A year ago I started blogging. I think my first post received 2 views and no comments. And while there are bloggers out there who have been writing for years upon years, I still want to take time to celebrate what is an important milestone to me personally. That means (with the exception of 2 days this summer whilst in the midst of a visa meltdown) I have blogged every weekday for an entire year.
This spectacular dress was one of my 2012 Christmas presents from Sam. I am also grateful that he has such good taste.
When I started Rhyme & Ribbons I could never have fathomed just how much work I was going to end up putting into it. Nor could I have predicted that there would have been so much growth without a single penny spent in sponsorship. I thought my readership would extend to Sam, my best friend and my mom- not loving, loyal readers on every continent bar Antarctica!
My numero uno blog supporter. I’ve become dedicated to blogging in a way that far outstrips any other hobby I have ever had. (Maybe cynically- it’s because I’ve never had a hobby that’s made me money before, eh?) But also and most importantly, blogging helped me find a community of my own when I felt I was becoming a hanger-on in Sam’s world. When I first started blogging, I had just graduated from my MA program and my student visa was about to expire. I had to return to America, not work, and just hope for the best visa news possible. When I returned to the UK I was lonely- most friends I met at drama school where now in different parts of the country; I was, once again, jobless and very afraid of being relegated to the box of only being “Sam’s girlfriend”. It’s hard to put into words pricelessly how blogging helped me out of that mindset but it gave me something of my own to work with and towards.
I’d like to be a princess every day, not just on special occasions. Additionally blogging has helped me continue to learn and develop new skill sets. Thanks to Rhyme & Ribbons I have:
- Learnt very basic HTML skills
- Improved my photography
- Acquired some knowledge of SEO and why it’s important
- Tried a new recipe every week
- Interacted with strangers every day in a positive manner
- Pushed myself to continue to learn and do
Any excuse to drink champagne.
Now that I have a lot more going on in my life than when I first started blogging I have been able to find balance successfully (most days). In the following ways:
Staying on Top of Things– I respond to every comment and email sent my way, and I’ve found that doing that daily instead of putting it off till later actually saves time in the long run. Also, one of the reasons I blog is the interaction with other people, so why would I postpone my responses?Getting Organized– I have a binder and a notebook that are solely devoted to blogging. Future posts ideas, what I need to do for which sponsor and by when, what I need to do for which advertiser/Etsy shop, etc. You’d be surprised how much time being organized saves.Having an Editorial Calendar– I might not have every post for the month written in advance but I have penciled in what I want to write about each day. And then I brainstorm 2 or 3 extra posts a month just in case I change my mind! Writing in Advance– I try to have all my posts nearly ready over the weekend for the next week. So that way all I have to do in the morning is tweak them a little bit and then hit publish. I also use Buffer to queue up my tweets for the day.
I’ll be forever grateful for the opportunities and friendships that blogging has given me. May it continue for many, many more years.
What first brought you to this space? Have you celebrated any blogging milestones?