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Is Your Blog Holding You Back?

Is Your Blog Holding You Back? @mvemother #ROYO #BlogHer13

Why did you start blogging?

I have a few reasons but ultimately I wanted to get back into the habit of writing and eventually back into print. Here’s a little back story, I’ll try to keep it short.
@mvemother #ROYO #BlogHer13 Is Your Blog Holding You Back?After getting my degree in English and Writing I went directly into an editor position for a local, weekly paper that specialized more in advertorials than editorials. After I’d had my fill there I went to work at a chamber of commerce where I put together a slew of empty, albeit important, words in the form of press releases, newsletters, web content, SOPs, AARs, minutes, and even the organization’s policy manuals.

Regardless your background, I’m sure you know that writing press releases and advertisements is NOT the same as writing even the simplest personal essay. You’re not investing a part of yourself into a paper titled “Handling Rude Phone Calls,” you don’t get defensive at the sight of a red pen, and while Elephant Rock Park is a fun place to visit you’re not hurt if that story is cut by 200 words to make room for an advertisement.

I wanted to get back to a more heartfelt style of writing, feel challenged, and tap into my creative spirit. No matter what I was sharing I wanted it to be something I was excited about. I wanted my blog to be a marketing tool for the brand of me.

Things were going along nicely. Then I attended my first conference. Oh how na├»ve I was back then. I learned about linky parties, SEO, and all the other ways to effectively sell the attention of my readers that most bloggers nowadays are well versed in. When I got home the first thing I did was reassess my blog. There were new to-do lists, new goals, new measures of success, all of which had NOTHING to do with writing or being printed, but it wasn’t a horrible thing. I was excited. I felt this new purpose and it felt good.

Is Your Blog Holding You Back? #ROYO #BlogHer13For a little over a year I stayed on this path; riding the ebb and flow of good stats to no stats and back again. Then last December I was cleaning out notebooks and reading through my old ambitions and ideas. While my blog had grown, my dreams were no closer to coming true then they were the day I’d wrote them down. I felt duped. As if I’d wasted a year working towards some arbitrary set of goals instead of MY own. My blog was no longer a marketing tool for the brand of me, the roles had switched, I was working for it.

Getting tied to a niche, spending too much time on social media or empty content, caring too much about stats, losing sight of our goals, or making someone else’s goals our own. It’s too easy to fall into the trap and find yourself in a position where your blog is holding you back.

I’m not an expert, nor do I proclaim to be, but I know there are ways to get back on track without giving up on your blog or your dreams. There can be a happy medium. There is a way to find balance. Hopefully you’ll be able to hear me and others discuss what we’re doing to get back to a place that feels honest and true for us. In the meantime, if you’re feeling disgruntled, lost, or overwhelmed by your blog but you’re not ready, or willing, to give up, just ask yourself, why did I start blogging?

-This post outlined the inspiration for a Room of Your Own pitch I made for BlogHer2013. Even if I don’t get accepted, I will still be sharing the tools, tips, and motivations I find that have helped me get back on track and use my blog the way I intended. I hope you're able to stop by again and find encouragement.  -Erin

Erin Sipes
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3 Clever Valentines for Cynics


It’s time for another round of Google Hangouts on Air and this time the subject is Valentines Day!
This week some great folks from throughout the creative community will be sharing crafting ideas LIVE. It’s really fun to watch and unfortunately, I forgot to post this yesterday so we’re already a day behind. As you can see from the button above I’ll be playing devil’s advocate, something I’m really good at, and going with some anti-valentine themed cards. It’s going to be a hoot.

To watch me LIVE just come right back here and below the button there will be a screen at least 5 minutes before go time.

To tune in to the other HoAs visit the sites listed below. Most of them will be hosting and posting their HoA directly to their blogs. If not you can also visit  the Google+ #ValentinesHoA event page!
P.S. Despite the fact that 50% of the population lives in the Eastern Time Zone (at least that’s what I read somewhere) everything for the HoAs is in PST. Make adjustments to your schedule if need be.

Here’s the lineup for the the week!

Monday February 4th at 9am PST
Class Treat Ideas 
with Trish Flake & Bonnie Mauney of
Uncommon Designs     
Monday February 4th at 4pm PST
Quick Valentine's Crafts with Washi Tape
with Angie of
The Country Chic Cottage and Carolina from 30 Minute Crafts   

Tuesday February 5th at 9am PST
Crafting Valentine Accessories
with Mandy Beyeler of Sugar Bee Crafts and Kim from A Girl and a Glue Gun
Tuesday February 5th at 12pm PST
Tissue Paper Valentine Crafts
with Leslie Stewart of House on the Way
Tuesday February 5th at 4pm PST
Watercolor Pennant Bunting
with Colleen Jorgensen of Just Paint It   
Wednesday February 6th at 9am PST
{Topic to be Decided}
with Cyn Gagen of Creative Cynchronicity

Wednesday February 6th at 11am PST
3 Clever Valentines for Cynics
with Erin Sipes of My Very Educated Mother

Wednesday February 6th at 1pm PST
Simple Valentine Idea
with Jeanette Chaney of Homa Style  
Wednesday February 6th at 5pm PST
How to Make a Felted Wool Garland
with Randi Dukes of Dukes and Duchesses               
Thursday, February 7th at 10am PST
Little Ways to Show Your Love
with Amy Buchanan of Atta Girl Says
Thursday, February 7th at 12pm PST
{Topic to be Decided}
with Ashley Phipps of Simply Designing
Thursday, February 7th at 4pm PST
Simple Valentine Card Ideas
with Shannon Madigan of Madigan Made
Friday February 8th at 9am PST
{Topic to be Decided}
with Heather Luckhurst of Setting for Four
Friday February 8th at 11am PST
After Class with Mrs. Hines: Valentine's Day Special
with Sharon Hines of Mrs. Hines Class and special guests Cyndi Spivey of Walking in Grace and Beauty, Yvonne Pratt of Stone Gable, Evey of Evey's Creations
Tuesday February 5th at 2pm PST
Choosing the Right Flowers for Valentine's Day
with Miriam of Hometalk
Friday February 8th at 4pm PST
Quick Valentine Crafts with Duck Tape
with Carolina Moore of 30 Minute Crafts and Angie of The Country Chic Cottage

Make sure you check out the #ValentinesHoA Google+ event page for even more live details.
Erin Sipes
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