A Year of Blogging with CoffeeShopBloggers

Mommy Bloggers Self Help Group

It is shocking to me that it’s been a just over full year of blogging for me and our little group, the CoffeeShopBloggers, and I wanted to give an update on how blogging has affected our lives. A year ago, the economy was in the tank . Our paying gigs were slow and we had time on our hands which we were not used to. It was time to make an investment in ourselves, to allow ourselves to be creative again, and to push the envelope with this “social media” phenomenon which was scary to us because none of us have technical chops.

We began meeting in January with our blogs in various stages. I had launched mine as a work-in-progress (still is) but had no audience. DesignTrackMind was about to launch hers fully birthed and gorgeous. And did I mention that her husband, GreenCollarEconomy, is an SEO/SEM expert? Capability:Mom was curious about blogging but had to be coerced into starting, and iCommunicate had a blog up a while back but had no idea how to find it.

Our various states of blog dishevelment led to the birth of the CoffeeShopBloggers group which we formed, met weekly, and shared everything from tips on getting more traffic,  setting up carpools, and leaning on each other for support. We laughed (a lot!) and we cried (usually when our blogs blew up and we thought all was lost). And we spent many, many evenings working late into the night on our blogs while our husbands and children complained about how we were always blogging.

And we learned a lot! It was just like drinking out of a fire hose and thank you to everyone who helped along the way: Sherpa Report, GreenCollarEconomy, TweetDeckTutor, and others. We collectively spent several weeks on help desk phone calls at various companies talking to nice, helpful folks including BlueHostGoDaddy!SoloStream, and WordPress.com. Thank you to all of you too!

So, where are we now?

Our poster child for success is DesignTrackMind who was the Interior Designer for the Auburndale project of This Old House. Out of the zazillions of Interior Designers (all with pretty websites), they chose her. Why? Her blog was authentically her and was doing the job of selling her 24/7! They lovd her blog because they felt like they knew her. And, of course, when they met her it sealed the deal.  Now that the 16 episodes have aired, she’s totally slammed with work. Her most colorful story of how blogging has changed her world is this: she recently got a call from a new client who moved from Barcelona, Spain to her neck of the woods. The first call this woman made after her Purchase and Sales agreement was to call DesignTrackMind to help her with her new house. And how did she know about her? She and all her friends had been reading her blog during the last year in Barcelona. When she found out she was moving outside of Boston, she and all her friends screamed, “YOU CAN WORK WITH DESIGNTRACKMIND FOR YOUR NEW HOUSE!!!” And that probably made the move more palatable! There will likely be more of her on TV… stay tuned!

Capability:Mom started her blog under duress. DesignTrackMind and I freely admit that we badgered her into jumping off the cliff with us. And now? … the birth of a really funny writer … who also gets paid gigs to write! And has found her voice. And is ready for more. She also turns out to be a secret tech geek and supplies us all with new widgets and techy tools for SEO and other stuff. Turns out she’s learned so much about social media marketing that she consults on the side! We do it together and it’s great fun. More opportunities to laugh and now less reason to cry as we are further along the tech curve.

iCommunicate is a MarCom consultant. She is now so busy with clients that we barely see her anymore. But that is great because the goal of her blog was to enhance her business and it worked.

As for me, PragmaticMom, I wanted to see if this could evolve into a small business — it is, but ever so slowly — and I wanted to understand Social Media Marketing. I get it now: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, Blogger. Creating a community (the social part of Social Media Marketing). And yet this is the tip of the iceberg because there is so much more to learn. It’s been so much fun to meet both with my blogging group to group learn and to meet like minded people in the blogosphere and on Twitter. Here’s a little sampling of my blogging experience:

  • If you type in “Best Education Mom Blog Boston” in Google, I once came up first. I still seem to come up on the first page of search results. Crazy, huh?
  • I met many wonderful people through blogging. The ones I want to bow down to and say unworthy include Newbery winner Sharon Creech and Blue’s Clue’s founder Angela Santomero.
  • I’ve learned how to track and fix my blog load speed, sell merchandise through Amazon, and add html code to my blog, This for a person who is has NO TECHNICAL SKILLS whatsoever.
  • I’ve come to appreciate structure in my blog by adhering to an editorial calendar. And I stick to my calendar at least some of the time!
  • I’m ready to launch a second blog child (well, actually third if you count CoffeeShopBloggers), and am going to delve into the world of Asian American Creativity. I’m going to explore Asian Americans who make their careers from using their creativity (artists, kidlit and adult writers, poets, clothing designers and more) as well as explore what it’s like to grow up Asian-y in America whether you are one Asian ethnicity or a mixed bag like myself. Please stay tuned; it’s still waiting to be fully birthed. I just picked the name (thanks sis!). JadeLuckClub: Celebrating Asian American Creativity. What do you think? If you have anyone you think I should interview for my new blog, please email me (pragmaticmom.com(at)gmail.com). Thanks!
Capability:Mom and I have tried to document our learning along the way such that if you see our blogs and wonder what it took to get here, there is a road map for you to follow. We hope that you have learned from our mistakes so that you won’t be crying while on help desk with the nice folks at BlueHost when your blog transfer from WordPress.com to WordPress.org because you want advertising that pays $ did not go smoothly. Been there, done that and that is best avoided. Please check out our blog if you ever need help. It’s CoffeeShopBloggers, The S.O.S. for SEO.

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Gail Terp

    Your blog is an inspiration to me! I’m starting a blog myself for kids who hate reading. It’s still in the planning stage but the major thrust will be to interact with the kids and their parents. It will include books, games, sites and information about reading and the issues that surround reading reluctance. I’m a retired special ed teacher and will use my background and contacts to inform my writing. Proposed start date – April 4. Wish me luck! Gail Terp

    Thanks for becoming a follower!

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