I launched this blog one year ago today…Happy Blogiversary to me!! My first year of blogging as been quite a ride.
This year has been packed full – full of travel, full of life, full of blog wins and “that was stupid” moments. This post isn’t going to be a “How To Start a Blog In 3 Easy Steps” or “Here Is Why My Blog Is Sooo Successful After Only A Year”.
Nope. To be honest, I am just making this shit up as I go. Sure, I have had some blog successes this year, but I have also had a steep learning curve and some WTF moments (but what blogger hasn’t?)
Blogging Ain’t Easy
You know all those posts you see about how easy it is to start a blog? The ones that tell you you can be up and running in 5 minutes? Yeah, those are all BS posts just to get a Bluehost Affiliate Link out there. (But, if you DO want to start a blog in 5 minutes, here’s mine...Sign Up For Bluehost! (sorry, couldn’t resist!)
Blogging is time consuming, technical and a lot of work…if you want to do it well. But, it’s been fun learning the ropes.
I learned that there is a lot of technical stuff and internet know how that goes in to being a successful blogger…and boy has my learning curve been steep! But, I am damn proud of myself for how much of it I have figured out. Blogging is one of those things that evolves every day, so you never stop learning. It’s an ongoing process that is mostly fun, but can be challenging at times.
I’ve also learned that while social media is great, she can be a total bitch at the same time. There is so much more to growing a social following that putting out great content (I actually thought that was all I had to do at first…ha!) I love living in a time when we can be so social on the internet, but it can turn into a huge time suck if you let it. I’ve had to take a few steps back this year to regain my balance. But, it’s all good.
I’ve also learned about the ugly side of blogging…buying followers, stealing content, and dishonesty. And some really bad writing too —- there is a ton of crap out there. I’ve learned that the most successful bloggers don’t necessarily have the best content — they just know how to play the game. (That’s not to say there aren’t some great successful blogs out there…just saying there is more “game playing” than meets the eye).
One of my biggest blog wins of the year came only a few weeks after I began this journey. I was asked to part of the blogger interview series on Million Mile Secrets. I was floored that this opportunity came my way when my blog was still just getting off the ground. It was so cool to be featured on such a big Miles and Points site!
I was also asked to be a part of Upgraded Points’ Real Redemption Series this year. I loved sharing how points and miles helped us spend a weekend in Scottsdale, AZ for $22 (instead of $1,300!)
My travels this year were plentiful to say the least! While we had a few things planned, many of these trips ended up being sort of last minute weekend trips. It was so fun exploring so many new places and of course, it gave me a lot to write about. Here are some of the highlights:
- Family Trip to Cancun
- Weekend Trip to Scottsdale, Arizona using the Southwest Companion Pass For The First Time
- 2 Trips To Denver
- Hocking Hills in Logan, OH…instead of Key West, FL!
- A Weekend in Chicago
- Annapolis, MD (tagging along on my husband’s business trip)
- New Orleans, LA
- Minneapolis, MN to Visit Family
- Dominican Republic for My Cousin’s Wedding
- Las Vegas weekend with my mom and brother
- Caribbean Cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of The Seas
Columbus Moms Blog
A few month’s ago I was accepted as a new contributor to Columbus Mom’s Blog. I am so excited to be able to write some more locally focused posts and to be a part of such a great group of people. I never would have considered applying to be a contributor if it hadn’t been for this blog. Take a guess at what my first post was about!
My Blogger Tribe
One of the best things that has come from my first year of blogging has been the people I have met along the way. I’ve connected with some great bloggers over the interwebs and have found a wonderful group of local bloggers in Columbus.
I’ve had the opportunity to go to some fun events with these ladies and I love having a group to bounce ideas off of. It’s so nice to be able to take too many pictures* or vent about your Instagram following without getting an eye roll.
My Name Is Katie and I Over Document
*So, this is a shout out to my friends and family who have to put up with my incessant over documentation of EVERYTHING. I have taken it to a whole new level this year. I.Take.Pictures.Of.Everything. From the outside, it all seems a bit silly, but I never know when I will need a picture of xyz. You, my loyal reader, demand the best photos of the coolest things and I aim to please. Haha!
I’m All Over The Place
So, if you haven’t found me EVERYWHERE yet, now is your chance (lucky!)
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zenlifeandtravel/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zenlifeandtravel/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Zen_Life_Travel
- Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/zenlifetravel/
My first year of blogging has been a whirlwind of wins, lessons, new friends, technical challenges, learning curves and fun. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to read the thoughts of a thirty something, travel obsessed, stay-at-home mom who tends to swear too much and can sometimes write with dripping sarcasm.
I hope you continue to follow along with me during year 2…there’s so much more to come. Happy Travels!