I was going to wait until my one year anniversary of blogging to share this but I have had so many emails lately asking about this I decided to just post about it now.
I have always been knee deep in several projects at a time. That is just how I roll. I don't think I would be content unless there was paint under my fingernails and saw dust on my porch. I have decorated and made things since I was a kid. It is part of who I am.
When I got married and started to have kids, I felt a need to share what I did with others. I love to teach. And I would take any opportunity that came my way whether it was teaching a group of older ladies how to use power tools or young women to paint. But those things were far a few between. I didn't know about blogs until I went to my 10 year High School Reunion and everyone was talking about their family blogs. I looked into it and thought it would be a fun way to keep in touch with all the family members that lived far away. I had that for about a year and a half and then I found out that there were "other" blogs. Mommy blogs, Craft blogs, Food blogs, and DIY blogs! I was so excited!!!! I felt like I had finally found a way to share what I have been doing with a lot of people. Not only that, but there was so much for me to learn and be inspired by too. I started researching it and coming up with a design. I had a notebook that I would write all my ideas down in.
During this beginning stage my husband was laid off. It was a total shock because the company had hid how bad off they were in hopes that they could avoid laying people off. The people that had worked there the least amount of time were let go. It was right around the same time that I learned that some of these bloggers were making money off their blogs. My reason for blogging became 2 fold then. Not only did I want to share my projects, but I was hoping to eventually be able to make a little money. I knew it wasn't going to help us right then, but you have to start somewhere right?
So I would say that my main reason for starting a blog was to share ideas and teach people how I have done my projects. But because of the circumstances being what they were, I also wanted to be able to contribute financially to ease that burden a little for my husband.
I decided that I wanted to have several posts done and posted before I "launched" my blog. I had my first "live" post be a giveaway. I gathered all my favorite things and put them in a cute red basket. In order to enter they had to look through all the posts and tell me what their favorite one was. I launched my site in September. I was expecting to only have family and friends enter but I had traffic coming from the linky parties I linked to so I ended up with 37 entries and I was thrilled!
From there I just continued to link up to linky parties. I also emailed the blogs that I loved and asked them if I could guest post or do a blog swap with them. Most did not respond but some did. Every feature, every linky party, and every swap added more followers. It just kind of snowballed from there. One opportunity led to another.
I have said from the beginning that I won't do anything that I wasn't already planning on doing. What I mean by that is: I won't make something up just so I have something to blog about. I have a HUGE, GINORMOUS, "to do" list. I am just going to do what I was doing before I started my blog. I will work my way down that list. I think I have enough projects to last a few years at least :) So I am not worried.
I never planned on going on TV. In fact my friend joked with me about it and I said "I don't think I could ever do that!". But I got an email from Good Thing Utah. The producer had found my blog and wanted me to come on as a guest. I had a heart to heart with myself about what I wanted out of my blog and how serious I was about achieving those goals. It was way outside of my comfort zone but I said "yes."
You should have seen me backstage. I was a wreck! I had a garbage can and was convinced I was going to throw up. The cute intern was fanning me and getting me water to drink. But when it was time to set up for my segment I just had to put my game face on and suck it up. The only other option is to run like a crazy person out to the parking lot. I have now done 7 shows in the last 5 months. I have learned a lot about myself. I think I have gotten more out of it personally than I have for my blog. It is hard to put it into words really. A journey I hadn't planned on taking with lessons I didn't know I needed to learn.
My Better Homes and Gardens feature really didn't have anything to do with my blog. At least not in the beginning. That had been a goal of mine since I was about 10. You can read the whole story HERE. The editor didn't even know I had a blog until around the time the shoot was scheduled. I am deeply grateful that she included my blog address in the article. She didn't have to do that. But I am forever grateful that she did.
I keep getting asked about my plans for the future. Well, I don't know. If you saw my list of goals I made before I launched my blog you would laugh. I had no idea what to expect. I have overshot my goals and done things I didn't plan on. So as far as the future? I am just going to keep plugging along and marking things off my "to do" list around my cute fixer upper house. I will embrace any opportunity that comes my way in hopes that it will help me grow as a person and maybe my blog too.
I think the things that have surprised me in having a blog would be three. The friends I have made, the personal growth, and the opportunities that have come my way.
Friends: I have friends. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me when I say this next thing. I have friends and they are darling and fun and I love them. But not very many are interested in what I am interested in. I will admit to feeling alone at times. Going to my first blogging conference and meeting people who thought like me and didn't get that glossy eyed look when I talked about it was AMAZING. I Love all my blog friends who are now my real life friends. I finally feel like I have a group that I "fit" in.
Also I have you readers. I am tearing up as I write this because the support I have felt from you is INTENSE. You cheer when I have success, you email me the most incredible letters when I go through hard times. I know I have never met most of you but I feel a connection just the same. I have been BLOWN AWAY by you all. Seriously.
I know that was a lot. I didn't know how to condense it and still get my whole story across. But thank you for taking the time to read it :) And thank you for reading my blog.
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