[Editor's Note: Today I have my very first guest post, I know! So exciting! And to make it even more sweet it comes from one of my very favourite bloggers Twindaddy. I stumbled on to StuphBlog not long after I signed up on WordPress and since then I have been hooked. Stuphblog has everything, romance, action, hilarity and raw emotion. I feel honoured and privileged to have Twindaddy as my guest. Please make him feel welcome, and then go check out his blog, it's seriously overflowing with awesomeness]
Hello. Allow myself to introduce myself. My name is Twindaddy. One of the Empire’s finest.
I recently put out an open call for guest bloggers on my site. I did this for a variety of reasons. I had just traded guest posts with another blogger and found the exchange fascinating. I gained new followers out of the deal and the other blogger did as well. So mainly, I wanted to share the blogger love. I wanted to expose the blogs I follow, and those that follow me, to other bloggers so that everyone could gain new readership. A larger audience. After all, blogging is much more fun when people are actually reading what you’re writing and interacting with you in the comments. At least, it is for me.
Steph answered my call and asked that we both post on each other’s blog and I was surely happy to oblige. Steph’s post was fun and hilarious. It’s my time to return the favor, so here I am. The land down under.
The first of what has become a series of guest posts on my blog since I put out my open call was a piece entitled The People We Meet, written by wordsmith extraordinaire Polysyllabic Profundities. Her words got me thinking about my own blogging journey, and how it has had many unexpected benefits for me.
I started blogging way, way (Way, way, way…nope, keep going. Ah, there you are.) back in 2007. It wasn’t a serious endeavor, but something to merely add content to a website I was running for my brother’s fantasy football league. I think I may have posted 10 or 11 posts total on that blog. Then in late 2010, I created a self-hosted blog. Not as a creative outlet, but as a way to see if I could actually host my own website. I did host my own site and what I found during the two months that I actually ran it is that I enjoyed writing. I began to develop a need to let all of my pent-up creativity out. This was something I had never recognized about myself before. I had a need to create and now I knew it. So when my internet service provider shut down my self-hosted website (because evidently hosting your own site without paying them extra for it is against the rules or something), I migrated my blog to WordPress.
Nothing much really happened on my blog over the next year or so. My stats were fairly…let’s be honest, they sucked. I was only getting a handful of views per day. I eventually realized (I think I read it somewhere) that in order for bloggers to find me I needed to go out and find them first. So I started reading and commenting on other blogs. Slowly but surely I began to collect readers. People began following my blog. It felt incredible that I was creating something that people actually enjoyed.
But something unexpected happened. Some of my followers began becoming friends. I came to care for a great many of them and they came to care for me. Or at least they care enough to make me feel like they care for me. Many of these friendships have crossed beyond the realm of the blogosphere into Facebook, Twitter, and even Google. I trade emails, instant messages, tweets, Facebook comments, and direct messages with a great number of these blogging friends. Great friends such as Elyse, Polysyllabic Profundities, Nicole Marie, Madam Weebles, Vyvacious Eats, Brother Jon, Becca, La La, Society Red, The Mercenary Researcher, Jen and Tonic, GingerSnaap, 1jaded1, and even his Magnificence™ himself, Le Clown.
About a month ago, I published a post detailing all of my life’s troubles. Afterwards, a surprising thing happened. Supportive comments. In droves. They came flooding in. That post quickly became the most commented post on my blog. It felt amazing that people I know only through written words cared enough to take time out of their day to offer words of encouragement. I certainly didn’t expect the outpouring of support I received and really only wrote the post to vent my troubles.
Blogging has since become a much larger part of my life. I log in frequently to answer comments from friends and to see if they have posted new content. I have begun trying to promote new bloggers so that they can achieve the same things I have through blogging. That is why I have accepted so many invites to guest blog and so many requests to have guest bloggers. I want every blogger to have the same rewarding experience through blogging which I have had.
I still use my blog as a creative outlet for those times when I need to express my feelings or share a story, but it has become more, so much more, than just a tool. It is a community. It is a circle of friends. It is a way of life.