Monday, December 29, 2014

My Blogging Through the Years: 2010 - 2011

It's so crazy to think that these are the last days of the year already. When I take a look back at my blogging history, it's amazing for me to see how much I've changed as a blogger. How much I've learned. How much I've grown.

With a new year just days away, I thought it would be fun to look back at the past and share some of my favorite moments. My blogging through the years.

When I started blogging, I literally had NO clue what I was doing. I opened up our little Etsy shop (not even fully knowing what I was doing there), and I had read somewhere that a blog was a good thing to have, so I signed up to start one. 


I sort of cringe at the thought that I had first chosen a completely black background with bright colored font. I mean, EW. How could I have done that?!? Besides being incredibly difficult to read, it's just not so pleasing to the eye - at all. Ever. Wow. I amaze myself with the silly choices I first made.

And photos! I didn't even really add photos to my posts during that first year. Seriously. I can go through that whole first year and only find a handful of photos included in my posts. I've come a long way.

I learned a lot about photography when starting out, and I'm still learning to this day.

Back then, the blog was much more of an online journal to chronicle our adventure with Etsy and our small family business. It was full of posts that included shop updates (like this) and new products (like this). The year included our first blog giveaway and then there were our completely unconventional giveaway types, because lots of the time, we like to be different (those were so much fun!). While I did blog once in awhile about family adventures, it was mostly a blog focusing on the Etsy business and catered to readers that were mainly Etsy members.

Making these chocolate jack-o-lanterns was so much fun.
I miss selling our chocolates sometimes.

And then, in October of that year, our computer crashed, leaving us mostly without our main tool to conduct business - or any other thing we wanted to do online, like blogging. I remember that I was able to get online sporadically. Whatever I wanted to do, it always had to be done fast. The computer was super slow, and it could always freeze at any given moment. Basically, we put Etsy on hold, along with everything that went with it - including the blog.

It was also just a busy time, because I was pregnant with Baby Girl (who was born at the end of the year). 


By the end of the year 2011, I had branched out in terms of blogging and social media, all in the name of promoting our business. 

Our computer time was still ultra limited with our dinosaur of a machine. I was still determined to make the best of it. I started promoting other Etsy shops a bit more with my Fab Finds for Friday series. Because, as I started (or at least, attempted) to spend more time on Etsy, I started finding more and more fabulous finds from the handmade community that I genuinely loved and wanted to share. I also curated my first Etsy treasury collection and started participating in Treasury Tuesdays with Aquariann. I even did my first ever product review, and I'm proud that it was for an Etsy shop (it was a Buy & Try, but still a product review).

I learned how to create hyperlinks and started learning about SEO and the importance of tagging using keywords - for both here on the blog, and on Etsy. 

I branched out with blog topics and began blogging about current events in our lives, other than the Etsy biz. The first subject matter - finance. I had a post where I threw a fit about big banks and their outrageous fees. Then I shared what I had learned about 529 college savings plans and how to save money at the pump & improve gas mileage.

I think it was our first year planting sunflower seeds in 2011.
I remember sharing the very last sunflower of the season in this post.

This is also the year that I began the Words for my Wednesday series of posts (my absolute favorite), with my first WFMW post being in mid-April. But just as I had started to get into a routine with my blogging, our dino of a computer literally bit the dust! We were completely offline from April until June. Almost two months. Two whole months!

We got a brand new computer in June, and with that, I jumped full-on into the world of social media: I joined twitter and facebook. I must admit that I ultimately made the jump and created accounts with the two social media giants due to an Etsy team that I had joined for promoting our Etsy shop, Promo Frenzy Team. The team focuses on using social media as promotional tools for our online businesses, and it taught me a lot. Plus, I made some great friends there. (Full disclosure: I am no longer a member of that team. I was only a member for a few months, but they were great months full of learning new things. I will always be grateful to the team for giving me the push I had needed to get into social media, when I had been too scared to do it on my own.)

Our first official blog profile image.

My daughter learned a little bit about graphic design from a summer course and started making our blog and shop graphics. So together, we gave the blog a makeover (goodbye black background and colored font!). 

I think this may have been my first ever recipe shared: Pistachio Pudding.

I also started Mommy Blogging. It was Baby Girl's first year (as we all know, that means a year full of firsts), and my youngest son started kindergarten. But blogging about the two youngest meant I had to include the others too. 
Oh hey, I might have even shared a recipe

And so it began...The Lifestyle Blog. My little corner of the blogosphere where I blog a little bit about everything. Because, why not? I had finally found a niche for my blog and me, because branching out and blogging about more than just our Etsy adventure allowed me to just be me. And I like that. 

I started visiting other blogs more and more, becoming just a little more familiar with blog-land and the people in it. I even won a few blogger awards, as shown in the top image (I couldn't find the time to play the chain games most of the time, though). I made some great virtual blog friends and found favorite blogs to read (some that are HUGE today, so it's like growing up with them, in a way). 

And there you have it. That's the grand wrap up of my first two years of blogging. I hope you'll stay tuned for the rest of my blast from the past, because up next will be years 2012 and 2013. I'd love for you to join me.

Later today, I'll be announcing the two lucky winners for the Trinkets by Dana Giveaway too.

What's one thing that you've learned as a blogger?

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Susan F. said...

How fun to read about your early years! Looking forward to the next part!

Elephant's Child said...

My blog has grown too. I think. I hope.
I am endlessly awed by the warmth and the wonder I find here in the blogosphere (but am resisting FB and twitter).
Looking forward to your next installment.

Miss Val's Creations said...

I love this post! I need to go back and look at mine which I believe I started in 2007. Like you I started a blog because Etsians recommended it although I had no clue what I was doing. It is fun to evolve something that is your very own over time. I'm sure your blog will continue to change over the years to come as your life changes. It's all good!

Britney Mills said...

Congrats on all the years blogging! It's kind of fun to see how we've grown!

T@PoppyPlacePdx said...

Wow!!! That was really awesome to read :)

I feel I have been so slow and poss. a little afraid, to move forward with changing up my blog but you have inspired me to let go of the fear :)

Look forward to reading the next installment, cheers, T. :)

lorenabr said...

Fabulous :) am looking forward to 2015!

Natalia Khon said...

What a fun post! I wish I could write something like this about my blogging! :) I started my blog a while ago... instead of trying and making mistakes (that are great to learn from!) I posted nothing if I did not know what to post. Did not make mistakes and learned nothing from them...

katiecupcakes said...

My one year mark is coming up in a month and I was just thinking of what I'll do differently in the future! It's always good to look back.

Kristin Aquariann said...

Great idea! Sometimes I go back and read my live journal from college, before I was attempting to market anything ... now that's funny.

Rebecca Brosemer said...

I have only been blogging for a year and almost a half. Even in that short time, I have learned a ton! Glad to see I am not the only one.

Michelle Nahom said...

I've been blogging just over two years and still feel like I have a lot to learn...but definitely I have come a long way. One thing I did all wrong was use tiny pictures...but I just didn't know any better!

Melanie @ bear rabbit bear said...

Congrats- looking forward to reading the rest of your journey.

Melissa at said...

Love reading about your experiences and seeing your growth! I look back at my first blog design and cringe too. ;) Looking forward to seeing what you have in store for 2015!

Integrated Learning Strategies said...

You have done so many cute things throughout the years! I bet it's very rewarding to look back and see how far you've come and what you've accomplished. I can tell you are going to have many more amazing years of blogging to come. Can't wait to see what you have in store for us next!

LanasArtStudio said...

I see Kim you for awhile now in our blog-land adventure and I had no clue how you become such a pro blogger:) but this post give me really good understanding about your journey! Thank you for sharing it with us! And thank you for being a such a wonderful blog-friend!!!!!

Barb Camp/ Second Chance to Dream said...

Congrats as a journey!

Rachael Yerkes said...

What a fun journey. Mommy blogging...sigh, I love this. It makes me want to do the same!

Stephanie Pass said...

This is such a neat idea to bring back a year of blog posts. I love it!

La Vie En May said...

Love this idea! I might just do the same. I think it'd be interesting to see how to my blog has evolved through the years.

I've learned a lot about blogging. I know photos are a HUGE part of it and it's a way to engage with my readers.

Debi Wayland said...

What a fun idea. I always love looking back on where I came from. And, you've done a great job looking back in this post! Thanks for sharing your memories and thoughts.

Debra Hawkins said...

So much fun to read about your early years!

Evelyn Osborn said...

I love to see how much we have all grown, sometimes I want to go back and correct so much but other than better photos, I don't because it shows the progress!!
Thanks for sharing your journey!!


Shauna Smart said...

Loved to read about your years blogging! Isn't it amazing how much we all grow over the years!

Britni Vigil said...

Love reading about your blogging journey! I have learned so much in a span of two years of blogging too.