I will try to keep my answers short, but guys, I love talking about blogging. Obviously. So I apologize in advance for any long winded answers. lol.
Here we go.
How/why did you start blogging? What keeps you inspired?
I started blogging when my Husband I were first married. Most of his family lives out of state, as well as some of mine, so I was blogging as a way to keep them updated on our lives as newly weds. Pretty typical reason to start blogging I think. And after the birth of my first son, is when my blog really started to progress. I realized how much the blogging community had to offer & so I just dove right in.
And what keeps me inspired? Probably just the understanding that I will be able to look back on everything from huge milestones, to small tender moments -- and remember them. And my kids will be able to be reminded as well. It's such an awesome thing.
When and why you started blogging? When did your blog begin to grow? Why are you so awesome?
See above answer ^^ for the first part of this question :) I've essentially been blogging for like... 6 years now and I didn't blog a whole lot in the beginning. But in the past few years, I've become really involved in the community, so I suppose that is when I started seeing a little bit growth here. And over that time the growth of my blog has been super gradual and natural. I don't push too hard for a growth in readership, but I definitely try to stay engaged with the readers I have. I value them so much.
Oh and I guess I'm just awesome by nature. J/K. ;-) Thank you for that question. lol
Has anyone ever come up to you on the street recognizing you for your blog?
Oh heavens no. Definitely not that "big time." lol. But to be honest, I'm not sure I ever want to be. Though I very much enjoy writing here, and love the friends & people I've meet through my blog, I want it to stay an intimate place. I think the minute people start recognizing me from my blog, is the minute I will start re-evaluating things around here.
Has blogging ever caused any arguments with your husband? Is he okay with it? Sharing all you share on such a public site.
No, my blog has never been an issue between us. He works as a web analyst, and he also has his own blog, so he's really tied into the whole social media thing. He encourages me to blog and so far, hasn't been bothered by anything I write about.
And the funny thing? He gives me crap for not including him in more of my posts. lol.
Are you happy with where you are in your photography business?
(The rest of the comment: I will explain why I am asking, because I feel like that question could be taken the wrong way.. I am a photographer as well. Before I had my daughter I dreamed of staying home being the worlds best photographer, making 100,000+ a year. Now that I have my daughter and I stay home (she is 9 months old) I struggle with wanting to expand my business but just wanting to be less busy and not photograph as often.)
Yes I'm pretty happy with where I'm at with my photography business. Being that I have two little kids at home, I really don't have the time/patience to take on much more than I already do. So I totally get what you're saying. I definitely make enough money to help out with the bills and have a little money to play with, but the overhead of running a business is so dang expensive. Sometimes I wonder if it's worth it. But I just love what I do and can't picture NOT doing it. I think that once my kids are more school-aged, I will try to expand my work and take on more work. But for now... I just can't. Being a Mom is my #1 priority.
How much time do you spend reading and commenting on other blogs? How much time do you spend blogging?
Well I go in phases. Some months, I read and comment a TON. And other months, not nearly as much as I wish I could. But life gets hectic and we have to prioritize, ya know?! How much time do I spend blogging? Hardly any at all. My computer is upstairs in my office and I hardly ever go up there during the day. I probably spend about 15-30 minutes on my blog every day.... actually writing. Which is why it's super hard to get a good, meaningful post written. That takes a lot of forethought and time to actually write it all out in a way that it makes sense.
How do you balance it all?
I'm assuming this question is asking how I balance wife-hood, being a mom, my photography business and maintaining the 'ol blog? And the answer is that I don't balance it very well. I do my best but a lot of times one or two of those areas are suffering. It's super hard. And some may wonder why I continue to devote time to my blog if I don't have much time? It's because I freaking love it. Simple as that. So I guess I just do my best to find time for everything. It's not easy, though.
This might seem like a silly question, but you seem like you have a lot of friends in the blogging world, do you find it hard to put yourself out there? And how do you go about doing that?
YES!! It's really hard. Because like in life, not everyone is going to like you, or want to engage with you. I tend to be friends with people (in "real life" and via social media) that share similar interests as I do. I purposely seek these people out. Sometimes I hit it off with them and other times I don't. But I'm perfectly okay with that!
And I think the best way to meet people is just to make the first move (like in dating! lol), and reach out to them. Leave comments on their blog, respond to their tweets, engage with them on facebook or google+. Some will be super warm and friendly, others... not so much. But you can't meet people if you don't at least try. Hope that helps!
I have really wanted to attend a blog conference, but am having a hard time justifying the time and money. Do you think it's worth it? And do you have one you recommend?
I totally get this. And you're right... it is not cheap to go to a blogging conference. You have to pay for your travel, hotel, and the conference ticket itself. And sometimes food. That is, unless you get sponsors to help pay for things, but that's an entirely different ballgame, and one I'm not super familiar with. But even after all of that, my answer to this question is: Yes. SO much yes.
Attending my first "big" blogging conference earlier this year is was what lit a fire under my blogging, so to speak. I've always loved this outlet & the community. But spending time with hundreds (more like thousands) of like-minded people was unlike anything I've ever experienced -- and made me love it THAT much more. I came home and was so inspired & finally felt integrated into all aspects of blogging. The only thing I suggest, is to do your research and make sure you are finding the conferences that are right for you. Some are HUGE, and others are smaller & more intimate. Some focus on food, some on parenting, some on fashion/design, and some are just general blogging conferences. Figure out where you want to go with your blog, and find a conference to match your goals. :-)
I haven't been to a lot so I can't speak from a ton of experience, but I would have recommended BlissDom conference. But unfortunately, it has been retired. So for 2014, I will be attending Type-A Conference in Atlanta, and from what I hear.. it's amazing. So I recommend this one only because I'm going and I'd love if you all went ;-)
Well that's it for your questions!! You guys are awesome and really got me thinking with a lot of these. Thank you!