28 November 2012

would you blog the same way, if you started blogging today

Greetings all, 
Would you blog the same way - if you started blogging sooner than when you launched your blog - TODAY - or later with all the knowledge & expectations you have acquired since wanting to create a blog.  I ask this as so much has changed since i hit 'publish' on my first blog post 6 years ago.  
I was living in Darwin, my 4th baby had commenced preschool, my business was humming along, i just launched a wholesale range of products & blogging was newish.  I posted 30 times over those first 3 years, little stories about my small business & family.  The blog was a neat tool for niche exposure, resulting in 50 stores around the world stocking my products, being featured in almost every glossy magazine published in Australia (Frankie issue 6 was my first) & loads of media interviews.  With four young children & a soldier husband, fledgling business, interstate moves & wars, i was too busy to blog frequently.
Things i did plan for where - protecting my children's identity - not using their real names, birth dates, schools or where they might be . . . nicknames, vague party timings, no logos  & past tense events.  I figured, my blog & business were my ventures, they didn't ask to be exposed or identified on line . . . & if my husband had his way, their faces wouldn't be photographed either.  I never joined in nasty debates, petitions, forums, band wagons or got fired up about anything published on line, just like in real life, people have their opinions, it's one sided, only here i had the power to delete the weirdos more easily.  I didn't wish to be dragged into other people's negativity, when in reality, they were total strangers!!  We were more cautious back then!!  
  I realised social media was an essential business tool 3 years ago, when i was established in the market scene in Canberra & meeting loads of other people who were blogging.  I changed my business direction from wholesale to direct sales.  It was less stressful & more profitable + very enjoyable, dealing directly with my customers.  Blogging regularly over the past 3 years has seen my tiny statistics grow to over 25K+ hits a month & i've added Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest to the mix over the past 12-18 months (with 3500 extra followers to my platforms) & just 2 months ago, i discovered Instagram.  I still don't really understand Twitter; Facebook is handy for friends who don't blog; i upload Pinterest in bulk & run as it's a time zapper; Instagram is my new love: point & shoot, easy & speedy, quirky & friendly.  All those hits & followers, i am very glad my popularity came slow & steady at a pace i could handle.  
If i blogged 10 years ago . . . my life would be very different, of course with a preschooler, one year old twins, a husband away at war, living in a 3 bedroom town house in Sydney & sewing my days away.  I had to beg American fabric companies to ship Amy Butler, Michael Miller & Alexander Henry fabrics to Australia.  My life was very quiet & i had to count my groceries as i shopped to ensure i had enough money to pay for them.  I babysat the little boys of two friends (full time) to make ends meet.  It was busy, however, i was truly in my element as motherhood came naturally to me.  Would you want to hear about breast feeding, mashing up food & seeing my toddlers in giant cloth nappies though??  
Then there would have been 9 months of me vomiting all day every day, unglowingly pregnant, helplessly dragging myself through each day caring for 5 children, sewing the few orders i could manage.  Imagine my posts??  Dreary!!  I never joined a mother's group as i couldn't stand the comparisons with same aged children, i doubt i would have read stay-at-home mummy blogs for the same reason.  In my spare time, i didn't want to read/ talk/ catch up with people living the same life as me, i wanted to dream of travel, fashion & design. 
 If i waited to start my blogging life now . . . i would be overwhelmed by the options - blogging is so popular + there are trolls, spammers & stalkers, eek.  Would i even start if i knew people who have never met me, think they know who i am & judge me, even dislike & argue with me, just from what i have written on a two dimensional blog??  The on-line-social-media-world seems more angry & nasty now, i do post social commentaries with my strong opinions on topics & they are well received, however, i find the light fluffy posts (on love, fashion, colours, animals, fabric) just as satisfying.  I can't worry about offending someone who has misinterpreted something i've written - i know i have a good heart - i'm not a trained or professional writer & this is not a mind-blowing-cerebral-blog.  I avoid sarcasm - it rarely works & i'm not out to enrage people or spark uprisings.  I try to keep it positive & interesting, current & colourful. 
 There is also money to be made with advertising & promotions, which direction would i desire??  Is my aim to share, build a community, catch up with old friends, network with fellow designers, or seek fame??  I'm closing down my business, hardly anyone i knew before i started blogging (school, uni, jobs) has a blog . . . i only have my lifestyle to post about with sporadic giveaways.  If i was starting off a blog now, with children aged almost 9 to 13+ . . . i'm a different kind of stay at home mother/ house wife . . . STILL at home??!!  The demographic is hard to pick, you can over think it, who might be reading - either go private or remain guarded.  You can always stop & delete if you don't like it, or block weirdoes.
Would i start a blog in the future . . . if i hadn't already started, yes, absolutely.  The blogging community i'm in is friendly & largely unhostile.  I really admire the bloggers who don't seek out any attention other than creating a diary of their world, they are the most delightful.  If anyone goes along for the ride, lovely.  I don't like drama or seek out the more emotional blogs,  I've had plenty of garbage slung my way, i don't bite, i just continue to plod along happily in my little world, dreaming of a farm & future with my husband, as our children slowly head off to university & their own lives, we'll still be young & have plenty of living to do too!!  You should build yourself up so that it is very difficult for others, particularly strangers on line, to ever mess with your happiness. 
I adore blogging, my readers are my 'colleagues', reading posts are our daily chats at the water cooler & enrich my day.  I'm glad i started where & when i did.  I believe slow growth = small hiccups.  I hope the balance of my life - my love for my husband, our fun children, the chickens, eggs, farm dreams, fashion, decor, baking, cooking & all the other colourful facets of my days - are enjoyable to read, including my social commentaries, i'm over due to post one, some many topics buzzing in my head . . . to those who are starting a blog now, good luck, if you're honest & true about what you like, say & feel, blogging will come easily.  All i know is that i am comfortable with what i've posted so far & my photos now are wayyyy better than they were when i started 6 years ago, even 6 months ago!!  Love Posie
PS had so much fun tripping down memory lane to dig up these photos of my children, all posted on my blog 4-6 years ago!!


Brenda @ 13 Acres said...

classic post Jennie and really resonated with me. Blogging is so personal and we do it for so many different reasons, but also we put ourselves out there to be seen by whomever! I would like to think if I started blogging now I would maintain the same approach. Some people I've meet through blogging is like the mothers group I wish i had! Gorgeous pics of your kids x

Fiona @ Brave New Vintage said...

Pow! nail on the head. Love it. I love all the positive things you say on instagram and on blogs. That is why I came over to your blog. I feel like this post is a good reminder to me to not take blogging seriously, its not an assignment that needs submitting. It is fun and I totally share your sentiments. xxx Fi

Mother Down Under said...

Lovely post Posie...it was so nice to hear about your blogging origins!
I love the people I have "met" through blogging...I think I am lucky that I have yet to meet anyone close to hostile!
I enjoy my time in front of the computer, writing and dreaming and although I have only been blogging for a year if I were to do it all over again I definitely would!

And PS I am loving you on Instagram!

Anonymous said...

love your post. always honest to the core. loved getting to know you here and via instagram. I wished I had the guts to start blogging earlier! So many people look down on mum bloggers "how do they have time to blog when they have kids." we multitask. Right now the middle child is cooking dinner. life skills. I love it!

Anonymous said...

Great writing Posie...lov your work and the old pics of the kids are supa cute xx

Bron said...

Great post....reflection is always a nice thing to do. xx

The Provincial Homemaker said...

I loved that line - " if my husband had his way, their faces wouldn't be photographed either". If my husband had his way too:) Hence why it took a year for Ginger's photos to appear on my blog. The dripping tap....

emma @ frog, goose and bear said...

Always great to reflect. You really have been blogging a long time. I have been a lot more sporadic lately as it's been very hard to find he time but I can't give it up - I love it! I love being able to look back at snippets of my life and also to have an online collection of my fave recipes/craft ideas etc. love your "real ness" and positivity Jen. It's why I keep coming back.

Unknown said...

I started my blog when the little Guy was about 8 months. Like most new mums I felt my creative urges and wanted to share and document them. I think it takes stamina and commitment to maintain a blog, taking the photos, uploading, thinking of topics. But I really enjoy it and connecting with my little fan base.

Elisa {With Grace and Eve} said...

Great post Posie! So much to think about. I do like your thinking, and gorgeous pics too xx

polkadotpeticoat said...

What a great question......Heidi

Miss Muggins said...

Wow Jennie, that was one incredible post. So much has changed along the blogging road, particularly in recent times, yet so much has stayed the same. A blog is still a personal story of one's journey, however one chooses to represent it. I love what you say about being true to yourself as the author. I love your honesty and throught provoking topics, and I wonder if this has come about through not only your growth as a blogger, but as a woman and a mother too. It was a great read - thankyou xx

Megan.K. said...

I love your attitude, Jennie. You are a powerhouse.
I don't really like how blogging has changed over the past couple of years, not the money-hungry side of it. Have watched a few blogs go down the commercial track and they've lost me as a reader. But, then again who would begrudge a mum making a living blogging? Not me. Courses for horses (or whatever the saying is!).
Would I blog differently if starting out today? Probably. But, like you, I have found blogging to be a nurturing experience while on maternity leave and raising little kids and I'm glad I got to experience it over the past four years in the days before bloggers became "brands" and that sense of community you describe was paramount.
Also - I dig your IG posts - the stories you tell in words as well as the photos :)
x Megan

Jane said...

Oh Jennie. You know what I think about you. All power to you, my friend! J x