Why do we blog…?

I’ve just been interviewed by a journalist about blogging.  Some of the questions she posed really got me thinking.  Why do we blog?  I don’t do it to improve my self worth, self promote or to become an authority on anything.  I do it pure and simply because I like writing.  For me it is like writing a journal entry.  A quiet moment in the day, just me, my laptop and occasionally a glass of wine.  Initially it was also to help me feel connected with both of my homes here in the US and back in the UK, but now it’s also to stay connected with the many fabulous new friends I have met through blogging.

The virtual blogging world is non judgmental.  It is full of camaraderie and support – maybe because we are all wearing our hearts on our sleeves, we can each relate to the vulnerability of exposing snippets of our lives on the internet?  I am no longer surprised by how many like minded, strong, intelligent women I meet via blogging.  Our time with our laptops allows us to unload at the end of the day and then chat with each other about the joys and successes or the trials and tribulations we’ve experienced.

Of course there are many bloggers who are now professional/career bloggers.  Many are Moms who have had a career change or find that people value their opinion and advice.  I personally would never want to claim to be an authority on parenting, running, what to wear or anything else I write about – but I do enjoy sharing my opinions (my siblings will concur).  A recent article identified 7 categories of bloggers and I probably align closest with the ‘opinionated’.

She was particularly interested in differences between ‘mommy’ bloggers here in the US versus the UK.  Having thought about it I think there are more similarities than differences.  Our virtual blogging world is of course global.  Checking my visits today I have had views from Brazil to Oman and from Spain to Malaysia – amazing.

I think some of the similarities of blogging in different geographies include:

–       There are both sophisticated mom bloggers who have turned it into a profession, and amateur bloggers who are in it just for fun

–       Many moms who have had their kids, regardless of location, or whether they work or stay home, are looking for another outlet – I find blogging is the perfect ‘me time’

–        Blogging is a way of connecting with people between getting the kids off to school – often done while enjoying a glass of wine after the kids have gone to bed.  It’s certainly more fun than watching t.v.!

–       Thanks to Facebook and Twitter women everywhere are becoming more comfortable with sharing information thus pushing the boundaries of what would have been acceptable

–       Women relate to ‘real’ women – not models and women on reality shows

–       There are moms around the world who, like me, have established blogs as personal journals for motivation or goal setting (e.g. running)

–       Many brands that people follow or are loyal to – for me for example Boden, AllSaints and Tory Burch, are available globally

–       Mommy blogger networks and recognition or awards for bloggers exist globally e.g. Mom Summit, and Marie Claire blogger awards

I did start to wonder, hypothetically, if there is something culturally different between a UK blogger and a US blogger.  I definitely see more bloggers like myself, taking photographs in front of the mirror, coming out of the UK.  Are we thicker skinned?  Does our self deprecating humor allow us to shrug off negative comments?  Are we less worried about looking perfect?  What do you think – is there a difference?

One thing I know for sure these days, after 4 months of blogging, is that even though they say everyone has a book in them, I’m convinced everyone has a blog in them.

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6 Comments

  1. Hmmm. As a writer, I eventually caved in and started blogging, even though I never thought I would. I don’t know if I fit into one of those seven categories. I think there are more they didn’t mention.

    I do think the sense of humor in the UK is different vs. the US. I had a family member from England read an entire post of mine and not realize it was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek… it was supposed to be humorous (maybe it was just that person??).

    I think that, as big as the world is becoming, the Internet and blogging and YouTube, etc. allow us to relate to others around the world. That’s a wonderful thing.

    • I agree Anne – I think many of us use it as a creative outlet too.

      Our sense of humor can be very different! I’ve learned to tailor mine appropriately – I think we’re far smuttier with our humor in the UK too and a tad more prudish over here – I have to be careful!

  2. great post….I had that same debate in my head after I spoke to her. I felt that perhaps US women were more confident about posting pictures? Certainly, there doesn’t seem to be as many women in late 30/early 40’s blogging in the UK. It’s predominantly girls in their 20’s. I couldn’t give her a straight answer. But I know none of my friends would do it – they would feel too self conscious. Funny how I never felt that way. I see it as an outlet for my writing bug, a confidence boost, a way to meet new people and learn new skills, an opportunity, a kick up the ass to stop me getting mumsy and fat in my 40’s!! xx

    • I thought that too at first but I think US women maybe more concerned about looking perfect, or concerned about sharing images of themselves due to identity theft etc. I hate saying things like that as they are of course generalizations. Maybe it’s just nutters like us who don’t mind jigging around in front of the camera?! Like the UK there are lots of younger bloggers making an impact and creating careers out of blogging – TJ Maxx here even uses bloggers in their tv commercials. I think it’s all down to personality rather than geography – I know I have friends who think I’m vain or a narcissist but they still read my posts – there are voyeurs everywhere! If you like it then read on, if you don’t then move on – that’s my stance! I really don’t think about my audience too much when I’m writing – it’s more about me and the laptop – I never know what trite I will write:)

  3. I think my reasons for blogging span several of the aforementioned categories, too. I started blogging while on maternity leave from my job as a newspaper reporter in 2006. I missed writing, and I needed to do something to keep my brain active. I kept at it because I enjoyed it and it was a good way to connect with people–and to tell funny stories. As a journalist, I usually tell OTHER people’s stories, so it was fun to get the chance to tell my OWN stories for a change. I started another blog a couple of years after I launched the family blog so I could use it as a more professional platform; I still tell my own stories and use my own voice, but it’s more closely linked to my career than just my family.

    As for whether UK women are more thick-skinned than US women, I couldn’t say. I do know, however, that I enjoy seeing the pictures that you post of yourself, and I have to steel myself from not jumping immediately over to, say, the Boden website to shop. Must….be…..strong…

I love hearing your thoughts and I will reply as soon as I can if you have a specific question! If you prefer email you can contact me at Joanna@Poppys-Style.com. Thanks for taking the time to comment xx