It’s hard to believe that it has been 7 months already since I started Canadian Dad. Truthfully, had this domain name not been available, I probably wouldn’t have started it at all. I’m glad it was!
There’s been tremendous up’s and down’s so far and I’ve learned a lot about the world of blogging. Everyone has different opinions on what is acceptable and what is not, some with stronger opinions than others but that comes with the territory. I agree that there are things I see that are off putting but I also understand that as long as you are not breaking the law, it’s your space to do as you see fit with it.
With all the “rules” that float around the blogosphere, there is one piece of advice I have received from two different people now, that has stuck with me. I was lucky enough to latch myself on to an amazing group of Canadian bloggers, where I had the chance to meet Shannon Mischuk of Shasher’s Life fame. I was a little lost about the whole blogging thing, especially with the unwritten rules, when Shannon summed up all I needed to know in two words.
It couldn’t be that easy, could it? What about the content? The review/giveaway debates? The Drama! There had to be more to it than that! People don’t want kindness, they want shock and awe! I’ve found over the past few months that there is a market for all types of personalities in the blogging world and have been working hard to try and carve my niche. I have also been using the advice Shannon gave me as the bar for all my interactions.
Flash Forward to a couple weeks ago and I had the opportunity to go spend a day with Ford Canada. More importantly, I got a chance to meet some of the most influential bloggers in Ottawa. Included in that group was Shannon McKarney, who wears many hats but who I associate with her home blog of Zchamu Dot Com.
Not that I had any preconceived notions of how the other bloggers would treat me but I just assumed as the newbie and only male, that I would have a hard time forcing myself into conversations. These were people who had been around the scene for awhile and most likely didn’t have time to coach a rookie. Well, I could not have been more wrong! Not only were they welcoming but they were very willing to dole out advice from their years of blogging. Shannon said something to me towards the end of the evening that I had previously heard somewhere else.
“The best advice I can give you, is to Be Kind.”
There it was again! I don’t know about you but when two influential people say the exact same thing, I listen. Not that I wasn’t already trying to be my jovial self in my interactions with people but it was definitely reaffirming to hear it from the people I looked up to.
It can be an intimidating experience to put yourself out there to be judged by your peers but I’ve found that the advice I received from the two Shannon’s has been invaluable in connecting with other bloggers and also with brands. Now that I’ve been on the scene for a bit, I’m really noticing that this one trait is actually more valuable than having perfect numbers and endless followers. It sounds fun to be able to sit at the top of the mountain but not if you have to sit there alone and disliked.
All that said, I’d like to thank not only Shannon & Shannon (Not an official Law Firm) for the great advice, but I’d like to thank everyone in the blogging community for being so welcoming and open to sharing their wisdom with me. It has been an amazing experience so far and I’ve only just begun!
I’ve now come to my chance to Pay It Forward in a way. I don’t know if anyone really reads my blog but if you are reading this right now and you are looking for some guidance, the best advice I can offer you is also the best advice I have ever received…