A new guest post series from some of my favourite bloggers talking about blogging and their life. This week we have Diana from Hormonal Imbalances:
I started to blog in January ’10 because at the time, my husband and I lived in a small town (one stoplight) with one car, and lots of snow. Trapped inside the house with a barfing, colicky baby all day led to me feeling I was going to go insane if I didn’t find an outlet. I’d being reading several blogs over the past year, and decided to start my own.
Let me be frank; my first blog was horrid. I didn’t know anything about web design or HTML, so I struggled to put up a pink cloth diaper background and pictures in the posts. My fonts were different colors. Per paragraph. It was an eyesore. It took a long time for me to even learn the basics.
As I blogged, I began to find a community of women that began to validate how I was feeling and my perspective on life. Raised in a conservative town with the local WalMart being a main attraction, my ideas to cloth diaper, baby wear, breastfeed, and co-sleep were met with blank stares and the constant looks of, “Because you think you’re better than me.”
*sigh* I simply liked parenting that way, but it seemed to cause great offense to anyone who didn’t choose to.
The more I wrote, the less alone I felt. I connected with working and stay at home moms from all over the world who shared my point of view. I read their stories and took heart in the fact that I wasn’t the only one who had a child that barfed 24-7. Or hated breastfeeding. Or loved to buy every sling and wrap on the market.
Several things have surprised me about blogging. One is how cliquish people can be. They form a group around an issue or topic and close ranks to anyone who hasn’t experienced the same thing. It’s hard to deal with that, but I realized sometimes it’s an issue that needs to have a strong bond of women with it.
The second is the way I felt about blogging for a long time. I kept trying to justify writing about my life in public to everyone I knew. And inside, I hated that. I wasn’t some crazy lady who sat on her couch eating chips and tweeting all day – in between looking at cat videos. I had a life. But very few people really “got” it. The longer I blog, that feeling gets less and less. But those feelings of, “Is this weird/wrong?” surge back up anytime someone pokes fun at what I do.
If you’re thinking about starting your own blog, I do have a Mommy Blogging 101 page up on my site. (Had to plug that.) But here’s my quick two cents:
- Be real. No one wants to read about how perfect your life is. Really. You don’t have to fillet your soul at every post, but for goodness sake, try to at least give us some tough times or quirks we can relate to once in a while.
- Get connected. Find people on Twitter that have the same values/lifestyle/humor as you. And chat with them. Go to conferences. Email people. Skype. Whatever it takes.
- Have a clean, professional design. An eye catching blog is so much fun to pop over to. And update it a lot – pages, pictures, sidebars.
- Have an “About You” that is front and center, updated about what’s currently going on in your life and preferably with links to posts about major life events. It’s hard to start reading a blog that you have no idea what’s been going on.
- Make a Facebook page and have your posts set to publish automatically. Networked Blogs is a great one for that.
- Blog for you. No matter what, no matter if your family or ex best friend or nosy Aunt Sue or boss reads it – blog for you. Do not blog for clicks, companies, ads, or because Tina with the mansion checks it and you want her to think you’ve got it all too.
Diana is an Army wife and stay at home mom. She blogs at Hormonal Imbalances and tweets as @lifeasaSAHM. She blogs on topics like her insecurities as a woman, the good and bad of being a wife and mother, alcoholism, and attachment parenting. She’s been syndicated on BlogHer, and writes for Compassion International.