Sally | Oct 23, 2018 | 0
Nine Years of Blogging: A Love/Hate Affair
So here we are.
It’s been nine years this week since I first posted on Who’s the Mummy.
To commemorate the occasion I thought it would be interesting to reflect on how I feel about my blog after nine years. What are the things I enjoy, and what are the things that frustrate me?
On balance, there’s a lot more to love than hate. Clearly, since I’m still here, babbling away every week or so.
But I’d love to know if any of these things resonate with you? What would be on your list of blogging pros and cons?
Just as I finished this post, I heard the news that my old-time blogging friend Kate has passed away suddenly. And it made me think, life’s short but isn’t a blog a marvellous gift to leave your children when you’re not around? Rest in Peace Kate, we are all going to miss you more than you can imagine.
5 Things I Hate about Blogging
I confess when blogging first started, it was fairly rough around the edges. It was a space that allowed women to be imperfect, and to share their real lives online.
These days, it can sometimes feel as though that has been replaced by yet another aspirational, glossy magazine that we cannot hope to live up to. I worry sometimes that we’re not leaving enough space for imperfection – unless it’s dressed up in snarky humour and carrying a bottle of wine.
Then I burn dinner for the third time in a week, and remember that I am carrying the flag for mediocre mothers everywhere.
When you’ve blogged for as long as this, you see people come and go.
Every couple of years there’s a new “big name” blogger. But inevitably, life moves on, and that person’s time in the spotlight passes. Children get older, people go back to work, tragedies happen, priorities change, blogs get put to one side.
But I do really miss some of the bloggers who were around when I started blogging. I’d love to know how their lives turned out, how their kids grew up. It’s like missing the last episode of a really good box set.
In 2018 blogging is a fully-fledged job. There are endless posts and communities telling you the plug-ins you must have, the SEO changes you need to make, the 27,000 things to do to “beat” the algorithm.
But here’s what I believe – when blogging isn’t your job, it doesn’t matter if 100 people or a million people read your post. What matters is that you wrote it, some people loved it, and commented on it. And you still had enough free time to spend an hour in a hot bath this evening.
Do what you love, people. If you love the business of blogging, then YES! You do you. I’ll be here downloading a new box-set on Amazon Prime.
I am fibbing slightly here. I love technology. I own far too many devices to be anything other than a fan.
But blogging – the actual technical business of hosting a website and making sure it’s reliable and fast and backed up and secure? YAWNSVILLE. I cannot make myself care about hosting packages and MySQL and simultaneous connections or bandwidth.
I literally handed this stuff to a developer about seven years ago and never got involved again, much beyond, “Can I have something that looks like this [insert screenshot] except blue?”
I am a firm believer that Facebook groups about social media do nothing but add to the overall level of unhappiness in the world, and I refuse to be a part of any of them.
Except mine, because then I get to just delete everything I don’t like and pretend it never happened.
Seriously, Facebook groups are hotbeds of gossip, passive aggression and bitchiness. And they don’t fit my life motto of: didn’t see it, didn’t happen, can’t care.
5 Things I Love about Blogging
Blogging for nine years has given me some fabulous friendships. Jen is my go-to person for a long, gossipy phone call. She’s also the most amazing source of wisdom and support when I have parenting challenges. She doesn’t judge me EVER, and I love that about her.
Lindy makes me laugh more than almost anyone I know, and I love working together with her. I think we balance each other out because she calms me down when I over-react to things, and if I’m under-reacting, she’ll be enraged on my behalf.
And there are others, too many to mention. Friends who I don’t see very often, but who always make me laugh when we do catch up. If ever I’m feeling jaded about blogging, they’re the ones who remind me why I love it as much as I do.
It’s not nothing having nine years of memories captured. I love this blog because of the little moments and stories.
You don’t think you’ll ever forget that hilarious thing your child said in the middle of the night when they’re three. But you do. Except if you have a blog, you get to remind yourself. It’s pretty special.
Honestly, one of my favourite things to do sometimes is scroll years back on my Insta feed or follow the recommended posts links on my blog until I am lost in old stories and photos.
Without this blog, Flea’s childhood would have still been lovely, don’t get me wrong. But the experiences blogging has brought us couldn’t have come from any other job.
Flea has ridden a camel in the desert, walked through the ancient city of Petra. She’s parasailed over a tropical island and learned to scuba dive in Jamaica. She’s learned to cook pizza in Florence, and had surf lessons in France.
I know it’s considered deeply unfashionable in some circles to say you’re “lucky” as a blogger, but you know what? I’m lucky. I’m ridiculously, stupidly lucky.
This blog has brought us some amazing experiences for really not very much effort in return, and I am deeply grateful for that.
My blog isn’t my job. I’ve no aims to become a full-time, professional blogger. I decided a long time ago that I don’t want to commercialise my life. I also didn’t want to write about stuff I wasn’t interested in.
But the skills I’ve learned as a blogger make me better at my job as a digital consultant. I write and read blog posts, so I get a feel for what content resonates with an audience, and what falls flat.
I’ve had to learn how to make use of new social media platforms, I’ve edited videos and learned SEO step by painful step. I’ve had to learn about metrics and design and marketing. And I keep learning, every day.
By its nature blogging forces you to put yourself OUT there.
I’m not sure that ten years ago, I’d have been confident enough to share personal experiences with strangers. I would have shied away from sharing photos of myself online. I can’t imagine I’d have been confident enough to appear on video, or even on TV. Well, not without hyperventilating.
But blogging has forced me to do that.
It’s given me opportunities to be brave, and a community of people who have my back, and help me laugh when I get it wrong. Every day, my blog reminds me that it’s okay to be exactly who you are, and not apologise for it. That’s pretty wonderful.
How about you? What are the things that keep you keeping on at your blog and social channels?