My Blogging Story: Part 2

If you are just joining my story, read Part 1 first.

I left you in Part 1 at the beginning of 2008, when I set up my own home business of decorating and blogging.  I had hoped to launch my decorating business and get in person consultations as well as online business.

I did get a few jobs that year, some in person and some online, but I wasn’t burning it up with my new business venture.  I worked with a local designer in Birmingham on a few jobs and enjoyed learning from her.  She stayed busy and hired me to help her on a few jobs that year and it was a lot of fun.  And I had about 3 redesigns of my own in the area during that time and it felt good to help some other women pull their rooms together.  I enjoy that creative process and seeing the Before and After results was exciting.

Here’s another little sidenote about deciding what to blog about.  From the very beginning, I knew I would share DIY home projects and decorating ideas, that is what I’m passionate and excited about.  But since that is not all my life entails, sharing other topics seemed to be the best way to pull it all together, so recipes, thrifting, gardening, travel, and family were added to the mix too.  Talking about decorating every single day would be too much for me and thankfully, all my readers seem to like the mix!

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So, I kept blogging and sharing all the projects I was doing in my house at the time.   Around March of 2008, I found out about a blog ad network that I had seen on other blogs, BlogHer.  I checked them out and applied to get into the network.  I figured I wouldn’t mind having their ads on my blog just to see what would happen.

There was a lot of discussion back then among bloggers about advertising.  To advertise or not to advertise, that was the question?  I had no problem with it. I figured if someone works hard on a blog, then what is wrong with getting some money from that.  Blogging takes a lot of work to keep up with it all, so why not enjoy some perks from it?

I wish I had kept a record of my blog stats back then too.  When I set up my free blogger blog, I added Sitemeter to it and it was free, but it only keeps records for one year at a time.  So, that is how I knew how many people came by my blog.  I’d say that first year, I grew to about 25,000 visits a month and that was about where I was when I joined BlogHer ad network.  The first year’s growth was slow and steady.  Not a big explosion, but I kept growing and attracting more readers by the time 2008 rolled around.

I didn’t install Google Analytics until I moved to WordPress in July of 2009, so I’ll get to that later.  To me, it’s the best tool for tracking your blog stats and will tell you so much information if you get in there and look.

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My first check with BlogHer was $84.00, certainly nothing to write home about, but I was giddy with excitement over making a few dollars from my blog. I will say too, that I’ve been completely happy with my association with BlogHer and can’t say enough about how they have treated me well and given me opportunities along the way.  I’ll talk more about them later on too, when I break down the business side a little more.

Along with my decorating income, making a few hundred dollars here and there, it was a small part-time job.  I made $3,000 in 2008, not much, but it was a start. I still wasn’t sure where it was all going, but I kept doing what I loved to do and that was sharing my decorating and DIY passion with my blog readers.

In September of 2009, I shared my Top 10 Tips for New Bloggers and that post is still a good one to read if you are brand new to blogging and want to learn a few things to help you get started.  I didn’t have a lot of help when I got started and I like to pass it on, so hopefully my story and these tips will help you out. So go back and read that post too, it’s got some good solid info on starting a blog.

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So, back to 2008.  Married at the time, I considered my blog and the decorating just a part-time venture and wasn’t really trying to grow it huge.  I was fine with making some extra money for the household and doing what I could to work from home.  I hoped that it would grow, but didn’t have a lot of goals in mind for helping it along.

2008 rocked along with sharing projects, recipes, life, most anything that I figured would be interesting enough to recap on the blog.  I really fell in love with blogging and it became such a part of my life into that year.

Let me make a stop here and do a little recap on my views of blogging and how the process worked for me. These 5 bullet points are my thoughts and ideas on how blogging works: 

 

  • First and foremost, be yourself!  If there is anything I could stress the most, it is this one.  I have many blog friends that I look up to and admire. They do a fabulous job with their blogs.  I’m not going to try to name them all, they are numerous and all unique.  I can look at all of them, their style of writing and how they present themselves on their blogs and wish that I was more like each of them.   They do wonderful projects, take beautiful pictures,and show it all off on their blogs with such impact.  There is always going to be another blogger out there who just does it all better than I do, from creating projects, to taking pics, to writing eloquently, all of it!  How can we compete with all the fabulousness that is going on at any given time in the blogosphere.  The simple answer is this:  We can’t.  I can’t!  You can’t!  But, what we can do and be is OURSELVES.  We all have unique talents and skills to share and that is what makes the blogworld so multi-faceted and fun to hang out in.  I’ll admit that I have sometimes struggled over the years of blogging with wanting to be more and wishing I was more like so-and-so or had her talent and expertise. Fill in the blank with your favorite rock-star blogger.  Sound familiar? I have finally realized that my blog is a representation of me, my unique abilities and skills and that is why all of my readers come back day after day, week after week, year after year.  I am no better than you or anyone else, but somehow I’ve presented myself on my blog in a real and open way and I do believe that is why my audience has grown as much as it has.  I am not the biggest or the best blog on the block.  Never will be.  But, I’m so very grateful that God has allowed mine to grow to where it is now and allowed me to share from my heart, the good and the bad.  If you are passionate about what you are blogging about, I truly believe that will come through to your readers and they will love YOU for YOU and what you are sharing.  They will come by to see what you are up to and it will become part of their lives.
  •  Don’t ever start a blog with the idea that you are going to make it BIG and make a lot of money.  Chances are you will not.  The bigger blogs who are making a living from their blogs have most likely been at it for several years and it simply takes much time, energy and a lot of hard work to turn a blog into a business.  It has taken me 5 years to get to where I am at the moment.  Yes, I’m very happy I started when I did, there were not nearly as many blogs out there and that alone helped my growing process in the beginning.  There are a lot more opportunities out there now, than there were in 2007 when I started and yes, lots more companies are working with bloggers, so that is the good news.  There is room for all, but you have to find your way. The best thing that has happened is that large and small companies are realizing the power of social media and how much influence that bloggers have online and that has opened many more doors for all of us who do this blogging thing. I’ll talk more about advertising in another post, but I do want to stress that I see too many new bloggers trying to advertise in the first few months of blogging and in my opinion, that is way too fast.  Time is needed to build up quality content and to find your rhythm and blog voice, so don’t rush the process.  In fact, it can’t be rushed! Very few bloggers will become superstars in the first year of blogging.
  •  You have to find your own group of friends in blogging to connect with.  Those first couple of years, I didn’t have a group of blog friends like I do now to bounce ideas off, share with, connect and learn from.  That has been a growing process to make real life friendships out of blogging.  Those girls who want to see you succeed and do what they can to help and vice versa.  We look out for each other and share ideas along the way, all in the spirit of friendship and helping each other grow.  If one succeeds, then that will only help everyone who is blogging and trying to make it a business succeed.  I hope that by passing along my experiences with blogging, it will help YOU with your journey too.  Back then, it wasn’t as easy to connect with others in my niche, but that has changed and grown too.   Now there are so many in the home decor/DIY/thrifting niche.  I am so grateful for my group of blog friends, many of whom are on the Haven Conference 2012 team with me.
  •  It is hard when you start blogging not to feel competitive with others in your niche.  You will not be best friends and connect with everyone in your niche.  It’s sort of like high school or college in that regard.  You probably only had a short list of friends who you really connected with and felt close to.  It really took me a good 2-3 years to feel that I had a group of other women around me who I trusted and considered in real life friends.  As hard as it is to admit, that competitiveness is there.  You look at other blogs and wonder why they are bigger than you are.  You see others grow and take off at a rapid rate and wonder why that didn’t happen to you?  I wish I could say that there is not a competitive spirit or envy and jealousy in blogworld, but that simply would not be true!  It happens to all of us.  I’ve experienced my share of envy and feeling left out and like I didn’t belong with a certain group.  I’m sure others feel that way about me and my friends sometimes too.  (see point 2!)  Blogging can feel so cliquish at times!   But, one of the best things I’ve done is form friendships with other bloggers and that most of all, has helped me to grow in blogging.  We support each other and truly want the other to succeed.  I always want to be the blogger who will stop and help other newer bloggers with questions they may have and I have always made it a point to do that.
  •  It takes so much more hard work than most people realize to write and maintain a good blog.  Some may think that blogging could be an easy way to work at home and make money.  It certainly can work and has worked for many of us, but on the other hand, it’s not always apparent how much hard work goes into maintaining a blog and doing it well.  From writing blog posts, to taking pics and editing them, to coming up with fun and interesting content to share on a weekly basis, it all takes lots of time and energy.  Now, the big perk to that is that I work at home now and love it.  I don’t have to run out the door in the a.m. heading to a corporate job.  I love that!  Working for myself has become the most fulfilling job I’ve ever had.  I am still writing what I’m passionate about and it is working for me.  I’m so thankful that so many people stop by to see what I’ve written or what I’m doing on any given day.  I’m grateful every single day that I have my own business and can run it the way I want.  Blogging has opened that door for me and I have to pinch myself every single day.

So, those 5 things in a nutshell are some of the most important ideas I’ve learned in my years of blogging.  I didn’t learn them all the first or second year, but it has been an accumulation of knowledge that I’ve gained and I’m hoping that some of this will strike a chord with many of you and help you in your own journey as well.

By the end of 2008, I had made many great friend connections on line, but 2009 would introduce me to my first blogging conference, where I would meet many of those women in person, who I connected with early on.  2009 was another big year of growth and learning, so I’ll end here and begin Part 3 with year 3 of my blogging journey.

I really hope you’re enjoying my journey so far!  Lots more to come.  I decided to make these posts pretty detailed and just let all my thoughts out at once and hope that it is beneficial to many of you.

Continue Reading Part 3.


- Rhoda


Comments

  1. I really enjoy your blog – it seems I can relate to you and your style of writing and decorating — or maybe it’s that “being from the south thing”. You are my favorite blog out there and I keep checking back – everyday if I can – to see what is going on! Keep it up! And thanks for your hard work!

  2. I love the insight into blogging that you share. Thank you for the helpful information.

  3. Thank you so much for this series on blogging! I started up my blog a couple of years ago, along with my jewelry business, but really didn’t devote time to it……your series comes along at a perfect time for me, I’ve started blogging again. I think a big part of the reason I didn’t stay committd to it is because I felt it wasn’t perfect. I have now realized it doesn’t HAVE to be perfect, and it perfectly fine for this to be go along and learn as I go. Your posts have furthered confirmed to me I’m on the right path…..just keep writing what you know and what you love…..

  4. This is interesting. Thanks. The hardest part for me as a new blogger (last January) is the technical part of it. Thank goodness my blog partner/daughter handles that part of it, and she has had a lot of trial and error. I never have read once how other bloggers learned/figured out the skills needed.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas and experience. I just started my blog this year and, although I’d love to make money at this, I’ve realized that I have to be patient because I’m not sure what direction this is going ot take. Right now it’s a hobby and that’s okay if it stays a hobby. Thanks for sharing your story.

  6. Rhoda…you are such an angel!

    Thank you for being brave enough to tell your story as it happened and not with the intention of glorifying your own rise to blogging fame!

    …a blogging follower for life!

  7. Rhoda, great post. Thanks for sharing your expertise. I look forward to following your blog. – Carlene, a “newbie”.

  8. First off, I love your blog :) Second, your blogging posts come at a perfect time for me as I just started my first blog the other day (Christmas vacation finally gave me the free time – I have been wanting to start one for a while!) Your tips have been so helpful and I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your blog wisdom! Cant wait to see what 2012 has for you and Southern Hospitality!

  9. Great article Rhoda. Just what a newbie needs!

  10. Thanks for these posts, Rhoda. I have been blogging for a year now, and I have been trying to figure things out on my own, so your series is so helpful to me. I’m not sure in what direction I want to go at this point other than I will continue blogging because of all the wonderful connections I have made with people like yourself.

  11. Rhoda, thanks you for sharing your story; it’s so inspiring! Your stories are from your heart and that’s wonderful! You have risen to Blogland fame, but are so humble! I know that’s why so many think you’re so special! Thanks for providing helpful pointers! I know I still need so much help! You’re right too, it’s a lot of work! I hope your 2012 is full of many blessings!

  12. Rhoda, I’m really enjoying this series. I am closing in on 1 year of blogging and boy, have I learned a lot over the past year. It is not easy and cannot be rushed.

    I’m still finding my voice and I’m so thankful for friends like you who constantly give me wonderful support.

    Happy new year, friend!

  13. Rhoda, this is a wonderful follow-up to Part 1. You are such an inspiration. . . I remember finding your blog way back in 2008. Where does the time go??
    I think the biggest challenge for me (other than finding enough hours in the day to do projects, let alone blog about them) was finding my voice.

    I love how detailed you are making these posts – what a great series, and can’t wait for the rest!

  14. PS: You would make an awesome “community leader” at Blissdom!

    • Thank you, Jane! I won’t be at Blissdom next year, but Haven is going to rock for the home/DIY niche, so I hope you will be there too!

  15. You were the 1st blog I read in 2008 and still start each morning with you. I do not comment often but so enjoy every post. I know you are enjoying this sweet time w/ your parents. I hope a home of your own in is the future…..cannot wait for those projects! Praying that 2012 holds much joy for you !

  16. One of the things I like best about your blog is your honesty, sincerity, and candor. These are all traits I’ve seen in Southern women! :)

  17. This post is both informative and inspiring. I am a newbie to the blog world and your post has captured such enthusiasm to me and I am certain to all your readers. I have enjoyed reading your posts each day. I wish you much success in the coming New Year.

  18. Thanks for sharing from your heart. I enjoy your posts and learning from you as I grow. Di

  19. Very interesting!! Can’t wait for the next installment! I’ve always wondered how blogs really work….Hope you had a wonderful holiday Rhoda!!

  20. This was such an informative post! Thanks for sharing your personal experiences and shedding some light on this subject that isn’t taught in school! Ha! I’m new to blogging (although I’ve been reading them for years), so it’s nice to get different points of view about it. Based on what you wrote, I think I’m on the right track so far.

  21. Rhoda — What I notice about your blogging is that topics that might appear boring, irrelevant or boastful coming from someone else (your Grandma’s sewing, your Dad’s garden, a trip to California or Florida, a reunion, a contest you won), come off as fascinating when they come from you. I attribute this to the bond you have built with us readers, one built on honesty and mutual respect. Your kind heart and spirit always shows through, and that is a rarity in the world today.

    Looking forward to more Rhoda in 2012. Thank you for the example you set for the rest of us.

    • oh, Barbara, thank you for saying that! I do have amazing readers too. could not ask for more support & care from all of you!

  22. Thank you Rhoda for sharing … I so want to start a blog but have not had the nerve… so to speak… yet!! :)….. I love checking in on so many of you in blog land and have picked up sooooooo many good ideas!!!! I really feel like I know some of you …. LOL!!! Thanks again!!!

  23. Rhoda, this is so wonderful. You are eloquent, yet articulate. I wish I had read this 2 years ago when I started – would’ve saved me a LOT of frustration. But now I believe that being frustrated, feeling left out, etc., etc., is all part of becoming a good blogger. You have to WANT to be good and then search for what makes YOU a good blogger. Certainly what works for one does not work for others, imho.

    It’s so true, our online blogging friends (of which I consider you one) become hugely important. On Christmas Eve at a friend’s party, he asked me if I needed to get on the computer because I looked like I was having withdrawals, heehee. He was right! But I resisted until I got home =).

    I feel truly blessed that I have gotten to know you this year. Our stories are slightly similar, yet different. Another great thing about blogging, finding others of same heart and experience.

    Bless you, Rhoda, for having the courage to share and for encouraging all of us. ♥

  24. Rhoda, I am so grateful for your honesty and openness! I’ve just started blogging myself, and your advice is beyond helpful. I am so looking forward to Haven and connecting in person with other bloggers. If there are any other Haven attendees out there who want to connect, I’m here!
    Cate

  25. Hi Rhoda, Thank you for your very generous sharing. Blogging is NOT easy, and thanks for hitting on so many emotions that come with it! I started mine as sort of a living portfolio for my clients, something to refer them to as a way to get to know me quickly and see my work. I would love for it to grow, and I have my goals, but the reality of the time commitment is something I have to keep in check. I’ll never forget as a new blogger you wrote a note to me introducing yourself, which you had already done once before. I wrote back to say we’d already met, meaning to make light of it. Little did I know at that time how hard it is to keep it all straight! I had no idea how many people you or other bloggers in general reply to, and how hard it is to keep up with it myself! Your generous spirit of sharing is definitely what keeps you growing. I admire your success. And I wish for you all blessed things in 2012. Looking forward to the next install of your story…

  26. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your blog story with us! I’m a relatively new (about a year) blogger, and I learn so much from those of you who’ve been doing this for a long time… 5 years…congratulations! I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of your story. Many blessings to you…

  27. I am enjoying your blogging story…I can identify with your thoughts about blog envy. I have had some of the same feelings but then I have to remember why I started blogging in the first place…just for the fun of it and to keep in touch with family and friends. Thanks for encouraging bloggers to just be themselves!! I am finding that most of my blog friends are ladies like me who love their homes and sharing everyday life. I do have to say that I have learned alot from your blog. I have enjoyed all your projects and I have “copied” a few of them. In fact, the color I picked for my laundry room is the same color you used in your Bham office area. Keep up the good job Rhoda…I look forward to clicking on Southern Hospitality every day.

  28. I am really enjoying reading about your blogging journey. I appreciate your honesty and candor about the things you have experienced along the way. I also love that you want to be the person that new bloggers can look to for advice and support. As a new blogger myself, I have “met” so many lovely bloggers who have extended me support and kindness, while others have not. It has made me realize that as my blog grows (hopefully), that I want to be one of those that is a supporter and cheerleader of the new guy on the block! Thanks Rhoda! I enjoy your blog so much!

  29. Thank you so much for being so candid and honest. It’s always inspiring to me to read established bloggers thoughts on the whole process. Love your blog!

  30. Thanks so much for sharing your journey & insight Rhoda! I love reading posts like this from bloggers I look up to. Best of luck in 2012 in life & your blogging journey!

  31. Rhoda,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story, advise and tips. I enjoyed this as well as looking back on your previous blog sharing posts. Lots of notes taken!

    Warm regards,
    Julie

  32. Hey there, I am a new reader and a new blogger. I am really enjoying reading your blog story and soaking up all these great tips you are sharing. So glad I stumbled upon you!

  33. Sharon in Chicago says:

    Rhoda — as always: interesting, informative, insightful, and inspiring!

  34. Dear Rhoda, t
    Thanks for sharing from your heart. There is much we can learn from your experience. I have been blogging since the summer of 2008 and am now considering some big changes. This series is just what I needed at this time. Your blog was one of the first I read faithfully and looked forward to each post. Thanks so much, Pam

  35. Oh yes, keep them coming. The more details the better. I’m new and spent months researching before launching and in the end still have so much to learn! It’s a ‘you can’t possibly know what’s in store until you’re in the mix.’

    And yes, there are so many of us newbies that I’m worried the niche has become over-saturated. But for me, it’s the best non-paying job in the world! I’ve finally found a way to combine my passion for creating with my passion for writing …

    Looking forward to year 3 and thanks for sharing your experiences and insights!

  36. As a new blogger (only starting in May this year), I am finding your posts fascinating. I agree entirely about not adding advertisers straight away and its pointless unless you have the traffic. I absolutely love what I am doing, it started with my art and has gone way beyond and is a eclectic mix of what I love most in life. I am growing very slowly but excited to see my visitors increasing.

    My family wonder why I take so long over a post, how can you spend all those hours on a short article my son said. Only bloggers know the amount of research and effort that goes into that “one little post”…for me hours and hours.

    Thank you Rhoda for sharing, I am learning a lot and keenly look forward to the next update.

    Lee

  37. Hi Rhoda, this is really interesting, and sparks an interest that i would love to maybe take up the challenge with. However, u did say you were quite savvy computer wise. Do you think a technically challenged gal could master the blog world and all the technical stuff about affliliates and all that jazz?

    Jane B

    • Hi, JAne, I have always been pretty computer saavy, as far as how to operate programs and all, but the technical side, when something goes wrong or breaks, That stumps me! But, if you start a free blog on Blogger that is the easiest blog platform to learn and they really walk you through things. If you know the basics, I am sure you could learn Blogger. I started on Blogger & stayed there for 2 1/2 years, moving to WordPress in 2009. There is a lot to learn with html and how to do things, but you can do it!

  38. I’m so glad you are doing this series. I read your Top 10 Tips For New Bloggers the first week I started blogging and keep coming back to it occasionally. I’ll look forward to the next installment of this series.

  39. I’m really enjoying this series, Rhoda! Lots of good info.
    Brenda

  40. Rhoda

    Thank you for sharing yourself as well as your ideas, humor and tenacity. What a gal!

  41. Thanks for sharing your insights, Rhoda! This is so helpful and encouraging.

  42. Thank you for sharing your information Rhoda. I have often thought about starting a blog myself in the past year (I mostly just stalk lol) but not to make money just to have a creative outlet.
    Kelly

  43. Thank you so much for sharing your story!!! It is soooooo refreshing to hear someone’s story from the beginning. I often times wonder “how did they figure it out” (about the bigger blogs). It’s so nice to hear your honest story! I can’t wait for part 3!! xoxo

  44. You are amazing Rhoda. Your story gives me so much motivation. I am working a very full time job and have had many moments where I felt like things weren’t moving fast enough for me in blogland. But I have learned that it’s not all about that. It’s about doing something that you love and that makes you happy- so I’m going to keep on keepin’ on! You proved that point beautifully in this post! Can’t wait for Part 3!

  45. Rhoda, I am enjoying this series so much. I appreciate the honesty and the depth of your story. I always enjoy your posts but none so much as this one. I will be looking forward to nest installment.
    Traci

  46. Rhoda,
    I am enjoying your writing about blogging..it is very insightful and I appreciate your taking the time to put all this down for us to read…
    Mona

  47. Judy Stone says:

    Rhoda, I’ve been keeping up with you since Great Impressions. Like you I had a big change in my life through no fault of my own. A little over ten years ago my then husband dumped me for a younger woman and I ended up moving in with my parents and I was a 59 year old grandmother. I survived and I am happy and content with my life now. I have so many wonderful women friends that support and love me. You’ll have a good life honey, with another home of your own, I just know it. Remember: It’s never too late to live happily everafter”.
    Your friend,
    Judy Stone
    McDonough, GA

  48. I just found and started reading your blog today, Rhoda, and I have to say that I’m sticking around! You seem to be an amazing person with so much to share. Your openness won me over from the start. Thank you for that. I’m looking forward to learning more both about and from you.

    Many peace and blessings to you in the new year! -Stephanie

  49. I’m loving this series! It’s so interesting to read other bloggers’ thoughts and viewpoints on things. I think “be yourself” is the best advice you can give. There are so many times I think, “I really should be doing this or writing about that,” but then I realize, no, that’s not something I’m passionate about. I can’t try to be everything to everybody or pretend to be someone I’m not. There will always be bloggers who do things better than I do, but that’s okay. Only I can be myself! :)

  50. Rhoda, I’ve been a lurker on your blog off and on for a few years. I admire your honesty and generous spirit. Great advice about new bloggers waiting to start using ads. I’ve blogged for almost 4 years and just started with BlogHer in September. I wouldn’t have the readership I do now a few years back.

    Be Yourself. I’ve found that’s the only way for me to do it. I write about decorating, gardening, reading, collecting, DIY – you name it. But it’s all there because I feel passionately about it.

    Thanks!
    Claudia

  51. Rhoda, thank you so much for your encouragement. Even though I love blogging, it really is harder than I had thought it would be. Thanks for sharing honestly and giving me some more ideas of where to take my blog. I’m still not sure where I’m going with it. Still trying to figure out where I belong, kind of like college :) Hugs to you in the New Year and so glad you are here in blogland. If you ever come near the LA area I’d love to meet you. I feel like I already know you. Take care.

  52. Rhoda,

    Enjoying reading this series!! Would love to know more about BlogHer so looking forward to part 3 and more…

  53. Rhoda, you are so GENEROUS and kind to share your tips and expertise! I am still learning and in fact that is my goal this year to LEARN more about blogging and make my blog BETTER!!! You are the best! XO, Pinky

  54. Thank you so much for sharing your story and the wonderful advice for all of us up-and-coming bloggers.
    You are such a sweet lady, and I wish you all the best for the coming year. I know your 2011 was quite a roller coaster ride…as was mine. So here’s to a new year of hope, health, happiness and prosperity!
    Teresa

  55. Hello Rhoda,

    I’ve been reading your blog steadily for a few months and I love it! I love all the things you share. I love your honesty and your conversational tone. Your blog is absolutely beautiful to look at. I love the design, the colors and the way everything is organized. You are a marvelous decorator.

    I’ve been so afraid to step into the blogging world. Boy do I have a lot to learn! While perusing the web for beautiful pictures of Savannah, I stumbed upon Daisy Cottage. Kim is a sweetheart! She is kind and she encourages others to step into the unknown! In fact, I found you while visiting her site.

    I blog for the fun of it. It’s a creative outlet where I can share my thoughts, my little DIY projects, and my passion and love for gardening (it’s my Prozac).

    After hanging out on your blog and reading this blogging series, you have helped alleviate some of my fear. I don’t want to compete with anyone. I just want to make myself better and to learn and grow. I want to develop my voice and connect with other kindred spirits in blogland! Thanks so much for sharing and helping others to grow. I believe what we put out in the universe comes back to us. When we reach out to others and help them grow it blesses us in the process.

    This is one of my favorite quotes by Maya Angelou

    “When we cast our bread upon the waters, we can presume that someone downstream whose face we will never know will benefit from our action, as we who are downstream from another will profit from that grantor’s gift”

    Thank you so much, can’t wait for series #3!

    ~Sandy

    • THank you, Sandy for sharing your thoughts! And for telling me you found me through my dear friend, Kim. I’m so glad my story is helping others in blogging too. That is why I’m doing it!!

      • Happy New Year! I have visions of you in your new home in 2012! It will be inspiring to see how you decorate and document everything on your SWEET blog.

        ~Sandy

  56. Rhoda,

    One big lesson….brevity. I tend to get too chatty and wordy. Sorry, for the long dissertation.

    ~Sandy

  57. Thank you Rhoda, for sharing your blogging insights. I’m really enjoying it and looking forward to Part 3. You have a wonderful way of explaining things!

  58. Tanya Ray says:

    Enjoy your blog and a weekly basis. You post so many interesting places. Love your recipes also. Thank you.

  59. Another great post Rhoda! I love the 5 things, especially the part about being yourself. Being at this for almost 5 months, it has been a bit of a whirlwind. Just yesterday I was thinking to myself, what the heck did I do before blogging! ha :) It’s been awesome connecting with you and so many others. It’s like a whole new group of friends :)

  60. As always, a refreshing, informative post. You’re inspirational, Rhoda! I hope someday to be able to help as many people (heck, I would settle for half) as you do on a daily basis. Thank you for all you do.

  61. You know, I have read this series at least 3 times and always take away something new. I started my blog in November of last year and really didn’t get out there and comment until recently so I’m happy to let you know that this information is invaluable to new bloggers like me. Even just to instill confidence that I really can’t do anything but be myself in my blog, which means I can’t worry about if my style is likable or my project will be popular…I can only be me. Thanks so much for all of the information Rhoda!

  62. After Part 1- the baby had woken up but I just wasn’t ready to get her, i wanted to keep reading to see what you had to say. So I let her fuss a bit and she went back to sleep, yay! So now I’ve finished that glass of champagne and I’m moving on to read Part 3.

  63. I found your blog on pinterest and have been reading your blog story. It’s really inspiring. I just began a blog a few weeks ago and have several posts to far. http://www.luckypoodle.com I know the name is silly but I had a site for my standard poodles and wasn’t really raising them anymore so I converted it into a blog. I didn’t even think about a possibility of earning money.
    Another subject, about blogher. They recently published a story about my daughter, Amy Elifritz, who died of Toxic Shock Syndrome in 2010. http://www.blogher.com/toxic-shock-syndrome-tss I started a nonprofit to educate girls in schools across america about early symptoms and prevention. I’m really proud of that story! If you’d like to do a story and share in my awareness efforts it would be so wonderful. I can provide all of the details and truths for you. So far over 50 bloggers have participated for me, including blogher and tweenparent.com Thanks for listening.

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  1. […] Hospitality, wrote several posts detailing her blogging story.  You can read them here-part 1, here-part 2 and here-part3.  I learned from reading her story that blogging is a long term process that is […]

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