It’s been six years since I published my first post on this blog.
That’s a pretty insane amount of time. My life has changed tremendously since 2012 and my blog has seen it all!
21 highlights from the blog
- This blog got me working and coding with WordPress. I had used WordPress before starting this blog, but Nose Graze helped me push my skills so much further.
- In December 2012 I started experimenting with the idea of building a plugin. The idea started out as a simple rating plugin but it eventually became Ultimate Book Blogger.
- In February 2013 I launched the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin. This was the start of my own business (though I didn’t know it at the time) and allowed me to fully support myself after graduating university. I thought I’d earn maybe $500 from this plugin, but since 2013 this plugin alone has earned me nearly $50,000.
- In April 2013 I changed my blog name from BookNook to Nose Graze.
- In May/June 2013 I attended my first BookExpo America. I then attended every year after that. This year (2018) is the first year I’ll be breaking that streak and won’t be attending. It’s kind of sad!
- In October 2013 I stressed over what I wanted to be when I grew up. This was shortly after quitting my first official 9-5 job (…after only a week of being there).
- In November 2013 I started toying with the idea of starting a hosting business.
- In January 2014 I got engaged.
- In February 2014 I launched that hosting business. I now have about 150 clients and the business earns about $23,000 per year in profit.
- In March 2014 I got married. It was a simple legal ceremony.
- In June 2014 I started Couch to 5K.
- In July 2014 I graduated university then immediately continued on to Italy where I had my wedding ceremony/celebration.
- In July 2014 my husband and I started a campaign to launch a new book site called LitRate. Sadly it didn’t get the funding it needed. We only raised $7,000 of our $16,000 goal. Thank you to the 168 backers who supported the campaign!
- In October 2014 my husband and I honeymooned in Egypt.
- In December 2014 I launched the Tweak Me v2 theme. This theme has now earned over $27,000 (compared to v1, which earned $10,000, but is now no longer for sale).
- In June 2015 I started talking about fitness and how I finished Couch to 5K.
- In October 2015 I hosted my first (and only) webinar. I thought I was going to turn it into a thing — I didn’t. It was extremely cool though!
- In February 2016 I launched my first e-course. Actually I think I launched one before this but it wasn’t quite as intense and I didn’t find the post when I was going through my archive lol.
- In June 2016 I blogged about how I lost 30 pounds and fell in love with fitness.
- In November 2016 I started working for Sandhills Development on Restrict Content Pro. In January 2017 this turned into a full time job, and it still is my job today (along with running my business on the side). This definitely wouldn’t have happened if not for this blog!
- In September 2017 my husband and I bought our first house. I was also able to build my dream library.
Interesting stats over 6 years
- I’ve published over 1,300 posts.
- I’ve received over 30,000 comments.
- I’ve posted over 400 book reviews.
- I’ve posted 297 posts about blogging, 228 about books (that weren’t reviews), 51 about business, and 80 about coding.
- I’ve read over 600 books, over half of which I rated 4 stars or higher. My total average rating is 3.53 stars.
It’s crazy how much of my life this blog has been though. I’ve literally grown up with it. I started a business, graduated university, got married, got a full time job, and bought a house. I’ve had so many successes and wins. I’ve also had some failures and things I lost interest in.
I enjoyed reading back through my old posts and seeing how much has changed over the years. But it was also quite sad to force myself to see how much my blog has died down over the last two years or so, and that was completely on me. For years I blogged 5-7 days a week, but now it’s more like 1-3 per month. I’ve published over 1,300 posts but of that number, 1,000 of those were published in 2012, 2013, or 2014. Only 339 were published in 2015, 2016, or 2017. That definitely shows you how my posting has slowed down tremendously.
I think there are a three main reasons for my blog slowing down:
- I published SO MANY POSTS in my first three years. I’ve posted almost 100 “discussion” posts and nearly 200 “blogging tips” or tutorials. Part of it is that I ran out of things to even talk about. How many more blogging tips are there before you’re just repeating yourself?
- I was a little bit of a tool in my first few years of blogging. Well, not really, but kind of. I seriously believed that if you had a blog, you wanted to improve and grow your blog. Period. I applied this to everyone. In the last two years I’ve realized how wrong I was about that. Now I have a blog but I have zero desire to grow it further. I’ll post when I want and I give zero fucks if I gain or lose followers. I think because I’ve stopped caring about growing my blog, I’ve also lost my desire to publish posts on how other people can grow their blogs. I have to care about something in order to post about it. (To clarify: I still think it’s perfectly fine to want to grow your blog. Awesome – go for it! I’ve just personally stopped caring about it.)
- In general, I think I’ve moved on from computer stuff a little. Computers used to be my life. I was doing something on the computer seemingly 24/7, whether it be blogging, coding, gaming, or social media. That’s all I did. Now I still blog a tiny bit, and I use social media a little, but when I’m not doing those things, I’m kind of avoiding my computer. Instead I’m reading, weightlifting, walking, playing with the cat, and hopefully in the next few months playing with my future dog. I’m trying to enjoy more life outside the computer.
It’s a little hard to see change like this. There are so many things I loved about my early blogging days. I loved posting blogging tips, participating in Bloggiesta, attending BookExpo America, planning Blogger Con, launching new products, etc. It’s sad to look back on those things and realize I don’t do them anymore. Am I really even still “in” the book blogging community? More like waaaay on the outskirts at best.
But I also love where my life is right now. I may not be blogging very much but I have so many great things going for me. I’m reading a ton, we have a wonderful new house, I love my job with Sandhills Development, I have an amazing home gym and I’m keeping up with weightlifting, we have an adorable new kitten, and we’re hoping to get our first dog sometime around August or September.
I guess after six years, I just want to say thank you. If you’re reading this, I really appreciate it. If you’ve ever purchased one of my products: thank you. You helped me build an amazing business and it wouldn’t have been possible without you.
This blog helped me find an amazing book community, helped me develop my coding/WordPress skills, helped me start my own business, and eventually led to me getting a great full time job where I still have the freedom to work from home (or anywhere in the world). Thank you, thank you, thank you.
If you have a blog right now, then know that it can change your life if you want it to. You can put it on your CV, it can help you get a job, it can become your job. If you’re passionate about it then stick with it and see where it leads you.
I’ll still be blogging for the foreseeable future, but I don’t expect things to go back to the way they were in the 2012-2014 era. I’ll be continuing with my meager 1-3 posts per month and we’ll see how things go. If you stick around with me, that would be wonderful. 🙂 If not, thanks for stopping by and for reading.