Martha Stewart, as usual, is right

People keep asking me what I think about this. I don’t really like to REACT, I like to have all the attention, ME ME ME, but I do have an opinion and it’s pretty simple:

Basically Martha Stewart says bloggers are not experts.

Well guess what, she’s right.

Most bloggers aren’t experts. And that’s what makes us appealing to the everyday person. But I for one, when I want to learn, I go to an expert. So when I wanted to learn about watercolor, did I read a book and then get on my blog and act like I knew what I was teaching you? Nope. I hired a fantastic water color artist to come and share a skill I was interested in.

But I share recipes! I’m teaching a sugar cookie class for heaven’s sake! Am I an expert? Well, I have 6 years of experience, I’ve read at least 5 books on the subject and made hundreds of cookies. Am I a professional? Not really. Could I be? Maybe. Am I an expert? I don’t know. I know I’m an expert at doing them how I do them. So there you go. People want to know how I do them, so I’m teaching a class.

I think that’s how it is with most bloggers. Are we culinary, craft, or any other type of EXPERT? Not usually. But we’re experts at being ourselves, and that’s what we are sharing.

Boo hoo. Martha said bloggers aren’t experts. She didn’t say, “Bloggers are frauds.” She probably should have said, “ALL bloggers are not experts.” Or something like that, but whatever.

What really gets my goat are all the comments I see throwing jail time back in Martha’s face. Or the name calling. Apparently we are in 5th grade.

Ok she did jail time, but she kept her brand and business afloat afterwards, served her time, and was publicly humiliated. So, um, why do we have to keep bringing it up? Should we keep brining up the mistakes I’ve made in my life every time I say something that upsets someone? GAH. I hope not.

Today I’m turning in a piece on a last-minute Halloween costumes for the digital editors at Martha Stewart. And I am happy to do it. I’ve worked with them, they’ve treated me well, they have been gracious and courteous, and frankly, treated me with more respect than 90% of the brands who I have come in contact with. Firsthand, as a blogger who works with Martha Stewart and her minions, I am not one bit offended nor will I cease working with them.

So, there are my thoughts.

Let’s all just be nice. Martha is like, 72 years old. She built an empire, and probably has people telling her all day to take pointers from these bloggers, who in a large part are riding the wave of a trend she started. I’m not going to take it personally if she got a bit annoyed and doesn’t think we’re all experts.

let’s just all keep on keeping on!

xo

Comments

  1. Amen sister. Martha rocks it. She’s not perfect, no one is. And I know for myself, I’m no expert. I enjoy being creative and inspiring others to do the same… that’s all I’m doing with my blog.

  2. Jessica Richards:

    THANK YOU! Sheesh, what’s the big deal? I love your last paragraph too. She’s the master of DIY and crafts!

  3. Anne:

    Love your take on this clip! Martha is always right AND let’s be honest as bloggers don’t we all want to be a bit like Martha? Her taste is the best. We can only try to be our best selves.

  4. I completely agree with you. Thank you for being a sane voice in the situation.

  5. Anna:

    I am not sure if I am living under a rock or if it is just because I am not in the US but I really have no idea what the ‘Martha Steward thing’ is all about – not that it really matters – Fabulous post, Alison, let’s just all be a bit real about what is happening and enjoy it for what it is. Good luck with the Halloween costume.

  6. we did a program with her at work last year when she did her book tour and my first impression when i met her was that martha ROCKS leather leggings and stilettos better than anybody under 72 that i know. so i’m pretty much willing to listen to her opinion on anything.

  7. courtney:

    I totally agree. Also, I had to look it up because I didn’t believe that she is 72. She is totally killing it!

  8. You know, I had the same reaction when I saw the clip. What she says is fair, and as with any clip, it’s probably taken a bit out of context. There is a big difference between what we do on our blogs – even if we work at it hard – versus what people do professionally/for an edited magazine etc. That also means that there is a lot of freedom to what we do, but it is fundamentally a different skill, and that’s totally okay. And the nice thing is that – as you mention – when bloggers work with experts and vice versa, you really see that both bring different things to the table and there is room enough for everyone as long as they bring thier a-game. Nice post!

  9. Thank you Alison! I agree. If a blogger’s self-esteem is defined by Martha Stewart than maybe they should stop blogging. We are not all experts, and most of us don’t claim to be. If we have passion and have fun doing what we do then we should keep on doing what we do – regardless of what someone famous might have said on a bad day.

  10. Hannah F:

    I’m curious to know why there is a “Martha Stewart thing”. This is reminding me of the YouTube “GURU thing”. Bloggers are not experts, which makes us relatable. More relatable than some experts becaus we can break things down simply for anyone of any skill set can do. Was Martha an ‘expert’ when she first started? Do we all have to be trained on a certain subject to have a voice or perspective about something. I figure we all have life experience to share. And I think Martha was fair. 72 and rocking leather leggings, I still want to be Martha when I grow up. Keep on keeping on, Alison .

  11. Pernel Martin:

    martha stewart is 72??????????????????????

  12. Denise:

    My friend just told me about your blog and also “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook.(also a blog) I’m glad for the two recommendations. I love when people share good blogs with each other. Denise

    P.S. Love the Martha article. John Contratti of “Cooking With Mr. C.” did a show produced by Martha Stewart. That’s how it all began.

  13. Word. I have always loved me some Martha. My mom is to blame. Or thank, as it were. Either way, I’m pretty positive MS could our MacGyver, well, you know, MacGyver.

  14. So glad you shared! And I definitely agree. Bloggers write what we know and love, but that doesn’t make us experts by any means. Also, being nice is paramount … always.

  15. Megan:

    FINALLY! Someone who has decided not to become zombie-brained about hating on her for (really) no good reason. If you are a blogger, AND you’re an expert, then you know you are – your clients/fans know you are, and Martha wasn’t talking about you. If you’re a blogger and what she said hit a sour note with you…perhaps you’re self-concious about not being “all that”? And if that’s the case, perhaps you should stop trying to put yourself out there as an expert (because, obviously you are since Martha was talking directly to you, right?). Just saying, if the shoe fits…STOP BLOGGING! Anyway – amen sista! Glad to see some sense in this over sensitive virtual world!

  16. Lindsey:

    Well said, could not agree with you more!!

  17. Donna c:

    Interesting. I’m new to your blog and it looks like a fun place to hang out. But…..you’re not an expert, so I’m not going to attempt any of your recipes ;)
    Seriously though.. MS could have worded it a little better IMHO. Playong devils advocate here when I say, perhaps she is a little tiny bit threatened? There’s room for all miss m! novice and “expert” alike. I

    Not to mention, we’ve all tried recipes written by so called “experts” and have been less than impressed. If I make it, and it tastes good…that’s all I care about.
    I have no issue with miss m at all, she’s entitled to her opinion, and it’s true…to a point. She is a blogger herself, no? Perhaps as another poster wrote, she should have said not ALL bloggers are experts, but no biggie. I enjoy her work, along with countless other bloggers as it’s all inspiration to me!
    Looking forward to hanging out here!
    Thanks Alison! :)

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