Friday, January 19, 2007

You never know who could be reading your blog...

by Paula Neal Mooney

Look where He brought me from
Everybody just
Look where He brought me from
He brought me from a mighty long way

The lyrics to Tye Tribbett's "Mighty Long Way" song are rotating around my brain as I reflect on how far Jesus has taken this blog since its inception.

Back on December 13, 2005, I put up my very first post called Motherless, an essay that had been printed originally in Akron Family magazine. Two days later (woo I was really bloggin' fast!) I put up my Becoming Daddy's Girl essay, and was amazed when Tink over at Pickled Beef found it and left what would become my first blog comment ever. (I got that shocking, intrusive yet belonging feeling I get whenever someone IMs me.)

My next blog comment was from some guy who had half-naked women on his site, so I deleted his comment. (Back then my sense of morality was greater than my blind desire for the high rankings that come with lots of link love...unlike now...just kidding...I hope...)

All About the Print Mags
Back then I was still a print mag dinosaur and trying to do everything I could to break into the Seven Sisters. I only began this blog to have an online medium that displayed my print work to potential editors.

I still looked down on online writers, especially those daily bloggers whom I assumed were keeping the world up to date on their navel lint. Then an Akron Family editor took a few of us writers to lunch.

"Are you looking for more blog traffic?" fellow writer Jill Miller Zimon over at Writes Like She Talks asked me across the table.

"Yeah!" I answered enthusiastically, barely knowing what "blog traffic" was at that point. Jill kindly asked Brewed Fresh Daily -- a blog about news-stuff around Cleveland, Ohio, to blogroll me and my blogging career was off.

When Opportunity Emails
Off to a stall, that is, until I got hip to the benefits of daily blogging. But despite all my best efforts of working mentions of "my blog" into conversations with friends and family, it still felt like no one was really reading.

But then our goofy Cosmo Kramer let his inner rage out. Beyonce mentioned a fast. My blog traffic skyrocketed. Friends and family began startling me when they mentioned they'd been reading my blog.

The fullness of time was coming, and the Lord was turning folks' hearts to my blog in ways that no SEO could. And if the recent sad lay-offs in the print departments of great magazines like Time and countless newspapers across the country have taught me nothing, it's that blog writing is anything but the mindless fluff I originally assumed it to be.

This was more solidified yesterday when I received an email from Andi Buchanan, author of Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute of It, one of those awesome, well-written "mommy tomes" that I've devoured since becoming a mother five years ago.

In the line of Because I Said So : 33 Mothers Write About Children, Sex, Men, Aging, Faith, Race, and Themselves, Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families, and To Hell with All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife, Andi's hardcover is one of those expose-mothering-for-what-it-really-is books I always dreamed of writing.

So you can imagine how much I freaked out and smiled and praised God when Andi chose my blog as the 10th blog on a HarperCollins 10-blog tour to discuss an upcoming book, Babyproofing Your Marriage: How to Laugh More, Argue Less, and Communicate Better as Your Family Grows. (Check for the post next Friday.)

It's strange and wonderful when an author whose name you've seen gracing the cover of books on Borders display shelves jumps out and into your email box, proving they're a real person.

So thanks to Dawn Friedman over at This Woman's Work for telling Andi about me, and thanks to Andi for putting the blog tour together and HarperCollins for the small honorarium and recognition. And thanks for inspiring my readers who may also feel that no one is reading their blogs. My advice is to keep on bloggin' -- cause you never know who may be reading...

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8 comments:

That Journalist said...

I too get all smiley whenever someone leaves me a comment. I'm at the point where I'm trying to increase my blog traffic, but I'm impatient and building slowly has never been my thing. But I'm trying....keep blogging!

JA Huber said...

You go girl! Seems as though you've found your groove. Keep on blogging!

notfearingchange said...

That's such a great story! Loved it.

People at work think i'm flakey for blogging - but then i told them your stats. Now they want to read blogs and start their own. lol.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

You go girl....over on Technorati, you r ranking is up to 15,462 and you showing up linked on 207 blogs!

Oh...and your personal blogroll at the bottom...you can go over to www.BlogRolling.com and create your own "BlogRoll" like the one that the Blogging Chicks has! It's all free! I use that same format for our BlogRolls for the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance!

Laura said...

Good perspective Paula!

I am just learning to use blog statistics and am noticing some weird things. Like for example, I'm getting a small number of hits from the Netherlands. What's up with that?

So far hardly anyone comments on my blog, but then I've had to put it on hiatus off and on these past few weeks. I look forward to being as successful as you someday.

Jill said...

Hey Paula - way to go! I haven't visited for a while but it's looking darn snazzy! Enjoy and have a great new year!

Tisha! said...

I'm so proud of you girl! I'm reading and soaking in your wisdom on a regular basis. Keep up the excellent work!

Peace and love
Tisha

Tink said...

Glad I could get the ball rolling. But it was only a matter of time before you were "discovered." ;)

Paula Neal Mooney