I wanted to do a little Town Hall meeting, so to speak, in which I could talk to you about some of the things that have been on my mind lately. None of it is cause for concern—just some general things I wanted to keep you in the loop on.
I’ve flip-flopped on the direction of this site/page for awhile. In all the writers groups I belong to and in all the blogging how-to’s I’ve read, the goal is to make money from blogging. Otherwise it remains a hobby with no real legitimacy. I’ve toyed with the idea of selling advertising space on my site, doing sponsored posts, putting affiliate links in my articles. I’ve submitted my work here, there and everywhere and been published on a lot of wonderful sites that I’m still proud to have my work featured on. Some paid a little bit; most paid nothing. After a year and a half of blogging, I’ve still only made about $300 total and spent far, far more than that.
But here’s the thing: I love this community and I don’t want it to change. I don’t want to compromise the good thing we have going to make $50 on a sponsored post. I don’t want to jeopardize the trust you have in me to talk to you honestly and candidly by taking advertising money. I don’t want to worry about pageviews or social media stats. (For the record, I’m not saying that other bloggers shouldn’t do this. I really believe everyone does what’s best for them and that’s the bottom line.) Every avenue I’ve considered has been the wrong fit for OMTA , which is why I’ve let it just continue the way it has been, steadily growing and getting more and more supportive, honest and real because of the women who contribute to the conversations I’ve started.
So, for the foreseeable future, I’m going to stop trying so hard. I’m going to stop posting recipes unless I really want to because I’m not, by nature, a food blogger. I’m going to stop holding myself to an every other week newsletter. I’m going to write only what’s in my heart and let go of the rest. One mom who reads OMTA recently said this to me: “I don’t come to this page for Pinterest projects or recipes. I come here because you make motherhood feel better.” I felt like her words smacked me over the head with their truth. The thing I enjoy doing the most is talking to you through my writing about what motherhood is really like. I love our conversations and the answers you give to deep questions I ask. I love that you support me 100% with none of the judgmental, nasty feedback I see so many other bloggers get on their pages. I think you love all that too.
What I don’t love is busting my ass to take pictures of projects that Chase hates anyway or staying up past midnight to finish a newsletter that only 20% of people open. I don’t love warring between guilt that I’m on my phone while my kids are awake and guilt that I no longer have time to respond to the 200+ comments/day that the Facebook page often gets. None of that is meant to be a judgment on my readers at all—it’s just me saying I have my priorities a little skewed; I tend to really load up my plate for no reason other than to be constantly busy. I don’t think you love those things either. If I’m being honest, I don’t enjoy the tedious parts of it and, I’ve come to the realization that, if I’m not going to make money off it and consider it a job, then I should let those unpleasant parts go. Hobbies should be fun. I want One Mother to Another to remain around for a long time, but I know burnout is a very real thing in blogging.
So I’m looking toward the long game. I will consider this a hobby for now and continue to put money into it the way one would with a hobby like skiing or knitting without expecting anything back but personal satisfaction. I am truly fulfilled by what this site has become and I hate the idea of it ever changing, especially by something I’ve done to try to make extra cash. It’s not worth it. (I’ll just hope I sell lots of books someday!)
That being said, a hobby is something that I have to do in my spare time. Until now, I’ve spent 25 or more hours per week on OMTA, which is basically a part time job. But I can’t support a job that doesn’t pay while also trying to be a great mother. So, as you’ve probably noticed, I’ve stopped being able to respond to all the comments on the page. Sometimes it takes me a long time to get to them; lately, I can’t get to some at all. I hate it because it makes me feel ungrateful for the fact that you choose to spend your time with me, jumping into a discussion on my page, but I know you understand. I try very hard not to have my phone out when my kids are awake, so I have very limited time to respond these days. And a lot of that is taken up by my family and actual writing, which are the things that feed my soul and make OMTA what it is. So I’m trying to let go of the guilt of not responding to each and every comment and sincerely hope that you will stick around and continue to contribute to the conversation. I really believe we have something special and unique here.
Anyway, I just had to get all that off my chest because it’s really important to me that you understand my reasoning behind the direction OMTA is moving. I deeply appreciate each and every one of you for sticking with me, supporting me and sharing your life with me. I hope we can keep doing that for a long, long time.