It’s no secret that women are more active bloggers than men, but one of the most striking conclusions from the results of our 2016 Blogger Survey is the gender difference in blogging categories. Women dominate categories such as fashion/beauty and lifestyle, while men are more likely to use a single blog to address multiple topics. With no more than 2% of female bloggers contributing to categories such as business or technology, what’s stopping them from getting involved? We put questions to female bloggers in both fields.
Sarah Arrow, business blogger and founder of Birds on the Blog
Our survey found that female bloggers are far more likely to write on issues such as fashion then business or politics. Do you think this is simply a reflection of female interests, or could more be done to encourage women to be more vocal about issues in business? What, if anything, do you think holds more women back from blogging in the business world?
“I think there are two things that come into play when it comes to blogging in Fashion and Lifestyle niches, firstly they’re lucrative niches. You can build an audience of like-minded people quickly, build influence and generate revenue, although the majority will say this is their passion rather than their business. Women are incredible relationship builders; these niches play to their strengths.
“Secondly, not enough women speak up about their business skills. They downplay them, have upper limiting beliefs and hide their lights under a bushel. It’s harder for them to be heard outside of their chosen niche, and those that create case studies tend to focus on male-dominated industries.
“When women do blog about business, what tends to elevate them is writing about the softer skills like HR and recruitment, or the spiritual aspect of business. Whilst these are important, they’re just a small aspect of their overall skills.
“How do we overcome it? We link out often to the women in business and tech, and say it’s good content. Let’s not mention the gender of the post’s creator. Share business and tech created content from women as much as we can to show that it’s worth them continuing. Understand that when we boost the women, we inspire all the women around them – their daughters, sisters, and siblings see that nothing is impossible. And finally, stop diminishing women’s achievements online as luck, knowing someone or simply being in the right place at the right time. Recognise it for the hard work that it is.
Amy Cutmore, blogger and founder of Girl about Tech, and technology editor at Ideal Home
Technology is an area which is heavily dominated by men – only 1% of female bloggers contribute to technology blogs. What would your advice be to other female bloggers hoping to break into the world of technology?
“I’d say, always write with a sense of humour. Technology can be thought of as a really dry subject, so it’s extra important to engage people with your copy. Also, be objective about every new technology you see! Thanks to crowd-sourcing sites like Kickstarter, the number of technology launches is increasing by the second, which is fabulous in one sense, but it does make the tech blogger’s job harder. For every next potential iPod there are hundreds of Sega Dreamcasts and Sinclair C5s, so being able to spot the ‘must-haves’ from the ‘why bothers’ is a key skill.
What is it about technology which made you want to start writing about it?
“My writing about technology is something of a happy accident, but there are at least half a dozen reasons why it appealed to me.
For example, when I was younger I was passionate about photography – my dad was a wedding photographer and he taught me all the basics of that. I still remember taking my first pictures on a little stick compact that took 110mm film – most of them came back covered in ‘quality control’ stickers! Still, it didn’t deter me and I was soon all about aperture and f-stops!
Another passion was music, writing reviews for my university’s newspaper, which is essentially what made me consider journalism as a career. I was studying maths at the time so it was a bit of a jump, but I digress! Anyway, if you’re really into music, you want the best equipment to play it on, so I was always checking out hi-fi equipment in my local Richer Sounds.
I did eventually move into journalism, working on home-interest titles and fell into writing about kitchens and appliances. I seemed to have a knack for explaining technology in a way that was easy to understand and, importantly, not too geeky. So when a job at Ideal Home came up that required me to write about every aspect of technology, I thought, why not?”