This is kind of a long story but hear me out. I hope you can help me.
I started blogging a couple of years ago while my husband was deployed overseas. I had two babies at home and kept in touch with friends and family online. Ultimately I met a woman who introduced me to blogging and we decided to co-own a site.
We were still newbies not knowing too much but rallied enough good blogger contacts to learn the basics. We created a website that catered to a virtually untapped niche and it took off and we began to make money. Then I found out that my friend had been using business contacts for her own personal blog and gain, being dishonest about dealings and so on. I was crushed. Even a written contract between the two of us didn’t seem to matter to her so we eventually went our separate ways.
I struggled for a while to find my voice in blogging, and still do. I like so many things. I let a lot of blogs die but continued with my travel blog even though I am not completely happy with it and it seems like I am stuck. I have so many “great” ideas swirling around in my head but for some reason can’t implement them. The Blogosphere has become very cliquish and if you aren’t a “top mommy blogger” then you can be ignored A LOT. Either my numbers are not high enough or I am not in a clique, etc.
I’ve realized how much I have rambled and still have not figured this all out.
Rene what would you recommend I do?
In a Holding Pattern
Wow, that’s quite a story. Okay, I think your issue is in actuality, two issues, the pain of betrayal and the fact that you feel stuck. So those are the two fronts on which you need to fight this battle. Let’s look at them one at a time.
DEAL WITH THE PAIN: One of the things that comes through loud and clear in your letter is pain and you are completely justified in feeling that way. But I want you to remember this; if you don’t get moving, if you continue to dwell on this, to look backward at the wrong instead of forward at the possibility, then your ex-business partner will have won. It’s time to figuratively bury her and all that madness and move on. Now how do you do that? Remove every trace of her from your life. Some people might think that’s juvenile; I call it self-preservation. Exercise some self-control and don’t peek at her blog, Facebook page, Twitter stream, or Pinterest page. Resist the urge to check up on ANYTHING she is doing. Once you do that you can move to the next phase…
GET UNSTUCK: The reason I want you to stop checking up on her is because you are going to be using that energy on propelling yourself forward. The one thing I find that is so awesome about blogging and social media is that there is virtually an audience for everyone. So the fact that you’re not a “Top Mommy Blogger” means nothing, namely because there’s something for everyone. You yourself saw it happen when you developed niche content in your blog with your former business partner. Look around to see what the needs are then find a unique way to offer your services. You don’t need the big brands right away; start small because we know success begets success. Once you have a few successful campaigns under your belt, watch what comes your way.
GOING FORWARD: I think everyone who’s ever had a business deal go bad knows what I’m about to say. GET.A.LAWYER! The reason is when you come together it’s all Kumbaya and wine and roses. There’s beauty in the struggle and blah, blah, blah. But the reason it is that way is because zero percent of zero is zero; that changes drastically when there’s real money involved. Either get a lawyer to draw up a real agreement (no matter the cost) or be a lone ranger and don’t let there be a next time.
I’d like to close with a couple things: first, I think you need to examine your motives behind blogging. Why do you want to do it? What do you want to accomplish? Is it for monetary gain (and we know that doesn’t come overnight) or something more? Fame? Notoriety? To get back at your former partner? So I would work on getting clarity on that. I would also suggest you find someone who needs your services. There are few things that make you feel better than being needed; I’m positive there is some organization in your community that could use your services. Maybe a local women’s shelter needs a social media strategist. Perhaps you could do some fundraising for the school district. Maybe help out with a breast cancer charity. The point is you would feel great at the end of the day and they could really use your expertise.
Lastly I would say with regard to the-woman-who-shall-not-be-named, you need to remember that everyone lives in a hell of his or her own making. What you see (well, what you USED to see when you checked up on her) might not be reality. Things are not always as they appear. Okay?
Good luck, Mommy, you’ll be great!
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