Monday, 7 June 2010

How do you maintain a healthy Blog/Life balance?

Bloggng, it's an addictive sport - How do you maintain a healthy Blog/Life balance?

Blogging, it’s an addictive sport.

Once you’ve taken those first few wobbly baby steps and found your feet, you soon learn how to run and posting becomes like second nature.

I suppose you could say I fell into blogging by accident. Little E was a few weeks old and I was going through a ’stir crazy’ period, stuck at home with both kids and very little contact with the outside world. I’d always used parenting forums but wanted to be able to create something a bit more personal, so on a whim, and for no other reason than I felt like it that particular day, I created myself a blog using the same name as my Twitter account.

I had no idea what I was doing and had never heard of ‘Mummy Blogging’.

Soon through the power of Google I discovered a huge ‘Mommy Blogging’ community in America, which led me to Google ‘British Mummy Bloggers‘ and I’m sure you know where that led me.

Suddenly and unintentionally, I realised I was a part of the phenomenon that are collectively know as ‘Mummy Bloggers’. The networking power of allowed me to stumble upon people who I had much in common with practically on my door step and by following other bloggers I found myself nestled neatly in a cosy corner, happily waffling in the Internet to anyone who wanted to read my ramblings.

I learned fast, rode the tide, and got carried away on the crest of a wave.

I found the need to blog intoxicating. With every post I was building a readership and increasing my ranking in the Tots100 Index. Technorati loved me and I’ll admit it was great to feel ‘popular’ even for a short length of time.

Then the inevitable happened. I started to suffer from blog fatigue. I’d meticulously pour over my statistics every night at the stroke of one minute past midnight and wonder where I could improve them. I’d check my Sitemeter more times than I care to admit and set myself daily visitor targets in my head. Blogging became a chore.

But I’d had a taste of success and didn’t want to lose it.

When my maternity leave ended and the time came for me to return to work, I no longer had the hours in the day to blog like I did before. I knew my stats, links and ranking would suffer and had to make a conscious decision to stop looking at my Google Analytics and Sitemeter so often and allow my manic posting schedule to slide.

Being a slave to the numbers was ruining my enjoyment blogging. I’d lost my focus.

Two months down the line and have my blog statistics suffered? Maybe a little. My Tots100 ranking has dwindled somewhat, Technorati hates me, and I don’t get as many in links as I used to. I only check my stats once a week (sometimes less) and’ Im less of a slave to a posting schedule.

These days I blog more for myself. I’m not ashamed to write sponsored posts to earn a bit of extra cash and I’ll happily review products relevant to me and my family.If I feel like getting emotional, or sharing a deep dark secret I will or if I just want to gush about my beautiful children then that’s fine too.

Make no mistake, my blog and blogging is important to me, and I’ll gladly admit I still enjoy seeing small sucessess. I’m proud to be involved with projects like The MADs, and Hadrian’s Walk, but whereas before I would’ve worried if a postless day went by, these days I know the real world that I can touch, hear, and feel is far more important than my online prescence.

How do you manage your Blog/Life balance?

Have you ever felt pressure to improve your blog statistics, either self imposed or from elsewhere?

What do you think is a healthy Blog/Life balance?

Are you a slave to your blog/online persona?

What motivates you to blog?

From Insomniac Mummy