Once there was a time when being a mum got a bit too much for you, you would pick up the phone and whinge to your friends, or go for a coffee for with your own mum to unburden yourself. Nowadays sharing the joys and sorrows of motherhood is much more high tech – and in some cases much more lucrative – thanks to the rise of mummy blogging.
It's not enough to tell your nearest and dearest about all the endearing traits and irritating habits of your child, now they must be fed into cyberspace and await comments from your followers.
Why do we feel the need to share our family's intimate moments with strangers? Perhaps because they are often the ones that understand the best.
I started my own blog Fourdownmumtogo just after my twin boys were born in 2009. I was in a sleep-deprived daze as I attempted to adapt as my family doubled overnight and I became a mum of four. Of course my friends and family were supportive, but through my blog I got to know parents who had been through it all themselves and really knew what I was enduring.
I began to blog not only as a record of my babies' childhood, which I knew I would forget in an instant if I didn't write it down, but also to see those comments from fellow bloggers who began to feel like friends.
Liz Jarvis, leading light of the mummy blogging world and author of The Mum Blog, agrees saying: "I started blogging after being made redundant. I was itching to write about all sorts of stuff – my thoughts and feelings, opinions – and discovering blogging was a revelation to me. Becoming a mum blogger gave me the chance to get connected to other mums who were also on a digital and parenting journey."
Being a mum can be lonely, particularly nowadays as the community of stay-at-home-mums has been consigned to the history books, but blogging can alleviate the boredom and isolation of parenting. Emily Carlisle, says this is the reason her More than just a mother blog was born:
I was on maternity leave and desperately bored, looking for something to do apart from change nappies and mash carrots.
But there is a lot more to blogging than just getting the day-to-day grind of parenting off your chest. It can lead to more than online popularity, including opening up new career paths and earning you some serious cash. My own blog has sent lots of freebies my way from school uniform to cinema trips for the children, but that is small fry compared to others.
Emily was able to give up her day job and now works as a freelance writer from home after being offered a column in a local magazine on the strength of her writing on her blog. She also earns around £200 a month from advertising on her blog, plus around £75 for writing occasional sponsored posts. Not bad going for something that was only meant to be a distraction from endless nappy changes.
Erica Douglas, who blogs at Littlemummy.com, is a prime example of the new breed of mumpreneur, using her blog to earn her living. "I earn a full time income working about 15-20 hours a week. I regularly have months where I exceed my husband's full time income. This income doesn't all come directly from blogging but has solely been as a result of blogging", she explains.
So it seems that blogging can be all things to all mums, a chance to share and join a thriving community of parents, or a stepping-stone to a brand new career. Either way the child of the future who doesn't have his or her every move captured online looks set to be the odd one out.
Littlemummy.com, Erica Douglas's, top five tips to making money from your blog:
1. Pick a niche. Parenting is too wide a topic, if it has to be in the parenting niche then pick something within that. Do your market research as you would with any business. Find an underserviced market that has a particular unsatisfied demand and satisfy that.
2. Think about how you'll monetise your site from the beginning. Will you do affiliate marketing (selling other people's products for a commission), monetise the traffic with banner advertising or sell your own products for example eBooks and eCourses. You could also build your audience and create a standalone business, for example if you have a cloth nappy blog you may start to sell cloth nappies and accessories in your shop that you can link to your blog.
3. Create your blog on your own domain name using your own hosting. If your blog business takes off you need to know that you own all the rights.
4. Be prepared to spend six months to a year building your blog and audience before you make a penny. Commitment and persistence is a must so choose a niche that you're passionate about.
5. Remember that blogging for business is different from hobby blogging. Read and learn as much as you can. One place to look is the free business blogging eCourse on my other website www.aceinspire.com, that anyone is welcome to join.