A Very Unusual Blogiversary Post.

Well. It’s official. My blog is roughly four years old. Happy Blogiversary to me. But – of course -that’s not the big news. But now that I can tell you, I’m not sure where to begin. 

But – for the sake of storytelling – stick with me and let me tell you the details.

Once upon a time, I was pregnant with Nikki and fearing losing my job. How would we survive? Who would hire a pregnant person? How can I cope without beer? Luckily, I was never laid off (although several others were) and I eventually found a more stable job after NikkiZ was born. I stumbled upon a listing for someone to act as Tech Support for a newly launched Blog Network that was actually based in Huntsville. It was like a dream come true. It wasn’t what I was trained for (Geographic Information Systems/Cartography) but it was my hobby! How awesome to find a full-time job associated with your hobby. So, I took the paycut and the career change and headed to work for Steve and Chris at 451 Press.

Long story short? The job was fun. I made a lot of amazing blogfriends. Chris moved on to bigger and better things but Steve and I did our best to keep things running. I learned a lot about web marketing and web publishing. The company lost a lot of funding, and sometime Thursday afternoon – I was let go. I know it was hard for Steve – but he wasn’t given much of a choice. The Google PageRank upheaval a few months ago forced changes that demanded cuts. And there isn’t a lot of room for cuts in such a small company. I was the most obvious solution.

Luckily, he fought for me a severance that will give me a little bit of time to weigh my options. I am going to send out resumes and such, but realistically? I’m not confident I could find a job as a pregnant woman. So – I’m focusing my efforts on trying to earn some money from home. At least until AndyZ gets here and can go to daycare. Since we can take NikkiZ out of daycare now too, that will save us some money. This means that I don’t have to make my entire salary to keep us afloat until September (or so). So, I’m going to start writing full-time at MamaPop and TVBloggin’ and I’ve launched a new site that is going to let me try my hand at some affiliate marketing type blogging. That is kinda the big change I’ve been working on non-stop for the last 5 days.

Note from 2020: This is such a weird thing to read about because I wrote it wish such generosity to Steve but in reality I was very angry at him and felt screwed over because I felt like he was ditching the business I was working for (along with dozens of writers) for a totally different project that was more lucrative. A company I will eventually go back and work for him at and then get cut AGAIN and then he gets arrested for embezzlement. IF ONLY KIM of 2008 NEW WHAT THE FUTURE WOULD HOLD.

I mean, if you were a blogger (of four years) and you found yourself suddenly unemployed and pregnant, what would you do? Well…launch another blog of course. It’s not going to be as personal as this one is. It is going to be more about products/recipes/lessons – but I would love it if you could come by and help me with some of the issues I’m already having as a Work From Home Mom. I’m hoping to get some good submissions and get some advertising for that site and maybe help make enough money to make ends meet for the next 8-9 months.

I’m also going to be doing some freelance design stuff again. Nothing “official” – just a few jobs here or there for bloggers.

It has been a weird several days, that’s for sure. I’m sad because I’ll miss a lot of people, but I’m also excited because this is all new territory for me. I’ve never worked from home before. While caring for a child. And dealing with the dogs who are totally thrilled I’m here and would like it if I could play for awhile.

(Not happening guys.)

So – I made myself an office on one end of our dining room. I redesigned this site to put widgets on the sidebars to show you when I’ve updated the other sites. I’m planning on working my ass off this week, the last week someone else will be watching my child. We had to pay for this week in childcare anyway, so I’m taking advantage of it. I need to get on some sort of schedule that keeps me productive professionally in between doses of motherhood. I’m going to use my new site to solicit advice and document the lessons I learn along the way. But I’m sure it will be quite the topic of conversation here as well. This is a huge deal, in case you were unaware. I’m trying to stay optimistic about freelancing, but I’m also terrified I won’t make any money and we’ll have to sell my kidneys or something.

Whatever happens, it will make some great blog material.

81 thoughts on “A Very Unusual Blogiversary Post.”

  1. Miss Zoot, might you reconsider putting ads on this site? I personally like it when the bloggers I read have ads. They should get something in return for the fun I have reading! Best of luck.

  2. Congrats on the new adventures ahead, Zoot! I have no doubt that you’ll be a success! Although I’m not pregnant or unemployed, you better believe I’ll be reading you over there too (and maybe even delurking every now and then!)

    All the best!

    PS – I love the redesign of this site too!

  3. I just got the email from Steve and headed directly over here. I’m trying to formulate coherent thoughts about this, though I love how well you seem to be going with this.

    Email me. Remember what we chatted about 12 billion years ago?

  4. I’ve been hearing snippets of the goings on at 451 this morning but am glad to hear the story directly from you. The new site looks great already. I’ll definitely keep an eye on it. Best of luck to you!

    Oh, and I’m also wanting to do some site re-designs and would love to know if/when you are available for some freelance design projects.

  5. You have made some delicious lemonade, Ms. Zoot! Best of luck on this new adventure – we’ll all be rooting for you!

  6. i, for one, am very excited about learning some ways to save money. i’m excited for you! and i’m sure that everything will work out beautifully.

  7. You have my full support, girl. Your new site sounds really awesome and if I can be any help to you at all (sounding board? idea bouncer-offer?), let me know. I want to second the notion about putting ads over here. Even if it’s just BlogHer ads (which almost don’t even qualify as ads to me since they have those lovely post links below them… except for the whole “getting checks in the mail thing”). I know you’d rather not, but I’m sure you could make a good amount just from your loyal followers (of which one is ME!).

    Also? Love the redesign. πŸ™‚ Looks faboo!

  8. I just wanted to say best of luck and I’m sure you can pull this off. You’re talented and creative – you’ll make this work for you. And I, for one, am a little bit jealous of the new adventure you’re on!

  9. I have felt for a long time that you could make some serious bucks just putting ads on this site. I know you have said in the past that you are against that or something… but dude… it might be worth a rethink.

    Or at least put them up at your other places and constantly badger us to go there. I would.

  10. Being laid off SUCKS. I have been laid off from my High Tech Online Marketing job 3 times in the past 1 and a half years. So, I changed industries (still online marketing) but, it turns out I love it!

    I know you’ll find something you love too!

  11. KIM! Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Wahhhhhhhhh!

    Okay, now that my sadness of you leaving is over, I will miss you. You have always been so positive about my site(s). Just talking to you on the phone has made me feel so much better about things. I will miss you not being at 451 SOOOO much, you have no idea. I guess what I am trying to say is, thanks for your encouragement since I got hired in May 07′, it means a lot to me.

  12. oh wow. I knew each time I clicked on your site I would see something new!! I wish you all the best with the new direction, both blogging and in the working world! Everything happens for a reason!!

  13. You’ll be ABSOLUTELY great at this Zoot! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you even though I know I won’t need to.

  14. Wow.
    Glad you have a gameplan to deal with being laid off! Good for you! I agree with you putting ads on this site. Even just experimentally to see what kind if money it could generate for you. Who knows, maybe you’ll make enough money that you won’t have to go back to work at all! It’s worked for other bloggers! Good luck with your new businesses!

  15. About 7 months ago I found myself having to choose between staying with my safe, boring part-time job, or jumping off the cliff to become a full-time freelance writer.

    I chose to jump and have been happy ever since.

    Good luck Zoot!

  16. So sorry for you – I know the panic and fear … you will be in my thoughts, and I can’t wait to see all the “new stuff” you put out there! Try to enjoy the new TWIST on your road!

  17. Woot, Zoot!

    I will admit that it is difficult to get much of anything done while being a SAHM or a WAHM (2 parts I trade back and forth, from day to day, week to week.)

    I am really excited for you – I think this new venture in your life will be challenging, but fun.


  18. Good luck Zoot! I like the new design, on both sites. Hope that it all comes together, and you can work your substantial network to make it through this period with less stress.

    Oh, and can I just say that I wouldn’t at all mind seeing a few ads on this site? I’m sure we’d all be happy to support you when you need it most.

  19. Love the new design! That kind of sucks that you were let go, but I’m excited that you’re using it as an opportunity to make things happen for yourself. Best of luck!

  20. Oh wow, how exciting! As a full time blogger who also works from home, I can tell you that it’s scary at times, but still the best decision I ever made. Looking forward to reading your new blogs πŸ™‚

  21. Dude, wow…I wasn’t expecting to read this when I logged on today. Sorry to hear about your job, but excited about all the new things you’ve got up your sleeves.

    The new site looks fun and exciting and makes me wish I was a SAHM.

    Best of luck. And like the others, get some BlogHerAds. Now!

  22. It is wrong for me to think, “Yay, more Zoot!” Also, I’m really happy that you’re going to start doing freelance design again. I have a Blogger blog (in addition to my main one) that’s as ugly as sin and needs your help.

  23. Zoot,
    Good luck, not much else to say, except I agree with most of the other commenters. I saw your activity on your TV blog, and love those, so I will make sure to stop by there regularly as well.

  24. Wow! What a great adventure. I know I’ve read before that you don’t want to sell ad space on your blog, but I hope do because I think you deserve money for all your hard work.

    I like your new office.

  25. Zootie
    first Congrats on the new babyz to come
    second pregnant women rawk
    three if you need and help with the new project contact me for anything


  26. Wow, what crummy timing! Sounds like you’ve got the right idea, Im sure the freelancing gigs will come. Who dosent know Zoot?
    So, as one of your little people who jumped on the herhangout bandwagon, what does this mean for us? Obvisouly the site has taken a backseat for the past several months but are we going to loose our host? Hope not, we’ve got a good community going over there.. Thanks for that!
    Good luck and have fun with Nikki!

  27. I couldn’t be any happier for you, and have all the faith in the world that this will turn out to be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. I’ve peeked around the Pregnant & Unemployed site and LOVE it, mainly because I can totally sympathize [having been let go from my job when I was roughly 11 weeks pregnant, though for much different reasons and a far more stressful exit].

    If there’s anything that I, as a reader, can do to help you out, I’d be more than happy to! Whether that’s visiting sites or telling people how awesome you are, or even joining you for a much needed walk or trip to the park when the days get long and hard [I’m just one street over, woman, and I’m sure it’d do us both some good – being inside all day has its downsides as well], I’m just an email away.

    I’ve got my fingers and toes and legs and everything else I can crossed just for you – any other encouragement you need, just ask!

  28. Wow, that sucks about the loss of your job….but I am excited for you for getting to work from home! You’ll figure it out, and it will all work out somehow. Doesn’t it always?

    Love the new office digs! (I’m set up on one end of our living room…right in front of the front door. Awkward, but the only place for it. And I like it well enough!)

    I’ll definitely check out the other blog(s)!

  29. oh wow, girl! so very, very cool, though!!!

    i totally know you’ll be fabulous at anything you choose to do…it’s just your way.

    love you so much!

    happy blogiversary! i know i’m so glad to have had this to read for the last 4 years…’d have to talk to me on the phone waaaay more if i hadn’t. πŸ™‚

  30. #1 – let me know when you are taking blog re-design orders … wordpress templates are just so 3 years ago

    #2 – my only word of advice (coming from experience) … get popcorn in the house and don’t eat everything you love all in one sitting!

  31. Oh gosh. I’m sitting here stunned. I too was let go, when I was about 30 weeks pregnant. It turned into the worst year of my life, but the best decision I’ve ever made. I didn’t go back to work, and oh boy was it tough. Worth it though.
    Perhaps if you end up with some free time, you can help me set up my website. Maybe? Possibly?
    Good luck with everything.

  32. Wow. Sorry and congrats all in the same e-mail. I have faith that you can do it. I love reading your blogs and will check out your other sites as well.

  33. The site looks great, and the other two do too! Good luck with your future endeavors … we had dinner with a friend this weekend who had just gotten laid off, and we all sat around and told our “I was let go and it turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me” stories. I wish those blessings to you and it sounds like you are on the right track!

  34. Happy Blogiversary! I love the new design! You will be awesome at the freelancing gig. Good luck to you and expect to see me lots at your new place, I’ve already commented. πŸ™‚ I may even contact you for a site redesign.

  35. Weeks ago another 451 blogger and I were talking about this … and I believe my words were “if they ever let Kim go, I’d go, too.” I went before you did … but only just barely. They’ll miss you (more than they’ll miss me, I’m sure), but new opportunities lie ahead that you’ll be fantastic at! AND YOU’RE HAVING A BOY!!!!!! πŸ™‚

  36. Rooting for you, here! It’ll have its ups and downs, but I’m confident you’ll be successful in the end. You’re a *very* talented and entertaining writer. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future brings.

    Off to check the new blogs!

  37. So, Congrats?! Not for the “losing the job” part, but definitely for all the other awesome stuff.
    I wanted to comment before I got sucked away to check out all your other new stuff, so I’m off!
    You’ll do great!

  38. Wow! Talk about huge changes! Best of luck to you; I’m sure I will be visiting your other sites regularly.

  39. Good luck with the freelance stuff. You’re a great designer, who knows? Maybe one of the freelancing jobs will turn into something permanent.

    The new look is fab, by the way. I like the colors and the way the feeds from the other sites are on a little scroll-y thing (technical term) on the sidebar.

  40. Good luck to you.

    One thing I do that makes some unexpected money on the side is I have a cafepress store. I pay very little attention to it, and every few months I get $100 or sometimes more. If you spent any amount of time on it you could probably rake it in!

  41. I spent all afternoon worried about you girlfriend. ACK! I thought several times I needed to come here and see what the scoop really is but didn’t make it, I just kept fretting.

  42. Good luck! I’ve worked from home (freelance everything) for over 5 years. I quit my job at a big bank when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter and never looked back. The day my daughter was born I forgot any ideas I had about daycare/returning to work. I knew that we had to make this work. My son is 18mos. and I might get a “real job” when he goes to Kindergarten.Most days it’s wonderful.

  43. I’m sorry to hear about your job, Zoot, and I hope you really like working from home.

    It was hard for me, leaving the “professional” world, and I have yet to give up my nice suits out of my closet. But being at home? Being pregnant and at home and being my own boss? It’s wonderful. I hope that you will love it too.

  44. I’ll follow you anywhere Zoot! So brave! I took a chance on leaving a job I was unhappy with, with no opportunities about 7 years ago – and it wasn’t until I was without a job that a better job came along. I wouldn’t have been asked to do this new job, if I were already employed. It was a scary time in my life, but turned out for the best. All my best to you – (I’m trying not to be a lurker!)

  45. I was in your same boat 7 years ago and I have only recently went back to work full time last year. I believe things happen for a reason and this will turn out to be a lucky break for you as my “pregnant and unemployed” stint was. Love this blog for years, going to check out your new stuff now!

  46. Good luck, Zoot! I went freelance last January and it’s definitely been tough at times, but overall I am SO HAPPY to be on my own schedule, doing my own thing(s).
    Also, I would totally hire you to help design my site/blog, if that part of your life becomes more official. Of course, I’m sure you already have a wide customer base. πŸ™‚

  47. Wishing you much love and support from the blogosphere! I look forward to watching your new projects unfold as well as AndyZ. Seems like your making lemons into a yummy lemonade quite well!

  48. Kim, I miss you already … Things are weird at 451 right now, but I understand. I wish the best for you. And for Steve, too, of course, but this one is all about you. πŸ™‚ Good luck, too, pursuing an affiliate based site. It takes time, but not much, and hey, I manage to bring in several hundred bucks a month basically doing nothing and not spending a dime on a handful of sites, so it’s worth it. Best of wishes for you and the kidZ.

  49. Congrats, and the best of luck! I have made the transition from full time employed to unemployed, I have worked from home with a baby, and I have been hired while (visibly) pregnant. All of these things are hard but doable. I firmly believe that whatever situation is the best for you is the one that will work out.

    I know nothing about blogging economics, but I do know that many of the bloggers I faithfully read have made the same transition, and it has never diminished the quality of their blogs. In fact, the quality usually improves, due to increased posting.

    Your blog was one of the first I discovered (waaay back at the near-beginning) and you are still one of my very favorite bloggers. I think this will be a great transition for you, and I am so happy for you and your family!

  50. NOW I know how I missed it – you also posted it today. Your office looks AWESOME! You remind me of me when I was laid off in June of 94 after I had my daughter. I took the bull by the horns and started working at home. Been doing it on and off ever since, but it’s a learning process and has its ups and downs. Back then I thought you just write to all your local attornesy and they’re all knocking down your door to have you do their appellate briefs. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

    Your ideas look super. I know you’ll do well. And I vouch also for Adsense (Google) – I have then unobtrusively on my blog as well. Just on the entries.

  51. Hi. ZOOT.
    Ya know, I was just showing someone your site the other day, and said Yeah, I’ve been reading her for like 4 yrs now. Man, but I’br mostly been lurking! I suppose I should stop that, cause if I was commenting you all that time, we could be best bloggies by now.or something like that.

    Sorry to hear about the job.

    I ching.*one door closes before another one opens.

    oh, yeah, and of course the pregnant woman is always the obvious choice. there no good sonce they tale maternity leave anyway.

    2008 will be an excellent year. don’t fret.

  52. I’m really sorry about your job but I think its great your trying to work from home now. I hope it goes well for you and I like your new blog!

  53. Congratulations! I will be here, and there, cheering you on.

    You’ll rock it like a rockstar.


  54. Holy crap. How did I miss this post? OMG.

    I admire your ability to hike yourself up by the bootstaps and move forward. Me? I’d have been weeping in my decaf thinking the end is nigh.

    Congratulations on the new gig and I’ll be here (and there!) with loads of support (and assvice?). In fact, if you need help, please feel free to hit me up.

  55. Way to go, Zoot! I’m sure you’ll do great. I made some changes for other reasons, but as you can tell, I’m no longer Dirka and I am now… THE BUG! I may be hitting you up for a blog design depending on cost!

  56. Best of luck to you! I know how it feels to get laid off and I can only imagine how it feels to be pregnant while that happens.

    But you are a fantastic and funny writer (or at least I think so) so I think you will do very well for yourself!

  57. I can imagine it must be scary to be going through so many changes right now but if anyone can make it work – you can. I really like the new site and added it to my feed reader. I know that with Feedburner you can put ads at the bottom of your feed posts too (but you probably already knew that).

    Where did you find the widget you added to show the most recent posts of your other sites? Or did you code that yourself? I love that it has a mini-banner along with the last few posts.

    Good luck Zoot!

  58. I can only imagine the fear you are going through at the moment, my husband recently got out of the service and we are looking at our first month out. I hope you find something that’ll suit you real soon.

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