How One Blog Post Helped Millions Learn About Down Syndrome And Changed My Life Forever

I believe there are a handful of events that occur in a person’s life that changes them forever. We’re pretty confidant we’d recognize these events the movement they happen. In some cases we will, but more often than not we won’t. In fact, we may not fully understand how one of these events has changed our life until long after the event occurs. These events often camouflage themselves in the routine. In the normal everyday things we do, day in and day out.

It was during the course of one of these normal, everyday, activities that I was blindsided by an event that changed my life, and the life’s of thousands of others. Forever.

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The blog post that changed my life!

Let me tell you about….

The Target Post That Changed Everything

I remember it like it was yesterday.

I was sitting at the same wobbly table, in the same uncomfortable wooden chair, at the same local Starbucks I always go to when I like to write blog posts and drink coffee.

I had just came across a Target ad that featured a young child model (Ryan Langston) that just so happened to have been born with Down syndrome, like our son, Noah. I thought it was pretty cool so I decided to write a blog post about it before heading home.

I titled the post, “Target Is ‘Down’ With Down Syndrome: 5 Things Target Said By Saying Nothing At All” and wrote about a few things about the ad that really stood out to me as a father raising a child with special needs, specifically Down syndrome.

Nothing Fancy. Nothing special. It was just a quick blog post I wrote while sipping on some Pike Place (I’m a house coffee kind of guy.) It certainly wasn’t going to win a Pulitzer Prize. In fact, just a few months prior I had written an Open Letter To GQ Magazine which didn’t generate anywhere near the same kind of attention of this blog post.

Another day, another post.

At this point in time (back in January of 2012) I was publishing a new blog post pretty much every day, and had been for months. Our site had a growing community behind it, as did Noah’s Dad Facebook page, and I enjoyed getting to meet so many new and seasoned parents raising children with Down syndrome. All of that to say there was nothing particularly special about this particular blog post.

Before I pushed the publish button on this post I had been blogging for months on this very website. I had been blogging for years before becoming Noah’s Dad on my personal site. And I’ve been a tech geek every since I first heard those three magical words, “You’ve got mail.”

I mention all of that just to say I didn’t feel anything different when I wrote this post. I didn’t think there was anything special about this blog post, or that it was soon to go viral. In fact, by the time I had finished writing it, I was already thinking about what I was going to write the next day. It seriously felt just like blog post. Nothing super-duper.

Now I will say I try to spend a lot of time and effort on each and every post I publish, so that it brings value to those of you who take the time to read them. So while it still took some time to write, it didn’t necessarily take any more time. It was all in a day’s work. Another day, another post, so to speak. 🙂

*****

I hit the publish button. Closed my laptop. Finished up my coffee. And headed home. Blog post written. Mission accomplished. Looking forward to having some family time, some dinner, and some fun with my wife and son.

I checked my stats at the end of the day and noticed a huge traffic spike from the time I published that blog post to the time I was crawling in to bed. In fact, here’s what I saw:

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Over 17,000 page views in one day!

Wow! That’s a lot of web traffic for one day! But we had gotten large traffic spikes in the past, and figured it would go back down to normal the next day.

Boy was I wrong…

****

Day 2 (or) The day my website almost blew up!

I woke up the next morning to an inbox full of messages from reporters, notes from people all over the world that had read the blog post….and from the company that hosted our website saying that I had greatly exceeded my web hosting bandwidth….ooops.. In fact, it hadn’t even been 24 hours since I hit the publish button and I already had millions of hits! I thought my website was going to blow up! Thankfully they upgraded me to a private server fairly quick, and my site was only down for a few hours.

As you can the page views jumped quite a bit on day 2, especially with my site being down for several hours through out the day, and at other times running extremely slow as it tried to keep up with the traffic it was receiving.

noahs-dad-target-down-syndrome-stats

(Side note: For those of you who may not be as geeky, or why it looks like I only had a few hundred thousand views instead of millions, let me explain. Page impressions are the number of pages on a website that are viewed in a single day. A website hit is the number or requests made to a web-sever in a single day. Each time a person views a single page on a website multiple requests are being made to the server that runs that website in order to load the page. In other words every image, style sheet, video, java script file, etc a page contains would require a request to the server (a hit) for that particular file. This, by the way, is why our then current web host wasn’t very happy when this post went viral. Our server wasn’t equipped to handle millions of hits a day (nor did it need to be) however this site now runs on a much more sophisticated server that works well for our sites unique needs.)

To say I was surprised that the blog post was receiving so much traffic and attention would be an understatement. But for some reason this particular blog post seemed to really resonate with people. However, I figured the almost 80 thousand page views I had on January 3rd would pretty much be the end of it.

Boy was I wrong….again….

****

Day 3 (or) The day my life changed. Seriously.

I woke up on January 4th seriously thinking everything was going to calm down. That my site traffic would dip back down to normal, and everything would level off.

Well, it didn’t. I had even more emails and phone calls from the press wanting to talk to me about our site, our story the target ad, why we were so passionate about helping the world learn about Down syndrome. It was unbelievable. We talked with Time, Headline News, ABC, and various other news outlets; all of which wanted to help us spread the message that Down syndrome is ok!

And the traffic didn’t die down:

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In fact we ended up with over 40 million hits for the month of January. Unbelievable!

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40 millions hits in January. Yikes!

(Good thing we upgraded our server!)

This is the point where everything changes.

This Target blog post is the point in our story where everything went into full speed ahead mode for us. It’s the point in our story where everything changed, and I wanted to be sure I talked about since it is such a huge part of story.

Throughout the course of all of this media blitz friendships were being formed between people all over the world. Some met in the comments section of our blog, others on our fast growing, and very active Facebook page. But it was happening and it hasn’t stopped. I’m not sure where it will all lead, but we are just honored to be a part in it. To join with the thousands of other amazing families who are telling their stories as well.

Thanks for your friendship, support, encouragement, and most of all for letting us be a part of your life. It truly is an honor.

If you’ve been following our blog, you may have noticed we’re just a tiny bit behind (Heck, we just got around to posting about Christmas!)  The reason for this is we are telling the story of Noah’s life via one minute videos (in the order they happened.)  You’ll be able to keep track of where we are in his story via the data that appears quickly before each video. We are trying to get caught up as fast as we can, so we can blog at “real time.” Thanks for being patient with us, and for following (and sharing) our story.

Keep telling your story! It’s powerful, and next time it could be you!

I meet so many people who tell me they either a.) want to start a blog but don’t know how, or b.) feel disappointed because not many people read their blog. I’m going to elaborate on these in an upcoming blog series, but i wanted to just touch on them real quick.

Anyone can start a blog. Yes, even you!

If you don’t already have a blog, don’t know how, think it’s confusing, etc…it’s not! There are seriously so many tools available to help you get started that creating your own blog is seriously grandma-proof (no offense to all the tech-savy grandmothers out there!)

If you have every thought about starting a blog, but ended up not because you thought it would be to hard, think again! Now is the time.

I’m going to be writing an upcoming series on blogging including why I think every parent of a child with special needs should have a blog, some step by step tutorials on how to get started, etc. If you’d be interested in me writing something like this, or any any suggestions of a topic you’d like me to write on relating to blogging, please let me know in the comments.

As I’ve said a million times, you have a story to tell, and if I can play any role in helping you tell it, I want to to do it!

Want more blog readers? Be sure you’re paying attention to these 5 blog essentials!

I’m often asked by people how they can get more traffic to their blog. I mean heck, writing a blog takes a lot of time, and if you didn’t want anyone reading what you wrote you’d start a diary, not a blog, right?

I’ll be honest I don’t have a magical formula, but there are 5 characteristics I’ve noticed about blogs that have a high level of readership. I’ll elaborate on each of these when I write my blogging series, but briefly here they are:

1. Passion

This one is simple. Blog about what you are passionate about. For me, I blog about my experience as a new parent raising a boy born with Down syndrome. I’m head over hills in love with my son, so it’s easy for me to write about that “topic.” I could never write a blog about Tupperware for instance because it’s not my passion. But to each his own.

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My passion even likes to blog with me!

2. Consistency:  

This one can be a bit challenging, but it’s a simple concept. If you want to have a blog that people read, you actually have to add new content on a consistent basis for them to read. I’ve seen a lot of blogs that haven’t been updated in months (sometimes years!) You can’t do that and expect to have a lot of readers. I mean why would they keep coming back to your blog if there is nothing new for them to read?

You should be telling a story through your blog and it’s important that you don’t just leave your readers hanging. I tell most people starting out to try to write a new blog post at least once a week. Which should be easy since you’re writing about what your passionate about, right?

3. Community:

Don’t make your blog all about you. Get to know people through your blog. Respond to comments. Ask questions about their family, etc. As your blog grows and you get more and more comments you may not be able to respond to each and everyone, but I think it’s important to reply to as many as you can. Not because it’s some unfun blog chore that you have to do, but because it’s genuinely fun to get to know and build relationships with other people. We think it’s an honor when someone takes time to leave a comment on our blog. We love getting to know people, and comments is a great way for us to do that. We don’t always get to reply to each one, but we try, and we always read every single one.

One of the great side benefits of building a community around your blog is that as your readers get to know and trust you more they will tell others about you (word of mouth.) Treat your blog readers well, get to know them, become their friends, and genuinely care about them and they will send more and more readers your way.

noahs dad blog post target ad best post

What an awesome (and sharing) community!

I mean why wouldn’t they? They want their friends and family to experience the same great community they are. It’s a win-win! 🙂

4. Luck:

When I pushed the publish button on this Target blog post I would have never guessed in a million years it was going to go viral, and have an impact on millions of people across the globe. It was seriously just a little luck, and a lot of God (but that’s a different story.)

You can’t know when something like that is going to happen, but if you are writing about what you are passionate about, and creating a community around your blog, you are certainly putting yourself in a good position for luck to find you. 🙂

5. Kindness:

I think kindness may be the most important awesome blog characteristic of them all. You know, The Golden Rule. Treating others as you would like to be treated. Not being a meany. I think this one sort of takes care of itself if you following the first characteristic and blogging about what you are passionate about. I don’t know to many people that are passionate about being unkind to others, if you know what I mean.

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Don’t worry, be happy!

Of course, it’s your blog, and you can write about whatever you choose to write about, but in the long run I’ve found that being kind goes a long way in building an online community around your blog, and ultimately increasing your website traffic.

People aren’t huge fans of negativity. They are drawn to things that are positive. Things that inspire them. Things that help them solve a problem. Things that teach them something new. People are drawn to powerful stories. And if you are a parent trust me, you have a powerful story.

Sure you can use your blog to write about a bad experience you had at a local restaurant, or about a grudge you have with a family member, but why? Life’s to short, and let’s be honest it doesn’t really help anyone. And if you do this often enough people may start to get confused on what your actually passionate about. So my advice is to focus your time (and writing) on things that help and encourage, not tear down and destroy. I have found that that simply works best.

Changing the world doesn’t always feel “magical.”

So that’s the story behind my most popular blog post of all time. It could happen to any of you, and it should. Just remember you don’t always recognize life changing events the moments they happen. They camouflage themselves in the routine. In daily blog posts. In walks to the park with your children. In creating family traditions. In Celebrating wins. And in all the other wonderful things we so often we take for granted. But never forget that its typically in the course of these daily routine run-of-the-mill non-events where we find find ourself being blindsided by something that changes our life for ever. A wow moment. A game changing moment. So stay faithful, stay at it, and most of all keep telling your story. You never know how many people your story could impact, and even if it only impacts one person, you succeeded in changing that person’s world forever.

Changing the world doesn’t always feel magical. Most of the time it feels pretty routine. Never forget that. 

As for me, my world is changed forever. We’ve joined with the many others you are working so hard to show the world that Down syndrome is ok. We’ve given millions of people a window into the life of a family raising a child with Down syndrome and showed them that it’s ok. We don’t live in a sad story. We live in a great one. We have met many new friends who are helping to change the world as well. We’ve seen the need for more and more people to tell their stories, and to keep getting these stories in front of the world. To help them exchange inaccurate and false assumptions about people with Down syndrome with accurate and true ones. The almost 20 thousand families on our Facebook page help us to this. Every time you post a pictures, share a story, or give someone a word of encouragement, the world see that, and they take notice. They see stories about our kids and our families and they see we are ok. Sure there are challenges, but so what?! The joy we get in return makes all the challenges worth it. We are ok. And we are showing the world we are ok. And the world is changing. Slowly, but it’s changing.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to each and everyone of you. It’s an honor to be on this journey with you. Collectively we are making a difference.

I also want to thank Tim Nudd who mentioned the Target post an article he wrote for AdWeek that I believe played a huge role in the mainstream media picking up the story. I’m not sure he even knew just how wide this story was going to spread, but I appreciate the attention he gave to this issue, and helping the eyes of the world see that children with Down syndrome are our co-equals. They aren’t less than. They are fully worthy of life just like us. Just like every person on this planet. Thank you Tim.

Have you ever thought about starting a blog to tell your story? If you have a blog now, why did you start it? What’s the biggest challenge in keeping up with it. And what do you like most about blogging? Take a minute to leave a comment and tell us about it.

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About Rick Smith

Hi, I’m Noah’s Dad and I’m passionate about giving the world a window into our life as we raise our son who was born with Down syndrome. I also enjoy connecting with other families, so let’s stay connected.

Comments

  1. thanks for the blog tips my recent posts have not gotten any comments

    • Your welcome. And your blog is great! I enjoy your videos! You do a fantastic job telling your story, don’t ever stop. 🙂

      My wife had a great time chatting with you by the way. 🙂

  2. Great post! I tried looking at the original post, but it seems to be down. (Maybe it’s being flooded again with new readers like me?) I’ll try again later. 🙂

    It’s so fascinating what does and does not go viral. While my blog does not have close to the readership yours does, I too have noticed that the posts got the most hits were not the expected ones.

    I love what you said about being positive and how that’s much more attractive to readers. I would add, though, that you also manage beautifully to keep it real, which is equally important. I’m thinking specifically of the tough hospital moments you’ve endured and how you described what it was like for you as a family. And while you kept it very positive, I found it so compelling to read how it felt when things didn’t go as planned. You didn’t sugarcoat. But you effectively showed how things turned out beautifully. It’s quite a gift you have, both as a writer and as a father.

    Thanks for sharing with us!
    ~Katrina

  3. It was interesting to hear a recap of your story, Rick. God bless you, and the awareness you bring to the Down syndrome community.
    gillian

  4. That post that was down is now back up, by the way! Beautiful!

  5. Donna Stockton Hicks says:

    Love your blog and it happened to just hit my life as my daughter (another Dallasite) found out she is pregnant with a boy who will be born with Downs Syndrome. It was a fast journey in itself for she and her husband to make the decision to go forward with the pregnancy, as so many others do not. Her words to me were ” I just can’t get rid of him because he isn’t perfect”. Of course, we truly know that none of us are perfect! As more family and friends find out, it has been a wonderful pat on the shoulder for me to read your blog every day. We welcome our grandson in just a few weeks and I will always be thankful we found you so quickly. We look forward to our miracle soon! Thanks for being so honest….that is why you are followed by so many.

  6. Jenny S-A says:

    I remember reading that post to which you refer – I can’t even remember where it popped up for me, but it was linked to something else I regularly read on FB or some other blog. It was a good post.

    I like what you say about so many people starting blogs being good things. I tried to start a blog a couple years ago, when my son was first born, mostly out of loneliness & having so much on my mind & so little socialization opportunities (colicky baby in blizzardy winter – it’s not as lonely as say, The Shining, so I”m not going to be too much of a martyr, but it did kind of suck & I kind of wanted people to know what it’s like when everything isn’t peachy, but still keep a sense of humor). Unfortunately, life got crazy & the blog got forgotten & then I realized how many blogs there are out there & thought, maybe mine would just be too much.
    Now I’m thinking…maybe not. Hmmmm…

  7. First I have to say Noah looks so cute in that shark shirt! I love that you have a blog that shares so much great information about down syndrome. It is so helpful to read and for first time parents you and your wife rock! I have been thinking about a bloc my little Levi is so awesome, so cute, so sweet, well I could go on and on. He is our number 4. So I wonder about the time it takes. So thank you for halls.

    • Jody,

      I’ll admit it does take time, but the great thing is you can set the limit for the amount of time it requires. For instance you could say you only want to commit to posting one blog post a week as I mentioned.

      I’d love to see you start a blog. With 4 children you certainly have a great story to tell. Let me know if I can help in any way!

  8. You are a GOOD man, Rick, and a great dad. Your love for your family and your passion for the mission God has given you are genuine and sincere. It’s magnetic because it’s based on True Love, and the Truth that comes from the Word. Love to all of you, and keep on doing what you are doing.

    • Thanks for the very kind words. It’s all by the grace of God. Apart from Him we’d be nothing. Glad to have you along for our ride. By the way, do you have any children?

  9. Very interesting story! I didn’t start reading here until shortly after Daniel was born (in March) so I just assumed you’d been hugely popular for a long time!

    • The site had a fairly large number of readers and community prior to this post, but this blog post really put things on fast forward. Thanks for being a part of our journey. By the way, how’s Daniel doing?

  10. I’m in the process of starting a blog about my son with a very rare chromosomal syndrome. I would love to read more tips from you on blogging!

  11. Thanks for the tips! I want to read the origional post but the link to it above doesn’t seem to be working. I’ll be back later :-). I started my blog when my daughter was born with Down Syndrome. It was the best way I could think of to share our experience with our friends and family. Our first year with our baby girl has been quite a journey. She’s tought me so much and she’s changed my heart in so many ways. I did blog along the way but definately need to try to blog more often than I do…. maybe when my “big” girl starts kindergarten next month I’ll have enough time on my hands ;-). It’s something that I really do enjoy :-).

    • Tiffany,

      I think that would be awesome if you started a blog!

      By the way what seems to be the problem with the link? It works for me. What do you use to access the internet? (iphone, mac, pc, etc?) and what web browser are you using?

      Can you try clearing your caches and try again. Let me know if it works. Thanks!

  12. George H says:

    Thank you so much for all you do. You are much more eloquent than I am – and often write what I have trouble expressing. I often re-post your blogs on my facebook timeline, usually just with the words… ‘this is what it’s like”… because my friends ask what it’s like to have a child with Down Syndrome. Telling them how blessed I am – isn’t always easy… linking to your blog and telling them how blessed I am, seems to drive the point home. We are blessed… Children are a blessing that often gets overlooked and not celebrated. It’s easy to overlook the blessing when everything comes naturally, and without great work, but when I see my son struggle to accomplish the littlest things and how proud he is of what he has done – I try to celebrate all the kids accomplishments a little bit more now…

  13. Great post! And wow on captivating such a wide audience!!!
    Brilliant! I love blogging for connections but also writing is great therapy I find xx
    And for a little plug 😉
    http://coopsnpeps.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/problem-solving.html?m=0

    Cheers from down under!

  14. I started blogging a few weeks ago after our sweet boy, Baker, was born. Baker was born with Down Syndrome. I felt God calling me to share our story, our blessing with others. Baker is teaching me so much about His plan our lives. We’re on an incredible journey with our dream come true!!

  15. I started blogging a few weeks ago after the miraculous birth of our sweet Baker. Baker was born with Down Syndrome. I felt God calling me to share our story, this incredible journey. Baker is teaching us so much about His plans for our lives. We love our Baker Boy, our dream come true, more than any blog can convey, but I’m surely trying!!

  16. LOVE reading about little Noah. I’ve been a reader for a while–before you went and got famous 🙂 We recently adopted a little girl with Down Syndrome.

    I think their are 2 things I would consider ‘hard’ about blogging: dealing with the negative comments about our ‘imperfect’ child (as you have seen) and putting a time limit on blogging. I have to remember first and foremost that I’m a mom and wife and that my blog will need to suffer for the sake of my family if need be.

    Keep sharing Noah’s story. I am so, so glad people are being educated on what a life with a child with Down Syndrome looks like–pretty normal!

    • Ha,ha…whatever. We are 1,000,000 times less the opposite of famous. The only One we hope to make famous is God. 🙂

      That is so cool that you guys adopted!!! I want to hear more about that. Do you have any other children?

      By the way I Just checked out your blog and the post about little Jaxon is heart breaking. 🙁

      I also noticed you guys are from Texas, where abouts if you don’t mind me asking? We’re from the Dallas area.

      • We live in DFW 🙂 I’ve already asked Abbie to be added for the 21 dinner party, so maybe our families will meet soon. Little side note, we found your blog through The Skaggs, who we went to church with when we lived in Houston. I had emailed Abbie and Emily with some questions last fall when we were starting the process of adopting our little girl with DS. We brought her home from Eastern Europe on June 1 and she just turned 2 years. She actually just had open heart surgery at Cooks 2 weeks ago for a very large VSD and a small ASD, and she’s doing great! We have two other kiddos–a 3 year old boy and 5 year old girl.

        • Oh yah…I totally remember you! How cool that everything went through with the adoption. So happy that you guys went through with it. What an incredible way to change a life!

          You guys rock!

          Also I hope you guys make it to the next monthly get together, we would love to meet you guys and your family! 🙂

  17. Thanks for the blog tips! I am still relatively new to all this and still trying to find my way in the social media stuff and parenting a kiddo who happens to have special needs. Both worlds seem pretty daunting at times and it helps to have a community out there who are already out there blazing a trail and offering to share their wisdom with us. Btw, the pic of Noah with the shark shirt, so cute!!

    • Thanks for the kind words!

      And you’re right in the fact that they both can seem a bit daunting at times, thankfully we don’t have to do it alone. There is an amazing community of people on this journey with us. 🙂

      By the way, I checked out your blog…it’s great! I really like the fun block background. 🙂

  18. Hi Smith Family,
    Just to keep a long story short,I love your blog and what you are doing for the DS syndrome community. I’m certain you give many families so much hope and encouragment as well as putting their minds at ease. My son has brought so much joy to my life as I am sure any child brings to any parent! Love what you do!

  19. Why do I find myself with tears of joy when I read your posts?? lol… M2 turned 6mo old yesterday and we had a little special day for him. With his heart issue and some of his other “issues” I am just glad he’s here with us. Your family has become the poster family for us now. Your the new “Family Next Door” and I love it.. When I tell people M2 has DS, I don’t want them to be sad, or think he’s sick.. and I HATE HATE HATE when they say “Oh, People with Down Syndrome are such loving and caring people”… almost seems like they all are alike! Like they don’t have opinions, favorite foods or bad days. My Marcus (M2) will have his own opinion, he can do anything he wants… his life is limitless… he can be in hockey, a mountain climber, a lion tamer and even a Ninja if he wants to… I will teach him Down Syndrome isn’t a disease, or a limitation… it’s just part of who he is. .. like his blue eyes and his blonde hair… it’s just another part of what makes him unique. ..Thanks again for sharing your family.. One day my husband and I say we would love to take you guys out dinner when were out that way. I will let you guys know when were out that way and if you don’t mind, I would love to meet little Noah!

    • Hi Riena,

      Thanks for the very kind words, but I assure you we aren’t the ‘poster family’ for anything. Ha,ha. If you only knew us better you’d know how messed up we were. 🙂

      Thankfully God has a way of using and working through really messed up people. I guess you could say it’s His speciality! The great thing each of us has a story to tell, and each of us have the ability to tell it. I love that!

      As far as meeting up sometime, we’d be all for it. We love getting to meet new families, just let us know if you are ever in the area. Where are you guys from by the way?

      • HAHAHA… I hear you… were not “perfect” either. FAR FROM it.. but we try to just live day by day! We live in the home of “Bill and Ted”.. San Dimas, Ca. I have some business in your area and the company will pay for my trip! YAY!! If you go to my FB you can see my pics of my little guy.. or I can email them to you… I am so proud of my little guy… he’s doing so well with PT and started eating solids… YAY… I love reading about Noah and your family everyday

        • That’s awesome. Bill and Ted is one of my favorite “classic” movies! 🙂

          Are on on our Facebook page? There are lots of amazing families on there, and they all love sharing and posting pictures! Feel free to post some pictures of your family to the page.

          What sort of work do you do that brings you out to Dallas, if you don’t mind me asking?

  20. Great post and great blogging tips!

    Noah is a cutie, BTW – I am always looking for sites to refer new parents to about the joys of raising a child with DS; yours is a “Must-See”!

    • Thanks so much for the kind words! I see you guys are in Ft. Worth, very cool. We go to Ft. Worth often, it’s one of our favorite places!

      By the way, what do you do that puts you in contact with parents raising children with Down syndrome?

  21. So fun to hear about how one post changed your blogging career and life. Wow wow wow! Thanks for sharing your story. I wrote you through your contact form a few weeks ago asking if you would like to do a guest post on my blog. Now I understand why you haven’t gotten back to me! 🙂 I’m sure you are super swamped all the time!

    • That’s why it’s so important for us all to keep telling our story. You never know when your post will be next. But even if a person only has one blog reader, you never know when one of your posts is going to change the life of that one reader. And if it does, it was all worth it!

      By the way, I”m so sorry I haven’t replied to you yet. My inbox for Noah’s Dad is just a “little” bit backlogged. But thanks for asking me to do a guest post for your blog. I’d be happy to do one. Let me scan though the messages and find yours. 🙂

      Thanks for being a part of our journey with us!

  22. I started blogging in 2004, probably, when I thought it would be a fun way to keep our families informed on our lives. I started our Newbie blog when we were considering starting a family, and it is now the Party of Four blog that I get to brag about my kids on. The time factor is definitely the hardest to overcome. I was WAY more consistent when Caleb (the first) was little!

    These tips are good! I think making the blog more than just about “me” is a very good tip. Of course, most of my readers are family, so asking them how many kids they have and what holiday traditions they have seems a little silly. 🙂 But it’s a tip I can definitely work on. I look forward to the tech tips posts you’re working on! As always, if there’s any way you need help, myself or someone more qualified would probably jump at the chance.

    • I think that’s one of the biggest tips someone ever gave me about blogging. Publishing content in a way that helps, encourages, solves a problem, etc. I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly cool to start a blog just for the sake of keeping a journal for family and friends. I think Kelle Hampton does a great job of this. However, her photos go a long way to help paint a visual picture of her story. You’re a photographer, so I’m sure you could do the same thing!

      However, I’m not a photographer so I’ve tried to support my story with the how-to’s, etc. I don’t always do a great job at it, but I think it’s helped us to connect with people we may not have otherwise been able to do.

      The great thing about a blog is it’s organic. You can experiment. If you go back to some of my older posts I didn’t even add words to the posts. They were all videos. I was just going to put up a daily video, and nothing else. I quickly learned my videos aren’t that good. 🙂

  23. Hi Rick. I do remember that post, it gave me the courage to start our Felipe´s successful story. Since Felipe was born I had the idea of telling our story but wasn´t sure how to start. I remember I told my husband how I pictured the website to be: with videos, full of positiveness, etc. One day, a friend of us forwarded your Target post to us. We were supposed to go to run some errands that day but instead I stayed glued to your website. I was sooooo excited about Noah and the way you were telling his story, but also got freightened because you have such an awesome website!! ….then I thought we also had a good story to tell, I may not create such a wonderful website and be as funny as Rick is but we have a story to tell. And voila! several months after we started http://www.elfelipedemama.com. I still don´t know which video editor use, I am very dumb with the WP tool,and I haven´t use yet the ads money Go Daddy gave me when I bought the domain.. but I know I will get there, I will keep trying to be consistent even if I lack time to blog as often as I´d like. If you have any suggestion on the video editor, let me know. Thanks for the tips on blogging our Down Syndrome stories!

    • That is so awesome! I’m glad you started a blog, it looks like you guys are off to a great start! The header image you used up top is a lot of fun by the way! I like it. 🙂

      Thanks for posting a link to your site, I look forward to seeing what all you do with it. The most important thing is, don’t stop! 🙂

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