The Best Decisions I made this year-2013

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” 
Soren Kierkegard

transferware teacup, tea strainer,

I decided to sit and to reflect on the decisions I made over the past year…especially decisions regarding my blogging. 

Blogging has transformed my life these past few years in ways I could not have anticipated.

I began, perhaps as many of you have, by sharing bits and pieces of my life. Which has grown into expanding my interests, delving into creating and exploring many new ideas. All of this has enhanced my life in this transition period.

I had become an empty nester…what a term – it sounds so forlorn, but it can be one of the best times of your life. 

At the same time, I suppose I have become one of those women the French refer to as ‘une femme d’un âge de Certan’  having just celebrated my 50th birthday. 

In all the seasons of my life, this is truly a rewarding and enriching time.

There’s a certain sense of contentment, confidence in looking at life knowing all of the events in my life have brought me to a place where having focused on my family, and in certain ways I still do, but now there’s more time to pursue my hobbies and interests. I’ve enjoyed each stage of my life and this time is definitely quite delightsome.

In blogging, this past year, I made a few decisions that I think have beautifully enhanced my blogging experience and I look forward to seeing the fun and fascinating things I can explore in the new year.

move bloggerEarly in 2013 I decided to move my blog from Blogger to WordPress. I found a very easy step-by-step program created by Kristi at Addicted 2 Decorating. She also provides services to set up and design your website. I did have her design my blog on WordPress and have loved it!

 

 

 

 

building your blogHaving blogged for three years, I wanted to learn how I could build and to grow my blog…I want to continue to do this and to make this more than a part-time hobby. I found KeriAnne’s wonderful program and had a wonderful time consulting with her – gleaning from her experience and gaining new ideas and direction for my blog.

 

 

 

 

 

viraltagOne of KeriAnne’s suggestions was to build my presence on Pinterest. Pinterest is quickly becoming a wonderful resource for my blog. With Viraltag, I can schedule Pins! Isn’t that a wonderful concept!

 

 

 

 

screenshot_416Not only am I increasing my presence on Pinterest, but also on Facebook. I have found that you can also schedule posts and find groups that will build a network with fellow bloggers – if you’re interested in learning more about Facebook groups, leave me a message and I’ll share more with you!

 

 

 

 

 

Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS Zoom LensI upgraded my camera from a point-and-shoot Kodak to a Canon Rebel T3i. I shared with you how I chose my DSLR. I really LOVE this!

 

 

 

 

 

shootflyshootNow that I have my DSLR, I wanted to learn more about it and how to best use it. I’ve seen the affiliate ad on several blogs (I’m now also an affiliate!) Josh and Kevin at ShootFlyShoot have an excellent video tutorial program that has helped me tremendously in taking better photos for my blog. This, I highly recommend if you have a DSLR and would like to learn more about taking great pictures.

 

 

 

hometalkNot only did I become more active on Facebook and Pinterest, but I also became more active on Hometalk and joined the Facebook group associated with Hometalk. This is a fantastic community to further your blog presence and to find great inspiration.

 

 

 

google+ badgeGoogle+ is another Social Media site that is great for increasing your followers and views to your blog. It is also a fantastic place to learn more about Social Media sites through videos.

 

 

 

 

 

blogtalk-country-livingfairI have attended the Country Living Fair at Stone Mountain, Georgia for the past three years. This past year I joined with several other Bloggers in a meet-and-greet  time for Hometalk -that was fantastic! I met Heather from At The Picket Fence, who was a complete delight and several others…it was so much fun!

 

 

 

These are the best decisions I made for my blog in 2013.

One I wish I could add is the Haven Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. I was doing something else during that time, but I do plan to attend this summer! I have heard/read so many good things about this and know it will be wonderful!

I look forward to 2014 and what this coming year has to bring. 

The best decision of all was to begin to blog. I have thoroughly enjoyed sharing with so many wonderful Bloggers. It is definitely rewarding and enriching. What were the best decisions for your blog that you made in 2013?

I am sharing this post with these Delightsome blog parties:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing all of your blogging lessons. I am still floundering in so many ways, and I’m going to pin your suggestions! Have a delightsome New Year!

  2. Hello Kathy
    You’ve shared some fabulous ideas to ponder and act upon. I didn’t sign up for FB or Pinterest until May after a garden writer’s lecture where we were encouraged to do so. Unfortunately we were not instructed on how to use this social media and so I have been blundering my way along. I’d like to hear more about the FB groups and scheduling post that you mentioned. You’ve been such a help to me already with encouragement and blog issues and I’m thankful I found you and your blog. I really like your WordPress design since you switched.
    Wishing you a happy and healthy new year.
    Judith

  3. Your blog looks great, Kathy! Happy New Year.

  4. Hi Kathy. I have made some of the same changes this year The biggest is switching to self-hosted WordPress which I am still in the process of doing and hopefully I will make the complete switch over by 1/10/14 and I will definitely be reading your recommended sources before the final transition.
    I have been blogging since 2009 and this year seemed to bring about a lot of changes for bloggers. Many of my “old” blogging friends left blogging as many more “professional” blogger entered and I have felt somewhat adrift without a community of fellow bloggers and so I am earger to know more about the Facebook groups that you mentioned.
    Blogging is changing and I am trying to change with it.
    Thank you for all your great advice. Your new blog looks wonderful and is very inviting, making me feel like I have entered a cozy home. I hope that we are able to talk again soon.
    Traci

  5. Hello Kathy…..

    I always enjoy stopping by your delightful blog.

    I continued to write each day in 2013 and thoroughly enjoyed interaction with people all over the USA and several different countries.

    It’s an absolute blessing to be able to blog and I think the people in blogland are incredible human beings, including, YOU! Susan

  6. Kathy,

    Thanks so much for the shout out! I was so blessed to get the opportunity to work with you this year!

    Happy, happy new year to you friend!

    May your 2014 be bright. :)
    karianne

    • Thank you, Karianne – I’ve definitely seen results from your suggestions…making the most of 2014! I hope you have a blessed year!
      Kathy

  7. Kathy I think you know the specific ‘transition’ I am in -As you refer to decisions during the year you caught my interest, I would absolutely love to meet up with other bloggers esp some that I follow . Would you give me a heads up as you anticipate one of these gatherings I am convenient to Atlanta..maybe 4 hrs..With so many changes in my life I am in a better position to respond than to initiate regarding something like meeting up w you and other bloggers for things like this but AM DEFINITELY INTERESTED

    • Each year there’s the Country Living Fair at Stone Mountain and for the past couple of years the Hometalk group gets together. Also the Haven conference is scheduled for July. I believe the website is havenconference.com – I’m looking forward to this! If I learn of anything else, I’ll let you all know!

  8. What a great post! Thanks for sharing your knowledge ;) I’m almost ready to do the transition from blogger to WP. It’s going to be lots of learning but I’m excited about it.
    Wishing you a wonderful 2014!

  9. you’ve been
    a busy girl this year!

    i made the transition
    from Blogger to WP as well this year
    and am still learning how to fully
    utilize it

    but am very happy with my decision

    as part of that change
    i’m re-starting Fridays Unfolded for 2014
    and would love for you to stop by and link up!

    happy new year!

    Alison

  10. great, GREAT advice. thanks for sharing and will definitely use some of your pointers. maryjo

  11. I really enjoy following you and look forward to sharing what 2014 brings to both of us!

  12. Thanks for sharing these. I have increased my presence on Pinterest as well and it has helped my blog. I tried Facebook but it didn’t do a thing. I also got a better camera. It makes blogging so much easier. I haven’t tried Hometalk. You have given me food for thought there. I have some things to ponder for 2014. It sounds like we are in the same stage of life. I can’t seem to keep my nest empty, though. Happy New Year.

    • You’ll love Hometalk. I guess I’m a ‘mostly empty’ nester since our daughter comes home for the weekends :)

  13. Hi
    This is my first visit to your blog. Thanks for sharing all that information. I am wanting to get a new camera and am saving up for one. Rhondi xo

  14. Kathy, You are obviously doing something right because you have a beautiful blog. Thanks for linking these ideas to the Open House party.
    Hugs,
    Sherry

  15. lynn hobbs says:

    Hey interested in starting a blog any comments and help would be greatly appreciated. Very confusing about how to get it out there, would be nice to know I’m not talking to myself lol. I’ve been crafting and teaching people things for years ( I’m 50 to) never was interested in Facebook much until the last year. I know welcome to the 21 St century lol. Hope to hear from you soon.

    • I think the best thing to do is to get started! Sounds awefully simple – choose your platform – Blogger, WordPress, etc…; choose your name – something that reflects you and what you want to share. Begin! Take great pictures – use the best one first. Visit several other bloggers; participate in blog parties; and participate in the Social Media. It will take time. You’ll find your niche and your voice. Most of all – have lots of fun with it!
      Kathy

  16. Wow those are some awesome changes you made. I bet so many people could benefit from what you have done with your blog. I would love for you to come and link this up to my Winter Blues Wednesday party going on right now. Hope to see you there. http://diybydesign.blogspot.com

  17. These are excellent tips and just the ones I need to get me out of my blogging slump. Thank you!

  18. Since I’m about to turn 60 (YIKES)I can definitely relate to being an empty nester, but I suppose since my only child is 18000 miles away my nest is emptier than most ;). It is a great time of life to do the things we’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t.

    One question…I’m on Hometalk and also like their FB page, but is there another private Hometalk FB group?

    I’m still not receiving your blog updates Kathy…I wonder if it has something to do with the switch you made?

    Anyway, thanks for posting these fabulous tips and may you have a wonderful, successful year in both your personal and blogging world!

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