What attracts you to blogging? Contrary to most readers’ beliefs, most bloggers — even the successful names on our 2011 Top 100 Mom Bloggers list — will readily admit they didn’t get into the business for the money.
So what does a chronicle of your day-in, day-out life as a parent to your children give back to you in return? As part of our 2012 Wisdom from Mom Bloggers series, we asked the top 100 about the greatest gift blogging has given them. The answers ranged from long-lasting friendships to bonafide businesses. Check out what they had to say, after the jump!
What HASN’T blogging brought me? 1 of 21Blogging helped me find my voice. It helped me find my art. My best friends offline are people who I met online because of blogging. I changed my career because of blogging. It literally changed my life.
- Karen Walrond, Chookooloonks
The feeling that I am not alone 2 of 21My son, Max, has cerebral palsy; we are the only ones in our circle of friends with a child who has disabilities. My real-life friends have been amazingly supportive, but nobody gets what I go through like my blog readers and parents I have met on other blogs. Together we vent, celebrate, and laugh about the insanity of it all.
- Ellen Seidman, Love that Max
The chance to heal 3 of 21Oh, wow. My miscarriage damn near knocked me down for good. I was devastated. I wanted to hide, but the more I Googled, looking for help, the more alone I felt. So I chose to put it out there. Everything. And that alone brought me more online help and compassion than I have ever experienced.
- Michelle Boudreaux, Mihow
A broad and fascinating audience 4 of 21Parents of special-needs kids, parents of tomboys and pink boys, men who were "pink boys" as children, LGBT adults, and parents with typical kids who are just compassionate and interested in all the ways that parents can support their children and other peoples' children. It's been so rewarding to connect with these people, to hear their stories and be in conversation with them about how we can, together, make the world a more accepting place for kids who are different.
- Sarah Hoffman
The opportunity to travel with my family 5 of 21We have had so many experiences as a family over the last four years that we wouldn't have had outside of blogging.
- Ronnie Tyler, Black and Married with Kids
Work opportunities 6 of 21Blogging has opened doors for me to work with incredible companies such as PBS, Mercedes, LeapFrog, Scholastic, Sony, American Cancer Society, and so many others that I only ever dreamed of working with.
- Leticia Barr, Tech-savvy Mama
When I hear from other moms … 7 of 21... That I have made them feel a little happier or helped them shift their perspective in some small way. It makes me feel like I'm doing something important that's really helping others. That, and being able to write off conference travel!
- Meagan Francis, The Happiest Mom
A community of like-minded women 8 of 21They inspire me to be a better version of myself. Every day I am awed by their heart, their creativity, their intelligence, and their ability to give. I am surrounded by awesome.
- Danielle Elliot Smith, Extraordinary Mommy
A platform to tell stories 9 of 21... And put words and meaning to a foggy feeling so that it starts to make better sense to me. It has also helped me gather and share what I think is vital information about negotiating the path of parenthood. The most important piece of that intel being the simplest: Your way works, brilliantly. So follow your instincts, and you'll all be fine.
- Nicole Blades, Ms. Mary Mack
A sense of purpose 10 of 21Prior to creating Postpartum Progress, I always wondered what I was here on earth to do. I felt that, for me, it had to be something more than what I was already doing. Then I suffered postpartum depression and found that my calling was to share my story and that of other mothers so that women would know they aren't alone.
- Katherine Stone, Postpartum Progress
My own business 11 of 21I am an entrepreneur! I love that.
- Jenny Ingram, Jenny on the Spot
Friendships 12 of 21Many of these started in comments sections, well before there were any places like BlogHer, or the Mom 2.0 Summit, to meet. Over the past six years, I've met some of my best friends and business partners through blogs. You tend to find your people. It's magic.
- Laura Mayes, Blog con Queso
A book for my children 13 of 21Each year, I turn that year's blog posts into a hardcover book and tuck away copies for my children. I want my children to know what I put into my love for them, that my investment in their lives started way before either one's birth day and blossomed without end. The blog lets me do that. I love knowing that they will be able to hold in their hands our memories of how we spent our days, that they will see the photos behind the stories and read the stories behind the photos, and that they will get an idea of the children they used to be.
- Jennifer Linney, Bug and the Sweet Banana
A voice 14 of 21I've met amazing people and had wonderful experiences, but its greatest gift is that I've gotten to know myself better through as I spend more time thinking and writing about what I love.- Roxanna Sarmiento, Everyday Treats
Proof of kindness 15 of 21Evidence of people's generosity, heroism, and genuine goodness.
- Asha Dornfest, Parent Hacks
Opportunities 16 of 21I'm most proud of the freelance editing and writing jobs that have come my way, for Story Bleed Magazine and writing for Babble Voices on my blog, Southern by Proxy.
- Jennifer Doyle, Playgroups Are No Place for Children
The obvious answer is community 17 of 21So I won't say community. Okay, never mind. It's community. Because of my blog, I've connected with photographers, fiber artists, cupcake bakers, potters, people who are passionate about tea, people who have devoted their lives to animals, people who write books and poetry, people who read books and poetry ... I'm communicating with a completely amazing group of people as I sit on a dog-chewed stool in my kitchen! I'm living an Irving Berlin song!
- Angela, Fluid Pudding
Something great as well as a terrible scourge 18 of 21Daily emails that are fascinating. So fascinating they can substitute for everything else in my life, including brushing my hair. And, sometimes, teeth.
- Lenore Skenazy, Free-Range Kids
How about a career? 19 of 21Freelance work, weekly columns, television appearances ... I never imagined 7 years ago that my blogs would garner much, if any, attention, and I thank my lucky stars every day that I get to do things I love and am completely passionate about.
- Sarah James, Whoorl
The best journal one could ask for 20 of 21The most important thing has got to be the extensive documentation of my daughter's first years. Countless stories I never would have written, videos I never would have made, and pictures that would be forever buried in iPhoto. Now it's all there in chronological order for my whole family to enjoy.
- Ilana Wiles, Mommy Shorts
Courage 21 of 21I've always been a writer, always known it was one of the reasons I was placed on the planet. I wrote speeches for college presidents, grants, journal articles, angsty, embarrassing poetry. But with a space that is my own, readers and friends and a big circle of bloggy ladies around me, the validation of traffic and links and comments and feedback, and my own pride in putting my heart and humor on the screen, I have felt over and over again that it is absolutely okay to take risks and be exactly who I am on my blog.
- Jessica Ashley, Sassafrass
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What’s the greatest gift blogging has brought YOU? Tell us in the comments!
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