Following In My Shoes has gone through a lot of changes (including design and blog name changes) since the day I started it wayyyyyyyy back in 2005.
In The Beginning. . .
When I first began writing, the blog was just a private, online place to process my newly acquired life as a married woman and an English teacher. Then. . . we adopted this Little Lady and I became a Mommy. A Mommy who was trying to figure out if her daughter’s Jedi Mind Tricks were normal, and who, during the search for that answer, discovered “Mommy Blogging.” I fell headlong into a world of moms sharing stories and pictures — encouraging one another and laughing at toddler antics.
It was a way to communicate with others in my shoes — women who wore the mantle of motherhood and who, like me, were still adjusting to the fit. A way to be creative and practice the craft of writing — something I missed after I quit teaching to be a SAHM.
Then Things Started To Change . .
What started as a way of “journaling” my daughter’s antics (and then Mr. Boy’s life) has morphed into something else.
And, to be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about that.
Instead of simply sharing funny pictures and silly tales from the trenches of mommyhood (or exploiting Hubby’s Dumb Husband Moves), I have discovered that I can make money with this blog. Real money that can buy groceries and diapers and pay for preschool. Money that makes me feel slightly less guilty about the long hours Hubby puts in so I can stay home with our children.
Now instead of just blogging when I feel like it, there is pressure to perform. Pressure to engage readership. Pressure to see my number of unique visitors rise every month. Pressure to keep doing.
Two years ago, I knew nothing about Google PR, metrics or social media. Now, I use website testing tools to make sure my page load time isn’t too slow, and I’ve even researched website optimization software and business analytics tools in the hopes I can create better content to increase my readership.
I’ve gotten caught up with company names like Alexa, Compete, Omniture and a slew of other businesses and sites that “evaluate” your websites’ worth in numbers.
I worry about being marketable and valuable to PR companies, advertisers, and readers.
All of this . . . just so I can buy milk and Pampers for the kidlets. Those same kidlets who first produced fodder for this Mommy-Blogger back when this was all just a hobby.
I find myself at a crossroads. Do I continue forward with the “blog as a business” path, working to market Following In My Shoes and to earn an income? Or, do I go back — back to blogging as a hobby — writing and sharing photos as the whim strikes or when the kidlets give me something great to share? Is it possible to balance both — creating a blog that is truly ME and pays for itself?
It seems that even in blogging, you can’t escape the quintessential woman’s problem: Can You Have It All?