A Glimpse into My First Year of Blogging {1st Blogiversary}

Today, in celebration of my 1st Blogiversary, I want to share with you my first year’s journey in the blogging world, a  few of my ups and downs in blogging, and why I blog. 

Blue Cupcake and Candle

When we moved from California to Texas, a move that allowed me to stop teaching full-time and switch to working part-time, I began reading a few ‘mommy blogs’ occasionally. I couldn’t wait to be able to spend more time during the day with our young boys, and those blogs gave me great ideas of how to spend that time.

One thing I couldn’t get over about the blogs I was reading, was the fact that many of them (who were also former teachers) were sharing all these great lessons plans, printables, kid-activities, etc. online for FREE. As a teacher, I knew the hours that went into those little printable ‘toddler packets’ that I was drawn to. Why in the world would they be doing this? Why would they spend all that time on something for free!?

I asked those very questions to my brother-in-law who has an online business. He sort of chuckled as he informed me that they were NOT doing this for FREE. How were they making money? I didn’t get it, just like many others who look at blogs and think, “These bloggers have too much time on their hands…” :) {Trust me, that is definitely not the case!} Through a few more conversations with him, in which I was completely clueless, I began to think, “I could totally do that!” I began praying about it, reading about blogging, and asking even more questions.

One of the questions I asked was, “Where do I even begin?” I knew I needed to begin somewhere, and I felt that the right place to begin was coming up with a name and tagline. It was out of that question that the name Cheerios and Lattes came about, because those were two things that summed up our lives in multiple ways at that time (and still do today).

I knew I wanted to blog about a variety of things and not lock myself into one niche. I love cooking, I love crafting, I love teaching/playing with my kids, I love baking, but too much of a good thing can sometimes get old. That was my fear, if I chose a tight niche, I would get sick of it and burn out quickly. Therefore, Cheerios and Lattes became a place where I could share little blessings that we encounter everyday. That is what I have loved about blogging this year. It is new everyday!

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The next step came unexpectedly when for my birthday my brother and sister-in-law bought me the domain cheeriosandlattes.com. I had a website! Now what!? I had no idea what to do with it, but I had a site! No backing out now! This was where the journey began…

I launched Cheerios and Lattes on January 23, 2012 by sharing a few of posts with family and friends. It was official, I was blogging. The first few months were a definite challenge as I began to build my readership. Blogging is typically about a niche you are involved in and I sometimes found myself not wanting to share about my blog in conversations because I was nervous it would come across as bragging; but in the same sense, blogging was becoming a big part of my life and at times I felt I had no one who really understood my new adventure. Talking with other bloggers really helped me in this area. I became more confident in who I was, what talents I have, and made a conscious effort to ‘thicken my skin’ and only seek my approval/pats on the back from God.

From the beginning, my approach to blogging was as a business, not a hobby. For me, a hobby is something that I do for fun when I have free time {free time, what’s that!?}. Don’t get be wrong, I enjoy blogging, but I could not justify in my heart how I could spend time away from my boys and husband blogging ‘for fun.’ Blogging just takes up WAY TOO much time for that!

From the start I was future focused, setting goals, making plans, evaluating what was working and what wasn’t working. To say that my photography skills were novice would be generous, so began finding mentor blogs to follow. I began reading their blogs regularly, I listened to what they wrote about after conferences they attended, asked them questions, watched their layouts, their widget choices, their sponsorships, then set my own goals for improving my own site.

Looking back on my first year, it is amazing how far Cheerios and Lattes has come! C&L superseded my first year goals back in May! Luckily, those successes were not due to me. I attribute all of those successes both big and small to God, and thank Him for providing for me such a fun and natural ‘job’ this past year as I just simply shared things we enjoy. He lead me toward blogging as a way to help provide for our family, share all sorts of crazy things with an amazing audience, but even more, He has provided accountability through my readers to be someone who is real, authentic, and purposeful in our home. Blogging has made me an even more INTENTIONAL mom, and for that I am so grateful! I can’t wait to share even more fun and excitement with you in 2013!

I am also extremely thankful for all of my readers! You are such a blessing to me and to our family! As you encourage, challenge, and write to me daily, I can’t begin to thank you enough for sometimes having ‘just the right words at just the right time’!

If you are a mom who is interested in blogging, has questions on how to make money from your blog, or would like to ask me any further questions, please feel free to email me at cheeriosandlattes(at)gmail(dot)com. I would love nothing more than to help you make 2013 an even better year for you and your family!

Thank you again for reading Cheerios and Lattes! If you enjoy what you find here, I would ask that you would consider sharing Cheerios and Lattes with your friends!

Mackenzie {and family}  :)

family pic

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PG
Mackenzie is a follower of Jesus, wife, mama of two toddler boys, teacher at heart, and coffee lover. She was a lower school elementary teacher for over 6 years, with a master's degree in Reading, and is a certificated Reading Specialist. She currently works part-time at a private school allowing her more time at home with her little guys.

Mackenzie has blogged 688 posts here.

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Comments

  1. Congrats on one year! We started blogging just days apart. : ) I have enjoyed your blog this year and look forward to many more great posts!

  2. Congrats!! I’m hoping to grow my blog this year, since I am leaving my job to stay home with my bambino! Thanks for sharing your story!

    Jenna @ rainonatinroof.com

  3. Happy Blogiversary!!! I am so glad to have found you and your blog through this crazy world of blogging!!! I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!!!

  4. Happy Blogiversary! In many ways I felt like I was reading my own story. I went in with the idea of the blog to be a business….delivering useful content to my readers and connecting with them and fellow bloggers yes, but at the end of a day it has to be a business to justify time away from my 1 year old and 2 year old. It’s been the most challenging but rewarding thing (besides mommy and wife) and what a year you’ve had! I have loved reading your sweet style and seeing your projects and watching you grow. I’m excited to see what Year 2 brings for you! My blogiversary is still 5 months away.

  5. Girl, you’ve blogged in one year more than I have in THREE! You amaze me and have encouraged me to be more intentional with my own blog. Congratulations on your first anniversary and thank you for so many great posts!

  6. Congrats on the first year and best of luck in the year to come!

  7. Congratulations on your first year’s success and moving to Texas. It’s a great state! We were so busy posting and baking we totally missed our first anniversary. It is fin, though. Keep up the good work. Love your blog.

  8. Wonderful Mackenzie!!! Happy blogaversary!!! :)) xx {love} m

  9. You’ve done an AMAZING job in one year! Congrats, and happy blogiversary! :)

  10. Congrats on your blogiversary!

  11. Congratulations!! Our site launch in August, so we’re not there yet! Still have much to learn, but we’re enjoying the journey!! God bless the years ahead! sue

  12. Congrats! That is so exciting. Good luck with everything as you move forward!
    Blessings to you:)

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