I really don’t remember WHY I started blogging. When I first started, there were very few blogs out there and to own your own domain automatically made you superior.

A lot of bloggers these days consider themselves “old school” if they have been doing it for more than two years. What about those of us that have been doing it since the late 90’s? OSN itself is nine years old, and I had started in 1998 with a site on Angelfire.

Since there are now millions of blogs created daily how does one stand out? It seems like to be “popular” one must be thin, pretty, and controversial. Or do a lot of fancy giveaways. Blogs these days seem to be about a niche, controversial topics, and a schedule.

Gone is the review of your day. I have a hard time posting if I don’t have a photo to put at the top of the post! I struggle to find a “topic” rather than writing like I used to which, if you ignored the grammar, reviewed how I was feeling that day or in that moment.

It made for a lot of really short posts. A large chunk of my early posts here on OSN are private. 640 of them to be exact. I am embarrassed by the grammar, I never EVER censored myself, and in this day and age, I worry about being judged.

Go figure.

So what happens if you do luck out and become popular? You either become revered and loved by all OR deal with trolls, hatred, and personal attacks constantly. Yet so many of us work our asses off to become part of the blogging elite. WHY?

For me part of it stems from wanting to be a PART of something. To feel wanted and useful. Which growing up I never had. Deep I know.

How long have you been blogging? WHY did you start blogging?

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rilana
posted on November 9th 2010 at 1:43AM CST

Let’s see…I began blogging in June 2000 (at blogger, before google bought it) as a way for my family and close friends to keep up with me on a daily basis. My blog has moved and evolved over the years, of course, but I have never stopped writing. So, am I old school for having blogged for over 10 years? LOL!

posted on November 9th 2010 at 1:57PM CST

I remember reading you years and years ago!! LOL oh yes, once you hit the decade mark, you’re old school!

Lynda
posted on November 10th 2010 at 9:28AM CST

I like the decade mark idea. I’ve thought about putting up a page for true “Old School” bloggers. There are so many of them and it seems for most, “blogging” means something completely different than those who started a few years ago or less.

posted on November 10th 2010 at 4:06PM CST

THAT WOULD BE AWESOME!

posted on November 9th 2010 at 4:55AM CST

If I count my now non-existent Livejournal account back in 2000 then I suppose I’ve been blogging on and off for a while?

I still don’t really buy into all of this “topic” stuff and what you’re supposed to do. I like writing about stuff and some people like reading what I write, that’s about it really!

I have met a few wonderful people (on and offline) through blogging, so I think that makes it worth it. Plus having a family spread over several countries it makes it easier for people to keep in touch.

posted on November 9th 2010 at 2:00PM CST

It’s funny for me, the ONLY “drama” I’ve ever had with OSN is from my oldest son’s biological father and my estranged twin sister.

I’ve met a TON of lovely people I never would have otherwise if it wasn’t for OSN and lately, twitter!

Keeshia
posted on November 9th 2010 at 5:41AM CST

Gosh.. it’s been about 10 or 11 years now, so late 1999-2000ish. I started blogging as a way to get shit out of my head really. I always liked having a journal and at the point I was starting to not give a crap what people thought so I decided to share with the world. Granted only a couple people ever read it and really that’s still true today. I blog for me, not for everyone else, but I do like knowing someone out there is reading my drivel.

posted on November 9th 2010 at 2:01PM CST

OH yes I ALWAYS had handwritten journals, I still have some of them from 1999 lol.

posted on November 9th 2010 at 8:52AM CST

Interesting topic! I started blogging in 2006, I think, after Hurricane Katrina — partly as a way to send everyone news at once and partly to feel more connected, since I was feeling very isolated at that time. I don’t blog as much as I used to, but I do find it good for spreading news and for getting my feelings out when something is happening in my life that’s really bothering me. I don’t worry about the popularity thing, though. I just treat it as my own personal diary space and don’t worry too much about whether anyone reads or not. I feel like it’s just for me and I’m okay with that.

I have been writing a lot of articles on Squidoo, which has been kind of fun because I don’t feel like I have to stick to any one topic — I’ve done some book reviews, a couple of music reviews, and some miscellaneous stuff. I guess I could have written all those pieces on my blog, but I feel like the blog should be more about me than about other people and things. Not sure if that makes any sense at all, but that’s how I feel. :-}

posted on November 9th 2010 at 2:02PM CST

What is Squidoo exactly?

posted on November 9th 2010 at 3:02PM CST

Squidoo is like a cross between a blogging site and an article site. Members can write articles about pretty much anything and spruce them up with photos, videos, guestbooks, links, and so on. (Everything is pretty plug-and-play, so it’s really easy to add media to your pages.) And other members can give thumbs-up to your articles, or become one of your fans to get notified when you publish something new. If your articles are popular enough, you might earn a few $ a month from ad revenue, but it seems to be very difficult to get to that level. I started using the site to promote a couple of my clients that I wanted to support, and then I just kept making new articles because it seemed more fun than my blog (and easier to do). I may get tired of it in time, but for now, I’m enjoying the freedom to write about things I like and new things I’ve discovered.

Lynda
posted on November 9th 2010 at 9:38AM CST

I view a good blog the way I would a good magazine. It has to be consistent and discuss a variety of topics I’m interested in. (I’ve described your blog this way before.)

I think in order to be “popular” you need to make a full time job out of blogging. That is, devote several hours to it and promoting it every day. The less time I have for blogging and social networking, the lower my hits are.

Love your autumn design by the way. Your comment sections are always extra special!

posted on November 9th 2010 at 2:04PM CST

I completely agree with you about blogging having to be a full-time job. I just don’t understand how the “mommy” bloggers do it! I have to sneak 5 min here and there to even respond to comments like I’m doing now LOL!

Granted once children are older it’s easier but that’s where I see a line of either you have older children and can make it “full-time” or you stick with mainly controversial posts. No middle ground.

OHH thank you! I like fancy comment areas! It makes it extra special!

Lynda
posted on November 10th 2010 at 9:31AM CST

I find it ironic that so many “mommy” bloggers are proponents of attachment parenting because you see them ALL DAY LONG commenting on blogs and twitter and facebook and such. That may fly when you have a newborn who sleeps and nurses all the time, but how can you justify spending that much time in front of a screen when you have a kid anywhere from 6 months – 4 years? (Which, it seems, most mommy bloggers have at least one child in this age range.)

posted on November 9th 2010 at 10:05AM CST

I’ve been blogging a little over 2 years now and originally started my blog as way to connect with moms with three children. I had just learned I was unexpectedly pregnant with our third and needed guidance. While I still blog to connect with moms, pregnancy isn’t my focus any longer.

As for the blogging elite, I want no part of it. The idea of being loved/hated, possibly both, isn’t something that interests me. I blog for me and always will.

posted on November 9th 2010 at 2:07PM CST

I think it’s SO much easier to connect with like-minded people these days via their blogs!

I LOVED your latest vlog by the way! STILL so jealous over the kitchen-aid mixer lol.

Sara
posted on November 9th 2010 at 1:14PM CST

I started blogging in 2001 I think… Not entirely sure actually. Hand coded blogs were the SHIZ.

I actually can’t think of a single popular blogger I follow who is thin, barring Dooce. I don’t spend much time analyzing the blogging world, mostly because I don’t care. I don’t care enough to even blog frequently, which is good because I used to spend every other blog entry apologizing about my lack of blog entries. I’m sure that was quality literature…

posted on November 9th 2010 at 2:37PM CST

LOL I do admit, I don’t miss handcoding and all the uploading over a dial-up connection!

I think for me, I’m more specific to “mommy” bloggers, and most of them tend to be of the thin, pretty, and have money types.

Amy
posted on November 9th 2010 at 1:38PM CST

I had my first website [Angelfire!] in 1996, I started keeping an online journal in 1998.

I’ve been at my current domain since 2001.

I write because I like it. I don’t have a lot of readers, I don’t get a lot of a comments and I don’t get any mail. My wife likes it, my boyfriend likes it, my sister likes it and that’s really good enough for me. I’d probably still keep writing even if no one else read it I like doing it so much.

I’m not sure why I like it though. Maybe habit? Maybe a way of keeping in touch with friends around the world. Maybe having it out publicly encourages me to write more than I otherwise would?

I figure I’ll stop when I’m not having fun any more.

posted on November 9th 2010 at 3:26PM CST

I think once someone crosses from it being an online journal to more of a “social” type of blog, it changes the writing/motivation. At least that’s what happened to me!

posted on November 9th 2010 at 4:34PM CST

I’ve been blogging for 10 years or so. 9 of which are on my domain and open to be read. I don’t even remember why I started blogging, but I kept paper journals through high school with friends, and I think it stems from that.

I miss the old blogging days to be honest. I like blogging about whats on my mind. I like blogging about my day or some random song I like.

But that fear of judgment keeps me from doing it for some reason. I need to just ignore it and blog anyway. I always tell myself that, and then fail.

posted on November 10th 2010 at 7:49PM CST

OH yes. I totally censor myself now. Which really doesn’t help it when I can’t think of what to write because I fear backlash on EVERYTHING now.

posted on November 9th 2010 at 6:29PM CST

I knew nothing about blogs before I had a baby. I was so busy teaching English, and they hadn’t yet become a medium to use in the classroom. I started blogging in 2006 for family and friends as an easy way to share photos and information about my son. When a friend in my writing group started a blog, I started to see it as a platform to show that I had thoughts, ideas.

I first started one blog to share non-essay-worthy musings and keep myself sane, and then I started a few other blogs intended for public consumption and as resources, but only in June 2010 did I finally combine my three blogs into Crunchy-Chewy Mama (with your help! thank you!). I’ve still been slow to self-promote and really become part of the blogging community. I blame it in part on my daughter for choosing to be due just days before BlogHer, which I otherwise would have gone to this year.

posted on November 10th 2010 at 7:48PM CST

I think these days, promoting a blog takes SO MUCH MORE WORK than it used to, it’s like Lynda said in a comment above, it’s almost a full-time job!!

posted on November 9th 2010 at 6:58PM CST

I’ve been blogging for about 1 1/2 years if you count Happy Mothering and our blog from when we were living in Uruguay. We started blogging from Uruguay to share our experiences in a virtually unknown country. And I started Happy Mothering because I felt like when I was pregnant, I didn’t have anywhere to turn to get advice from a person who was “like” me. I figured maybe other women felt that way. I didn’t even have a clue at that time that there was a “mommy blogging” world.

posted on November 10th 2010 at 4:15PM CST

I wish I could remember when “mommy blogs” started, heck, back in the early days you said blog and got blank stares, now practically everyone has dabbled with them.

Damita
posted on November 10th 2010 at 8:52AM CST

I enjoy reading blogs, I prefer personal ones not all about certain topics, I like to feel like I am part of their life too :)

Blogging for has been a life passion, I really enjoy it, I do it for my own method of relaxing getting all those concerns out there and out of my head, I am finding that vblogging with my ttc has really helped as people are great with advice :)

Been blogging since I was 14 so now 25, I guess that would make it 11 years.. whoa that is a long time ha ha

posted on November 10th 2010 at 4:13PM CST

I bet you feel old now LOL!

It’s great though how blogging these days gets you almost… an instant “village” of support!

posted on November 11th 2010 at 11:11PM CST

I’ve been blogging since April of last year. I’m certainly a newbie blogger.

I do wish I would have started earlier–not because I want a famous blog (well, at least not really), but because I wish I would have had an outlet for my writing before last year. I mean, at the risk of sounding hyperbolic and downright weird, I write because I must write.

You have a lovely blog, Sarah. In fact, in many ways, I’m sure that your readers look up to you and your blogging wisdom more than lots of the “famous” bloggers.

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