A new guest post series from some of my favourite bloggers talking about blogging and their life. This week we have Katie from Sluiter Nation:
I have to start by thanking Devan for having me here today! I have loved her and her blog for quite some time. What an honor to get an email from her asking me to be here today talking about my blogging “life”.
I started blogging just over four years ago in July of 2007. One of my friends had started a blog on Blogger as a way to keep her family and friends updated on their life. She rarely posted to it, but I thought it was a neat idea, so I jumped on Blogger and started a “family website” called Sluiter Nation. I posted maybe once a week and just a few of my friends and my mom read my posts and looked at my pictures.
Fast-forward 2 years. In 2009, I had my son and started posting a few times a week. I suddenly had so much more to say, but I still kept it pretty light, since I still sort of looked at Sluiter Nation as an “update” blog for people that I knew. I had no idea that there was something called a “blogosphere” out there with communities and everything. NO. IDEA.
In fact, I had just opened a twitter account too, but had no idea that there was anything about that except following celebrities (oh hi, @tomhanks) and a couple people I actually knew.
Before Eddie turned one, something happened. Actually, two things happened almost at the same time.
First, I got my first comments from someone who I had never met. Didn’t know at all.
I got really excited! How had they found my little blog? Would they stick around? What was going on?
Secondly, I found out I had postpartum depression and decided to be real about it on the blog. I went out of my normal “cheery (mostly picture) update” comfort zone and wrote a post about my diagnosis and how I had been REALLY feeling.
This lead moms like me to my blog. And then we found each other on twitter and, well, the rest is what it is: Sluiter Nation.
The biggest thing that I have learned by blogging is that we are really all the same. I mean, we have different parenting styles, different opinions on breastfeeding and diapering and babywearing and co-sleeping and discipline and potty training and…well, the list could go on and on. But in the end? We all want to do a good job. We want to raise responsible, kind adults.
I think this sameness surprised me. I found a few of my very dearest friends through this thing called blogging. For instance, I found Miranda through blogging. She and I are both high school English teachers, both did colorguard in high school, both have curly-haired two-year old boys, both suffered from PPD, and the list goes on and on.
And we live almost 850 miles apart.
We never ever would have met except for blogging and social media.
Blogging has also given me a confidence I didn’t know I had. And I don’t just mean being a mom, although daily I a reassured that I am doing great. I mean as a writer, as a friend, and as a woman. I mean just this week I did something I would have never in a million years done before…I posted a picture of myself in my bathing suit for all the world to see that I yes, I can accept myself.
So all you new bloggers? I think you just have to hang in there. I find the best thing is to not stress so much about Klout, SEO, getting ads, doing twitter parties, or any of that jazz. It’s being real and putting yourself out there. And then connecting with those who connect with you.
That is what builds a blog.
That is what built Sluiter Nation.
Katie Sluiter is a wife, a mother to a two-year old son, a high school teacher, and a writer. She lives in West Michigan where she devours books and writes her fanny off. Her blog, Sluiter Nation is where she is trying to find her voice in this crazy world. Life has not always been easy, but she and her family find the joy anyway. She also reviews books at Katie’s Bookcase and is part of the leadership team at The Red Dress Club, a virtual writer’s workshop.