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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Thanks for sharing your story. I am a huge fan of your blog and wish you the best. You are an inspiration :) I think someone should have a "Story behind my Blog" linky party.
oh wow! and your blog is only one year old?!?! amazing!
lovely to hear your story.
thank you for sharing it here.
Stacy your story is great! I love that it is only one year old too! I started my blog last October but didn't really get it going until January... I'm loving what I do for fun now. I totally get what you say about your real life friends that gloss over... I wish I could find someone around here that likes what I like. Maybe a blogging conference will be in my future :)
Thanks for sharing!
Great story. I always love the honesty on your blog. It makes you seem like a real person and not a Martha Stewart. Don't get me wrong, you have oodles and oodles of talent, you just also appear genuine and humble. Hard to find these days. Thanks for sharing your story. Great job and Happy Anniversary? Birthday? :)
Touching and inspiring! YOU GO GIRL!
Congrats!!! I loved reading your story! Crazy that all of that has happened in a year! Wow:) you are awesome!
Your story is wonderful! Thank you for sharing. I am in the same boat as far as having friends who don't care about the things I do. Well, a couple do. The rest I force to come over for painting and craft project parties. Some enjoy it and some hate it. Most are happy when the party is over and they have something great to take home!
Heather@The Black's Best
Thanks so much for sharing! It makes me feel good to hear success stories like yours and gives me hope! Of course, you're crazy talented so it's no surprise!
Rooted in Atascocita
You are an inspiration to me! Thanks for sharing!
I enjoyed this post. One reason I like your blog is because if feels very real (like Brandy said). I admire that you are able to share so much of yourself on your blog - the good and the sometimes hard. And of course I love your blog because you are super talented and still make me feel like I can do what you do.
PS - My husband is the magician (who is coming to do a show next week) so I am looking forward to possibly meeting you then.
Thank you for sharing your blogging story. What I like about you is that you are so easy to relate to, I almost feel like I'm checking in on a neighbor next door when I read your blog. I just discovered the "blog" world a few months ago and yours was one of the first that got me hooked. I am so happy for your success, keep smiling and doing what your doing and I cant wait to see what the next year has in store for you. Cathy
I'm a fairly new follower and I was just saying the other day how I like to learn tidbits about the people behind the blogs. Since we (bloggers) don't "technically" know each other, I think the personal info helps. Thanks for sharing!
Yes, I'm a little slow. I kept thinking I had seen you before, and I realize now, it was on Good Things Utah! Great back story to a fabulous blog.
What a great post, and such inspiration for all of us "just starting out"! You've done a great job at promoting your blog and keeping the readers coming back.
I agree with Mindy, it's great when the blogger writes something personal so we get to know them better.
I've been wondering about guest posting, but I don't even know how to start! Maybe an idea for a blog post: how to guest blog post! ;-)
As always, thanks for sharing!
I love that you took the time to do this. So many times I see blogs that I don't really "know" the people behind the blogs. I feel like I "know" you more. I'm new to blogging, but have already made more bloggy friends than I have "real" freinds. Does that make sence? lol Love your blog.
I am 11 years old and your blog is really inspiring. I love home making and doing crafty things. I stumbled across your blog because i was in the audiance at Good Things Utah. I love your blog and how honest you are! Thanks for posting!
super inspiring. and then a little depressing too, as after two years I'm still scratching my head trying to figure out what the hell kind of blog I have. I wish I had more time to be really creative. Or the fortitude to finish one project before going on to the next.
But how cool that you are super famous after one year. And the helping to support your family bit is Over. The. Moon. Cool.
I am a recent follower of your great blog. I just want to say congratulations on a job well done. I wish you continued success.
Thanks for sharing your story. It's very inspiring, and makes me think a lot about what I want from my own blog...I love your honesty and the fact that you share personal stories like this and not just project after project.
Shelley @ Calypso In The Country
What a great and inspiring story! I love hearing how people get started and I love your blog! Keep doing what you are doing!
Have a great weekend!
Wendy @ The Shabby Nest
Hi Lady! I so identify with what you said about your friends not being interested in what you are interested in. It's easier for me now that I have moved back to Utah, I have friends who understand even if they aren't interested. But meeting you, and the rest of the fab group of Utah creative bloggers has been AMAZING!! Would you believe that after three years of blogging, I still haven't been able to attend a conference? (Next year for sure!) But getting to know the bloggers here has been the next best thing! Keep up the good work...you're doing incredibly for only having blogged a year!
Fabulous story! I love reading about how bloggers I look up to got their start! Thanks for sharing!
Wow, it is crazy to me that you and I started our blogs at about the same time! I can't even fathom as much growth as you've seen! I found your blog a few months ago and have really enjoyed it. When I saw your ceiling in Better Homes and Gardens, I said, Hey! I know that blog! I follow it! I was excited for you! Anyway, I'm Rach H over at Family Ever After. I'm just starting to see a little more growth on my blog, and it is exciting! Thanks for being an inspiration!
Thanks for sharing your story. I can't believe this blog is only a year old. I just got started on my first blog last month. It's kinda disheartening because even though I see a lot of traffic, I don't have very many followers. How do you encourage people to follow your blog?
That is the hard part. You can't really make people follow you. You have to put something out there that will draw people in and that they will be interested in. You just do your best and hope that others appreciate it. Good luck and don't get discouraged. It is a different journey for everyone.
Thank You for sharing your story..I love your blog and find a lot of your projects helpful..
Hey Stacy, I am so glad that you wrote this! Your blog is 7 days older than mine and I often scratch my head wondering about your rabid success. And with 4 boys at home! I made the mistake of starting my blog with the goal of having lots of hits and making money ( the only blog that I had read at this time was the one by Yaro Starak. He writes about making money from blogging). I have since found out that this usually backfires. I didn't know the first thing about linky parties or guest posts and this all has been a giant learning curve for me. I firmly believe that while the rest of us are posting about throw pillows and fabric flowers you are posting about stenciled ceilings and lamps made from wood scraps. And we are seriously impressed! And that's why you have been so successful.
What an uplifting and inspiring story. I'm new to the blogging world and now I can't get away from my computer. Love you blog!
Angie @ gathered-sown.com
I love your blog and find myself checking your updates regularly! You are so down to earth, and so good at sharing your talents, that as a reader I want to thank YOU!
Amber @ Quilted Euphoria
I've been stalking you for a while and decided today that I'd officially publicly stalk you! I love your blog, your ideas, your enthusiasm and your overall attitude!
I would love to have you follow me back (if you're not too busy!) but if not, just know I"m your newest public follower! :-)
Thank you for sharing this! It is very inspirational for a new blogging momma like myself! Love your blog! :)
I'm right there with you. While I am not a "famous" blogger, I have dreams and I like to share with others what I teach myself in hopes that they can enjoy a little bit more of life. I love your blog. Stumbled across it a few months ago and really enjoy reading your posts. You are greatness :)
Keep up the good work and congrats on all of the over accomplishments. You deserve it!!!!!
Thanks for sharing your story with us! It is very inspiring!!!
What wonderful stories, this one and the photo shoot. I grinned about many things you said, and nodded knowingly, and sympathized with your anxiety. I feel like I want to reach out and hug you, and I hardly ever feel that way about people. I've met too many that really disappointed me (like the negative ones you mention). I'm so glad you're writing your blog, and sharing both your talents and your thoughts (and God did tell us to share our talents). Both are very special. And I'm really impressed by your determination, and FOUR kids (I only have one) and artistic daring do. Hope you can keep on blogging for a long time. You're an inspiration.
This is so sweet, Stacy! Congrats on all of your blogging success!
I'm glad BHG posted your blog address too!... that's how I found you and I LOVE doing DIY projects :). Thanks for posting!
Your story makes me smile because it's just so you...and I love YOU! :)
That is such a cool story! I would love to be so successful. It seems so far away for me. Did you have lots of discouraging days?
Thanks for sharing Stacy! It reminds some of us that just maybe we can use our blog to push our goals. :)
Thank you so much for sharing this. You are inspiring!
I started my blog to share my cooking with others and to make friends. My life has changed and I hope that it can be a way to help support myself and my two little kids as we are now going through a divorce and a move across the state. Life circumstances definitely plan a big role in motivating you to do your absolute best. ;)
Thanks to BHG I found your blog and I love it!! Keep up the good work and I will keep reading.
Carole @ The Blue Chateau
So happy I found your blog. Like you, I am at-home mom. I'm very happy with stain under my nails and a cloud of sawdust in my garage.
Erika @ Oops! I Craft My Pants
You are so amazing. I really love everything you write, and this is no exception. Can I please be you? Pleeease? Just for one day?
I totally get the feeling lonely part. I'm still kind of in the stage where I don't feel like I belong anywhere (I just realized I've never had a REAL friend. Like, one I had tell everything to. Horrible, right?)...So, you give me hope! :)
I cried when I read your story. Your story is really inspiring. I love the fact that you keep following your heart and doing what you think is right. Thanks for starting this blog. It is so inspiring to me personally.
I just came across your blog from a link party. I've been wondering how mom's get started as a blogger and do it for a job. I'm interested in it, but I'm not sure if it's for me. I'm so glad I found you blog and that you have this post about how you started out! It's nice to read other peoples stories. Thank you for sharing yours! I think I will become a regular reader here:)
Hello, I found your blog thru Bloglog and I'm so very glad I did. You are truly talented and inspiring. We have a lot in common, I love to work with tools and love to create beautiful objects out of junk and cheap stuff. I just started my blog about a month ago, I live in a single wide mobile home and I couldn't find anything that caters to mobile home owners that like to decorate and update their homes. Your a great inspiration, I appreciate your honesty. My laundry has been piling up for over a month and I kept wondering how all you successful bloggers did it all. I now realize that y'all are just like me! Thanks so much!
purchase gucci mirror to your friends for more detail
wow! I am so super inspired by you!!!!
I am in a very situation to you a year ago. Four lovely little kids, so so so much making (mostly knitting and sewing for me!) and a new blog. Making things is my life blood, I just llive and breathe it, I am totally loving the blog and would love it to lead me into a way of earning some money to help our finances.
I've just discovered linky parties and will link up to yours this week!
Wow! A year!!! I just can't believe it!!! Well done!!!
Jessica @ Dear Emmeline
Found your blog recently and have been linking up. Enjoyed your most recent post on comments! I am new to this so I am trying my best to comment on the blogs I find and posts I like as well as respond to EVERY comment I recieve on my blog. I am hoping my blog will grow and at some point it may be unreasonable to comment back to everyone but I am going to try to do my best to keep up! Your story really resonates with me. I have always been a crafty DIY type girl and after having kids and stopping teaching I felt like I was missing a little piece of myself. So, I started refinishing furniture and blogging fairly simultaneously. It would also be great if down the line I reach some of my other goals including maybe making a little money. LOL I'd just be happy to win some giveaways or get some sponsers and freebies! I'm easy to please. :) Keep up the good work!
I just found your blog and decided to read this. I am so inspired by you and what you do. I think it is amazing how far you have come and I love your blog already. I am new to blogging and a new follower. I can't wait to see what else you accomplish.
Lisa @ Before Meets After
I just stumbled upon your blog and I feel the same way when it comes to friends! Most of my friends think I'm crazy that I go to thrift stores and buy things! They can't believe we do things ourselves and don't pay people to do them for us. We can't! I've learned it's not embarrassing to do DIY and be thrifty! That mindset helped me to start my blog too! I'm a new follower and a fan :)
Recreate and Decorate
I would love a mentor!! :-)
I am new to blogging and I blog about family, life, home and decor. I would love to have my home decor projects and ideas published in a magazine!
I would love for you to check my blog out at http://www.recreateanddecorate.com
I'm open to all suggestions!!
Julie @ Lilacs & Longhorns
Thanks for such a great post! I recently started my blog and am trying to build up a following so I really appreciated your story. It gives me faith and hope that one day I can get where I want to go!
Hi Stacy, I found your blog while researching DIY blogs, and I am extremely happy that I found yours. I've been thinking very seriously about starting my own blog, and you have inspired me more to do so, so I thank you for that; and I will be following your blog, I think its great!
Your blog is such an inspiration to me. I have recently started my own blog for very similiar reasons to the ones that you have mentioned. It's a wonderful creative outlet and gives me a little push to finish the projects and long list of to-do's that I have for my home. Thanks for sharing your story.
What a fantastic post. It's great to hear how blogs you follow got started. I hope to start a blog myself. So glad I found yours. Keep doing what you do and you will go far.
Small Talk Mama
I loved reading your story -- thank you for sharing. I just recently started my own blog, mainly as a creative outlet and exercise for my stay-at-home-mom brain. I especially loved the part about your friends, because I also have wonderful friends (most of whom live at least a state away) with whom I don't often get to connect. My husband and I joked the other day that I should start the FBS -- Friendless Bloggers' Society. ha ha I too have already met some wonderful new people through this great network. Congratulations on your successes and thank you for the inspiration.
Wow Stacey, what a great story! So many of the things you said are among the reasons my sister and I started diysisters.com. We totally agree with the part about showing our mistakes and the projects that didn't go so well. We also want to be honest about the parts of our lives that are not perfect. And with each of us pregnant right now, there are plenty of areas of our lives that do not look perfect! Your blog is beautiful, and I can't believe how fast you've progressed. We started our blog less than a year ago, and I think we are a little stuck. We haven't quite figured out the link party thing yet. If you have a minute, we'd love some direction in that area! Thanks!
Wow. Thank you so much for sharing your blogging story. I am kind of feeling the same way. None of my friends do it and when I talk about it they just don't get it. I always have so many projects to do and find inspiration amongst others and want to share with others what I do. That is why I recently got started. Thanks again!!!