My 15-year “blogiversary” came and went last month without much fanfare. I had planned to take the obligatory balloon pictures and make a big deal of it, but life got busy, and time got away from me. Now that a few weeks have passed, it seems a little anticlimactic to do something like that, but I wanted to at least document it with a post.
I started this blog on March 25, 2006, with absolutely no expectations whatsoever. I was at home all day every day with three small kids, we had just moved to a new area, and a blog seemed like a fun project for a time.
I had never kept a diary for more than a few weeks, and I was known for trying new hobbies and losing interest after a while, so I had no illusions that I would stick with a blog for any length of time. And yet, here we are! Let’s just say, no one is more surprised than I am.
I started the blog mainly to keep friends and family from afar apprised of our family happenings, but what I found was a community of moms sharing their stories.
Back then, a blog was more of an online journal, and most people who read blogs were other bloggers. The average person didn’t even know what a blog was, so it for a time, the blogosphere was this cool geeky subculture. But eventually, as more and more people discovered this space, and bloggers got too busy to read other blogs, there became a distinction between creators and consumers.
Brands quickly began to notice the influence we had, and they wanted to get in on the action. We were offered free samples in exchange for a review, or money to place an obscure link into our content. Some of us were invited on press trips or included in media events, and conferences were formed to educate and connect brands and bloggers.
Some blogs stayed true to their story-telling roots, but over time, many became a source of information. (The ones who did it best combined the two.) Recipes, product reviews, craft ideas, budgeting advice, and fashion tips were all common topics. Many hired contributors and turned their blogs into digital lifestyle magazines.
It was the Wild, Wild West there for a time, as there were no guidelines besides outdated journalistic standards that didn’t always make sense applied to the digital space. Sometimes things got contentious, and it was definitely messy at times, but it was cool to be a part of the evolution of blogging and social media.
A lot of the women who were big into blogging during those early years have let it go, as their lives got busy and they got involved in other things, but others of us adapted as the space evolved and were able to make a business out of it. And of course, that isn’t limited to blogs. Many are making a living in this digital space without a blog at all.
YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok were all born after I started blogging, and many influencers have found a voice on those platforms. Some even say that blogs are dead… to which I always laugh hilariously. My blog is far from dead, as you well know! Although I use Facebook and Instagram to a degree, this blog is my bread and butter, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
This blog has allowed me to visit places like Costa Rica and Turks & Caicos; I’ve been to the headquarters of Bosch, Chick-Fil-A, T.J.Maxx, and Target; I’ve spoken at numerous conferences and met celebrities like Giada De Laurentiis, Kristin Davis, and Jeff Probst.
It really is mind-boggling to think about all the opportunities I’ve had because of that random decision to start a blog back in 2006.
I started out writing about our family life, and as time went on, I joined the ranks of those sharing recipes and product reviews, and eventually my personal style. I even did the thing where I hired contributors to write about other topics. Let’s just say, I threw a lot of mud at the wall over the years, but eventually I could see that the only way to stay relevant in this space was to choose a niche.
At the time, fashion made the most sense — not because I was especially good at it, but because there weren’t a lot of women my age doing it. I decided to ditch Musings of a Housewife, which had been my online brand since 2006, and write under my own name. That was 2015, and I haven’t looked back.
I’ll never forget my first fashion blogging conference (rStheCon) in the Spring of 2016 — soon after I had decided to make fashion my primary focus. That was when things really started moving towards what this blog is today. Isn’t it funny how everything has gotten bigger and better over the years? Even our photo sizes… ha!
While the exciting events and opportunities have slowed down over the past few years, I feel like I finally know what I want to be when I grow up. I have no idea what the future holds, and with how fast this space changes, it really is anybody’s guess, but I feel like there will be a place for this blog in my life for a very long time.
The one thing I do know is this, the only way I can continue doing what I do is because of YOU, so thank you so very much for being here! Here’s to another 15 years!🥂
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