giving back

@DineandDish Pays It Forward Through Her Adopt a Blogger Program

giving backmy worldmoms making a difference

When Kristen Doyle first started her food blog, Dine and Dish, the blogging community was intimate and small. Figuring out the ins and outs of blogging was relatively simple then, with the easily accessible help of online friends. As Kristen's site grew, so did her desire to help new bloggers. The events she hosted for veterans and newbies where she hand-matched the mentors with the mentored were so successful, they became the impetus behind the newly-launched Adopt-a-Blogger website.

Today, response to the Adopt-a-Blogger program has been great, says Kristen. "It's the ultimate blogging pay-it-forward," offering veterans (generally, those who've been blogging for a year or more) the opportunity to pick those they mentor and how many they wish to mentor.  New bloggers (generally, those who've been blogging for at least 3 months) have a tremendous resource at their fingertips, whether their interests are food, craft, design, parenting, or other areas.

Sandie Hale, Adopt-a-Blogger mentor and author of A Bloggable Life, says that "while the support and guidance offered from a steady mentorship is invaluable, the experience of helping someone find their way is a worth challenge with lessons of its own. In blogging, there is an endless stream of ideas, questions, knowledge, and wisdom to be absorbed and exchanged, and this program allows that flow to happen with an interpersonal touch.

"My greatest blessing as a blogger  is to have participated on both sides of the equation," Sandie commented.

Experienced blogger Lydia Walshin, from, is an adoptive blogger and says "There's nothing more fun (or challenging) than helping someone else get their blogging feet under them. Each of the three bloggers I adopted asked for support in a different way, from conceptualizing their blog to improving their writing skills, to the mechanics of adding features to the blog. Our adoption relationships turned into real-life friendships. And two of my adoptees are now adopting new bloggers!"

New bloggers often find blogging to be more of a challenge than expected, and are surprised by the amount of effort it takes. Joining up with a mentor through Adopt-a-Blogger is an excellent way to overcome those challenges and reap the rewards of blogging: expansion of one's horizons, one's knowledge, and one's social circles. Ultimately, in blogging as in life, reaching out to others, whether to help them or to learn from them, enriches us and sews more tightly the fabric of our human existence.

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