Blog,  Blogging

The Challenges of Blogging

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.
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  • Amy Marigold

    There are days when I think I might just look like that picture you posted.

    I think my journey with blogging has been similar to yours. I was just talking with my daughter the other day about our journey with blogging. I began mostly just to find out how blogging worked, because my 13 year old at the time wanted her own blog – figured I better know a bit about it before I let my daughter loose on the blogging world. Well, here we are, 6 years later. Still blogging away. Fun.

    Hope you have a great day. 🙂

  • Willa

    Hi Erin,
    I love to read your blog. It gives me a chance to see into the life of someone with whom I feel I have a lot in common, yet I never would have known anything about if it weren't for the internet. : ).

    Thought I think you were always a good writer, I have definitely noticed that your design and writing have gotten even better recently. Maybe because you are trying to make more of a habit of blogging? Anyway, I always find interesting things in your blog!

    I wish I commented more but I often read blogs on my phone when I have a stray moment and my phone won't let me comment for some reason.

    I haven't really seen many posts on how to be a better amateur or mommy-blogger, either. If I do I will let you know.

    My greatest challenges as a blogger right now are (1) deciding if the world really needs my voice (that's why I'm trying to blog daily during November, to see if it helps me decide) and (2) that balance of how much to say and in what tone. I tend to avoid controversial topics too — at least, when I get into one, it probably would be by accident. Haha.

    Sorry for almost writing a post in your combox. Keep up the blogging — I love it!

    • Erin

      Willa your blog's one of my top fav's, love reading your blog too! Thank you!! I can see the difference myself going back and re-reading old posts, perhaps the adage we tell our children is true;) 'Practice makes perfect." I'm thinking phones have changed things again. I need your voice, you have alot of wisdom to share. Balance will always be an ongoing issue.

  • Angie McIntyre

    Hi Erin! Thanks for asking.

    What are your greatest challenges as a blogger?

    Mine is that I don't self-identify as a blogger. Or a writer. I see myself as an engager via content. My style and thoughts translate better on different media, such as message board (wink) and twitter. But within the past few months, I've identified "content curation" as a name for myself and now I am trying to adapt it to a blogging format.

    Do you have someone who helps you develop as a writer, either irl, another blogger, a loyal reader?

    No, but I do have great examples of how to interact via social media to engage with others and share great content. Again, I don't create my own content as often as I curate it and put my own stamp on it.

    Don't forget to share if you have any 'how to improve as a blogger' posts.

    Nothing from me, lol! But I do hope you will wish me luck and I'm very open to feedback. Perhaps you can answer this question, why are bloggers not very generous with feedback, likes, and comments. Why would a blogger write reams of words, but not give an equal amount to engage others? I know there are exceptions, but that is my general impression.

  • Laura Pearl

    Erin, I can relate to so much of what you wrote here. I often feel like I'm writing into a "void," too, but I still love to do it–it satisfies some need in me. I think my brain needs and enjoys that exercise every day, so it's good for that, if nothing else. And I also try to keep the controversial stuff off my blog, although I have strong opinions about a lot of issues as well. In general, I just want to keep it a happy little "grammy blog" (is that a thing yet?).

    To me, you are a hugely successful blogger–144 followers! I can't imagine.

    And I for one enjoy checking in and seeing what you have to say. 🙂

    • Erin

      It;s a funny business isn't it, we feel like a void and yet we just keep being satisfied. I consider I have finally found a creative niche that is me. I've always loved words so I guess it makes sense. I don't actually think of you as a 'grammy blog' but someone older and wiser, like Proverbs. Yes well what is success? a good question to toss out there. Thank you:) loving having you visit.

  • The Handmaden

    I'm similar to you in that I try to keep my blog interesting and that is a challenge.

    No, I don't have anyone else involved in my blog, it's just "my thing".

    I do find it frustrating that most of my posts nowadays don't receive comments and sometimes I wonder whether it's worth the trouble, but something keeps drawing me back 🙂 I do get a bit of feedback via Facebook, but recently one of my posts received 150 views, yet no comments. Then I start to think maybe there is something wrong with the way I write etc.

    Another challenge for me is to write engaging posts without giving too much away, I'm generally a pretty introverted and private person and I don't want to share too many personal details on the internet.

    • Erin

      Maybe such a challenge is good for our growth as writers. Wow 150 views and no comments! mind you I've had that too, sometimes I wonder if it is just a spammer when that happens. Yes it is a challenge and gets harder the older your children get.

  • Emily

    Interesting post. Got my mind ticking over. I had a similar moment – I revealed something about myself and was so worried about seeming 'boohoo woe is me' that I overemphasised how 'un-boohoo un-woe is me' it was and it was too much.

  • Katie Oliveira da Silveira

    Great post, Erin. I lot of us have similar feeling and similar questions. Personally, my biggest challenge is time. I wish I had more time to do what I want, but being a mother doesn't allow it. I usually always run my posts past my husband to get at least one other opinion, especially if it's personal and concerns him and/or our daughter. I know what you mean about it being hard to find specific Mummy blogging tips and advice. But, in essence we are still bloggers, and I think most of the same rules apply if you want to become "big." I get the most inspiration from reading other blogs – I read as many as I can fit in – out of genuine interest, and to see how others write and what they are writing about, too. As far as comments go, I find the most comments come from link ups. Good luck with everything 🙂 Katie (mumabytes)

    • Erin

      It's great to not feel alone:) Yes time, the balance between writing and motherhood. How great to have your husband to run your writing by:) Yes I'm finding a community via link ups. Thank you for visiting:) Great to 'meet' you.

  • Renee Wilson

    Wow. Seven years. That's impressive. Congratulations. My biggest challenge is finding the time and working out the right balance between, blogging, work, babes and hubby. There just isn't enough time. I admire you for sticking at it for so long!

  • Janet Camilleri

    My greatest challenge is probably trying NOT to get swept away with the hype, counting stats, comments etc and finding my self worth that way.

    I'm still not sure if I've found my "niche" which is supposed to be so important. But I love what I write and hopefully the readers do too 🙂

    • Erin

      Have you been blogging long? I did that a little at the beginning. I think your niche means finding your voice, really just being true to yourself. Glad to 'meet' you:)

  • Annaleis Topham

    I love having a small amount of regular followers. when they comment they are sharing small pieces of themselves as well as me doing the sharing. I cant say that I am getting too much better but I am loving playing with my camera and learning more and more with each lot of pictures I'm taking.

    • Erin

      You do form a lovely community that way and really make friends. I daresay if you look back after a while you will notice your writing and photography have improved. I'm horrified by photos I used to take! Quite heartening to see the improvement.

  • Brenda @ 13 Acres

    i love hearing your thoughts on blogging! I'm visiting here from Maxabella's, and this linky is a great way for me to find new blogs! I agree that blogging is a unsual yet enjoyable community. it can be hard at times when the popular blogs seem in such a world of their own, but like you, I like being surrounded by a wonderful, if not small group of followers! And how wonderful you have three fabulous editors in your family xx

    • Erin

      I find it a great way to find new blogs too:) Not even too sure of what constitutes a popular blog, but yes it's really about having wonderful readers (and commentators) I am blessed by my husband and friends interest.

  • Maxabella

    My biggest challenge, hands down, is time. Sometimes I've done so much writing that day that there are no more words left over for the blog. I miss blogging the way I used to, I really do.

    I loved reading your thoughts, Erin. You've captured what blogging is really about when money isn't involved. I think that when people start making money from their blog, it becomes something else. Not a blog, not a website, but… something. The heart of blogging is not about 'working with brands' as some seem to believe.

    I think you would enjoy Pip's Blog School that we run on Village Voices. It's how to improve your writing, images, blogging techy skills and all that. Very friendly and warm:


    • Erin

      I'd imagine that would easily be the case, must be hard{{}} Yes, not quite a blog when making money, more like an interactive website. Did love Pip's thanks for the link:) Very helpful. and I really appreciate you popping over I know how busy you are.

  • Multi-tasking Mama

    Erin, you don't need to change a thing. Over the years I have changed what blogs I read. At first I used to read many of those "Slick Homeschooling blogs" (hope that makes sense but you know those mums that have made it into a business – you can tell) but then I realised they made me feel inadequate at times and didn't give a proper representation of h/s or family life, etc. The past few years I have switched to many around this side of the world and I almost feel like I am gaining an extended internet family, who I share their ups and downs with and look forward to exciting events in their life and such. It feeds my soul as much as my intellect. Bless you for being you and writing as you do.

    • Erin

      I do know what you mean, and yes if a blog makes you feel inadequate you need to stop reading. Are you mostly reading NZ blogs? When you say this side of the world, do you include Africa as well as Australia? Yes feeding soul as well as intellect, I know what you mean. Thank you for your kind words, and thank you for your loyalty{{}}

  • Lynda Rennick

    My biggest challenge as a newish blogger is defining what I'm blogging about and who I'm blogging for. I'm starting to get to a point where I'm comfortable and excited about my blog.


  • EssentiallyJess

    My biggest challenge, is that I probably set my bench mark too high for myself, and decide what's uninteresting, before I've even really let the thought perculate. I'm not one to just blog for the sake of it but sometimes I need to write, and I struggle then with what to say. I think I need to give myself more freedom with content.
    Found your link via Janet from red lands city living 🙂

  • floodproofmum

    I really appreciate your post today. I am only a new blogger so the whole concept is a challenge to me at the moment. I have put my foot in it, preached, and probably done many things I don't even know about. At the end of the day your blog is for you and if people want to visit and enjoy you, like I do, then what you are doing is worth it. Hope I am still blogging after seven years! Cheers, Tanya

    • Erin

      Encouraging you to persevere and if you feel you've made mistakes{{}} you can only learn and move on. Seven years go fast, keep writing and you'll get there.

  • Seana Smith

    Hello via the Rewind, I have a feeling that people are commenting less and less the more that they read on phones and tablets. It's such a pain to comment. You can tell I am at my laptop right now.

    I like being useful and sharing info and have just re-fallen in love with my blog and with blogging… I see mine as a mini-magazine now and am commercial. It's a marvellous medium.

  • Ingi Mc

    Great post – it even inspired me to write a post again (after a self-imposed hiatus).

    I don't comment as often as I should – I often think "where's the like button" as I would like to give a thumbs up to posts I like without having to put fingers to keyboard (especially if I'm on my phone). But I do enjoy your blog – thank you for letting us into your life!

    I liked this post to get excited about blogging again:

    • Erin

      You made my day, to think I inspired you was a huge boost!! Sometimes we need a break and then we come back refreshed. Why thank you{} Read your link, thanks!!

  • Cassie Williams

    My biggest challenge is time. I just don't have enough time to write the blog post that I want. I rarely receive comments on my blog and I just assume it's because I'm not great at blogging. Of course, the main reason I don't comment a lot on other blogs is simply lack of time. Perhaps limiting the number of blogs I read and time spent on Facebook would provide more time.

    I love your blog!

    • Erin

      Time is an issue. Some posts take me days pecking away as time permits. I wouldn't assume that at all, I just think alot of it is the nature of blogging today. Why thank you, so kind! and I went to find your blog but couldn't:( can you give my your addy please.

  • Olivia

    …i'm off to find your controversial post! (some times I miss posts for days with my house is chaotic and have to do a "block catchup", at other times I read daily)

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