Back on May 5th, I got a little e-mail that I nearly erased. It was from a marketing director at a website called “Circle of Moms.” I had never heard of the website before, but out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the words, “You’ve been nominated for the Top 25 Military Family Blogs ….”
After a bit of research, I found out that Circle of Moms has more than six million active users. Wow, that’s like a gazillion. So I gave it a go. Every day, I climbed up the list, and every day my blog statistics went up, until I was #1 on the list and my blog stats had grown nearly tenfold.
After a nail-biting last day of voting yesterday, “The Meat and Potatoes of Life” was officially crowned #1! WOOT, WOOT!
I am not only relieved that I can stop hounding my neighbors, fans, friends, family and people I dredged up from a defunct address book, being selected as the Top Military Family Blog has restored my determination to keep at this.
What I mean is, writing aint easy. There are thousands and thousands of writers out there trying to make it in this business. Be they bloggers, columnists, technical writers, novelists, essayists, copywriters, or freelancers, we are all swarming in a vast sea like invisible plankton waiting to be noticed.
I have been telling myself that I just need to learn, write well, keep high standards, and someday my time will come. That was my inexperience showing.
I soon realized that, to some extent, becoming a successful writer is all about the marketing. Ugh.
I took a mandatory Marketing class in college at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio back in 1985 in which we had to come up with a feasable marketing campaign for the Yugo — that tiny Soviet bloc Yugoslavian tin can that took the automotive world by storm, and then went out like a flash, eventually being dubbed one of the industry’s worst lemons of all time. Pulitzer Prize winning automotive critic and syndicated columnist, Dan Neil, once wrote that the Yugo’s rear window defroster feature was to keep one’s hands warm while pushing the car.
There are a lot of Yugos out there in the blogging world — relatively successful blogs who rely heavily on marketing but don’t offer substance. I don’t want to be a Yugo. I’d like to think of myself more like a Mercedes, well, I guess maybe a Volvo. Although I am so practical, so OK, how ’bout a nice Toyota that you bought pretty cheap, but she runs like a top for years and years.
Point being: I would rather be a good writer lost in relative obscurity than a talentless writer with good marketing skills.
I must admit, however, that every once in a blue moon, I need a little affirmation. As a mother, as a wife, and lately, as a writer.
The Circle of Moms contest was very affirming, indeed. Not just because I came out on top, but because my fans, friends and family went above and beyond the call to vote for me and spread the word.
They forwarded my links, they recommended my blog to coworkers, they hounded their friends on Facebook at the risk of being “unfriended,” they voted morning, noon and night to keep me on top.
Many made comments such as, “You deserve this!” and “Your blog is the best!” which I found touching and left me a little verklempt.
So thank you everyone. You have charged my batteries and, for you, I will keep running like a top.
Oh, and in case you all thought the photo above is my husband Francis, think again. Don’t be silly, most of you know Francis is nothing like that guy. Sure there are similarities, but of course, Francis celebrates with wine, not beer! Cheers!