6. Build a custom support community. We all need friends. Some of us live in rural areas and don't have much opportunity to meet other women with shared interests. Others live in sprawling cities but can't shake the feeling of isolation in the crowd. Your own parenting blog will allow you to meet women far more diverse than any circle of friends you could build in real life. That particularly complicated set of circumstances that make your life your own? You'd be surprised by how closely you can find it duplicated out there if you start sharing your stories.
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7. Develops contacts for ... everything. My online communities have become my Google. Everything I need to know or find or learn about, someone out there can help me and do it better than any search engine result. Need a job? Need to know if anyone else's kid has ever had that weird thing happen? Need recommendations for, say, anything ever anywhere? Your custom-built community knows the answer or how to get it.
8. Spread awareness for your cause. After spending five years online, I occasionally find myself jaded when trying to raising awareness or funds for a cause within a local parenting group. For instance, an excellent outcome might be reaching 75 people. 75 people? Hang on, I can reach thousands with a few keystrokes! Leverage my community, and I can reach tens of thousands! Suddenly the concept of "reach" changes when you are a blogger and take it remotely seriously. Use your voice and you can spread awareness of a childhood illness, charity or family in need—and watch it spread far beyond your real-life limits.
9. Time to have your own thing and protect it as "me" time. When I asked my husband for one of the best reasons for me to keep my blog, he said because I need to have my own thing, a creative outlet that is nestled in my own rules and expectations. He says he can't imagine who I would be without my blog and the community I've built around it. I have to agree. I like this "me."
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10. Know you are not alone. Notice that every single item on this list involves reaching out to others. mom.me is an ideal place to start. Dip your toe in the community waters and start sharing your stories. The first time your personal story or opinion resonates with a stranger? Come back and tell me how it feels! I promise, it's invigorating. It's empowering. The first time your story helps a stranger? You'll never look back. You don't have to be a good writer or a polished photographer. Just be you. You'll be amazed at who will find a piece of themselves in you, and you them.