Today I'd like to introduce you to marketing mama Jen, from Heligirl. I met her through SITS and just love her writing style and positive attitude. You guys will love this post!***
My name is Jen and I had an addiction. I was addicted to seeing my blog hits, comments and RSS subscription numbers climb. In fact, I became so addicted that I began to cut into work, family and sleep time to network, write blog posts about anything, and comment on other blogs.
Then reality hit.
One night when looking over comments I realized that people were visiting my blog because I visited theirs. On a whole, eight out of 10 comments were from bloggers I visited and who were returning the favor. And just as I rarely visited them again, or only visited to return a comment, they did the same. It was a crushing realization – readers weren’t visiting Heligirl.com because they were enthralled by my stories and positive discipline articles. They were returning a comment favor. It was an incestuous affair of blogger help blogger, which don’t get me wrong, is a wonderful supportive thing. It’s just when I didn’t have the time to visit lots of people, my blog got mighty lonely and I got somewhat depressed over it all.
So I decided to let go.
Focusing on getting hits and comments was taking attention away from the quality of my content (not to mention time with my family). And as the quality declined, so did that handful of readers who really did love the blog. I was writing just to post and I had to admit reading my own mundane stuff was making me want to unsubscribe to my own drivel some days. I was so embarrassed.
I don’t look at my stats more than once a week now. I’ve also had to work to stop counting comments on my blog as signs of my popularity, or more accurately, lack thereof. Because, the fact of the matter is, when you’re just focused on writing from your heart, you never know who might notice.
Case in point is “Sarah” from Nerdy Apple Bottom, the cop’s wife who does not remain silent. Until Nov. 2 of this year, she was an unknown blogger with a handful of blog buddies and a blog full of 2-5 comment posts. At times she even suggested no one was listening.
And then the world did.
By simply living her life then posting a rant about something that happened – her son asked to be Daphne from Scooby Doo for Halloween and she got flack from his fellow preschooler’s moms – she became the center of a sexuality controversy. Her post, My Son Is Gay, currently has close to 46,000 comments. Forty-six thousand! And her site had more than 2 million hits by Nov. 4 (two days after making that post). She was giving interviews to CNN, Good Morning America and the like while she received both supporting responses mixed with hate mail.
Now, I’m not suggesting writing an overly controversial post, unless your intention is very much to get both positive and negative attention. My point is you never really know if or when the spotlight will shine on your blog, and if it suddenly does, what will people learn about you?
Sarah didn’t think anyone was listening. She just wrote from the heart.
While there is a lesson there about treating every blog post as if it was viewed by the world, because, let’s be honest, it could be, I believe another lesson there is putting your heart into your work first. There is certainly a place for networking and marketing your blog, but before you can successfully do that, you have to have good, powerful content.
If you’re struggling to get your blog off the ground, my advice is to focus on your content first. Take the time to post good stuff instead of lots of stuff. Stay true to yourself, edit your work for mistakes, follow Melissa's advice for better writing, and most importantly, only post work you’re proud to share with the world.
Once you start sharing from your heart, networking and building a following will flow with ease as folks want to come back for more, and they tell their friends.
And who knows, you too could be called to share your experience on CNN.
Jen is a mom of two, a part time public relations manager, a freelance journalist, dog mom and a licensed helicopter pilot in Seattle. She's also the Mommy behind Heligirl.com, a helpful and humorous mommy blog dedicated to sharing positive parenting tools that help develop capable, happy, secure children.
This article was originally posted on my other site, Adventuroo, where it racked up over 20 comments. To see the great conversations within those comments, visit this post on Adventuroo.
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Hey- I'm Melissa! I'm a mom, side hustler, online course instructor, and brand marketer. I run a 6-figure blog helping online biz owners find their a-ha moments with can-do tips, tutorials, and online courses. I also work at Burt's Bees as the assistant manager of Brand Engagement (yep, it's as cool as it sounds). Jump start your biz productivity with my free worksheet!