Frugal Foodie Mama: How Becoming a Blogger Has Bettered Me

Monday, February 25, 2013

How Becoming a Blogger Has Bettered Me

As a blogger, I think we often worry if our time blogging, networking, promoting is taking too much time and attention away from our families, friends, our in-real-life lives.  Sometimes especially in the beginning when you are small & just starting out, it is hard to justify the effort and sweat you are putting into your little space out here in the blogosphere.  I know I spent a lot of time and energy justifying my blogging efforts to friends and family.  I knew that the cost of eventually building a "successful" blog (and we each have our own definition of what that just may be exactly) meant a lot of up-front work and time.  I am at a point now where I actually feel successful. Though my blog has not ever really been about making money and getting free stuff, I am now at a place where I am starting to bring in a little cash flow and I feel very accomplished in that.  I am by no means a "big" blogger.  I am well aware that there are blogs out there whose page views just last month were triple that of my all time page views.   But I have come a long way from where I was when I first started this little blog.

I came to the realization the other morning as I was photographing my baby girl's first birthday party invitations, that blogging has done so much more for me that I had ever anticipated when I hit the Publish button on my very first blog post over two years ago.  

I realized blogging has made me care more.  To put forth more effort.
Here are just a few of the ways I know I have grown personally since I started blogging...

I now write down recipes of meals I throw together on inspiration.  I didn't do this before, and often would be asked by my husband or son to make that one thing with the rice and chicken again, but I wouldn't remember exactly how I made it.  Now because I know my new recipe idea could become a blog post, I write down everything- the ingredients, the directions, any tweaks I make.
I am preserving my legacy of recipes, my story for my children down the line.

I pay more attention to and care more about the details.  For instance, I noticed this as I was planning my daughter's first birthday party.  The fact that I knew that I would blog about her party made me pay more attention to all the little details.  I spent the time to take detailed photos of her party, and I know I won't be asking myself 10 years down the road why I didn't take more photos of her first ever birthday party.

I have become more involved with causes that mean something to me.  Why?  Because I now feel like I have an impact.  I can see that impact better now.  I finally feel as if I have a loud enough voice.  I know if I blog about something, if I tweet about something, if I pin it, thousands will see it.  

I am pushing myself to learn new things that had I not become a blogger I might not care all that much about.  Like learning more about HTML code.  (Yeah, I am not a huge fan, but I know SO much more about it than I did a year ago.) I am pushing myself to try new DIY projects and crafty things.  And I care more about the lighting and composition of my photos.  I have been pouring over countless online photography tutorials.  Not only does this translate into better food photos for my blog, but better cherished photos of my children.  
My first ever photo for a recipe post
From one of my recent recipe posts 
Blogging has returned me to one of my first loves... writing.  There was a time before I decided to study history that I entertained the idea of becoming an English teacher or even a journalist. Since the time I fell in love with reading my second grade year, I have loved stories.  The stories that people tell.  How they tell those stories in writing.  Blogging has allowed me to return to my writing, to telling my story...

I have become more connected, and I just don't mean to the online world.  I know people. (Okay, I don't like Tony Soprano know people.  But I have made definite connections.)  I may be able to hook up a small shop owner who is looking for exposure with a fellow blogger who is more their niche than myself.  Or I might see of someone I know on Twitter who is looking for something specific blog design wise and I can send them to one of my many talented friends who work wonders in blog design.  

Blogging has made me more accountable.  And what I mean by that is that I am less likely now to blow off some recipe or project idea I have, especially if I have let my readers and followers know that I am considering attempting something.  I feel better motivated to be creative, to complete projects, and document them as they are happening.  Before becoming a blogger, I would come up with what I would think was a pretty neat idea for something and then often talked myself out of attempting it. 

It is easy to feel guilty about the time you may spend blogging, editing photos, brainstorming post ideas, tweeting post links each week. There is always a give and take with everything we do in life.  But have you asked yourself lately what your blogging is doing for you, what it has done for you?  

Those of you out there who blog- How has becoming a blogger bettered you, friends?