Someone recently asked me how long I’ve had this blog and I had no clue. I just looked it up and I feel so ashamed…I missed our anniversary! We had our first date on July 24th of last year!
I don’t have a picture of us together from our early days, but I do have a screen shot of my first post ever
I feel like I should’ve gotten something for the blog like a snazzy new theme or improved coding skills…Instead I’ll stick with what always worked as a kid and go nostalgic:
When I started, it was as a way to record all the changes and improvements we come up with for the apartment and hopefully some Aiden stories along the way (those seem to be living on Facebook right now, but I’m thinking of moving them here somehow)
Anyway, just like any adolescent, it went through phases:
I had the cull-images-from-other-places-as-inspiration phase
the talking about school/work phase
the phase where I blogged more often, the phase where I blogged less…you get the picture.
Once I graduated and had more time on my hands (and the knowledge that a baby was on the way), I got more into it. I really love it. I wish I had more time and energy to put into it every day, but I’m working with what I have right now and it makes me happy. And just like anything you stick with for a year (in any capacity), I’ve learned some things along the way:
1. Blogging is harder than it looks!
There is a lot of time and effort that goes into every post. Obviously some more than others, but you have to prepare and think about the look and work on your skills. I only recently figured out how to make different pages (those links on the top of the page) so that it’s easier to find specific projects or posts and I’m still trying to figure out plugins (ANY advice on that would be SUPER appreciated!)
I also have to remind myself to get ‘before’ and ‘during’ pictures and I forget a LOT of the time. Plus the hubs is super wonderful and likes to surprise me with little updates that we’ve been talking about so sometimes I don’t get the chance (NOT complaining, I promise!)
2. It’s a community!
I love this part. I had absolutely no idea when I started that 1- people other than my immediate family would read it and 2- these strangers would interact with me and we would develop blog-lationships (it’s a word…says me)
3. Read what you write before you post it!
I’ve always considered myself a good editor….of other people’s work. It’s just so much easier to see how to fix other people’s problems or writing, but my own? SO much harder. I always preview my posts before I publish them, but I’ve been known to miss a few errors. The way I see it, it takes away from my super intimidating demeanor (right? you are welcome)
And on that note…
4. Writing is not talking
I’m a joker. It’s in my genes and there’s nothing to do about it. I mean that I’m a compulsive joker. If we go to Starbucks and the barista is frowning, I have to joke around and make this person smile. I don’t know why I can’t just leave him/her alone to be grumpy just like they obviously want to be, but it is definitely how I am.
The other thing is that my sense of humor doesn’t always translate, in real life and online. Tuvia always says I “test” people when I first meet them to see if they’ll get my jokes (which means they are brilliant and wonderful) or if they don’t and take me too seriously (we probably won’t get too far as friends). I like when people can laugh at themselves and I find it’s an easy way for people to get comfortable quickly, but a lot of people are not like this at all and I have offended someone accidentally. I promise you I never mean it!
5. There is blogger etiquette
I don’t know that I’ve got it all down, but there are some things that I really appreciate from other bloggers and that I try to do. For one thing, comments are so appreciated. The first time someone not related to me made a comment I gasped and Tuvia asked me what was wrong. Because I appreciate them so much, I try to reply to any comments made on my blog. I make an effort to comment on other people’s blog posts that I like and when I get a response it feels more like a conversation, a real interaction and I love it. I also feel that it is important to link back to original content. Putting your stuff out there is always a risk and the right thing to do is give credit where it is due. I didn’t always do it (ignorance, not a real excuse) and sometimes I forget, but I certainly always try and appreciate when others do as well.
6. Not everyone feels the way you do about your posts
Sometimes I work really hard on something and think it’s going to get the highest hits yet and the response is minimal! Alternatively, there are times when I’m blogging because I can and I get a much bigger response. Who’da thunk?
7. Blogging is personal
Okay, maybe it isn’t for everyone, but I sort of feel like it should be because even if you’re blogging purely for business reasons, it’s written in your voice. For a blog like mine, which shares our home and life, it’s intensely personal and I tend to get pretty shy about it in person. I don’t really tell people that I have a blog if they don’t already know because on some level it feels like I’m saying “I have really important and interesting things to say so I publish it on the internet”. I’m always more forgiving of other people than myself and definitely in this area because if anyone tells me they have their own blog I think it’s fantastic and I love to hear all about it.
8. Take it at your own pace
For me, this is important to remember. When I started the blog isn’t when I started really getting into it and enjoying it, that came much more recently, which is perhaps why I missed the actual anniversary date. Some days I want to write a bunch of posts and some days I don’t feel like writing any. This isn’t my job, so I try not to treat it like it is (although blogging for a job sounds vunderbar!)
9. Read other blogs
I love reading blogs. Not all blogs were created equal, but there are some things that I consistently like. Lots of photos are more fun to look at, no run-on sentences or paragraphs (guess I didn’t get that memo today :)), links that open in new tabs so I don’t lose my place when I’m interested in something, and easy navigation are just a few. I try to do all these things, but knowing how much I’ve learned from when I started until now, I am sure that I will continue to learn and improve over the next year.
10. Blogs are more fun with readers!
Maybe it shouldn’t be, but I find it so much more enjoyable when I get readers, especially ones that interact. I love hearing what other people have to say whether it’s about something on this blog or something they or someone else did.
So, thank you! Thank you to everyone for all the support! You make me stay more on top of things and make the whole thing more fun and worth it. I will try to continue to make it worth your while as this (hopefully) continues to grow and improve. Thank you, thank you!!!!
Do you have a blog? Have you had a milestone and learned something from it? I’d love to hear from you!