When I objectively reflect on blogging I conclude it is rather an odd pastime and yet, it is a powerful and popular component of social media today. There are a huge variety of blogs in cyberspace of varying degrees of popularity and professionalism. Every blogger has a different reason for blogging but those who continue find it hugely satisfying. I fall into the category of a ‘mommy blogger’, coined as a disparaging term by some, though it is admitted ‘mommy bloggers’ have huge power.
I’ve been blogging for seven years now and I love it.
Primarily I began my blog as a family journal and a creative outlet for myself. My purpose for blogging hasn’t changed, though I’d like to think my photography and writing skills have improved and that I’ll continue to grow in these skills. I don’t have a huge following, nor a loud voice in social media, nor am I desiring to. I’m happy here in my little corner of cyberspace with my loyal little band of followers, sharing snippets of our family’s journey and chatting about my interests and hobbies.
I rarely delve into controversial topics, I’m a peacemaker by nature and whilst I have strong opinions about lots of topics, I personally prefer to have those conversations in person. Where dialogue is easily aided by body language and the ability is there for both parties to define terms and ask for clarification, where a ‘give and take’ relationship is possible and respect is paramount.
Whilst the thought of becoming immensely ‘popular’ has me quaking and is not a blogging motivator, I do strongly desire to continually grow and improve as a writer, and to not bore those loyal readers I have.(though I’m certain I do at times). Periodically I read ‘how to improve as a blogger’ posts, which I often find rather frustrating, in the main their advice relates to professional bloggers and is irrelevant to ‘mommy bloggers’. Perhaps though that is my perception, if any of my readers have relevant articles to recommend, please do!
Blog writing can often feel like you are writing into a void, whilst I’m not one to watch my stats and comments avidly they do give some indication of whether a post was well received or not. Interestingly I don’t rely on comment figures as a reliable indicator of interest anymore, as often I may have a post that receives no comments and yet I notice it pinned on friend’s diigo’s or linked within a post.
Fortunately I am blessed to have a loyal irl band of followers who give me verbal and email feedback. My husband and a couple of close friends, oh yes and my children, who are quick to pick up on any ‘poetic license’ I may occasionally take and who will often suggest post titles. These three ‘editors’ all contribute, helping and inspiring me to hone my writing skills. One friend helps by noting any spelling and grammatical errors I allow to slip through, and will give honest feedback, this is valuable. Recently I wrote a post that I laboured and agonised over, my first potential controversial post, and yet I received not one comment, my friend was gracious enough when asked, to suggest I needed to use a more conversational tone, and I know she is right. In my desire to ‘get it right’ I became too ‘preachy’, a valuable lesson.(still deciding if I rewrite that post, a writing challenge). My other friend is often enthusiastic, sending me little notes of encouragement, and thanking me at the right time when I am feeling a little discouraged. My husband my greatest fan has been an immense support in helping me grow and develop as a writer. A gifted writer himself, he can be relied upon to give solid suggestions in writing improvement. He taught me how to improve my sentence structures, how to eliminate superfluous words, to change my paragraph layouts and so forth. He reminds me of the need to vary my post topics (whoops, I broke that rule recently) and is always clamouring for me to be regular in my 7 Quick Takes posts, his favourite. I am blessed and grateful indeed for my ‘editors’ support.
- What are your greatest challenges as a blogger? Perhaps your challenges are very different from mine.
- Do you have someone who helps you develop as a writer, either irl, another blogger, a loyal reader?
- Don’t forget to share if you have any ‘how to improve as a blogger’ posts.