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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