The Unexpected Cheerleader: When Your Kids Support Your Blog

It’s tough trying to blog while on vacation.  But bloggers need to post regularly or they risk losing visitors as their blog goes “stale” (in my first year, I learned the hard way after being sick and waiting more than a week to post—the numbers drop was dramatic and took months to regain) and so it’s good to write some posts in advance that are “waiting in the wings” as finished drafts, so if you are “out of pocket”, all you have to do is hit “publish” when you need content and go on with your vacation (or illness, or whatever). Only for me, it was hard to stock up during busy May (remember, next to December, May is the busiest month of the year for parents of school-age kids with all the “end of year” activities happening all at once). So I found myself at Grandma’s house last week with no stockpile of posts, trying to write something fresh, and having a hard time doing so.  The down time opportunities were few and far between, and when I finally got a moment to myself around midnight each day, I was too tired to think.

Some very successful bloggers have assistants, and I often imagine what it would be like to have one…some young, social media-savvy person, like a communications major fresh out of college, who could help me better fit the nuts and bolts of blogging into my schedule.  In addition to pushing me to write lots of posts (once a week is the bare minimum that’s acceptable in the blogosphere—twice or more a week is preferred), my imaginary assistant would help me with blog promotion; managing blog money-making opportunities like advertising and product reviews; managing comments on my blog (weeding out spammers) and helping me find time to leave comments on other blogs; “art direction”, i.e. keeping the blog readable and visually interesting by keeping up with new blog features and text options; and would help me use Twitter and other social media (I get new followers with almost every Tweet I send, which I only find time to do once or twice a week—some bloggers Tweet many times a day!).  Yep, it’s a lot more complicated than one might think when you’re trying to make a decent wage off of blogging…and trying to work on other writing projects and manage a family at the same time…and visit Grandma. Little did I know I’d get my first glimpse of what having a blog assistant is like from my 16-year-old . 

People often ask me what my kids think of my blog, and the answer is that the kids are okay with it.  They sometimes loathe it, and sometimes are even proud of it, like when their friends say, “Your mom has a blog? Cool!!”  But in general, I just assume they’d rather not think too much about it.  So it took me by surprise the other day when Allison gave me a talking-to about blog promotion as we walked out of the Wal-Mart in Grandma’s town.  I was wearing one of my uncoolmom.com T-shirts, and as usual when I wear one, people were asking me questions.

“Mom, why did you just say, ‘It’s a website’ when the checker asked you what it was?” said Allison, exasperated.  “Don’t you see? She already knew that, because of the ‘dot com’ in the name. Why didn’t you say something else? You should have said, ‘It’s a parenting blog’ or ‘It’s my blog’. Then she might have wanted to read it!” Allison went on to say that I kind of appeared reluctant to tell about it.  “When you get the opportunity to tell someone about it, be more excited! You were almost mumbling!”

Well, I don’t know if it was exactly mumbling, but I do know that now I was almost speechless, for two reasons. Number one, my teen was being very supportive of my blog, and number two, it felt like I had an assistant! “Well, okay,” I said. “You’re right. I never know quite what to say.  I need to have a better line.”

We brainstormed on other things I might want to say. I told her that a lot of times, I don’t say it’s mine because I want people to think I’m just a fan, see, to let them know that the blog is so big that there are fans all over the place, wearing T-shirts.  She disagreed. “No, I think they’d be more likely to go check it out if they knew they’d met the blog’s author,” she said.  “Also, they’d have a more personal connection and want to go check it out to help you out.”  Hmmm, spoken like a true marketer.  I thought about it and liked what she was saying, and agreed to follow her suggestions the next time someone asked about it.

Which happened in less than 10 minutes after we had that conversation. We stopped off to pick up fried chicken and the guy at the Lips 2 Go counter asked about uncoolmom.com. “It’s a parenting blog,” I said proudly. “I write it.” 

“Cool,” he said.  “Is she really uncool?” he asked Allison.

“I guess so,” she said.  “You’ll have to check it out to see.”

Wow, spoken like a true blog assistant.
(Wonder if she runs out for coffee and picks up dry cleaning, too?) J

5 thoughts on “The Unexpected Cheerleader: When Your Kids Support Your Blog”

  1. I loved this post! What great advice Allison gave you. I never thought of it that way but it TOTALLY makes sense. I would think it was cool if I met the blog’s creator and I would check it out for sure. It’s almost like you’ve met a celebrity!

  2. Congratulations to Allison for supporting you for a change! We’re there for everything Mackinzie does, and does she thank us? Most of the time she says, why are you coming? Gee, thanks, Mac. Yes, wear your shirt proudly and talk about what you do. Not everyone has the courage to write about their private life and have people want to hear more. Way to go, Allison! and of course, you too! 🙂

  3. Thanks so much for your support! I remember my parents used to come to all my school concerts, musicals, etc. and I’m not sure I realized just how great that was until several years later…hopefully maturity will bring more appreciation from your daughter as well, and mine, too!

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