Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How LATISM changed my perspective about Blogging

::momma disclosure:: this is a compensated post. all statements are are my true and honest opinion.

In 2012, I was a full-time employee and an overwhelmed Momma of dos, who simply wrote a blog. I was transitioning into a stay at home Momma after resigning from my position at Harris County. I was Assistant Supervisor in the Elections department. After four great years there, I needed to move on. I was on my first couple of hours off the job when I received, for the first time ever, an invitation to attend a conference. The invite came from a well Houston known blogger who was organizing it all.  You may know him as Juan of Juan of Words. I was ecstatic being a long time fan of his writing and blog, I was more than happy to accept the invite. 

I had no idea what to expect, but during the first hour there I met Ariana of 3TwentySix, she is now an amazing friend and our Social Media Director for Houston Latina Bloggers. I also met the lovely ladies Ruby of Growing up Blaxican and Lisa of Autism Wonderland. Their advice and mentorship throughout the conference made a world of a difference for me. It further pushed me into wanting to learn more about social media, blogging and the true impact that we can create. My blog world as I knew it was forever changed.

::Not just for certain types of Mommas:: 
I am not one to make anything about race, or to try and play the race card. But, in all honestly when I started blogging in 2008, I didn't find many Latinos to follow. The few that I did find, I would follow religiously and knew everything about them. I didn't know where to go for more information on Latino Bloggers. Oh, but enter LATISM in 2012. The hotel in Downtown Houston filled with a large number of well established Latinos in Social Media, and I no longer felt alone. I didn't know the extent of our influence or involvement, when I learned about it all, it was overwhelming, in a good way.

::Creating a Voice and Platform:: 
LATISM helped me further discover who I was as a Latina writer and who I was writing for. When I realized that others where reading my blog, listening to my words and following my advice, it made a huge difference in my writing. Today, I feel confident that I am writing for all working Momma's out there, who are just trying to find their place in the workplace and in their families and communities. I believe that we should provide support to anyone seeking it. I want to be the voice for all the Momma's who can't speak up. I want to create that community of support for those who need it. 

::Social impact thru social media::
Most will never understand that using social media is about so much more. Sure it's great to share our daily thoughts and the cute family pictures. But, the reach and impact that can be created when each post has a meaning and a purpose behind it, makes it even better. For that reason I know that there are so many out there creating waves of social impact in our communities and in the world. Social Media can be about so much more. It all depends on how we use it. 

::Blog Etiquette and Guidelines:: 
Learning and being educated about blogging etiquette and guidelines is very important as a writer and as a entrepreneur. There is so, so much more that goes into having a successful blog, other than just writing what's on your mind. Sure anyone can have and write a blog, but not everyone can convert it  into their business. For that to happen you must place effort into what it takes to have a blog that meets all standards and regulations. You must do your research and make sure you are following all the rules. 

::Getting paid:: 
I had no clue. Yes, money is involved. Entire salaries paid. LATISM and the ladies I met there helped further tap into this industry as a way to create income for myself. It has been a true blessing. For now the money I make while blogging is just an extra source of income but I know of others who have made it their full-time employment and that is a future goal for me. Although, I do love my corporate job and working outside the home. 

Today my causes include; empowering women, educating the community and raising my children with good morals, a kind heart and true knowledge of our culture and traditions. 

We can do it all. We have done it all.

Empowering women and Momma's more importantly to speak up when needed and to ask their employers for specific accommodations has never been a problem for me. I have been fortunate to have positions where work life balance is highly important. I have always received respect and support from my employers. There have also been jobs where I have even seen companies adopt new regulations for Momma's such as assigning "nursing rooms" for new Momma's who need to breastfeed or pump. This is very important to many women who want to have children but also wish to continue  developing their careers.

New areas of advocacy for me now include; Women's rights, equality and treatment in the workplace. I want to ensure that women like me receive equal pay as not only our male counterpart but also as those women who don't have children. I have a college degree and have worked really hard throughout my career. Thankfully, my jobs have never had issues with being flexible, giving me a raise or acknowledging that I need time off for different family reasons. But, I know that many Momma's do not have the same luck or that maybe I could have more pay and more flexibility. I now want to know more about these issues and how they are affecting our family structure and I want to help other women reach that equality, flexibility, and accessibility needed. I feel we need more accessibility to child/dependent care in the workplace,  more affordable childcare and the need to obtain all the medical and healthcare needed at an affordable price. 

Which is why I feel that my trip to DC this year will be a complete 360. Allowing me to "finish" what I started in 2012. Can't wait for all the new connections. Excited for what's to come and eager to learn everything that LATISM has to offer.

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