Welcome to my 100th blog post celebration!
I’m so excited about today. Blogging has been a crazy journey for me, and I can hardly believe that as of today I’ve actually written 100 posts. WHAT?!?!? If you figure each post averages roughly 900 words(ish) , that’s around 90,000 words I’ve send out into the Internet void.
To celebrate, I want to share with you a bit of my journey, and some fun facts about me as a person and about my blog.
My Blogging Journey:
I have had a personal blog for years. I’ve always loved writing (there’s a reason I was an English teacher), and back in 2008 I started a little blog to share the happenings of my life with my family and friends, and to have a place to share my random musings about life, the universe and everything. And that’s about how it stayed for the next eight years. I wrote a couple times a month, and that was it. I never planned to make blogging into anything more than that until last fall.
What changed everything
What changed it all for me was that a friend of mine asked me if I would be interested in periodically contributing articles to the parenting website, Smarter Parenting, that she works with. As a stay at home mom who sometimes felt like my world was a little small, I leaped at the opportunity to write for a real audience a few times a month and connect with people (adults even!) outside the walls of my home in a professional manner. Still, I had no intention of launching my OWN blogging endeavor…until Smarter Parenting asked if I would like them to include a link to my blog at the bottom of the articles I wrote for them. I didn’t really want to make my personal blog public, but it got me thinking…it would be nice to have an online presence where people could find me if they happened to like what I wrote. That was the first time I thought…maybe I could start a blog of my own.
I had NO idea the snowball effect that would come from that little decision.
Such a simple, little thought, but it sparked something within me that I didn’t realize was there. It gave me the courage to write, to put myself out there, and to believe that what I would say might make a difference to somebody.
I spent days trying to come up with a name, and I finally settled on The Many Little Joys after my sister pointed out the phrase in one of my own emails to her. As soon as I said the words out loud, I knew it was perfect. My two crazy kids are my biggest little joys, and beyond that, my days are filled with simple and amazing blessings…when I remember to look for them. I wanted my corner of the blogosphere to be a place where moms could come to be reminded of all the good that exists in the day-to-day life of mothering. The crafts, the games, the food, the chores; it’s not all glamorous, and it’s not all fun, but it can be filled with joy and purpose.
Once I had the name and the concept, I put myself through an intense crash course on blogging. I googled things constantly, combed through countless Pinterest boards looking for helpful articles, and read a few books that I found particularly helpful. There was a seriously steep learning curve, and I felt like an idiot much of the time. I can write, I can take pictures that look pretty good, but the technical and marketing side of things? Whoa, Nelly. I had no idea.
Taking the leap
I posted my first ever post on October 21, 2015. It’s not perfect. It didn’t have a vertical, pin-worthy image. It didn’t have links to other relevant content. It didn’t have a lot of things. But it was a start. And that’s all I needed at the time.
Now, ten months later, I know about plugins, gravatars, favicons, SEO, CSS, smart pins, and so much more. I’m still no Ree Drummond or Ruth Soukup, but I’m starting to gain a little traction, and I’m seeing some real progress. I still have an infinite amount to learn, but I’ve come a long way.
The best part
That’s one of the most amazing things to me about looking back on the past 100 posts. I can see that I’m learning, growing, and stretching beyond the bounds of what I once thought was possible.
Blogging has been such a huge challenge, but I love how it makes me constantly learn new skills, keeps me writing, and connects me with a whole world of other women who are championing the cause of motherhood. In so many ways, we are more isolated than our ancestors in our mothering, but blogging has helped me find a virtual village of moms to help me raise my children.
I have way too many ideas, and too little time to write them all (my main focus is still being a mom), but I have some great things in the works. I’m currently working on a spreadsheet with a year’s worth of weekly preschool themes with skills and resources attached. I’m also working on a “journaling for preschoolers” kit, which I can’t wait to try out with my own kiddos and eventually share with you all.
On the nuts and bolts side of things, I’m researching blog themes and working to redesign the site with a more professional-looking design that has some improved functionality (if you have recommendations for a great WordPress theme…please…save me from the vast sea of WAY too many choices).
The Best of the Best
Now, just for kicks and giggles, here are some of the best posts that have come out of The Many Little Joys so far. Enjoy!
Top 5 Most Popular Posts (based on page views)
My Personal Top 5 Favorite Posts
And a bit ‘o randomness…
To finish things off today, here are 5 random things you may not know about me after 100 posts:
#1. I have about 70 pages of a novel written, but I don’t really have any idea how to finish it.
#2. I love the color red…I even wore bright red heels under my wedding dress.
#3. The smell of a campfire is one of my favorite smells in the world (it may have something to do with all the memories associated with this recipe)
#4. I’ve had the same best friend since I was 4 years old. (Love ya, Steph!)
#5. I have a serious love of Skittles, and I eat them in reverse rainbow order (yep…purple, green, yellow, orange, red…every time).
That’s a wrap!
Thank you to all of you who have supported me along this crazy journey. Your comments, your ideas, your “shares”, your “likes”, and all your love (especially that of my husband who has seriously been the best cheerleader a wife could EVER ask for) means the world to me. I look forward to sharing many more little joys from my home to yours!
What would you like to see in the future here on The Many Little Joys? More recipes, preschool activities, random musings on motherhood, crazy stories about my boys’ antics, or something else altogether?
Please tell me in the comments!
I regularly link up here.