Whew. I am seriously blown away by the response that I got after I wrote the post 4 misconceptions about being a military family. When I wrote the post, my goal was to explain a side of our lifestyle that most people don’t understand, or at least don’t think about. After I published it on Facebook, friends (mostly other military friends) immediately started liking it and commenting on how it hit home for them. I was thrilled with the positive reviews I was getting from them. Several friends went on to share the post on their page and eventually it was shared on the Coast Guard Wives Facebook page too. I continued to get great feedback from other spouses all across the country who related to what I had written. It felt really, really nice to reach so many people and to receive such a positive response.
I was shocked the next day when I saw that within the course of 24 hours, my blog had been viewed over 4,000 times and the number was still growing. Normally, I get 60-70 views a day. Thousands of people that I don’t even know were reading my post and praising it. It felt awesome.
Midway through the day my phone jingled, letting me know I had a new email. I opened the email, which was sent from Jimmy Soni, and read what I thought must be a joke. Either that or I was confused with what he was saying. It said that he really enjoyed my post on military families and was wondering if I would be open to them cross-posting it. To be honest, I had no idea who Jimmy Soni was, so after reading the email two more times, I finally noticed the signature at the bottom of my phone.
The Huffington Post Media Group
And at that point I said, “Holy shit”, which is not something I typically say and probably the cause for Josh’s worried look. Of course he wanted to know what was going on but I made him Google Jimmy Soni first. I wanted to make sure this wasn’t just someone screwing around. After discovering that he was, in fact, an editor at The Huffington Post I told Josh what the email said but I continued to doubt that The Huffington Post really wanted to feature my blog. To begin with, I couldn’t even imagine how they would have seen it. Yes, 4,000 views is a lot for me but most blogs that I read have that many followers so I know it’s not big league. I also still really felt like this was probably a joke. I asked Josh if someone could make up an email address from @huffingtonpost.com to which he replied no, and then checked The Huffington Post contact website just to reassure me. It wasn’t a joke. They had really read, and liked, my blog post. I emailed Jimmy back and told him that I was shocked that they’d be interested and I’d love to share it further but I had a few questions about what “cross-posting” meant. Basically, I just wanted to know if they were going to edit my post before publishing it. He quickly responded, assured me that they wouldn’t and explained what cross-posting was. He also said that I had no reason to be shocked as my post was well written and thoughtful and would speak to many people. At this point I was just completely beside myself. Between the reaction my friends had after reading the post, the number of times the post had been shared and now praise from an editor at The Huffington Post, I was elated. I sent a text to my aunt and to one of my closest friends (the person whom had shared the post on the CG wives page) and told them what was going on. They were both very excited for me and made jokes about getting paid. But what I ended up getting from writing this post was better than money.
After I agreed to allow The Huffington Post to publish my post, I was then contacted by Jimmy’s assistant to work out all of the details. I needed to send her a headshot along with a short bio. I shared on Facebook the news about HuffPo and once again got an awesome response.
Then it was time to write this bio. It sounds so silly but I was really intimidated by this. I went through some of the other featured bloggers and read their biographies to try and get an idea of what they were looking for but this just intimidated me even more. These other people were professional writers, lawyers, and experts on their subject with a nice little resume accompanying their photo. What was I going to write? College drop out, stay at home mom who takes pretty pictures of her kids and posts them on her blog (to which she doesn’t even own the domain). It took me a good hour, lots of writing and deleting and a little fluffing to finally come up with this.
It was good enough so I sent the email and went to bed. I woke up to a returned email from the assistant letting me know that they would be putting it together and posting it immediately and she’d send me the link once it was done. It was so fast! Three hours later, my phone jingled that same jingle letting me know that I had a new email. It was Alison with the link.
I quickly jumped on my laptop and opened my email. I clicked the link and died when I saw my name and face at the top of the page. Once again it felt awesome. Immediately, I texted Josh to let him know it was up and then hopped on Facebook to share with everyone else.
After I shared the link on my wall, I decided to share it on the Coast Guard Wives page as well since, most definitely, these women were the ones who helped me get my post this far in the first place. I thanked them all for the support and posted the link. I am so glad that I did because what I got back from these women – women who understand why I needed to write this post in the first place – was moving.
A few of these fellow Coastie Wives requested me as a Facebook friend or started following my blog, several commented congratulations and awesome and you deserve it, and a couple even thanked me for writing something that was what they needed to read during their PCS but one comment that I received on that page really got to me. A fellow wife said that my post “struck a chord with her” because she and her family had just moved and “she never expected it to be so hard” to leave somewhere she had absolutely hated just a few years ago. She went on to say that that place is now where she calls home so she’s in the process of trying to “readjust” and make her new place home “all while feeling extremely alone without my friends.” This comment brought me to tears because it took me back to what my life was like during our last transfer. Quite frankly, I could have written the same words just 5 months ago. The feeling of knowing that something that I wrote touched someone who is going through what I went through a year ago, beat out all of the likes, and shares and even my excitement over The Huffington Post.
I just want to take one last opportunity to thank all of my friends who thought enough of my post to share it. Especially my Coastie bestie, Leigh, who passed it along to the other women she knew could relate and said so many kind words via Facebook and text. Even though we’re forced to live hours apart, it’s so nice to know that I have the same support from you that I did when you lived in my front yard 🙂
In case you don’t follow me on Facebook and you missed all of my screams about the post you can check it out here.