What Blogging Means to Me - Trish Burgess

Blogging was simple in 2009. I would bash out my thoughts on the Blogger template, press publish then make a cup of tea. I might pay a visit to online friends on my blogroll before popping a link to my new post on the BritMums website.
In 2016 I turned to the dark side. I sold my soul to Wordpress. Self-hosted.
I did it to freshen things up a bit. I thought it was time I bought my own domain name and I wanted a change. I was pleased with the result: it looked more professional and the new site gave me a buzz.
But it does cost money to run and there's always something that needs attention. Am I GDPR compliant? Have I got an SSL certificate?
I see newer bloggers embracing the technology. They are savvy; making money via sponsored posts and affiliate links. Me, I'm still treating my blog like a notebook.
When I blog today there are red dots glaring at me. My readability needs improvement - how very dare they? I can improve my SEO by using keywords more frequently. Ok. Blogging. Blogging. Blogging. That should do it. Ping. Green light.
Once I've pressed publish I ought to share it so it can be seen. This involves links on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram. It's exhausting. I do it once then forget about it but those in the know are scheduling tweets, sharing evergreen content every few hours.
I've never stopped blogging. I began in 2007 on a different platform and I'm still here, writing mainly about travel. I have built up good relationships with some brands, such as Inntravel, providing articles for their website and brochures. I love that: finding a voice which suits different readers.
In 2014 I started writing a column in my local newspaper: 500 words a week on any subject I fancy. It's like having a second blog to play with.
During these blogging years I've gone from being a mum of a young boy to an empty nester. I'm proud of my online diary of our family life together during his teenage years. I would never remember what we did on holiday each year without my blog posts to jolt my memory.
Blogging may feel like an individual pursuit when you're sitting alone at your desk but I think it's the most sociable thing I've ever done. I have friends from all over the world, some of whom have clambered through the computer screen to become real life buddies.
It even helped me discover my cousin, Toni (yes, this one). We'd been commenting on each other's blogs for some time until we realised we were related. If nothing else, blogging brought our families closer. And that's why I'll keep writing and sharing. Because it's not just my own little part of the internet: it's so much bigger than that.
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To read more of Trish's travel blogging, pop over to Mums' Gone To..