Thursday, January 24, 2013

Selling My Soul to the Drama Mama Blog Gods

I seem to have a lot of epiphanies. There was this one, and then this one, and yet another one here. Seriously, I should have figured out the meaning of life by now, with all of these epiphanies. I've made some major life changes because of them, but each one has helped me in a positive way, so I do welcome them.

Like now. Yes, I've had yet another epiphany. It came after some major internal struggling I've been doing and talking it all out with a friend of mine.

I love what I do. I love writing, making people laugh, and handing out my psychotic unique advice on parenting and motherhood. I'm proud to say that I have a voice in the blogosphere, and I'm very happy to share it with whoever ventures onto Inklings.

My internal struggle lately (and yes, this happens a few times a year) comes from how big my voice in the blogosphere truly is. I've been blogging since 2010 and picked up the pace last year. Now that I'm back to being a full-time mom, this is what I do. I write, clean house, cook... rinse and repeat, and honestly, I couldn't be happier. I have the most amazing readers I've ever seen- y'all are loyal, interactive, pick me up when I am down, and make me cry tears of joy when you reach out through email or facebook and want my advice on something. I wouldn't trade you all in for a million readers that only read a post every 6 months and never speak up.

Courtesy of The Coffee Blogs
Over the last 3 years, I've watched other mom blogs rise to the top with a single viral post, then die away just as quickly. I find myself searching for them to see what they are writing now, and they haven't updated their blog in 3 months. The mom blogosphere is a tricky one. You have to have the right balance of humor, advice and freakishness personality to really hold readers' attentions. You have write what you love but what people want to read, as well. You have to constantly reevaluate your blog to make sure you are being true to yourself and true to your readers.

That's where I'm at right now, Inklingers- reevaluating. Why? Because in the last year or so, I've seen the emergence of what I call the Drama Mama blogs. These women have built a readership based on complaining about motherhood to its full extent. Their kids are horrible, their life sucks, they drink constantly to escape their mundane existence, but hey- they'll share every single detail of it with their readers because they are an honest mom blog, or they want to make you feel better about your parenting. These type of blogs are on the uprise, and have tens of thousands of followers... leaving little ol' Inklings in their dust.

When I started Inklings, I wanted a place to vent. I was learning how to become a stay-at-home-mom again, and I wanted to share my ups and downs with anyone who wanted to read. But, more than anything, I wanted to be an honest mom blog. I wanted to share what's worked for me and what hasn't, provide helpful tips and advice, and tell stories that make people laugh. So, when I see these other blogs that pride themselves on being 'honest mom' blogs, yet they complain about everything under the sun, it upsets me. More than that, it upsets me that these blogs are a hell of a lot more popular than mine, and many of them have been blogging for less than a year.

So, I started reevaluating. Maybe I needed to jump on the bandwagon and find things to complain about-
that's what people want to read nowadays, right? Misery loves company, so maybe it was time to give in to increase my readership. Maybe it is time to divulge every aspect of my personal life in an effort to be a truly honest mom blog. Maybe it is time to sell my soul to the mom blog gods in hopes of being the next big thing.

But I can't do it, Inklingers. I can't sell out and jump on this 'motherhood sucks' bandwagon. I can't write post after post complaining about this and that. I can't do it. So, if you are here for that type of blog, I'm not the humor blogger for you.

Don't get me wrong, though, I'm not going to be one of those- my shit doesn't stink, my kids are perfect and motherhood is full of unicorns and fairy dust- mom blogs either. Seriously, those women make me raise an eyebrow and I have to hold myself back from emailing them to ask them what meds they are on. My shit does NOT smell like roses, my kids are far from perfect, and while some days are filled with unicorns and fairy dust, others are filled with the unicorn shitting on my brand new rug and the fairies drank too much last night so they are crashing into the walls right and left.

So while the trend right now seems to be the angry, motherhood sucks, constant complaining Drama Mama blogs, I'm going against the trend. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I became one of those just to gain 1,000 followers.

Here's my pledge to myself, and my true readers. When it comes to Inklings, I promise to:

  • Continue to be truthful about motherhood. If I have a unicorns and fairy dust type of day, I will tell you all about it. If I have a unicorn poop day, I will tell you about that, too. But if you are looking for nothing but unicorn poop and drunk fairies, I'm not your woman.
  • Be a positive humor blog about motherhood. Will I still vent when something pisses me off? Yes, I will. But I promise to keep the atmosphere at Inklings upbeat and positive so you head off of my site smiling and with warm fuzzies.  
  • Be helpful. I admit it now- I love giving advice. Along with this trend of venting Drama Mama blogs, I've found the helpful mom websites are dwindling. I want to be a place to head to if you need an answer to a parenting or motherhood problem. Now, my advice may be more of how to deal with your kids when they drop the f-bomb instead of should you bottle or breast feed, but that's the type of advice I have.
  • Be myself. I am an optimistic person who is trying to go green and stands under the full moon (unfortunately, not naked- we live in military base housing; I think the neighbors would object). I'm crafty, I struggle with my health and weight, I love Grey's Anatomy and Ryan Gosling, and my body seems to be falling apart lately, so Flexeril has become my best friend some days. I drink wine occasionally, love my kids and my Hubby with all of my heart, love taking pictures, and love clobbering my kids at Family Game Night. And, if you haven't gathered yet, I love tattoos. That's me. That's the stuff I will write about.
  • Be random. One day I'll post pictures of my latest organizing feat, the next I'll vent about my neighbors, post pictures of my photography or a cool vegetarian recipe the day after that, and the next I'll share a funny anecdote from my past. I am random, so my blog will be, as well.
  • Be funny. It's what I do. Even if the post is a review post or seems to be one of my more helpful tips ones, I'll still be funny. So, I'd pee before you click on the latest daily post, or not drink anything that you don't want shooting out of your nose. Just a warning.
  • Not sell my soul. I really do struggle with this. I struggle because I think Inklings is awesome and everyone out there should read it. I struggle because I will write a blog post about a topic, then one of these Drama Mama blogs will write about the same topic, their post won't be as well written, but they'll have 10,000 hits on it and I'll have 100 on mine. But, I won't change. I refuse to change. I have to be me, write for me, and those who appreciate that will stick around. 
  • Be true to those who are true to me. My regular readers seriously rock. I tell y'all that all the time on the Inklings' facebook page. When I need advice, y'all help out. When I need a pick me up, it always happens that I'll check my email and one of you will have emailed me some positive words. Y'all read me, you whore me around, you are amazing. So, I promise to you all that Inklings and I will remain who we are. Those who aren't true readers will come and go, and that's fine. Those who stick around- y'all are the ones I'm going to be true to! 
So there it is, my blog epiphany. While I feel Inklings should be bigger and have a larger following, I won't sell my soul to the Drama Mama blog gods to get there. Inklings has grown so much over the past 3 years. I know that if I continue in the direction I have been, it will get there eventually.

When my friend was helping me hash it out, she put it like this: A lot of people read the National Enquirer. It's cheap, it's full of smut, and it's entertaining. But it's not quality reading material. I don't want to be the National Enquirer. I don't want to be cheap and full of smut but entertaining. I want to be People magazine- entertaining, has helpful tips, inspires... and is full of Channing Tatum and Ryan Gosling.

Not that I want to be full of Channing Tatum or Ryan Gosling...

Oops. Freudian slip...

We've been nominated in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Funny Moms category. Help get the word out about Inklings even more by voting each day! Head here or click the button right there to head to the Circle of Moms site, and click the orange thumbs up button under the blog description. Even though I refuse to sell my soul to the Drama Mama blog gods, getting the word out about Inklings through sites like these helps find new readers who should be here! Thanks to all who support Inklings!

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  1. As a new to the scene blogger, I'm so glad to hear, (well read technically)what you wrote. I'm struggling just trying to find my voice and build even a remote handful of loyal followers, but I would never consider selling out. This post is an inspiration, and more power to not being one of the bitchy moms!

    1. Thank you for making me smile. Your comment is awesome. Be you and it will come! =)

  2. Aw friend, think about it like you would sexual partners... Go for quality, not quantity! Hahaha.

    I totally agree with you about the Drama Mamas. I followed a couple of them for a SHORT time, and quickly realized that nearly every post is the same. Complaining about things that are actually common occurances in motherhood. Kid accidentally pissed on the carpet? Yeah, that happens. Kid spilled milk in the car and didn't tell you, and now that is 103 degrees outside and your car reeks? Well, that's what happens when you take milk in the car. I read a lot of women write about this and say stuff like "No wonder I'm drinking every night!" and shit like that. Dude, that sucks! Just because your kids are being kids (testing boundaries, potty training, etc.), it's not worth airing your dirty, booze soaked laundry.

    Your my favorite! I'm gonna make a section on my blog soon of my favorite blogs and you'll be right there at the top!

    Love wins.

    1. MUAH!! You always make me smile, Mrs.Dixxxon. ;)

  3. I have to say, I find the blog world to be oversaturated with mommy blogs. There have been many I used to follow but have since stopped following because their entries are reminiscent of Facebook status updates like, "Life is so hard" or "Everything is terrible, kill me now."

    In fact, you are the only blogging mum I follow and that's because you A) write about other stuff because you have a varied and interesting life and B) when you write about your family it's topical, amusing and relatable despite not having children of my own and never intending to.

    1. Thank you so much for your awesome words about my blog and my writing. I take it as an honor to be the last mom blog standing on your reading list. You know I love some competition... and taking them out, lol.