I remember the first time I discovered “blogging.” It was around 2006 or 2007, when I still had two small children and I was looking to connect with other parents of young children. Before that time, I really didn’t use the computer for anything except writing essays and research papers during my “non-traditional” college student days. The internet was a mystery, and it was actually quite intimidating to contemplate writing my words and thoughts in an email and sending them into cyberspace. Where did they go? I couldn’t fathom the concept of communicating via the “World Wide Web,” and I certainly didn’t want to consider the possibility that someone, somewhere might read my words . . . and what would they think of me?
In an era of telephones that hang on a wall, connected by a cord, and that merely ring when someone is calling, this whole internet invention was quite overwhelming. In the days when we would get in the car and drive 100 miles or more with no means of communication other than the occasional pay phone booth; when it never occurred to anyone that we could have a machine in our homes that would connect us instantaneously with (potentially) millions of other people, all around the world; we felt quite technologically advanced when we discovered voice mail and pagers that would allow you to leave a message and hope that the person you were trying to reach would actually get the message and call you back. Those were the days!
“Do you have a blog?” was the question that jolted me out of my 1990s complacency of simple, small town America of the last century. “A what?” I remember saying . . . I had never heard that word before, and it really sounded quite unappealing. Kind of like a “blob,” or something similar that reminded me of things that are messy, slimy, and disgusting. “A blog. You know, a web log,” was the reply. “A what?” I repeated, sounding quite idiotic.
That was when it was first explained to me that a “blog” was just an online version of a journal, or really anything at all that I might want to say. Or write. Oh, no! That was scary stuff! But I was intrigued, and so I began to think about a “blog” and discovered that blogs were becoming quite a popular way to communicate with people all around the world about things like recipes, family and parenting advice, health and wellness information, personal journeys, friendship connections, and anything at all that people might find interesting.
At the time I really began to be aware of blogging and the opportunities for connecting with people beyond my own little world, my girls were little and I was sewing cute little outfits for them – which is something that I had been doing for a very long time, since the years when my older children were small. In the process of connecting with a few online communities of families with children adopted from China, I met another mom who told me about eBay and all the opportunities for making my children’s designs available for sale. I discovered the there were people who would pay a LOT of money for a handcrafted outfit for their four-year-old’s birthday party . . . or whatever other occasions might require a beautiful new outfit that would be different than anyone else who might participate in said event.
I learned the ins and outs of selling my children’s boutique designs on eBay, and in the process I connected with lots and lots of other moms doing the same thing. There were groups and teams of designers, and I had great fun connecting with so many other women with a shared interest in sewing beautiful clothing for our children, as well as making them available for sale to a potential customer base from all around the world. And then I discovered that “blogging” was one important facet of building a business, doing what I loved to do, what I was really good at doing, all while allowing me the opportunity to work from home where I wanted to be in the first place.
This is how my blogging journey started. Blogging has changed dramatically since that time. We used to post personal stories about our home and family, and we never thought about making money from our “down-home” blog posts about seemingly insignificant topics such potty training, reorganizing our kitchen cupboards, or creating a gardening journal. Who knew that blogging would turn into a multi-million dollar business in and of itself? Who knew back then that, unless you were ready, willing, and able to jump on that bandwagon, that you would be left in dust created by all those amazing bloggers that, for some reason, had something so much more important to say than us regular ol’ mamas?
That was the beginning of my blogging journey, and of course, there is much more to this story . . . for now, I will just remind you (if you have read this far, thank you very much!) that some of us blog because it is fun. Some of us blog because we have something to say, and it really doesn’t matter if anyone reads it or likes it or comments on it or even knows that you (or I) exist. It’s kind of like asking the question, “Why do some people climb Mt. Everest?” Because they can, I suppose. And that is why I continue to blog, even though I do not make any money from my blogging, and I’m pretty sure there are very few people who actually care to read what I write. I still blog because it gives me a place to organize my thoughts and ideas, but I promise you, blogging ain’t what it used to be. We can talk about that more in a later blog post. Until then, what do you think about blogging these days? What do you still blog? Or DO you still blog? I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic.