Thoughts on Blogging

This summer will mark ten years since I started this creative experiment called a blog.

The time sure passed quickly because it’s hard to believe that I have nearly a decade of blogging under my belt.

That longevity has me thinking more and more about this little corner of the blogosphere that I’ve claimed as my own.

Throughout this post, I’m sharing a few thoughts on blogging.

scrapbook pages

I first started blogging after winning a national scrapbook contest for Memory Makers magazine.

Part of the win included regularly contributing to the magazine’s blog.

While it was fun to post about scrapbooking,  my other interests kept creeping into my entries and I felt a tad guilty about it.

That’s when I decided to start my own blog where I could share all my varied hobbies, guilt-free.

old banner

For the first eight years of personal blogging, I had a busy banner and a simple blogging platform called Typepad.

Back in those early days, there weren’t a ton of blog options out there so, I think it was easier to standout in the small crowd.

Of course, the blogging landscape has drastically evolved over the years and so has the competition for eyeballs.

In addition to connecting with new bloggers every day, I’ve been lucky to have several longtime loyal readers who have followed me from the beginning and all along this blogging journey.

I hope everyone knows how much I appreciate their blogging friendship and support of my creativity over the years.

Anyway, in my effort to spruce things up around here, I finally made the jump to self-hosted WordPress about a year and half ago.

I desperately wanted a cleaner banner and a more streamlined, modern site that was not only polished but also an attractive forum to showcase my photography and creative efforts.

However, switching to WordPress meant that I suddenly went from “renting” the store to “owning” it.

blog screenshot

Owning the so-called store now means that I have a whole new set of considerations to navigate including site security and protection, hosting fees, image optimization, advanced SEO and a ton of other things I never really paid much attention to before.

As many of you already know, there’s a lot of work that goes into maintaining a blog and the technical issues can be overwhelming.  Every day, I’m learning more and more about what I don’t know about site infrastructure.

I recently went through an extensive security and performance site audit that revealed just how many holes, deficiencies and improper configurations I had on my hands.

The audit was quite revealing (in a slightly scary way) but it was also a critically important step in helping me understand how to run this blog efficiently and securely.

Successful blogging is so much more than just posting pretty pictures, isn’t it?

instagram screenshot

I’ve also been evaluating my presence on other social media platforms and rethinking my approach to it.

I’ll be honest, I have a like/hate relationship with Facebook and I’m definitely not as enamored with it as I was years ago.

As for Twitter, I’ve never tweeted before and I’m not sure I ever will. I think I’ll always want more than a 140 characters to express myself.

Now, when it comes to Instagram, that’s a different story for me.  I was a little late jumping on the IG bandwagon… but now that I’m on board, I love it.

It’s such a quick and easy resource for ideas and inspiration from all over the world… and of course I also use it to promote my blog and latest creative endeavors.

You can follow me on Instagram HERE.

business cards

Speaking of promotion, here’s a fun twist on the traditional blog business card.

Instead of handing out cards, lately I’ve been sharing these wood, logo-embossed Promotional USB Drives to advertise my site.

How cool, are these?

Regular readers know about my affinity for natural textures and these drives appeal to the wood lover in me.

USB Memory Direct  contacted me to see if I’d be willing to try them out.

There are a ton of styles and colors to choose from to suit every personality.

When I give them to people, they love that it includes my blog name on one side and my tag line, Create a Home & Life You Love on the other.

It’s also the kind of giveaway that most folks will hang on to and not toss and that means every time they use it, they’ll be reminded about my blog.

blog goals

As I look ahead to the next decade of blogging (yes, I’m going to keep going), I do have a few goals in mind right off the top of my head.

  1. Continue to post content that makes me smile (and hopefully you too).
  2. Devote more time to understanding the technical and business side of running this blog.
  3. Connect with and promote more fellow bloggers by featuring their work along with my own.
  4. Reach new audiences.
  5.  Inspire creativity… and have fun doing it.

So, do I now have you thinking more about your own blog?

How long have you been blogging and what are your blog goals?

I partnered with USB Memory Direct  for this post.  All opinions about their unique wood, logo-embossed flash drives as well as my thoughts on a decade of blogging are my own.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

See you back here next time. 

  • Cindy

    Lisa, I had no idea that you’ve been blogging for 10 years…wow! Incredible. Underneath your picture you stated that your a firm believer that one can never have too many interests. I’ve been wondering about that myself for several years now. Some times I truly admire those who can focus on 1 or 2 things, but I will never be able to fall into that category! LOL! Congrats! Love your blog:)

  • Julie Cefalu

    Hi Lisa. I’ve been following you for five years, since I started my own blog. You were my first source of inspiration! I’m glad to hear that you’re going to keep blogging. There’s a lot of blogs out there competing for the same audience and you have a beautiful way of sharing your creativity that will keep us all inspired.

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Julie that’s so nice to hear.
      I really appreciate that and so glad to know that you’re a long time reader.
      Happy to inspire.

  • Rebecca

    Where do you find the time? I’ve thought about blogging. I enjoy writing and decorating, particularly “styling” but I don’t think I’m disciplined enough. I’m a little flighty. I can say that about myself. And I’m not a techie either. It just sounds like a lot of work. But I sure do enjoy your posts! Your pictures are wonderful, and your posts are classy. Congrats on ten years!

  • Jeanne

    Congratulations Lisa – I love, love, love your blog…each post that you do, I save after reading to go back to…I’ve also shown the posts to my husband and girls. The photos are always beautiful and the content and text are so thoughtfully done. You show pride in each piece you create. Bravo! Also..love your sister’s comments…so sweet. 🙂

  • Lois

    Congratulations Lisa! I love your blog….I have been blogging for three and a half years but took a little sabbatical in January. Not sure the direction I want to take it….but I want you to know that you inspire me every week! I have made so many of your recipes and your photography has inspired me to take a few classes….Monday mornings have a whole new meaning for me thanks to you!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      I truly appreciate that, Lois.
      So glad to read that you’re taking photography classes. I just finished taking a Lightroom course a few weeks ago and it really opened my eyes.
      My photography still takes a lot of practice for me but at least I no longer take 50 shots just to get 1 good one-lol.
      Have a great weekend and thanks for your support.

  • Paula

    As your twin sister and a big fan, I can give a little insight into your process to those who may not personally know you, but feel they do through your wonderful photos and ease of ability. You are fearless and talented. I have always thought you were beautiful, but I can remember the day, the hour and the minute I realized you were incredibly smart, too. An embarrassment of riches! Not every blogger has an EMMY on their mantle for excellence in news reporting. Not every blogger’s voice has been ‘sampled’ for a rap song. Not every blogger has bungie-jumped on live television. You have turned a fascinating life, a brilliant eye and creativity beyond measure into something that is fun, lovely, accessible and beautiful to experience. You are dedicated to this blog as if you are paid millions. You blog simply for the love of the craft and to share your true commitment to creativity in all its forms. Congratulations. I look forward to your ‘what’s next’ and take comfort in knowing that with every ounce of talent you possess, at least I can still out-cook you, I have a few more EMMYs and I won’t kill my orchids.
    Paula

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks PT.
      OK, you’re right about the orchids and EMMYS but I officially challenge you to a cook-off because I’m much better in the kitchen than I used to be.
      Thanks for the sweet comment.
      You’re still my favorite twin of all time.

  • Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Congratulations, Lisa! Wow, ten years. I’ve always thought your blog was top-notch. You have been a real inspiration for me. Your photography has inspired me to learn as much as I can and to really look at what I’m shooting with an artistic eye. Now, I’m a late bloomer in all activities — blogging (3 years this month) and social media – I do it but I’m not a huge fan. I do like Instagram. My kids are grown so I don’t take photos of them or the grandkids — I feel as if I’m imposing. Now I’m trying to grow my readership and page views so I can move to sponsors and partnerships. Another challenge right now is that since we travel it is difficult to know what we’ll have at our temporary home. This year is a first for this rental and there are no props to speak of — 🙁 I can’t start buying a lot of props — our car is full now when we travel. But I have some great recipes I plan on sharing soon. I’m happy to be sharing in your anniversary. Have a wonderful day — big hugs!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Marisa, I didn’t realize you’ve only been blogging for 3 short years. Good for you.
      I’m loving your photography course shares on IG. I’m actually learning a lot right along with you.
      Trust me when I say, you’ll never have enough space for all the props you “could’ accumulate-lol.
      Good luck with your blog goals too and thanks for sharing them with all of us.
      Happy day sweet friend.

  • laura

    lisa, congratulations on your 10 year milestone. your blog is always such a treat to come and read. your ideas and pictures are always so inspiring to me. thank you for that.

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks so much, Laura.
      It’s a treat for me to know how much you enjoy your visits here.
      Of course you already know I love your beautiful home and farm and always enjoy your Instagram glimpses.
      Have a wonderful day.

  • Peggy Zortman

    Congratulations on your milestone. You have one of the loveliest blogs around. I am absolutely in awe of the photography you share on your site along with your creativity. So glad you are continuing. Thank you for the inspiration every post provides.

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks so much, Peggy.
      I’m so glad you’re inspired by my work and I appreciate that you took the time to let me know.
      Happy weekend to you.

  • Botanic Bleu

    Lisa,
    Congratulations on ten years of creative blogging about creativity. My heart skipped a beat when I saw your post title on my sidebar, and I held my breath until I read your post reaffirming your plans to continue. Your goals almost mirror my own blogging goals. You didn’t list this as a goal, but your posts reflect it… share beauty… one of the things I strive for with my posts. Another thing I strive for is to make reading my blog worth my readers’ time. As for technology, what a can of worms. I have had a blog technical support person working on my site for the past several weeks, and last night, I began posting under my own domain name. This past year two blogging friends and I began the linky party Monday Social which helps promote others’ blogs and features their work.

    2017 will hold more challenges and changes. I look forward to continue reading Celebrate Creativity to see what you have in store for us.

    Judith

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      You’re so sweet, Judith.
      Yes, that tech can be thorny. Congrats on using your own own domain name.
      Great goals too.
      I’m also looking forward to more of your Social Monday features.
      Happy day.

  • [email protected] Designs

    Congrats on 10 years of bringing such beautiful inspiration to us!…I had no idea that this all started with the Memory Makers…those pages that you did are amazing!
    I can say that you are a person who does it all….yes, you certainly “celebrate creativity” and I so look forward to another 10 years of your beautiful creations. The USB promotional drive sounds very interesting!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks, Shirley.
      Do you remember Memory Makers magazine?
      Thanks so much for all your wonderful support and encouragement.
      You know I appreciate your friendship.

  • Jennifer

    Congratulations! Ten years of blogging is a remarkable achievement. Another blogger I greatly admire is celebrating ten years of blogging on President’s Day. She is Karen at makeupandbeautyblog.com

    I’ve starting my fourth year of blogging. Ideally, I’d like my site to replace my income as a newspaper reporter. I also want a showcase for the work I can do outside of the newspaper for the day that I need to start doing something other than reporting.

    It’s so fascinating to me that you started blogging after winning a scrapbooking contest. I can totally see your talents there.

    Love, love, love the personalized USB drives!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks so much, Jennifer.
      How interesting that you’re a newspaper reporter.
      I think it’s kinda funny that it all started with scrapbooking too. I haven’t done any “scrapping” in years but I think a scrapbooking 101 blog post is in order.
      Good luck with your blogging goals too.

  • Sandra

    Congratulations on your ten year milestone! The personalized wood USB drive is very unique. This August will mark seven years of blogging for me. My constant challenge is increasing my readership. It’s a lot of work but we’ll worth the results.

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Hi Sandra, yes that’s always a challenge (for me too).
      Glad you popped over and good luck with your blog goals.
      Happy day to you!

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