I need a drum roll, because this is an important — almost-epic-type-of-moment…. THIS IS MY 1,000th POST!!!
YES! I am totally serious – and very, very proud! For those of you who don’t know my story, I’ll sum it up quickly: I started this blog in the summer of 2007, right before my 30th birthday. I had decided to create a website on my 29th birthday, and I knew nothing about doing it, so I gave myself a year to learn how, and to create my site, and I did it.
I’ve learned a lot of things in the last 1,000 posts. Here are a few things about blogging that I thought I’d share:
It’s Never Going To Be Perfect – If you learn one thing about blogging, I hope it’s this. It’s NEVER going to be perfect. I change up my theme all the time. I don’t change my brand – my logo and colors stay the same – but I do change the look of the blog, and that’s totally okay. Maybe you want a right sidebar, a left sidebar, a featured image gallery, whatever. Go ahead and experiment with things. But do not wait to start blogging until “it’s perfect.” Just start blogging, and make those changes as you feel like it.
Your Personal Life Will Be On Display – For some people, their blog is about their personal life. This blog is mostly about business, but my personal life does peek out from time to time. And that’s okay. I know that you are not reading this blog to learn about what I had for dinner last night. You want to learn about marketing your business online.
But sometimes I draw experiences from my personal life – like when I wrote this post about the first dates I went on after my divorce. and sometimes I just talk about what’s going on, like when I got sick and didn’t blog for a while when I was in the hospital. It helps you know me as a person and build a connection with me. And that brings us to the next lesson…..
You’re Going To Make Some Friends – I have actually made a lot of friends through this blog. When I started this blog, I was living in Alaska, and I certainly didn’t expect it to improve my Michigan social life, but it did. Bethany Nixon, the owner of Reware Vintage and one of the members of Handmade Detroit found my site, and in 2008, I traveled back to MI to partner with the University of Michigan Flint on a business conference. She attended, we met, and we hit it off right away. She introduced me to to the rest of the Handmade Detroit girls, as well as quite a few other social media / DIY people in Detroit.
Since then, Beth, Lish (another HD member), and I have taken several trips together. One of those was to Ohio, where we met up with the crafty ladies of Columbus. Another trip was to NYC, where we spoke on a blogging panel at Etsy’s headquarters. It was there that we met Rachel Johnson from SwapBot. We all kept in touch with her, and a few months ago, when I traveled to Minnesota to speak at BlogHer Handmade, Rachel flew in for the conference and we shared a hotel room.
Another person I had met via my site, and emailed when I was still in Alaska, was Amy Kelsey of Made With Luv. She and I met up at craft show and started talking during the monthly Flint City Handmade events. Meanwhile, I had met Cin Langston, another Flint person via Twitter. Cin and Amy started talking via the comments they both left on my Facebook status updates, and now we all get together regularly at Amy’s for “writing circle.” This is where we are supposed to write blog posts for our respective blogs, and there are times when we get a lot of work done, but sometimes, it’s just a gab session.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I’ve been lucky enough to meet up with other bloggers and crafters at conferences and shows. And there are many more people who I talk to on a daily basis but haven’t had a chance to meet in person yet. For example – Angela Wills of MarketersMojo.com. We’ve been partnering on projects and brainstorming ideas with each other for YEARS. There have been times when I’ve been stuck at my (former) day job and needed something fixed on my site, and I’ve been able to send her a quick email and she’s been there to help me.
Again – that is one example. There are so many other people out there who I have met through this blog. It is just amazing!
You’re Going To Piss Some People Off – There are times when you’re going to piss a lot of people off. Well, maybe not as much I did with this post about how the Mompreneur label is NOT in and of itself a marketing campaign. And then, I made a few other people mad when I sent an email out about how I pissed off a bunch of moms. I guess using the phrase “pissed off” pisses off people that are against swearing.
And just to play devil’s advocate, “pissed off” really isn’t such a bad swear. The FCC allows people to say much worse stuff on network TV. And this is my blog after all, so I can say any damn swear word I want, even the EFF word. And trust me, I do say that word a lot. I just find it a lot more amusing to write “eff word,” or “effing this,” or “effing that.”
It Might Be A Hobby, It Might Be A Career – For some of you, blogging might be a hobby. That’s okay. Blogging is whatever you want it to be. For me, blogging became my career. That’s what I was banking on when I started this thing.
I didn’t know if anyone would ever care about this site or what I had to say, but I hoped they would. I’ll never forget the excitement that I had when I saw my traffic growing to double digits (as in 50+)! I’ll never forget the thrill of seeing that people were signing up for my newsletter. And I’ll never forget the amazement I felt on St. Patrick’s Day 2008, when I sold my first ebooks.
I’ll never forget that feeling because I still get excited, thrilled, and amazed everyday over the fact that I get to do this for a living.
This is what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life. I’m a blogger. It’s what I’ve become over these past 1,000 posts, and it’s definitely what I’m truly meant to be.
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