Humbled, Thank you!

I have been writing posts for this blog since 2008 and have thoroughly enjoyed having a space to write in, hit the submit button, and send it off into the internet. I’ve always had this very freeing feeling of never really knowing if anyone ever reads them and being o.k. with that. Truth–for the first three years no one did (zero views). Having no one read my posts didn’t stop me, and, to this day, my number one reason for posting is still my love for writing them. I am very happy that in the last few years I’ve had so many like my posts, comment, and email me. I’ve even had a few readers that disagreed with posts that I’ve written. Which, is alright too, because much of what they’ve disagreed with–usually my point of view, only made me work harder to create posts that allowed for other points of view. Which of course, enriches us all!

In 2020 my blog started growing and in order to publish my Pantry Stock Up Guide, I chose to pay for my blog. Which was a first and definitely something I promised myself I’d never do. That said in order to take payments, I had to upgrade to the $8/mo plan. I agreed to do this because I so believed in my guide and had spent a long time on it making it simple, easy to follow, and inexpensive for everyone. I never imagined that close to 1200 people would download it in just a couple of months. I have received so many comments, compliments, suggestions, and thanks. I am truly humbled and may I say proud of what I accomplished. I hope to one day have something so much better than my little guide, but for now, I am happy with what it is.

As the year winds down I find myself as always taking inventory of what I have time for in my free time. As the years go on I seem to have less time than more–funny how that works. I don’t think I’d ever give up blogging, and definitely not now when there’s so much to blog about. That said, I’m still of the belief blogs are slowly dying, even though, like me, writers aren’t willing to give up on them. I think keeping a blog for the sake of being able to say –“I’m a blogger”, but not really being that into it, or keeping up with it, or engaging with your audience, is the reason so many find their blog is dead. If the only likes or comments you get on your blog are from friends whose blogs you visit and leave likes and comments on and traffic only increases on your blog if you join blog challenges/but at no other time–your blog is dead.

Many of the blogs I’ve followed over the years are gone. I followed 22 blogs at the beginning of 2021 and just three of them are alive and thriving today. Some just disappeared without a word. Others couldn’t find a way to make an income so they just stopped altogether–no updates and lots of posts missing/dead links. Many were selling services or products that buyers just aren’t searching for right now. I have discovered, through looking at some really successful blogs, that there is a commonality between them. And that is that they have all started YouTube channels and are adding videos that accompany/complement each of their blog posts. If you have any kind of DIY or cooking/recipe sharing type of blog you need to be posting videos of you creating, cooking, baking, mixing, etc. Otherwise, why bother?

Personally I like all kinds of blogs, and especially like newsletters, but have grown tired of so many of them being carbon copies of one another. Same with blogs–the content has no originality or focus, it’s full of affiliate links, and the posts are inconsistent. I think a lot of people want to have blogs–they just don’t know how much time it takes to create good content. Same with their social media–all the super successful people I know work 24/7 on content. They take breaks, of course they do, but not two week breaks. The blogs that disappeared this year from my follow list were by bloggers who stopped blogging 12/21 and came back 1/5 of this past year. I like taking breaks too, esp. when on vacation or at Christmas time, so I schedule posts.

I’m pretty certain not all my followers celebrate all the holidays I do. They look for posts to read at all times of the year and if all they can find here is old posts, and no me for two weeks, well no matter how much they might like me–they move on. If this happens enough times, then yes, the only person left to read your posts will be dear old Aunt Mabel or your BFF. Since November 27th I’ve had almost 900 views and 90% of the posts people are reading are from 2019 and 2020. The people reading my current posts are followers of mine on WordPress. All of my new followers in that same time period are from people who found my blog via old posts. They found my blog because 2-3 times a week 52 weeks of the year I create new posts. WordPress must like this because they have started sending me notices encouraging me to continue doing what I’m doing because “I’m getting noticed!” If I was blogging for money, sponsors etc. this would be a very promising announcement for me.

Online time is just a few minutes for me of my free time. I give loads of praise to people who commit 100% of their time to creating a business online and working it every day. For those that believe it takes less work than that, well, you’re fooling yourself. I am ever so grateful my job is not online anymore. From 2003 until 2008 I worked full-time selling stuff on eBay, Amazon, and my own website. I worked an 18 hour a day hustle and it was the hardest work I’d ever done mentally until I started college. So, my hats off to you if online is how you make your money! You know the keys to success and what it takes to stay relevant in today’s world.

Again, thank you everyone. Thanks for following along, liking my posts, reaching out to me, and all the holiday greetings and compliments on my Pantry Stock Up/Organizing Guide. Also, a big thank you to all who clicked on my goodreads reviews. I believe I’ve written about this past-time of mine in a previous post? I’ve been reviewing books for years for a couple of online book sites–for free. A couple of years ago, because of these endeavors, I ended up being asked by two very well-known publishing companies to review books for a handful of their authors. From this I’ve been contacted by agents to review a book by authors I am familiar with and have left reviews for previously. Last year I was contacted by someone who represents an author that I’ve read books by since I was 17 years old and asked to review her latest book. I read and reviewed her book and later was contacted and thanked directly by the author herself. That author being the highly esteemed and well-known Barbara Taylor Bradford. A dream come true– and one I never expected as I’ve spent 10 years reviewing books by first-time authors. I’ve so enjoyed all of my experiences and hope to continue to find the time to enjoy this past-time of mine.

Until next year, be safe and be well.