Let’s start with the obvious here: I’m a novice! There are people out there with blogs that are a decade+ old and know everything there is to know about this. I, on the other hand, started because after an international move I didn’t have any friends. (And also, amongst other things, because after 4 babies, and reaching the milestone of 8 years (!) of being continuously pregnant and/or breastfeeding, I felt like maybe I had something relevant to say about life with small children?)
Anyway yes this is a pretty new blog. Only 100 and something posts. Only 6 months of archives. But I’m discovering that there are some weird quirks about writing a blog:
You might not want it to be monetized
No, really, and not in a high and mighty way. Just that – as it turns out – there are other motivations for writing a blog and you might just enjoy the process of having some kind of creative outlet, and that’s fine.
You might not want big companies to make ludicrous requests
I haven’t written anything on this blog that anyone has asked me to write yet. But companies are a bit funny in this regard..
“Hi!” Wrote one recently. “Can you share a graphic of a celebrity who has some time-saving beauty tips for moms and contribute your own time saving tips in a post, referencing our great products, in the next two to three weeks?”
Let’s be honest: most celebrity mums have a pretty different experience of mumming, and the very helpful infographic that they presented to me included ‘if all else fails, wear a red lipstick’.
I hate to be ungrateful, but red lips won’t help me when I’m trying to corral 4 children into the car on the way to school and the baby needs a diaper/nappy/entire outfit change and the two eldest decide that now is the time to debate the a priori truth that is 2+2 = 4 (or not, according to my 5 year and to the total chagrin of my 7 year old).
Anyway, I am not about to suggest to anyone who has taken the time to read one of my posts that a red lip can do anything particularly useful (although it is true that having a moment to focus on yourself / make yourself look less disastrous has all manner of positive implications).
However, I will share my favourite thing to remember whenever you look at celebrity mums who look so great: I think it was Zoe Williams for the Guardian who wrote this – but whenever you see them striding along in catwalk condition with their non-weetabix-encrusted immaculate toddler, just imagine their hired help handing their dressed-and-fed-child to them at the front door before they leave. THAT is how celebrity mums look so great, not the addition of a hastily applied lip colour.
There are a lot of weird google searches
I can only imagine how disappointed the people are, who stumble on this blog after typing in some kind of semi-obscene search term only to find long-winded anecdotes about celebrities and their children. Sorry! Go and have a brisk walk and think of a more constructive use of your time.
You might never understand what SEO means and you also might not honestly mind that
If you are very keen on upping your readership numbers you may need to read enough to understand how search engines trawl website content for results. But if you’re just thrilled that someone other than your mother is reading then this is less important. Although it does make it all the more intriguing that people can type in a seemingly unrelated search term (see above), and still end up here.
You might have read blogs for years but that doesn’t make you an expert on writing one
It’s harder than it looks, as it turns out. However, and crucially, writing a blog gives you a legitimate reason to spend hours sitting reading other blogs as ‘research’ – previously known as ‘shirking’. This newfound purpose also extends to random purchases: yes mr tMatM, this is another black top / beauty / homeware product, because my READERS need to know about it. Case closed.
It can be inordinately liberating and rewarding… Even when someone you know reads it
I talked before about how writing the blog has been liberating but really, it continues to be a strangely satisfying and really lovely process.
6 things I didn’t know before I started blogging. But now I do. And so do you.