Friday, June 27, 2014

How I Became a Blogger {Part 2}

I began this series yesterday, check out Part 1 here.

Yesterday I talked to you about the how I came to the conclusion that working from home was my only option if I wanted to have the flexibility I needed for my family.

I was determined that I would find something that I could make decent money doing from home, but I struggled with what that things would be.

Years ago I had toyed with the idea of blogging but I really had nothing to offer anyone.  I worked, I hung out with friends, nothing extraordinary.

I have noticed a funny pattern emerge throughout my pregnancies.  When I get pregnant, everything ceases to hold it's place of importance.  I am only Mama.  I lose the ability to form sentences, I become forgetful and writing takes a back seat.  My brain really struggles to function as a person, it only wants to be Mommy. But then, after the birth of each of my children there is a surge of creativity.  I have always been a creative person, but once the Postpartum Depression fog clears and I gain my footing again, I just want to create something.

I looked in to freelance writing when my daughter was 6 months old and decided that I should try it.  I have always been a writer and been good at it (according to any teachers or professors that I had) so I though this might be what I was looking for.

Right after setting my mind to it, I found out I was pregnant with Little Man.  The first trimester kicked my but, as it always does, and gave up for a while.  I focused on caring for Princess and getting through my pregnancy and put writing on hold.  I still researched things and tried to put together a portfolio, but I didn't get anywhere.

The more I looked around, the more I thought that blogging was something I should be doing.  It felt like it kept pulling at me.  I felt like I finally had something to share that maybe others could relate to.  After I had Little Man I had my creative surge and began writing for whoever would let be jump on board.  I joined local blogs and offered my services for free.  Through this I was offered the opportunity to win a free blog design and set up which was exactly what I needed because I had zero website experience at the time - and I won!

In February of 2011 I launched mamaZEN.  It  was a mom blog where I talked about whatever popped into my head.  I wrote about kids stuff, family stuff, couponing, random events in my life, weird science articles that I had read, book reviews (mainly paranormal romances which I adored at the time), etc...

mamaZEN launch in 2011

There was no real focus and I floundered a bit.  I decided that the name mamaZEN didn't fit anymore and I wanted to be taken seriously as a writer/blogger. I already had the domain name and if felt more professional to be using my real name.

In June of 2012 I met a couple who were right in the middle of major growth with a local website that they had launched for families in our area.  They had a few bloggers on board that filled other niches, but none were family oriented.  After meeting I gave the site some consideration and I contacted them to see if they would be interested in my work and a partnership.  It turned out to be one of my best "business moves," if you can call it that. We are working together now on even bigger things ;)

Worthington Lower in 2012

It was a blessing and a curse when Wordpress fell under attack by hackers in November 2012 and my entire body of work was lost.  It hurts to think about it.  So much time and energy wasted.  Despite my niche-less efforts, I had a decent Google Page rank and I was "out there."

At that point I thought long and hard about whether this was really for me.  I had made limited money and I hadn't created the community that I had heard would build itself around my content.  I didn't feel like I was connecting with readers the way that I should.  I was VERY pregnant with Booboo and feeling the strain of the pregnancy, losing my blog and the impending changes ahead.  I didn't have it in me to start fresh.

I thought about it for about a month and I still felt compelled to write and if I wanted to write I needed a landing pad for people to see who I am.  My blog had become necessary, not just my outlet.  I reopened my blog with a simple layout on Blogger.  I didn't want to write randomly anymore and I didn't want to fill my post schedule with junk just to increase traffic.  I just want to share me and my work.

This was my first post on the "new " blog.

More to come ...

How I Became a Blogger {Part 1}

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