When you hit publish on that first blog post, you often play to an empty room.
It’s OK, though. You’re all geeked about going live, all proud of the fresh banner you crafted on a free banner-making website, ready to line up the subscribers and readers and comments. But usually, those first 17 or so posts get the kind of lunch crowd Babu got on Seinfeld for his café.
That empty room gets more crowded over time.
You make a comment here, share someone’s post there, and your subscribers list grows. The couches are full, and you bring in a few folding chairs from the garage. Squeeze in, double up on the love seat. You see friends sign up for updates, and eventually, people you don’t even know.
You wind up with loyal customers, the ones who always get the corner table and order the special, like Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama, Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life, and Laurie @ The Adventure of Writing. You get to guest blog in incredible places. Incredible writers write on your page, too.
But on a slow page-hit weekend like this, you look back a little.
You remember names from the beginnings, those lean days when double-digit page views were reason to celebrate with root beer and pizza. When you saw those blogs with awesome writing and incredible engagement. You drew inspiration from those blog writers, ideas, encouragement, hope.
Sometimes, when the new friends and small successes define your page, you forget your roots.
When that happens, it’s not too late for a homecoming.
As any blogger knows, each new friend and experience carries you another direction, in overlapping movements that sometimes drift from where it all began. Here are five blogs – and five writers – who helped to direct me to where I am now.
1.Jenn @ Another Jennifer
Jen is anything but Another Jennifer. She wrote a guest post for me about her experience driving the Wienermobile in college. Instant.credibility. Jen also remembered a comment about Garlic Parmesan wings that became my first recipe guest post on her page.
2. Renee @ Because Life Doesn’t Fit in a File Folder
Renee left a comment about her responsibility for the Buffalo Bills losing a Super Bowl because of what she said in a testosterone-filled upstate-New York Laundromat. She made a believer of me – of her role in Bills history, and in myself, with every engaging comment she left for me.
3. Ilene @ Fierce Diva’s Guide to Life
When a writer like Ilene, with her photographic memory, quotes you back to you, you take notice. Her guest post for me, about five places she’d never take her kids, packed the house. The challenge to attempt a worthy value with my return guest post felt like it lifted me to a new level.
4. Chris @ The Mom Café
Chris brought her best, I brought mine, and we posted dueling blogs that revealed the answers to the questions that plague us about the others’ genders. We uncovered most of the answers the universe would allow, on topics as diverse as feminine hygiene products and men’s listening skills.
Did you say something, Chris?
5. AnnMarie @ Queen of Chaos Mom
Here’s how early AnnMarie got in: A comment she left led directly to a column post about the day Grace pulled my pants down at soccer. It’s like the Charlotte Bobcats fan who called the team office to ask what time their game started that night. The Bobcats asked, “What time can you get here?”