One Year of Blogging and 3 BIG Lessons Learned
Guess what today is? It’s my one year blog anniversary! Can you believe it? How the heck did I get here? Let me tell you my story. It’s a long one but I promise to share three BIG lessons I learned during my one year of blogging. Make sure to read on till the end!
In the Beginning…
When I started this journey a year ago, I had just had my second child and was going through a very difficult time healthwise (that’s for an entirely different post or a whole other website altogether). I couldn’t go back to work after baby number two so I was now a stay at home mom. Although I was happy with my new mommy status, I longed for something more. I quickly realized I needed a lifeline to the outside world. I missed the interaction with other grown ups. Moms, I know you can relate! I missed my job (something I never ever thought I would say) and I just needed a new project to keep my mind active.
Then one day, I was having a conversation with some old friends. They all complained about their jobs and we started dreaming about a day when we could leave it all behind. We talked about all the different ways in which ‘lucky people’ have been able to leave their high paying jobs behind. Someone threw out the idea of starting a blog and we all joked about how we should collaborate on one. We laughed at all the crazy ideas we could each contribute to a blog. But quickly we then moved on to the next ‘get rich quick’ idea. Still, that little idea just stuck in my head.
Start a Blog?
So being the curious person that I am, a week later I found myself googling “How to start a blog“. And before I knew it I had discovered tons of articles, blog posts, and YouTube videos that explained the exact steps to take when setting up a blog.
Now I’m the type of person that likes a good challenge so I thought to myself, why not? The more I read, the more I realized this could be a great hobby, a great way for me to share my thoughts and ideas with others, a connection to the outside world (just what I needed), and a little something I could just do for myself. It could be ‘my thing’. I didn’t really think of it as a way for me to generate an income, not yet anyway.
I researched and researched and then researched some more…
Now you know I’m an educator, so of course, my first instinct was to go that route. I would start an educational blog. With twelve years of experience, I knew I had tons of expertise to share in that area. I started visiting tons of teacher blogs (some had already been favorites for years). Then I came across that one teacher blog that really caught my eye. This educational blogger had just celebrated her one year blog anniversary and was talking about her experience and sharing 5 tips for new bloggers. Right up my alley!
It’s no surprise that teachers are often perfectionists. I’m one of those! So is Kasey Bell, the educational blogger whose blog caught my eye. Through her journey, she had come to the realization that in blogging (as often happens in life) “Perfect is the Enemy of Done”. In her blog post, she talked about her struggles with being a perfectionist and realizing that sometimes you just have to let go or you will never get it done. I took that message to heart!
I had to stop trying to make it perfect! I had to just hit PUBLISH! Kasey explained that people are out there waiting for your content and they can be very forgiving, about the typos, the images that aren’t perfect, etc. According to her, if you give it too much thought you will never finish. So I stopped all the research. I stopped all the planning and writing, rewriting, and editing. And I just went for it.
I just hit publish!
You can find my very first (and super short post) by clicking here. I really didn’t give this post any thought. I just clicked that little publish button.
Kasey made some other great points and had some great tips for new bloggers:
- bloggers are friendly and supportive
- set realistic goals that work for you
- let your passion be your driver
- encourage reader interaction
- be social and network
All of these tips stuck with me!
But I wasn’t sure that an educational blogger was what I really wanted to be anymore.
You see I was now fully living the mom life — two kids, never ending house chores, trying to take care of everyone else (AND myself). The happenings of a classroom were now far from my current reality (although I did miss my career, so much).
Kasey shared one more tip that stuck with me – “Let your passion be your driver”. This really made me think about my current situation and what I should blog about. I was passionate about education (for sure), most specifically educational technology. In the past few years, I had worked so hard to developed those skills and loved sharing my techy wisdom with colleagues, parents, students, and pretty much anyone that would listen. But at this moment in time, it wasn’t what I was living. How could I mesh my current life with my passion and past experiences?
How could I mesh my current life with my passion and past experiences? That was a good question to ask myself.
A blog is born!
And so this blog was born!
I had already been using NYCTechMommy as my twitter handle. Twitter was the place where I connected with other educators and had already started building my PLN (Personal Learning Network). I played around with other names for my blog but always came back to NYCTechMommy. I realized that now more than ever it really described ME. NYC has always been my heart and home, TECH was still my passion and MOMMY, now that was really ME!
So I decided I would just stick with that name. NYCTechMommy. If my blog was going to truly reflect my life, it would have to include all of those things, NYC, tech and my life as a mom. You can read more about ‘why this blog?’ here.
My Blogging Journey
My blogging journey has been an interesting one, to say the least.
Blogging has been lots of fun too and I’ve learned so much along the way — about blogging, about myself, and about others. Of course, I’m still learning and have so much more to learn, because I’ve discovered that in blogging there is always more to learn, more to try, more to get excited about! Even when you think you got it down, you’ll discover something new, a new trick, a new tip. In blogging, you will always be inspired to try something new!
I’m a life-long learner so this is right up my alley. I’m all about learning and then learning even more!
In life, I’ve reinvented myself many times – that’s for another blog post. This blog is no exception! Have you noticed that my blog is looking new and different these days? YES! To celebrate my one year of blogging, I thought I would revamp the entire thing. It’s a lot of work but I’m enjoying working on it. Stay tuned to see my progress. 🙂
You can sign up for to my email list and get my updates right in your in-box. Follow along as I make my blog fabulous. Go ahead! Let’s be blogging buddies 🙂
3 Big Lessons Learned
I am so glad that I made it through my first year of blogging. Although at first it truly was just a hobby, I quickly realized that I really enjoyed it and it had the potential for so much more!
I’m glad I stuck with it. If I hadn’t, I would have missed out on wonderful opportunities, incredible new experiences, and would have never met some pretty amazing people (our paths would have never crossed otherwise).
Looking back, I want to share with you the 3 BIG Lessons I learned from my one year of blogging.
Lesson #1 – It really does take a village… to raise a blogger!
Blogging is all about building community, building your tribe, sharing the love, asking for help when you need it, and paying it forward by helping others along the way.
I’m so humbled by the incredible experiences and wonderful connections I’ve been lucky to have. I can honestly tell you that I truly would not be here, one year later, if it were not for every single blogger I’ve connected with in some way or other, every comment, like or share, every resource, tip or trick shared. Every little bit of love this community has given me has carried me through the past year. And it was so unexpected!
From the very beginning, I was blessed to connect with other bloggers. Each and every one of them showed me love and support in so many different ways. It didn’t matter if they were within my niche, or blogged about something completely different. It didn’t matter if we lived in the same city, across the country or halfway around the globe.
When I started this journey, I didn’t expect to find this welcoming and empowering community. If there are those sour apples out there, I have yet to encounter that kind of blogger. Blogging for me has been all about love. This village has given that to me. They have raised this blogger, for sure!
If you, my blogger friends, are reading this, THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, thank you! If you’re reading this and are new to blogging, or thinking of heading out on your own blogging journey, this community is here for you too! So get out there! Mingle, share, comment, and share the love. We will give it back to you, I promise! Get in touch. I would love for us to be blogging buddies too!
Lesson #2 – Blogging isn’t easy! It’s work!
Blogging is so much more than just about a quick post. You can’t just hit publish and forget about it! You have to do so much more.
To be successful, there are so many moving pieces you must tackle, from the creation of original eye-catching images to navigating social media, there’s always so much work to be done! My best advice to you, new blogger, is take it one step at a time. Focus on one area and once you master it, move on to the next.
Remember those wise words “Perfect is the enemy of done”. You won’t be a pro at everything! Everything doesn’t have to be perfect, it won’t be. But that shouldn’t stop you. Don’t put that type of pressure on yourself. Start slow, you will learn as you go and it will get better. I promise! And eventually, those moving pieces will come together.
And remember lesson #1 – you have a community that is here to help you along. Interact with them, ask them for help. There’s still a lot to learn. You will get better at it. It will get easier as you go. Trust me!
Lesson #3 – Blogging is FUN… and it should be!
Seriously, if you’re not having fun, then stop right now! I personally wouldn’t put in the work (see lesson 2) if I wasn’t having any fun. We’ve had loads of fun over the past year. I say ‘we’ because my family has benefited from this blog too! I love that I can include them in the opportunities that have come my way. This little blog project started out as ‘my thing’ but it’s become a bit of a family affair around here.
I personally wouldn’t put in the work (see lesson 2) if I wasn’t having any fun. We’ve had loads of fun over the past year. I say ‘we’ because my family has benefited from this blog too! I love that I can include them in the opportunities that have come my way.
This little blog project started out as ‘my thing’ but its become a bit of a family affair around here. The husband, loves when we get to have ‘date night‘ thanks to the blog (He’s of course, my +1 when I get invited to events). He even plays the role of the photographer when I can’t figure out how to work that
darn new DSLR camera. Ha! You know me, I live by my iPhone. It’s hard to let go. But I’m working on it.
And the kids, they love the trips that we’ve taken thanks to the blog.
Me, I like the little paychecks that have allowed me to keep it all going and growing 😉
One Year of Blogging FUN
Let me leave you with a little recap of all the FUN we’ve had in the past year… because you know we LOVE to LIVE FUN around here!
I attended my first Blogger Conference and the family came with me to BloggyCon at Cedar Point
I joined the Internationals Bloggers’ Association and that’s been an awesome experience. You should join us too!
We had a blast at World Maker Faire 2016.
Our first family trip to the Franklin Institute in Philly was a blast.
We enjoyed a few ‘date nights’ thanks to the blog here, here and here.
Thanksgiving Weekend brought us a memorable family road trip.
I even had fun with one of my girls at Tech Week and connected with teacher friends at EdCampNYC.
Friends, thanks for sticking it out through this long post. If you know me, you know that I love birthdays so of course, I would have lots to say about this one year of blogging! I also love cupcakes…
If this is your first time here, don’t leave without saying hello. Drop me a comment at the bottom of this page and make sure to follow me on my social media channels. Let’s be friends 🙂
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Congrats on your 1 year blogiversary! I’m working to get more serious about my blog this year, recognizing I have some real talents and there is room for me, while also refining a bit.
Have fun celebrating your 1st year! 🙂
Hi Kendall! Thanks for stopping by! So glad to hear that you are getting more serious about blogging. That’s the nice thing about blogging, there is room for everyone, no matter what you blog about. Can’t wait to see to see your blog grow! 🙂 Thanks for joining me on my blogiversary celebration!