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Start a Blog: Becoming an Advocate

This is the ninth part in my Start a Blog series about blogging. This post is relevant whether you’ve started your blog or not, but you might want to check out my other posts if you haven’t seen them since they lay the groundwork for starting your money-making blog journey. Also, keep in mind that some brands won’t work with you unless you have a dot com and you’re self-hosting (both easy things to do!!) so check out my post about setting up a hosted blog if you aren’t there yet.

advocate

This post is coming to you from Las Vegas, where I am attending the Food Allergy Bloggers Conference. It’s my first year attending this conference and it’s been about what I would have expected. Most of the people here either have or are seriously affected by food allergies so there’s a lot of story swapping and tons of brands who cater to people with special diets have come to share their goodies with the attendees.

One of the words that I’ve heard over and over again is advocacy. That’s a hot word in the allergy community, especially among parents who use the word “advocate” to remind themselves (ourselves) that it’s their (our) job to be as crazy overprotective as they (we) are. Obviously, since this is a blogging conference we represent only a sliver of all of the allergy parents out there so there has been a lot of discussion about how important it is to get accurate allergy information out to the public and our responsibility to accurately represent the stories of allergy parents everywhere.

This got me to thinking. I’m not one of those bloggers who has a dedicated mission, like the bloggers who raise money for specific causes or the ones who work tirelessly until legislation is passed in their favor on some particular issue they feel passionate about. I just write about my life. My blog is exactly the kind of blog that people roll their eyes about and wonder (A) who would ever read that drivel and (B) why I think I’m so special that every photo of my kids needs to be shared like nobody has ever seen kids before.

I am, however, an advocate. I’m an advocate for Eva’s allergies, of course, but I’m also an advocate for people who want to blog full-time. I’m an advocate for people who are just starting to get into the habit of running. I’m an advocate for people who have strict grocery budgets but enjoy creative meals. I’m an advocate for people who forget that there are vacation destinations out there that don’t involve the Disney Dining Plan. I’m even occasionally an advocate for people who are incorrectly parenting their children.

I don’t think that my blog has made a huge impact on the world, but I do feel good about the little contributions that I’ve made in my own way. Every now and then I’ll hear from someone who connected with something I said and ended up being pushed in some new direction because of it. I know that’s happened to me often, reading the everyday stories of other people. It’s grounding to hear about the experiences of others. I, for one, would be able to navigate this world much more easily if I could read everyone like a book.

It can feel scary to share your story, but getting all of those voices out there is how we’re building communities these days. I know that people come to my blog with judgement sometimes, but there are also a lot of people who show up because we’re on the same page and they can relate to what I’m saying. I guarantee that if you start blogging, your community will find you. It’s also a safe bet that something you say will make a difference to someone, although how positive that difference is is up to you and your words. So you can blog for a noble cause and a large purpose, but don’t feel like you have to. Normalcy needs advocates, too.

Go write this weekend. It’s a good season for it.

PS – Remember that you might not know the people who will value your voice the most, so if your friends don’t follow your blog that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth reading. Not even kidding when I say my best friends haven’t been on this site in years! Keep your head up and keep blogging. 

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7 Comments

  • Reply Victoria Shingleton

    Hey, Carly!

    I just wanted to say that as someone who does not have children, nor immediate or even in the somewhat foreseeable future plans to have children, I quite enjoy your blog. I followed you here a few years ago from the Disney Wedding Blog and found that I quite enjoy it… perhaps even more! And the reason that I like reading Ever Clever Mom is because I appreciate your honesty and candidness… how you don’t tell people what to do or how to be perfect, but say, “Hey, this is what happened to me. This is what I learned. Maybe you can learn from this, too.”

    Not knowing you personally, I felt like I was there with you when you discovered Eva’s allergies. My heart hurts a little every time I see the photo that shows the incredibly irritated skin with the grid on her back. And when you found out that the long bed rest period for Calvin had paid off and were rewarded with an incredibly healthy little boy! Photos of your adorable children, never hurt, either (especially in Disney clothing)!

    So it’s incredibly true what you say – you might not know the people who will value your voice the most.

    September 28, 2014 at 12:31 am
    • Reply Carly Morgan

      Thank you so much, Victoria! It’s nice to know you’re still reading. 🙂 Everyone go read Victoria’s blog!! http://www.victoriaonvacation.com/

      September 29, 2014 at 5:53 pm
  • Reply Hope at Disneyland

    I don’t think you write drivel. Normalcy needs a voice too. 🙂

    September 29, 2014 at 4:38 pm
  • Reply Christine

    I love this! I love that a blog can inspire others to try new things. I love sharing something I’m passionate about. I’ve learned a lot from your blog. I don’t have kids yet, but I’m sure one day all those posts will be helpful to me as well!

    October 1, 2014 at 2:35 pm
    • Reply Carly Morgan

      I’m glad that you’re finding the series helpful! As far as the kids thing…well, hopefully I’ve at least lowered your bar of expectations. 😉

      October 6, 2014 at 7:04 am
  • Reply sasa

    Hi Carly! I agree with the above commenter that normalcy needs a voice too. I’ve been a longtime lurker but I love your honesty in everything you do/post. It’s real life and it’s always nice to see/read how other moms are doing it. 🙂

    I also wanted to thank you for this series on how to start a blog. My blog went live this week! It’s been nice having this outlet, something I do for me, and I look forward to working on it all the time. Thank You!

    October 1, 2014 at 4:53 pm
    • Reply Carly Morgan

      Thank you so much for reading and congrats on starting your blog! It’s such a great creative hobby and I hope you love it. Let me know if you ever need any help with anything!

      October 6, 2014 at 7:02 am

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