Finding Your Online Community

I know I know, Wednesdays are usually reserved for weddings. But I interrupt regularly scheduled programming for Woman Crush Wednesday, because today I am so thankful for the strong, encouraging, inspiring women I encounter every day through social media.

You’re everywhere in my life, and yet seem to be an anomaly in others’. I see hurtful messages being thrown around social media like confetti without consequences (when there are actually so many). I witness various levels of competition and jealousy that result from often well-edited and heavily-filtered Instagram posts. I’m not naive to these realities, but they have not been my reality. And for that, I am so. so. thankful.

There are several online outlets where I’ve found uplifting communities.

1. Blair Blogs’ Blogger Mentorship Program

It was such a timely blessing to work with Blair through her blogger mentorship program. It was the perfect opportunity to not only jump start my blog and business plans, but to reconnect with Blair (5 years since our study abroad days!), who is such an encouraging and kind soul. She provides constant motivation just by being her genuine self – and there’s nothing this girl can’t do. Through her mentorship group, it’s been fun to watch other girls grow in their blogging journeys, and support each other’s writing. Blair has “Link Drop Wednesday” on her mentorship Facebook group, where we can all post a link to one of our blog posts. She encourages us to share each other’s links, comment, subscribe, etc., which is a great way to build community and support. When I’m feeling somewhat distant from blogging or lacking motivation, I know I can always come back to this group for inspiration. They really light a fire under me (hence the reason this post is getting finished!) Even after you complete the mentorship program, you can stay involved in the Facebook group by participating in discussions, asking questions, etc. I highly recommend it!

Below are just a few of the blogs I really enjoy following, created by Blair or other girls in her mentorship program.
Of course, Blair Blogs
Gradybird Blog
Nina Kardia
Room for Gelato

2. Tone It Up

It’s so interesting that three of the girls I’ve met through Blair’s program, also follow Tone It Up! I’ve talked about Tone It Up in several posts (like this one), but it’s honestly been one of the best things I’ve been a part of. I started out by creating an Instagram account specifically for my TIU fitness journey, posted using the appropriate TIU-related hashtags, and followed so many inspiring women. I was immediately welcomed into this online community by girls who would respond to my questions and like or comment on my posts. I met my first real life TIU friend at one of my last jobs. I saw a TIU water bottle, and got real serious when I asked, “Who’s water bottle is that?” Turns out it was my supervisor’s! We immediately started rambling on and on about TIU and everyone looked at us like we were crazy, but we’ve been good friends ever since. Since then, I’ve met other TIU girls in my area and we’ve started hanging out on a regular basis – anything from dinner and wine dates, to workout classes, to our next meetup including yoga in the park! And we’ve literally met because of Instagram and the online community created by Karena and Katrina. Amazing.

Below are a few women that constantly inspire me on my fitness journey, TIU related or not, but like honestly my goodness, there’s SO many amazing women on my Insta feed. I LOVE YOU ALL.
tiu_joystl
tiuerin
tiu__meg
lorabeezy_tiu
oliviaandersontiu
gratefullyfit_cassie
carlainitaly_tiu
natashas_tiu_life
tiu_elise14
cyclistblondie
sincerelymorganrush
lynettemarieh
Special shoutout to my #tiublono girls. I would tag all of you, but I know sometimes we don’t like our “real life” friends and family to find our TIU accounts. 😉

3. Entrepreneurs/writers/creators/girl bosses on Instagram

Many of the ladies above fall into this category as well! In general, I follow lots of women on Instagram who constantly inspire me, many of which I have never met or spoken to. But follow the right people who share positive messages and work towards their goals every day, and I promise you’ll be inspired too. You’ll start following their journeys, and you’ll find yourself feeling connected to them and learning from their experiences. And when they start following you and supporting your accomplishments? It will be awesome, trust me. It’s also been fun to find local businesses on Instagram. As someone who wants to build a wedding planning business, I love finding fun, new, local vendors. The creativity and talent that’s out there always amazes me!

Below are a few people, near and far, that inspire me to reach my business goals. I’ve linked you to their websites, but you can find them on Instagram, Facebook, etc.!
Jenna Kutcher
Seashells and Situps
PaleOMG
Summer Leigha Photography
So Chic Boutique
Lizzie Schlafer
Rising Tide Society
Tipsycooks
CMG Events

Like I said, I’m extremely thankful for the positive experience I’ve had with social media and online communities. However, I know my experience is not always the case. If you find yourself experiencing negative emotions when using social media, take a break – a digital detox. If you find yourself being bullied, please reach out to someone, including me. I’m happy to be a listening ear and build you up, girlfriend. You can use my contact form, or email me directly at info.flowersandleather@gmail.com.

Let me know of anyone else you think I should be following! Happy making virtual (and “real life”!) friendships!
xx,
Sara

2 thoughts on “Finding Your Online Community”

  1. GIRL, you are such a gem! Thanks so much for including me – it makes such a huge difference when you surround yourself with positive, creative, uplifting people! Happy to have you on my list as well 🙂

  2. Sara, this is amazing. First of all, thank you for including me in this list and secondly, thank you for opening my eyes to so many wonderful blogs, including your’s! I love that you have found communities that build you up, it’s so lucky.

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