My Blogging Story: Part 6

If you haven’t read my entire blogging story up to this point, you’ll want to start with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

It’s hard to believe that I have hit my 6 year blogoversary, but it’s finally here.  Six years ago this month, I fired up my brand new blog.  If you’ve missed the first 5 parts of my blogging journey, you can catch up on those and then come back here and read the newest installment.  When I look back at my first year of blogging compared to now, it’s almost laughable, since my photographs as well as everything else has improved in these last 6 years SO much.  It’s all been a learning experience, that is for sure.

Part 5 also recaps all the ways I make money with my blog, so if you want the scoop on that, click over to Part 5.

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Almost a year has passed since I wrote Part 5 of my blogging story, so it’s time to share what last year brought my way.  Part 5 got rather lengthy, but I had so much to share with that post and how I got to where I am now in blogging, that I really poured my heart out in that post, telling the story of how blogging has evolved for me, becoming my full time business and occupation.

It’s been an unbelievable journey and sometimes I still can’t believe I get to work at home from my office, participate in many fun brand events that I’m invited to, enjoy meeting up with so many blog friends that I’ve met along the way, and head up a very successful blog conference called Haven.  And make a living doing what I love!

When January of 2012 rolled around on the calendar, things were looking up for me.  The last half of 2011 had been really good and I had survived the storms of life that the previous year brought my way.  I was still living with my parents, but we had begun the process of looking for a house for me to buy.  January through March of 2012 had me looking at real estate listings online trying to find some houses that were in my price range.  I had hoped to find something $70K or under and I’m happy to say, I found it, after losing out to 5 bids along the way.  I shared my house hunting journey with all of you after we got the winning bid on my now “dream” house.  It’s still funny to call it a dream house, because it certainly isn’t to anyone but me, but after going through the pain and heartache of losing so much the previous year, getting into a house again seemed like it would be so far off in the future and not a very attainable goal for me.

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In Part 5, I shared that I purchased a house in April of 2012, a 1979 split level fixer upper that needed plenty of work to get it liveable again and with the help of my parents, we paid cash for it and closed on April 14, 2012.  It was a happy day indeed!  I knew that we would embark on a renovation journey and I’d share the whole house renovation process with all of you and that’s exactly what we did.  Every week last year, I shared an update post on the house renovation and you all were on the edge of your seats waiting for the next installment.  We were sweating a lot and working like dogs!

I so enjoyed sharing that journey with you and you all cheered me on as we finished the house and I moved in October.  Six months of renovation is a long time and it seemed like it would never get finished, but of course, it did in due time.  So, 2012 will forever be known as the renovation year.  Six months of the year was spent fixing up this house of mine and it was a very happy day when I moved in and slept at the house for the first time.  What a dream come true to finally be in here.

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But, 2012 had lots more exciting things going on too.  As I mentioned, I started the blog conference Haven and we embarked on that journey at the beginning of 2012, planning and executing the first ever DIY Home blog conference here in Atlanta.  Home Depot was our big sponsor and we had many other fantastic brands join us for the conference in June. It was a huge success, so much so that we are doing it again this year, in August.  It’s been quite the journey to get here, but I’m so glad I stepped out in faith and gave it a shot. I do believe that God worked out all the details to put together the right people to get the conference off the ground and all the details fell into place.

Planning Haven was happening right as I started working on the house, so 2012 was a busy, busy year for me.  I spoke at 3 blog conferences last year:  SNAP in April, Haven in June, and BlogHer in August, so all of those speaking engagements were huge milestones for me too.  If you’d ever told me I’d be speaking in public as an adult, I would have said NO WAY.  I absolutely hated speech class in school and intensely disliked getting up and talking in front of people, but I guess you could say I’ve matured in that area and when it’s something I’m passionate about, it’s easy for me now.  That and getting older just gives you more confidence I think. I’ve never been really shy since high school, but didn’t see public speaking as part of my future.  But, participating in these conferences has been a huge confidence boost for me and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.  I’ve so enjoyed sharing my journey with other aspiring bloggers and hopefully paving the way for other women to do what I’m doing.

I certainly didn’t dream that in my mid-50′s, I’d embark on a completely new and exciting career path, but that’s exactly what has happened.  None of us who started blogging 4, 5, or 6 years ago, could have ever envisioned that blogging would turn in the direction it has taken, with advertising, working with brands and social media such a huge part of our lives.  It’s been the biggest blessing of my life and I’m so, so grateful that I was in the right place at the right time.  God knew that I would need a job and career to sustain me and He certainly gave it to me…as a middle aged woman starting over, that is huge.  I don’t take it for granted, but I do know where it came from.  I have worked very hard on my blog and for that I’ll take some of the credit, but He has blessed it, no doubt about that.

Some wonderful partnerships happened in 2012 as well.  I became a brand ambassador for several big name companies and have been privileged to work with them all this past year:  Lowes, FrogTape, Payless Decor, and Hometalk are all companies that I’ve partnered with and enjoy working with.  I believe in all of them and their products and message.  It’s easy to talk about companies that you believe in and I would never take on any brand ambassadorship that I didn’t truly believe in.  I know that you, my readers, watch and read who I deal with and promote and I want to keep my integrity with working with any brands.

2012 was a big year of growth for me in so many areas, personally getting back on my feet again and getting back into a house.  My blog has continued to grow, financially as well as in readership and I’m so grateful for that.  This blog has become my source of income and it has been a huge blessing this past year to be able to pay cash for all the renovations along the way.  The house that blogging built.  That’s really the truth!

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So, Haven happened in June of 2012 and in August I went to NYC for the BlogHer conference.  That was a great time too and I got to speak on a panel while I was there.  So many wonderful opportunities continued to come my way in 2012.  I also spoke at the smaller Southern Bloggers conference in October up in Raleigh, NC, sharing my blogging story with them.  I love inspiring other women to do something that they didn’t think they could do.  Dreams have come true for me and I know success can happen for others too and being part of this online world gives me a platform to share how I got to where I am, hopefully encouraging other women along the way. That’s my desire, to encourage and inspire others.

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Along the way in 2012, I was invited to some fun events, like the Southern Living Idea house, and the Serenbe Ballard Designs Bosch house tour, as well as the HGTV Green home that I got to preview with Shaw Floors.  Not to mention, an Annie Sloan paint workshop.  Getting to do these fun events is the icing on the cake of this blogging world and it’s truly a dream job, no doubt about it.  I’m like a giddy little girl over some of the things I get to do.  Put me in a fancy hotel and I’m squealing with delight.

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In September last year, I headed up to Tennesee and the Bella Rustica marketplace, a very fun event where I met up with some blog girl friends.  I also went back to Birmingham and participated in a pottery class for the second time, always a fun time.  In October, I also participated in the Room Service Atlanta children’s home project, such a rewarding project to be involved in.

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Also, in October I was invited to the Country Living fair, where I met up with many other bloggers.

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On October 18th, I moved into my new house and what a banner day that was!  What a fantabulous (yes, it’s a word!) year 2012 was.  I’m tired just reading all about it, but it truly was such a rewarding year for me.  Not only did my dad and I renovate this house, but I had so many other exciting opportunities and events going on too.  God has truly blessed me and I can’t thank Him enough.  I do know where the blessings come from.  When I look back on the last 2 years, it humbles me so much to think of how far I’ve come.  I’m truly living my dream life right now, enjoying and loving what I do so, so much.

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I have a house that I love, sweet parents that are so supportive of me, a loving family and the best friends I could ever ask for.  What an amazing year it has been.  I’m equally excited about 2013.  It’s already started off with a bang and I can hardly wait to see what’s coming around the next corner.  For starters, I know I’m going to be featured in 3 magazines:

Better Homes and Gardens Kitchens and Bath, Folk magazine, and Atlanta magazine.  That ain’t too shabby, is it?

Pinch me!  Really, I’m so honored to be doing what I do.  I’m going to keep on blogging as long as y’all keep coming back.  So far, I haven’t run out of projects, ideas, creativity and excitement and I’ll continue it until I just don’t want to do it anymore….which could be never. I don’t want this to ever end, although none of us know the future of this world wide web of information.  This venue has grown SO much in the last couple of years and these are exciting times we live in.  Truly!

 


- Rhoda


Comments

  1. You have been a busy woman and all your
    work is paying off…
    Congratulations!
    Happy V Day!
    Sandy

  2. Rhoda- I am truly happy for you and your milestones and successes. I am cheering you from the sidelines as you enter your 6th year. It has been a pleasure to meet you , follow your story and know your heart. Best Wishes!!

  3. Well done Rhoda! Nice post today – good for you, getting where you are. x

  4. Beth Morrow says:

    Rhoda, even though I dont know you personally, I feel like I know you…yaknowwhatimean? I dont even know how I found your blog, but I have to confess, I ALWAYS look forward to your post!
    Thanks for sharing your life in such a transparent way!
    Beth

  5. Rhoda – your story is such an inspiration and such proof of God’s love, plans and timing. Best wishes for you in 2013.

  6. I’ve been reading your blog and looking at your projects for a couple of months now. I finally wanted to take the time to let you know how much I have enjoyed learning about you and learning FROM you! It truly blesses me to read about what you have been through, where you are going, the support of your wonderful family and your faith that has taken you so far. You are truly an inspiration and I thank you so much for that and I’m looking forward to more!

  7. Rhoda, I always love reading about your amazing journey. I appreciate your positive spirit and resiliency. You are truly an inspiration and encouragement to me. May God continue to richly bless your efforts.

  8. You are truly an inspiration, for me and I’m sure tons of other women. I’m proud of you, even though we don’t even know each other-you are like a friend.

  9. YAY RHODA!!!! So so happy for you. What an inspiration you are. We are all blessed to have you in our lives! Congrats on year six superstar!

    Jen
    xo

  10. Congratulations to you, Rhoda. I have never met you but I have loved reading your story. You are an encouragment and I’m so happy for the blessings that God has poured out on you. Your house is just so lovely; I’ve loved reading about your progress. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Karen in Texas says:

    So happy for you. God is so good !! He loves each of us and pours his blessings on us !! He also carries us during the difficult times too !

    Love your blog and love, love your home !!
    Karen in Texas

  12. Happy 6-year anniversary, Rhoda! I’ve been reading your blog for at least 5 of those. I always enjoy your blogging story posts, and I’m so happy for your continued success. You deserve it! :-)

  13. Rhoda, your determination, believing in yourself and God, and your many blessings have brought you a long way in the last two years. Keep believing, dreaming, and inspiring! Best wishes in your future goals and endeavors!

  14. Hi Rhoda, I don’t comment often, but your blog is the first one I read EVERY.SINGLE.DAY! It’s wonderful to see the success and happiness you have found! May 2013 bring more of the same!

  15. Isn’t it amazing how blogging can take on a life of its own? I think because you and so many others started when the online world was much different, you never could have imagined where it would take you, because it didn’t exist! Now, things are very different, and for newbies it can be a bit overwhelming!

    Your hard work and endless creativity has certainly paid off and all your blessings are well deserved. Thank you for sharing your story.

  16. Serena @ Thrift Diving says:

    Great story! I’m jealous when I hear about you bloggers that are able to do this as your day jobs. But then I see that it’s been 6 years of hard work, and I realize that if I keep on the same road of hard work (it’s only been a year for Thrift Diving), I know that I will be there, too. Yes, indeed! See you at Haven!

    Serena
    Thrift Diving

  17. Rhoda, I’m so happy for you. Your new house is beautiful, as I knew it would be. I’ve been following your blog now for 3 1/2 years and it has always been such an inspiration.

  18. Vicki Nuckols says:

    Good Morning,You are such an inspiration to me,I can hardly wait to see yours and your families smiling faces on your blogs each time.You make me want to decorate in my home each time I read your blog.I am a Georgia Girl also and live in Lawrenceville now in a home that was new when we bought it in 1985,but we have added rooms,rocking chair porch with gazebo,upgraded the interior,it will always be a work in progress as I see your blog and fall in love with everything,so then I want to redecorate.Thank you for giving me such wonderful decorating ideas and being such a kind,giving and sharing person.God Bless you and your precious family.

  19. God has indeed walked with you…. and undergirded you in an amazing way!!!!!! He certainly has blessed your every effort!!! So excited to see what you will be up to in 2013!!!! Congrats again Rhoda!!!! Terri

  20. Rhoda, happy 6 years! Your story is such an inspiration – thank you for continuing to share the journey! Can’t wait to see those magazine features!

  21. God has truely blessed you. Happy 6th anniversery..

  22. Sharon Avinger says:

    Rhoda – I have read your blog for years and feel as if I know you. I am beyond thrilled for you and your good fortune. Thank you for attributing everything to God and His mercy. I look forward to reading your blog in years to come and to see what new projects and decorating advice you have for us!

  23. You are a remarkable woman! You are proof that God is faithful. You have been truly blessed!

  24. So happy for you. It is such a blessing to do what you love…God is so good!
    Blessings,
    Cindy

  25. Pattie Schreck says:

    Rhoda-I look forward to reading you blog every day. Your hard work, support and love from your family and friends, has given you the strength to reach for the stars and be where you are right now. Congratulations!
    Happy Valentine’s Day.

  26. i’ll be here right with you wherever your adventures take you!

  27. I’m so blessed by this testimony! Thanks for sharing your blessings and gifts with us!

  28. Rhoda,
    Congrats on your 6th year!!! I have really enjoyed following along with you for the past 3 1/2 years, and I look forward to many more.

    Blessings,
    Linda

  29. Oh, Rhoda, you know I’m so happy and proud for you! You were one of the first bloggers I met and you were so kind to comment on my new little silly blog. I’ll always be grateful. You’re an inspiration to us all.
    You are the sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  30. You deserve all that has come your way. I’ve enjoyed reading you for several years now and can’t wait for more.

  31. Rhoda, I’m so happy for you and proud of you too! You are an inspiration to all of us! Thank you for your honesty and courage! You have encouraged so many with your life story! Congratulations of many milestones in 2012 and many more to come in 2013! Blessings!

  32. Congratulations on your bloggerversary! Love your blog, your home, your inspiration. Keep up the good work!

  33. Congratulations Rhoda! Your blog is one of my favorites. So many great ideas and inspirations. The DIY tips are great! Keep up the good work!

  34. Congratulation Rhoda!
    I have been following for four years, and
    can’t wait each day to see where you will
    take us!
    Watching you (rather listening) to you
    walk by faith, seeing family helping family,
    friends helping and being your pep squad
    has added even more joy.
    Joy is my word for the year – you
    certainly add to my joy factor!
    Looking forward to even broader new
    horizons for you .
    So happy and even proud of you -
    we are never to old or young to
    embrace a dream.
    Watch out, yours is coming true!
    hugs,
    p

  35. So happy for you! I’ve been following your blog for a long time. Your response to the adversity in your life is inspiring. I’ll keep coming back as long as you do!

  36. You are most deserving of your beautiful new home! God has blessed you every step of the way. Although we have never met in person, I consider you a friend and have learned so much from reading your blog. Keep up the great posts!

  37. Rhoda – what an amazing year you have had ! Congratulations on your new home and all the other great things that happen to you last year. You truly deserve them.

    Judy

  38. Congratulations, Rhoda! What an inspiring year you had! All the best to you.
    Mary

  39. So happy for all of your success. You deserve much happiness!

  40. Loved reading this!! You deserve all His blessings! :)

  41. You are so deserving of all your successes and opportunities, Rhoda! What a pleasure it’s been getting to know you here and then in person, too ~ looking forward to marvelous PART 7 in the making!
    xo Heidi

  42. Congratulations on your anniversary! Wishing you many more years of continued success. It is such a joy to read your story!

    Blessings-
    Amelia

  43. I have been following your blog for about a year now. I just read parts 1-6 of your story, and I really enjoyed it. Congratulations on your 6 year anniversary!

  44. God is good! All the time!

  45. What a wonderful life you have, I am so pleased you have your dream home and your dream job, blogging. I continue to work hard on my own blog so that it will continue to grow as yours has. Long hours for little to start with, however, as yours did suddenly opportunities are put in front of me.

    One of the best things out of blogging as you say are the friends you make.

    Lee

  46. Pat in Chicago says:

    What a great story you have to tell. It has been so fun going on this journey with you. I told you before, HGTV missed a great opportunity to do a show on your home reno. To see the before and afters have been great. I wish nothing but the best for you. You deserve it.

  47. I’ve really enjoyed all of the segments of your blog story, Rhoda. It was an honor to have you speak at the Southern Bloggers Conference and was wonderful to see you. Looking forward to seeing you again in August at Haven!

  48. Such a busy year but a year where you can see the hand of God at work in your life. He will always provide! Congrats on being featured in a magazine… that is one of my ultimate goals… someday.

  49. Maggie Fieger says:

    I found your blog about the time that you purchased your house so I watched the entire renovation. I also went back and read your history, and you have grown through so many things.
    Your style to me is so comfortable and pretty. I keep trying to get my style figured out (I’m older than you) but just struggle. If an online decorating service would ever be a part of your life I would love to have a consultation with you. I live in Kansas so it would have to be online.
    Good luck in all that you do in the future, and we will all be watching!
    Maggie

  50. Loved you from the start! So proud of you and what you’re doing Rhoda! You really are a true inspiration to so many…beautiful inside…and out! Hugs, luv and prayers your way…eternally. xoxo -Kennesha

  51. Happy anniversary! I don’t know how you do it all, but we’re glad you do and that you share everything with us.

  52. Rhoda,

    So happy and proud of you at the same time. Your journey has been inspiring and I so enjoy reading your blog everyday. May 2013 be a year full of continued blessings!

    Helen Maddox

  53. Happy 6th Anniversary! Your blog was one of the first I discovered – & it’s definitely my all time fave!!

    Thank you for sharing your journey: I hope you have many more years of inspiring projects to share. Many blessings to you!

    ~Paula

  54. God bless you and congratulations!

  55. Rhoda,
    I was so happy the day I discovered what a blog is by stumbling onto yours! Yes, you were “my first” and I’ve been faithful ever since, having my morning coffee while reading your post of the day. My day just isn’t complete without it! Happy anniversary!

  56. I wish I knew how long I have been reading your blog, maybe a year? You bless me in so many ways by sharing your Christian walk, and your enthusiasm with decorating. You make decorating seem a lot easier. I love to read about your latest projects. My current favorite project is your laundry room striped floors. You were meant to do this blog. Keep on keeping on and Happy 6th Anniversary!

  57. Thank you. You do such a good job. You deserve the good things that are going on. Keep at it dear friend!

  58. I always love these Blogging Story posts, Rhoda. I loved hearing you speak at Haven and you sure seemed like a natural to me! Congratulations on all the success so far. Wishing you so much more to come!

  59. Wow Rhoda, so much has happened in the time I started following your blog. Wishing you many more blogging years and blessings!

  60. What an amazing journey you’ve had, Rhoda! You’re definitely bound for even more good things to happen in your life. The house looks great- loved seeing its transformation. :-) Sue

  61. Congratulations Rhoda on 6 years! Love reading your story and so happy for all the wonderful things that have happened to you over the last year. Blessed to call you a blogging friend! :)

  62. Lady Delores LeBoeuf says:

    WOW, first time reading your personal and blog journey…I am so thankful for God’s blessings bestowed upon you and your loved ones………your hard work and perseverence definitely shows through on your wonderful posts. I stumbled on your blog somehow (don’t recall now) and have been overjoyed ever since. I am a devoted fan…plz continue, as you are an inspiration to many…Love & Blessings…

  63. Rhoda…wow, 6 years…you have accomplished many great things in that short amount of time….congratulations…It is a blessing to be able to create a business of something that you truly love to do….I wish you many more years of much happiness and success!!

  64. I did read it all and what a amazing end you have ! Im glad that you got your sweet house and im sure with all you DIY projects will look like a great home! Thanks for sharing your tough times with us.

  65. Just checking to see if 2/14/13 was your last post. I’m not sure Im getting your new ones since your changeover. Any ideas on how to correct?

    Thanks!

  66. I have to giggle when I think of where we both were when I met you and how our lives have crossed paths so many times. I am so thrilled for you and seeing where you are now. As much as I miss being able to see your face, I couldn’t be happier for you!!

    The changes you had to go through to get to where you are were so worth it!!

    xoxo

    • Thank you, Karla! It is amazing isn’t it. We were online friends first and you moved to B’ham with all YOUR life changes. What a journey for both of us. I’m very happy and content where I am right now. xoxo

  67. Rhoda, I’ve loved reading your blog story. You have been an inspiration for so many and really live your faith. Your story is really just beginning! :)

  68. Debbie Lorson says:

    Rhoda,

    Just two weeks ago I found your lovely site. I do not know what your back story is….but it is the “forward” story that counts now. I check your site every morning as I am addicted to see what masterpiece you may have transformed. I am jealous of your talent and circle of girlfriends. WAY TO GO. : – )

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