Six Years on Sunday
Six years ago on Sunday, I wrote my very first word on my brand new, shiny blog. I called myself “The Drama Mama.” A friend helped me come up with a tagline, and I called the blog “The Scoop on Poop: because real life is full of poop.” I chose Blogger because well, it has blog in the name. At the time, I didn’t know about WordPress or any of the other blogging platforms out there. I knew I wanted my own space in the world wide web, and I had a story to tell. Thus, I began.
I had no idea what I was doing. My friend Shyla helped me create a cute theme for my blog, personalizing my space. My first post was horrid. No paragraphs, no line breaks, just one big blob of content at the top of the page. (We all have to start somewhere, right?). It was a fantasy place to escape to, filled with fluffy names like George Clooney, Scooby Doo, Jellybean, and of course, me, the Drama Mama.
I do know one thing. I needed an audience. Telling friends and family didn’t do a whole lot, and they already know all about my life anyway. I mean, I am a chatty Cathy, so there’s that.
I needed a new audience, fresh meat, so I started reading other blogs on Blogger and networking and commenting, etc. until my little blog began a steady growth of followers. I joined in memes like Wordless Wednesday. I started Two Truths and a Lie with fellow blogger, CA Girl. I kept trying new ways to network and expose my words to new readers.
As my blog grew, I learned more and more about blog design and started creating designs for others (and a design blog. Book covers anyone?), while feeling restless about my own. I kept changing the look (you do know how fast things change on the internet, anyway, right?). My designs and blog name attracted more visitors and eventually I had over a year waiting list of bloggers wanting to be my “Best Scoop of the Week.” This was great fun because I met many of the bloggers I still associate with today. One day was an interview, and another day they wrote a guest post based on a single word I provided them.
This really caused my audience to grow, so I started a cooking blog, and then, I shifted gears. I found The Red Dress Club, a group of female writers helping, encouraging, and inspiring others to write. I picked up my long forgotten pen and life changed. In addition to the blog, I now had fiction. My little space on the internet got crowded. I wanted my daily life to separate from my fiction, so I started a new blog, just for writing.
Repeat the process, except this time, I already had a bunch of followers and knew I would gain an audience because I wrote regularly to The Red Dress Club prompts and linked up, just like the other blog memes I participated in. And that’s how My Write Side came to life. I continued both blogs for a very long time, choosing to keep the humor and family poop on the mommy blog, and my writing on My Write Side. I continued learning about design and foraged into WordPress waters. Everything ran smoothly until…
Blogger ate my posts!
WordPress caught my eye as I learned designs and saw how much more flexible and user friendly it was. Plus, I’d never heard anyone complain about their posts disappearing. Man, that was a huge heartbreak! Totally insane. It ate my love story!! How George Clooney and I met, our romance, and our special moments and memories. That did not sit well with me, at all. I took a deep breath and made the switch. I never once considered that I might not keep my audience, and I did. Things were different back then. The transfer happened smoothly, just like moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, except…
I had to choose a theme. Then, I had to decorate. But I loved my design SO much! Imagine my joy when I discovered I only needed to do minor tweaks to make the design fit my chosen theme! Next step, I needed to secure my writing blog. How tragic would it be to lose a story or two to the hungry Blogger monster? That would be even worse then the memories it stole from me!
So yes, I moved My Write Side, and that was the beginning of everything you see here. The Red Dress Club brought A.L. Mabry and I together as writing partners, and we discovered we had so much more in common than words. We’ve grown together, supported each other, brainstormed, and worked together as side by side as two people can be on the internet.
Six years on Sunday I celebrate my blogging anniversary. Six years of networking and making friends, crying over lost bloggers, words, support, and so much more.
If I had known then what I know now, I would have started much earlier.
So, that’s the Scoop (giggle) on how to start a blog. And the secret to success is networking, connecting, and putting yourself out there.
Thank you all for six great years. Thank you for sticking around.
Love, The Girl of Many Colors