May 27, 2010

Closets: a rare peek into my blog closet

Alternately titled: I want you to want to do the dishes read my blog.

I really don't enjoy blogging about blogging. It's just not my thing. But while I'm showing you what's in my closets this week, I thought I would open up the ol' blog closet, too.


I don't want to be the blog that is on display as The Item Of The Week at the Big Box Store of Blogland with big signs telling you to buy me! follow me! RT me stumble me fan me like me on facebook!


I have a hard time understanding why someone would pressure friends and strangers to stumble their post (unless they are sharing about a very important cause)- wouldn't you rather not have to beg, but find, to your pleasant surprise, that someone chose to like your post on their own?

And if you don't care about the writing, and are just here to make money, what about the ethics of padding your clicks? Manufacturing traffic that is not honest or representative of your true influence?

Deep breath.

And since I'm cleaning out the closet here, I'll toss out some insight from my experiences as a blog conference go-er, blog trip-per, --- it's not All That.

Let me repeat: IT'S NOT ALL THAT.

I've said no to the last speaking engagement and several blog trips that have been offered to me, and I am not telling you this because I think I am Hot Stuff. This is rare for me to actually put out in the open, it's usually reserved for a private heart to heart, if we met in person. I just don't want any good-hearted blogger to feel like they are missing out because they aren't going on trips and to all the conferences.


The best part about trips and conferences? The people. If you want to go to a conference or on a blog/brand trip to make more money or get more exposure, it's probably not going to happen. But if you want to just meet new bloggers or have intimate in-person time with them, it's totally worth it if the time is right for you and your family.

And why wait for someone else to put on an event for you to connect with your online friends? Have yourself a Cupcake. :) I absolutely plan to attend conferences in the future- next year I hope to attend Mom 2.0, AltDesign Summit, and of course Blissdom, but probably not any more this year. It's just not right for my heart and for my family at this time.

The blog water can become stagnant when you're only socializing with the same bloggers at the same events, whether online or in real life. Your vision can be limited, and so can your judgment. Proceed with caution, and remember that you might be wading in dirty water, and the current could send you in the wrong direction...*


It comes down to why I'm here, and what the purpose of my blog is. And that is to be my thoughts, for me. If I worry about who is reading and what I can write to make them stay reading, or bring people here in droves, then I am no longer writing for me.


I want to be the blog that is like a good secret, that you might have found on a whim, that you have connected with in some way, maybe you even hope not everyone hears about it so you can keep it to yourself, or maybe you can't wait to share it with people you love, but you do so because you came here on your own.


I'll open up the comments for any blog questions you might have, I'll respond in the comments, and I'm interested in hearing what you've got hanging up there in your "blog closet"?


*I originally had that paragraph there and then moved it elsewhere and re-reading it I felt like it was out of order, didn't want it to be lumped in with where it was... so I moved it back.

Edited to add: Megan at Velveteen Mind also blogged about social media and blogging today and said a bunch of other stuff that I pretty much agree with, so I wanted to direct you there, too:
I'm An Old Woman Whacking Social Media with My Big Stick and I've Had Enough of Your Lip.


See more of my closets this week:
Closets: Less is the new black
Closets: Little purses, I just can't quit you
Closets: a rare peek into my blog closet

Closets: Dresses that I've never worn (one I will, one I'll never)
Closets: The end.



71 comments:

  1. right on. sometimes i find myself thinking, "how can i get more traffic!? more more more!" but then i sit down and remind myself that when people find you, and stay because they love you, it's more valuable than 1,000 hits from people who don't stay to chat. if you have to beg to be linked to and stumbled and tweeted it's really not that meaningful.

    i'm trying to remember to embrace and really love my small. i love knowing almost all my readers and knowing about their lives. it feels like home.

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  2. I absolutely agree about conferences being about the people. I had so much more fun meeting new people than listening to speakers - great as they were.

    And I chose not to attend Blissdom this year so I could pay for new counters in my kitchen. Which make me smile every single day and not just for one weekend.

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  3. Thank you. Sometimes all the bloggyness makes one want to be silent.
    This post kinda makes me want to post.
    Kinda. ;)

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  4. Well said my friend!


    My mind is reeling now.

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  5. I found myself wanting to be a part of this tight-knit Mommy blogger circle. Wanting to change the way I write to appeal to this group of people.
    Wanting to go to things like Cupcake and meet fellow Moms who blogged like I did.
    But when the blog world started becoming more "important" than my real life I had to take a step back.
    I write for me. I write because my memory often fails me. I write for FUTURE me - so I can re-read what I've written and think..."Oh yeeeaaah! I forgot about that!"
    Most of the people who read my blog know me in person. And that's okay.

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  6. I think you already know how I feel about all of this! :) I think the very most interesting thing about blogging, to me, is the way you tend to attract people you would attract in real life. Put your Real Self out there and you will find kindred spirits and stuff. Most of the readers who stick around are like real friends to me, in this way. I click over and read their blogs and I think, ohhhh I am SO GLAD we found each other!

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  7. Hi! I've read your blog for quite sometime...silently, might I add. And I just LOVE this post. I started blogging for family members. (My blog is private now.) I am so glad you posted this. I come across so many blogs that crave the bigger numbers but their posts lack so much. Thank you for your wonderful blog! I love it!

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  8. Oh, thank you for trusting us with this peek into your blog closet.

    (I kind of squirm when blogging on blogging - yet I do it much more frequently than you do! - yet I love to read the thoughts of other bloggers on blogging.)

    I struggle with self-promotion, too. Partly because I feel incredibly self-conscious doing it but also because I just don't have time. I don't have time to be a force on Twitter. I don't even have time to contribute to the blog community through blog reading and comments like I used to.

    My biggest struggle is getting this over-inflated view of what my readers expect from me. I imagine that when I've gone days without posting, people get agitated or worried or disappointed. Which is ridiculous. When I don't post for days, people just go about their lives - one less thing to do, right? And they know I'm just living life, too. Why do I have to engage in so much self-talk to fully embrace this truth?

    * * * * *

    What you said about being a little secret that people share because they want to - yeah. I want that. Perfectly said.

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  9. And these are some of the reasons why i like your blog...you are just normal and honest. I think you are one of the few bloggers that would continue writing even if no one left you comments. Its real and I like it. ;o)

    I have a small group of wonderful readers that I feel genuinely like visiting me. And I wouldn't change that at all to have 200 that just kinda liked to visit. My blog may be boring or bland, but its what's right for me. Kinda like a journal to record those random things that pop in my mind that I think my hubby wouldn't care to hear about over dinner. It makes my head and heart clearer...that is why I blog.

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  10. I spent time yesterday looking at a certain Top 100 blog list (you were there, by the way) and wondering what I could do to get on that list.

    I think about why I want to be there and then I realize I don't. I blog because it's fun. I blog to remember. I don't blog because I want thousands of readers. I AM happy with my 100.

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  11. I absolutely agree.

    This is all still new to me...and I'm not even sure I've figured out how everything works yet:P

    I want to reach people, to make it fun ---lovely and the day to day exciting, inspired and full of joy.
    To care for others BY being myself.

    Like MY favorite blogs do for ME.



    Besides, I'm pretty sure business cards make me nauseous.

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  12. Stephanie, it is your genuine nature that has kept me coming back to your blog. I don't agree with you on every little thing, but I respect your opinions and you're a damn good writer. Not all bloggers are. I hope that self-promotional blogging and product review blogging have finally jumped the shark and we can get back to finding kindred spirits, listening to different perspectives and reading the mini-memoirs of mom blogs.

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  13. Oh you couldn't have written this at a better time! Just today I was thinking about my recently started blog (as in I started it 3 days ago) and I was worried that I wasn't being specific enough in what I wanted it to be about. I keep hearing "you should brand yourself--you'll get more hits" blah blah blah. But really, I just wanted to "share" myself. So I've resisted the urge thus far and have kept the blog a personal journey. Here's hoping that people like me for me (and you for you) so that we can keep our blogging communities intimate as they were always meant to be.

    Thanks for sharing with us!

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  14. --Marketing Mommy

    Alma, THANK YOU. :)

    Steph

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  15. Being on the other side of the Atlantic I sometimes yearn to attend the conferences - but only to meet in person some of my bloggy friends. So far two have visited Ireland and it was great to meet them.

    While hits can be encouraging, one meaningful comment is worth so much more :)

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  16. I love your post today (and every other day too). I love to blog for ME, for my kids in the future. I someday want it all printed into a special book *just* for them, so they too can see what it was like as they grew up, the memories we made, the fun, the not so fun we had. what their Mom was really like. I blog honestly. truthfully. but for ME and my babes. Thank you for posting this :)

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  17. Thanks for opening up about this topic. As a reader of family/parenting/mom blogs for less than a year and a new participant, I find your perspective fascinating. And I'd like to echo what MarketingMommy said about your genuineness; it's why I read your blog too.

    That and the adorable kid pics! :)

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  18. Such great thoughts, Steph. You are exactly as you describe wanting to be, to me anyway! I would love to have a heart to heart with you in person about this someday. I have written a novel here so I'm going to cut/paste to my own blog and link back here.

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  19. I'm with swonderful and house_of_boys - I sometimes have wanted to be more involved in the "world" of blogging, but lately I realize that my reasons for starting blogging are way more important than the stuff I started to get sucked into later. I blog because I love having that history contained somewhere. I blog because I love to talk - to whoever is or is not listening, lol.

    I'm going to BlogHer in NY, but lately I've wondered if I care much about the conference. My DH is joining me and we'll be alone without kids for the first time, oh, pretty much ever (we go out alone, but only for an evening here and there-not four days!) I think I'm going to not worry much about the conference and just enjoy New York with my husband - the memories are likely to be way longer-lasting!

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  20. maybe i'm just emotional today, but i'm kinda crying a little. [i think i'm greiving my blog as i knew it which is a little silly, i guess.] i whole-heartedly agree with you. i've never asked for 1 "follower" and the "stumble me" "please RT" instantly turn me away. i want to read because someone has something genuine to say. something of worth. something that adds something to my life. i just don't have time for anything else.
    i think you do a great job balancing and prioritizing. from the 1st time i read you i just wanted to be your friend. i'm more thankful than i ever knew i'd be. you're a gem....here & in person.

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  21. This post is excatly why I love your blog so much! You are who you are and its just that simple. Thank you for staying true to yourself!

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  22. I just recently attended my first blog trip. It was great , but like you said, "the people", that is exactly what I brought home with me. All those friendships.


    Maybe one day, when the time is right for me to attend another, you will be there! And I will get to tell you in person how much I love to read someone so real!

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  23. I honestly don't even understand stumbling, but when someone RTs something I've written without me asking (because I'd never dream of asking or even think of it), it makes my heart warm a little bit. I think that's what people are missing out on... if you ask or tell someone to do this, you're missing out on the chance for someone to genuinely, truly like what you've said.
    It took a lot of courage to say all of this, and I love you all the more for it.

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  24. You're absolutely right!

    How did I miss this "cupcake" event? It was practically in my backyard!!! (Actually, I didn't blog much this past winter - was just in a funk...) Would LOVE to hear if you gals do it again in '11!

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  25. Lately I've had less comments but the quality is still there, and even more so. Quality over quantity, no? ;)

    And although I had a great time at Blog Her last year, I had a WONDERFUL time at our little 'conference' that we had in Texas last month and there were only 8 of us. We even brought our own 'swag'. So fun!

    I'm still blogging for myself and I think that's what REALLY matters. :-) And I know you are doing the same... because that is who you are.

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  26. To be a secret, something cherished and loved just for being what it is -- that should definitely be the goal.

    Loved this!

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  27. Oh My. Seriously, this is fantastic. I began blogging for me, and lately I've been feeling that somewhere along the way I got a little lost. As women I think we're so hard on ourselves sometimes. Just yesterday I was having "I'm not chic enough" "I'm not a good enough Christian" moments. I try and remind myself that just because I love to read those sorts of blogs doesn't mean I need to fit some sort of mold.

    Your blog, for me, is a respite. A place to come and hope for the future of when we do start a family. A place to be amused (Gray is the funniest thing ever!). A place to read genuine words written by a down to earth phenomenal woman.

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  28. Steph-

    I love what you said in the 2nd to last paragraph about wanting to be like a good secret, something that others connect with. The reason I started my own blog, almost THREE years ago(can hardly believe that!), is because I found that kind of blog, of a person I actually knew in real life, who had (and still has) very few followers, but was so sincere and real, and I wanted that for myself. I wanted a place for my secrets that are sometimes too hard to say outloud. This is making me want to go back to my beginning, when I actually said what I was thinking instead of filtering myself because my family was reading.

    Thank you. :)

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  29. i love this post.
    as a small time non promoting blogger i have this conversation with myself in my head fairly often. i have to stop and ask, "why am i doing it?" the answer is not always the same but it is NEVER "to get more readers!" but it is so easy to forget when you think about the more "successful" blogs.

    but you - you remind us here so clearly that the "successful" bloggers are successful for a reason. you are awesome and i am a devoted reader because you are honest and you are a talented writer.

    (and the cute kid pics - teehee)

    love ya lady. you are like my bloggy idol.

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  30. Like discovering the band when they're still playing in loud, smoky bars -- before they make it to Alpine Valley. ;)

    xo elizabeth

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  31. Amen to the conference stuff. Yes, it's fun! Yes, you get free stuff!

    But all these people, popping up like mosquitos at a cookout, trying to profit by sharing their knowledge about conferences (which are best/how to dress/etiquette/how to mingle/who to mingle with/blahblahblah) and come up with a new "Must Attend" conference every other day are taking all the fun out of it.

    I'm so over all that. So so sover it.

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  32. Good for you. I'm personally not interested in lots of traffic on my blog. I'd probably turn it into a invite only blog if it got too many readers:).

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  33. My 2 favorite blogs are yours and Love's because you both seem so genuine. You both are people I could be friends with and that is why I enjoy reading! Also, you have helped me find an amazing love for babywearing also!! :)

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  34. I agree with you. I'm a very "small time" blogger. I think my mom is the only person reading me. :) I don't really care. It's an outlet for me. I like it that way.

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  35. I really love this post.

    I enter contests-it is my hobby. I don't read that many blogs anymore. I work 40 hours a week outside the home, then in the evenings and on weekend I cook dinner and spend time with my family. And I enter said contests....but, I read your blog. I love love love how you write, and I grew up in Indiana, and my sister lives in Chicago, so I feel connected to you in small silly ways. I read other blogs off and on, but yours, yours I come back to at least 4-5 times a week.

    I have a contest blog and a personal blog. I'm not much into traffic on the contest blog - I don't even have any advertising anywhere on it. I just love to tell people about contests and I love love love messing around with wordpress! :-)

    My personal blog is only read by friends and family so I don't have to email them all the time about what is going on in our lives. I like it to be a journal of sorts, and wouldn't even want lots of people knowing about my life all the time.

    Just wanted to say that you keep me coming back where most other blogs do not - and I having been reading since way before Ivy made her appearance! I am glad that you don't blog for others but for yourself - it's why I will continue reading!

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  36. You're such a joy Steph. I think a lot of what has transpired in the blog culture is this wondering/envy/jealousy over the unknown.

    I have a post that I've had half written for a couple of months that I've been meaning to finish... it is indeed blogging about blogging but it hits on this issue of making it what you want it to be...finding your own pulse and happiness, not simply doing whatever you can (even when it feels really, really wrong) to jockey your way up the blog ladder. Once of these days, I hope to finish it. :-)

    Meanwhile, thanks for sharing. And for just generously being open in spirit and heart. You're all kind of awesome my friend. -Christine

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  38. I can't remember how I stumbled on your blog...you were still wearing Grayson regularly. :) I was drawn to your writing and your honesty. Still am. I love that you write about every day things. Things that all moms deal with. You were the first of just a few blogs I read of people I don't really know...but I feel like I do. That's why I keep coming back.

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  39. I admit it, I want to go to conferences. Or, at least, A conference. I really would like to meet some of the people in person that I've connected with online. But the time isn't right for my family, so I'm not going. I have to keep my priorities in order.

    Hearing that it's not All That does make me feel a little better. At least until I'm not breastfeeding my toddler to sleep every night.

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  40. Couldn't agree more! I used to feel pressured to write a post at least once a day or I thought no one would come back. But then more and more it felt like work and I wondered why I was blogging at all. I enjoy shaving our journey and sometimes I am super inspired and feel like posting daily and sometimes I don't and thats ok. If people want to read then they will and if they need something new everyday then they will move on and the people that are left are the ones I am really want to share with anyway.

    Thanks for this post! I think it is so easy to get caught up in your readership and lose focus on why you even started blogging in the first place:)

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  41. When I first started my blog I was mildly obsessed with how many followers I had. I'm ashamed to admit, I even followed for a follow. I'm so happy to have let that go, and just blogged to connect with like minded women.

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  42. I've received a few very lovely (I am not being sarcastic) personal emails today from people in disagreement with my post, especially with my "ability" to say no to sponsorships and trips, they wish they had those opportunities... for anyone else thinking that quietly, too, I liked this post by @Velveteenmind today- she's says a lot of good stuff, actually, about blogging and social media, and I like what she says toward the end... http://www.velveteenmind.com/velveteenmind/2010/05/old-woman-whacking-social-media.html

    Steph

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  43. Steph, I think this post is the reason you have such loyal readers (myself included!) You bring such honesty and thought to your space, making it a genuine place where we feel like we get to know YOU, and that's what's important in a blog. The rest is either icing on the cake or annoying :) (the stumbling and follow me and blah blah blah... turns me way off too)

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  44. YES. That.

    Blogging, in and of itself, is about the people to me... the person behind the keyboard. And the only healthy way to make those relationships is through being oneself. That's what you've always done, Steph, and it's the reason I'll always come back here. <3

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  45. Bravo, Steph. This is so authentic. Obviously, it resonates with many of us.

    I think it comes down to this: Blogger, know thyself. And then stay true to thyself. Don't be swayed by what other people are doing, don't be sucked in to believing the hype, don't forget why you are doing this in the first place.

    As for me, it's all about the writing and the relationships. The rest, if it comes, will come organically.

    You are such a joy.

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  46. I'm sad you won't be at BlogHer and I know that's selfish but I always enjoy seeing you.

    I have a feeling the blog world is a lot like the art world... those who say it should be just for the beauty + fun of it, and those who want to sell what they're making.

    As long as people enjoy what they're doing it doesn't really bother me. I don't hang with the review crowd simply because it's not my thing. I've been so lucky to get to watch friends' lives unfold and vice versa, particularly through video blogging... and am literally watching their kids grow up. That amazes me.

    The Internet is big enough for all kinds.

    And Cupcake... oh how I loved Cupcake. Bloggy events and conferences are never relaxing for me - and yet it was. So amen to more Cupcakes. :)

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  47. I just "deactivated" my blog. I've pulled the plug. I may or may not start up a new one somewhere else, but for right now,I'm ok with not having one and not writing. Like you, it was for ME and it was becoming a heavy thing I needed to get rid of.
    I feel much lighter now :) If only the scale agreed.

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  48. I found you via a link at We Are That Family and just had to comment! I absolutely cannot stand when people write on my blog "I'm following you, now please follow me back at ----." I specifically NEVER follow those people because it ticks me off so much! Who wants 1,000 followers of people who never actually read your blog - they're just there as a number? I've even seen a blog party where the direction was "If you get followed, follow back, because that's just common courtesy!" Um, NO! Follow blogs that speak to you and interest you, and hope that your blog inspires and reaches out to some others as well. Sorry for the long post but this just really bothers me! :)

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  49. I like your attitude and it completely makes sense. I just started a blog just for me, and have friends who do more advertising type blogs. I find myself wanting to somehow compete with that, which is silly. I too, want to write for me, and to ask questions to find out what others are thinking too. :)

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  50. Great post. I actually loathe blogging about blogging. I feel that there are a ton of other great sites that can do that. My blog is about me, and my family. I agree 100% that blog events, and conferences are about the people I meet, and the connections I make with them. I took the last week off from going to any blog events, etc.

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  51. Very well said! Something I have had to remind myself of over and over again. Thank you!

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  52. Bravo and all that jazz! You know I so agree with you. I attend blog conferences for the people and only for the people. In fact, I usually go one step further and refuse to attend any "private" brand events that conflict with the official conference schedule. Attitude, to boot.

    On a completely unrelated note, I'm testing out using feedly to share items again (gasp! a reader!) and just shared this on Facebook, Google Reader, and twitter. If you notice where any new traffic comes from around this time, will you let me know? Yes, I'm forcing you to go look at your stats, just this once.

    Because the best networking is when we lift each other up.

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  53. love it. that is so why i started blogging, but i've gotten away from just writing and gone in a direction i don't really like. thanks for the reminder :) i needed it.

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  54. Amen! It's funny that you mentioned spreading your wings from the same bloggers you always communicate with. I've been trying to get out and find some new blogs and friends along the way. It is easy to get caught up with your own little group of bloggers. I do enjoy conferences, but I think I look at them differently than other bloggers who are trying to make their blog a Top Ten. I like my own little piece of the blogworld, but I attend for connections. I enjoy meeting new people and having real conversations NOT just trying to gain more blog exposure. Thanks for a glimpse inside your blog closet today!!

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  55. Yes! love this and thanks for sharing. . . . it's so easy to become sucked into the blogging world and to somehow start becoming defined by what your numbers are. such an easy way to turn from what's important. thanks for the reminder, from the jungles of Thailand. :)

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  56. I agree.

    This is one of the reasons when I do giveaways I don't do 12 different ways to enter like "follow me! subscribe to me! follow me o facebook!" because I figure if people WANT to follow my blog, they will.

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  57. Love this. Down to the very last drop...I seriously love. this.

    I found your blog just through searching around the interwebz one day over 3 years ago...and I've clung to it for dear life.

    Your blog is the breath of fresh air in between coupon codes and self righteousness.

    I've always loved you and your blog, and reading this post just confirmed why.

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  58. I've read this a few times, asked myself some questions, let it settle into my heart so I could write a comment that really truly explained why this post touched me the way it did.
    Maybe you remember from Cupcake, but I began blogging because I needed an outlet. I needed to write again. I hadn't written since I left my job as a reporter. Then the baby came, and I became a mom, and I thought, "Gah! Am I only a mother now? What happened to the me who used have intrests beyond babies and cloth diapers and baby carriers?"
    And thus my blog began so I could write again. And then I discovered this secret community of blogging moms, and my head began spinning out of control.
    As a journalist, I wrote for others, rarely myself. It was my job. Writing on my blog was for me, and I loved that. But once I discovered the blogging community, I really wanted to engage. And strangers started reading my blog! And then they became my friends! So I began writing for me while also keeping in mind that others were reading. And it was perfect. It was the creative writing I so loved mixed with the editorial column aspects of journalism. And, if I'm going to be quite honest, because I know there are friends (not readers, not faceless numbers) reading, it has encouraged me to dig into my heart, pour the contents into writing and really stretch myself as a writer, a mother, a woman. Because there is power in sharing yourself, your life, your stories (which is why I loved to write other people's stories as a reporter). There's power in the connection of two souls welding together through writing.
    Simply, writing, to me, is so complex and beautiful and moving and life-changing that I feel like it's natural to want to connect with others through it. So I'm so very much standing along side Erin when she said it feels good after someone has so connected with you that they share your writing with friends.
    If I didn't feel so passionately about writing as a form of art, expression and bonding, I wouldn't desire for others to come read my posts and share their thoughts.
    Thank you for writing this; it forced me to really understand the heart and root of why I am so glad to have others read my blog. And now I don't really feel so badly about that desire to share my writing (my heart) with others.

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  59. Great perspective! I've been in love with blogging for over 2 years. I'm pretty naive about the ways of the BIG BLOGGERS. But I do see all the "stuff" you mentioned.
    I started blogging because I love to write. I never had any financial intentions or traffic dreams.
    Still don't.

    I admire many of the popular blogs but I just don't have the desire to sell my soul to be ON TOP!
    I write for me. About what's happening in my life.
    I'm not trying to reach the world with my content.
    It's just my heart and what makes it keep beating.

    And....Nobody has to join my anything to visit me. :)

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  60. Hi Steph. I actually love it when bloggers blog about blogging. Not every day, mind you...but sometimes.

    Like this post. It was fascinating. I loved peeking inside your blog closet because, as you are well aware, your blog is one of my absolute favorites (top 3, for sure!). :)

    And I particularly liked the part about conferences. I so agree with you on that. The best part is the people (but, perhaps, the worst part is the people too). Did that make sense at all?

    One comment: One of my least favorite things about BlogHer 08 (the one and only blog conference I've attended) was the resounding message that you need to be "true to yourself." Of course, I agree with that sentiment in and of itself 100%. But...

    The speakers and attendees pushed SO HARD against brands and ads and opportunities...it was sad.

    I, for one, think it's wonderful when bloggers receive opportunities because of their writing, their skill. I love it that moms can make money...maybe get a new pair of shoes or a refrigerator or a vacation for their family...as a result of their blog. I love it that moms can help bring some income into their homes through consulting, guest posts, etc. I really, really do. And I would never want to discourage that.

    Accepting ads or products or trips or consulting gigs is *not* "selling out." Sure there are blogs out there that accept every.single.product and write paid posts about topics they don't even care about. But there are also moms who write well, work hard, and ALSO do an awesome job of partnering with brands. And I admire that immensely.

    There you go...that's a teeny tiny peek into my blog closet. ;)

    Keep up the authentic, captivating content here at Adventures in Babywearing (I know you will). I always stop over right away when I see one of your new posts pop up in my reader...

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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  61. i feel like i've discovered a secret today...i can't believe i've never seen your blog before! but i'm so happy i got here (not quite sure of the path that led me here, but who cares). i feel the very same way about blogs--write for yourselves, people! and i love your blog, just love it.

    anyhoo, i'm following now so i'm sure you'll be seeing my stalker self around in the near future.

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  62. Not sure you need another "right on!" comment but ummm, yes.
    Oh how I hear your heart hear, and it reflects mine too. I suppose it's fine with me that this place means something else to others, but it is truly lovely have a kindred spirit.

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  63. and *this* is why you are on my "inspirational bloggers" list...that and your awesome photos, writing and just sweetness overall.

    Great post Steph!

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  64. Steph -

    We don't know each other well but when we hung out for the first "real" time at Cupcake, I totally got the vibe that you are the real deal.

    Love this post. And I totally agree with you... THE PEOPLE!!! It's where it's at.

    xo
    Lee

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  65. Great, GREAT points, Steph, and too true. I've come to a lot of these same conclusions over the past year, and you are so right. Thanks for sharing!

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  66. I'm late to this (as per normal) but I wanted to let you know how timely this is for me.

    This is been a huge struggle with me as of late and you said exactly what I was thinking. Only better than I could.

    And thank you for making me feel great about deciding to take my kids on vacation this year instead of going to BlogHer.

    Smooches!

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  67. You got that right! My blog is tiny (in terms of followers) in comparison to most mom blogs. For some brief time I was caught up in the numbers, hoping to generate income. But at the root of everything is what I am writing for and why I started blogging - I want to share our healthy, non-toxic, green if you will, lifestyle with other moms. I wanted to share my experiences just like a secret. Ultimately I'm happy with just a few loyal followers rather than a brood of people passing by. I'm also glad I've never been to any conferences and probably will not be, I just don't feel that it is worth taking that time from my family and it isn't a priority. I certainly don't feel bad about it! :)

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