I am a wife and a SAHM. We live in the Pacific Northwest and enjoy riding ATV’s, traveling and sightseeing around this gorgeous State of ours. The 2 older boys are my Stepsons and my husband & I have a 5 year old together. Raising 21, 16 & 5 year old boys is very busy. This year we had one hit adulthood, one began driving and the other started school!
What is a Blog? It is a site that has a focus and within that focus is useful information for you! Too vague? Describing a Blog can be a bit complicated so instead how about 5 fun Blogger facts for you?
Fact #1-We do not Blog just to get free stuff
Many friends and family say “I should Blog-you get a lot of free stuff and perks!” Well, those free stuff and perks come with a cost. What is the cost? Time! It takes a well-written Blog post roughly 20 minutes to write and insert images, guidelines and you can add more time if you are setting up Giveaway widgets for that post if a giveaway is included. Once a post is written, we move on to step 2! Getting the word out! We insert that post into social media platforms multiple times. I feel it is safe to say that 1 post for a sponsor could take from opening the package-learning about the contents and company so you have a thorough review-writing the post-gathering and adding images into the post and sharing it is a total of well over 2 hours! (My husband would say much higher amount of my time)
Fact #2-We are not sitting down tweeting & facebook sharing those posts every second of the day
I have been asked more than once if I ever leave the computer and the answer is I do-the majority of the day. So why can you see my tweets, facebook and other social media posts on the most recent all day long? We use a scheduling system. There are many out there and I use Hootsuite. Every post I write gets scheduled to send out on my social media at dates & times I choose (remember the time I said it takes to share my posts after they are written?). We write a post-schedule it in our social media sharing account and that platform does all the tweeting and posting for us.
Fact #3-We come at a price-We are valuable
If it has ever come up in conversation about money I have made Blogging I get some odd looks sometimes. Many know I get products, but get paid? Yes! Blogging is like a part-time job for me (a full-time for some). The more we post and plug our sites and posts in by joining communities of other Bloggers or platforms of social media channels, we get more and more visitors to our site. The more visitors we get, the better ratings our site has in many ways in the web-o-sphere! The better those ratings, Google and other affiliates know we have many visitors that will see our posts and page. We may be asked to place ads on our sidebars that we are paid to run-more visitors to our site-the more we are paid. We may also write a post for a brand that has no item to send us, but instead seeks us out for a sponsored post. A sponsored post means we were ‘hired’ or paid! So, that is just a few ways we get paid by having you simply keep returning. So keep returning and click on some ads for us-thanks!
Fact #4-We are a family
In the first fact I mentioned that we join communities to help share our posts out there in the web. Those communities consist of other Bloggers like me. I have a few groups I visit every morning. My posts that went live are plugged in to these groups I belong to and we share and comment on each other’s sites and posts. I can have many other Bloggers sharing my post all over social media and in return I share theirs. I may respond to a blogger’s call to join in on a giveaway event or campaign and we work together to put it out there for you. Sometimes we have a blogger in difficult times-we are quick to help out in any way. We are like distant relatives that never see each other, but when a call for help is made or a question needs answered or a post needs attention-we all run to the rescue and we know we will be rewarded in return as a courtesy or simply by being able to connect and meet someone new from far away.
Fact #5-We do write honest reviews
With every post we write for a review, we have already been in communication with the brand. We have worked out a price for any paid posts and have received our product from them. Before we agree to work with them, we research them a bit and ask around if we have questions. If we are having bad communications, we reach out in our Blog communities to see if others have had issues. We really work hard to make sure we don’t get ourselves into a brand that may cause spam or chaos for our readers. Have I ever had a good relationship with a brand and the disliked a product when it arrives? Not often, but I have. If it is defective, I will communicate with the brand to make things right. If I am committed to a post, I may just stay away from so much of my experiences so not to lie and simply state the facts about the product. Then I may say something about who I think the product would cater to or not. Sort of a nice way of saying-maybe it doesn’t fit me, but very much can fit you!
So there are some facts for you if you have ever wondered the answers to these questions or thoughts. I do not speak to every Blogger. I only speak to those I know offer fair and hard work as publishers. I speak of those of us that take our Blogs seriously and not every Blogger does. I have to say that in my experience, most Bloggers are very fair and we all work our behinds off to bring you information that we know will keep you coming back. We are writers, organizers and publishers. The greatest reward of all are positive comments on our posts. Let us know you were there!
Are you a Blogger? Did I leave any obvious statements out? I am sure I did, but didn’t want to make it a 10 page post!
My name is Erinn Sluka and I live near Seattle, Wa. I am a Wife, Mom & Blogger. I stay home while my husband works full time as a Regional Manager for a major Auto retailer. I have 3 sons. Alan is 21 and lives out of the home, but not too far from us. He is our car geek! The middle son is Travis and is 15. I month and he will be driving-Watch the roads! He is our athletic child. Our youngest is 5 and started Kindergarten this year. He has the wildest imagination and can be seen running errands around town with me dressed up as a Superhero and carrying some “weapon(toy)” just in case we run into trouble as he puts it! The older 2 are my step-sons and the youngest is our Biological son.
- Traveling/Road trips around the state
- Ferry Rides to the city
- Roaming new towns by visiting Fairs/Festivals
- We are huge Seattle Seahawks fans and Sounders Fans
- Born and raised in the Ca. Bay Area
- Had Catholic Education until the 9th grade
- Attended college and kept changing my mind on career choices-graduated with AA&S degree
- My entire family/siblings live within 80 miles of each other as well as my Husband’s family
- Spent 6 years as a Domestic Violence Victim (only mention that because my blog supports the cause and I had to make a choice of how to cope and I look at that experience as a gift to learn to be a better friend and human being)
- I ice skated for many years in my childhood
- I worked many years in Cardiology as a Surgery Scheduler until we moved this past summer due to my husband’s relocation
- I love country music
- Writing is my release-I write better than I talk to people!
- I have been blogging almost 2 years now
- I married my best friend in 2006
Many of you know my story and it is long and I do not want to take this post to tell it again, so to get a sense of the relationship I left 9 years ago, I recommend reading my post: Time to get personal.
The aftermath of my story is meant for anyone who calls themselves an Introvert like me and not just for victims of Domestic Violence. As someone who tried sweeping my past under the rug for so many years then having it all slowly weaken me I found it difficult to find any relative articles on the aftermath of Domestic Violence. There are many forms of abuse and if you suffered many of those including the very violent offenses then you know how damaging the past can remain for your soul for a very long time after your escape. I am now happily married and have some amazing friends and family, but I am still broken and after talking to many who have suffered to the extent I did, I am just now content with that. I just needed to realize I am not alone.
What am I learning?
For starters I was very wrong to hide my emotions for all those years. I do not like to show pain or weakness. Many of us are like that, but having a traumatic event that you store away and never discuss will eat you up! Communication! Any victim out there or anyone who tends to be introverted may seem even just a tad intimidated by that word. I know it intimidates the crap out of me! To spend 6 years with someone who made me pay if I dare spoke my mind or gave my opinion, I learned to keep quiet. t was best to say nothing and resort to silence to avoid confrontation when I was living as a victim. 9 years later when my husband is begging me to communicate better, I find myself having to learn how to communicate all over again! I just want everyone to know I am a good person and that I am a lover, forgiver, fighter and giver to all those close to me, but I don’t want to say it out loud. I just feel everyone would assume that of me. That does not work well in a marriage, let me tell you. I am convinced God gave me the most patient Man in the universe since I left my abuser so I could cope and learn gracefully how to be a better wife and communicator. I am not a book and cannot go around being hypersensitive to how others treat me and expect them to read my mind all of the time. And people like me know what it feels like to always be misunderstood. When you cause everyone around you to make assumptions all the time because you don’t communicate then sometimes others will make assumptions that are so wrong and sometimes insulting which is such a horrible feeling. It just makes me feel like I failed somewhere and I have never been one to accept failure very well!
For starters, I tend to become a bit self-righteous with others. I find the weak and defend them with all I have and only because I was alone and had shoved everyone out of my life to the point where I was suffering by myself for years. I don’t ever want to see anyone do that to themselves. To turn my back on anyone who needs a friend would be like turning my back on myself. Along with the ‘mission-me’, when things run smooth I am OK and when there is friction, I am unsettled until it is resolved. This has caused problems, but I am working on this as well. One of those problems would manifest when my husband and I started dating and for many years after I would react hugely over every little problem. Be it with his boys and perhaps their Mother and issues with us and I would be a nervous wreck until there was resolution. I remember getting so angry at my husband when he would not drop everything he was doing and find resolution to everything in the exact moment. It took me years to realize that I believe it simply was from the fear I lived for so long after leaving my abuser. When I left him, I ran and I never knew if he was following me, looking for me and if he found me-what would happen. Paranoia was an understatement! I think I just held onto that for so long and to this day I still get so unsettled when things are not right. What is ironic about that is that to resolve friction or issues, it requires communication. I am a horrible communicator, but expect others to communicate with me during these moments. It will all come full circle, eventually and I will master this whole communication thing! I know I can do it.
God gave us strong wings-we all have them! But sometimes those wings get broken-they are strong enough that they can be repaired. But like all things that break, no matter how much glue you use to fix them there are still cracks that will forever be there. As a victim we know where each of those cracks are on our wings and we will go into protection mode if anyone tries to further damage them. We are all fragile underneath and if you take a moment to look around, you know people in your own life that are just like me. People that just need grace and love and when our hearts are exposed for all to see, we will react and defend ourselves. I am sure there are those who think I am ignorant because I stray and those that think I am demanding because I won’t settle, but I am the most harmless person you will meet. I truly hold close to me the quote: “the greater your capacity to love, the greater your capacity to feel the pain”. I am so happy to have met and talked to victims as I prepared for this month. It really is comforting to know I am not alone in my suffering so many years later. That I am not crazy! That perhaps I can finally remove the mask of ‘all is well’ and just be myself. I have to say that the hardest part of talking about my past is that I do not want pity. I tend to disconnect myself from the word victim all to avoid anyone’s pity. Now I just am glad I discovered how much of a relief it is to just talk and write about my past. Because I went through so much pain and torture, I don’t think anyone could ever doubt that although I am not perfect and have some cracks-I am capable of being the most loyal and respectful friend they can ever have. Some will see that and others won’t, but I take it as a gift. If one positive came out of the abusive hand I was dealt for those 6 years, it was to see through others and to share a story that could encourage others. To me, it means everything to hear others say they feel less alone after getting to know me and hearing my words.
As survivors of abuse, we have been blessed and we have had our wings broken then mended again and to get to know us is as close to touching a pure soul as anyone can ever get. We have been to the bottom and back and it takes the strongest of individuals to endure that kind of life. You are not crazy-if you are cray, then I am crazy and no one is ever going to get away with calling me crazy!