Well, my trip to Europe is just around the corner. I’m extremely nervous, yet excited! Even though being around my family tends to generate a boatload of dysfunction, I’m still looking forward to the procession of relatives, childhood friends and so on. Oh, and there is a small matter of visiting Spain (and even France, albeit briefly) for the first time. There was a little “situation” with lice earlier in the week, though I believe it has been resolved. My son is going to Europe wearing a stylish buzz haircut. Ugh, traveling with small kids is the worst. Wait, I’m not supposed to say that…
Anyway, I wanted to mention a few housekeeping items and figured since I have to put a post together anyway, might as well throw in some navel-gazing thoughts for a good measure. But first things first. I’ll be gone for close to two weeks, so there will be no new posts published by me during that time.
But fear not, you are in good hands. Nancy will be around and taking excellent care of the blog while I’m gone. You can email her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have a question. Of course, if you prefer, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com, but be aware that I may not be able to respond for few days.
Summer is a challenging time for stay-at-home moms who also run a blogging business. Why? Well, that’s usually when most families go on vacation (Nancy has two major ones this year). It’s also a time when kids are home. All. The. Time. That makes it tough to find a quiet moment, so creating useful material is a challenge, to say the least. But we intend to do our best to supply you guys with regular content during these upcoming months. Stay tuned for tidbits from our trips to Europe, Canada, Alaska, California etc. Oh my!
Nancy and I both love this gig despite the fact that it takes an enormous amount of time and energy to keep it going day after day, week after week. We don’t want to post drivel, and creating original content (that’s not stolen or rehashed) is very time-consuming. Then, of course, there are a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that also take time and energy.
Obviously, I’m not the best judge when it comes to quality of my own posts, I’m simply telling you about the effort I put in. Whether I succeed in my quest is not up to me to decide. And I’m not complaining because anything that’s worth anything takes work. Miles and points blogging is most certainly not a passive income stream.
It’s a very interesting work that constantly challenges me intellectually. And of course, interacting with you guys is the highlight of it all. This may sound corny, but I truly believe that we have the nicest, most appreciative readers in the hobby. I’m not sure if it’s because many of you have families and realize that time has value, so getting rewarded for spending all that time is NOT an unreasonable expectation.
Either way, we don’t take any of you for granted. We know you have many choices on blogs you can support, but I’m glad you choose this site day after day. Your comments, emails and credit card applications are what keeps this blog going.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the concept of time and how it slips away without you even realizing it. When I started this blog, I was a young-ish gal in my early thirties. Now? Well, let’s put it this way: I’m no longer a gal in my early thirties! It’s a sobering thought and a reminder that time waits for no one. It’s true for blogging as well as life in general.
This is the trip we took right after I officially launched the blog. I can’t believe how tiny my daughter looks on this photo! I can barely lift her now…
It has been a bumpy ride, to put it mildly. I honestly think I should start a blog teaching people on how NOT to blog. Every mistake in the book I’m guilty of making. And yet, when I wasn’t looking, our traffic doubled compared to what it was last year. And when I say I wasn’t looking, I mean it. I haven’t checked my overall stats trend in five months. I mostly look for comments and overall engagement, to give me an idea on whether the content connects with readers.
Of course, there is still a big challenge of trying to turn this thing into a sustainable business. Right now, we have “all of our eggs in one basket” kind of deal, and that’s not a good way to monetize a site. Profit wise, the blog is still very much in a start-up stage and I’m not sure things will ever change. That yuuge (!) money everyone gets via credit card affiliate links, that you keep hearing about? Not the case here. But I try not to dwell on it too much, though. And believe me, we greatly appreciate your support, however infrequent it is.
Balancing it all is still a big challenge because I want to live in the moment. Focusing on my family now is what really matters, not getting a Like on Facebook or another Twitter follower (though obviously, those things are important for growing a site). But I don’t want to be everywhere/all the time, aka the way bloggers are expected to do things. I want to be here, now.
But I don’t think of the blog as some sort of burden. After four years, this site is still very special to me and I hope it’s making a small difference in your life. I’m sure my blogging partner Nancy feels the same way I do. Yes, it takes a huge amount of time and energy to run it. Thank goodness for Nancy, a serious worker bee. I hope to someday compensate her better for everything she does around here. And she does so much!
Going back to the concept of time. I think more than anything else, blogging for me is a way to freeze time and put certain experiences and memories into a capsule of a post. Not everything is pretty or pleasant, but that’s life, isn’t it?
I hope you guys keep following us on this crazy journey!
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.