This week marks my four year blogiversary! Oh my word!, four years?! I started blogging in January of 2008—and since blog years are sort of like dog years, that was about 28 years ago! When I began, I had no plan. No real blog goals. I didn’t even know that one should have a goal in mind when blogging! In fact, I really had no idea what I was doing or what blogging was all about. I certainly didn’t know that there were home bloggers out there, and I didn’t know that my blog would become my business. All I knew was that I desperately needed a creative outlet!
I had just quit my ten year career as a counselor, was new to the whole “stay at home mom” thing, and had just moved into our newly renovated home in a new city. It was a lot of change to deal with and I was struggling to find my role…really to find myself.
I loved to write, share photos, and random tips, so I kept spamming my friends with mass emails that included copious amounts of pictures of my children, silly stories, and random tips. My little sister suggested that I stop annoying everyone with my diatribes and start a blog instead. I thought blogging was narcissistic and time consuming—but then again perhaps so were all of those emails. Hmmmm. Maybe she was on to something. I decided to take her advice and started “The Stories of A to Z”. My blog was going to be my place to share the stories of my two sons, Asher and Zephan (A to Z), and whatever else I felt like rambling about as a “not-so-stay at home mom”.
But what is so amusing is that during this first year of blogging, I was working part-time for a house flipping company—the company who helped “flip” our own recently renovated home from an abandoned mess to a brand new beauty. During our renovation, I was completely hands-on in customizing/designing and impressed my house flipping friends with my mad skills ;). They asked me to come on board and help them with floor plans, paint colors, hardware, fixtures, and kitchen designs for other homes they were “flipping” in my neighborhood. It was such exciting work and I LOVED it! And do you know what? I rarely, if ever blogged about it! Insane.
In December of 2009, something horrible happened and my marriage was on the rocks. I was so depressed and things were so personal and painful that I was left with nothing to blog about and considered quitting blogging. My entrepreneurial, house flipping friends knew my personal struggles and thought I could use a good distraction. They put me on my largest renovation project to date, and I had a blast designing our home’s “twin”. It was sooooo disgusting in it’s before state. You can see all of the befores and afters here.
As the Lord would have it, with a lot of counseling, prayer, and forgiveness my marriage healed and so did my spirit. I discovered home blogging right around this same time and I. came. alive. I have always loved decorating and had no idea that this online world existed where people just talked about their homes and their current DIY projects! I decided to join the fun, but was committed to keeping my focus mainly on Asher and Zephan. I didn’t want to be a “niche blogger” and wanted to keep my variety show going.
I remember reading Layla, Nester, Sarah, Rhoda, Melissa, Melissa and Chris and saying to my husband, “They are all so amazing! I really wish I could blog like they do.” My husband looked at me and said, “Come on. You know that if you wanted to….you could.” It was all I needed to here!
In early 2010, I decided to get serious about home blogging. With 500 followers and a few years of experience under my belt, I decided to open up my blog to advertising. I charged $20 a month for a sidebar button ad and was thrilled to have a few takers! The blog grew and my blog focus narrowed.
In early 2011, I became the editor for Tip Junkie Decorate and learned so much from the fabulous Laurie Turk! Mostly I gained the confidence to kick it up a notch and go full force in blogging. In June of 2011, I switched from Blogger to WordPress and changed my blog name from The Stories of A to Z to Home Stories A to Z. (Unfortunately facebook won’t allow me to switch my page name, so I am still “The Stories of A to Z” over there. Boo facebook!)
So there you have it. My blog story in a nut shell. It has been a crazy four years, and I am so excited to see what the next four years have in store for all of us! If you have followed my home stories at all, THANK YOU! I love what I do and I am so grateful for your readership! Your comments over the years have been priceless. Let’s pop some champagne and celebrate home bloggers!!!