7 Simple Lessons I’ve Learned About Blogging

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

Comments

  1. says

    Such great lessons! I’m right there with you on packing on the pounds and not having a far-in-advance schedule. Google Docs is my best friend, and sweets are just so incredibly pretty to photograph and blog that they really do add up after a while! Thanks so much for stopping by on my SITS Day Friday. I look forward to reading more of your story!
    Leslie recently posted..It’s My SITS Day!My Profile

    • Martine says

      Hi, Leslie! Thanks so much for stopping by. The weight gain has got to be, by far, the most frustrating for me! I totally about Google Docs, and Google Calendar for management. I can’t live without these tools! Love your blog, by the way, and congrats again on the SITS feature!

  2. says

    Ditto on all points, especially number four! Hahaha!

    Number two is very, very important when you’re after readership, numbers, and statistics for your blog. And number seven is very, very important when you’re after meaningful friendships, successful partnerships, and growth as a blogger. :)
    Rebel Sweetheart recently posted..Join | Shaklee Super Events Giveaway!My Profile

  3. Beatrice says

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your weblog? My blog is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my users would really benefit from a lot of the information you present here. Please let me know if this okay with you. Regards!

    • Martine says

      Hi, Beatrice. I can’t seem to get into your website, please let me check that it’s a good site before I grant permission for you to re-post my posts. Thanks!

  4. says

    Same with you on everything you listed — except for #4!! Hahahahaha…. I need the pounds and I don’t get any especially when I get too busy with social media work that I skip breakfast sometimes, or miss my afternoon snack LOL!!! ;)

    In the end, I learned how to respect different types of people I’ve met through blogging. Also, to show appreciation to my loyal readers and followers who really inspire me to continue blogging even when in days when I don’t feel like it anymore.
    Mom-Friday recently posted..Beauty Chat with Celebrity Mom Judy Ann SantosMy Profile

  5. says

    Blogging mostly taught me more about webdesigning since I want my blog look beautiful to others haha. Like you, I also learned to be myself, however, I am not yet ready to reveal every story of my life.

  6. says

    Mart, thanks for this post. I find I can relate to all that you’ve learned. In the past, I used to be afraid to share what I really felt. But one time, I posted something about how we coped with my husband away, how hard it was being a single mom. And that post got a lot of replies. I realized that people appreciated real emotions from us, and that they can relate more. After that, I always try to post something about me that many readers can relate to. God bless you Martine!
    Michelle Padrelanan recently posted..The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie: Book Review & GiveawayMy Profile

  7. says

    I think that people ask for advice from those who they look up to and I think it’s great that you find time to answer their questions (including mine). hehe Thanks!!! What I learned from blogging is that you can write about a lot of things, but the easiest one to write about are the ones that are closest to your heart. :)

    And may I just add….I may not have seen what you look like before you gained all the extra pounds but you certainly look great! :)
    Tyna Quimpo recently posted..A Weeklong Vacation At LastMy Profile

  8. says

    Thanks for the tips! I feel like these are simple tips that new bloggers (such as myself) need to read. I had unreasonably high expectations when I started blogging and I couldn’t help but feel disheartened many times. When I felt like my articles sounded stupid, when I don’t get any comments at all, when I set a goal to blog five times a month and don’t even come close. Still have much to learn but very happy to stumble upon blogs like your along the way :)

  9. says

    I love blogging best when I am myself. meaning I could share my inner thoughts and feelings when i am myself. And I guess it’s normal na one could have misspelled words and typos it just shows na you’re a normal person as well like any normal moms. hehehe! I love going back here because it inspires me to be good in what I am doing… :)) thanks for sharing these things… :))
    Ma. Teresa Grech Quiatchon Racal recently posted..Graduation Ball PreparationsMy Profile

  10. says

    I’ve learned that I can multi-task and still have close-to-perfect results! And that spending a few minutes away from the baby to blog is not a mortal sin! Haha :) It also feels good to know that other people can relate to what I’m babbling about. Feels good to be appreciated :)
    Chesca recently posted..Lessons on Out of Town TripsMy Profile

  11. says

    Most of what you said are true . I believe that the heart of every post is about you being real . It just touches a universal language that defies culture and time zones and that is one thing I love most. When you get comments form other parts of the world telling you that you are not alone . I also have high respect for bloggers who take time to comment back and do remember those bloggers who , after commenting more than one of their posts did not even have the time to say “Hi . ” I also think that when a fellow blogger asks for your advise is because you have earned their respect . It maybe overwhelming but it also shows how you inspired others to earn without living the confines of their home and compromising who they really are.
    Lastly, those buttocks and legs sure make you look voluptuous, a term I prefer because it still sounds sexy. You may try elevating your legs for ten minutes so the blood can circulate as when we are standing or sitting for long hours, there is a tendency for the blood flow to just go downwards. I am Pilates fan, though I just do it with my own initiative, it somehow helps.
    sarah recently posted..The Art of Letting GoMy Profile

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