In a letter to her followers that she admitted was sure to make her cry, entertainment blogger Necole Bitchie announced, “It’s time for me to move on.” She will no longer run the website NecoleBitchie.com, which was founded in 2008 by Necole Kane and calls itself "the premiere urban celebrity gossip and entertainment news site on the Internet."
While generating great success and millions of page views, Kane writes, “There is a constant internal struggle between being a character—Necole Bitchie—when I walk out in public, and being the women I know I was meant to be.” After a while, she said, she sometimes felt “boxed in” and wondered if she would ever reach her goals.
She did not give any indication of what she plans to do next, but her empire already includes a Web channel and a clothing line. Here’s what she had to say in her farewell post:
This is probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do…
And I will cry after I write this.
I’m am very saddened to announce that today is my last day as a ‘celebrity gossip blogger.’ It’s also my last day running the site as you know it, NecoleBitchie.com.
Back in 2008, while people were celebrating the New Year with their loved ones, I was on the phone with my good friend Lamar (most of you know him as ‘Blogxilla’) and I told him my plans for growing the traffic on this tiny blog I had just started. I researched HTML codes for hours in an attempt to create a readable layout with red, black and white colors, and he offered to help me with a header image. Although I was living with my aunt at the time, I was somewhat homeless and reminded every day that if I didn’t get a real job soon, I’d have to find somewhere else to go. Over the next six months, I found myself hopping from couch to couch as I moved to Atlanta, and worked hard to grow my following. My friend Lauren tells the story of one day waking up to me laying on her floor with my head resting on my computer. I had fell asleep while blogging!!!!! And that was the reality of my life at the time, I couldn’t really afford to log off my computer, unless it was to attend an event. I refused to send out any more resumes and work at a job I hated. Plan B? Forget about it, this was my only option, and I had to make it work.
My breakthrough finally came when Munson Steed of Rolling Out invited me to speak on the Female Success Factor tour, alongside Chilli. It was my first public speaking engagement and I cried as I told the story of how losing my parents, moving to New York to pursue a job in entertainment, and feeling a since of failure after I was forced to move back to the hometown I grew up in with no money to my name, inspired me to launch my own website. I was tired of sending out resumes and looking for a job — so I had created one.
Although I was still broke and living on couches, the perception was that my site was huge, was enough for those young women to find inspiration in my story. I found power in that. I also realized that speaking to young women gave me more fulfillment then those blogs I was posting every day.
But still, I kept posting. I had a vision of how big my site could be…but what I didn’t know was that God’s plan for me was bigger than my vision. Over the next seven years, I won awards, was featured in magazines that I grew up on, including Ebony and Cosmopolitan, I was on TV, I went on tour with a pop star (Hi Rihanna!), was offered television shows and acting roles (most of which I questioned if I deserved), and I was able to upgrade from those couches I was sleeping on to my own bed.
And the best part of it all was that it happened to a small town girl, who’s vision was greater than the amount of money she had to make it happen. Won’t he do it!
If I could do it, anyone can!
Despite all of those things, I continued to notice that I was experiencing more fulfillment and success from women coming to me on the street and saying, ‘Your story inspires me so much!!’ than I did the ‘you got all the tea, I love your celebrity blog!!!’ I was getting more fulfillment out of speaking engagements, panels and inspirational interviews than I was flying to a luxurious location, given freebies and standing next to someone famous. I began measuring my success not by the amount of people who read my blog, or the money I made, but by the number of people I was able to touch, motivate and inspire.
I also started to realize what purpose was – and I knew to be happy, I had to start living a purpose-driven life. I had to start thinking about what I wanted my legacy to be, and what steps I’d have to take to start living in it.
I think about how I want to be remembered all the time and one thing I know for sure is that I never wanted to be known for being JUST ‘a celebrity gossip blogger.’
I’ve asked myself time and time again – When all is said and done, what will people say about you? How are you elevating your audience? What are you doing to contribute to your culture in a positive way? Are you doing a good job of pushing the culture forward? How are you touching people and changing their lives?
The fact that I can’t answer that right now is problematic for me. I always felt that no matter how much positivity we promoted on the site, the salacious stories were always going to overshadow them. The ‘Bitchie’ in the website name was always going to be counterproductive to the mission I had of being a source of inspiration, and launching a platform for women to tell their stories.
There is a constant internal struggle between being a character –Necole Bitchie—when I walk out in public, and being the women I know I was meant to be. Eventually, I began feeling like I wasn’t doing enough and I would never reach my goals. I felt stuck! I felt boxed in! No matter how much success people thought I had, or how many pageviews our stories generated, I felt as though I was regressing. There was also a constant struggle of what I thought my audience wanted to see (salacious tea), and what I wanted to post (Inspirational women interest stories.’) I was so exhausted from fighting that battle, that I literally felt defeated and I mentally gave up.
Read her full statement here.