I am writing this post in exchange for a discounted conference ticket to SoFabU on the Road; however, all opinions are mine and mine alone. #CollectiveBias
I am stepping out of my comfort-zone, and out of routine to blog about, well, blogging. So buckle and get ready for a wild ride!
Or, um, if blogging about blogging is not something you’re up for today–I’ll see you tomorrow! All the best!`
I’ve been blogging to some degree for over 2 years now, so I’ve gotten to the point where it’s either time to start calling myself a “blogger” and what I do “work”, or it’s time to get off the computer and find something else to do with my time.
And since I’m still here typing, and I guess I’ve made my decision.
I’m a blogger. And worse yet, a Mommy-Blogger.
Oh no. How did that happen?
Not long ago I rolled my eyes at such a title. Mommy Bloggers. How ridiculous! Like the world is really that interested in your kids or your recipes or your crafts or your rambling thoughts. Seriously, get over yourself!
Yup, that’s what I used to think. And now, well, here I am, typing away.
To be honest, I am still a little hesitate to call myself a “blogger”, at least with people I am talking with in real life. On forms when I have to put down my occupation my instinct is still to write “High School English Teacher”, which is what I did for 6 years before having kids. But, I’ve been out of the classroom for over 4 years now…and very soon I will have been out of the classroom for longer than I was ever in the classroom.
But, when I was a teacher that was my whole identity. I was a teacher. I was overworked and underpaid. I coached speech and read Shakespeare out loud and forced kids write papers and work in groups and expand their vocabulary. I was a teacher. (hear my roar?)
But, blogger? Even now I have a hard time latching onto blogger as my “profession”, let alone my identity. I do make a small income blogging so my husband and I are starting to see it was work, slowly. But, it still feels strange to really invest in the blogging identity. Maybe it’s because I do this in the sporadic hours I find here and there in my life as a stay-at-home-mom. Maybe it’s because I blog alone, without “co-workers”, at least without co-workers I can actually see and touch.
But, more likely, maybe it’s because I genuinely love blogging so much that it doesn’t feel like work. Really, this doesn’t feel like work at all! I actually think it’s a little bit hilarious that I make even a modest income on this blog. I’m just a crafter/photographer/mother/writer that got carried away. Seriously carried away. It feels like a dream that I get to do this, that people actually read (I am so humbled) and that I get to profit from it a little bit.
How did this happen?
Honestly, I’m not really sure…
Okay, okay, so maybe I’m a blogger. Maybe. But, I still feel clueless about so many things. I don’t know how to fix anything technical on my blog, I am struggling to find the right balance on Facebook, I don’t get Twitter like at all, my phone is always so covered with paint and kid grime that I can’t get any decent pictures for Instagram and video scares the crap out of me. For real, I’m shaking just thinking about video.
The part that I like the least about blogging is that it can be sort of isolating. Sure, there are tons of people on-line living the same life I am–but there are very few in my off-screen life that understand the first thing about blogging. My husband knows very little about the back-end of blogging, although he is always happy to listen to me and eager to learn. My friends–the same. It’s hard to know who to bug with just a silly question that is driving me nuts. And, it’s hard to really explain my blogging victories with these people too.
But I love blogging. It feels a little like a dream that I get to do this.
The deeper I get into blogging the more I want to connect with other bloggers, especially bloggers in the Mommy/Catholic space. It has been a great blessing in my life to meet (you know, like in the flesh) a few bloggers that live nearby (have you met Nell and Laura?). On top of this, the other night I have the joy of hanging out with a whole group of fabulous bloggers. It’s just so nice to be with women living such a similar life as me. Such a treat!
So, I’m trying to be brave this summer–and by that I mean I am going to be a real blogger. I’m stepping out from behind the screen and headed to (dun dun dun) a few blogging conferences! At these conferences I will be meeting some real live (and many big time) bloggers. I’m excited. I’m scared. I’m actually really scared.
First I will be going to Blogging Concentrated on August 8th. Very excited about this conference and meeting a few all star bloggers.
And then, on August 29th I will be attending SoFabU on the Road in Minneapolis at the Mall of America. I have been part of Social Fabric for a couple of years and have learned a lot from them about the business of blogging, writing sponsored posts and working with sponsors. I made my first dollars as a blogger working with Social Fabric and that in many ways was a game changer for me.
I went back and forth on whether I was going to attend this conference, due mostly to my husband’s work schedule, but I am so glad I did. There will be great keynote speakers, 2 local bloggers I really respect, Marybeth Hamilton and Sarah Mock. Registration begins at 8:30 and you can see the rest of the schedule here.
If you don’t know anything about Collective Bias, Collective Bias® is the only shopper social media company that solves shopper marketing problems by weaving together organic social content with engaging, real-life stories to generate millions of impressions, increased share of voice, SEO and retail sales for brands and retailers. Top brands such as Tyson, Nestlé and Duane Reade rely on Collective Bias to sell their stories socially. Based in Bentonville, Arkansas, with satellite offices in New York City, Chicago, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Cincinnati and London, Collective Bias was named one of America’s 25 Most Promising Companies by Forbes and a part of the Inc. 5000.
Social Fabric® is Collective Bias’ proprietary community of nearly 3,000 shopping-focused influencers with an aggregate multichannel reach in excess of 130 million.
So, I’m excited. And scared, but I’m going to do these things and they are going to be great.
I have plans to write a little bit more about blogging in the coming months. I am starting to get my head about not only the type of content that I actually want to be sharing here (less crafts and more mom stuff) but I am also getting a feel for the way that I’d like to turn this into a business. I’m really over writing sponsored posts. I love making patterns and selling them and I have big collaborative plans for creating and selling some Bible Studies designed especially for moms that will hopefully be ready sometime this fall. I am crazy excited about this last idea and I can’t wait to tell you more.
But, first I have to head off to a few conferences, meet a few new bloggers, learn more about blogging and just be brave. Lots of opportunity to Daring Greatly in my future (PS–have you read that book yet? Game changer).