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Can I Just Take a Minute and Talk about Some Awesome Mom Bloggers?

First, I personally am not a fan of the term “mom bloggers.” Mainly because when I tell people I write for my blog and they say something like “Oh, a mom blogger” with air quotes, I tend to roll my eyes at their ignorance and their shrug of shoulders. I think some folks have an opinion that a “mom blogger” is someone who dallies around on the Internet and “tries” to be some kind of writer.

Not everyone thinks like this, I know, and some people I tell get it and are interested in what it means. But for the most part, I think there is a reality that lots of folks just don’t understand about what all goes into creating, writing, and sharing content for a blog. Just like I don’t fully get everything my husband does at work, he doesn’t get everything I do on my work at home. There. Enough on that.

Secondly, I have had so many mixed emotions on my journey as a writer who has a blog, that if I started taking shots every time I changed my mind about something, or started something on my blog and let it go, I’d be a walking drunken mess.

When you get into this “blogging” world, you are inundated with so much advice and tips and “do this” or “do that,” that you are kind of prone to take up drinking. OK, maybe not drinking alcohol, but I bet the caffeine intake goes up a notch or two for most of us.

With that being said, there are some amazing women I have crossed paths with along the way. What I love about these ladies is that I have a different relationship with each of them but we all have so many similarities that we can gather around each other  (virtually that is!) and encourage one another all the same. I would not categorize these women as the air quoted “mom bloggers.” These ladies can write and are well worth the read.

I have had an interesting week working on my blog and collaborating with other writers and free lancing on the side side side side (insert eye roll) and have sought each of these ladies in one way or another for advice or encouragement. Sometimes I just head over to their site to see what they’ve been up to and find good-for-my-soul encouragement that is exactly what I needed to hear at that exact moment.

Friends, that is something special to have in the online world of writers. While not a one of us have met each other in person, I feel as though I could catch up with them easily at a cozy coffee shop. We have grown in our friendships over the last year and I think we have some more years ahead of us in store.

I would encourage you to not just find your mom tribe, but cultivate it too.

 

I have learned too many times that friendships must be cultivated and lifted up in order keep them.

When I say that I am inspired by these women, I don’t just mean they give me warm fuzzy feelings. I’m not just trying to make someone feel better here. I mean these women make me think about the different facets of my life and in the end, make me a better a person. That’s the kind of friendship I want to keep alive.


Meet Abbie. She writes over at www.grumblinggrace.com and has one of the funnest Instagram feeds and genuine hearts. I love her sense of humor yet sensitivity that she brings to motherhood with her faith. She has the ability to make me laugh and cry all in one sitting. If you ever need that extra mom umph in your life, you need to have her in your social feed. Abbie is a woman of integrity who takes what she does seriously, but is sure not to take herself too seriously.


Say hello to Aimee. She is a writer with so much depth and grit and fierceness that sometimes I think her words were literally meant just for me. Aimee has an amazing ability to connect with her readers no matter where they are at in motherhood. She is incredibly honest in her words and strives to lift you up. She is someone you always want on your side. Be sure to check out her writing over at www.mamacentric.com.


And then there’s the fabulous Emily. She writes at www.emilyfisk.com. Emily has such a sweet spirit and I find that when she writes about her journey as a mom, she has a way of softly prodding my conscience to stay focused on my own path as a mom and be sure to cheer on and wave at the other moms across the way. Emily’s ability to remind me to forget about the others and do my own best me is one of the things I love about her.


Harmony is one of the strongest, most confident women I have met online. She has an amazing faith and unwavering belief that I am always drawn to her writing. Even though Harmony is a straight shooter, she has never made me feel less than in my beliefs. She has a way with her writing that doesn’t tear me down, but provokes me to be more. She writes over at www.mywanderingheartsong.wordpress.com.


There’s something about Christina that makes you feel empowered as a mom. I don’t know if it’s because she gives me recipes like macaroni and cheese and makes me feel healthy about it or if it’s her never ending encouragement she gives to all her readers, but she is a writer to follow. She is so patient with others and only wants to cheer you on as you walk your path in motherhood (and she might serve you up a smoothie while she’s at it!). Definitely peruse her writing over at www.thewholecook.com.


Marisa is a writer who is so humble and so rawly honest, that you can’t help but read what God presses on her heart. She has an elegant flow to her words and a quiet boldness about her that I am always left with my heart feeling full. Sometimes she makes me feel full of wonder or full of rightly pointed questions, but either way, she is a writer to keep your eye on. She writes at www.brokencookiessite.wordpress.com.


And I could not, will not, ever forget about Lisa Leshaw. If there was ever a genuine lover of people, it’s Lisa Leshaw. I don’t think I have ever met someone online who cheers on other writers as much as she does. She is an ambassador of hope for writers. Lisa would not ever call herself a prolific encourager, but that makes her all the more genuine. I met her as a fellow writer at Her View From Home and it wasn’t long before she sent me a friend request on Facebook. What’s funny about Lisa, is that she is friends with so many of us writers and she genuinely is always interested in how you are doing and that yesterday was your sister’s birthday party. She’d love to hear all about it. There’s no way I could list all the places she’s probably been published but I know one of her places she likes to call home is Her View From Home. Check out some of her writing here.


Like any other mama, we’re all flawed and have our strengths and weaknesses.

What’s beautiful about the relationships we form with one other is our ability to grow someone in their strengths and help them along the way when they are weak with our own strengths, making our bond that much stronger.

I hope you’ll take a minute to say hello to these ladies by visiting their sites and their writing.
Peace to you mamas,
Glo

Why I Made my Blog Instagram a Private Account

He looks at me with the sweetest smile and oatmeal all over. This kid can eat. At 11 months old and baby-led weaning under our belts, this kid likes to stuff his face. And he’s pretty stinkin’ cute when he does it. Many times I find that in these sweet moments, that I would like to take a picture and share with some friends. I am aware that not all moments need to be social mediaized, and there is a time and place for everything.

I find that I am one of those parents that thinks twice before posting family pics online.
I have to ask myself what is my motivation for posting this. Is it for the likes? Is it to just be fun? Is it to form relationships with other moms? I know, that ultimately, whatever you put on the Internet is accessible to anyone in all reality, but I like to think that I have a little bit of control over the privacy of who sees in to my daily life.

So when I take this cute oatmeal-breakfast-face picture of my son and want to post it on Instagram to share with some great women that I’ve met through writing, and remember that I have a public Insta account, I sometimes hold back. What is it about a picture that seems more intimate than a tweet? I know my son can be walking down the road and many people can see him, so what’s the difference? The difference is that I can control my Instagram more than I can control public observation. And I want to be able to share some photographic moments of our everyday life with a blogging friend I have up in Canada for Pete’s Sake. I have another Insta account that is very local to my private life but I like having my blogging friends and I don’t want to mess with always thinking about what to post here or there, so I decided to make my blog Instagram account a private one and not worry about it.

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This means that I also decided to unfollow a lot of people because, honestly, Instagram has become a fun outlet and  I don’t need a large platform there anyways for my writing. And the result? I had a lot of folks unfollow me, and that’s OK. We weren’t true to each other anyways.

I started out writing with the mentality of following people I am genuinely interested in and not just because I want to beef up my numbers.


In the end, my blog is a hobby and that’s OK. And that’s a whole other post for another day. 


I know it’s probably blasphemous to say that I have a private Instagram account for my blog, but in the end, having a large number takes me away from the community that I am so enjoying right now. This isn’t some kind of blurb to validate to myself about having a small following. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with building your numbers and having a large following. So much good can come from those two things! I have other social media accounts that I want to build and will over time. Again, that whole blogging as a hobby thing. But pictures of my daily life just seem a little more private to me and I want to keep it that way.

It’s hard writing about this and hopefully not making another mom blogger feel judged. I certainly don’t care whether your profile is public or not! Clearly this is not something that rings true for every mom blogger out there. There are many bloggers out there whose family is part of their community and that is OK!! I love those kinds of writers out there and follow some of them!

I just know that for me and where I am at in my writing journey, I don’t need another It Works Wrap Mom DMing me  and spamming my account just to get a response from me (and if you’re a friend of mine who is a Wrap Mama, then you already know how I feel about spamming me and we’re on the up and up!). I just know that I don’t need to have another blogger follow me just to follow me. I don’t need to follow them just to follow them. If I am going to stay authentic to myself, then this is a choice for me.

And what’s even more reassuring about this, is the readers who are loyal to my writing and who are following me because they have a connection with me, they are the ones who will most likely be reading this and commenting anyways. 🙂

Cheers,
Glo

 

 

One App Every Blogger Needs

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Sitting at my computer, I exhale in frustration because I just got done reading this great article by one of my blogging friends and I wanted to keep it to share on my social media for a later date. A few clicks later I see one of my friends with a hilarious photo that I would love to keep for another time to give them a shout out later in the week. I am always finding myself coming across all these great people on the Internet and I just want to gobble it all up and tell others about how great they are.

Then there are my own photos that I create that I want to share the next day. Or maybe I would like to share one of my older posts that encourages other blogger moms along the way. I don’t know about you but I get overwhelmed by all this. I get overwhelmed when they say you need to post to Facebook at least three times a day and try to post on Twitter, you  know, like every two minutes. Don’t even ask me about Bloglovin’ or StumbleUpon. I can barely catch my breath on them.

What I do know is that I needed something that I could have on hand to easily share my content and the content of others. I wanted something that I could easily schedule posts so I could leave my phone on my bedside in the mornings while I eat pancakes with my little guy. Something that would share my favorite recipe on Sundays to help other moms start their week. Oh, and something FREE.

I found Buffer. It’s free. It’s easy. It’s perfect for my blogging needs. And for the record. I am just sharing this because I want to. Buffer doesn’t even know I exist, so there’s no bias here. OK, I guess they might since I have an account with them, but yah know.

Let me quickly tell you a few features of Buffer that I love:

1) You can sign up with one of your social media accounts or sign up with an email address.
2) They have the most popular accounts you can link to for publication (Twitter, Facebook (page or personal), Google Plus, and Linkedin. They also have a Pinterest option but that is not part of the free stuff.
3) They have an app for your phone and an extension for your web browser.
4) They provide you easy analytics to see how your posts perform during what times of day, etc.

Number three is MY FAVORITE because this is where I need help the most.

When I am reading someone else’s great article that I want to share, or if I want to easily share one of my own at a later time, the extension button in the bookmark bar is AWESOME. It’s easy to add and looks like this when you add it.

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When you click this button, a nice little pop up window appears and you can type whatever you want about the article, pick what account you want to “buffer” it to and share it right away, or MY FAV feature, set it to publish at another time. What’s great too is if you need to tag someone in the post, you can easily do this from within the extension. Just start typing their name beginning with “@” just like you would normally do.

I also love how the Buffer icon hoovers over any image on a web page in the browser where the Buffer extension is installed. Example is pictured below. I have the Pinterest extension in my browser and it is awesome having this with buffer too!

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(Another little secret not pictured, if you click on any selected text from a site, and right click, the buffer icon appears there too.)

Here is a quick shot of the buffer app while you are on your desktop viewing Facebook.

YES. AWESOMENESS.

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So what about those times when I am not at my desktop but on my phone and I want to share one of my own posts later or someone else’s image? Enter the Buffer app. Like the account they offer for desktop, their app is free too! Once you download it, and sign in on your phone, the app immediately walks you through how to add them in your sharing bar when you go to share anything on your phone, from a picture to a website to a tweet to a Facebook post. It is AWESOME. Once you add it to your sharing bar it will look like this when you click on your “share” icon on your phone. I have a photo for my iPhone, but this applies to Android devices too.

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So why might this change your world as a blogger?

Obviously it is nice to have a tool that is easy to use that helps you publicize your work.

Why do I love this app?

Because I got my sanity back. I was going nuts always trying to figure out when and how to post all these ideas and articles and pictures that I had stored all over the place, that I finally found a solution to streamline everything.

Have a great post that you want to resurface? Plan to tweet and retweet and Facebook it 30 days from now if you want to! Have a friend blogger whose article you just love and would fit in with your theme of DIY for the holidays? Plan it to post on the weekend.

This app also allows bloggers more time to interact with their readers about their posts, instead of spending tons of time trying to get the content out there. I feel like I have much more time during certain parts of the day (OK, the 10 minutes while my kid picks Cheerios off the floor) to say hello to readers!

Having this easy tool has made life a little simpler for me. I just thought I would do a quick share of my experience for those who are still looking for something that works for them.


When I wake up in the morning, I’m not worried about trying to meet the crowds online because Buffer is doing that for me. I can enjoy those pancakes with my son.


I know as blogs grow, bloggers need a stronger post planner, and maybe some day I will move to that option! What about you? Do you use a post planner app that you couldn’t live without? Is it a free one?

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Life Is Not About Likes

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Mother’s Day has come and pass, but I am still cozied up on my couch, taking in all that’s around me. My family. My home. This new life I am living as a stay-at-home-mom.

As I started to thumb through Facebook last night, I had to remind myself that what I had that morning, the breakfast and laughs with my family, that is what matters. NOT the responses I got on Facebook.

If you’re like me, sometimes this is hard to remember. I am honored to be published on Her View From Home where I talk a little more about my struggle with social media, If you struggle keeping your peace sometimes when you start comparing and looking at the numbers, then I would love for you to click over and read my post.

If it resonates with you, would you be so bold to share it with others to remind them of the Truth?

Thanks friends, and Happy Monday! Cheers to a GREAT week!!

Gloryanna

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Dear Readers: I Haven’t Been Honest Lately

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I woke up at about 1:00 AM with a long night of tossing and turning. The fan droned in the background as my thoughts just wouldn’t stop. I had started to feel it a few weeks back. This feeling of always being unsettled. It was like I couldn’t breathe. I was questioning myself. Worried about what people were thinking.

As someone who likes to write and put it out there on the Internet in hopes that it reaches someone and meets them where they’re at, you are always running the risk of anxiety. Worry that someone will misunderstand what you’re trying to say. Worry that you’ve said too much about your perspective that you end up crossing the line of someone else’s privacy. Worry that you sound, well, like a jerk maybe. Judgmental. Whatever it is, you worry about the representation your words bring to the table.

Worry that you might lose yourself in the process and start writing for your audience instead of yourself.

At 1:00 AM in the deep of the night I had lost myself. Lost myself to a world that I slowly walked into.

When I started blogging, I knew that this was something God wanted me to do. I had made a big transition in my life going from a teacher to a stay-at-home-mom and I saw writing as an outlet. I saw writing as a way to still “teach” others one might say. I saw writing as a way to encourage others in their relationship with Christ. It didn’t matter if you were a mom or dad or aunt or uncle. What once was a vision to write to edify others, became a morphed road that I hijacked. God showed me an opportunity and I grabbed it with greedy hands and let it devour me.

In the middle of the night I was starving to know why I was empty without any of the peace I had once had when I started this little blog. Scenes started triggering my mind.

The first trigger came in a conversation I had with my sister. She made a comment about who my target audience is in my writing and she said, “Well you are writing towards stay-at-home-moms, right?” My response was that writings about my faith and walk with Christ could be for anybody. Later that night I couldn’t shake that feeling. The feeling that I had veered off what my original intent was with all this writing. I wanted to reach anyone in their faith. Not only moms, let alone stay-at-home-moms. Granted, God has given me this new role of being a mom, so there will definitely be times I write about that journey, but forgiveness? Grace? Those are for everyone. Looking over some choices I’ve made, my writing has become well, a little like tunnel vision and I feel like I am becoming blind.

The second trigger came when I got sucked into the bumpy road that is social media and started equating my writing success based on the interactions I would get via social media. God has opened my eyes to these sneaky, yet heavy chains and is growing in me about it. At this point, I rarely check my blog stats anymore and try to keep all social media outlets to a minimum. I use a post planner for social media as much as I can so I don’t have to actually be on it all the time. God has broken the chains in this department and His peace is starting to fill me up more. If you want to talk about losing your peace in a snap, spend too much time on Facebook. Let me just say, and as obvious as it might sound, life is not about likes. But that is another post for another day.

The third trigger came when I was cleaning up old photos on my computer and the original photo with my blog tagline popped up. It was only a few months ago, but in that time I had completely forgotten. I had chosen the name of this site for a couple of reasons. As we go through this life, we are constantly moving through the different seasons, and they happen in the blink of an eye. The baby that won’t sleep through the night? It’s only a season. The rough patch with your friend? It’s only a season. Not so much as in, “it’s only a season, get over it.” No, it’s like it’s only a season, slow down, work through it, or pause and enjoy it. Enjoy this season because it will go so fast. While I was pregnant with Asher, I clinged to Ecclesiastes 3:1

For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.

Asher was 12 days late and this verse was the only thing that got me through that time of waiting. Knowing that everything happens in its time. Hence, my blog name was born.

What I didn’t plan for, was to let myself get sucked into a blogging world I wasn’t ready for. THERE IS SO MUCH OUT THERE FOR BLOGGERS. It is overwhelming. I soon became engrossed in approval addiction and statistics for viewership on my site. I slowly started writing differently, driven by these suffocating emotions. I sort of gave myself this “momblogger” identity that I hadn’t originally planned to be. I changed my website header, got rid of the Bible verse and started brainstorming like crazy over all these topics I could write about that would draw in the mom crowd. All the while, losing my identity as a writer. You would think as a mom, that writing about being a mom is a no brainer.

I have met some awesome mom bloggers and I have gained some phenomenal support from women in the blogging world. Unfortunately, I let some of these circumstances change my goal for writing. Instead of staying honest to myself and writing about what God was revealing to me in my heart, the raw, honest stuff about my faith, I started writing about the best way to cook homemade dinner rolls. Instead of writing about God changing my character as a wife, I started writing about the best baby food meals. Don’t misunderstand me. There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing about these things and I love reading about them and the world needs this stuff!! What became wrong for me is that I wasn’t writing about what I knew I should be. Writing became a struggle each time I sat down at the computer. Posting on social media became a task. The joy was slipping away.

I have realized that I haven’t been honest with you because I haven’t been honest with myself. I have been so busy writing to appeal to the masses at times, that I have lost site of why I originally started this. So, all of this to say that if you’ve been following me along this bumpy way, and have seen how I keep changing on here, well, I can’t guarantee that it won’t happen again, but hopefully you’ll see the real me continuing to emerge and it will encourage you in some way. Hopefully, you’ll draw closer to God in your relationship with Him.

I’m not in this to make money or some kind of blogging celebrity fame. I just want to write. I just want to stay honest to myself and be comfortable in my own skin. I don’t know if I’ll keep falling into the category of a #momblogger or #faithblogger or maybe #mombydaybloggerbynight.

Better yet how about a Child of the true God who writes for His kingdom.

I know one thing for sure. I will stay true to the calling God has placed on my heart right now and that is to grow closer to Him on this journey. Even if this writing gig is only for a season.

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5 Survival Tips for New Bloggers

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An original version of this post appeared on livingfornaptime.com

Sigh. I look at the stats and only a handful of views for my new post. OK, put the phone down. Wait to check for like 15 minutes this time. Eeeek. I can’t. The adrenaline is irresistible. Oh boy, one more view than two minutes ago! Progress! Yessss!

You Can’t Be All Things to Everyone

And so are the thoughts of many new bloggers as we embark on this new journey of putting ourselves out there in the blogosphere. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started my blog about sixish months ago. I remember thinking to myself I just want to write. This is my release and I need this. Then it morphed into I just want to encourage others. I want others to feel like they aren’t alone. Someone else has been there. Then you start picking up steam and think you need to write about everything. You start thinking I’m a genius. I need to let other people know about this awesome thing I have discovered. Everyone needs to know that you can knit underwear in five minutes.

Before you know it you feel like your blog is all over the place and last time you checked the stats on your phone, things felt pretty stagnant. All that work you’ve put in to try and be versatile, then trying to be coherent, then back to being versatile, then OK, I’m going to keep a focused content on my blog this time. You feel like no matter what you do, you come up empty handed with hardly any new followers to show for it. Why is it that us new bloggers get sucked into this? Whether you lose focus and keep trying to reinvent your blog or stay focused but feel like your progress is “meh,” many bloggers come to some sort of crossroads at some point.

I decided to survey a group of bloggers. I was interested to see how they got in the game and how they survive the journey. I gotta say, reading the responses were incredibly enlightening. I started flipping through the sheets of responses and not only did I notice a similar trend of advice from veteran bloggers to new bloggers, but I noticed a similar struggle amongst us newbies. It was like the new blogger was speaking their frustrations into the wind, hoping for a change, while the veteran bloggers were whispering back keys to stay the course. While I initially was going to make this article a little more about statistics, my muse sent me in another direction. Thank goodness, because any time the muse shows up, I must bow down.

I needed to write about this. To write this for me. I wanted to write this for the new blogger. I wanted to write this to remind veteran bloggers. We bloggers must never forget these life blood tips from our very own. The ones who have been there. I pulled these from the mouths of the very ones who have traversed the line of success and a mess, but always pushing forward to better themselves as writers.

Write about what is important to you and stay the course. Don’t get caught up in appealing to the masses.
Write what you love. Write what you feel, not what you think others want to read. I find this hard at times. I see other blogs thriving and easily get caught up in tweaking my blog to some similar version of someone else’s. I mean, if they have a gazillion likes then they must be dong something right! Yes, and no. They are doing what’s right for them. Trying to do your content based on what you see out there working for someone else will most likely lead you down a path of writing destructiveness. Yes, cliche comment coming but just be yourself. Let your own personality come through and learn to harness your own creativity over whatever topic fits you. Come on people, there are a bazillion mom bloggers out there writing about their life as a mom and tons of them are successful. You know why? Because they write about what’s important to them.

Write because you want to, not to receive validation.
I keep going back to that image of my staying sucked to my phone checking stats. While I like to think I’m a little more lax about it, boy those first few months I couldn’t get enough of my stats reader. It would be arrogant and ignorant to say stats don’t matter at all as you write. Maybe for some, stats don’t carry much weight. For the rest of us, remember to walk the balance of learning from your readers but not being controlled by them. So you have a certain page that gets the most views? Great, keep developing that page IF you feel good about it. Don’t change everything you enjoy about your site just for that statistic. I have easily been sucked into the numbers game and finally decided to go with what I felt most confident with my writing. While I am learning to be patient as my readership grows, I am not defined by them. I should be defining my readers.

Connect. It is the life blood of bloggers.
It is easy to get isolated in the blogging world, so get yourself out there and join a blogging group or two. I did not realize how rad the blogging world can be until I started joining blogging groups. The more I started engaging in our own community, the better I started to feel. The more you give the more you receive. You can’t make it blogging very long by yourself. You need the help and advice of other bloggers. If you aren’t part of Naptime Nation Facebook group. Join. Trust me. It is a life saver and I have not found a woman in that group who tore another writer down for her success. Choose to encourage those around you who are success. It will make you a better writer in the long run. Stay out of the vortex that is jealousy. Lindsay from Pinch of Yum has some great tips about fighting jealousy and being supportive of our fellow bloggers.

Write. Write. Write. And BE PATIENT.
The more you write, the better you’ll be. Focus on producing quality content and the rest will fall into place. Be patient. Good things can come from being patient. Patient as your writing skills grow. Patient as you grow your number of followers. Patient as you wait to hear back from ScaryMommy to see if your piece gets published. Patience doesn’t mean sitting on your hands. Keep working your butt off to engage your readers to grow your readership, but as we all know, most empires take time to build. Build your blog by writing, writing and writing some more. Be patient as you continue to learn the process and learn from others. “As one blogger said from our survey, “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s midpoint/end because at one point, they were right where you are now.” Nuff said.

I couldn’t write this list without adding the most popular, beefy tip from our fellow bloggers.

DON’T GIVE UP.
Don’t get discouraged by your stats. Learn from them, but don’t live or quit writing by them. Don’t rush. Blogging is a forever learning experience. Enjoy where you’re at. OK, begging for some sponsors with your media kit may not sound all that enjoyable, but remember why you started this in the first place. Keep that in the forefront as you move forward and remember what is important and obsess less about what isn’t. Capiche?

An original version of this post appeared on livingfornaptime.com

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5 Reasons Mom Bloggers Rock

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Have you ever Googled “mom blogs” before? Talk about overload. Upon my Googling adventures I saw writers out there saying that there are almost 4 million ladies who call themselves a mom blogger. Holy Buckets. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started blogging. Seriously, talk about sticking your head back in the sand.

I first started out posting here or there, not really worried about which way I was going. When I wanted to put more focus and energy into this “hobby,” in hopes of making some moolah off my writing someday, I realized I needed support. I needed to figure out what the heck I was doing and where I wanted to go. I did what anyone would do before they get ready for the big game. You stalk your opponents.

As I began spending way too much time late into the night reading and ciphering through a gazillion mom blogger sites, I started noticing a trend. Not only were my opponents pretty flipping awesome, but they were team players. These amazamoms are out there, cheering on the next mom, encouraging her to write her story and be vulnerable to the spectators. It didn’t take long for me to realize that we’re on the same team and that we’re pretty rad. If I had to narrow it down, I’d say these are the five reasons mom bloggers rock.

We are the masters at multitasking.
You know what I love about mom bloggers? They are constantly mind blowing me with their talent. Not just their talented writing, but their ability to to keep on balancing mama life and everything else that demands their attention. How is it possible that a mom can write, work, chase kids, love husband, write, work, rinse and repeat and still put herself out there time after time to share with her readers? Because we are awesome. I heard once that being a mom puts you in the top ten list of a job that requires you to make the most decisions in a day. I think some people equate a mom blogger as someone who watches Netflix all day. If they only knew the time and energy we expend as a mom then tack on whatever else it is we do–work away from home, work at home, travel, maybe have the ability to cook or clean, having to help take care of the place in which you live…. I’m getting exhausted just writing this.

We remember to pause, breathe and enjoy where we’re at.
There’s nothing that can keep you more grounded then writing about your life or your experiences and then realizing you need to enjoy what you’re writing about. If I want to write about #enjoyingtheride then I need to actually do it. That’s why I told my husband we need to take a vacation to Ireland, so I can write about it. Fingers crossed people.

We cheer each other on.
I would be amiss if I said jealousy is not a force to be reckoned with as you enter the mom blogging world. I think you have to make a choice if you choose to join the #momblogginghood. You can either choose to let jealousy eat away your talent and motivation or keep your eyes ahead on your own path and learn to appreciate the ladies you identify with. I hear #momtribe alot these days and love the unity this term brings. No matter how we all write, we’re all moms and we can all identify with what that means.

We like to write.
Do I really need to add to this? We enjoy writing  when many others would rather take a chainsaw to their toenails before they sat down to listen to the muses out there and write about it. We are a special breed who choose to use our “spare” time to write. #mamaswhowrite

We are diverse. 
Like I said, I was overwhelmed when I started connecting with other mom bloggers because it seemed like we were all “competing” for the same thing–page views, followers, readership numbers, blah, blah. Honestly, I was intimidated by all these awesome ladies. But you know what? There are a bazillion love songs that say I love you in a bazillion different ways and we keep on listening to them. There are a bazillion moms writing about that one recipe that will kick off your holiday weekend or 10 ways to get your kids to bed before it’s too late or 5 reasons mom bloggers rock, but behind each screen is a woman whose perception on life is different than yours. A woman who reminds you that there is more than one way to make a cake. A woman who reminds you that you are an awesome mom. A mom who identifies with your loss, your gains. A mom who rocks .

P.S. I’m totally digging the 5 hashtags for the 5 reasons. Sheesh, I’m obsessed.

 

 

 

 

What’s Up with Fake Follows?

 

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I recently created an Instagram account for my blog. I had a personal one, but felt like I needed to promote my blog separately and since Instagram recently created a way to have multiple accounts on your phone and I have a new email address by having Blue Host for my WordPress site, long sentence short, I joined the blogging world of Instagram.  I use Twitter and honestly, that started out as a personal account, which I never used, so I switched up to be my an outlet for my blogging. I noticed an interesting trend that began as I beefed up my use of #hashtags. One day I would have some new followers, so what was 100 followers now is 105 followers. The next day, my followers number would be 99. What? That’s when I discovered fake follows.

I guess I’m somewhat oblivious to some of the “follow” rules out there. I came across a post from a blogger I particularly like, and Courtney mentions that bloggers should cut out all that “follow for follow” crap. Really? This exists? Apparently I’ve had my head in the clouds, but I didn’t realize this was a thing. Why would I follow someone just because they started following me?

 

I feel like this is just another example of why social media has created folks to be obsessed with themselves. Don’t get me wrong. I have clearly fallen into this trap from time to time. I mean if one of my Facebook photos doesn’t get 50 likes within 30 minutes, then clearly it was not worthy enough.

 

But really, I don’t follow anyone unless I’m interested in seeing the content they put out there and I would never expect someone I choose to follow to follow me back “just because.” If this is some kind of social media etiquette, then whoever invented this “rule” was probably some super, narcissistic crazy person who feeds off of numbers. Numbers are not the end all to why I write. I write because it’s my outlet. I write because I can. I write because I hope to encourage someone else. I write to blow off steam. I write for a good laugh. If you aren’t interested in what I have to say, then by all means, don’t follow me. I want the authentic. I want the curious. I want the genuine readers.

So what about the people who do follow you? I was talking to my friend about this and she mentioned people who start following someone, like a blogger or a “typical civilian” expect a return. If you’re Beyonce then it’s not expected for a follow back. Duh. But an “average Joe”? Their is an expectation they will be followed back. What will I do with people who follow me? I’ve started sending a “thank you” message. Saying, “I noticed you noticed me. You are awesome. Thank you!” And if I’m interested in their profile and what they have out for everyone to see, I will follow back. If they put out content that is about knitting underwear for their family for Christmas, then I might not be interested. I don’t think I would ever have the patience to knit, let alone knit underwear. There’s nothing wrong with knitting underwear. I’m just not interested in that topic and it doesn’t seem like a topic I would branch out on either. Nothing personal, people. Sheesh.

Do you follow people back if they follow you? Do you agree or disagree? Why?

Do you follow backPIN