It’s been a weird few weeks. Since being nominated for a couple of blogging awards (which is obviously both amazing and astonishing in equal measure), I’ve been thrown head-first into the world of Being A Proper Blogger, having mainly been making it up as I went along until now.
It’s fair to say it’s been an education.
On the one hand, I’ve found even more brilliant blogs, and I’ve read a lot of great posts. I have so much still to read, I may never need to pick up a book/leave the house again. I’ve also – dare I say it – found a few bloggers I might actually (e-)know well enough to approach in person, should the opportunity present itself (I’m hoping to go to BritMums Live in June, but I’m waiting for payday).
On the other hand, I’ve also realised I’m not cut out for every element of this Proper Blogger malarkey. For example, I know I should become a prolific Instagrammer, because anyone who’s anyone is on Instagram. But I just can’t be arsed. I’ve tried – I have an account and a dozen photos – but Instagram and I just don’t get on. I find it hard enough not to filter my life on Facebook, let alone on Instagram where I can use an actual filter to make things look prettier than they really are. So for now, I’ll just stick to scrolling through other people’s pictures and feeling inadequate. It’s a winning combo.
And yes, I’m aware my posts are – in the most part – completely unplanned and I should probably have a proper posting schedule (and post much more regularly) if I want to be A Proper Blogger. But I just don’t have something to say every day. I don’t have anything to say some days. And posting more often would get in the way of my life, and my time with my kids. So I’m going to carry on without much of a plan other than ‘I fancy writing a post today’, for now at least.
The list goes on, and it’s all come to a head in the last few weeks with the awards closing dates looming. There have been a few times when I’ve caught myself getting stressed out and muttering something about ‘the blog’ in a diva-like way as though I’m bloody Anna Wintour or Arianna Huffington or something. In a nutshell, I needed to have a word with myself. So I did. And here it is – my reality check – in the style of my previous poem A Mantra For Mothers, because clearly I’m stuck in a rhyming-couplet rut and can’t get out of it. Every time I have another Anna/Arianna moment, I’ll force myself to read it. Out loud.
Why I’ll Never Be A Proper Blogger (A Ballad For Bloggers)
It’s a funny thing, this blogging lark:
Some days are great, and some are dark.
What starts as something just for fun,
Soon rises up to Number One.
First comes a name, and then a theme –
Responsive to your smartphone screen.
Pages sorted, Menus too,
The posts are published – first one, then two.
Before you know it (give it six weeks),
You’re fully-versed in Blogger Speak.
Hosting, storage, image size,
Keywords that are optimized.
Disclosure statements, About Me tabs,
Focus keywords, BiBs and MADs.
Meta data, SEO,
Why are this month’s stats so low?
DA, PA, and PageRank,
Google’s laughing to the bank.
Affiliate ads and sponsored posts,
Follow links, plugins and Yoast.
HTML coding in Text view,
(That’s HyperText Markup Language to me and you).
Blog awards and public votes,
Endless lists of do’s and don’ts.
Linky lists and forum threads,
Hashtags running through your head.
Twitter chats and Facebook groups,
‘Your stats are booming through the roof!’
But take a second, take a breath:
Is this really life or death?
Remember why you started this,
Back in blogging newbie bliss.
Not for awards, or hearts or likes,
Nor for comments or visit spikes.
Not to be A Proper Blogger,
Local paper front-page fodder.
Just to say your tuppence worth,
All that’s new since giving birth.
To write when writing suited you,
When something caught you in the news.
To keep a note, to remember this:
A normal life, with two young kids.
Because, when all is said and done,
You are just that: a blogging mum.