Who Needs Paid Advertising? Community is Priceless
Today I found out that BlogHer.com is featuring another of my blog posts. BlogHer hosts a huge network of blogs, they host blogging conferences across the country, and they reach 92 million women each month “across premium blogs, Web sites, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.”
I’ve been blogging for about nine months. I feel incredibly honored to be recognized by the editors at BlogHer. I’m grateful that my friends and family praise my writing, but there is something special about knowing that someone who gets paid to read hundreds, maybe thousands of posts, can find something in my writing that’s worth sharing.
Here are the three posts BlogHer.com has featured:
"When Sexual Fantasies Get…Complicated”: about my rules of engagement for daydreaming about men other than my husband
"I Confess: I’m Prejudiced (And Ashamed Of It)”: about my ignorance about the families who receive public assistance, particularly WIC
"You Gotta Know When to Walk Away”: about how I’ve been overly rough with my children
I feel like I should mention that I make absolutely no money from this blog. In fact, I pay Wordpress not to display ads on my blog posts. Of course, part of me hopes that some day I might have enough good blog posts to publish a hardcover book, like Scary Mommy and the blogger behind Illustrated with Crappy Pictures have.
So, if I’m not making any money at this, why am I doing it? It goes back to that night in a bookstore when I heard The Bloggess speak. She said it meant so much to her to have readers thank her for helping them realize they weren’t alone. I have a very small following, but I get similar comments and private messages: “I used to cut too,” “You help to [me] feel ok about being depressed, stressed out and not perfect,” and “It’s nice to know there are other people out there. It gives you comfort and hope.” They share with me their struggles with self-injury, anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder.
What do I get out of this that’s worth way more than money? Community. Life can be so painful at times. It feels like every week on Facebook, I’m reading about another friend of a friend who died because of a car accident, a terminal illness, or an act of violence. My depression tells me that I can’t take anymore, that I should just end the pain all at once rather than dragging it out over years and years. But I am part of multiple communities that value my contributions, however small. I volunteer at my church and at my son’s school. This blog is my offer to the blogosphere that it’s really okay to be vulnerable, to embrace our imperfections, and to admit we don’t know everything.
What, if anything, do you get out of reading this blog?