I started blogging (WAY) way back in September 2006, long before the advent of Twitter and Pinterest and before Facebook really took off. Blogging was therapeutic for me. A way to get my feelings out. A way to be heard. A way to connect with other moms who were going through similar childrearing adventures. A way to be genuine about motherhood and marriage and work and basically, life - that sometimes, yes, it sucks. I feel like I have always kept it pretty real around here. No sugarcoating.
Back in the heyday, when personal blogging was all the rage, there was a fulfilling amount of interaction with readers. We read each others' blogs (from our computers, not smartphones) and commented on each others' pages. It was a community. And along with that, there were conferences - the chance to meet each other in person away from the safety and security of our screens. This? Was fantastic. I was ALL IN.
As were brands, who had figured out that moms + their buying power + their influence = $$$ for the brand. I was privileged to work and develop relationships with Pepperidge Farm, Coke, Six Flags and other name brands.
Another fun perk was having the opportunity to meet famous people. Harry Connick Jr. Andrew Shue. Rascal Flatts. Hell, I've meet Kelly Ripa THREE times! (We're totally BFFs and she doesn't even know it.)
But during all this time, changes were happening. It wasn't okay to have a blogspot address. You needed your own domain. Preferably not on Blogger. Niche blogs became popular. (You know, like crafting blogs. Or cooking blogs. Or coupon blogs. Or fashion blogs. None of which I am.) And then Facebook was was all the rage. Twitter. Pinterest. Google+. Instagram. And yada, yada, yada.
The money train screeched to a halt. Brands were expecting more for less. If you wouldn't "put out", they would find someone else who would. Commenting on blogs declined as more and more readers weren't necessarily reading from a computer screen. The blogosphere was saturated with millions of blogs.
Let me just throw it out there. I am slooooooooow to embrace change. Combine that with the fact that I HATE to try new things (because I want to be good RIGHT AWAY at everything I do...) (my Eldest is the exact.same.way), and well, you can see where that leaves me:
1. Still using Blogger. (Although I did buy sarahviz.com.) (And for the record, I did try to switch to Wordpress, but hated it...because it wasn't familiar and hence, I had to learn something new. Fail. So I switched back.)
2. I have never really applied all that I've learned about SEO (search engine optimization) which would help this blog perform better in Google searches.
3. I hate Google+. (Again, because I don't "get" it.)
4. I joined Twitter late to the party (because I thought it was gonna be a fad) (much like my hesitation to buy crop pants when they came back in style...)
5. I'm just now learning Pinterest.
6. And I don't have a media kit. (Gasp!)
*sigh* So you can see where this leaves me as a blogger. Pretty much in the dust.
And for awhile, many years actually, I didn't really care all that much. Blogging is my hobby. I already have a full-time career as a corporate paralegal. And I have 3 sports-playing sons. And a husband who also works full-time and coaches. So blogging is FOR FUN.
Except? *small voice* It has kinda sorta stopped being fun.
So that's where I'm at. I believe that what's happening is perhaps called a Mid-Blog Crisis?
1. I want to switch to Wordpress but I need hand-holding.
2. I want to try to figure out Facebook's wonky algorithms to grow my Facebook fan page.
3. I want to work more with brands and deliver results for them.
Look at me being all meta and blogging about blogging. Oy.
The fact of the matter is, there's no real conclusion to this entry, my dear reader. But please bear with me as I figure it all out?
(Any hints or tips or advice much appreciated!)