Yes, indeed, it has really been two years of me pushing the publish button. I know it feels like just yesterday we were high-fiving and butt-bumping about my one-year blog anniversary and yet here we are again. Here’s a little review of the past year.
What have I learned?
- Posting everyday doesn’t work for me: For a while, I was trying to have a post (or blog update) go out every day or at least 6 times a week but I determined that is way too much. Writing takes time and then you have to edit. And then, I like to sleep on it and edit again. Taking photographs, then editing and optimizing the photos, then adding the photos to the posts – it all takes a lot of time.
- I love to get out! I love attending events, conferences, and meetings that allow me to meet real people. Not that readers or bloggers aren’t real, just that I completely need to get out from behind my computer screen and be social in person or IRL – In Real Life – it’s the best. Speaking about frugal living and home swapping has also helped me get out from behind my computer, too.
- Don’t believe me: Whenever I say, “Okay, I’m getting on my computer for just a few minutes,” my family knows the truth and it’s never just a few minutes. I try hard not to become “Internet Girl” but I’m easily distracted by things on the web. Nothing is easy or takes “just a few minutes” like I always think it will. Only our commitment to Technology Free Sundays and the wi-fi being turned off on Sundays, helps me to stay away from my computer. I like to have the forced day off from technology and it helps me be present with my family – and not to be distracted.
- Pinterest is not a fad: Pinterest is here to stay. I remember my sister telling me about it and how I needed to open an account but I was dragging my feet because I didn’t need one more social media channel to keep track of. Pinterest sends me a lot of traffic so I finally wised up (and sucked it up – what’s one more social media channel? Plus it’s so fun and pretty!) and you can find me on Pinterest as Go Gingham.
- I call Photoshop! I really enjoy taking pictures and no, I do not have a fancy camera. I do get up really close to what I’m shooting and use a little tri-pod. Keeping the camera still makes a huge difference for me when taking pictures. Taking my pictures outside on a cloudy day and inside on a sunny are also little tricks I’ve learned. My early posts have pictures that I’d really like to retake but I have to let go.
What will this year bring?
- Updates from you: Please keep the comments coming – or leave your fist comment today – it’s easy! Keep stopping me at the grocery store, library, social gatherings or various conferences to tell me what you’re doing to simplify and live frugally. Tell me about that DIY project you’re tackling, or maybe how you’re still driving the same car or my all time favorite – having your kids do more chores! Apologies to my nephew who told me over the phone, “Thanks a LOT, Aunt Sara.” His mom, my sister-in-law, had evidently gotten some kid chore related ideas from Go Gingham! I love it!
- Fewer updates or posts per week: Even though I have no shortage of material (trust me!), I only want to fill this website and your email boxes with quality material and posts. I don’t want to “blog” everyday just to have something go out for the sake of “blogging every day.” Everyone has a limited amount of time to sit in front of a screen and I want to respect yours.
- Secret stuff: I don’t want to share too much here but I’ve got some exciting things in the “maybe” category or “this is a possibility” but don’t want to jinx myself or count my chicks before they’re hatched. I’ll keep you posted on these!
- Monetizing?!?: The elusive “make money from your blog” goal (yes, bloggers everywhere are smiling and nodding in agreement here) is another objective for this year but one that I struggle with. Every day my email box has several offers of a give away for my readers, a coupon every reader will want to have or a company wants me to review their product (it’s the best!). Yes, I could pimp my site out and pocket some quick cash but that’s not who I am or how I want my site to be.
Along with this “monetizing” theme, here are two additions I’m adding to Go Gingham:
PayPal donation: If you’re inspired to give me a tip (it’s equivalent to a cup of coffee!), you can do so here.
Amazon shopping link: If you’re already are an online shopper, you can use this button to get to Amazon to do your shopping. It costs you nothing but gives me a few pennies for purchases made.
Both of these buttons are also on the home page as well. Thank you in advance for using them.
Lastly, and not at all least, a big fat virtual hug and thank you, dear readers, for reading what I publish here. I love how there is such a positive exchange of ideas around frugal living and how it can be done simply and with style.
Thank you, thank you, and thank you!
If you’re reading this in your reader or email, please click over to see the mini-makeover I’ve given my site. It was getting to be too busy and there was too much gingham – I know what you’re probably thinking – did she really say too much gingham? Yes, there was too much busy-ness with gingham!
Here’s the before…..
Here’s the after….
I know just enough about WordPress and website “stuff” to make these changes myself but am always afraid of messing things up. If you want to experiment with making changes to blog or website, change your own CSS, HTML, or PHP, have your hosting company help you set up a practice site. Having a practice site is free and gives me such a big piece of mind because I can practice over there and make mistakes and it’s not on my live site.
What do you think of the mini-makeover?
Go Gingham related links:
Meet Internet Girl – she’s fun and likes shiny objects
Our weekly ritual – Technology Free Sundays
BlogHer in my backyard – a fun blogger event I hosted
BlogHer food and too much fun
Create your own website (or blog!) Go Gingham style
The launch of my professional site is here and my speaking schedule is here
Free tools for your blog or website – really, free!