I’ve been blogging for just over a year. Started my Instagram account about a year before my actual blog went live. What a journey it has been. It’s been a roller coaster of eye opening, life changing events. Yes, life changing. I see the world with new eyes, with a new perspective. I’ll explain why abit later though. I might be completely wrong, but I suspect that mom bloggers are the biggest niche compared to the other niches of bloggers in South Africa. And I think there is only one reason for this, and it’s quite simple actually. You see when you become a mom, you fall so deeply in love with the child you bare that you want show them off to the whole world. As moms we all believe our kids are model material ha! But also we need to unleash all the stress that comes from motherhood. And blogging is a great way to do this. But, the South African Mom Blogger industry is not as simple as it looks. It’s actually very tough. Rewarding, but tough. So for those of you who regularly read our blogs, I just wanted to share with you some of what it entails. What it is really like being a South African Mom Blogger.
In this article I will indirectly answer some of your questions on what it is really like being a South African Mom Blogger and where to start. l also clear up many misconceptions, for example how lucky we are to get all the free things and that we are parenting experts and have all the answers.
What it is really like being a South African Mom Blogger
We don’t only blog about tantrums and breastfeeding
Not all the South African Mom Bloggers blog about tantrums and breastfeeding. Some blog about healthy meals for kids, while others focus on cute kids clothing. Then there are those who primarily focus on family lifestyle and those who focus on lifestyle in general which includes self care and beauty. There are blogs which focus on parenting and some that focus on the rawness of motherhood. Then there is babywearing, haircare, and the list goes on and on. On the more fun side, there are a few that focus on arts and crafts and activities to do with kids in and around their own city or South Africa. There are some that focus on family travel. Then there are others like myself, who on focus on a bit of everything to do with being a mom and raising children in South Africa.
Social Media Influences VS Bloggers
This is a abit of a broad statement. Some of the South African Mom Bloggers strictly focus on social media and do not own a website of their own. Others, like myself, have both social media and our own websites. Influencers fall more into the category of social media, however there are many influences who have a website as well, on which they “influence”. You don’t have to do both however social media pages are a great way to promote your blog/website. The more traffic to your site, the better.
Sharing our own experiences and opinions but not always
Alot of the time, we write from our own personal experiences, or our opinions on a particular subject. The readers however may have a completely different opinion. However, many articles published are based on fact and real effort has been made to do research in your favor. Research on subjects that can make a huge impact in your/your childs life. For example, I really appreciate the time and effort put into the #CarSeatFullStop initiative by Mandy Miller (visit the site here: CarSeatFullStop). All of the information provided in those articles and social media pages, are fully researched and will be of great benefit to you and your family.
Living a double life through pretty pictures on social media
I never knew how much I loved photography until I started blogging. Not only do I love capturing precious moments, but I also strive to share enjoyable content to my audience. Furthermore, it is equally important to me to share images that do justice to the brands I have collaborated with. This is by no means a way to portray a perfect life. No. Our lives are in no way perfect. Perhaps some alot closer to perfection than others, haha, but not perfection. Infact, if anything, we share the very same struggles that you do. We too have countless sleepless nights, killer migraines, laundry baskets with overflowing laundry, toast for dinner on some nights, and most definitely a green snotty nosed child on many occasions. And yes, we do leave the house with unironed clothing and no makeup from time to time. I’ve ticked all those boxes in the next photo!
The point is, we are not trying to portray a perfect life. We share what looks pretty, and not the wall with all the holes in it or the section of the house that has yet to be painted. It’s not a double life, even though many may say it is. It is called blogging. And that is ok. This is one of the many reasons I felt it necessary to write about what it is really like being a South African Mom Blogger.
Bashed for being honest
As mentioned earlier, we often don’t share the same sentiments as our readers. I once wrote an article on why I would never survive being a stay at home mom. The last thing I was trying to do was shame SAHM’s. Infact, if anything, I was trying to imply that being a SAHM is alot of hard work that may not always get the glory it deserves. But many of my readers felt that I was shaming SAHM’s in the article. I received many inbox messages on FB and the comments were unbelievable. But it’s ok. I get that writing about my opinion maybe be misunderstood from time to time. And that is ok too. At the end of the day, we are all entitled to our own opinions. I have mine, and you have yours. And that is completely ok. Right? You do you boo boo, you do you! (I finally get a chance to use that line!!!!)
A side hustle
For many, this is a side hustle. I don’t know of any South African Mom Bloggers who have managed to earn a consistent salary out of blogging alone. Or let alone ever match their salary. In other countries like the USA, sure. But not South Africa. There is potential, but not quite yet. We are not always paid for the work we do. At least not in money. Sometimes we do product exchanges, and other times we are paid (in money) for the work. And other times, we share content that the brands may not even be involved in, where we’ve bought the product ourselves.
Sadly, we are classified as freebie queens, by many. But, it is not all true. Yes there are many who are in it for all the free things, but not everyone. I once attended an event where one of the guest speakers (a well known celebrity) made a joke along the lines of “tell the mom bloggers, they would love the free stuff for their blog”. I was horrified. It made me feel bad. It made me feel like I didn’t want to be a South African Mom Blogger any longer. That all the hard work I put in was all for nothing. Just to be perceived as a freebie queen. The thing is though, blogging is not about the products and working with the most brands. Infact, many a time I’ve turned down a campaign because it just doesn’t align with the feel of my blog. That means I’ve ended up losing out on either product or pay. And that is ok. And hopefully we will get to a point where we are known for the hard work we put in and not the products we receive in exchange. But for now, whatever!
Getting products for sharing photos of our kids
That heading is slightly deceiving. Ok very deceiving. First of all, it is not easy to capture social media worthy pictures all the time. Sure anyone can take pictures. But it goes way beyond that. Second of all, we have actual lives. You know, the one where we have to work, and cook and clean and do homework, see to sick children, and relax when we get the chance. Taking pictures means taking out the time in your already busy day to get the kids dressed in decent clothing, make sure the angle you capturing from, is decent and then show/do the activity that is meant for the brand. Kids DO NOT cooperate easily. Especially toddlers. My almost tween complains and hates taking pictures. My toddler on the other hand cannot keep still. Ever, unless he’s sleeping. Ask any mom blogger and they will confirm that it takes 100 shots to get the shareable pictures. Maybe not exactly 100 haha but very close.
Get yo-self skilled up mama!
I am often asked what it is really like being a South African Mom Blogger, how to do it and where to start. Everyone’s story is kind of different though. I did a short web design course a while back. At the time I had no intentions of blogging. I wasn’t even a blog follower haha! But, that basic course helped me to create and design my website. It gave me the confidence to learn more about creating a user friendly website and how to make sure my website is found by you! Its not as simple as having a website created for you. Unless of course you pay someone to create your website and to update it with new blog posts and changes all the time. That will be quite costly. But becoming a blogger will inevitably involve doing alot of research into websites. Even if its reading one article a day to equip yourself with the knowledge needed.
Events events events
I work a full time job. This means I cannot always attend the events I’m invited to, which are usually for new product launches. If the brand has not invited me in advance, I might not be able to attend. I have to apply for annual leave like any regular full-time working mom. I don’t expect the time off from work for free when I am actually not being of any use to the company. And I think that is completely fair. What I love about attending events though, is that we are always completely spoiled, and in exchange, we give the brands exposure to our audience. There are three pro’s here: I get to be spoiled, the brand gets exposure to my audience, and my audience gets to be among the first to know about new products. Win-Win!
Exposed to all the behind the scenes mama blogger drama
Yeah theres loads that happens behind the scenes that we don’t talk about. Some do but not all. This is the life changing stuff I was referring to earlier. I guess you’re just going to have to become a Mom Blogger to learn what I’m talking about and then you’ll know what it is really like being a South African Mom Blogger, haha!
We brag ALOT!
Lol! We don’t actually. I see ya’ll hating on those unboxing Instagram stories and videos haha! But in all honesty, It’s not about bragging. You see, when a brand takes out the time to send us one of their products to enjoy, and especially when it has been thoughtfully put together, we pay back by sharing the product with our audience. We say thanks by giving their product/brand exposure to our audience.
Yes, being a South African Mom Blogger, is tough. And we do it anyway because we enjoy it. We love to write, and we love sharing with you what has worked for us in our motherhood journey. In writing this article though, I realized that I actually have so much to say on this topic. There is alot more to know on what it is really like being a South African Mom Blogger. So I’m thinking of writing a part 2 when I have the chance. Would you like a part 2? If so, comment below on what you’d like to know more about. Or you can email me 🙂
Tata for now