The First Time I Went Viral...It Wasn't What I Was Expecting!
I would love to say that this is a happy story about all the nice people on the internet and all the support I got on my blog. While it does have a happy ending....my first viral experience was not a pleasant one. And unfortunately, the internet has gotten a lot meaner since this happened in 2014. Most successful influencers and bloggers I know can tell you about a time that the comments nearly broke them. This is one of those stories.

I'm pausing my typical content on healthy and natural living to bring some encouragement to anybody that has experienced the "haters" and anybody that is scared to take their next big step because they don't want to experience it. Know that you have more supporters than you know! The haters are loud at first....until they see you are gonna keep going and they can't slow you down. After awhile, they get quieter and you won't even notice them.

I started blogging in 2012. I didn't know anything about graphics, html, affiliate marketing, or email lists. I didn't know blogging could be a career that you could get paid to do. It was before social media ruled the world and way before influencers were paving the way. Moms everywhere were creating online, public diaries with a blogger account and I jumped on the trend. 

I was blogging and sharing about my and my son's healing journeys. I was recovering from 3 years of spine surgeries including a fusion (I have hardware in my spine). I share more about that here. Our adopted son, Morrison, was born with a lot of health problems and was allergic to just about everything. When he came home to us, he was 1 month old and was on a prescription formula that was 57% corn syrup and 4 medications he took daily. The first thing I did was get him off that formula and medications with this homemade formula. I wanted better for both of us and shared what I was trying, what was working, and what wasn't working.

about Ashlee and The Crunchy MooseHomemade baby formula for sensitive babies

One day I posted about oil pulling. The internet went wild. It was my first viral post. 

I logged on to my website and my traffic had a huge spike. I checked where the traffic was coming from. Did I get a shout out on social media? Did someone link to my post on their site? Did Oprah put me on her favorite things list? Nope. 

It was a knitting website chat forum. What could they be saying about oil pulling on a knitting site?? I joined the forum to check it out. 

The discussion topic about my post was titled "lazy, Godless, and stupid."

What the??!! That's not what I was expecting at all! 

There were over 100 comments on my post on my site and a whole lot more in the chat forum. Many of the comments used phrases like "hack," "you'll be held responsible," "you're not a scientist," "irresponsible," "quack," "you're going to cause seizures," and "brainwashed." And those are some of the cleaner comments that I can share here! [Note: my site has been updated since then, bots and comments have gotten a lot more aggressive, so unfortunately comments & discussions are no longer available on my site.]

People were big mad that I put coconut oil in my mouth and wanted to let me know!

Your guide to oil pulling
^^ This was it! This was the post that broke my little part of the internet. 

I was embarrassed, mad, sad, and hurt. I almost deleted the post. And was very scared to write a new post.

But after about a week, people were commenting to the haters and sharing their testimonies and thanking me for the info. My affiliate links were getting a record number of clicks, my ad revenue was up, my traffic was going up daily. A month later and all my stats were still trending up.

It  was my first really profitable month that made me think, "Wow! I might actually be able to do this for real!"

From there, my site went on to get over 400,00 page views a month and I'm proud of this community and little space on the internet. So thank you to the person that put my blog post in the "lazy, Godless, and stupid" chat forum! Without you, I may not have gone viral and had the belief that this little blog could actually be a business! And I wouldn't be connected to all my friends in my community. The day I went viral because someone didn't like me turned out to be one of the best things for me and my business! 

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