Typing at night

I’ve been blogging for two years. So I’m, like, an elementary student in “blog-years,” I think. I’m not even sure, but what I do know is that I’ve picked up some lessons along the way. Seven simple lessons. And these lessons are probably the most important things I’ve learned about being a blogger-mom, to this day, anyway. I know I’ve only scratched the surface.

1. I blog best when I’m myself.

I have some posts that read pretty stupidly, in my opinion, because I was trying to be all “hey, look at me, I’m a writer, and … yeah.” And then I have posts wherein I was at my lowest, drabbest, and sometimes most pathetic moments as a mom, wife and work-at-home parent. But you know what? Those posts — the ones written with my heart on my sleeve, tears in my eyes, and even a sick baby in tow — are the most-read, most-commented entries. It became clear to me: When I’m myself, people click with the blog.

2. I need to blog regularly.

I used to let weeks go by without blogging, back in the early days. Now, I can’t manage not blogging, even for a few days. Why? Because I know my blog needs tending to, and it needs my attention. Especially now that I actually earn from it and get hired for jobs because of it. If I don’t blog or update regularly, I’ll lose momentum and drive, which means that my work would suffer, I’d not get as many projects, and people would stop reading the blog. It would also mean my life now as I know it would be quite boring without the nail salon treats and cute clothes for my kid that I’m able to afford because of the extra income I make as a work-at-home mom.

3. Blogging has helped me brand myself.

From the very beginning, I wanted this blog to be about pretty things, inspiration, and about coming to a new definition of “mom.” And hopefully, right now, it’s still doing that. Blogging has helped me form an online identity that people can recognize. This has opened me up to opportunities, like partnerships with businesses and brands, as well as social media efforts to help moms in businesses. It’s also helped me carve out a niche for myself as a writer, which is awesome since I write for a living.

4. Blogging can pile on the pounds. (Yikes.)

I blame myself entirely for gaining (in my opinion) a ridiculous amount of weight over the last two years I’ve been a work-at-home mom. Blogging and working from home can be a sinister combo that wreaks havoc on your hips and thighs. Don’t make the mistake I made (which I’m doing penance for right now in terms of daily walks): Get your butt moving a bit each day. Do early morning stretches; do midday stair-climbing; go on afternoon walks.

5. I’ve got my own blogging groove, and it works for me (but maybe not for others).

I’ve come to accept that I’m not like those power bloggers who have 3-month calendars detailing their posts. I wanted to be like that, but it’s just not me. I like to believe I’m organized when it comes to my blogging schedule, but I’m not Julie Morgenstern. I do map out out ideas for posts, I do use my WordPress calendar, but basically, that’s it. I’ve learned to let the writer in me take the reins and blog when it feels right. Fortunately, it feels right for a majority of the time. Like now, as I’m writing this post.

6. I’ve learned to trust you, my readers.

I used to be scared to share my ugly mom moments with you. I’ve misspelled words and typos. I just want to say thanks for still reading the blog despite my mortal sins in the world of copy editing, and at times, over-sharing. I’ve had a couple of emails alerting me to a typo, and I’ve not been offended. Stupidly and utterly embarrassed, yes, but not offended. I’ve had emails that showered me with comfort and empathy — I keep them in a folder labeled “awesome readers.” You truly are awesome, because I’ve learned that aren’t looking out for me to screw up. You’ve taught me that it’s always good to be vulnerable to a certain degree. I mean, we’re all real, flawed, and imperfect, aren’t we? So thank you for letting me be “me.” It makes blogging so much easier.

7. Kindness matters, at all times.

It seems my inbox has been experiencing an influx of emails from moms who want to work from home, blog for a living, or need some kind of advice. I just want to say that when you send me emails like that, my heart leaps out. Not from sheer joy (gulp), but rather from being scared out of my wits. And that’s because I feel like my replies or “advice” need disclaimers or something. I’m not the ideal wife, mom, or work-at-home parent; and yet, people still email, ask questions, and seek advice, every week. I always happily answer with whatever help I can give. This is perhaps the most important lesson of all: Kindness matters. I want to be kind to you, dear readers, because you are so nice to me!

What lessons have you learned about blogging? Are they similar to mine?

Photo: modenadude, flickr