This past Wednesday marked five years of blogging for me! I started my blog on a whim, one grey New England day. I had only discovered the world of parenting and craft blogs a few weeks earlier, and thought I’d give it a try!
Blogging has been a richer experience for me than I ever would have imagined. Blogging has connected me to incredible mothers around the world, who give me new ideas on how to best parent my children and inspire me with their creativity. Moving from one side of the country to another, it has been incredible to have built-in friends in a brand-new place. Blog friends have brought us dinner, invited us to crafting and science events, and met up for play dates. Non-blogging readers have sent great advice on navigating California’s healthcare system, as well as suggestions of places to take the kids!
Here are a few things blogging has taught me
It’s a small world, after all.
One of the reasons I started blogging was that I was having a hard time finding moms in my local community who loved letting their kids craft as much as I did. Turns out there are hundreds of similarly-minded moms online, including many who make me look only mildly crafty! I am also forever indebted to the many moms who have taken time out to write about their local neighborhoods in a child-friendly way for my world culture for kids series!
The kindness of strangers makes the world go round.
Don’t underestimate the impact a kind and thoughtful comment will have on a blogger’s life! I was still breaking into the social scene in the small town we lived in in Massachusetts when I started blogging, and looking after two young children with a frequently traveling husband and only a small handful of friends could get very lonely! I used to schedule posts for early morning in part because I knew there was a very good chance that I would wake up to a kind or funny comment from at least one reader – and that made dark winter mornings much easier to face! Listen to Thumper’s mom when online: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”
If you can, don’t blog for money.
I do run some sponsored posts and a handful of ads. They pay for trips and educational and enrichment activities for our family. Sometimes this income covers more serious things, like Anna’s physical therapy bills. I am very grateful to have that income! But, to the extent that your family budget allows, I highly recommend being choosy about what campaigns you accept. It will keep your content interesting and prevent blogging burnout!
Blogland is happiest when people cooperate instead of competing. It’s tempting to measure a blogger by their stats, but I find that the influence of bloggers has very little to do with numbers. The same is true of pinners on Pinterest, in my experience – some of my posts that have gone viral have done so thanks to one small pinner with a very devoted following!
Unless you need the numbers for household income purposes, I believe in spending time and energy on content that you enjoy creating and collaborating with other bloggers (large and small), rather than trying to optimize hits to your blog.
Read other blogs!
I think it is very hard to keep up a blog if you never read other blogs! I believe in commenting on blogs, too, because that is where I have built some great friendships over the years! At the end of the day, a blog is just a blog, but a friend who gets me smiling, laughing, and thinking is priceless!
What is your best blogging advice? And, if you don’t blog, what advice do you have for bloggers?