While the girls ate their breakfast yesterday, I sat down to check my email and go through my Blog Roll for a couple of quick reads. As usual, I deleted a bunch of random messages and clicked over to my blog to see which blogs on my Blog Roll had new posts. I was met with a huge, giant, and completely unpleasant surprise!
A giant, pop-up warning blared in my face, and to make matters worse, I wasn't the only one seeing it. Several blogging friends and readers sent me emails and FB messages letting me know they couldn't view my blog because of the pop-up message.
I took a calm sip of my coffee and decided to check in on the matter later in the week. Uh huh. Yeah right. No, I completely freaked out. As fast as my little fingers could type, I high-tailed it over to a FB networking group for bloggers that I'm a part of. I asked for some feedback there and bloggers were quick to offer to take a look at the site for me and offer me some advice.
As I sat, worried that maybe my blog would blow up, and no readers or sponsors would ever want to click over again to my site, I remembered that my friend Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage experienced something similar awhile back.
I figured that Gina would be way too busy to get back to me since she runs a very successful blog and Etsy Shop. But I took a long-shot and sent her a desperate email to see if she might have some advice for me. Lucky for me, Gina happened to be checking her email and saw mine come through. After talking me down from the ledge, she directed me to a post she wrote about what to do if your blog has a malware warning pop up. I confirmed with the Blogger Help Forum, but basically the pop-up had nothing to do with my blog. I had linked to another site that had been hacked, and so Google flagged me too. It took some work, but I was able to get everything cleared up by deleting all the links to that site.
The moral of the story is...if you don't have a community of blogger friends, you need to find one or form one!
There's truth to the old "strength in numbers" quote. If you don't know the answers, chances are good that someone else will. It's nice to have a network of bloggers who are quick to offer support in different ways. Bloggers know how it feels to spend hours working on a project, photographing it, editing photos, writing a post, and then publishing and marketing that post. Receiving feedback, whether it's through comments, Pins, emails, ReTweets, or Facebook shares is encouraging...it makes you want to keep up the good work. Last but not least, I have personally learned that community can lead to opportunities, whether it's through guest posts, blog swaps, campaigns, or even job offers!
So, now that you want to be part of a community, how do you find one?
Community won't come and find you. Writing posts 5 days a week won't help. Linking up to 64 blog parties every day won't help. Tweeting your own link every hour won't help. You have to reach out and do some work to make connections. The easiest way is to comment on other blogs. I wrote a whole blog series devoted to the importance of commenting on other blogs. You may have to click around some, but eventually you'll find your own groove and establish some relationships with other like-minded bloggers.
I'm not sure what I would have done yesterday if I didn't have a great group of blog ladies to bounce ideas off of. I probably would have just posted in the Blogger Help Forum and yelled at the screen until someone eventually came by to answer me. That sweet Gina would take the time to personally address my dilemma speaks volumes for the type of person she is. The "Ginas" are the people you want to befriend when you are blog surfing...talented, professional, and friendly...but above all, kind.
So...this was not exactly what I had planned on posting this week, but I felt like it was important for other bloggers to read. Some of you may experience problems with those awful pop-ups and need a fix, and some of you might be new to blogging and need some direction.
Do you have a network of blogging friends to interact with?