Sunday, August 28, 2016

How Being an Unsuccessful Blogger Has Made Me a Better Parent

Truth be told, I've been an unsuccessful blogger for a while now. In fact, this blog has been through various reincarnations complete with more than its fair share of stops and starts, name changes, redesigns and more since I first started it back in 2009. It has been a source of satisfaction and frustration on more levels than I can explain! My stats on this blog have never been great. Sometimes I'll get lucky and I'll get a few posts that will generate more than 4 or 5 comments. Sometimes, I'll get a post that will be viewed by more than 60 or 70 people. A couple of times, miracles have happened and I've had some posts that have more than 100 views. (I'll admit, on those days, I do a bit of a happy dance!)

However, the simple fact of the matter is most of my blog posts top out at about 30 or 40 views, which in the blogging world is really kinda pathetic. I'll be the first to admit that a lot of that is probably my own fault; and I could be doing more to increase my traffic. I've googled the appropriate "how to" articles, made a secret board on Pinterest (because I don't want all my friends to know I'm THAT desperate, right?!) I've even tried to actually READ all those articles. Here's the problem: I don't get it...I consider myself to be pretty intelligent person; but those "how to increase your blog traffic" article just lose me! Seriously, it's like the Charlie Brown teacher in my head...Whah Whah Whah! Monetizing, SEOs, optimization...say what?!
So, why do I do it? First, let me be clear, I put a LOT of time and work into this rather unsuccessful blog. As a blog specializing primarily in crafts and cards, I have to actually make the things I share here. Then there's the photography element, prepping the posts, (and the affiliate links...which is really pointless because I still haven't been approved by two of the merchants I applied to). Saturday Morning Coffee Cafe takes a lot of prep time and research throughout the week as well. All in all, I would conservatively estimate that I spend roughly 25 to 30 hours a week doing something related to my blog.

Do I feel like I'm wasting my time? This is a question I've thought a lot about over the last year or so as I watch the stats of my blog either plateau or decline. I can honestly say, no. No, I don't feel like I'm wasting my time because the work that I put into the blog helps me find a purpose in the week beyond just meal planning, carting kids around to school, practices, appointments; doing laundry, cooking and cleaning. I feel like crafting, prepping, researching and blogging makes me a better parent, and a better wife. It allows me to do something that I enjoy, that is fun and satisfying and gives me energy to be a better mother to my children. I view crafting and blogging as my job in some ways. It also forces me to keep up with my multi -tasking skills and time management skills that's for sure! I think it's so important for moms who stay home to find something they love to do that is just for them...that's not about what someone else needs you to do. There is a satisfaction that comes with accomplishing something for yourself!  I blog and craft while the kids are at school, and the hubs is at work. I plan my week carefully to ensure that I'm staying on task with what I want to get done as well as making sure the "mom duties" get done. When it's time to pick everyone up after school and help with homework and make dinner etc, I step away from the craft desk and the iPad and am ready to focus on my family....just like if I was leaving work for the day.
Do I wish that my blog was more successful? Do I wish that I could unlock the secrets of thousands of followers and commenters? Do I wish my blog was a viable source of income? Yes, yes and yes. I mean...of course I do! I'm not THAT unselfish! I've just come to realize that the traffic and the money are not what my blog is about. My blog is about sharing the passion I have for "handmade kindness" My blog is about sharing the things I find that others have taken the time to create and share. It is about helping me to put into focus the most important job I have, which is being a great mom!
So far, I may not be the best blogger in the world; but I have been blessed with three beautiful children who have been known, on occasion to tell me I'm doing a pretty good job!

Have a great Sunday everyone! Enjoy your families and I'll be back tomorrow!


Unknown said...

I completely agree with this! I've recently become a stay at home mom (well the mom part is coming). Starting my blog has given me something to do throughout the day other than clean, cook, & watch tv. I also really enjoy reading your blog!

Dori Shelton said...

Thank you Heather! I'm glad you enjoy it!

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