One year ago today I sat down with my laptop and a cup of coffee and started a blog. I titled it Turn Around and Swim. I came up with the name when earlier that week I bought a journal. As part of my New Year’s resolutions for 2012 I was going to write an entry each week. I wanted a way to keep track of my life story; The chaotic fun in raising three boys and finding a balance between working mom and business owner all while being all in for my kids, family and friend’s adventures.
But writing would only give me finger cramps and my chicken scratch would not be legible in my senior years. Further, who would hold me accountable?
Until one day when I was in the shower, my kids were banging on the glass doors for me to hurry, and then it all came to me. I am sure it was an emergency because one was about to die because he needed chocolate milk, one was about to blow up the joint and the other accidentally wrote on the walls with a Sharpie. I couldn’t see because of the lavender and chamomile shower gel that was oozing from my eyes and when I opened my mouth to patiently converse to them
yell out to go play, I swallowed a giant gulp of water. I started choking and I mean like really choking.
All I could think about is how I was going to go down as the girl who drowned in a shower smelling of lavender and chamomile while her three little boys burnt down the house. That is when I knew I had to either drown or turn around and swim. So here we are 365 days later. This past year I have written and published 71 posts. I have 100+ blog followers and a quarter of that in email followers.
Some of you followed me by way of this blogosphere, some of you realized I was Swimgirl on Facebook, some were coerced by me or your co-workers and some of you did a Google search and accidentally landed here. Many of you questioned why I would put myself out there like this. Some of you didn’t understand. Yet, others loved my blog instantly. I have found that my most loved by you posts include my original photographs, when I keep it real and make you laugh.
I have been nominated for two blog awards and I thank Multifarious Meanderings for nominating me for both. She is always there to comment on my posts and offer insight with her witty gestures and humor.
I began following a lot of travel and photography blogs but soon got sidetracked by any blog with caffeine in it. What’s not to love about a blog with coffee in its name? I have never been Freshly Pressed and one day I may be granted this honorary mention, but until then, we celebrate.
We celebrate one year of blogging. I would make you all cupcakes but I am sure we are over all that by now. Yet, thank you to all those who voted for my little cupcake at www.celebrations.com as well. Even though I didn’t win over there, I am WINNING here because of all of you. I celebrate with you, all my loyal followers and virtual buddies. I thank you for following me, liking my posts and commenting.
So with one year anniversary celebrations, it does not go without mention, what I learned from blogging:
1) Get to know you readers. They may not like, comment or read every post but know what keeps them following you.
2) Be involved. Visit other blogs. Engage. Share. Like.
3) Treat other bloggers the way you would want to be treated. This applies on and off the blog turf. If you wouldn’t want anyone bashing your blog or post, don’t do it to others. If you want people to engage and comment, then do the same for them.
4) Just because you don’t get a gazillion followers or a million likes per post does not mean your blog is a nothing. Keep writing, keep sharing and your story will unfold. You will attract readers. Never give up. Persistency is the key.
5) Have a good About Page because people will want to know a little bit about the blog’s creator(s) and overall theme before they join in and follow you. They might like a post but not your overall blog content. Your self-disclosure is just laying the truth about your blog out there to the readers. Honesty is “typically” the best policy.
6) Many of you probably think I am a blond girl who loves to swim. I have brown hair and I am not that great of a swimmer. (I mean remember, I did almost drown in a shower). So, I think for this coming year I will include a few self-portraits of the Gravatar in front of the real person you are getting to know here. Stay tuned.
7) Visit the Freshly Pressed posts often because you can really find some awesome blogs you normally would not have ventured to read. Perhaps some day, I too will be featured on that page with all of you wonderful and creative writers.
8) Check out your Stats. You will get a good laugh as to how people find your blog via search terms. These were the top five ways people found TAS via Web searches:
a. Giant Weeble Wobble
b. Zen Moments
c. How To Swim to Atlantic Ocean
d. Suzy Fashit
e. Swimgirl Throwing Things
Now that should give you some serious insight as to what this blog is all about. Thank goodness for Google, right?
9) Have consistent content but don’t be afraid to change it up every now and then. Sometimes I am afraid to have a potty mouth or show that parenting can be similar to being in the vortex of a F-5 Tornado. Sounds pretty basic huh? It’s all in good humor!
10) This is my blog first and foremost. It is my story. I write it as it happens and unfolds. I’m keeping it real so if you get nervous sometimes than strap on your life-preserver.
Thank you, for a wonderful year! I am delighted you are all following me and if you just joined us then what in the world are you waiting for? I mean if you want to figure out How to Swim to the Atlantic Ocean with Suzy Fashit while a Swimgirl is Throwing Things at you while you bob and weave like a Giant Weeble Wobble to get to your Zen Moment, then you are in the right place. Click the follow button and come for a swim. Oh and just remember…
Much love, humor and sometimes chaotic bull$hit,