Just over six years ago I found myself sitting in the living room, the only one in the house awake. Eli has always been an early riser and at this time he had been awake and gone back down for a nap. Of course I was unable to simply fall back to sleep and so I found myself sitting, wondering how I could spend my time productively whilst the rest of my family snoozed on.
I needed a creative outlet..
Motherhood is tough; you find so much of your time given over to the care of your children and when they are small it can be especially tricky to find time for yourself. I am actually planning a video on this very topic to go live in the next few weeks (keep your eyes peeled for that one!) but in the meantime…how was I going to carve out something for myself?
I have always loved writing and throughout my childhood and teenage years filled many a notebook and diary with my thoughts and words both real and imagined. It was something which had fallen by the wayside as I began my adult life, but definitely something I had missed. So finding a creative outlet which incorporated writing seemed like the perfect solution. At the time, I only knew of one person who ‘blogged’; I really had no idea it was this vast network of people all slicing out their own little corners of the internet.
I soon realised there were lots of opportunities for bloggers out there…
The world of the ‘influencer’ was only just beginning to emerge and I remember being amazed that there were so many people also ‘out there’ blogging away. I began to attend blogging conferences, to join groups on Facebook, surrounding myself with people talking about how to find success in the online world. I can still clearly remember getting offered my first product to review and thinking I had hit the big time. I think I was sent a teething ring!
One thing which constantly jumped out was about finding your niche. If you wanted to be ‘successful’ then you needed a niche. I almost immediately felt at a disadvantage; for me, my very blog name was created because I am a woman of many facets, with many thoughts bouncing around and I didn’t want to choose just one. But I couldn’t stop thinking about all the many things I was being told. If I wanted to start making money from this little project of mine, if I wanted to achieve the heady heights I was seeing other bloggers attain, then I needed to find that niche and channel my content in a certain way.
I began to lose sight of my original goal…
Join any blogging forum or group on social media and you will no doubt come across people talking of numbers and stats, sponsored posts and influencer opportunities. It is a brilliant thing that so many people are able to support themselves and their families through doing something that they love. That by creating advertorial content on their blogs they are able to take home a higher salary than they might have done in more traditional employment. I make a small income from this blog, through sponsored and affiliate links. Would I like to be able to earn more than I do in my 9-5 job? Of course!
But that isn’t the reason I started, and it isn’t the reason I write. Being able to make a small income from blogging is a handy bonus; but it is so easy to fall into the trap of becoming all about the commercial content and the opportunities. To count stats and worry that you aren’t getting your content seen enough. I will admit that I got well and truly sucked into this way of thinking and it meant that for me personally, the shine of blogging began to dull.
I have seen so many bloggers fall by the wayside, or fall out of love with blogging because they feel that they are not a big enough name, because they aren’t being offered the same opportunities as others, because they simply feel that they are not good enough.
It is so easy to worry over how many people are reading your words, how many people are liking and engaging with your posts. And honestly, it’s a good feeling when you realise that something you have written has resonated with another person and they have taken the time to reach out to you by leaving a comment or engaging with you on social media. It’s a good feeling when a PR agency contact you and ask you to work with them.
Is it why you blog…
For some people, the answer will be a resounding yes. And fair play to them for that. For me…I would say that discovering I could make some income was a bonus I hadn’t considered. And I perhaps lost my way a little bit and began hunting out ways to raise my visibility in order to increase that possibility. Constantly sharing my posts and then worrying I was sharing too much, or not sharing enough. Joining in pods to try and force my content to be out there. It is exhausting.
I work four days a week.
I have a young and active family.
We are renovating our first home.
I also make Youtube videos which has become a real passion of mine.
I have my own interests outside of blogging and the online world.
Yes, I love to write but I found it had become mechanical; something I felt I must do, rather than something I wanted to do. So I began to pull back. You, my dear readers, may not have noticed but I have stopped posting as often. I wanted to sit down and write because it was calling to me, not because I felt obligated to. I felt as though I had fallen into simply churning out posts because I needed something fresh, but the words were stilted. I wasn’t always writing about the important things.
I want to write because I love to write…
Would it be simply astounding if I were able to reach a level where I was being offered thousands of pounds to create content a month? YES! But is that the be all and end all, the reason I sit and write? NO! And I need to hold onto that. I hope that you begin to see that reflected a little more here. I want to leave some of the commercial content behind and start to write about the things I love and enjoy again. Because that is why I started blogging in the first place and it’s the reason I want to continue. I believe blogging may be having something of an old-school resurgence and I’m so glad because it is something I am passionate about. If my posts resonate with even just one person, then I will consider that a total win.
You will still see the odd commercial post from me, and I will still talk about the things we do as a family. I’m hoping not too much will change. But I hope to put less pressure on myself to churn out content for the sake of it, and to have the freedom to write and blog because I choose to. Not because I have to.