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The recent post at Essential Keystrokes about the evolution of Char’s blog got me thinking about the last 6 months and how easy it is to become immersed in a whole new community I had no idea existed. Blogging is addictive. This is not news to most of you.

At the beginning of this year, I had no idea. I was just looking for a way to make a little income online, and stumbled onto the MomGadget forum, where I found lots of inspiration from people making money through niche blogs. I started two niche blogs in January, and then had an epiphany! I realized I should turn this domain, which has been around since about 2002, into a blog. I knew the site would benefit in the search engines from the inherent advantage blogs have because they are frequently updated, and I needed an outlet for things that didn’t really fit on my personal blog. I really wasn’t all that concerned if I ended up with a lot of readers. But, as I began to participate more in the blogging community, I found that I DID care about what kind of traffic I was getting and whether I got any response to posts by commenters. I was addicted. Every new inbound link and trackback was a big boost, and once the I Follow thing hit, I was a goner.

As I mentioned, I was inspired by those I met through the forum, and there are others who have inspired me and helped shape the way I navigate through this virtual world. To name a few:

Char – the importance of networking, sharing ideas, and collaboration. Her helpful hits and suggestions to a newbie blogger, as well as clients she has referred to me have been extremely helpful.

David – the importance of participating in other site through comments. It seems that every site I land on, David is listed as a “top commentator”. Besides the great content, I’m sure the success of David’s site is due in some part to his frequent participation in the conversations on other blogs.

Brian and Cory – inspired me to develop themes for WordPress. There’s a great satisfaction there is in providing something free for others to use and seeing it implemented on their sites, not to mention what a great impact that can have on your rankings with Google and Technorati.

Alister – to keep an eye out for link-bait, to jump on an idea quickly and promote it heavily to get the word out.

What about you? Who has inspired you?