I am honored that Lauren has asked me to guest post and to share about my blogging journey with her readers. Frankly, when Lauren approached me to write about my blogging journey, I cringed. I mean what possibly can I contribute to her readers with one year of blogging.
Well, here I am sharing with you my experience.
I started Hodgepodge of Styles in the beginning of last summer. I still consider myself new in blogosphere, but I’ve learned a lot since I started. I’m no expert on it. In fact I’m still learning as I go along, and I hope by sharing this post it will help you in one way or another.
How it all started
I have been reading blogs for many years but the thought of starting one never crossed my mind. It all began when a friend (who blogs about her family recipes) and I would exchange notes about Asian cooking and I felt that I should jump on the blogwagon.
At the same time we had just moved into our new home and I was occupied with putting things together, my husband suggested that I blog about the DIY projects that I’ve done around the house. After much deliberation, I finally created a blog that focused on my creative endeavors.
Coming up with the domain name was a challenge. I made a list of all the things I am passionate about so as to identify and describe the blog. After going back and forth on name ideas, I settled on Hodgepodge of Styles. Yes it’s a little ambiguous but it perfectly defines my eclectic taste of styles and interests. And that’s how it all started.
I had initially set up the blog on Blogger platform but after 2 months, and with my ambitious drive of wanting the site to look a certain way, I migrated the blog to a self-hosted WordPress. In that process, I learned about HTML, CSS and coding language via tons of online tutorials and videos. That was the biggest learning curve for me.
There were definitely some pulling-my-hair-out moments. Nonetheless, it was worth it. For someone who has zero knowledge about putting a website together, I have to say that I've done pretty well. I strongly recommend that every blogger at least pick up the basic know-how. Believe me you will realize how helpful it is if you know a thing or two about website design. Again, I’m no expert on this.
Connect and Interact
Blogging is not an isolated activity. I have to say that I’m no social butterfly and blogging has helped me to come out of my shell and at times I even make the first move to connect with other bloggers.
Since I started blogging, I've connected with many wonderful bloggers. I get ideas and inspiration from the blogs I read. Mommy blogs, creative/design blogs and spiritual blogs are some of my favorites. But I do get out of my comfort zone from time to time to explore. It is amazing how big the selections of blogs are presented nowadays.
However, that road of interaction doesn’t always come easy. A couple of times I was excluded to join some communities. I don’t know why and the reasons given were always vague. But incidents like this help me to develop a thick skin. To be honest, I don’t like it when people try to pigeonhole you, and cliques are just way too high school for me. I have learned to shrug it off, not take it to heart and move on.
Own Your Individuality
One of the biggest and (may I say) profound things that I’ve learned about blogging is how much I’ve discovered my own individuality. Not that I’m clueless about myself, but even at times I am surprised by how open I’ve allowed myself to be on the blog. Because you see, I’m generally a private person.
Posting about my daily musing was the furthest thing from my mind when
I first started blogging. I’m not sure at what point all that changed for me. Then again, I still contemplate for a day or two before hitting the publish button. It has gotten better though.
My blog has gone through a lot of changes, not just design wise but also the things I blog about. Even my writing on personal thoughts has become unguarded (most are archived in Reflection) but that doesn’t mean I write without any self-restraint and right timing.
Blogging has certainly made me become more comfortable in my own voice. More fearless each time I ponder, draft and post a topic I feel so strongly about. No longer caught up with comparing my blog with others or concerned with the numbers of followers and comments. I’ve gotten to a stage where my heart and my blog beat as one. And as I evolve, I believe so shall my blog.
This is my blogging journey…so far.