Has Blogging changed?
When I started this little blog six and a half years ago it was VERY different to how it was now. First of all there was just a small handful of parent bloggers in the UK blog world, most of them had come from a journalistic background and it was all about the writing. Photos didn’t matter much back then, I remember when I used to upload tiny thumbnail sized photos, perhaps one to accompany a post. Blogging was very much a showcase for your writing and quite rightly so. I started at the same time as a couple of others and we used to speak for hours on twitter, sometimes butting into ‘big’ bloggers conversations, and feeling nervous about doing so. We would support each other, chat for ages and comment regularly on each others blogs.
I had absolutely no idea at first you could make money from a blog, in fact no one really was back then, bar perhaps using it as a springboard for other writing work. I remember my first PR email, when someone asked me if they could send me some little leather booties for Mads who was about 6 months at the time. I jumped around the room in excitement and actually rang Jon at work as I couldn’t believe that anyone would want to send me something. I still remember when someone, no doubt a company who was just after a link, told me they would pay me £50 for a sponsored post- about plumbing I believe. Again I couldn’t believe that I could actually earn money from this, from something that was just a well loved hobby. For the record I still jump around the room at some things and still can’t believe that people would like to send me things.
Slowly it started to change. More people got blogs. The community got bigger. It wasn’t just about the writing but about the whole package. Photos became important as did your blog design. I spent hours teaching myself photoshop, html and design skills. There was a real sense of community specifically to blogging, I would spend hours commenting on other blogs. Blogging went from a hobby that I was (and still am) so incredibly passionate about, to a way of earning a little bit of money, to a way of earning a part time income and handing my notice in to work (4 years ago now) to a full time wage. It’s always been full time, as other bloggers will know, you never really switch off when you live life online. I don’t think I have ever had a full day off, not in six and a half years. But we do it because we love it, we are passionate about it, and it truly is the best. I always say it’s not hard work, of course it’s not when you compare it to other jobs, but that we work hard at it, if that makes sense.
I still can’t sometimes believe I stumbled into blogging and therefore into this online world. I am very much a wear my heart on my sleeve kind of person but I am truly grateful every single day for all that blogging has bought me. That I get to do this as a job. It is a dream come true for me. I was never one to know deep down what I wanted to do, I tried so many different jobs over the years and wasn’t particularly passionate about any of them. To be able to do something that I love, to be able to express my creativity, to creating content for brands, to travelling with my family- words can’t express how much that means to me.
Blogging has changed though recently I think. Not in a bad way, (although don’t get me started about bots, following/unfollowing or silly social media mind games) but it is just different. That might just be me though, so I would be interested to hear what other people think. Firstly there is instagram. When I first started instagram wasn’t a thing in our world and then slowly it became more prominent, but it was still just the place to dump a few photos here and there. There were no strategies involved and no one even could have ever imagined how it would get. Then it became serious, it became more like a micro blog. Certainly for me I use it as a micro blog, to tell people about my day, to hear what my favourites are up to. The blogging community is SO huge now it is so hard to keep up. I definitely can’t keep up with going and visiting blogs as much as I used to, so I tend to delve into posts I see shared on instagram, twitter or Facebook.
Again on that note, back in the day it was all about the blog comments. It would make my day if someone commented on my blog, and to be honest it still does. But it was always generally just other bloggers supporting each other who commented on blog posts, it was never really non bloggers, unless it was a more personal post or one that struck a chord with people. Like me, there were so many others who would spend hours going round commenting on each others blogs. I am sure that still goes on, but nowadays I don’t see it as much. It’s now so much easier to support your favourite bloggers on Instagram, You Tube or other places, where you can easily and quickly leave a comment. You also get a lot more comments from other people, not just bloggers, which makes it a lot more rewarding.
Talking of You Tube, I think that is another way in which blogging (or certainly to me) has changed. You Tube tends to be the place I document my every day life, I do our day in the life videos twice a week, and that coupled with instagram, means that when it comes to my blog I occasionally think ‘well what else have I got to say?’ I find instagram and you tube are much more rewarding in terms of receiving comments from people, which I guess at the end of the day is one of the big reasons we do it, to interact and chat to the people who are kind enough to respond to the content we create.
For many years now I have written a weekly Ordinary Moments post. It was such a passion of mine, to record those every day moments that I didn’t want to forget. But for the last few months now my heart hasn’t been fully in it. The main part of that is that I found that I was already telling all my stories and my day to day life over on You Tube and Instagram, and there is only so much that you can talk about. But the other much smaller reason is that I think perhaps I have got to the stage where I don’t particularly want to just comment on a blog post ‘just because’. Nor do I want people to do that to me. You want to comment on a blog post because it stirs up emotions in you, or you were wowed by the photos, or because you just bloody loved it. Not because it was one of a number of blog posts that you felt like you had to comment on. Nowadays I want to comment on a blog post for the reasons above, or an instagram post or you tube video for that very same reason. Us parents are time poor, we work, we look after our children, we do all these other things, and I know that I only want to read the content that I click on because it looks amazing or it resonates with me, or strikes a chord. Plus it is a lot easier to support other bloggers by giving them a RT, commenting on their instagram posts, mentioning them on insta stories, or sharing their Facebook posts. It is so much easier to keep up with people on social media and I love You Tube as well so I spend a lot of time watching videos.
Does that mean I think blogging is dying out? I am no blog professor but I definitely don’t think that. I think there is still so much room for blogging amongst all the other forms of social media and content that we create. I still absolutely LOVE MY BLOG. It was my first baby and you always have a soft spot for your first baby, as much as you do your other ones. And my stats say the same, my blog stats are growing still (slow and steadily I might add), but I just think that perhaps the way in which we respond to other peoples content has changed.
I don’t want to blog for the sake of it. Just like I don’t want to make a video, or post an instagram for the sake of it either. As all my platforms across the internet grow and evolve, I constantly think more and more about how I use them and how I want people to read them and enjoy them. I am a very different person to the person who sat down at her computer and wrote her first post six and a half years ago. Just like the blogging world has changed, so has my family, and indeed so have I. I have different interests to what I did then, we all change and grow as people and that can only be a good thing.
For some time now I have worried if I haven’t put a blog post on here in a while, or if I have two brand collaborations in a row. But I have come to the conclusion- why am I worried? Firstly if I haven’t written a blog post in a while, then you can find me usually daily on instagram and Facebook,and three times a week on You Tube, it isn’t like I have disappeared off the face of the earth. So why do I worry? I don’t want to write content just for the sake of it, I want to make my content interesting and hopefully inspiring. And if there are two brand posts in a row? Then if that happens then I will always put 110% into my content, brand collaboration or otherwise, so I would hope that they will be just as interesting in a different way.
That said I have lots of ideas for this little blog of mine. I want to write more about my interests- about our travels, interiors and just general life. I want to write more about the emotions that come with motherhood, about juggling kids and working from home, perhaps more about things I like and love- fashion, kids fashion, or photography tips. And of course I still want to write about my three. I want to talk about our baby boy taking his first steps, or celebrate Lottie going to school, or have an emotional moment when they make me proud or have a aaah moment when they make me want to tear my hair out.
I just don’t want to have to do it because I feel I should but because I want to.
Do you think blogging has changed? What do you think about it all?
All that being said I have decided not to do my ordinary moments posts weekly anymore. I will still do them from time to time as I love them, but the lovely Donna is going to carry it on over on her blog. Do go and link up with her and follow her, she is an amazingly supportive blogger. And thank you so much to everyone who reads this blog, whether they are a silent reader, a regular commenter or another blogger.
Some unrelated recent photos from our holiday to France, because it wouldn’t be a blog post nowadays without a fair few photos. 😉