Blogging is something I’ve done now for over 4 years, and across a couple of platforms and name changes. It’s something that has become close to my heart, and although it takes up a good portion of my time, and although there are times when I’d simply love to quit, I continue on. These are the reasons why.
Why did I start to blog?
Phil actually started me off on the road to blogging when I became a registered childminder. He set up a cool website for me to use as an advertisement so prospective clients could see what we do. After a while it became time consuming for him to keep adding to it every time I wanted to add a new activity…so he then set me up on a WordPress platform so I could do everything (mostly-I still call him in for help when I need it) myself.
I blog so that the children will be able to look back and see their days and what we’ve done while they were young. They like to have some input into what goes on this site, and they’re great at adding content, ideas, and even setting up photos (the blog’s become a real family affair).
Why do I continue to blog?
I’ve always had a project (or several) on the go. I love to learn, and with blogging there’s always something to learn, so it keeps my mind ticking over.
I am really enjoying being a part of a couple of blogging tribes. It can be lonely at times so far away from my family, and I don’t know any bloggers over here, and they create a nice, welcoming space where I feel comfortable and part of their online family. I’ve ‘met’ some really great bloggers, educators, and authors (some are all 3!) online, and have made some lasting friendships.
We enjoy doing reviews and having the opportunity to try out products we otherwise wouldn’t be able to use. There have been some real surprises, both positive and otherwise with them, and it’s nice to be able to share our experience with others.
As part of the Schoolhouse Review Crew, I’m able to access curricula for the children’s homeschool. This makes home education much more affordable. I don’t know what I would do without the Crew. They’re like a big extended family, and I’m proud to have been a mentor with them for the past two years.
Blogging about products helps to keep me accountable and ensure the children are learning and keeping up with their studies. We truly give our all for every review.
And then there are the crafts and activities we share with you as well. We don’t share them all, but doing this means that we are sure to set time aside to enjoy ourselves and do what we love. Life isn’t all just about work and learning.
Blogging has meant that I have had to stretch my skills in photography, writing, cooking, art, learning how to make printables, and many other skills I didn’t even know I needed. And the kids are picking up on it, too. Tristan’s becoming an excellent help with staging photos!
Where will my blog take me?
This is yet to be discovered. I do hope to bring in some income directly from blogging. This is never guaranteed as the blogging landscape is continuously changing.
Indirectly, I have started a virtual assistant business, and the experience gained from my own blog has enabled me to do this. Social media scheduling, graphic design, blog layout and maintenance, contacting experts for podcast interviews, and so many other duties that people don’t enjoy or have time to do for themselves are all things that I’m now doing as an independent contractor for others. Doing this means that I’m able to stay home with our children.
Are you interested in blogging?
Blogging can be done as a hobby or a full-time career. It all depends on how much time, effort, and talent you have to put into it. Most blogs don’t last longer than a few months, and there are so many things that need to be learned (and re-learned as rules and algorhythms are constantly changing). It’s incredibly hard to keep up, or even attempt to. I don’t profess that I come close to even knowing a fraction of it all, but I have learned a lot along the way.
Because I wasn’t originally set up as a blog, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, which is probably a good thing as I would never have imagined the hours of work that goes into running a blog. It is indeed a business, and you have to track your expenses and income (and it can be in that order, too).
Blogging will have you learning many skills that can be transferred to other areas of the work force if you’re looking to change careers, go back to work after being home with your children, or if you want to start your own virtual business from home, like I’m doing.
There weren’t many resources around a few years ago for people who were looking for information to set up their own blogs, but now there is a lot more.
Here are some blogging resources that I think are great places to get started and to keep you up to date with new information:
First Site Guide is full of resources right from the very start of how to set up a blog as well as more detailed information. They’ve even included Castle View Academy in their list of the Top Mom Blogs to Follow! If you’re looking to start your own blog, this is the first place to stop.
The Blog Surgery is a new site that tips, ideas, and courses to help you run a better blog.
Kara Carrero knows the ins and out of blogging and in addition to consulting, now shares some of her advice via her consulting blog.
And one of the best ways to learn about blogging is to have a good look around blogs that you like (and also ones that you don’t like) and learning about what works and what doesn’t work. It’s all a process, and there’s never an end to fixing things up and making your blog better.
It’s really a lot like home ownership; you need to keep on top of things before they get out of hand, make improvements, and even redecorate now and again!