I recently went along to an event called ‘The Art of Blogging and Social Media’ run by CIBAS to listen to guest speakers Yemisi Blake and Alison Baverstock. I followed this up by attending the Winchester Writers’ Conference last Saturday. Sitting in university lecture theatres, surrounded by others eager to learn the tricks of the trade, not only took me back a few years (ahem) to my study days, it also inspired me and fired up my creative side.
The two very different events got me thinking about why I’m blogging; who is it for, what is the purpose of my blog and what are my blogging goals?
After reading about the Cybermummy conference it seems everyone and her dog is now a mummy blogger, with popular sites gaining 10,000 unique visitors a month and some people making a living from it. It’s a route for advertising, product placement and a direct line for brands to reach their target market via a trusted maternal figure. Technically I’m a mum and I’m blogging, but I wouldn’t say I’m a typical ‘mummy blogger’. I’m not bothered about how many people view my site (although it would be lovely to think there is somebody out there reading it), I don’t want an advertiser to dictate what I write about, I’m not fussed about being involved in PR projects to boost company sales and I’m not looking to drive up traffic through competitions or freebies. Not at the moment, anyhow.
There are two simple reasons why I started my blog: I love to write and I love my kids. Life is fragile and far too short and I want to know that when I’m old, or not around any more, there is something for my boys to read that gives them an insight into who their mummy was, what made her tick and what mattered to her. I want them to see that somebody loved them enough to record what they got up to, whether it was funny, cute, naughty or gross (to be fair, it’s usually one of the latter two). I’d like to think they might even read it to their own kids one day. It’s satisfying to think that I’ve put something out into the world that wasn’t there the day before, but that will remain after I’m gone (assuming WordPress doesn’t implode).
I’m not stressing over how many people subscribe to my blog, follow me on Twitter or like my Facebook page. I’m not striving to create hilarious copy (I’m just not that funny) or a masterpiece of literature. This blog is organic and evolving. I might write about my twins in every post or I might go off on a tangent and write about something completely different that matters to me. I can’t make any promises. What I do know is that I’m writing because I enjoy it and because I can be bothered to do it.
Everyone seems obsessed with being the best at everything. That famous cliché from childhood, ‘it’s the taking part that counts’ has finally started to make sense. Somewhere along the way I think I’d forgotten about it, but now I’m going to revel in the fact that I’m giving it a go. Paintings don’t have to be life-like, music doesn’t have to be tuneful and a blog doesn’t need 10,000 unique visitors a month to be a success. I’ve got it out there, I’m updating it (when I get chance, which isn’t as often as I’d like) and that’s enough for me.
If there is something creative that you want to try, just do it. Don’t worry about whether it’s any good. If you make the effort you’re already half way there. Remember, nothing worth doing is ever easy otherwise everybody would be doing it.
Then again with 2,500 other mummy bloggers out there maybe it is quite easy after all. Or as I prefer to look at it, we’re all super-clever talented individuals who happen to have children and happen to blog. Maybe I am a mummy blogger after all.