Friday, June 30, 2017

Blogging About Blogging

I've been blogging a lot longer than most people.  I started my first blog, This That and the Other Thing in 2005. I had no real focus (bet the title gives you some clue about that) but I liked to write and thought it was neat that I could put up a blog and people would eventually find it and read it.  My first readers were a few online friends who were also trying out this blogging thing.

In the Beginning

When I started blogging I had a dial-up internet connection, no digital camera and no real idea of how to format posts or do much of anything, and if you look at those early posts, it shows.  I posted sporadically in 2005 and 2006, sharing links to interesting websites, giving my opinions about current events or writing about my faith.  In late 2006 I discovered book blogging and I gradually became a book blogger, at least most of the time.

Much of my early on-line activity was with a Catholic moms group on AOL and while I've never been one of those bloggers who talked about faith in every post or really set herself up as an online religion teacher, I did (and still do) have posts about my faith and for over five years I hosted a Catholic bloggers link-up. 

Different Types of Blogs

Over the years I've participated in a lot of blog link-ups and other blogging communities.  I find it interesting to compare and contrast the various types of blogs I read. 

Book Blogs

While reading is generally considered a solitary hobby which is enjoyed by introverts, book bloggers are a very community-oriented group.  Many bloggers regularly participate in one or more of the "book haul" memes like "It's Monday, What Are You Reading", and  "Mailbox Monday" .  "Library Loot" is on Wednesdays.  If memes aren't your thing, maybe book challenges are.  Most of these start in January, but some start during other seasons.  Bloggers write posts about how many books of what type they will read, and link up their original posts and follow-up posts.  

Of course the main thing book bloggers write about is books.  Book review posts are mainstays along with author interviews, chapter excerpts and book spotlights.  

While book bloggers may have ads on their sidebars and Amazon affiliate links in their posts, most book bloggers are not in it for the money, they are in it for the books.  Anyone who has had a book  blog for any length of time and who has evidence that her (and most book bloggers are "her") blog is read by others will be able to get review copies of books at no cost.

While there are a number of programs and publicists which send out hard copies of books for review, more and more of them are moving to digital review copies.  While I sometimes miss the days when the mail carrier brought me two to three books a week, the fact of the matter is I now no longer have to figure out what to do with all those books.  While I could have sold some of them, from what I could see, the little money I would make was hardly worth the trouble.

While there are many self-hosted WordPress book blogs, there are plenty of us on Blogger and the free WordPress site too.  

Mommy Blogs

These seem to mostly be written by stay-at-home-moms of small children.  These bloggers seem pretty community oriented and tend to participate in link-ups.  Some are clearly just showing off their kids and trying to meet other moms.  Others seem to be trying to make money--or at least to score offers to review good products.  

By the time I discovered blogging, my children were beyond the super cute stage and I didn't want them to be embarrassed if a friend found my blog, so I haven't written a lot of "cute kids" posts though I have talked about my son's  struggles with autism and my struggles parenting him.

Financial Blogs

Financial Blogs are all about making money.  They have ads, sponsored posts and some of them seem written as much for search engines as people (nope, not naming names).  There are some link-ups, like Financially Saavy Saturdays on Broke Girl Rich and people do read a comment on each other's blogs but I don't generally see financial blogs (except some dividend investor blogs) that advertise other blogs on sidebars.  Financial bloggers do not seem as fond of link-ups and memes at book bloggers and mommy bloggers.

There are definitely more professional bloggers in this area tha professional book bloggers--unless you count authors who use their blog as a personal public relations page.  I suspect there are as many professional mommy bloggers as professional financial bloggers, its just that there are so many hobby mommy bloggers out there, whereas I'm one of the weirdos in the financial blogging world who has no intention of putting enough time or money into my blog to make it into the big time.

Religious Blogs

Depending on the people, I've found (and this is my experience which may not be true for all) religious bloggers to be some of the nicest bloggers, often rallying around each other and supporting each other's efforts or some of the nastiest.   

Why Do I Blog?

I blog because it is the ultimate in vanity press.  At no cost (because I'm one of the few financial bloggers who hasn't used on of those handy-dandy links on every financial blogger's "how to blog" post and gone self-hosted) I can write what I want, and hope someone reads it.  I like to read, I like to write and if I can make a few dollars (and yea, its a few) and get free books (more than I can read) then I'm happy.

How About You?

What kind of blogs do you like to read?  Are you a blogger?  Do you have more than one blog?  Why did you start blogging?  How long have  you been blogging?  Are you still blogging for the same reason you were when you started?


  1. I'm a blogger, but one blog is enough for me. I actually started another blog first (The Rain, the Park and Other Things) about remembering the Sixties while in your sixties. It lasted 3 whole posts, I believe. But Super Saving Tips has stuck around for 3 years now. My intent when I started was to occupy my time in retirement and to share my knowledge, and those are still the most important reasons keeping me going. I didn't set out to make money, but as the little expenses added up (self-hosted blog), I thought it would be nice to at least cover those.

    1. I enjoy your blog, at least in part because you are close in age to me and seem to be a regular person with a normal income/standard of living. So many financial blogs are by single people or young people whose focus is early retirement. I'm past that. Student loans are only a part of my life in that I'm doing my best to see that my kids don't have any. I hope you are at least making enough to cover hosting costs. As this point, if I had hosting costs I'd be close to covering them.

  2. I built a website back in the early 00s. Less of a blog and more of a fan page celebrating me and my friends' adventures.

    I was a self-obsessed teen. What can I say?

    Financial blogging used to be A LOT more community oriented. I remember getting really frustrating when people started falling off FinSavSat after about a year because some article came out about how link ups could negatively affect SEO. Which is why there's that link to that article in FinSavSat every week now. But the damage was already done.

    I could stand to do more link round ups like I used to, and I did remove my blog roll a couple years back (people kept asking to be on it and then not reciprocating like we had agreed---I felt taken advantage of.)

    But generally, I try my best to be supportive of others in the community and try to surround myself with people who feel the same. You're right, though. The community aspect in the financial community has definitely fallen off in a big way.

    1. Blogging isn't my first foray into web page making; I had a homestead site that went with an email group I ran. It's been taken down but the last time I looked at it I cringed, the design was so bad. Luckily todays blogging tools make decent design pretty easy.

    2. I'm pretty sure the whole internet was designed poorly comparative to now--so I wouldn't fee so bad! My initial site came down, too. I googled myself a few years ago, and it came up. I had completely forgotten about it and was MORTIFIED!

      And email groups!!!! Those were so crucial! I'm still on one of those that's alive and well, miraculously.

  3. Most of the blogs I read are "diary type" blogs. People musing about their lives and experiences. My favorite blog is one by a military (now retired) mother of nine (three still at home). It is enjoyable to be a "cyber auntie" and enjoy their lives with them. Through good times and bad, they remind me that life is good.
    I used to read lots of money blogs, but they are pretty generic at this point. They are bought and the actual person moves on. That is why I have enjoyed your venture. Real person, attempting to fester out the best financial path.

    1. That's what my other blog started as; I just couldn't think of enough to say, though I enjoy reading yours and seeing those beautiful grands.

  4. I've made no bones about the fact that I'm hoping my blog becomes a source of income for our family. I make a bit of money here and there. But keeping up with the blog along with all of the real life that comes with raising 5 kids is tough! In the past few months, I haven't had time to interact with other bloggers as much as I want to. One of the best bonuses of being a blogger is finding like minded people that make you feel a little less weird (especially in the gotta-have-it-now society we live in). So I'm trying to at least comment on a few other blogs every day now.