Thursday, December 4, 2008

Chin Up, Working Girls

As I have mentioned numerous times before, I really enjoy reading Working Girl’s blog. I’m not exactly in their target demographic but they really have a good thing going and I read as much to try and duplicate their success as I do out of interest in their topics. I’ll admit it, I shake my head at some of their posts but there is a generational gap between us. When they discuss the drama from the most recent episode of The Hills or the quality of Britney Spears’ new album I want to vomit. They are still the best bloggers on the net though, in my humble opinion.
But the Working Girls are sad this week. Working Girl Two has relocated and Working Girl One’s spirits are down. Separation anxiety sucks. While I know that WG1 is happy for her colleague, she still will miss having her near. While I can offer her no solace, I can give her a little reminder of her friend.
A couple of months ago I was brainstorming for ideas to increase my readership and the best idea I came up with was having a weekly guest blogger. The Working Girls were my first target. If I could get them to write an entry for me discussing the successes, failures, and aspirations for their blog, it would be a major accomplishment. So I emailed them and, for a couple of weeks, got no response. Just when I had given up hope that they would do me the honor of writing a blog for me, WG2 contacted me and said she would do it.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you!” I said.
We traded emails discussing topics and deadlines and then one day, there it was: my own personalized WG2 blog entry. Problem was, aside from WG2, only one of my other guest bloggers had responded. I put the feelers out to campus clubs and other bloggers and only Working Girl and Two Minutes for Blogging had replied.
So I stashed the entries away. I honestly figured I would never have the opportunity to use either. Then I read WG1’s post yesterday. She’s got the blues over WG2’s relocation and can only find comfort in her boyfriend’s “nook.” I don’t want to know. So I thought that maybe a trip down memory lane would help. A little reminder of WG2. Kind of like a lost episode of The Hills or Cashmere Mafia.
So here you are WG1, chin up! And WG2, out there in the Windy City, congratulations and thanks again………

I have to first point out that when the Invisible Student asked WG1 and I to guest post on his blog that we were ecstatic. I mean, this is our very first guest blog post (how exciting is that!). And then he asked us to write about our success with Working Girl. Which is still weird for me to say. We are successful. We have a successful blog. When we started the blog, I thought we could get our friends and family to read it for sure. But beyond that, I don't know if I had that many expectations. For you to fully understand, I think we need to start at the beginning.

Working Girl One and I met in college. And I don't think if you had met either one of us when we were little, wide-eyed freshman that either of us could have guessed where we would be 5 years from then. That we would have a blog about women in the workplace. In fact, I think if you had met us on our first day of classes back in 2003 that you would have been surprised if we would be able to graduate much less had been able to pull this blog together.

As fate would have it, WG1 and I had two classes together first semester of freshman year – religion and French. I remember seeing WG1 on our first day of classes and thinking that she must have been one of those girls in high school that was so popular and cool (little did I know that she was a huge nerd bomb). Being the bold little freshman I was, I asked WG1 to sit with me in religion class one day. Unfortunately, I had sat in the front row. And forevermore we had to sit in the front row of that class. I'm not lying when I say we both fell asleep in it (since it was at 9 AM and really, really, really boring).
From that day on, we became best "class friends". So much so that in French class, our professor could barely tell us apart. But we thankfully snagged back row seats in that class (because after many beer bongs, my brain capacity had shrunk to that of a pea and the only words I knew were 'oui' and 'vrai'). WG1 and I hung out with different groups of friends, but we always managed to connect somehow. Since we had different majors, we didn't have many classes together anymore, but we did like dorky activities like being tour guides, campus activities like going to see the Knicks, and eventually we ended up being editors at our university's newspaper.

The idea for Working Girl actually stemmed out of an idea we had for a magazine for young women between the ages of 18 and 25 – a market we thought hadn't really been tapped into. See girls in their teens and tweens have Seventeen. And girls in their 20's and 30's have Cosmopolitan. But there is really no in-between magazine. Something that caters to girls who need guidance with college, their career, finding internships, etc. But since we are only in our early 20's, we didn't really have the resources (or experience) to start our own print magazine and voila Working Girl was born.

In its early stages, Working Girl was really just the two of us writing and our dads reading it. But I think what I really attribute our success to getting the word out. Being two girls in the marketing world, we both know how important word of mouth is! When we started the blog, we sent around an e-mail to all our friends and family asking them to read it on a daily basis. We started a Facebook group dedicated to our blog. We started a MySpace page (which is embarrassing sparse).

As more and more people began to read our blog, which we tracked by using Google Analytics, we decided we needed a professional designer to take on our website. WG1 worked closely with Delicious Design Studio and really, I don't think we would be as successful as we are today without Jess's design. Because without her design, I doubt that we would have been chosen as a Blog of Note. Or been featured in a South African magazine Chew, or gotten any of our blogger appointed awards!

Putting on a professional face while promoting our blog is what I really attribute to our success – that and our commitment to really wanting to reach out to an audience we think gets overlooked – the girls who are about to graduate from college and the twenty-something's out there in the trenches working the daily grind.

Our goal with Working Girl has been the same since the beginning. Of course we want to moan and groan about work, but we also want to help others. We like answering questions that our readers have about work and co-workers and horrible bosses. We like being able to bring knowledge and tidbits of information that you might not be able to find anywhere else.

When the Invisible Student asked us to write this post, he also asked us as if we saw ourselves as role models. Do I think of myself as a role model? Not yet. But it is something I would love to add to my resume.


Constructive Attitude said...

aww i like that post about how the working girls met!

it reminds me of me and one of my friends.

Im so glad the working girls did a guest post, nice blog invisible student!

Sunny said...

Lovely! Working Girls are conquering the world.