I’ve been noticing a steadily-increasing trend of friends and colleagues who seem to be unsure of how to take my (not-so-new) role as a mum blogger. Whether it is because they’re fed-up with my oversharing, or they’re uninterested in mum life, I’m not too sure. But it’s definitely becoming a trend.
I’ve had acquaintances unfollow my Instagram.
I’ve had friends roll their eyes when I discuss my blog, or talk about products I’ve received.
I have friends and family who look uncomfortable when I mention the word ‘blog’. They shift awkwardly in their seat and look away as though I’ve told them I like to eat rocks for breakfast (side note, I totally don’t).
While I still don’t know what it is that makes them think I’ve turned to something horrible such as witchcraft in my spare time (another side note, I haven’t), I’ve decided maybe it is time that I break down what it is I actually do as a mum blogger (especially since today is my blogaversary – Happy “birthday” Mumma Morrison!). I hope that by sharing this, more people might understand what it is us bloggers do, and how it isn’t necessarily an easy thing to be doing.
What Blogging IS!
I started blogging as a way of documenting my life with Starfish. I have an awful memory, and knew that I needed some way of recollecting all the early moments of his life. Blogging seemed to me like a great way of keeping an online diary of my crazy thoughts, our wonderful moments and the “highlight reel” of our Morrison family moments.
Except that’s not exactly how motherhood works.
You see, shortly after starting the blog, Starfish went into that weird (and wonderful?!) period between 6-12 weeks where babies get excessively fussy. It was brutal. It was full on. It seemed unrelenting and unending. So I wrote about it, on the blog. And from there, a new direction for my blog started.
Here are 11 things that blogging is really about:
- Blogging is an outlet – It has become a way for me to creatively explore my experience of motherhood. It is a way I can work through my feelings, emotions and experiences of this crazy rollercoaster ride. It helps me to understand what’s going on, and work through some pretty big stuff.
- It is about helping people – I’m passionate about helping others as much as possible, so writing about motherhood has been a way for me to encourage other first-time mums that what they’re doing is normal, and that they are good mothers (even though I don’t know much myself as a first-time mother).
- It is a way of creating community – Since I started blogging a year ago, I have met some amazing mums, and deepened friendships with other mum friends who I haven’t spoken to in years. It has been a way to connect through our shared experience of motherhood; to help each other through the nitty-gritty stuff, as well as celebrate the successes of our families.
- Blogging is a source of community – not only can blogging create a community through the topic you’re writing about, but blogging in itself has its own community. I’ve met many lovely bloggers (who write about a variety of topics) who help support and encourage the writing process and have helped me to build my blog to where it is today).
- Blogging is about innovation – I’ve always been an enthusiastic and passionate person, and I am pretty good at coming up with ideas to try something new. Blogging has been a way for me to explore my innovative side, and allowed me to come up with cool new ways of doing things (and helping other bloggers/biz mums along the way too!).
- It is about creativity – Not only is writing a creative skill on its own, but I’ve had the opportunity to explore photography, videography and digital media as well (and even a bit of styling thrown in the mix!). While I’m no way a pro at any of these things, it is a lot of fun getting creative and trying new ways of engaging people.
- Blogging is about collaboration – It has been fun working alongside a range of people (most of them mums who have created a business from home!) and helping them in their business, as well as helping the mums I meet learn about awesome new products. There’s nothing else to it – it is just fun!
- It is about utilising the skills you already have – I’m only starting to appreciate this now, but I love being able to write about and use my teaching knowledge and experience to help mums with their children. I love being able to use my creativity in fun and new ways. I enjoy being able to use my interpersonal skills to speak at events and connect with other mums and bloggers!
- Blogging is multi-faceted – As some of you may know, I am exploring ways of turning my blog into a business. I’m learning about business registration, taxes and finance, marketing, strategy, the works! An interesting way to learn about business, that’s for sure! Plus, I need to understand the blogging aspects of a blog (duh!), such as SEO (making my articles Google friendly), WordPress and html coding, and so forth. AND THEN there’s the actual topic I’m writing about – motherhood – that I need to understand and write about; quite often it involves research or interviewing professionals cause I’m still learning along the way too. There is a lot that is involved in a blog, particularly one that is being established as a business (it is full-time work!).
- It is a way of making money – This is by no means the only reason I blog, but it definitely has become a reason to keep going some days. The financial element helps me to keep the blog running on its own, as well as provides a way to support my family and possibly give me an option of working from home. While I wish I could be a stay-at-home mum, we cannot afford this option so blogging has become another means of earning money from home.
- Blogging is a heck of a lot of work – If you’re aiming to run your blog as a business (like I am), it is a LOT of work, just like any business start-up is. I spend a few nights awake after midnight doing work, because I am working around a part-time job, another online job and a 14-month-old! I don’t get to socialise as much as I’d like (or as much as people assume I do) because I spend my time working at home. Unfortunately, I think this area of blogging is difficult for some friends and family to understand – it is a full-time job in my books, but it isn’t always seen this way because it is working from home on my computer.
So there’s a bit of a rundown of what my experience of blogging has been like and has taught me. But just to clarify, I thought I’d share what blogging isn’t.
What Blogging ISN’T!
I think there are some weird perceptions and myths about what blogging actually involves, so I thought I’d share with you what blogging ISN’T about!
Here are 7 things that blogging isn’t about:
- Blogging isn’t narcissism – While I’m sure there are some narcissistic bloggers out there, the majority of us are not. In fact, it can be quite the contrary. Many bloggers write from a space of vulnerability and aim to support like-minded people who could use the support.
- It isn’t about getting ‘free stuff’ – I have had some friends and family members rave about all the ‘free stuff’ I get. While it can be helpful to get free products to review, this is actually part of my payment for the work I do for a business or brand. When I receive products, it involves a lot of work to try the product, take photos of it, edit the photos, write my review of the product and format it all together to put it up on the blog. In the end, I review products to help mums find the things they need to make motherhood easier, not to fill up my house with products.
- Blogging isn’t a waste of time – I know many people think I waste my time blogging and building it as a business. Wondering why I don’t get other things done at home or for work. I explain that as a business, I am striving to help mums through the ins and outs of daily life with kids – it isn’t wasted time!
- It isn’t about getting on my high horse – Similar to point one, I don’t blog to tell others what to do or to insist that other mums take my opinions. On the contrary, I try to share differing opinions to help mums make their own informed decisions, or to feel confident in the decisions they make for their families.
- Blogging isn’t an excuse – I think there are a few people who also believe I use my blogging as an ‘excuse’ to not do other work or get things done (similar to being a waste of time). I would hope that people who did see how much work I put into my blog would realise that blogging isn’t an excuse to get out of anything – if anything, I’ve created way more work for myself.
- Blogging isn’t nerdy! – Okay, I totally may have had this perception myself starting out, however blogging is not nerdy. People from all walks and stages of life have blogs and help people in their audience in a variety of ways. There are even a variety of celebrities who have blogs, so you know, that makes it cool right?!
- It isn’t exclusive – I’ve come to realise that anybody can have a blog, because everyone has a voice; everyone has talents; and everyone has something to share with the world. Your blog can be as big or small as you want it to be, so the sky really is the limit! I think everyone should have a blog (but I’m totally biased!).
So, Why A Mum Blogger?
As I mentioned before, blogging started as a way for me to document my life with my son. But as I’ve built up my blog and my brand, it has become a way for me to help other mums out there get through motherhood. Celebrate the highs, and work through those hard lows. It is a way to build a community of mums to support and encourage each other in their day to day lives.
While being a mum blogger is challenging, and it brings about a tension between my ‘real life’ and this online world I’m involved in, I really do love it. And I hope it helps some mums out there.
I hope that by sharing this post, and writing about some of the things that blogging is and isn’t, it may help some friends and family (and beyond) understand why us bloggers do what we do.