While not exactly a wrap up of the events at CyberMummy, it is inspired by the fantastic event.
(starting with a small rant)
The recurring theme during CyberMummy11 was ‘niche’ – that to stand out, you needed to find your niche. I think niche is becoming a buzz word that is useful to sum up what makes a blog interesting or diversifies it from the rest. To be honest, it’s not niche that drives me to look or read certain blogs, certainly the subject matter is important, but most importantly it is the quality of the writing or photos or the aesthetic of the blog. ‘Niche’ will only get you so far.
(stepping off the soap box now).
I’m a new blogger, but I have been a blog reader for many (many) years. I had been thinking about starting a blog for years really. I ran a website back in 2004 that was set up like a blog, but was mainly there to promote the bands I worked with. I didn’t consider myself a blogger. I left that up to the New York bloggerazzi at the time (The Modern Age, Melody Nelson, New York Doll, Jinners, Divestar, etc). I was just the hanger-on. I thought about setting up a blog when I moved from the US to the UK but I didn’t think anyone would care. I thought about setting up a blog when Mini G was born, but my life soon became occupied with taking care of a brand new little dude. I finally took the plunge earlier this year in January and I am kicking myself for not having had the courage or the discipline to do it sooner.
What kick started my motivation was reaching out to bloggers through my job. I work at a PR Company and we reach out to writers of blogs for various clients and campaigns. I wanted to know what the ‘secret sauce’ was to receive positive responses. This then prompted me to figure out how blog platforms work in general. What kind of code can you embed on a blog? (The geek in me is showing) How do photos work on a blog? What are bloggers writing about? Anyway, I wanted to learn more.
I bake, I love baking, I love reading about baking so I read a lot of baking blogs. I thought yes! I finally found my voice. I can write about baking. I photograph everything I bake already. I am going to start a baking blog, but because I also love other things like TV, funny things that Mini G does and other kitchen related things, I decided on a title that encapsulated it all… hence ‘Cupcakesandotherstuff’.
**I didn’t bake this cupcake, but I did photograph it during @cosmicgirlie’s photo panel**
And now, I am learning more. I still don’t know what the ‘secret sauce’ is for getting bloggers to respond or cover stories, but on this journey I have discovered that I love writing my blog. And I know it will give me more insight, perspective and enthusiasm which will cross over to my work.
I am very glad I wanted to learn more because otherwise, I wouldn’t have heard about CyberMummy. I wouldn’t have met all of these amazing – yes, absolutely amazing – women (and men) and bloggers who all have something to share and something I can learn from. I was inspired by Sarah Brown. As a politician’s wife, you can sometimes forget that she is a mom, just like me. But she made a point that really resonated with me. In her keynote speech she said, “Social networks give you a voice to enable change”. It’s amazing to think of the power and influence one has with a blog, Facebook page or Twitter account. And listening to Rachel Johnson reminded me that once you publish something, it’s out there – whether in print or in cyberspace, so make sure you are behind what you say 100%.
And, if I hadn’t wanted to learn more, I wouldn’t have met new friends like @mummytips and @verybusymama and @mim_tweeta and @cosmicgirlie and there are way too many to list here (this blog post is already the longest I’ve ever written!).
Soooo… to wrap it all up, through this journey I have found my niche… it’s just being me.