Seeing that today is the last day in September, I figured I better get this post in. While I originally started this blog in 2008, I rarely updated it. Behold, my first blog post ever... riveting no? haha In fact I have taken several posts from 2008 and turned them into drafts, Pre-Trevor days, what can I say ;) I didn't really start "blogging" in the term that you know it now until September 2009, exactly five years ago this month.
Before I knew it I was enjoying other people's blogs online. I loved reading about what other people were doing, reading their thoughts and see what they were sharing. Soon people other than my family and friends started reading and commenting on my blog. I really loved this new community of bloggers who were sharing and creating together. Along the way my blog turned into a creative outlet for me. While my blog has always been my space for sharing my thoughts and documenting my life, I started getting involved in collaborations with other bloggers and companies. My goals are still very much the same as when I started, with some additions. I still use my blog as a place to share my life with my family who lives all over, as well as share my thoughts and experiences. But along with that, I also use it as space to share the things I love with readers. I love being able to share everything from the daily happenings of my life, to my personal style or favorite beauty products. I love the conversation and community that can exist online. Have I expressed enough how much I love blogging? haha
While I have loved blogging, there have been some downs to my ups. Putting your life and thoughts out for the whole world to see means you are opening yourself up for whatever comes back. I have had so much good come back, but sometimes there is bad. I wouldn’t say I have ever had to compromise anything with blogging, but because I have been so open about who I am and my experiences I have opened myself up for public opinion. Doing that comes with unique challenges that a lot of people don’t experience. I have learned so much about myself and really feel I have grown in a way I never would have if it hadn’t been for blogging. It has made me a stronger more compassionate person, and someone who knows exactly who she is.
Since I started blogging, the blogging world has really changed. Social Media really blew up when I was blogging. A lot of people feel like Instagram killed blogging, and in a lot of ways I would have to agree. It is a faster way for people to get a taste of what is going on in your life, which is usually why they read your blog in the first place. While social media grew, there were less comments and lower engagement on the blog. While my readership stayed about the same, my comments went from 50+ to maybe 10. Readers have been given so many different ways to engage with bloggers that sometimes the blog isn't even one of them. I now not only feel a community and connection on my blog but on my Instagram as well.
When I first started blogging I just posted whenever I felt like it, but as it became more of a "business," I had to start creating some kind of schedule. Consistency is key when it comes to blogging. Because of this I have had to overcome the challenge of finding the time to fit it all in. Not having enough time and learning to organize my time has been one of my biggest obstacles. Time management and organization are two areas I continue to work on. I work full time and when I come home my spare time is spent managing my blog and online obligations as well as errands, gym, cleanings... you get the idea? If I am not careful with how I manage my time it can feel like I am constantly working and don’t have any free time. I never want my blog to feel like it is becoming a chore. Blogging is a lot of fun, but it can also be a lot of work. While blogging is a priority for me, I want to make sure my family and friends are always number one. I mean, isn't that why I blog in the first place? I blog about my life, I don't live to blog.
I won't lie, there have been many times I just wanted to delete this blog. But then I remember all the amazing things that have come from it. I have documented my life in a way I never would have without it, I have gotten two of my full-time jobs from blogging, and have made some incredible friends. And one of my favorite parts of blogging is being able to share my opinions and thoughts in a public forum and starting a conversation with readers. The comment sections in some of my posts have been a place for real discussion with people and their opinions, and I love when that happens!
So I guess this is a reflection on the last five years, and my way of saying THANK YOU. Some of you are new readers, some of you have been reading from the beginning, but I want to thank you for being apart of my journey here in the blog world. I look forward to what the future brings with all of this blogging and social media craziness, and I hope you will continue on the journey with me!