I officially started my first blog on October 31, 2010. Sometimes I am not sure when to say Happy Anniversary or Happy Birthday. But, I feel that this was absolutely a “birth” of some kind. In fact, I always felt that my blogs were like babies. You give them so much attention and your time. 🙂 Anyway, I had never sought out to do a blog. I grew into it and learned as I went. It has really been an interesting and exciting time of my life. So, happy 7 years of blogging to me…Happy Birthday!
Where it all began
It started with a Joomla site that we (I say we, but it really was my husband who has always been behind the scenes. He is the computer wizard!) created called Dis411.com. We don’t have that up on the web anymore because it was too difficult to manage and it took up a lot of space. We then created a WordPress site called Dis411.net and that is still going strong. Wow! It took some time getting used to WordPress after Joomla, but I really like WordPress more! It is so much easier.
We had annual passes to Walt Disney World Resort and vacationed about 6 times a year in the Orlando area. So, we thought why not do a blog about Disney?! The intent of Dis411 was to mostly write about Disney theme park related topics. As time went on, it kind of naturally turned into more of a Disney Channel and Disney XD celebrity blog. My son was at the age of watching those channels, and we watched along with him, so it seemed like a perfect fit to talk about the shows and the stars of them.
Blogging takes a lot of time
This type of blogging is very time sensitive. You have to get news out quick to get noticed. So, I was writing about 13-15 articles a day and doing all of the social media. Although they were not long articles, the research on social media took a great deal of time, and I found that I was working about 8 hours a day (or more!) on it. Besides the celebrities, I was writing about the Disney shows, movies, games, theme parks and music. It got very hectic! At one point I was getting over 700,000 page views a day and making good money on ad revenue. As of recent years, the ad money for celebrity sites decreased greatly. I found that I was spending way too much effort and not getting as much in return. And, as my son has gotten older, and he doesn’t watch those channels anymore, I felt a need to scale back and try a new site that was a little more well-rounded and focused on family travel. This is where my Blogging Mom site comes in!
Blogging Mom is a totally different way of blogging compared to Dis411, and it has been fun learning the ins and outs of it. I loved getting social media attention from the celebrities themselves from Dis411, but I have found that it is also so nice communicating with other moms out there talking about their life, kids, traveling, etc. I like the fact that the mom bloggers share each others posts and help each other out. It is so refreshing.
If you have never blogged before, then you are not aware the amount of time it takes to research for an article, write it, take photos, get your post out there on your social media accounts and then do it over and over again the next day. For me, I don’t take a day off. I will say though, that I have cut back on how much time I spend compared to what I used to. But, my blogs are always on my mind, and I am always looking ahead to what I can do next! I have found ways to make sure I am not wasting time (this pertains to social media – I tended to stray from what I was focusing on), and that has helped me tremendously.
So many great things have come about because of my blogging. We had the chance to travel out to the 2013 D23 Expo in California to interview the Disney stars. I really stepped out of my comfort zone for that! I am just not comfortable interviewing people, but am so proud of myself for doing it! You can see my interview with Olivia Holt here, if you like. While there we visited Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. My family and I have been able to travel to other destinations. We have had the opportunity to enjoy multiple visits to Walt Disney World Resort, LEGOLAND Florida, Busch Gardens, SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Orlando Resort and more.
When I started 7 years ago, my son was 12 years old (the photo above was taken in November 2010). I was able to be a stay-at-home mom, homeschool him and blog at the same time. This has really just bonded us together. We are a very close-knit family and love spending time together and having fun!!! I have really loved being able to work from home and be with my family all the time! 🙂
So much has happened in 7 years
One major thing that has happened during this past 7 years is that my husband became really sick (you can read about my husband’s health here). It has been really hard to see him feeling poorly. We just make the most of everyday, and he is always making sure we are happy and doing fun things together. My son Clayton III, who is now 19 years old, started writing for our Dis411 site, and you may see him doing some articles on Blogging Mom as well. He enjoys writing, and he is a really big help with videos. I am not good at taking video, my thing is taking pictures! 🙂 I am so glad that he enjoys it. It is definitely a great thing to share with him.
7 year itch?
They say that you get a 7 year itch in marriage – I never did! My husband and I have been married for over 24 years now, and I have loved every minute of it. But, this is not the case with my blogging journey. There have been times when I have felt like stopping. I’ve had many discussions with my husband about what I should do. He has always been there to listen, and ultimately has said that it is my decision. So, here I am – still blogging! 🙂 Sometimes you just need to step back and evaluate the situation. Maybe even change things up and get a fresh perspective.
How long will I continue blogging?
I have always said that as long as I am enjoying blogging, I will continue to do it. Life is way too short to do something that you don’t like doing. It also has to do with if it is benefiting us as a family. My journey has been so enjoyable and has fit in with our lifestyle. I have grown as a person, a wife and a mom. I have made some really wonderful memories along the way too! Thanks so much for reading, commenting and being so kind about both of my sites! I really appreciate you!! 🙂