I started my blog, www.only-mama.com, around a year and a half ago with hopes of going viral and making tons of money on ad revenue. I read something somewhere that said that you should wait to put ads on your blog until you have a lot of regular visitors, so I gave myself a year to build an audience. I still don't have enough regular readers to warrant adding ads to my blog.
In the last 17 months, I have had the good fortune of having a few blogs featured on BlogHer, some with over 7,000 views, which beats my usual 40 - 60 hits on my personal blog by a long shot. I have also had a handful of blogs published on Huffington Post, but I still keep my own blog. Although I first checked my stats several times a day, I now realize the value of my personal blog is far greater than the number of hits on any given day.
Image: Trevor Owens via Flickr
There's a freedom in having a place to say whatever I want and not worrying if it is interesting to other people. It's safer to be outrageous when it's mostly only friends and family that reads it. My blog is a place where I have learned about font size and photo editing and often put up less than perfect entries because I wanted to get something out there as fast as possible, even if I could have done a better job if I had taken more time on it. Sometimes I don't have more time.
I have found that my voice changes based on where I write. I have primarily submitted divorce-related blogs to Huffington Post's blog, and I spend days editing them. If I am writing a political rant or something serious, I tend to publish it on BlogHer. I try to keep only-mama light-hearted and amusing, and it tends to be focused on my kids specifically. It's probably not as universally appealing as I thought it was when I started, but that's okay. It doesn't have to be universally appealing. It just has to make me happy. Sometimes I really need to write something happy.
I printed out my blog as a gift to myself on my one-year anniversary. I was proud to have a hardbound copy on my shelf, but I'm also glad that when my kids are older and wonder what I was like "way back when," they will have my own words to read and remember.
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