What does it mean to be in the Bloglight?
Once a week, the Hometalk spokesperson, Miriam, picks a blogger from the Hometalk community to be featured and I’m feeling pretty honored that this week she chose me!
If you enjoy home decorating, home improvement, and gardening as much as I do, then you’ll love Hometalk. It’s an online community of bloggers and non-bloggers alike that share ideas and submit questions about everything related to home.
If you’re new here, welcome! If you’re a regular, then today’s the day you’ll learn a little about my blogging journey so far.
How did you first get into blogging?
If you would have told me a year and a half ago that I would have my own blog, I would have asked if you were joking. The thought crossed my mind several times over the past 5 years but I didn’t know where to start or how to find the time.
I’m a respiratory therapist by trade, which I love, but I also have a very right-brained/creative side that my full-time job doesn’t let me use very often. The best way I’ve found to express my creativity has been through DIY projects and decorating. I also enjoy helping and teaching people.
I knew that starting a blog would be the perfect way to share my passion for DIY and hopefully help others who are looking for inspiration or have questions about home improvement. I’m not an expert, but I consider myself a “research girl”. If I don’t know an answer, I’ll Google it for you in a heartbeat.
Six months before I started Simplicity in the South, I began researching how to start a blog, taking notes about what I loved most about the blogs I followed and made a Pinterest board on blogging tips and time management. I’m still working on the time management.
One day (8-12-12 to be exact), I told myself, heck, I’ll take my chances, give blogging an honest try and it has been a bumpy but rewarding journey so far.
How did you decide on the name of your blog?
Deciding on a name began as a process of elimination. All the names I had originally picked out were taken. But after settling with Simplicity in the South, it hit me a couple days later that it actually had a more personal connection than I realized.
I’ve lived in several states and have always come back to my roots in South Carolina. The “simplicity” part reminded me of a book I’ve kept on my coffee table that gives tips on how to simplify your life and home called The Simplicity Reader by Elaine St. James. The main focus of my blog is finding ways to take your existing home and making it work for you and your family so you will learn to love where you live. That, in itself, simplifies life. But it also applies to how I view life in general…keep. it. simple.
Is blogging something you do on the side, or is it a full-time job for you?
I wish it was my full-time job! It’s definitely my side gig, but my full-time job and family have to take priority. I usually post once a week unless I have something to share that doesn’t require doing a tutorial, photo taking, and editing. If you don’t hear from me once in a while, it’s probably because I’m knee-deep in a DIY project, like the board and batten hallway project I just finished up this March.
What was the first project you ever posted?
My first post was How to Make a Faux Easy Mercury Glass Pendant Light. Even though I knew no one other than my mother would see my post, I think I felt heart palpations when I hit “publish”. I still have no idea why I was so nervous.
How has keeping a blog changed you?
I’ve never been more motivated to get stuff done than now. I feel a greater sense of accountability to finish a project instead of letting it linger on for months at a time. Having a blog also helps me think outside of the box. Before, I could just take a project idea from Pinterest or Hometalk and copy it exactly. Now, when I find inspiration I have to put my own spin on it like when I made my Christmas tree ornament wreath.
What is your most popular project on Hometalk to-date?
Despite having blurry pictures, poor lighting and photo editing that made the room look worse, I’m surprised by how well my laundry room reveal continues to do on Hometalk. It’s had over 32,000 pageviews and 6,000 shares! I published that post three weeks into blogging and Hometalk really helped kick off my first couple of months.
I recently went back and took new photos because one of the photos will be published in the Storage Solutions magazine this year!!! Crazy…I know.
What advice could you give to other bloggers that you wish you had known before you started blogging?
No doubt, I wish I’d known how time consuming it is. Sometimes I wish I could just upload some pictures and say, “Tah-Dah! Just shoot me an email if you’ve got a question!” There is so much more that goes on behind the scenes.
If it weren’t for God, my family and coffee, I would have thrown in the towel the first six months.
It’s also been very rewarding. The connections you make with your readers are absolutely the best part. Opening an sweet email or reading a kind comment is like opening a Christmas present.
I feel blessed with all the friendships and support I’ve had from the blogging community along the way. I actually get to meet some of my fellow bloggers this August at the Haven Conference. So exciting! I imagine there will be quite a few hugs and squeals. If you see a girl with a perma-smile on her face, that’ll be me.
My best advice for anyone who’s thinking about starting a blog is to read blogger stories from those who’ve been doing it awhile, such as Beckie’s from Infarrantly Creative, Donna’s from Funky Junk Interiors, and Roeshel’s from DIY Showoff. These ladies are so inspiring, not only with the awesome projects they come up with, but also with how far they’ve come since they started blogging.
Thanks, Miriam, for asking me to share my blogging experience with my readers and fellow Hometalkers!
You can find me on Hometalk here.
And to read the only other time I’ve really done a post just about my personal life, click here.