Monday, February 28, 2011

"I'm NOT Tellin!"

Shhhhhh… It’s A Secret
I’m not tellin!   (my number ONE answer to my top TWO questions)
In the real life “Suburbs”:  Question 1 of the 30-55 demo: Where is your blog?   Question 1 of the 55+ demo: “That’s GREAT, you have a blog!!!  Wow.  What’s a blog?”  F M L
In “Blogtown” (readers of my blog) Where do you live?

My answer to both is the same:  “I’m not tellin!” 

I went to a party this weekend totally unprepared for what was about to happen.   This was a lil shindig for one of my friends; sadly we’ve been drifting a lot lately.   Our lives are now going in opposite directions, I’m single and she’s recently not.   Unfortunately the common ground we used to stand on is eroding and it’s not a good place to be.   We shared a lot of bonding experiences: death, job loss, broken hearts and I thought the fabric of our friendship was very tightly woven forever.  I’m not so sure anymore.  But this isn’t a post about friendship but, hopefully it helps you get the picture.  (Sniff, sniff, wipe tear left eye, right eye…)
Since we don’t spend as much time together as we used to, I’ve also drifted a lot with our common friends.  It’s great to see them and I realize how much I miss them when I do, but life gets in the way.  I have teenagers, they have babies and it’s a totally different place in life.  I get that.   I came to the party a little late (Tardy to the Party? OH NO U Did n’t! sic), had a chance to catch up with my friend and then looked for other familiar faces.  I spotted a group of people I knew who were at a round table in the back of the room chatting it up.   We exchanged hellos, hugs and smiles, me still shivering inside the protection of my winter coat, I take a seat.  Meanwhile, I’m going through my mental notes, trying to drum up small talk topics, (kids, job, etc) to start some chit chat. 
Literally, before my butt hit the cold metal folding chair, I was bombarded with questions about my blog.  Seriously.    Four people talking all at once (with jazz hands, so you know it’s SERIOUS):
“I’ve heard all about your blog… where is it?  I want to read it, I bet it’s hilarious. What’s the address?”
 To which I reply:
Say it with me peeps:  “I’m not tellin!”
My blog is a closely guarded secret even within those closest to me.  I’ve had “real life” girlfriends get angry at me for not telling them how to find it and I haven’t given my parents the site either.  I do all of this not to protect me so much, but my kids and of course and anyone I’ve written about.    I felt comfy until now because if you Google my keywords, I’m on the first page.  So, now it’s a reality that people could find me if they knew what they are looking for.   Yikes, this is what you want as a blogger, it’s just so fast. (not complaining)  Literally things are happening at a breakneck pace.  Recognition, some little offers of this or that, it’s great.  I didn’t expect it to happen this fast, honestly.  
(Are you seeing some an episode of True Hollywood Story, “The Single Mom” flashing in your head too?  Mosaic interviews, hiding faces of interviewees, garbled & distorted voice changers… ya it has THS written all over it, huh?)
Here is my attempt to inject some SINCERE HUMILITY… I’m not a writer… no really… (looks down at fingers moving over keys furiously… ok, ok…)  I’m just trying on this label and seeing if it fits.  If my content blows, people won’t come back to my site no matter what, so I want my blog to not suck.  (I aim high, huh?)
I thought I’d “blog it up” for a few months, fly under the radar and get my stuff together.    That was a great idea, but now I’m not invisible.  I’m on the same Google page with bloggers I’ve looked up to and thought (if only, sigh…).  Well, I’m there with them, except they are getting paid to do it, and I’m not (hint, hint)  Anyway, I also was named to a list by an influential blogger, TeamAwesome (JustCallMeFrank).  Sheesh… now I have to be awesome, #nopressure…. I was just going for “not sucking” (cheesy “raise the roof” gesture… ya I know soooooo 2008)
So, meanwhile… back at the party…
The people at the table continued with their questions and disapproval of my vague answers.   I really don’t care about what people I only see rarely think.  The people from my present whom I’ve written about are important to me, so people asking me these questions can eat it.
“Ok, so if you’re not going to give us the address, at least tell us what you write about”.  I can see they are baiting me for some nugget they can use to “google me up”.    An attractive man across the table grabs his Droid and immediately opens his internet browser.  
He says directly to me, “I work for an Internet Marketing Company.  I can help you.”  (eye roll:  Great, just great,… not THIS again…)
I’m intrigued but more skeptical…
He walks over, Droid in one hand, shiny silver business card case in the other.  Before I can say, “Have a seat”, a fresh business card is planted in my palm.  

Marketing Man
“How long has your blog been up?”

The Single Mom
“Just a little over a month.”

Marketing Man
“I can get you to page one of Google for your keywords”, He says proudly, saying each of the last several words one at a time.

The Single Mom
“I’m already on page one.  Above the fold.”

Marketing Man

 “Oh, wow that’s impressive.  How did you do that?” 

He didn’t know I knew just a little somethin' somethin' about search. (street cred)
We talk Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and “Blogtown”.  While I’m having a conversation with him,  I notice his girlfriend keeping one eye on him and one on me while carrying on a conversation of her own. 
Phasing into the reality of this, it’s important to me that I protect the identity of the people I write about and I take that seriously.  I don’t write about anyone in depth without their permission and I will do whatever I can to protect the characters’ true identities.  Everyone I’ve dated since starting it has been extremely positive and WANTS to be a part of it.  However, I’m sure the day will come when someone will not I can totally respect that. 
Now that my blog isn't invisible anymore, I had to contact “Putter” and catch him up about the blog since he was written about so much.  He knew about it but never really wanted to read it, until now…  (Shameless segue into a plug for an upcoming blog post… Putter reads the blog… Sh#t Sticks!... coming soon to your favorite blog… mine duh!)
So, my work is ahead of me.  1.  Write a blog that doesn’t suck.  Er… no write a Badass Blog about a Badass Single Mom in Some Random (sorta Badass) Midwestern Suburb.  2.  Keep doing it until it pays me at least enough for a bikini wax or a smoothie, or something.
But until then and beyond… I’m not tellin!
The Single Mom

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