Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Why I Am Thankful to Be A Blogger

I encourage my children each November to create some form of a "thankfulness" craft project.  It might be a table centerpiece tree that they clip paper leaves onto - each one inscribed with something they are thankful for that year.  Last year, it was a paper turkey project that encouraged them to add a "thankfulness feather" each day during the month leading up to Thanksgiving.  So many young people seem to have an all about me mindset these days.  What they have often doesn't seem to be enough.  For me, I have had a saying for many years that I use when my children are whining about not getting a certain toy they desire or when they overly complain about something they dislike in their lives.  I utter the phrase Attitude of Gratitude to them on a regular basis.  Reminding them of all of the things that we DO have to be grateful for is important to me.

Today I am embracing that same concept and want to share with you from my heart just what blogging here on Joyously Domestic means to me.  I'd like to share a little of my backstory about joining the blogging world.  And, more importantly, I'd like my readers to know just how grateful I am to them for joining me on this amazing journey that I started a year and a half ago.

The History Behind Starting Joyously Domestic

I jumped feet-first into blogging.  I did very little research on what it meant and what it took to be a blogger.  I joined Pinterest a couple of summers ago and had never really visited many recipe or food blogs up until that point.  Seeing all of these bloggers share their amazing recipes on Pinterest got me thinking that I should look into blogging.  The last of our five children was getting ready to start kindergarten and I had not worked outside of the home in many, many years.  I figured that blogging would be a perfect way for me to fill my days while the children were at school ... all while being able to bring some extra income into our home.  I have always been incredibly passionate about food and have spent my adult life "loving" those I love through cooking.

I didn't know how to write a post.  I didn't have a clue how to market a blog.  I didn't think out a concept, theme or logo.  (I did have a tiny bit of knowledge about building and running a website from my work for my husband's business years ago.)  I had family recipes galore that I knew I could share.  So, off I went and started Joyously Domestic.  Just like that - I had a blog!  I learned as I went along - and I'm still learning (and growing) each day.

A few recipe posts turned into ten, then twenty.  I hounded invited friends and family to visit the site and follow along with me.  My photos were horrendous.  My directions for recipes were often not precise and clear.  But, I persevered.  My hubby and kids quickly learned that they'd often be eating lukewarm food since I had to stop and take photos (a lot of them) before they could dig into dinner.  My kids became my back-drop holders and lighting technicians.  I kind of think they all laughed off this blogging thing at first and thought it was a phase that would quickly pass.

But, here we are seventeen months later.  I will be honest and say that there have been times when no one seemed to be responding to what I was sharing.  No one was commenting or "liking" my posts on Facebook.  I would click "publish" on a post that I'd spent hours on and no one would read it.  In the beginning, I was thrilled if twenty people visited my blog in a twenty-four period.  Today, I have thousands that visit daily.

Yes, blogging is a lot of work.  But, it's a dream job to me.  I get to be home when one of my children is home from school sick and all through the summer while they are on break.  I can work on the blog from any location from my laptop or phone.  And, I get to build relationships with so many through the "community" that has been created because of Joyously Domestic.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I would like to take a moment to share with you how grateful I am for YOU!

Bloggers are nothing without their readers and followers.  Plain and simple.  YOU all are the reason we write and share.  Hearing your feedback - the good, the bad and yes, sometimes the ugly - pushes us to be better cooks, writers and bloggers.  I have learned so much from you ... suggestions, ideas and input that make me strive to work harder for this blog.  You've made me a better person.  You've made me see so much good in people - often people who are complete strangers have brought such joy and encouragement to my own life.

I will be perfectly honest here and say that there are times I've thought about throwing in the towel.  I get discouraged at times.  I compare my blog to more-successful blogs.  I see their Facebook numbers.  I see their growth.  It's challenging not to become envious of their success.  I see their amazing photography.  I know my photos are not cookbook quality.  I'm still shooting with a ten-year old, basic digital camera.  (The purchase of my dream camera just hasn't been in the budget yet for me.)  But, I try to capture the food I make as best I can and present it the best I can.  I see other bloggers get cookbook deals or huge, lucrative sponsorships.  But, I enjoy what I am doing and know that building a blog takes time and lots of work.  So, I thank you for believing in JD enough to visit, share, comment and support.

Thank you for visiting my sponsors and advertisers.  Revenue helps pay for running the blog, buying the groceries for these many recipes and allows me to pick up a cute dish here and there that I think will look good in the photos.

On days when I am discouraged or feeling uninspired to blog, your comments, emails and messages often lift my spirits and really encourage me.  For that, I am ever so grateful.

I'd like to say thank you to some fellow bloggers ... folks with whom I've had the privilege to exchange ideas and learn from.  There are a handful who, have truly inspired me to be a better blogger.  A special thanks to Lori at Foxes Love Lemons ... that girl has provided tons of encouragement to me and regularly stops by to comment on the blog and on Facebook.  Love her and her site!  And, to some of the Facebook recipe sharing sites - MB Things I Know, Incredible Recipes, Appealing Meals with Amy, Riches to Rags by Dori and Recipes, Decorating Ideas and Crafts - I cannot say thank you enough to them for sharing my posts and encouraging their followers to become new friends here on JD.

I am blessed to blog.  I am blessed to have met such wonderful people through blogging.  Know that I appreciate each and every one of you - whether you've been with me from way back or this is your very first time visiting.  I love to read your comments - here and on other social media sites - and I love that you share my posts with others.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Wishing you and yours a beautiful and happy Thanksgiving.  I really and truly do have an Attitude of Gratitude because you are a part of Joyously Domestic!

~ Angela

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1 comment :

  1. I'm thankful that we're both bloggers. You are absolutely right - it's not always easy. I honestly don't think there's any way to describe HOW MUCH work goes into it, much of which can't really be "seen" by anyone else, and there's very little to show for it at the end. But, all in all, it's one of the most fun and rewarding things I've ever done, and I couldn't give it up now!