Congrats to the winners of the Cuppacocoa shirt giveaway:
Wendy H., Hazell P., Dakota N., Irma O., Michelle P., and Sydney A.!
I’m HONORED that you would wear my shirt. Even if it is to sleep. :D.
In other news, today, my blog turns ONE! =D Exactly one year ago, I hit the “publish” button on my first post, and a week later, I had a grand total of eight readers, including myself, four family members and three friends. That was cool.
You can imagine how delighted I was when more people decided to join! Hooray! Welcome, and thank you for reading my stuff each week! I am honored that you’ve stayed on, and I will continue to try to publish more interesting and useful content!
For cuppacocoa’s first birthday, I thought I’d share some things I’ve learned from blogging this year. I’m no expert, and there are definitely millions of way more experienced bloggers… but it’s the start of a new year, so I figured it was a good time to reflect back and look forward!
1. Family first. No matter how cool it is to interact with people around the world through my blog, it is way cooler to interact with my loving husband and cooing, cuddly baby (who is now a jabbering toddler! *SNIFF*) here at home. I didn’t quit my job to become a blogger– I did it to be a stay at home mom, so those responsibilities come first! Set boundaries that show your priorities.
2. Bloggy friends are awesome. They know better than anyone how precious an encouraging comment is, and how to boost you when you’re feeling a little slumpy in your writing. They’re fun to bounce ideas and share goals with, and give great tips for improvement! They also remind me that the world is full of kind and warm people!
3. Thick skin is hard-earned. When I was in teaching school, I remember Toni laughing at me and saying, “JoEllen, you are going to have to grow some thicker skin if you want to stay in this profession!” And when I stared blankly, she had to explain herself. I mean, I knew what “thick skin” meant, but I didn’t know why she thought I’d need it. Hah. Well, same goes for anyone who hopes to get a lot of people reading her writing on the Internet. I mean, it’s really cool if it happens, but be prepared for some harsh words. Don’t let mean words from people who have never met you stop you from speaking your heart. Tough lesson. Glad I kept writing anyway. Thank you for your kind words along the way that have kept me going! Your personal messages and comments have really meant a lot to me!
4. Clicking “Save” is not enough. When writing a post, you should always at least highlight (ctrl+a) and copy (ctrl+c) everything before clicking any buttons like “Save” or “Publish…” or else one day (or in my case, many days), you will sorely regret it. WordPress is great, but things aren’t always perfect with the Internet and computers, yanno?
5. Write stuff you’re passionate about. Don’t try too hard to write what you think people want to hear. I mean, you have to consider your audience, of course, but try to do that only within the things you really care about. This also kind of explains why I still share food recipes, even though I think I actually lose a few readers every time I do that. I know it’s not really within the “parenting/education” niche I’ve got going on, but it’s something that really makes me happy, so… I’m just going to keep doing that. Noms.
6. Have an engineer bff/husband. So he can save the day again. And again. And again, when the Internet is ruining your life. <3 . Thank you, Ben! This blog wouldn’t have made it very far without your help, encouragement, and support.
Going forward, I really hope to continue to write useful and interesting content! I also hope to update the look and feel of my blog this year. As you can tell, art isn’t my forte, so I don’t even really know where to start on this… but it’s going to happen!
Thank you for all your support (i.e. letting my posts into your inbox every week :)) this year! Please feel free to drop a comment someday and say hi sometime. I love to hear from my readers!