I interrupt my usual parent resource posts to bring you this personal reflection on the new media industry of professional mom blogging.
Yesterday I attended a series of events event hosted by the Silicon Valley Moms Group for the DC Metro Moms. It was a great experience. My fellow mom bloggers in the Washington DC area and I provided a little focus group insight, were treated to a swanky brunch and participated in a roundtable discussion on the industry of mom blogging. We also met with assorted companies who informed us about new goods and services available to parents, sometimes with free products to review and give away to our readers. (Coming soon!)
In addition to these activities, I spent the entire day with the incredible friends I have made in this vibrant community of writers. And throughout the day, I kept reflecting that
- I have had a lot of lucky breaks in the online world.
- For many of us, our websites are our work or an extension of our work.
- The ability to work by starting a blog is a complete privilege.
Let’s just get the privilege part out of the way. I decided to leave my traditional office job after the birth of my first kid about seven years ago and work as a stay at home mom. My husband fully supported and encouraged this decision. I spent four years solely taking care of the kids and checking out lots of great kid-friendly destinations in the area. I actually attended puppet shows and nature centers and family fun fairs and didn’t blog about them.
Usually because I was too busy breastfeeding and breaking up a tantrum.
Then I decided on a whim to detail some of that information in blog format on the web. And post daily. And spend a ton of time promoting it. There would be no direct income from the website, save some minimal advertising revenue (but after expenses and deductions, no net pay). Oh, and I still got to have fun with the kids except I met more people and got to do more and expand my own horizons as they left babyhood and started school.
How freaking spoiled am I?
Most parents that decide to spend as much time on a venture will be directly making money from said venture. But because my husband works to support us, I was able to create a free resource while I stayed home with the kids. Just because I wanted to. Maybe spoiled is the wrong word. I’ll trade it for blessed.
Now that I’m several years into this blog and readers been so supportive and loyal, it has led to great career opportunities. And my husband’s encouragement and support has made it possible. I didn’t have to take out a loan from the bank to start this up, but my husband and kids have lent me DAYS UPON DAYS of their time and patience in the name of Mom’s personal desires.
Thus, I see my personal involvement in professional mom blogging as a privilege. I am not knocking it. I love it. I’m just counting my blessings.
But to have a blog that is a professional realization of your goals, I believe you have to work really hard at your website. This hard work is true whether your goals are
- the creation of an effective community resource
- an investment towards professional freelance writing
- sponsorship by major companies
- getting a book published
- the promotion of a business through blogging and social media
- just wanting to write a funny and entertaining blog
Whatever bloggers asprire to, they are posting all the time and striving to make their posts engaging. They are responding to their readers. They are promoting their websites, reading other blogs, networking in the community and using social media.
Sometimes they advertise, attend in-person events, host events out of pocket, purchase new technologies and supplies, hire graphic designers and other professional services.
But one thing’s for sure – they are always writing.
So it’s not all pretty-pretty-princess events and freebies and swag suites (and disclosures), there is a lot of hard work involved.
But it’s sure not digging ditches. (See ‘privilege’ section above.)
Then there’s Lady Luck. You never know when a media executive will find one of your entries funny enough to offer you a job. Or when a social media expert or company executive will be searching for exactly the brand of crazy you’re promoting on your webpage. Or when that earnest public relations pitch in your email box will lead to a relationship that blossoms into a fabulous opportunity for your career goals. Etc.
There are SO MANY thousands of blogs out there. The fact that anyone is reading anyone else’s website at all, and not simply typing away at her own, is a complete mystery. Every great connection is a stroke of luck to be valued.
In Conclusion – Love for the Blog
I believe that if you begin a blog and pour your time, maybe your money, definitely your family’s patience and your heart into your tiny corner of the Internet, one post at a time ….
Sure, you may get invited to some cool events …
You may receive some swag …
You may obtain some (very very relative) “exposure” …
But you can DEFINITELY
document this time in your life
enjoy a creative outlet
gain great friendships
make a difference
Blogging. I recommend it.
And to do it daily, I feel very blessed.