One Small Voice Can Reach a Million People

September 24, 2010

If you have your own blog, and it’s quite new, I bet the silence is deafening. I know how you feel, I’ve been there. You’ve spent the last three months pouring your heart and soul into writing amazingly useful blogposts. And what do you get in return? A big fat nothing – it feels like you’re performing in front of an empty theatre.

That’s pretty much what happened to me. I turned in post after post, and nobody was listening. Then one day, a small voice spoke up in the comments section. What I didn’t know was that within three years, that small voice would be capable of reaching millions of people, connecting new bloggers and helping them to build powerful communities.

The small voice in the empty theatre belonged to Barbara Swafford, of Blogging Without a Blog. And to be honest, I almost shit a brick when I read her comment, because it meant I had to reply. I think it took me a good few hours to pluck up the courage.

Barbara and I began exchanging ideas and information on how to improve our blogs. And she soon began doing things that were way more impressive and useful than the advice doled out by the “A Lister Blogging Gods”. Every week, she spent hours searching for a promising new blogger to crown as her new blogger of the week.

She also empowered her readers to think about what they could do to improve their blogging efforts, and encouraged them to build powerful communities. Any blogger who stumbled across Barbara in the beginning was seriously lucky – no empty theatre for them.

And I was incredibly fortunate too. Because Barbara and I were already connected in the blogging community, her actions had a knock on effect on me, and suddenly, I was performing in front of a full house. I also got to meet some awesome people.

If it wasn’t for Barbara, I really don’t think I would have been able to keep up my enthusiasm for blogging at all. And that would have been a shame, because this blog has helped me make a full-time living online, doing work I really love.

So thank you Barbara – you rock and I love you.

If you’re new to blogging, and you’re feeling all alone, pop over and introduce yourself to Barbara Swafford at Blogging Without a Blog. You’ll be glad you did.

A special thanks to Patricia Hamilton of Patricia’s Wisdom, for coming up with the idea of this tribute to Barbara. And also to Creativity Coach, Davina Haisell of Shades of Crimson Creativity Coaching for letting me know about it.

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16 Responses to “One Small Voice Can Reach a Million People”

  1. Davina Haisell on September 24th, 2010 12:31 am

    Hi Cath.

    Wonderful job! You’ve made an excellent point here about the enthusiasm. When there is virtually no response to your blog posts, it is difficult to keep going. Might as well just go back to the journal. I had to chuckle about your having to drum up the courage to respond to her comment, LOL. You? YOU? :-)

    Barbara has done a lot for the blogging community. I often wonder where little Loving Pulse would have gone if it had not been for her New Blog of the Week series. She introduced me to a lot of bloggers who I now consider as friends.
    Davina Haisell\’s latest awesome post..A Toast to Barbara SwaffordMy ComLuv Profile

  2. Betsy Wuebker on September 24th, 2010 12:34 am

    Hi Cath – Awesome tribute! What a fun way to honor Barbara’s tireless giving. We were so excited when PassingThru was selected New Blog of the Week. We felt we had really arrived. And if it weren’t for Barbara, we’d never know you, either, as well as a host of other friends. Where is that girl, anyway? LOL I want to buy her a drink. xox
    Betsy Wuebker\’s latest awesome post..Today We Celebrate Barbara SwaffordMy ComLuv Profile

  3. Kelvin Kao on September 24th, 2010 1:15 am

    I agree. Barbara is great at leading discussions and make everyone feel comfortable talking in a discussion. She really did a good job building a sense of community at her blog.
    Kelvin Kao\’s latest awesome post..A Happy BirthdayMy ComLuv Profile

  4. Lance on September 24th, 2010 2:35 am

    Well…I can completely relate to that first paragraph!!! I very much remember those early days, writing lots of stuff, and to just me. And then…I stumbled upon Barbara!!

    And wow!! It was a spark!! And it was such an honor to be under her wing!!

    Love your tribute to this wonderful and amazing woman!!! Barbara definitely rocks!!! (…and so do YOU!!!)
    Lance\’s latest awesome post..Apples And Pies And Barbara Oh My!My ComLuv Profile

  5. Mike on September 24th, 2010 5:57 am

    I had actually been blogging for quite a while before my blog was introduced on her blog as one of several older blogs worth visiting. I don’t know how many of the people who visit my blog now were because of that mention, but I do know that there are a lot of familiar faces and names in the comments on Blogging Without a Blog. As I’ve said on her blog and on Davina’s, Blogging Without a Blog is one of those blogs that I will take a good close look almost every time and I’m more likely to comment there than a good many other blogs because the way things are presented makes it easy to want to comment.

    Mike\’s latest awesome post..Antelope ValleyMy ComLuv Profile

  6. Hilary on September 24th, 2010 7:18 am

    Hi Cath .. great post – gosh I’m glad I wasn’t floundering in the wilderness and started with a group – the three months’ jump .. and I was commenting on others’ blogs and then got connected with Barbara .. luck – good fortune call it what you will .. but oh what an amazing group of friends she has .. and it’s lovely having one or two here in the UK!!

    I wasn’t around in Barbara’s Blog of the Week series .. sounds like a wonderful idea of hers – typical Barbara helping others ..

    I think it’s amazing that you’ve been able to do what you love and make a living through the blog and its spin offs .. especially with the initial help and leg up that Barbara gave you ..

    Great tribute to Barbara .. lovely to see you .. have a good weekend .. Hilary
    Hilary\’s latest awesome post..B is for Barbara- A is for Apple- B is for Blogging without a Blog My ComLuv Profile

  7. Clay Forsberg on September 24th, 2010 3:00 pm

    Get your message, then do it again, again, again … again! It’s that time when you don’t – is the time when someone will listen.
    Clay Forsberg\’s latest awesome post..“The Death of a Salesman-” circa 2010My ComLuv Profile

  8. vered on September 27th, 2010 4:33 am

    what a beautiful tribute.
    vered\’s latest awesome post..Eating Well- Staying FitMy ComLuv Profile

  9. J.D. Meier on September 27th, 2010 2:06 pm

    It’s been quite the journey and I like your flash back down memory lane.
    J.D. Meier\’s latest awesome post..When To Use Task-Oriented vs Relationship-Oriented Leadership StylesMy ComLuv Profile

  10. Andrew Heaton on September 28th, 2010 11:54 am


    I rembember back in 2007 when I got my first blogging comment from Brad Shorr – at last, it had happened; someone other than my mother had read what I had published! I wasn’t just writing to an audience of sympathetic family after all.

    Whether you are blogging professionally or just for fun, blogging is about relationships. When we find those special relationships like the one you obviously share with Barbera, that’s what blogging is about. It’s about connecting with others in a meaningful way – whether they live across the street or, in my own personal case with my small group of readers, across the world.
    Andrew Heaton\’s latest awesome post..Hong Kong’s minimum wage- a positive development with one small problemMy ComLuv Profile

  11. Patricia on September 29th, 2010 3:40 am

    Thank you Cath, I don’t know why I took so long getting here, but I just did…I think I thought you were doing the facebook thing…and I was commenting there..

    Ah me such a slow learner I am..

    This was one lovely tribute and millions yes…one small voice one quality voice of sharing…

    Barbara is so amazing.

    And thank you for the shout out…I don’t deserve any mention for being so tardy…but I think I finally made it to all the participants – saved the best for last !!
    Patricia\’s latest awesome post..The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown- PhDMy ComLuv Profile

  12. Barbara Swafford on September 29th, 2010 6:26 am

    My dear friend Cath,

    Your post, like all the others, has left me speechless. As I read your words I nodded in agreement, laughed at your humor and cried over your sweet words.

    Blogging is definitely all about community and I’ll never forget it how it often felt it was you and me against the (blogging) world; both trying to get found, both trying whatever we could to build a following.

    A lot has happened since we first commented on each others blogs, but one thing that has remained constant is your support for what I do/or have done. THAT is something I find priceless. I want you to know I’m also behind you and your endeavors and wish you the very best as you branch out to new avenues.

    To those who commented, I say a HUGE thank you for your continued support, kind words and love.

    ((Hugs)) and love to all.

    Barbara Swafford\’s latest awesome post..Writers’ Blogk BiosMy ComLuv Profile

  13. Nadia Ballas-Ruta ~ Happy Lotus Lifestyles on September 29th, 2010 3:25 pm

    Hi Cath,

    What a beautiful tribute! It was great to learn more about your journey with blogging. You are so right, Barbara definitely does a wonderful service with her blog. She really loves what she writes and it shines through which is so beautiful to observe. You do the same thing too!
    Nadia Ballas-Ruta ~ Happy Lotus Lifestyles\’s latest awesome post..Accessing My Inner Kerouac- On the Road and the Allure of a Hotel RoomMy ComLuv Profile

  14. Tweets that mention One Small Voice Can Reach a Million People | Catherine Lawson -- on September 30th, 2010 10:41 am

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by evelynlim, Vicki McCarthy. Vicki McCarthy said: RT @evelynlim: One Small Voice Can Reach a Million People [...]

  15. Telecom Plus Member on November 4th, 2010 1:10 pm

    One clear voice with a passion is all that is needed. That is the beauty of blogging. Your voice and your passioncan attract a following. Keep up yhe good work!

  16. Rita on November 6th, 2010 10:26 pm

    What a lovely tribute. I read Barbara’s November 4 blog, and I admit that I agree with #14.
    Rita\’s latest awesome post..To the 1977 Class of Benjamin Cardozo HS – Hiding in Plain SiteMy ComLuv Profile

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