A decade ago, women made a bigger move into the world of blogging, joining thousands of other voices like them – focusing on lots of experiences, particularly motherhood.
Now there are millions of blogging voices, with a majority of them female – And it takes a lot of hard work to be heard.
Some of the women who blog start simply by sharing their stories as mothers.
Others cover completely different topics.
And all of them realize bloggers who really want to connect with readers need more than just a clever post.
“I started writing my own little stories and before I knew, people were reading them – which is kind of mind-boggling to me.”
Sarah Cottrell began blogging when her first son was a toddler after reading others people’s blogs while navigating the new world of parenthood.
“I was a stay-at-home mom and my husband and I talked frequently about how do I maintain a level of creativity and how do I connect with people if I’m home with a child. It was a pretty lonely experience if you’re just starting out. So turning to writing just seemed like a natural fit.”
Now Cottrell’s ready for her third child and Housewife Plus is a regular blog for the Bangor Daily News.
Cottrell’s also a contributor to other popular parenting blogs read around the country.
When she’s not writing, she’s the audience manager at the BDN, running a network of 200 active bloggers.
“People just have this assumption that anybody can blog and anybody can do it well. And that’s just plain not true, it’s just not. I’ve had to learn how to do things like social media. I’ve had to learn about how to promote myself. I’ve had to get out of my comfort zone and I’ve had to learn to talk to people and ask for things that I need and want, like a higher pay or making sure my byline is showing up on certain websites.”
Sarah Walker Caron spent years as a cops and courts reporter, but motherhood changed her mind.
More than a decade ago, she started food blogging with Sarah’s Cucina Bella.
Since then, the blogosphere has exploded, with more women writing their way into a career.
Walker Caron says calling them all mommy bloggers – a commonly used term – diminishes what they do.
“It is often used to refer to those people who are just blogging at naptime because they need a creative outlet and they just want to share some story – with the people who have put in a lot of work, who have developed a business out of this outlet. And it’s just not an all encompassing term.”
This fall, Walker Caron is teaching a new class at Husson University called Professional Blogging – another indication of how much the industry has changed.
“So, it says that, yes this is not just a hobby anymore, this is something that is taken seriously and people coming out of college need to know how to do it.”
She hopes the course will prepare them for jobs where blogging is now part of everyday business, too.
“I want those voices out there that can be the good, next generation of blogging voices to know what to do and to find their outlet.”
Something Cottrell is thankful she found, too.
“I love it I love it I think that this was my calling. I don’t ever feel like this is a job. I feel like it’s like this really cool thing to do, which is really nice.”
Cottrell is now focusing on the newest part of her life – her newborn daughter.
Add that to raising her two school-age sons and she admits she’ll have a lot of new material to blog about.