Friday, March 5, 2010

Mums who blog

WHEN PakMag contacted me to do an article about mums who blog, I realised I was probably the right person to write about such a topic.
Not just because I love to write and have at one time ran an online business, but because I have not one, but three blogs.
The first one was started in March 2006, a month after my daughter was born.
It’s a blog dedicated to my children with lots of pictures, journal of their milestones and events, height and weight records, and other “baby” stuff.
My second blog was started last year as an outlet for my creative side. It’s my “diary of nice things” free for all to read and peruse at their leisure, but also a place for me to show off what I like to do in my spare time. Sadly, this is also the most neglected blog on my blogroll.
My third blog is Mumologues and is essentially my thoughts on parenting and my strategies for being a better mum.
With this blog I hope to inspire, inform, encourage and entertain other mothers about issues we all face at one time or another.
Blogging is most definitely a form of nurturing one’s ego if you have a certain talent you can show off to the rest of the world, but it’s also a way to express yourself in words that you cannot always do in a regular conversation.

If your blog becomes popular on the world wide web, it’s also a wonderful way to communicate and bring together people from all walks of life around the globe.
Mums blog about all kinds of issues from cooking, crafts, gardening, travel, fashion and creative pursuits, to politics, health, relationships, finance, sex, dieting, religion, parenting and matters of the heart.
Most bloggers are not ashamed to express their true selves, often writing touching scripts about their life not knowing if one or 1000 people will read it.
There are also celebrity bloggers whose pages flash with advertisements, sticky notes and “buttons” as a way for them to make money from their blog.
A good example is former Cosmo editor Mia Freedman’s blog Mamamia on which she posts about fashion, celebrity, relationships and current affairs.
After 15 years working in women’s magazines, Freedman’s foray into blogging seems like a natural step as it is simply online publishing with a lot less editing! attracts about 300,000 hits every month, the vast majority of them women who engage in debates on everything from Madonna to tuna casserole.
I’m amazed by the number of hits this blog receives, particularly since it is written by a mum who finds time to post six times a day (she has a nanny), and juggles this with TV appearances and other newspaper columns while living in a waterfront mansion in Sydney.
Mia is hardly the sort of woman who can relate to the everyday mum who is still in her pyjamas at midday changing dirty nappies, and has on her “to-do” list to clean the ring around the bathtub because it looks like the filthy tub in the Easy-Off Bam commercial.^
Nevertheless, blogging is big business and can become very profitable for many women if you have the know-how, and can write in an informative and entertaining manner (no text talk to be found here thank you).
A lot of popular blogs will also run competitions for their followers, making it even more enticing to make repeat visits to see just what they’ve been up to.
Blogging in Australia is booming, following the lead of US mummy blogs which have become a cultural and marketing phenomenon.
BlogHer, for example, is one of the largest online blogging communities for women which hosts an annual conference attracting 1500 people.
US marketers are keen to link up with popular mummy bloggers to promote their products. These bloggers normally have gained credibility with their readers over a number of years, so an endorsement can lead to an increase in sales.
Unfortunately, this sort of product endorsement (known as blog-ola) stirs up debate about ethics and whether or not the blogger should acknowledge that they have been given a product for free, or have been paid to write the review.
Sharing experiences brings people together and the blogosphere has become especially popular with mothers because they are the ones feeling isolated being a stay-at-home mum, or up at 3am with a baby that won’t sleep.
Once we could call on our neighbours, and treated them as extended families, whereas now women are finding their own sense of “community” online.
When you’re going through a crisis and post it on your blog, it’s amazing to watch the flood of other women going through the same thing, offering support and advice.
To find out that you’re not the only one who lets your child watch a little too much TV (OK, a lot) and admit you’re often bored by the sight of your newborn baby, takes away some of the mother guilt.
It’s also likely that connecting with other mothers online has helped many women overcome depression or perhaps made their depressive episodes shorter and less severe.
This shift in ways of communicating in our digital world makes life easier in many ways.
We can find out what books to read, restaurants to go to, what to cook for dinner, how to grow tomatoes or toddler taming techniques.
The expanding world of the mummy-blog proves that women are talented, funny, sensitive, supportive, creative and fantastic at both time management and time wasting.

^ Please note that this is not a subtle way to advertise a cleaning product, besides, I use Enjo!

How to start your own blog:

* You don't have to be tech-savvy to start a blog, as there are free platforms such as blogspot, wordpress or typepad which are easy to set up and navigate.

* Write honestly and passionately but don't reveal any personal information that might risk your safety. Also, don’t write too much (in other words, don’t write monologues like me!).

* Over time, advertisements on your blog can make a bit of money, but go in with a passion to share your thoughts, not dollar-signs in your eyes.

* Take great pictures. Some of the best blogs I have found come illustrated with wonderful photographs. Start small with your little digital camera and experiment with light and colour to achieve something unique. Family happy snaps where everyone says “cheese” are not very interesting.

* Try blogging about something different to the mainstream. Parenting is a classic example. There are thousands of parenting blogs, but if you’ve got 10 kids and live in a shoe, then you’re more likely to stand out and get noticed.

* Make your headlines snappy, then proofread and edit your posts. And check your facts.

* Include lots of links to other sites.

* Write lists with bullet points – everyone loves lists as they’re easier to read.

* Be topical, be funny or be controversial... just be yourself and imagine you are talking to your reader.


kids events in Atlanta said...

great! i have a blog of my own, but i was confused on how to start and where to start from. now i think i have got a way to do it.

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