It’s been two and a half months since our little Luke was born, and I want to thank you for sticking with me during this sort of maternity leave. I’ve tried to enjoy every gurgle, kick and coo, all the while trying to get settled into our new house, school and neighborhood in Syracuse. (Here is the little man in his two-month glory.)
We had some pretty awesome guest bloggers, didn’t we? And there are a few more to come, but I’ll intersperse them with my own posts, because I’m eager to get back to writing.
But there are a few things I’d like to change. Up to now, I’ve mainly written in-depth pieces that read more like magazine articles than chatty blog posts. Yes it’s true that I am driven to create great content for my readers, but I must confess that there is another explanation for my no-stone-left-unturned style. I am a recovering perfectionist who is terrified of criticism.
While I think creating “pillar posts,” like my series on online shopping or the one on moving, has been essential to building my blog, the problem with this approach is that too many ideas never see the sunlight. It simply takes too long to make them just right.
And then I wonder, perhaps I’m so concerned about presenting professionally organized information that I miss out on chances to connect with my readers. (Allegedly) perfect people are admirable, but are they likable?
So instead of wishing things were different, here is what I am going to do:
Goal: Making work pay off
I launched my blog a year ago, and the site now attracts more than 2,500 visits per month. I’m proud of how far I’ve come, and now I’d like to see the site move from a losing enterprise (financially) to one that at least covers its costs. With my babysitting swap days over in New York City and a fourth child in the mix, we now pay for childcare a few hours a week so my toddler can get to the park and I can get to the keyboard.
Because I feel that ads on my site would be counter-message (and I’m not great at business), I’d like to avoid trying to make money that way. Blogging is fun work, but I wouldn’t be a frugal mama if I didn’t worry about contributing to our household’s finances.
So my mission is to find the time — and the courage — to work toward making my writing profitable. This can mean several things including growing my blog so that a book publisher would take notice (advice from a literary agent), and selling articles to other publications.
Since life with four children is busier than ever (and I tend to crumple with rejection — but I’m going to work on that too!), I’ll take baby steps toward these goals. One thing I can do is ask other bloggers to do a guest post, which would increase my exposure. I’m intimidated by and infatuated with print media, but a baby step in that direction could be the meeting I have next week with the editor-in-chief of a local parenting magazine.
Goal: Getting more ideas out in the world
Life is charging forward while I belabor articles that end up getting dusty in my drafts folder where they benefit no one. I need to find the courage to publish posts that haven’t been slept on three times to iron out all their possible kinks.
With my time crunched even more, I’ll save the meatier articles for online or print magazines which I’ll hopefully get paid for. For Frugal Mama, I’ll focus on bite-sized pieces, which are at the same time more conversational and personal.
Since the pregnancy, move and new baby, I have been posting once a week. With the shorter, more from-the-hip pieces, I’m going to aim for publishing a blog post two to three times a week. I’m afraid this might be too much for my email subscribers, so I am looking into a way to get Frugal Mama content delivered just once a week.
With this more casual approach, I’ll probably say things that some people won’t like, but I guess that’s the part of the territory. I can’t stop growing for fear of getting cut down. Like the grass in our new suburban backyard, I’ll grow back!
Is there a goal you’d like to achieve that requires going against your nature or conquering a fear? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Next time I’ll talk about how I’ve been recording the priceless moments of life with children, because…babies are not frugal.