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Posted August 11, 2014 by Tim Wells in Events

It’s Review Dad’s 1st Anniversary!

August marks one year of writing Review Dad. I’d like to take a moment to reflect on a roller coaster of a year, and I apologize in advance for the length of this post.

Review Dad Begins

I like to read that line in a Batman voice. But then again, I like to read everything in a Batman voice.

Wow. Three sentences into this post and I’ve already completely derailed. OK, let’s get back on track.

My wife, Dawn, has been blogging for several years, and has worked hard to grow her following and develop working relationships. This time, last year, she was invited to attend the debut of ShadowQuest at Great Wolf Resorts in Wisconsin Dells. On the drive down to the Dells, I was marveling at the opportunities that have come her way, via blogging. The condensed version of the conversation went something like this:

Me: I wish I got invited to do cool things like this.

Dawn: So start a blog.

Me: OK.

And as soon as we returned from our trip, that’s exactly what I did. I migrated over a bunch of old posts I’d written from my other sites, and started contacting groups and brands that I was interested in working with. But here’s the thing about starting a brand new blog: most companies aren’t all that interested in working with an unknown who has almost no social following. I got a few polite rejections, but most of my inquiries disappeared into the void, never to be answered.

Still, a writer’s gotta write, regardless of whether there’s a paycheck involved, or an audience to actually read it. So, I kept writing.

A few months after launching Review Dad, I got my first sponsored gig. At 20 bucks for over 500 words, it wasn’t exactly lucrative, but it was something.

Enter Social Fabric

Around this same time, I received an email from Brandie Valenzuela, asking if I’d be interested in joining Collective Bias®’ Social Fabric® community of blogger influencers. This was kind of a big deal to me. Not only did this mean more opportunities for sponsored posts, but it marked the first time someone reached out to me, rather than the other way around.

Wait… someone is interested in working with me?

I won’t bore you with the details, but joining Social Fabric was definitely a turning point for me. To date, I’ve written nine sponsored posts for them (with two more on the way this month), taken part in a special writer’s group, and begun co-hosting Twitter parties. Far more importantly, I’ve met some of the best and brightest that the blogging world has to offer.

In May of this year, Dawn and I attended our first SoFabCon, and got to meet many of our online friends in person. It would be impossible to list all the Collective Bias employees and community leaders who made both the trip and my adventures with Social Fabric memorable. People like Senior VP of Brand Strategy, Holly Pavlika; Campaign Leaders like Amy Fulcher, Rita O’Neal, and Nicole Elliott; and Social Party Coordinator, Jeannette Fender.

But there are three SoFab ladies in particular who have been the most encouraging, vocal supporters of my work, since day one: Alicia Kirby, Brandi Riley, and Summer Davis. There’s really no words for how inspirational they’ve been. Along with Dawn, they are my biggest role models in the world of blogging.

The Community

Somewhere along the way, this turned into a list of people I need to thank. But I guess that was kind of inevitable. I mean, very few people achieve anything in life without the support of the people around them. I’ve been fortunate enough to have the support of my rock and muse, Dawn, the Social Fabric community, dozens of more established bloggers (you can find a few of them here and here), my friends and family, and of course, everyone who has dropped by, read a post, hit a ‘Like’ button, or left a comment.

And for that, I thank you all. I wish I could list you all by name, but there are two problems with that: first, I’d miss some (many) of you. Second, I know some of you fell asleep about 6 paragraphs ago. I promise, I’m trying to make a long story short(er).

The Year Ahead

Despite what the workload sometimes feels like, I’m still really, really small potatoes. I can’t count the number of times, in the last year, that I’ve said to Dawn, “You’ve had HOW MANY visitors to your site today?!” My pride prevents me from revealing the exact numbers, but I will say that on any given day, I’m lucky to see 10% of her traffic. So, obviously, continuing to grow my readership is always a priority.

But I have other goals as well. Some are modest, like being selected for a Disney red carpet event. Some are not so modest, like finally writing that book I’ve been meaning to get around to for the last, oh… 30 years.

Regardless of where the road takes me in the coming months, I’m looking forward to growing both personally and professionally, and applying everything I’ve learned in the past year, while continuing to provide articles that the average reader can enjoy.

How You Can Help

You didn’t think you were getting out of here without a call to action, did you? 😉

My success as a blogger is largely dependent on people like you, who take time out of their busy schedules, to read the words that fall out of my head. So please keep doing what you’re doing. Read my articles, share them on your InstaPinTweetFaces. Leave a comment or three. Grab a free ShopYourWay rewards account. Follow my social media profiles. Let me know what you’d like to see more (or less) of. Support my Extra Life charity team as we raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

You Rock

For writers, having an outlet is more than just a hobby, it’s a necessity. And I so appreciate the ability to have this little corner of the Web for my outlet. So thank you for that. From the bottom of my heart.

Tim Wells

Dad, husband, gamer, blogger, geek. Not necessarily in that order.