How to Get Ready for Your Iconic Moment
I have been watching bloggers for 10 years.
The first blog sites included Livejournal (lifestyle) and Slashdot (technology). Infertility blogs dominated the (small) blogosphere back then, and I avidly read along because my husband and I have family history that led us to believe we would have issues conceiving. Over the years, I watched bloggers become parents, experience tragedy, and in many, many cases, stop blogging.
The most successful bloggers? The ones who were there from the beginning. It’s much easier to be a big fish in a small pond than a big fish in a big pond.
Blog focuses and URLs have changed over time. Cecily Kellogg started out as “And I Wasted All That Birth Control” to become a successful writer and speaker at UppercaseWoman.com. I started following Aliza Sherman when she was a miscarriage blogger over at Babyfruit. I identified with her because we have daughters born one month apart – reading along about her breastfeeding difficulties made me feel less isolated as I battled the same issues at the same time. Three years ago, I hooked up with Aliza on Twitter and discovered she has a ton of credentials as a web and technology pioneer. She interviewed me for her book, Mom Incorporated, and has become a trusted and reliable mentor as I launch businesses of my own.
The highly successful early bloggers all had something that defined them, riveted reader attention and launched them into the big time. Dooce (Heather Armstrong) got fired for blogging about her job, spawning the expression, “getting dooced” – she now earns millions of dollars each year from her blog, Dooce.com. Cecily Kellogg had to terminate a twin pregnancy when preeclampsia forced her to choose between her life and her sons.
Learn how to take your life to the next level – hang out with Kathy Zucker and the Metro Moms in Hoboken on May 15th
These things wound up defining them, generating controversy that drove readers to their sites. But you cannot recreate the circumstances that catapulted an individual blogger. If you got fired today for blogging about your work, there would be no golden sponsorship deals in your future, just a fast track to NOT collecting unemployment. In any emerging industry, something new can happen only once to be iconic. And the path to becoming a major blogging brand is bumpy. There are hate sites out there dedicated to attacking Cecily, and Dooce had her divorce placed under a microscope.
Being a trailblazer is not easy. I have been the face of young parenting in Hoboken ever since I started blogging at “Hoboken Mom Condo” in 2009. Three years ago, I changed the URL to MomCondoLiving.com since I may not be in Hoboken forever – the overwhelming majority of families leave Hoboken when the oldest child turns five.
I started the Metro Moms Network because I wanted to develop my brand into something I could take beyond Hoboken. For the first two years, I did not monetize the site because, frankly, I wasn’t sure about our mission. The amazing members of the management team stuck with me as we developed the biannual expos that showcase the best new parenting businesses in the New York metro area. 18 months ago, we launched Metro Moms online Magazine because parents kept asking me for more information about the businesses they fleetingly met at the expos.
When Hurricane Sandy hit Hoboken and left the city underwater for three days, that was the iconic moment that launched me. I began getting calls from the media, conducting interviews with the Associated Press and NPR. Last week, I won a KeepGoodGoing Shorty Award sponsored by New York Life Insurance Company since I embody the spirit of the award by being an inspiration and educational resource to families in my local community even during difficult times.
I will not be a young parent forever. My youngest child began walking yesterday, transforming from an infant to a toddler. That phase of my life is now over. But even if I decided to have another child, Hoboken is changing, and it is time for me to change with it.
Kathy Zucker, accidental entrepreneur, mother of three young children and winner of the New York Life Keep Good Going Shorty Award, writes about juggling career and family in an urban setting. See what Kathy is up to at her blog and on Twitter @KathyZucker.
Tags: business, life choices