… And The Blogger Recognition Award Goes To …

In a COMPLETE surprise, I was nominated this week for the Blogger Recognition Award by Heather Brandon of Everything Happens in Threes. The award is intended to acknowledge the work of blogging community members, as well as share with readers the writers that we enjoy.

The pieces Heather shares on her site is awesome. They’re witty and informational (her post on changing a baby is a must-read), and I’m always excited to see what else she has to say. If you haven’t visited and subscribed to het blog, you need to do it now. (Well, not RIGHT NOW. Finish reading stuff on my blog first.)

Thank you, Heather, for the nomination and for the quality content.

Now to the award’s requirements:

Why did I start blogging?

Simple answer: My therapist, my friend, and my daughter.

My therapist suggested I start writing as a positive outlet. (I was dealing with some anxiety and anger over work, my marriage, parenting … the weather. You name it, I was anxious and angry about it.) My friend, Liz, suggested I start a blog as a way to bring in a little cash.

Baby Bird didn’t suggest that I become a blogger, but she was and is a major inspiration. I wanted to have a record of my experiences with and feelings for her, and I knew other women were experiencing and feeling just as I was. The blog worked as a diary of sorts and a way to make mom-friends around the world.

My advice for new bloggers

Pace yourself. I nearly flamed out before I’d been blogging for a full month.

My initial goal was to post twice a week, but once I started joining Facebook groups and seeing everything other bloggers were doing, I resolved to post four times a week.

WTF was I thinking?

Like I said, the blog was to be a record of my parenting experiences. I wasn’t experiencing enough to write four blog posts a week!

I’ve settled in at two or three posts each week (which really isn’t that much less stressful than four), and I’ve moved my editorial calendar out of my head and onto my computer.

Stop the comparisons. When I started The Messy Truth of Mommyhood, sites like Scary Mommy, The Rebel Mama, and My Brown Baby were my inspiration. No, not the content or its quality. The number of posts, readers, and followers.

In the beginning, a great week on this site was 150 views. I appreciated each person who visited the site, but I beat myself up a lot because I couldn’t “measure up” to the big dogs.

That was stupid. Don’t be stupid.

Those sites have LOTS OF PEOPLE writing for them. TEAMS OF PEOPLE keeping them running. I was doing everything on my own. As a newbie. With a newborn. And maybe postpartum depression.

Don’t compare your site to others — especially not the “big sister” sites.

Focus on making your content the best it can be. Readers, recognition, and advertisers will take notice. It might take some time, but it’ll happen.

Find a tribe. I was doing everything I could think of to make my site successful, and none of it seemed to be working. Then I discovered blogging groups on Facebook, and it was like the clouds started to break up.

The women I’ve connected with on social media have been instrumental in keeping me writing. They’re inspirational. They’re a fount of knowledge. They understand why I’m stressed about creating the perfect Pinterest pin.

You can’t blog in a vacuum. You need the support of other bloggers if you plan to do this long-term.

Passing the torch

Time for a roll call!

These 10 women have all written something (or many things) that’s resonated with me. Check out their sites. All are in different places in their blogging journeys, but I know you’ll find something on each site that makes you chuckle, give a knowing nod, or shed a tear.

Asia of Just Like You … I Am Every Woman
Christa of The Williams Party
MaryBeth of Diapers and Diamonds
Shan Dee of Blended with Grace
Christine of The Salty Mamas
Marge of Tiny Bits of Magic
Alana of Books, Kids and Travel
Ally of Autumndaize
Deirdre of C+ Mom
LaMonique of I Am LaMonique

Here are the rules of the road, ladies:

  1. Write a blog post about receiving this award.
  2. Thank the blogger who nominated you (ahem).
  3. Share how/why you started blogging.
  4. Give three pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award.
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