Blogging is weird, right?
It’s like writing in a diary, but then leaving that diary out for all to see. If you don’t blog, I can see why this would seem a bit strange, and in a world where social media is king, where oversharing is rife, blogging might seem like yet another vanity. As a blogger you will often find yourself asking “who would even want to read this” and if you press publish, then on some level you believe that someone will.
Once a post is published, it is always lovely to get some nice responses, and in a busy world knowing that someone took the time to read and respond is so gratifying. It is even nicer to look back on a post, many months later and still smile when you read it, or feel captured again by that moment in time.
But blogging is so much more than that. It is sharing your experiences, not because you want to help or reach out to someone, but because sometimes sharing an experience makes it feel more permanent. In a fast changing world, just the act of writing something down can somehow ground it and if this resonates with someone else then suddenly you feel connected, you are taken out of the confines of your small corner of the world and are now part of something bigger.
But, as with everything, blogging is changing.
It is getting harder to just press publish and share your story. There are algorithms to muddy the waters, there is reach numbers that make no sense and there are so many platforms on which to share now, it seems that the community of blogging, and readers, is endlessly diluted.
Blogging groups are fantastically supportive, especially the Irish Parenting Bloggers group, but so much of blogging is now related to advertising, branding and sponsored post. Blogging groups are drowning in post about expanding reach, upping your Facebook likes, improving your IG followers, and ways to beat the algorithms that seem to be designed to scupper all efforts to have your posts seen.
Sometimes it seems that if you are not part of all this, then you are being left behind.
I know the unbelievable hard work that can go into a sponsored post, and I have a huge amount of respect for those bloggers who take this on, but I realised a long time ago that this wasn’t for me.
So it has made me think again about why I blog.
I really think it comes down to this. When the passage of time has softened the edges of my memories, when “you were born at 10.13am” becomes “you definitely arrived before lunch” I want to have a record, a reminder of those moments that both made me and broke me as a parent and as a person. I want to look back on the narrative of our lives and see and read snapshots of how it was. I am happy to share these moments, because in it’s truest form, blogging is a modern version of storytelling, a time honoured tradition,but instead of around the fire or the kitchen table, we share the stories of our day in our space on the internet instead.
I love the idea of being part of a shared experience and although it seems that the sands of blogging are shifting around me, for now I will hold tight to why I started and see if I can weather this storm. And although I’m not a blogger who does reviews or sponsored posts, I hope that I that I can remain part of this wonderful community.