Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Who Do You Blog For?

Today we have a great post form the lovely Sally, I'll let her introduce herself to you!

Hi I'm Sally, and I blog over at Faded Seaside Mama about my two fantastic little girls and our lives by the sea. Last week, Leoni contacted me to ask if I would like to write a guest post for her blog while she was away, so here I am!

I have spent most of this week wondering what to write. On my own blog, talking about what we've been up to is straightforward, but here, out of context, it would seem odd! Which raised the question “Who do I blog for?”. This may seem a strange question if you're a parent blogger writing a personal blog for free with no affiliations to a company; your answer will no doubt be "Me"!

When I started my blog just over a year ago, this was the answer I would have given without doubt. I started the blog to capture our lives and tell the stories behind the many photos we took day in, day out. It was my 21st century diary. I thought perhaps my children and even my wife would read it at some point, but beyond that doubted that anyone would be interested in our lives or what I had to say.

However, I was wrong. People did come and read my blog and some even commented. Slowly, I discovered an entire community of parent bloggers who resided not only in the blogosphere, but on other social media, and mostly on Twitter. Luckily, Twitter was already my favourite medium so it didn't take me long to feel at home there. And as I've developed relationships on Twitter, on Facebook, on Instagram, Google+ and even on Pinterest, I have watched my writing change.

Now I am keenly aware that people are reading, people I know, people I feel that I know but may not have met yet, and I have amended my style accordingly. I make more effort now, with the words and images that I use, after all I have an audience that I want to impress!

A side effect of gaining readers (and followers on social media) are the PR requests that come through (still only occasionally in my case) asking you to write a post around a subject that either includes a review of a product or mentions their service. Despite your best efforts to make the post sound natural and just another activity in your life, all of a sudden, you're writing for someone else.

Then there are the linky's and blog hops. I've discovered a few that fit well with my blog and I try to join in most weeks. Yet so often, I'll go to write a post, only to realise it aligns perfectly with one of the linkys that doesn't open for a few days. So I hold off and write it with that in mind. Yet again, writing for someone else, even subconsciously!

Then, today, on Twitter, I was part of a conversation about how much you share in your blog posts. Some bloggers' raison d'etre is to share their feelings and they are among my favourite bloggers as I love their honesty and perspective of the world. But my blog is meant to be a positive space that records mostly the ups of parenting. There are downs of course, but I don't want to focus on them. After all, it is supposed to be a record of our lives to look back on with fondness, not a space for total honesty when I'm having a bad day. I wouldn't want to hurt people close to me with my words and I don't want to pollute my blog with negativity. I don't want to "overshare" in this space, so am yet again, writing with others in mind, not just for myself.

I hope that as I go on and develop as a blogger, and as a writer, that my style will find a natural home that is enjoyable to others, but is honest and accurately reflects our family. I hope that I will always remain true to us and not forget my motivations for blogging. And in the words of the always awesome cosmicgirlie, "You ALWAYS needs to remember WHY YOU BLOG. The End."


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