Happy start to the week! Back again after traveling solo with the wee little ones this past weekend – they were champs. Pictures of our beautiful Northern California adventure to come.
2 | Where does your blogging inspiration come from? You cover such a wide range of topics, how do decide what to post about?
This next question came in the form of comments on inspiration, ever changing blog topics and how this is not quite a lifestyle or design or entertaining or remodel or mommy blog…
This is a neat topic to tackle because I do really enjoy sharing on so many areas of life here on this site. I think that a lot of bloggers feel obligated to stick to one channel of writing and that sometimes that can feel restrictive or challenging. Without a defined niche I feel a bit freer to fill an editorial calendar with posts that might include a home remodel project, a new outdoor craft, a summer inspiration board, a party roundup, a reflection on an honest part of motherhood, a style board, a recipe….
Four major areas of growth and topics that have added themselves along the way
On the flip side, I know that choosing a less defined theme will discourage readers and makes attracting certain types of sponsors more challenging. I’ve watched the blog work through its successes and challenges as the blog has shifted with time. From the outside looking in, this blog has taken so many twisting turns along its five year story sharing path, and has slowly morphed into the a-little-bit-of-everything site that it now is.
To share a little bit of my journey with you (and to give you the roots on which this blog was formed), I started writing as a creative outlet when I was traveling nonstop for a consulting company that focused on large software implementation projects. It meant nights alone in hotels (7 months straight – Kevin was actually deployed to Japan at the time as he was still in the military) and a day job that allowed for so little creativity that a blog at night felt refreshing and fun – plus, it kept me company.
My first introduction to the blogging world was a semi-addiction to party blogs :). After planning my own wedding I was suddenly really into all of the fun details of planning events and sites such as Pinterest didn’t really exist at the time. This blog launched with the intention of sharing inspiration for entertaining plus a fun mix of home, crafts and organizing as well. I took my college knowledge of programming and spent nine months playing with a design that I thought fit me well. It was purely a space to share fun, entertaining ideas – and pre-Pinterest it was very normal to feature and highlight other parties and projects in detail from around the web. That was how we all circulated great inspiration with each other (though in some ways it feels like such a no-no now). I built up an awesome audience and really enjoyed everything writing, styling, editing and interacting.
Our aesthetic sure does change with time – but back when I LOVED the colors and design!
About a month before Kevin came back to San Diego I moved us into our first apartment. A year or so later Kevin and I bought our first home and little by little my primarily party blog transitioned into a home remodeling blog. I began reading the blogs of couples that were on the same journey and my own blogging voice and focus changed. It was challenging because I knew that I was losing my core party readers and I watched my Google Analytics fluctuate over the months as the ‘theme’ of PDB shifted.
We spent so much of our time focused on tearing down walls and picking out paint colors that it felt very natural to transition into the day-by-day story of the transformation of our 1930s fixer upper.
Up until this point I really hadn’t share much on the personal front. I remember traveling to Australia with my family and posting a vacation picture and being so surprised when readers requested more! It made me want to have a more personal voice and to build my blog to tell my story as well. I was a little trepid on giving away the details of our personal life, I actually wasn’t super interested in blogs that delved into the personal and devoured up blogs that stuck to 100% diy content. But then all of a sudden that shifted! I began to read and connect with blogger stories that felt as though they were going through similar life experiences and I loved it.
Two years later we welcomed our first daughter and again my writing focus shifted to reflect life as a new mother. Now I was getting really personal. I was suddenly balancing party and home and baby blogging posts and I was nervous that I was too all over the board. No focus! Just whatever was going on in my life at that moment. I watched readers shift and fluctuate again, but because I enjoyed so much what I wrote about I didn’t spend too much time worrying about it.
I realized that if this blog is anything special to me it would make so much sense to embrace everything that is special to me. I’m so incredibly grateful for those readers that have hung with me on this journey.
Often bloggers are asked to identify their niche and their target audience. I understand why experts suggest that a focused writing style will help a blog thrive and to find its voice amongst the myriad of wonderful sites out there. My best suggestion is to find your own voice though. That might be a certain vertical, or it could be a collage of favorites that resembles one large story.
I am grately appreciative of this blog because it allows me to explore my creative side and journal our life in (what I hope feels like) a very natural way. I don’t always blog about all of the guck that happens in our day-to-day (that would sure make it feel a bit more real) but I do really enjoy capturing the happy and creative moments because in many ways this is my gratitude journal. My opportunity to reflect back on what makes our lives special, what makes our family unique, what makes us smile and laugh and sometimes pound our heads against the wall.
To sum it up? What inspires this blog… everything :). And I wouldn’t have it any other way.