One year ago IfItBringsYouJoy.com started bringing me joy. Even with a few minor trials and tribulations, overall my first year of blogging has been a joyful journey. (With a name like “If It Brings You Joy,” it better bring joy!)
I remember obsessively trying to come up with a good domain name that was not already taken. I had fun brainstorming and when If It Brings You Joy popped into my head, I just knew it was right. I even remember where I was when the name came to me. I was driving near our home and at the stop light I did a quick search to see if the domain was available.
Up to that point I’d run ideas past friends, but If It Brings You Joy felt so perfect that I purchased the domain immediately. I liked the name because it’s conducive to a variety of topics, and I figured writing about things that brings me joy….would bring me joy!
My initial motivator to start a blog was that I wanted a fun, new challenge. My husband and I had been empty nesters for a several years, and I now had time to focus on a “me” project. (Very different from my child-rearing years when I would have given my front teeth to have a few hours to myself!)
After mulling around various ideas for this “me” project, a blog seemed low-risk and relatively easy to get started. I had plenty of writing experience along with internet marketing, social media and blog management experience from previous work job with an online retailer. Starting a blog turned out to be a great decision!
On Your Mark, Get Set, GO!
Setting up the blog was easy. I had just enough of a technical background to get the basics setup.
Just to get a few posts published, I grabbed a few posts I had written a few years back for a little blog I experimented with. You can read the first post, Trash to Treasure which started with just my one DIY project, but I recently improved it with 17 additional DIY project ideas. My first new post was The Joys of Walking. It was short and sweet, and helped my readers get to know me a little.
Then the reality of putting myself out there kicked in. Being an introvert, I’m generally not overly outspoken – unless it’s something I’m passionate about. I initially worried that since I’m still working on my own personal growth, I might not be expert enough to inspire others. And there were already so many amazing bloggers out there! My aha moment that motivated me to take a leap of faith is when I heard someone say the following:
A person who has all the answers and seems to have their life together, but who does not want to share their knowledge, does not help others. But an imperfect person who is willing to share what they know can help others, so why not you?
(Sorry, I have no idea who to credit for their inspirational words.)
And with that inspiration, I decided I was done waiting for the right time or waiting for perfection in my life. I got started and here I am one year later!
The Joy Is In The Journey
Different bloggers get different things from their blog. Some say they made $10K in their first month. Let’s just say, I still have my day job. If immediate financial profit was my goal, I would have quit long ago.
However, I’ve received more personal joy from blogging than I ever could have imagined. One of the best things about blogging is it gives me motivation to keep learning and trying new things. My intent is to share my learnings as I continue my own journey of personal growth.
Blogging is really a self-care activity because I’m doing what I love and it’s fun! Hours fly by and I don’t even realize it while I’m blogging away. My husband is supportive, yet also appropriately gives me the “time is up-let’s go have fun” prompt when needed.
Speaking of family, I want to also take this opportunity to thank my daughter for writing an occasional guest post (read her posts here), my mom for proof reading, and my son for sharing his photos and experiences of traveling abroad so I can share my “as written by mom” series (my favorite of his New Zealand travels). Many friends have cheered me on with kind words and suggestions, and I’m most appreciative for each and every one of you. Oh yes, my dogs! They are my blogging assistants:
Via various blogging groups, I’ve found some really great fellow bloggers. We collaborate in various ways and help each other learn and succeed. If I have a question, there’s always someone there to offer help. I hope to attend a blogging conference this year and maybe meet a few of them in person.
As I roll into year two, I’d really appreciate it if you would leave a comment telling me what topics you most enjoy, and feel free to give me new suggestions.
As I continue on, my hope is that my words be just what someone needed to hear that day, and that I might inspire someone to make a positive change. Always remember, the joy is in the journey.