Growing a Blog

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In a surreal moment this week,  someone asked me for blogging advice.  Me.  The techno-phobe who still sweats buckets every time I hit the publish button.  I was flattered.

In her request for advice, she said something very interesting:

It seems like yours [blog] grew enormously in a short amount of time.

Has it really been a short time?  Sometimes it feels like I’ve been blogging forever.  So I went back and checked the date of my first post. No, it hasn’t been forever.  It’s been almost exactly 9 months–long enough to grow a baby, my blog baby.

In January 2011, I was terrified nobody would read my blog.  Or worse, they’d read it and hate it.  That didn’t happen.  I blogged religiously for 2 solid months, with only friends and family giving me feedback, before I got my first “real” commenter (sorry friends and family, you don’t count.  Obligation and all that.)  Not only my first commenter, but my first “internet” friend.**  It was me and her for the longest time.  I kept at it for two more months and steadily gained more commenters and subscribers.  More friends.

**I adore her and her story, which you can find at Love Versus Goliath.  Thank you so much, Robyn.

People scoff at the idea of “internet friends.”  Well, everyone is entitled to their opinion.  I have had so much love and support from people on Momfog.  When my house burned down, the offers of help were phenomenal.  One lovely woman sent me a care package from the Netherlands with local foods and some handmade cards and ornaments from her and her children.  When I decorate my tree, I’ll know “internet friends” are “real friends.”

Aren't they cute?

So, has my blog “grown enormously?”  Based on my expectations on January 24, I’d have to say yes.  I have more subscribers than I ever thought possible and I have loyal commenters whom I love.  But it’s not only about the numbers.

The writing has changed.  In the beginning, I was excited and nervous.  The posts were safe: kids, housecleaning, parenting, spa days.  Then I found Write On Edge (formerly the red dress club.)  They inspired me to branch out, try writing a fiction piece now and then, focus my writing on a particular subject and keep to a word count.  If I was nervous before, I was on the verge of a breakdown then.  Again, the support of other awesome bloggers got me through it.

Now what?  Do I sit back and relax?  Keep doing what I’m doing?  After all, someone asked me for blogging advice.

Of course not!

The Blog is still growing.  I’m fielding offers.  I’m doing book reviews.  I’m hosting giveaways.  I’m starting a weekly feature.  Who knows what else I’ll come up with?

Nine months can grow a baby, but it takes time and effort to grow a mature adult.  I’ve only just begun.



37 thoughts on “Growing a Blog

  1. So glad you stayed with it, Erin! Your dedication amid your busy life and challenges always inspires me to do better, be a better writer. Thanks for another shot in the arm 🙂

  2. I’m blushing, you realise. Erin has also read the first draft of the first chapter of my book and gave me great feedback. We started around the same time, as I started at the end of October 2010 but had to go off-line based on legal advice while we waited for our Tribunal hearing, so I came back on-line late February 2011. I know how Erin feels about that “what if everyone hates it” thing.

    I love Erin’s writing and sometimes she really surprises me with what she comes out with – like “cussing” on another blog we both frequent! Seems so unlike her. 🙂

    Keep it up, Erin, you are doing so well!!

    • Now I’m blushing. You have always been so kind, Robyn! And I love that you don’t hold it against me when I don’t get over to you as much as I’d like. I’m always reading, just not always commenting.

      BTW, it was the word, “hell.” I think I need to clarify that. And no, it isn’t like me. 😉

  3. Just wait till your blog hits adolescence and you and Google go for long periods of time staring at pictures of each other and saying “it used to be so different between us…”

    Not that anyone here knows what that’s like…

  4. I think, I know what does ‘Growing’ mean for a blog!

    I was really disappointed when a visitor, Commented on one of my posts that my blog would never get visitors and it would die soon. Time passed, I started getting readers and commenters. And then I realised that my blog was growing. I edited ‘that’ comment —which was from a verified user AKISMET has cleared that as a valid comment— and sent it to Spam folder. Took a long breath and said to myself:

    I know my blog would die once, but as of now it is growing. Let it…

    • There’s always a moment when a new blogger wonders if it’s worth the time and effort. The important thing is to keep going. Eventually, we find our flow. As for that troll, what a punk. You should’ve spammed it immediately. I’m glad you kept going!

  5. This is great and congrats on your success. It is so fascinating to me how these things grow. I was thinking this morning about the blogs I read and how most of them are just regular folks writing about life and kids and things like that. They’re not News or Sports or Political blogs, that stuff is boring. Although I set mine up a couple of years ago, I didn’t really start writing until, like you, January 2011. I never thought anybody would read it either, but they keep showing up, and dare I say its become almost an obsession to keep it growing! Good work, keep it up!

  6. Hi Erin, i agree your blog has changed since i started reading it, a lot less about family, baking, home, etc; and more about what you are doing and planning.

    I just checked you were my sixth subscriber, 6 months and 1 week ago.

  7. Just dropping by to let you know that I still read your blog, but hardly find much time to leave comments. Keep ’em coming, because like me, there are SO many lurkers who love what you write about but may often not be forthcoming enough to declare their presence…

    Or consider that as a good excuse for being lazy!

    P.S. My blog’s (and my girlfriend’s, incidentally!) birthdays are right on ahead. A YEAR OLD! However, unfortunately, I don’t think it has grown like yours…

  8. ah Yes,
    Internet friends are just pretend people who don’t exist LOL !
    so we spend all day getting comments on our blogs from them, how then .. eh? what ARE people thinking? For me at least it takes more irrational thought to suppose that comments arrive “by magic” onto our blogs than it does to imagine that a real person (gasp) might actually be on a computer somewhere reading and replying to our posts.
    It’s not about numbers, ….its about writing about what you want to write about , enjoying it and (possibly) leaving a legacy if the stuff is pertinent for those you love.
    Congrats! (from one of your “imaginary” friends LOL)

    • Thank you so much, real friend! For the comment and the care package. I seriously can’t wait to hang these darling ornaments on my tree. They are a reminder of the many blessings that came from tragedy this summer. You have no idea how precious you are to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. 🙂

  9. and, I am sure she is overwhelmed with gratitude for the time you have taken to respond to her request for advice. You have touched her deeply by taking the time to reach back during your busy life. You are a special , special woman with so much to offer. With profound thanks….Emily

    • Awww, that was a really nice thing to say! Hey, I appreciate you asking. It inspired me to look back and see where I’ve been and where I am now. Sometimes, we get so busy and overwhelmed we forget that we have made progress and that we have much to be thankful for. Thanks for reminding me.

  10. Well done, Momfog. It’s great fun to see blogs evolve and grow. I had a reader come and visit this summer! The blogosphere is full of surprises.

    I experienced losing a home – and everything in it – to fire, as well, so my heart goes out to you big time! It’s awesome to experience humanity at its best as help pours in. Remarkable! And humbling.

    • Oooh, I have a list of bloggers and readers I’d love to meet. My husband thinks I’m crazy. Or should I say he thinks other bloggers/readers might be crazy. I wonder, though. If I’m a (relatively) normal person, what makes him think all the other bloggers are secretly homicidal maniacs?

  11. I’m popping in from WOE weekend linky.
    I loved this post. And especially your blog = baby analogy. I’m also blogging for about 10 months, and also experienced similar fears about what others would think of my stuff. But I’ve come a long way… grown in confidence… try new things from time to time (although I must admit that my focus is still fiction writing)… and who knows what’s next…
    And just when I thought I was THE most tech-challenged blogger, here you come along and scoop the title from under my feet! LOL!
    I’m so happy that I stumbled on your blog!

    • I’m glad you found me, too! I wonder how these bloggers who design their own sites do it. Where do they find the time to learn this stuff? It’s so confusing! Trying new things is scary. My few forays into fiction writing were terrifying! I admire you.

  12. I have a couple “internet friends” who started reading what I was posting back when I wrote on Open Diary in high school. They’ve been as much or more helpful and supportive than some people I know in real life, and we still keep in touch.

  13. When I go to post I’m paranoid that I’ll have made a mistake or upset someone then when I get comments posted, I get sick and shaky coz I’m dreading someone saying something mean! Blogging is a great place to explore new ideas and share old ones. Keep it growing! 🙂

    • Fear of trolls is always present but I haven’t had any yet. *Knock on wood* I’m not sure how I’d respond. Probably just send them to spam. Jerks.

      As for the mistakes, I cringe when I see typos. Once, my brother said I went “Canadian” in a post. I had no idea what he meant. I re-read and sure enough, I had written “aboot” for “about.” Little brother came through for me. 🙂

  14. Blog babies grow up so quickly don’t they. At least you don’t have to worry about it wanting to move out and get it’s own life like the real ones do! Congrats. This is my first time visiting which makes me another “real” commenter!

  15. Good for you! I love that you have your “blog” baby and that it’s growing so well. I remember being completely thrown aback when someone first asked me for advice too, so I TOTALLY get this. Congrats to you and keep on writing, it’s so wonderful to watch it evolve and see our own selves grow too. 🙂

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