Wednesday, 18 September 2013

The 3 Most Simple (But Overlooked) Blogging Tips: From Mama Friday!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Last weekend, I finally plucked up the courage to do something I'd wanted to do for a while.

Something, which at the very thought of, frightened me, daunted me, and made me feel uneasy in my stomach.

I showed my blog to my mum.

I remember mentioning that I'd started a blog to my mum when I had just started it. I wasn't sure how big it'd grow at the time, or whether I'd even still be continuing it several months down the line, so didn't really see the importance of having her, well, see it.

Over time, my blog has become a pretty personal place. I'm happy to have my friends see it, and anybody else who follows me on social networking sites such as Twitter, but the idea of my family seeing it.. well, it made me cringe!

How could I reveal such a personal part of myself, my identity that I've come to form, to the likes of my parents or siblings? It sounds kind of ironic now, because it seems I'm happy enough sharing random details of my life with you guys, the community, acquaintances  and even strangers. Yet my family, who I share a close bond with, I keep the likes of my blog closed off from - for the most part.

Why is it that I was so scared? Why was I, essentially, so reluctant in revealing the real me to the woman who raised me? Who, to some extent, made me me!

Honestly, I'm still not sure what the answer to this is. It could come down to the fact that, because my blog is something so very personal and important to me, I'm inevitably opening myself up in new ways and exposing myself in a new light to my mother, throwing me in a state of vulnerability. We all seek our parent's approval, after all - I'm allowing her to judge me and my work on this occasion, and I can only hope I've done her proud!

But, mainly, I think the real reason for the 'secrecy' of my blogging passion and desire to keep my blog hidden & unknown to family members stems from my desire for escapism.

Each and every one of us grows up with an 'ascribed' status we develop from the roles we play in our families. I'm a daughter (obviously), a big and little sister, niece, grand-daughter, etc. But with that also comes the personality and identity you've developed within your family circle.

We don't share everything with our families - that's what friends are for. We talk to them about things we don't feel comfortable enough expressing to parents, we go to them for advice about personal matters, and we can generally feel more 'ourselves' around friends than family. There is more freedom in the way we can express ourselves and choose to behave.

And that is why, for me, I've loved having my blog to deviate away from my ascribed family status. I've had that freedom to behave, express, and act in a way that is true to me, without having to worry about what my family will think. I've accustomed an achieved status - i.e, the one I've created for myself. A fashion and beauty blogger!

However, that being said, I decided that because my blog is so valuable to me, and is quite a big part of my life right now, it was probably worth mentioning again. My mum's first reaction was "oh, you're still doing that are you?" then progressively got to "can I see it?" Ah, those dreaded words!

After eventually giving in, I showed it her. It was like stripping a part of myself naked (if that isn't too weird) and the scariest thing was, I could see her reaction right in front of me - usually when people go on my blog, it's online, and I don't see their initial responses to reading it!

It didn't turn out as bad as I had predicted. She actually gave me plenty of positive feedback and compliments, and seemed genuinely impressed.  Hallelujah!

After a lot of chatting that commenced after letting her read it, I suddenly felt an imaginary light bulb flash above my head - I got the idea for this post. I felt like my mum gave me some pretty useful feedback and constructive criticism, so thought it couldn't hurt to share the same kind of ideas with you all..

Even though my mum isn't a blogger, and admittedly doesn't know much at all about the whole industry, I think it can be helpful to hear from an outsider looking in. The people that usually offer blogging tips are members of the blogging community itself, so the advice may actually be a little biased. But for a random reader to offer practical advice, who knows what they'd like to read? Now that's useful!

Never apologise for being you

One of the main things my mum picked up on and her only criticism for me was indeed, the fact I apologise too much! She only read one post to identify this but she was right - I have been guilty far too many times to apologising for things in the middle of my posts, when there really was no need. There are exceptions to this, of course, where you may have been offensive and genuinely owe an apology, but for the things that are beyond your control - resist!

So bottom line, don't apologise when it's not necessary - whether it's because you've been busy and haven't blogged in a while, or feel like you've been too self-indulgent - it can come across as self-deprecating, in my mother's words!

A little humility goes a long way

Contrary to the above point, don't have this 'non-apologising' confused with arrogance. One of the things my mum liked about my blog was the fact that my personality shone through and I apparently seemed likeable, and in her words, "not conceited or big-headed". Keep a level head at all times, whether you have 1000 followers or one. 

She thinks it's "nice for people to see your personality", so be yourself - but the most likeable, respectful, friendly, and approachable version of yourself. A little modesty is always attractive!

Stay congruent with your blog's purpose

This one ties in a little with the last rule, because self-indulgence can be detrimental to your blog's true purpose. What is your blog's purpose? Are you still living up to it? If it's to help others, in any kind of way, make sure you're providng something for your readers. I'm still working through this one, but the more we practice posting content that's congruent with our purpose, the more natural it will come to us in the future.

Give your readers a reason to be there and make them want to stay!

(I elaborate on this point in my post Making It As A New Blogger: The Top 6 Blog Resolutions You Need To Make

So there we have it guys! My mum's rules (or suggestions) on successful blogging. Maybe what they say is true after all.. mums do know best!

What do you guys think? Do your parents know about your blog? If not, why not?

Hope you all enjoyed tonight's post - and enjoy the rest of your week! xx

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  1. I was overwhelmed whenever a new follower comes on my blog, but I'm always hesitant to share it on my friends and family..

    Thanks for this post <3


    1. Hi Cassie,

      I know how you feel! I used to be exactly the same, and in some cases still am, but you shouldn't be - I bet they'd be really proud of you and what you've done!

      Thank you for visiting and have a lovely day :-)

      Emily x

  2. That is great that you finally showed you mom your blog! She had some wonderful tips too!


    1. Hi Rebecca,

      Thank you! And I agree, it's surprising how wise our parents can be sometimes, haha!

      Thanks for commenting and have a great week :-)

      Emily x

  3. I can never share my blog with my mum. She'll most probably give me some negative comments. But I totally follow your mum's blogging tips!

    1. Hi Sun,

      Aww, that's such a shame! Well, we should never assume.. your mum will probably have some good comments too! Haha that's great though, I'm glad :-) my mum's wiser than I thought!

      Have a lovely week and thanks for stopping by.

      Emily x

  4. My mum and my sister are regular readers of my blog :)
    What do you think about following each other sweety?


    1. Hi Daniela,

      That's fab! It's great when you can be so open and share something as personal as a blog with your family. You must all be close - hopefully I can be as confident as you someday and show it to my whole family!

      I'd love for us to follow each other, I'll check out your blog right away :-)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Emily x

  5. Hi Emily, please forgive me for being such busy and behind blogger I am. I'm too busy, since the last post I just got the chance to post again today and I of course love being on your bog. You have such a great skill of writing. I'm glad you've show your mom of your blog, and her tip are great... Wish you a wonderful Friday!


    1. Hi Tanya,

      That's absolutely fine lovely, don't worry about it!! I can understand how you'd be busy, I've been busy again myself and it's hard to find the time to even blog haha!

      Thank you so much anyway, that means a lot to me - I agree, the tips are simple but easy to follow!

      Hope you're having a lovely weekend, and thanks for commenting :-)

      Emily x


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