my ginormously pregnant self, goofing around with the founder and other members of the Social Fabric community
My ginormously pregnant self, goofing around with the founder and other members of the Social Fabric community.

When I started this blogging thing, I never expected it to turn into the full-time job that it has become. I always dreamed of staying at home with my kids and being a writer, but for the first two years of blogging…I was pretty much talking to myself. Seriously. No comments. No interaction. Dead air. I had a passion for social media and the entire blogosphere, but I wasn't really part of it.

Then at a conference in March 2011, I happened to meet a community manager for a social media advertising company that formed Social Fabric (commonly abbreviated to “SoFab”) , a supportive community of bloggers working to build relationships with companies and create everyday experiences around products and services. The group, for me, helped transform the idea of advertising on my blog from cut-and-paste ads to interesting, emotional stories. It allowed me to be authentic about my life as a mom, as a wife, as a consumer…and to actually get paid for my influence.

Before Social Fabric, I didn't even realize I had “influence.” The group helped recognize my strengths and encouraged me to build on them. I joined with approximately 3,500 pageviews monthly. I've increased nearly tenfold in that time to an average of 30,000 pageviews monthly. I started with 4,000 followers on Twitter and less than 1,000 on Facebook. I now have 13,000 on Twitter and 11,000 on Facebook.

I've learned about new platforms like Instagram, Pinterest and Google+ from Social Fabric, and handy tools like iPiccy and Polyvore, which have all helped my blog grow tremendously. I learned about syndication options like CraftGawker and CookEatShare, and technical plugins such as Yoast SEO. My Social Fabric posts get nearly twice as many comments as others. When I needed a site redesign, I turned to the community's very own Rachel from Bubbly Nature Creations, and her changes have helped make my blog more visually appealing and Google-friendly. Whenever I need any sort of blogging advice, Social Fabric is my go-to resource!

Social Fabric has opened doors I didn't even know existed and given me the chance to work on campaigns with companies I truly love. Starbucks, Safeway, Elmer's and more. They've encouraged me to branch out on my own and they've supported my individual endeavors as well. They've helped me and encouraged me every step of the way as I quit my full-time job and entered the scary, potentially isolating world of a work-at-home mom. They helped make my dream possible.

So during this Valentine's week when we're all reflecting on the things we love, I just wanted to express my appreciation and say thanks. This is why I #LuvSoFab. Because it really is SO fab.