There’s been a little change in the air around these parts.
Up until my return to work a few months ago, I was dead set on pursuing blogging as my sole source of income. I read every post going from more established and what I perceived as ‘more successful’ bloggers. I could probably tell you every single piece of advice on what to do to make a blog a “success” at this point because I lived and breathed it.
But recently, I’ve had what I would describe as a little bit of a wobble. Maybe I’ve changed, maybe it’s because I have less time than I did. Well, I definitely have less time anyway.
I think it started when I started receiving emails and messages from other, newer bloggers. Sensible women, brilliant mothers who asked me for my “secrets of success” in this blogging business.
“How have you built your blog into such a success?” they all wanted to know.
I’ve dutifully passed on the many tips and all the advice that I have been given myself but the truth is it left me feeling a little bit weird. What feels like very recently, I pressed publish on my first blog post and I truthfully never thought anyone would read my blog, let alone recognise me at events or ask for my advice. I don’t feel qualified to give the advice. It just feels weird.
I’ve stopped to think about that recently. Why does it feel weird? I have achieved quite a bit with this blog after all.
So, I’ve taken some time out to think about things. What feels good to me? What feels right? What is it that I love about my blog. That I love about being a blogger?
And the truth is – it’s not about the stats. The number of people who read my blog? I couldn’t care less. It’s about connecting with other mothers, feeling less alone. I’ve found motherhood to be painfully lonely at times and the tribe of mothers that I’ve met through blogging and social media has been and continues to be a life line to me. Im interested in communicating with you, the person behind the page views. Not just the number that goes up or down on a daily basis on my stats counter.
Maybe I’m less interested in making my blog into my primary income source because my real job is in communications. I am a mother and I get to work for a phenomenal company. Those are both jobs, vocations and livelihoods enough for me. There is nothing wrong with blogging for a living and it is a fantastic, exciting and thoroughly exhausting and rewarding in equal measure. I admire many bloggers and the influencing empires that they are building for themselves but I have had a real insight into what it takes to create this kind of empire and I’m just not sure I can do it that way.
If I have to obsess over page views, self-promotion and churn out posts because I’m paid to do so – for me I lose all creativity. I lose the ability to connect with you, to stand side by side in the trenches with you in this parenting lark. I lose myself and my perspective.
I am a writer. I need to write, I thrive on it and I love it. It’s less of a money maker and more of a necessity. I want to share the good, bad and ugly of being someone’s mother. I want to share when my head gets so full that I think it will pop off my shoulders. I want to write as it comes out, as I speak, as though I’m chatting to a friend. I want to connect and interact with each one of you as people – not as page views.
In this sense it really doesn’t matter whether 50 people or 500 people read my words on a daily basis so long as the ones who do read, leave feeling more like connected, reassured or just a bit less alone in this crazy business of parenting.
Yes, I do and I will continue to work with brands and often I am paid for my time in the same way you are with any job. However I will level with you and admit that I now turn down 90% of all work I am offered. I simply will not write a fake review in the hope that more work will be offered to me next time. I will not write about the latest ‘must-have’ app when I couldn’t care less about any of them and I will not peddle things to you that I don’t absolutely love or need myself.
If I don’t find it exciting, then I just won’t be giving it air time. Brand collaborations can be exciting for me of course but not as exciting as the buzz I feel when I recognise you and see that you have come back again to engage, take time out of your day and leave a comment on my post.
I know that many brands will only want to work with bloggers who have a certain number of page views a month. It doesn’t matter though. I cannot be anything but my largely outspoken self and if I can make a living doing it this way then that’s great. If I can’t then so be it. I will still be a mother, reaching out to other parents in the trenches and that’s enough.
For now, I’m happy running round after my kids, chasing my dreams in the corporate world and chatting to you on Instagram stories. As for blogging? Well, I’m going back to basics, to the reason that I started blogging in the first place – just to connect, reach out and to stand side by side with all the mothers juggling, struggling and laughing their way through the day to day of raising babies, toddlers and children.
So that’s it really. A bit of a change and a little bit of an update.
Until next time.