Last week, I asked why you blog. I said that if anyone was interested, I'd share why I do. No one asked but I figure it's only fair that I share my reasons since I asked for yours.
What seems like 87 bazillion years ago, some guy I'd been hanging out with told me he had a computer. They weren't as common back then as they are now. I went to his house and he showed me the internet. I found it interesting but wasn't really quite sure what to do with it. He showed me his email account and we checked out a chat room.
Awhile later, my mom got a brand new computer. Every once in awhile, she'd allow to me to play on it for a little bit. It never seemed long enough and before I knew it, she was telling me she needed it back.
Cut to awhile later - I had a boyfriend who helped me set up my first email account. I didn't get much email at first, most of what I did get came from him with an occasional one from a friend or two.
When I moved out on my own, I got my first computer for Christmas. At this point, I still wasn't sure what to do with it because I'd never been able to play around online for very long before. I was intimidated by it at first but it didn't take long before I'd pretty much figured out all the fun things I could do with it and I was HOOKED!!!
I got my first chi (Shiver) and googled "chihuahua" where I ran across my first dog blog. I read it several times a week and one day, I clicked on one of the blog owner's favorites links. It opened up a new blog, of course, and from there, I clicked on even more links.
I then decided I needed to create my own blog. Sadly, I quickly discovered I had nothing to say. After sitting dormant for a long time, I told myself I needed to either use it or delete it. Every once in awhile I would put up a new post but I never included pictures because I wasn't sure how to. For the most part, my posts were just about things that I discovered I liked, such as McDonald's Fruit Smoothies. Once, I posted about a pretty tree that I'd seen and liked.
I naively thought I'd have instant visitors and that everyone would be sure to comment. Yeah, that didn't happen! It took at least 6 months, probably even more, before anyone else actually checked out my blog. It finally hit me that if I left comments for other people, they might do the same for me. So that's what I did. The first few comments I left didn't lead to anyone coming to check out my blog.
However, I then ran across a blog from someone who had just adopted a chi. I commented and a day or so later, she not only commented on my blog, she was my very first follower! I was soooooo excited! But I also suddenly felt pressure.
I hadn't been blogging with any regularity and because I knew no one else was reading it, I didn't worry about whether or not it was interesting. I knew that if I wanted my one and only follower to stick around, that needed to change!
I wasn't sure what I could do to make it better or even where my place was in this blogging world. I decided to just check out as many blogs as I could and figure out what seemed to be working for them and what didn't. I left comments and slowly, I began to get more followers.
I noticed that blogs who hosted giveaways or swaps seemed to have a lot more followers so I held my very first Doggone Dog Swap 3 years ago and had 6 participants. It went well but I think I only got maybe one follower out of it. That didn't deter me though and I've hosted it every year since. Now I host it not to get followers but just because it's fun. I decided that when/if I ever get 100 followers, I would host a giveaway. That hasn't happened yet but I'm close.
Along the way, I've had a lot of fun. I've made some really wonderful friends, I've won some great giveaways, I've participated in various events, I've cried each and every time I hear of a beloved pet going over the rainbow bridge, I've prayed for people and pets who aren't doing as well as they might, I've laughed at other people's posts and at comments they've left me, I cried at a post someone wrote about me because it was just so sweet (I have it bookmarked so I can go back and read it whenever I want to) and I've appreciated all the wonderful comments people left me when my father passed away. Sadly, my friends IRL were not as supportive as you all were. It's not that they don't care, because I know they do. Some friends have never commented on it at all. That really hurts!
I've also had other bloggers who were kind enough to send me things. You know who you are and I appreciate every single one of you. Sometimes the things I got were for a specific purpose (Christmas, for example) and other times, they were sent for no reason at all. Thank you!
I haven't had very many bad experiences with blogging. I've had a couple of comments that I didn't exactly appreciate but no one has harassed me. I won 2 giveaways and never got the prizes. And one blogger, I blocked. Other than that, I'm so glad I got involved in it.
I'm still struggling to find my place in the bloggy world but I'm still here. I've been accepted by the dog blogs which I love but I also have a lot of followers who aren't involved in that world too. I'm not the best writer, I don't have the most popular blog and I may not have the most interesting things to say but I don't care, I'm here and I'm here to stay!