When Blogging Was Just Blogging
There was a time when I used to blog for the love of blogging. I moved to an island in the middle of one of the Great Lakes and needed an outlet to ward off isolation (though I was in love with the Island, I missed my loved ones) and to share my new life with my friends and family far away.
I blogged about my life on an island and in a small rural Northern Ontario town. Did you know that the Island is the world’s largest fresh water lake island? The blog also served as a place where I planned my wedding details and asked readers for tips and advice. I asked about things like wedding etiquette, what kinds of bombonieres to give guests at our wedding, what kind of food to serve, music to play, etc. That was back in 2006. I had no idea that people other than my friends and family could read the blog until comments started filtering in.
Why would anyone other than my friends and family want to read a boring blog like mine?
All of a sudden, I had a core group of friends in the blogosphere whose blogs I frequented. We commented on each other’s blogs religiously. We blogged for the love of blogging. Things were different back then. I miss the daily banter between Ms.Mamma, JellyJules, Uncivil, Wisconsin Candy Dish, and Curiosity Killer. The only one from that vintage who still corresponds via the blog regularly is CanineCologne. Though I keep in touch with my old school bloggy friends, it’s outside of the blog. Canine has actually visited us with her family twice in the past few years and is a regular fixture in our loves via email, phone calls, text messages and care packages.
Where was I? Oh, right…
Then I ended up on complete bed rest for my high risk pregnancy, and to my surprise, blog friends around the world were watching, praying, giving me phone calls from California and New Zealand! It’s hard to describe the amazing friendships the blog brought me. It was a
community family that was built. Genuine interest and genuine comments.
Little One catapulted herself into existence at 28 weeks gestation. It the most difficult and the most terrifying time of my life. Our life in the NICU lasted 72 days. It was a long and challenging journey for us, yet she proved (and continues to prove) what a fighter she really is.
I had become a Mommy.
I was a Mom with a blog. I guess by default, that made the blog a “Mom blog”. I blogged about life with a preemie, parenting, and everything under the sun. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
All of a sudden, the blog morphed into something else. It turned into a way I could supplement our family income. I was able to put teaching English on the back burner because I was monetizing the blog. I was shocked to see how the blog took on a life of its own.
There was a brief time a few years ago (I think Little One was two years old), when I wanted to shut down the blog. I went on a brief hiatus. It was turning into something that wasn’t me. I felt like I was losing my voice and losing the reason I started blogging in the first place. Though the blog had been around since 2006, I didn’t really start monetizing until 2009 and wasn’t even seriously blogging until 2010. That’s when all the big opportunities started coming in. The blog also became secondary to all the social media jobs I was getting as an offshoot of the blog. My main job is with PTPA as their Social Media Community Manager on Twitter. Had I not started a blog back in 2006, I wouldn’t have opened up a Twitter account. Had I not opened up a Twitter account, I would not have engaged and formed relationships like I did on Twitter. Had I not done all of that, I wouldn’t have been given the amazing jobs I am now happily working at. It’s almost dizzying to think of how one thing led to another and how so much has changed.
A girlfriend of mine shared her new blog with me and as I read, it was bitter sweet to me. She recently moved to the Island and started her blog for pretty much the same reasons I did back in 2006. Her blog posts made me smile. Reading her posts made me wistful and nostalgic. That was me seven years ago. Holy smokes! Seven years? That’s crazy!
As I read my friend’s blog, I remember a time when blogging was just blogging. I remember a time when I blogged because I loved it. I still love it, but sometimes I feel like the blogging world has turned blogs into something else. It’s not a bad thing – As long as we preserve our voice and continue to write about what we love and are passionate about.
I guess I just miss the older blogs where people used to visit and read each other’s posts. I mean really read and comment. Don’t get me wrong. I love each and every comment I receive and I adore my friends and readers. There’s a kinship I feel with those in my blogging community. I do feel people who comment on the blog are genuine in their comments. It’s just that somewhere between the reviews and giveaways, and producing posts like you’re a machine, I think we’ve lost something. We may be gaining readers and followers, but part of me just misses the old school blog.
I love the blog and all it has given me. It’s an extension of me and something to keep for posterity. It has given me so many incredible opportunities from ambassadorships and conferences, to sponsored posts and making fabulous friends (many of whom are not simply online friends, but in real life friends too). Feeling a little nostalgic and wistful tonight. Kind of miss the old school blogs.
Know what I’m sayin’?
End of rant.
Please show my friend, New Country Mama Manitoulin some love. She’s new around here.