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 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.
I am not a bit surprised you were interviewed! Congratulations! Your home and heart are both beautiful!
Erin@Managing the Manor says
What a great feature! Congratulations on all your success! I see your rooms all over Pinterest and Hometalk, and I get excited, thinking, “She an SC gal!” And I’d love to meet up with you and some other local bloggers soon, since I missed the last brunch.
Thanks, Erin! I hate that you didn’t get to come to go the other weekend. I was looking forward to meeting you! Yes, we’ll have to make some plans soon to meet for lunch.
Tricia, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. I’ve been reading the comments – clearly everyone loves your blog and projects as much as I did. 🙂 You’re awesome!
You’re welcome, Miriam! I’m glad you asked!
Congratulations on your Hometalk feature! This is my first visit here and it won’t be the last. I love your style and look forward to looking at your older posts. I’ll be at Haven and I look forward to meeting you!
Thanks, Paula! Looking forward to meeting you, too!
Jane @ Cottage at the Crossroads says
Congrats on being in the Bloglight! I’m from SC, too, and I grew up in the upstate. Love your blog, and I look forward to meeting you at Haven this summer.
Hey Jane! I remember reading your husband’s post on the Southern Blogger’s Conference a while back and being determined I’d go on the next conference that came around. I can’t wait to meet you too! BTW, your topsy turvy planter has gone viral on my Facebook page. 🙂
Jennifer @ Town and Country Living says
Loved reading your story, Tricia. Your blog is well laid out – very eye appealing. And I know what you mean about the time-consuming part!! At least it’s fun though. 🙂 Congrats on being featured at Hometalk!
Thank you, Jennifer! You have a beautiful blog and you always have the prettiest pictures. Thanks for stopping by!
Oh it was so neat to get to learn more about you Tricia and this was a wonderful post!! I loved seeing your projects and hearing more of your back-story. Congrats on the feature! 🙂
Thank you, Vanessa!
Christy @ Our Southern Home says
I am so happy and proud of you, my local blogger friend!!! You are a rock star! Wow, you must be over the moon about the magazine picture and the Hometalk feature! Looking forward to growing our friendship and rooming at Haven. Thanks also so much for your help/advice along the way. Cheers!!! Christy
Carlene@Organized Clutter says
Love your Christmas ball framed tree, laundry room too!
Thanks, Carlene! I’m so glad you like them. Hope you have a wonderful weekend and Mother’s Day!
Funky Junk Interiors says
What a gorgeous home! Every square inch… THANK YOU for blogging! 🙂
And thanks so much for your wonderful mention on my story… so glad it inspired you!
Krista @thehappyhousie says
Yay Tricia!! I am so thrilled for you – you totally deserve the bloglight!! It was awesome to read more of your personal story and journey with blogging – I could connect with so many of the things you were saying. I know that you were one of the first key people who made me feel encouraged about my blog, and I have appreciated that so much! You are so talented and fabulous at what you do in the blogosphere (and elsewhere I am sure) and I think I speak for all or many of your readers when I say that we love and appreciate what you have to show and teach us! Congrats:)
Thanks, Krista! That means so much! I can’t remember how I found your blog, but when I did I knew I found a talented person. It wasn’t too long ago when I was starting out and I remember how much it meant when someone would give me that virtual high-five for one of my projects. 🙂
Christina @ The Frugal Homemaker says
Congrats, Tricia on being in the bloglight. I didn’t know you had only been blogging a year or less. I love your blog and can’t wait to meet you at Haven!
Thanks, Christina! I can’t wait to meet you at Haven, too! Can you believe it’s less than 3 months away? I need to get shopping!
Therese @ Fresh Idea Studio says
Tricia, a big congratulations goes out to you from Florida. Your blog is beautiful and your story even more so. It’s all good, I love it. So happy for you. Thank you for sharing your talent. It’s remarkable.
Cheers to you!
Shannon @Fox Hollow Cottage says
Tricia, I know you are inspiring people everyday to tackle new projects with the great things you share!! I’m so glad you started blogging, you have loads of talent and style and you just can’t keep that to yourself 🙂 It’s amazing watching you just spread your wings. I know you are going to fly high!!
Tammy Killough says
Tricia, Congratulations! Your blog is beautiful….I’m always amazed at the talent that Miriam finds! Your amazing post is an inspiration for all us baby bloggers! Thanks for sharing! ~Tammy
Congratulations! Your blog is beautiful. I totally agree with you about how time consuming it is and I’m actually relieved to hear someone say it because I often think I’m doing something wrong when I could spend a couple hours a day just to manage two or three posts in a week.
Chelsea @ Making Home Base says
I’m so happy to see you in the blog light, Tricia! I’ve loved your blog since I saw your closet office/desk! You are so talented and have a BEAUTIFUL style!
Tricia, your blog is lovely. Congratulations on being in the Spotlight this week. Wow! Blogging a year and already a magazine feature! Congrats again. Enjoyed learning about your blogging journey. laurie
Bonnie and Trish @ Uncommon says
Congrats! Love your style Tricia. Hoping to get to meet you at Haven in August!
Sonya ~At Home with The Barkers says
So glad you are featured on Hometalk, you deserve it! I finally posted there a couple of weeks ago! So happy to have met you at Leslie’s. You were as beautiful in person, even with NO sleep. I’m super excited for Haven and can’t wait to see you again!
Nancy @ Artsy Chicks Rule says
Congrats Tricia!! 🙂 Loved reading more about you and your journey. You have done great at the whole “blogging thing” so far. Congrats also on the Storage Solutions feature!! That’s fantastic. Lots of great things happening for you…and I couldn’t be happier for my sweet bloggy friend! 🙂 Looking forward to seeing you again at Haven!
Thanks so much, Nancy! I’m so glad we’ve become friends. Even if we only get to see each other 2 x a year, I’m glad you’re just an email away when I need someone to talk to about all this blog-related stuff. 🙂 Thanks for being there for me! I can’t believe Haven is less than 3 months away!