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Aspirational vs Confessional Blogging
In a recent interview for ProBlogger, the original gangster of mommy blogging has announced her intention to cut the ball and chain. For Heather Armstrong of Dooce.com, blogging isn't what it used to be.
Now, a lot of mommy blogs are about documenting instead of storytelling. It’s a photo essay of their kid sitting on the countertop in perfectly clean clothes licking the cake spoon. It’s so curated. In beginning, it was all mess. People were craving honest stories about parenting. I think people are craving that again now, but bloggers are afraid to be that honest. Since blogging is so flush with money, the immediate thought is, is there going to be money in that? How do you monetize a mess?
Blogging in general began as more of an open-diary style type of writing. Heather Armstrong belongs to that core of original bloggers who shared their thoughts and experiences straight from the hip. There WAS no such thing as monetization, really, so it was all for the purpose of connecting with other people.
Over time, Google Ads and other ad networks popped up with opportunities for bloggers to begin earning some payback for all their effort. Not everyone opted into ads, however, because some people found it intrusive and sloppy. After all, how deeply and intimately can you connect with the words of a writer while a giant yellow banana hops across the screen?
Some bloggers had enough people visiting their site to make money from ads, and some went the Copyblogger route and began offering digital products, such as e-books, online tutorials, and classes, and premium forums. Money from these additional products paved the way for bloggers to go full-time WFH (work-from-home) status.
I think there's a time and a place for many different styles of writing. Sometimes we feel encouraged by the Confessional - by seeing how other people are human and imperfect so we can give ourselves permission to breathe.
Other times we crave the Aspirational - we need someone to set a standard of excellence... showing us what is possible so we have something to aim for. We lose sight of anything beyond where we are and get stuck in the day-to-day. Aspirational blogging can function like a good mentor and life coach.