That’s right, my baby is turning two. Where has the year gone since our 1st birthday celebration? It was two years ago that I told myself I was going to take this blogging thing seriously and hold myself accountable to post on a regular basis. This blog has come so far and I’ve learned so much in two years. It’s been a bit of a roller-coaster. The highs are the awesome friends, opportunities and press that I’ve had and the downs are the long solo hours, the rejections & disappointments and bouts of creative block. For those thinking it’s all macarons and cupcakes, not so my friend. Coming up with new content on a regular basis and sharing it in a beautiful way takes some serious time & commitment.
The good thing is that there are lots of opportunities to eat macarons & cupcakes. What do you think happened to the ‘prop’ from this photo? The best part is seeing your hard work being acknowledged (yay! gold star) and I just need to pop over to the Press page whenever I need to remind myself how much I’ve accomplished in 2 years.
We have a whole week of birthday themed projects (including this adorable headband) & presents so keep checking in and join in the celebration. Today is about looking back and moving forward.
Here are some highlights and things I learned in two years:
• Creating Merry magazine with my awesome blogger team. Being in full creative control and seeing a vision come to life was pretty awesome.
• all the new blogging friends I made. By far the best thing about having a blog.
• Alt Summit & Blog Podium conferences. It’s so great to meet people face to face when we spend so much time in front of a screen. Here’s a tip – you’ll learn 10x more chatting to other bloggers than you will from the workshops. Be social!
• Seeing Martha Stewart and Joy Cho talk at Alt Summer 2014 was pretty cool & inspirational. Martha doesn’t give a f*#k what anyone thinks and Joy was super inspirational.
• starting and finally finishing my kitchen makeover. Designing something in your head is one thing, actually making it happen is another. It was a lot of work but so rewarding. Having it featured on Apartment Therapy with 95% positive comments was amazing. Those commenters can be harsh! Making this video for House & Home TV was my video debut and having it featured on Domino was surreal because it’s the first home decor book I ever bought.
WHAT I LEARNED:
• blogging (well) is a ton of work. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
• numbers aren’t everything. They definitely mean something but don’t obsess about them. I’ve had the same or even better opportunities than some people with bigger numbers. Focus on making high quality content.
• Free Stuff. You get a bunch of it. Always be thankful even if it’s not necessarily your thang.
• This is cliche but it’s true, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Ask for what you want. Nicely.
• lots of people will want you to work for free. It’s ok, they may not know how much time & effort it takes to put something together. Don’t be afraid to ask for payment – you’re also helping set a standard for the industry. Remember that the person asking you doesn’t work for free.
• Managing a Summer issue of Merry and planning ahead for another awesome future issue.
• The Sweet Escape will be getting a makeover. I’m a creative person, I need to change things up regularly or I get booooooorred.
• I would like to take my home decor category to the next level and start offering e-design services.
• I know I just said numbers aren’t everything, and they aren’t, but I’m not happy with the monthly growth and want to become a bigger SEO nerd.
• I want to start some regular series and more blogger collaborations.
• Now that the kitchen is done, it’s time to make over the living area.
Peace out year two, welcome year three. Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for a birthday giveaway and whole week of birthday themed fun.