When I started writing this blog a year ago, I decided that I would not “sell myself out” to corporate sponsorship or advertising, i.e, product reviews, as most other mom & dad bloggers do in order to monetize on their blogs. Not that I have anything against those who do, I mean every one has to make money somehow right? But I made a choice not to do this.
As a writer and as a story teller, my goal with this blog was to share my parenting stories with as large of an audience as possible, and to always be honest with my readers by not sugar coating my parenting reality. This is why I like to refer to my blog as a “blogory”, in an attempt to distinguish between what I write (short stories/personal essays) and what other mom/dad bloggers write as “consultants” or “specialists” reviewing commercial products.
It’s not to say that someday I will not make an attempt to monetize on my stories by putting together a book, however, the concept of advertising for other businesses and products on my blog, doesn’t suit me.
BUUUUUUTTTTT, I never said never!! The truth is, one of the most important lessons I have learned as a young mother having to make adult decisions as a teen for the sake of my family and as a prior military wife, is that you have got to be able to flex, bend and occasionally take a detour in life. And right now, I have a really good reason to bend a little on my decision.
Yesterday I received an email, which I almost moved into the garbage as spam mail, but something in the email snippet caught my attention:
I loved reading your post about your son’s interest in music–I grew up with a brother and dad that both had bands and I understand the commitment issues, people dropping out, etc. It sounds like your son’s handling it well–he must have learned to keep cool under pressure from his mother.
Well, the reason I wanted to connect with you was to give you some exciting news. I’m happy to send a special congrats on behalf of Bold Earth Teen Adventures–http://www.boldearth.com/, the world’s leading teen tour operator. We’re so excited to let you know that we’ve named your blog on our list of “Top 75 Blog Parents of Teens Should Read!”
Ooooooooo, how exciting!!! Holla!!! Ok, ok, ok top 75 may not sound that distinguishable as opposed to Top 10 or Top 25….but whatever man, my blog is on a list of Top Something and it’s not the Top Worst Mom Blogs!!! LMAO!
The teen adventure experts at Bold Earth searched the web for the past several months to find the best bloggers with a distinct point of view as a parent of teens or pre-teens. We looked for relatable, inspiring lifestyle reads just from one parent to another. Your teen-focused posts, tips and stories about your family give us a glimpse into what it’s like to raise teens–the good, the bad and the ugly! With you especially being a young mother, your point of view has inspired us and it couldn’t go unnoticed.
Aside from personalizing this email, using keywords like “relatable” and “inspiring” are hook and bait here. And we all know that I give you the good, the bad and the ugly!! I jumped off the couch and ran into my son’s room to share the email with him. “Cool, but I thought it was gonna be about me and my music or something.” He said, looking at me notably disappointed. “Thanks buddy!!” I said to him and patted him hard on the shoulder, “Hey, sometimes it’s not all about you!” I laughed and continued reading the email out loud,
As a special thanks for being such a great blog and fun resource, we’d love you to invite you to participate in Bold Earth’s community service projects for teens, too. Just our top 75 bloggers and their readers will get to vote on which service project that BEA’s teens work with will receive Bold Earth’s 2011 charity donation. $500 may not seem like a lot to us, but to these amazing charity projects, it’s huge!
Mmmmmm, ok here we go, there’s always a catch right!!?? But I was still intrigued because of the fact that they were campaigning for community service projects for teens and I’m a huge proponent of community service and learning projects. I clicked on the link and was excited to learn that they had projects all over the world with trips throughout the USA, Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. They range from surfing in Hawaii to climbing in Colorado to volunteering in Costa Rica to eating crepes in Paris to perfecting your Spanish in Spain! (no experience required). Every trip is small and tight-knit with 12-16 students in each group and 2-3 leaders.
Bold Earth works with a ton of service projects, but we’ve chosen to celebrate these 3 for your readers to vote on:
-The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative
-Ecuador Niños De La Calle (children of the street)
-The Amazon Conservation Project
“So are they offering to send me somewhere??” My son asked, and honestly the thought crossed my mind too. How cool would that be?? I read on,
To make it even more fun–one of our bloggers who participates will win a free teen adventure trip for their son or daughter (or other family member) for summer 2011 or summer 2012! (At a max.value of $5,000, based on availability). They’ll also get the donation for the winning charity placed in their name! I’m hoping one of your kiddos would love this opportunity! And with 75 bloggers, (who may or may not all participate) the odds are nice. You can also award one of your readers with the trip instead if you’d like to give it away.
Sorry readers!!! I’m definitely not giving this away to you!!! LOL!!
Needless to say people, this is an all around win-win situation here. My blog, my stories, and my name as a writer are getting recognition by an awesome community service program that is helping communities throughout the world and stateside which in turn is impacting the lives of the members of those communities as well as the lives of the teens that are participating in these projects, AND my son could have an opportunity to take part in of these projects!!! So, as my devoted and loyal reader, I’m asking you to participate here. All you have to do is vote on one of the three service projects by clicking on this link: http://www.boldearth.com/Charity_Blog_Voting.php and be sure to put StumblesThroughParenthood.com as the referring blog. Remember: Your votes can help get my son the opportunity to go on one of these trips!!
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