When I started blogging it was something that I had wanted to do for a long time. Something that I wanted to work hard on and be proud of. I was clear from the start that it was something I was doing by myself, for myself.
I knew that I wasn’t going to go down the brand rep line. I sometimes think it’s a little unfair on the children that are being dressed up and photographed while their parents make money. I’ve worded that a little harshly and there is of course other brand rep opportunities out there that don’t involve your children. I don’t judge parents that do go down that route, I just knew that I didn’t want that for my children.
I am very aware that my children currently don’t have a choice what I share about them. I have spoken to my eldest about the videos and photos I take and asked her what she thought about it, and she said “good, but I don’t always want to be in them”
Regarding photos, I try to choose photos that obscure their faces, either slightly or fully. I never use their real names, they are “Munchkin no1 and Munchkin no2” on my blog. Videos are a little harder to obscure, so whenever I do a video I ask my eldest first if she wants to be in them and if she doesn’t I make sure I keep her out of it, if she does I still try not to get her face in it.
With my youngest, she’s a bit less aware and just wanders in and out, so I try to keep her face out of it as best I can, but sometimes it can’t be helped. When she’s older and understands more I will do the same as I do with my eldest.
I am the opposite with my personal social media. I have higher security settings on my accounts, so know that only people I have accepted are able to see the photos and videos I put on, I also call them by their names on my private social media.
Obviously the aim of writing a blog is to build a following, which means you can’t truly vet who is following you, yes you can have a quick browse through their account, but when some of them are private it’s hard to do unless they allow you to follow them back. The more followers you get the harder it becomes to keep track of everyone. Therefore I have taken as many steps as possible to protect my children as much as I can, whilst still talking about family life and life as a mummy within my blog.
If I want to make a go of this, and hopefully somehow, somewhere down the line monetise my blog, (I haven’t figured that part out yet!) then my reasoning is this:
In a “normal” job role I would go out to work on my own, and that part of my life stays completely separate. I wouldn’t take my children to work with me and my colleagues would only know what I told them about my children, in some cases they may never meet them, or even know what they look like.
I feel like I should take a similar approach to my blogging. I am conscientious when it comes to job roles, so I should be conscientious when it comes to blogging. I am very aware that I am putting myself out there, and it is my choice to do so, it’s not my children’s choice.
That in itself brings challenges and means that I have to take a little more time before posting, to make sure, firstly that their faces are obscured, but also that there is nothing in the background with their names on, or anything else that could identify them, or our neighbourhood. (I once watched someone’s story, they were out walking near where they live and I saw a street name) It makes it all more time consuming but, as I said above I am trying to be conscientious with it.
Some of you might think I’m being over protective, some might do the same, and some might be the opposite. Whatever you choose to do with your social media is your choice.
So I ask you, fellow bloggers, to share or not to share? What is your approach to blogging? Do you share anything and everything or take measures to obscure your children’s identities? x