When I first began blogging, I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't really know what blogging was or what it could be. What I did know was that I always loved to write and I had some really awesome photos of the parties I threw for my kids. I thought to myself why not share them on a blog. At the time I was a stay at home mom, completely infatuated with my daughters, still grieving my son and was starting to feel like I needed an outlet, or something to challenge me intellectually. So I started to blog. However, all my blog consisted of was a few dozen pictures with minimal descriptions. I didn't have any readers, besides my mother in law, and I didn't really know there was more to it than that.
Then one Saturday morning, my husband says, "Hey, have you heard of Pinterest?" Nope. I had no idea. He said, "Someone just mentioned you have to sign up to be invited to use it, I'm going to sign you up." So he did, and a few days later, I fell in love. I spent my nights scrolling for a few months before I realized, "Hey, why don't I pin my party pictures?" So I did. I didn't think much of it, until someone asked me what my numbers were for my blog, I checked and my numbers had gone from single digits to triple digits in a month. Now, again, I had no idea where to go from here. I heard that people can make money from their blogs. But I thought that was only from the ugly ads that I hated to see on others blogs.
So, I searched. I searched for a community. I searched for a list of "Southern California Women Bloggers" and hoped to find some people to interact with. This is how I found the SoCal Lady Bloggers on Facebook and asked to join. At first, I just stood back and read what others had to say, then chimed in a bit, asking questions and getting some feedback. One day a fellow SCLB'er Xenia of Raised by Culture tweeted me and told me I should go to this workshop she was hosting with some of her friends. She was right, this was exactly what I needed. The #CraftofBlogging workshop was hosted by Xenia, Denise of PearMama and Ruby of GubLife: GrowingUpBlackxican, all fellow Latina Bloggers. These women crammed so much invaluable information into 5 hours and I learned so much, my head was spinning.
The most valuable advice that I heard that day was to find my voice and audience and figure out what I wanted to say. As I watched these fabulous women speak so proudly of their accomplishments and heritage, I knew that I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to celebrate my heritage. That day I decided to apply to some blogger networks that work directly with Latinas.
I am a Latina. I have light eyes, light hair, light skin, and don't speak enough Spanish. But I am a Latina. That is my blood, my culture, my community, my family and my history. Because I grew up and live in a predominantly Mexican American city, I didn't know I had to identify myself as a Latina, I just was.
I am proud to say that I have found something that I love to do. I have been able to combine my love for writing and taking pictures, products we love and spending time with my girls. I have been working with these networks for about a year now and although it is small, I am now contributing to our income. Back in February, my world opened up again when I was lucky enough to win a ticket (thanks to LatinaMom.Me) to a conference, my first conference, Bloggy Boot Camp-Women Get Social, San Diego. Again I felt the push I needed to embrace and celebrate my heritage. My next steps are going to be big ones, I am hoping to attend the #WeAllGrow Summit in Los Angeles to learn more from my fellow Latina bloggers. There is so much more that I want to learn and accomplish and achieve and although I am a little scared, I am ready. I want to do and see more and share that with my family. I am ready for the next steps, whatever they may be.