As of today, I have been blogging for a full decade. 10 years of blogging! Happy Blogging Anniversary to me and you.
On December 18, 2009, I published my very first blog post. It was a riveting post titled Welcome to Simply Rebekah.
The post contained 134 words, no images, and an embarrassing number of typos.
I introduced my blog to the online world, and then finished up the post with…
Simply put, this blog is simply me. Simply Rebekah.
As cringe worthy as that closing line may be, it really does summarize my journey here on Simply Rebekah.
In 10 years of blogging…
I have witnessed other bloggers soar to success, and I’ve seen people completely vanish from the internet.
I have published 583 blog posts and deleted 8 of them. (Although there are a ton more that should also be trashed.)
I have 50 posts started in my drafts that have never seen the light of day, but from what I hear, that number is pretty low compared to other bloggers.
I learned about SEO, GDPR, Gutenburg, email marketing, funnels, disclosure regulations, forming a LLC, photo editing, affiliate marketing, HTML, RPMs, nofollow links, and so much more that has made my head spin.
I observed the rise and fall of Google+ and Vine.
Plus, I am so “old” in the blogging world that I also witnessed the birth of Facebook pages, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat (which I never used for blogging), and most recently TikTok.
There have been awkward and hard conversations with people in my real life over things I’ve published on the blog – for good and bad.
I’ve felt that pull to be more vulnerable for the stranger on the other side of the screen who is desperately looking for someone she can relate to. Yet, I’ve questioned how much is too much to share considering that people in my real life will also have access to those words.
Why is it so much easier to be vulnerable with strangers???
I debated using my kids’ real names, and wondered if a stranger was going to hunt down my children some day. (Creepy stranger, please don’t do that.)
Speaking of my kids, I’ve wondered if I’m damaging them by publishing stories and pictures from their childhoods. I’ve also questioned what it will be like when they are old enough to binge my blog from start to finish. What will they learn? Will it change the way they view their childhood or their mother?
Thoughts on Growth, Success, and a Dying Blog
In my first year of blogging, my blog was viewed 9,451 times. With an average of 25 views a day, I am suspicious that those stats include my own visits. They seem way too high.
I recall ending that year of blogging with 25 email subscribers. My goal for the next year was to double that number. After Crystal Paine, from Money Saving Mom, featured one of my posts, my subscriber number more than doubled within the first month of that year.
That taste of success, and knowing that my words were reaching people beyond my own friends and family, is what propelled me into the next several years of obsessively working on my blog.
I spent years pouring into my little online space without earning a penny, but in 2014 that started to change because of 2 viral posts.
Then a few short weeks later, I experienced a second viral post.
During that time, I wrote my first (and only) eBook and paid to have my site design updated.
Things were good. Really good. But then in 2016 major changes happened with SEO, Pinterest, and other algorithms.
For the non-bloggers reading, a lot of technical issues caused my blog traffic to plummet.
I wasn’t alone.
Bloggers all over the internet were grumbling about lower stats. Plus, with increased access to smart phones, social media, and podcasts, people were consuming online information differently. Blogs were no longer the go-to place for information.
The time I devoted to Simply Rebekah changed. I spent seasons ignoring my blog for my kids, my sanity, and for Gossip Girl.
I fell in love with podcasting and Instagram stories.
I wondered if my blog was dying.
If I am completely honest, the crazy “traffic crash of 2016” still has me a bit rattled. I’ve wondered if I am more responsible for the lower stats than the algorithm changes. What am I doing wrong???
Yet, here I am. My traffic numbers are not what they used to be. My consistency is a laughable, but my income is still thriving.
And this feels like home.
While bloggers all around me are pulling the plug on their online spaces, I can’t imagine saying goodbye. The last 10 years have been an incredible ride, and I’m not ready to get off just yet.
Thank you for 10 amazing years.
Thank you for:
- putting up with my typos
- opening my emails
- following me on social media (Psst! Instagram is my favorite.)
- humoring me when I talk about The Bachelor
- listening to the podcast
- buying my book
- watching my children grow (and not kidnapping them)
- pinning my posts on Pinterest
- leaving comments
- sending me DMs
- entering my giveaways (fun fact: my very first giveaway was a huge flop – the winner refused to claim the prize!)
But most of all, thank you for accepting me. For a full decade, I have felt your love, respect, and kindness through my computer screen and smart phone.
While other bloggers have battled with trolls, hate comments, and criticism that is less than constructive, I am continuously blown away by how kind all of you have been in this corner of the internet.
Can You Help Me?
As I continue to contemplate the future of Simply Rebekah, I would love to hear from you. Will you help me prepare for my second decade of blogging by answering some questions?
I have created a survey for anyone who follows me on social media and the blog. It should only take a few minutes.
As a thank you for your time, I will be giving away an Amazon gift card. All you have to do is complete the survey to be entered.
And thank you again for an amazing 10 years of blogging. You rock.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. At no extra cost to you, I may earn a commission on your purchase. Top image by StockSnap from Pixabay. This giveaway is not sponsored by Amazon. Complete the survey by 12/31/19 to be entered.