Blogging wasn’t something that I intentionally started out to do. To be honest I didn’t even know what a blog was or how diverse the blogging world could be… something I am still learning even now. The main reason I started to blog was to help market and promote my book Your Teething Baby: from one parent to another.
I was naive. I believed that I could write and self-publish a book and that the sales would just happen on their own. I was also a technophobe so anything more than posting a few pictures on Facebook of my holiday went straight over my head. So, when I read that I should start a blog I went ahead and blindly began to write. I didn’t have a plan or any idea about what people would want to read so my first few posts were a bit of this and a bit of that. I loved the idea of creating a blog that was like a magazine, covering different topics but I hadn’t thought how this would develop, how long I would need to blog for or where it could lead.
In the first 12 months I was a novice, I didn’t ‘get’ want I was meant to be doing and I couldn’t understand why the readers weren’t flooding in. I didn’t really understand all of the social media platforms and jargon that I was reading in other blogs/groups. All I wanted to do was sell my book. I also felt as though I was doing something that wasn’t understood by others I knew– it has never been something that has come up around the dinner table with family. Blogging still is a very grey area to some people and can be misunderstood.
However, fast forward to now and I am in a place I never dreamed I would be.
My blog went self-hosted in January which has allowed me to have full control over my site, I can add adverts and I can now earn money from it via reviews, sponsored/collaborative posts, sharing on social media etc. I’ve slowly but surely built up a lovely following across social media and I always recognise the names of those who like or comment often– it’s like having new friends and I love hearing from them. Not only this but I have also landed freelance writing work for another website which provides me with a regular income each month… something I had never even considered.
I have new friends in the form of bloggers and small business owners, I have a support network online and I have a job that keeps me busy and at home so I can work it around my child which is so important to me. The blogging world is huge and the opportunities are vast and I am only just getting into it all.
I think my favourite part has to be sharing parts of my life that may inspire others, that may make another parent realise that they aren’t going through something alone and to be able to reach out and help. My recent post Being a Mum Without a Mum has been one of my most popular articles and one that saw me receiving comments and messages from those who felt the same way. By being open and honest I was telling these women that what they are feeling is normal and by just saying that can bring so much comfort. Grief can be a lonely emotion and we are always so ashamed of being able to openly say ‘hey, I am not alright today’ but I want to be able to stand up and let others know that this is ok to say and it is also ok to be angry and tired and wound up because you don’t have that one person here who should be here. I feel proud that I managed to help one lady on Twitter, that my post was shared on a Mums without Mums Facebook page and that it was picked as Mumsnet blog of the day. As a writer, all you want to be able to do is have your piece read and appreciated.
I know there are people who think I am oversharing, who frown upon the fact that I post photos of my child and who perhaps some who think what I write is rubbish or cringey and that is fine, we are all entitled to our own opinion but if it wasn’t for all of this I wouldn’t have a flexible job or this passion for writing. As for sharing our names and photos, this is a personal choice. I know there are bloggers who don’t do either and there are even parents who won’t do this on their private Facebook pages but in my mind by the time Jake is old enough to have his own profile he will be posting away as children already are and may even create his own vlog– he already has his favourite to watch on YouTube and is always asking me to make a video too! The internet is a way of life now and imagine how much further it will be developed in 10 years time.
Maybe one day more people will be able to ask me how my work is going and be interested in the job I do. At the end of the day, every blog is different and we aren’t all about just journalling our lives, a lot of us are working very hard to support our family and this is very important to me. Here’s to more opportunities in the future and fingers crossed more books… any publishers reading this? Hello! lol