Scots in-between.

Is it how we’re brought up in this neck of the woods?

Are we taught to celebrate the success of others, but be eternally damned handicapped when it comes to our own?

Who knows why our humility can send us packing into the wild white yonder of icy mush while others accept their praise graciously.

Up to now, I’ve always been one of those who couldn’t accept the popularity contest thing for blogging, especially since I sometimes blog about issues that regular parenting circles just don’t want to have to listen to, but it is actually quite nice to have been nominated for something.  Instead of barring the hashtag and pretending it doesn’t matter at all, I’m going to be gracious.

The Mads is now run yearly by Sally from the Tots, in conjunction with Parentdish and a couple of people have contacted me to say they have nominated me in the food blogger category.  There are some bloggers in there who are serious foodies, unlike me, but I’d like to thank those who voted for me.

For this time round, I am going to wear my badge with pride on the blog.

I’m never one that is going to be able to put out loads of tweets, posts or messages asking people to vote for me, and neither will many other Scottish born bloggers I suspect.  I wouldn’t say no to any other nominations either, so if you’d like to give me a boost, there are still a couple more weeks to go on this round, just click on the picture.  I don’t know what happens after this, so I guess it’s a wait and see.

Thank you to all who read my blog.  I really appreciate you all.

30 thoughts on “Are Scottish Bloggers Just Shy?

  1. Yes, I think Scottish bloggers ARE shy. I know I sometimes feel shy when it comes to making my achievements known. I have been blogging under different guises since 2005 but I don’t know anyone else in real life who blogs. When I went to a blogging event in Edinburgh recently I found most of the people at the event were English people living in Scotland. There is a serious lack of bloggers in Scotland, shy or otherwise.

    1. There are lots more now than a few years ago, but the different niches are quite far apart too. Nice to “meet you.”

  2. I think self deprecation is an asset ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d rather be that than the alternative. I’ve twice been a MADS finalist and found it all a bit embarrassing TBH. Went to one final and found it a bit like the school gates where I struggled to find common ground with anyone other than the fact I blogged (at the school gates it’s a simple accident of incubation period!) who wants to be a blaw hard? Lol

  3. I think self deprecation is an asset ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d rather be that than the alternative. I’ve twice been a MADS finalist and found it all a bit embarrassing TBH. Went to one final and found it a bit like the school gates where I struggled to find common ground with anyone other than the fact I blogged (at the school gates it’s a simple accident of incubation period!) who wants to be a blaw hard? Lol

  4. Very interesting post! I’ve just discovered your blog because I googled “scottish blogger” – I don’t personally know any other Scottish bloggers. I think it may, as you say, have something to do with our Scottish upbringing and being told not to draw attention to ourselves. I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog and discovering fellow Scottish bloggers.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

    1. There are a few of us once you start looking. If you get yourself on Twitter, give me a shout and I’ll add you.

  5. Yes! This is me for sure. I hate the idea of people I know in real life (bar a few) and those I work with finding out about my blog and reading it. I have no confidence anyway in all aspects of life – though people I do know would never guess! I’m scared what they’d say about me… Think about me… Etc. I have the fear. About 2 years ago I stopped blogging. I blocked people on twitter that I knew and eventually started a new blog and felt more free to do it. Yet still not much. Info through many lulls in posting because of the fear.

    I now when making a new post, use tweet deck to “tweet it out” over the course of a day. Something new and scary for me!

    It was scary enough starting the “tweet old post” thing a while ago…

    I think also because I have a professional job as a nurse I worry about people thinking of me badly and it somehow interfering with work? I’ve blooded about work before and always mega conscientious about being confidential but still it’s a worry. That someone will think I’ve done wrong somehow. That I’m being naughty. That puts me off blogging too – especially about work and there’s really nothing bad about doing it when you’re being confidential etc.

    I’m a worrier. Can you tell!?

    I don’t know many Scottish bloggers either. Maybe yourself and Susan K Mann is about it for me and “other Scottish bloggers”.

    I do enjoy it and really wish I could relax and do it without this nagging fear and things holding me back.

  6. Hello, I’m 100% Scottish blogger based in rural SW Scotland. However, I generally don’t promote my Scottishness as to me the joy of the Internet is the lack of national boundaries. I promote my blog as much as I can but I work full time in a demanding job and don’t have time or energy to travel to London for the many events I am invited to. I’ve met up with quite a few Scottish bloggers in the last couple of years, but there aren’t many opportunities for this, especially if you dont live in the central belt. Good luck with the MADS.

  7. Hi, we’ve communited previously through blogger. I’m a Cornish lass now living in Banffshire, NE Scotland and have been running my blog since 2008. Albeit, not so much these days as my business has more busy periods now. I don’t go in for blog awards, but I must admit, I do shout about my business – if I don’t who will? I am self-employed and my business needs to make money, it’s as simple as that. I use social media all the time, mainly Facebook these days, but also Twitter and my blog (Lazy Daisy Glass). I have a close network of friends (local) who also use social media to great extent too – again to promote their businesses. Perhaps people are not understanding the great benefits of blogging, Tweeting, FB’ing etc? Perhaps being so far North, the social media frenzy has not reached here yet? I don’t know, but (without being patronising/unkind to anyone), personally think that they don’t get it/not heard of it. I used to work in IT when living in London, so always had a great interest and understanding of IT and the benefits of it – and running my own business with website helps! Great post and debate BTW. xx

    1. I agree, there aren’t that many people up here who really get social media and what it can do properly. For the NE, it does seem to be mainly businesses that are doing most of the tweeting, and that’s fine as you all make great follows. The ones that never chat are not great to follow though and they get annoyed when nobody bothers tweeting them. Broadcasters are sooo boring. I don’t think you are patronising anyone to say the NE doesn’t get it yet at all. I have had many tut tut comments about blogging and tweeting, but they really don’t know what they are missing. Thanks x

  8. P.S.
    My blog is nowhere near as nice as any being written by yourself or other commenters here. My computing ineptitude is barely covered over by my hectic and eclectic viewing schedule ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. We all started once with a blog that was straight out of the box at some point, we all learn as we go. Some of us have been blogging a fair old time so we’ve had time to refine, re-organise and learn some basic html and css to make our blogs look a bit better.

      1. Oh, no worries there. For EIFF reviews, everything goes through Flickfeast. My editor there put me forward for a press pass so I make the most of that opportunity every year and try to catch about 40 movies, which I fully review for that site even while I’m in a daze after spending 3/4 of every day in a cinema. It’s hard work, but it’s hard work doing what I love.

        1. Full time work and blogging is tough going to work round at times. It’s unusual to have bloggers from your niche around ours so nice to see a different style of blog for a change.

  9. I go the other way. I tend to worry that I’m just promoting my own stuff a bit too much. However, in the world of the film fan I don’t think that’s such a bad thing, as long as you don’t keep repeating yourself and keep things relevant.
    I’m also lucky in that I write reviews daily for my blog but also write many movie reviews for Flickfeast. I did mention to my wife once that I was considering business cards – I’d been doing the rounds at EIFF and had a couple of interviews with people who had asked me for a card – but she wasn’t sure if it would make a better or worse impression. I never got around to them.
    Oh, I’m from Edinburgh, by the way.

    1. Nice to meet you. I guess you have to find your target market. Mine isn’t as niche as yours as I’m a more generalistic lifestyle blogger. To do a blog properly as a job, it really takes 8 hours a day of SEO, Marketing, Keyword Targeting, Unique Content and way more incoming high ranking urls in comparison to the ones you send out. That’s not me, although I do have business cards for my blog ๐Ÿ™‚ Most bloggers that attend conferences do have them, it’s not OTT at all.

      Are you heading down the affiliate route? I do have to ask though, what do people get from the donate button? That’s a very American thing to do, I’ve rarely seen that with bloggers over here.

      1. Nice to meet you too. Sorry, forgot to say hello. ๐Ÿ˜€
        I have AdWords, but don’t make much from that (as you can imagine). I caved in after Google kept sending me freebies so one day I was able to receive ยฃ75 credit for a ยฃ25 payment. At the moment, I am experimenting with different daily rates, mainly for traffic numbers as opposed to actual revenue generation. The fact that I have NO clue about the keywords and how to maximise their effectiveness is also working against me.
        As for the Donate button, I HAVE had one or two occasional donations, which is very nice. I had the idea after helping an American friend out and thinking that it’s not beyond all reason to think that someone MAY one day like something enough to throw in a few pounds. Basically, my logic amounted to – if I put it there it’s not doing any harm even if I get nothing from it.

  10. just been talking about this on FB. I am also a Scottish blogger ( Ok I have lived in Scotland for 40 yrs next week and have an English accent with some broad Scots thrown in so you decide….lol)
    I am proud of my blog and set it up to leave memories behind for my children and grandchildren, I am happy 10,000 pages are read a month.
    But no I would not put myself forward because I was always the last to be picked at school, and would not make myself feel like that eve again, I would rather not be in the running than be in the running and not get off the starting blocks and made to feel like Elaine nae pals.
    Good luck to all that do and I truly hope they have a fab night at the awards, but even if I knew I had won I could not go down and sit amongst a room full of strangers without having a major panic attack and think they would all be looking and laughing and pointing.

    1. Hi Elaine, sounds like you really do qualify as a scottish blogger now. I can’t swallow the putting myself forward as that is just too much for me to cope with, though I know a lot do. This is as much as I will do so I know I will definitely not get to the next round, but it was lovely of people to vote for me. I struggled at the first one in London in the morning as I felt like a fish out of water, as I’d not been near a conference since adopting the kids. By afternoon it was fine, but I have no idea why I went. Glad I did though.

  11. I think the main thing is that you enjoy what you do and love to get your message out there, whatever it may be, I struggle a little with these popularity contest things too, and think as you say it’s how many votes can be blagged, but also think that if a site is popular and has something to say, then eventually the message will get out, good on you and your lovely blog.
    Cheers
    Marcus

    1. Thank you Marcus. The popularity thing makes it difficult for us to accept up here I think. I wish I didn’t cringe at praise in real life, but I still do. Or I’ll make some excuse for it. We really need to stop that somehow.

      1. Yes you should not be afraid to shout about what you do well, there’s so many fantastic things up here in Aberdeen, just not many know about them.
        Cheers
        Marcus

  12. I know what you mean. I’m a Scottish dad blogger and I don’t shout about what I do. Scottish people don’t oversell themselves. I would say we are quite humble and self deprecating. But that’s what makes us Scottish.

    Although there are some good blogs nominated on a the MADS but I also think its like a school popularity contest. Some of the past winners are, in my opinion, a bit crap and offer nothing more than someone bigging themselves up. To sound un-Scottish, I think my blog is good and better written than many, but the content doesn’t appeal to the masses this it won’t get nominated. I don’t really care as I’m writing for me. Many others write to get read.

    So yeah, we are a quiet bunch, but a good bunch.

    1. Apologies for the typos. Combination of autocorrect and writing while working!

      1. I think grammatical perfection on blogs is over-rated, so I’m not one to judge punctuation and spelling. Sometimes we make typos, it’s the curse of checking our own work. We know what we meant to say so we miss what we did wrong. I often don’t pick up mistakes until I do a read over a couple of hours after I have written something ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. In my personal life, most people have no idea about my blog at all. One friend I told, one guessed, one was flabbergasted when I mentioned Scottish Mum and she said, “oh, I follow you.” but she’d never realised it was me. I blog for me, so I have never pursued the blogger awards, but having people contact me to say they’ve nominated me, I thought it was a but churlish to ignore that. I suspect I’ll never be happy with the public side of things, but I guess I should never have chosen blogging as a hobby if I wasn’t prepared to stick my hand up now and then.

      Are so many of us really humble and self-deprecating, or are we handicapped by our inhibitions? The mads is a popularity contest, and I’m not comfortable with blagging votes, though sometimes the message is more important than how well a blog is written.

      Why don’t we keep diaries if we don’t want to be read? I started just to let off steam, but things do change quite dramatically over time and I now realise that my blog actually does some good with charity campaigns etc, so I’m good with the blogging to be read thing now and not wanting to lose my Google standing as they send me lots of nice people.

      I think we Scots should stand up for our own work more.

  13. I have also noticed that Scottish Bloggers seem to be less visible. I am an English girl living in Aberdeen and even I struggle to hand out my business cards and make a noise about my blog. I just hope that my 2 posts a day, and what I hope is a humourous writing style, will encourage my blog to grow organically, without me having to draw to much attention to myself. I regularly chastise myself for not getting out there and talking about it more, handing out business cards to fellow charity shop patrons and even volunteers…

    1. I didn’t realise you were in Aberdeen. I’m following your blog now. Blogs grow if we keep at them and keep interacting. You’ll get there. There are some in the business community that are happy to promote themselves a lot. I suspect the biggest promoters are not from here.

  14. Interesting post. You are right that there is not a large, visible blogging community in Scotland. I do think that all the awards, events and meet ups are always so far away that it is not practical for many to travel and this may put some off from entering them ?

    I am a small business owner who came online to promote my business and found the blogging community through twitter. Most of the people I interact with are based in England apart from a few notable exceptions. Most of my real life friends in Scotland have no interest in blogging and haven’t even found twitter yet.

    I must admit I do have an inbuilt fear of pushing myself forward that can be difficult to overcome – I shy away from all the “mumpreneur” type awards and groups for this reason (and also because I really don’t like the term and find it patronising ) Not sure if it is a cultural thing, but I know that being brought up in the North East of Scotland I wasn’t brought up to push myself forward or think big – one of the reasons I escaped to London when I was 19 !

    1. Up until quite recently, even Twitter has been pretty much free of people from my local area, but they are beginning to catch on and there seems to be quite an influx recently. I went form total anonymity to having a few dozen people identify me within the space of a few weeks.

      I’ve kept away from all the awards so far, and I suspect I will in future as well, but for now, I just wanted to thank those who have voted for me. Perhaps it is a North East of Scotland thing. Perhaps we should all move to London…. Moving somewhere and having all new people is actually quite appealing.

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