Gwennan Rees

Blogger and Illustrator

When IRL Friends Want To Become URL Friends.

When IRL Friends Want To Become URL Friends.


Gonna start with an absolute disclaimer here and say one or two of my closest friends have mentioned they'd like to start a blog and I in no way think it was because of me and mine. I've been encouraging these pals to start blogs for ages and I know if they did I'd be their biggest cheerleaders, always sharing their posts and helping them out when they need it. 

This post is less about my close friends and more about general people I know, and more about people wanting to start a blog for the wrong reasons. 


When I started my blog a year and a half (ish) ago nobody I knew in real life wrote one. I didn't share it on my Facebook to begin with, I didn't really tell anyone about it - not because I was embarrassed about it but because I just didn't think it was their thing. 

Now these days with moderate (modest me) success and a decent following and some semi viral pins and an awards shortlisting, my blog has it's FB page, I share my posts and I've been told by IRL friends and family that they read it. Sometimes I'll be talking to someone and they'll say something like 'oh I see that XYZ' and I'll realise I didn't tell them that and they got it from here or from my social media. 

Since I started blogging the odd one or two people I knew from school or from friends of friends have started a blog and let's just say, I was less than charitable in my reaction. You know my competitive post from the other day? The announcement of blogs from people I vaguely know brings out my absolute bitchiest side. It's not a nice side, I'm not proud of it but my instance reaction is to be like "ugh but like they don't know how much work goes into it" or I'll read it and be like "ugh look at those grammatical errors. Such a rookie". (Plz don't point out my grammatical errors or spelling mistakes, I know they're there, I don't proof read my posts.)

I'm a twat basically. 

Tina's post got me thinking about blogging friends. I wrote a post last month about how you should make your URL friends your IRL friends but Tina's post made me question whether I'd recommend it the other way round?

What if my in real life friends broke into the world of blogging? What if they started popping up in chats? Would I chat back? Would it be weird to tweet them when I could just text? Or when I might see them next Tuesday? 

What if my in real life friends wrote super negative controversial posts that I disagreed with? What if they asked me for support, for back up? Topics that would never come up in our every day friendship might be out there for the world to see? What if they were the ones always causing the Twitter drama and everyone associated us with each other because we know one another? 

What if my in real life friends wanted a cheerleader as they quite rightly would but I didn't like their blog? Or what if my in real life friends wanted an 'in' into the blogging world and wanted it through me? What if my in real life friends wanted to be integrated into my URL friendship group? What if they asked to come into the Whatsapp or to come away with the squad? Things suddenly become 34387873 times more awkward to say no if it's somebody you all in town all the time. 

And then comes Tina's point about the 'OH THE FREEBIES' and 'Can you just help me with this?' I'll do a full rant in another post one day I'm sure about people starting blogs for the freebies, for the brand work and for the fame. 

You. Will. Not. Be. The. Next. Zoella. Without. Hard. Work. And. Talent. 

People don't realise the bloody hard work that goes into running a successful blog and those of us already at it didn't just do overnight, we've been working at it. Some of us have been doing it for months, some for years but it comes from hard work and dedication and from a lot of Googling. 

What happens when in real life friends ask for help with coding or what hosting site is the best? I'd answer, all well and good. But when in real life friends are asking for your turned down brand collabs or for your deepest and darkest secrets, the ones that made your blog a success in the first place, the tricks that took you months to learn? Then you feel a little uneasy about sharing. It is not caring. Is it? 

My squad, my IRL friends who were URL friends first are a whole different kettle of fish. We met because of blogging, we bonded over blogging, our first shared interest was blogging and then we took it off the screens and into Hyde Park and now we're in real life friends too. Because we bonded over our online lives first we'd already started that blogging thang, we DO share stuff. We do ask questions of each other, we do ask for help, we do share what campaigns we've got going on, what we're being paid, it's a whole different dynamic - but why?

I don't have a conclusion to this post, I don't have any friends who blog and if one day I do, then we'll find out whether I'm as nice a URL friend as I am IRL. 

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