When Life & Blog Collide:
Your Life Purpose & Measuring Success


I have been enjoying all the Blissdom posts around the internet…all the recaps of the fun, friends and learning that went on over the weekend.  I have been recovering all week — something about traveling across time zones, the stress of having to speak in front of people and having that much fun wore me out! But it was all good, such an amazing event! I love all the photos, but I have to admit I only took three and they were all terrible. Deanna from Domestic Chicky sent me the one of me and Nester, so at least I have something I can share!

BLISSDOM

I have to say that the very best part of Blissdom for me was meeting my friends, old and new. My roommates were Nester, Emily, Kimba and Sandy — BLISS! The only thing that would have made it better for me would have been if more of you (yes YOU) had been there. Next time, I am dragging you all with me.

Since this was my first time at Blissdom, I was a little apprehensive about what it would be like. I think had Nester not been going, I wouldn’t have been brave enough on my own. I am an extrovert who can easily behave like an introvert when overwhelmed with a crowd of new people. And there were a lot of people there I didn’t know!  I have to say though every one I met was exceptionally nice and friendly — I don’t know what I was worried about.

MISTAKEN IDENTITY

Nester and I got to share some of our thoughts on blogging during our panel, but so much of what I planned to say didn’t come out of my mouth. I’m a blogging mom who glues her hands to quarter rounds, not a speaker! In a combination of nerves and the Q & A panel format, I know I felt more flustered than focused.

In the panel right before ours, I started literally shaking from nerves. It was cold, too, which didn’t help, but when I looked over at Nester for moral support, she was shaking too. I love her. We were scared out of our little minds! I think we are probably the only ones on a panel who spontaneously hugged out of RELIEF when we were done speaking. We would have much rather talked about the dangers of hot glue or the thread count on our sheets.

WHO LET THESE GIRLS TALK ABOUT SUCCESSFUL BLOGS?

While Nester and I were there to talk about “successful blogging” (just the thought of it makes me throw up a little in my mouth), the reality is neither of us set out to be or consider ourselves “successful bloggers.” We don’t know all the secrets or tricks to blogging success. We wreck up our blogs all the time, we don’t understand HTML (I know, SHOCKING!). We still aren’t social media experts.

We just bumbled our way along talking about what we love. As I shared in our panel, I didn’t even know I had subscribers until this fall. I didn’t have google analytics to track my traffic. I definitely didn’t know about SEO or keywords. Ok, I still don’t know about SEO or keywords. Trust me, ProBlogger won’t be calling us to join his team of writers anytime soon.

WHAT IS A “SUCCESS”?

One thing I can say is that I felt as successful and happy a few weeks into blogging as I do today. I honestly don’t feel MORE successful with bigger numbers than I did with less traffic. Sure, my stats are higher than last year, that is a happy thing. I am happy to break my own records. I have more comments than in my first month (um, ok, I didn’t have any comments at first. ZERO.). I like comments. I have more connections than I did in the beginning. I do love all that!

So, I should be HAPPIER and feel MORE SUCCESSFUL now than I did in the early days, right?! A rising arc of traffic brings increasing sense of happiness (um, that sounds a bit like a questionable fortune cookie bit of wisdom!)!

The truth is, what made me feel successful along the way were the little moments of self-discovery, accomplishment and validation. Particularly through the friends I have met who encourage me.

And that feeling of success hasn’t been magnified by a few more zeros on my stats. For me, each little step of validation and a new sense of community brings the same feeling of contentment that I felt early on — the feeling that you are right where you are supposed to be.

In some ways, the more zeros on your stats the more overwhelming a blog can be. Sometimes being invisible is safer — your failures are less obvious and your feeling of responsibility are less.

SUCCESSFUL HOME & SUCCESSFUL BLOG. CAN YOU HAVE BOTH?

For me, successful blogging is more about finding success in LIFE. A blog can certainly contribute to your happiness in life–no doubt about that. It kind of all weaves together. Overcoming my fears, stepping out into new territory, facing new challenges and sharing my heart with others through my blog has definitely reshaped my life in positive ways! Do I have it all figured out? No!

Blogs can contribute to our well being, but they can also wear us down if our priorities get out of order.  I’ll admit, my blog EXHAUSTS me if I let it run my life! Same with our responsibilities as keepers of our homes. Our home and daily routines can ADD beauty to our life, or take away from our sense of well being if we get confused about what our purpose is and where our priorities are.

WHAT IS OUR PURPOSE IN DOING WHAT WE DO?

Is our purpose in blogging to always be working trying to achieve higher stats, even if it means we forget to feed our kids dinner? (yes, I’ve done that before). Is our purpose as keepers of our home to have the mountains of laundry and dishes DONE every day at all cost, or is it to spend time playing on the floor with our children?

It is so easy to forget what our LIFE purpose is and miss it all in our desire to achieve MORE of something we don’t even need.

WHAT STAT COUNTER ARE YOU USING TO MEASURE YOUR SUCCESS?

I think as a homemaker or decorator of our homes we can easily compare ourselves to the Martha’s of the world. The ones who do everything all perfect and have the money to make things happen the way we think it should be done. If we use the wrong standard to measure our success, we never measure up.

We worry that if anyone found out about our concealments or mistreatments or glue-gun bedskirts or super-glued molding no one would like us anymore. If people knew what our house looked like the day before Thanksgiving, or if they knew we bought all of our furniture second hand and it doesn’t really match we’d be thrown in to jail for breaking the rules of perfect homemaking.

And likewise when it comes to blogging, we venture out into an unknown community half expecting to be laughed at and ridiculed for our ideas and for simply being who we are. If we are true to who we are, blogging makes us vulnerable. Not only do we expose ourselves, our ideas and our homes, but now we are faced with comparing BLOG success and feeling blog envy! We feel like failures when our numbers or comments are down and a success when our numbers are up. Oy. The pressure can be too much!

DON’T QUIT YOUR REAL LIFE

All this to say, while I think there are some very good things one can do (and perhaps SHOULD DO) to increase our subscribers, pump up the quality of our posts, give our blog more authority on Technorati or put us on the Top Ten Homemaking Blogs of all Time list, in order to keep our sanity, our priorities, and our life in tact, my simple advice on blogging success is this: don’t quit your real life.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THEY AREN’T THAT INTO YOU (ANY MORE)?

Numbers go up and down, people are fickle, there are always new blogs that prettier and shinier than yours — even our moments of brilliance can fade quickly in the light newly discovered genius. Don’t measure your success by your stats (or your worthiness by your magazine cover family room.) The important thing is the life we live behind the blog. That is all that really counts in the end.

Let your blog contribute to your life and challenge you in ways you never imagined, but don’t let your blog control you or let it overshadow what means the most to you in life.

SO, IS IT WRONG TO WANT OR EVEN HAVE A SUCCESSFUL BLOG?

Should we feel guilty if we want to see rising stats or be featured on a prestigious blog or top ten list? Not at all, it is OK to want to succeed and it is EXCITING to watch it happen. Success can bring so many opportunities. We just have to be careful with how we DEFINE success each step of the way.

TOP TEN SUCCESSFUL BLOGGING TIPS, IMHO:
  1. Blog about YOUR unique passion, create your own special place in blogland!
  2. Make real friends (be genuine!). Comment, join in Mr. Linky events (um, like today)!
  3. Be a real friend. Link to other blogs, host events and showcase great ideas, genuinely compliment others! Email people to encourage them!
  4. Find a friend for accountability and support to keep your priorities straight.
  5. Learn as you go and pace yourself. You don’t have to know it all today.
  6. Learn from other blogs & bloggers, but resist comparing yourself and feeling defeated.
  7. If you want to “succeed at blogging” work hard and faithfully, but don’t sacrifice your real life success for the blog success. Learn patience to keep life balanced.
  8. Blog your own path to success. Just because you hear the secret to success is 14000 followers on Twitter doesn’t mean YOU have to buy into it.
  9. Be bold. Accept opportunities that take you out of your comfort zone.
  10. Post when you are inspired. And don’t be afraid to take a day off when you have nothing to say! Go play with your kids, take a walk or do something you love to do. Your blog will be all the better for it.

I want to thank Alli (you are amazing!) and all of the wonderful sponsors of Blissdom. I encourage you to Blissfully Domestic and all of these businesses who sponsored this event to let them know it means a lot to us bloggers that they are willing to support US!

Blissdom was an amazing experience and I would definitely go again! And I hope next time I’ll see YOU there. PS. I want to thank SIMPLEMOM for putting up with me and Nester :-) and always encouraging and inspiring me. She was definitely a class act!


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Here is another blogging e-book you might enjoy:
Ever wonder how to manage your blogging life and grow your blog at the same time? This book has some great insights about balancing life in general, we all know how difficult that is! It is written by Rachel of Small Notebook and it is called Simple Blogging.

You can buy the e-book here:

Simple Blogging {a new e-book by Small Notebook} {This is an affiliate link}

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Comments

  1. Great post Melissa. I could feel your sincereness and heart in your words. You have been blessed with a gift and you use it well. Nothing wrong in bringing joy to others in their life. That is what you seem to do so well. Visually and in spirit.

    Blogging can be very tricky. I am up early today commenting, so that I can be done and on with my life. It is so true about putting your real life first. Glad you had fun. I love this picture with you and Nester.
    Take care and continue to bring us joy :)

    Jan- Crazy Lady

    Jans inspiring blog post..Sweet to tart to sweetheart

  2. Great post, Melissa. Wonderfully expressed. And, I love the photo of you and Nester! :-)

    Kathryns inspiring blog post..The Cost of Priceless Love (Free Gift: No Exchange; Return Required)

  3. Melissa-
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts some I right there with you- I hate to speak in public – when I have to give a talk or teach a class- lets just say it’s not fun.
    I’ve been up waiting for my college son to come home, just a little worried about of the weather he is driving in and the long 13 hour drive, thank heaven for cell phone. {he got home safe}
    blogging has been an outlet for me- started to help stay in touch with family, then I started to learn more about the computer etc. and now that I feel just a tiny bit more comfortable with how things work, and now I’m meeting wonderful people through it. Like you, I’ve loved your site and learned tons since the first day I visited.
    Thanks for keeping things real. I feel my blog is what it is, just my life.
    Thanks for the encouragement, you practice what your preach. I’m still learning and it will probably take a while before I get up to speed with everyone else- like what is SEO?
    Sorry to go on and go- just wanted you to do- I think you’re great.
    Have a wonderful day-
    Teresa
    Thanks-

    teresas inspiring blog post..Cottage Bath & It’s a Beautiful Life challenge-

  4. Melissa, thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience at Blissdom. It sounds as though it was such a success in so many ways and for everyone who attended! What a wonderful week! ~Arleen

  5. Excellent advice!

    I struggle with most of these issues.
    Hospitality Lane is not of the type or style to
    be a mega blog…but if it helps and encourages
    someone along the way I will be very happy.

    It is definitely a plus to be able to read back
    over the posts and have a “journal” of our
    lives as a family along the way.

    Another benefit is that I now take gobs of
    pictures. We now have more real life pictures
    than ever before. Usually it was just vacation
    or holidays. So…it seems to be worth it whether
    there are large numbers or small.

    Thanks for all that you do to contribute to
    blogging encouragement! Having friends
    all around the country is the BEST!

    Becky K.s inspiring blog post..A Beautiful Life…

  6. I love this post, it reminds me of why I started blogging, it’s easy to loose yourself along the way.

    Jens inspiring blog post..Life Lesson of The Week

  7. I really love your inspiring words on blogging. I’m a small-time blogger, who has no idea what it would be like to have the kind of followers and traffic that you {and other blogs like you} have. I have the utmost admiration for all of your time you put into your blog. I always enjoy reading and leave with tons of ideas and inspiration floating in my head. Thanks so much for just being you and writing about things you have a passion for!

    Happy Friday!!

    jennykates inspiring blog post..A little of this…a little of that…and a whole lotta randomness

  8. Whenever I’m doing something I love I tend to get a little (or a lot) off balance. This post was a wise reminder, from someone who knows, to “Keep the main thing, the main thing.”
    Blessings today!
    Robin Rane
    All things Heart & Home

    Robin Rane’ ~ All Things Heart & Homes inspiring blog post..Daddy’s Valentine over time and space

  9. Melissa,
    I love this post! I get to be the beneficiary of your amazing experience and am all the richer for it! Thank you so much for setting straight the right priorities of blogging. Thanks for the encouragement too to be true to ones self and not get caught up in competition or numbers.

    My blog is not a “big” blog nor will it probably ever be a “big” blog but I am totally OK with that. My blog is another form or journaling my unique life experiences and sharing creative ideas. The only agenda, if I have one at all, is to be true to myself.

    I love that you used the phrase “little moments” in your post. This is exactly what I posted on this week, being aware of little moments in the here and now.

    Thanks for the great advice and for hosting. Have a wonderfully blissful day!

    Miss Sandys inspiring blog post..A Beautiful Bouquet Of Moments…..

  10. This is a great post – and very timely for me. I have had a ‘heart to heart’ with myself and decided that some things had to go because they were not in my life’s plan. Then i had to really look AGAIN at what the plan was. My plan was to work at a job that could support myself and yet allow me to bend my schedule around my family. As a single parent, that’s not easy and even could be called somewhat impossible, finding such a job in this economy. I have a great job, a stay at home job – and while i AM VERY THANKFUL AND KNOW THAT I’M EXTREMELY BLESSED, this job is still a grind to someone else and that ultimately, I must get brave enough to work for myself so that my ultimate dream of running my own scheduel can come true. I know that God, the Universe, are in agreement and working on this for me – it’s just a matter of all the pieces falling into places. God give me patience, I’M GETTING TIRED OF WAITING lol.

  11. Melissa, thank you for this beautiful post. It is true, blogging can help us find ourselves or help us lose ourselves. The *biggest* thing I have learned in the year of blogging I’ve done is that I have to be me. I love other people’s blogs but I love them because they represent who that person is. My blog represents who I am. I can’t let the two mingle. It’s hard sometimes to blog. Sometimes I think as I am about to hit publish about how vulnerable that makes me. Will someone criticize me for my thoughts? My life? My opinions? My mistakes? My horrible photography? But they never have (well, hardly ever) and when they have, I discovered that I can laugh at myself too. Thank you for your wonderful advice. It’s much more real to hear it from you than some blogging guru anyway who is unreachable and not someone I can relate to. I am glad Blissdom was great and I am sure your panel was awesome. I hope to go next year and meet all of you because I am definitely kicking myself for not doing it this year.

    Emily@remodelingthislifes inspiring blog post..Beautiful Boy

  12. Melissa,

    Great Post. Thanks for the Beautiful Life series and I have really enjoyed hearing about Blissdom. I feel just awful that you all were so nervous. It seems like everyone was nervous whether they were speaking or not. I know I would be nervous to meet you or the Nester too. Maybe next year y’all just need one big pajama party before anything gets started and everyone can jsut relax together.

    Still Learnings inspiring blog post..God is showing me some great stuff!!

  13. Funny because I’ve thought so many of those same things this week about balancing the blog/website vs real life :) Blessings… Polly

  14. Thanks for this post. I felt as if I got to spend a few minutes at Blissdom with you. I’m sure I’ll revisit this post time and again! Be blessed!

    Deidras inspiring blog post..Inspired

  15. I’m so glad you had fun at Blissdom. I am definitely going next year. My parents live outside of Nashville, so I could work in a trip to see them, too (and they’d love the chance to keep Zack for the weekend while I did Blogger stuff). Plus, I absolutely LOVE the Hotel Preston. We stay there if we have early morning flights out of the Nashville airport the next day.

    I enjoyed reading your blog tips, too! I just started mine in January, but I absolutely love it. Once I figured out that I can schedule posts (duh!), it has made it a lot easier. LOL

    Lindsays inspiring blog post..The Little Secrets of a Relaxing Home

  16. Wise advice.

    Hope @ Monkey Giggless inspiring blog post..My escape

  17. I love this statement in your post:

    Is our purpose as keepers of our home to have the mountains of laundry and dishes DONE every day at all cost, or is it to spend time playing on the floor with our children?

    It is so easy to forget what our LIFE purpose is and miss it all in our desire to achieve MORE of something we don’t even need.

    This is the exact thing that I try to tell people on my site! Your home doesn’t have to be perfect! Your kids will remember a mom that played with them, not that your linen closet was organized!

    Lazy Mom Leslies inspiring blog post..Drumroll Please

  18. Great BlissDom recap, Melissa! Enjoyed hearing your thoughts on the weekend and on blogging in general. Glad I got to meet you and be there for your panel with Tsh and Nester, too. :-)

    Julia @ Hooked on Housess inspiring blog post..Hooked on Valentine’s Day

  19. You did a fantastic job speaking–you sounded as authentic as you are on your blog. That’s why so many of us ditched the blog-to-book session to come to your panel. We wanted to know more about YOU!

    Everything you write today about blogging rings true to me.

    That said, if you get to interview Alexandra Stoddard for your blog, I will have to break out some serious jealousy. She, more than anyone else in the world, has influenced how I keep and love my little home.

  20. This was an amazing post full of blogging wisdom! Thank you so much for taking the time to share with your readers some of what you have learned as you’ve blogged. It can be overwhelming and take over life if we’re not careful – and I so appreciate the reminder to live life and not measure our blog success against the success of other blogs.

    I’m so glad to have found your blog a week or two ago. Blessings to you…
    Jennifer

  21. Wow Melissa, I think this is the best post you have ever written! What a beautiful and sincere thought on where priorities should be. I have had to pull back a little bit from blogging because of my ‘real home life’…I miss my friends but time with family is sometimes very ‘finite’ it does not last forever…especially with elderly parents. Daily working at staying focused! I am so glad you had a wonderful time, I love hearing about it!
    blessings,
    Debbie

  22. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I found this post relevant to my life, and timely. I am a new blogger, having a blast and trying to maintain some balance.

    Kimm at Reinventeds inspiring blog post..Containing Kid Clutter

  23. You said it! I was shaking too and I wasn’t even speaking. It was COLD in that room. I think we were all a bundle of nerves. Just think how much fun it will be next time when we can just enjoy and not worry so much. Yall did a great job and I enjoyed every word…and the sweet hug at the end~

    Susie Harriss inspiring blog post..More than just ad….An inspiration

  24. The best advice I’ve read about blogging in a very long time. Thank you for putting it together for us. Now I’m off for some real-life. (Has anyone told you lately how adorable you are? ;>)

    Vees inspiring blog post..Planning a Valentine Tea

  25. Hi Melissa, so pleased you had a good time, and got to meet some lovely people. Blogging doesn’t interfere with my life, because in order to blog, I have to have a life. I don’t think I could blog like you..I cannot write, in the sense, I can only blog if I have done something, with photos etc.

    Some I read are so touching, with words, and maybe a little mood board or something..don’t know how they do it!!

    I love reading yours anyway..Well done!

    annes inspiring blog post..Chocolate Treat!

  26. This is a wonderful post Melissa. Sometimes I do get caught up in the numbers. That’s when it all becomes too overwhelming…I have to remember that I intially started my blog as a creative outlet, and that is what it needs to be…regardless of big or small numbers!

    Wendys inspiring blog post..Smitten~

  27. I really appreciated when you said this: “The important thing is the life we live behind the blog.”

    Sometimes it’s so easy to get caught up in the life behind the screen that we forget the most important part of life is all around us.

    Thanks for these words and reminders!

  28. Melissa,
    This is a post I will come back to again and again. In essense, to keep it real and remember what truly important in life. Thank you for your beautifil blog!

  29. I love this post! Such good stuff. Thanks for the great tips and for voicing what a lot of us think about:)

    Brandie Pahls inspiring blog post..The Best Life

  30. It was quite an honor to hang out in the room with y’all a little over the weekend. Only this week have I realized the irony of me (take-out queen and interior design challenged) hanging out with so many great women who can cook and decorate *and* have successful blogs :)

    I hope to get to know you better and hang out again at another conference!

  31. Wise, wise words. I love meeting new bloggers and seeing new ideas and I always comment if I find something I’m interested in and love. Blog for yourself and keep true to what you love and you can’t go far wrong

    Liz@VioletPosys inspiring blog post..Dining Room Style Board

  32. As someone who is getting ready to launch a blog for the design firm I work with, I’m glad to have ran across your blog! Thanks for the sincere comments- appreciated. :) It can be intimidating- I’ve been learning and compiling and want to be ready to have some great content for the EuroWorld blog—I can’t wait. Thanks again!!!

  33. I enjoyed your thoughts and the top 10 is amazing, Melissa.

    I’ve never had a counter and I only remember to check technorati now and then. I blog when I have something comes to mind. In other words, I don’t work at finding a subject. This gives me time to have life at home with J, the kids and g’kids and it gives me time to do my best to get around to commentors at the Back Porch. I always said, when the blog becomes a “job”, then that’s the time for Pat to hang it up for awhile or for good. It’s going to be two years, next month. I can’t believe it, because I never thought, in a million years, I would still be blogging after this length of time. I’ll keep on blogging, since I think I’ve found a following of wonderful folks who happen to like what I do.

    Will I continue and for how long? Only time will tell.

    Sorry, no beautiful life post, this week. My muse has been busy with the island. Perhaps next Friday. I’ll try to visit those on the list, though.

    Thanks for another great post!

    Pats inspiring blog post..~Blue Platters & Bunnies~

  34. THANK YOU. I CAN BREATHE & HAVE FUN ALL AT THE SAME TIME

    HUGS FROM MAINE

    http://sophie4me.blogspot.com/

  35. Congrats on getting up there and speaking in front of everyone. Good vibes were sent from Germany, and I’m sure you were fabulous.
    Katie

    Katie at makingthishome.coms inspiring blog post..Applying Wallpaper to Our Ceiling (& Wondering How That Title Could Sound Fun)

  36. SO well said, my friend.

    Love you!

    Sandys inspiring blog post..Forgiveness is a Beautiful Valentine’s Gift – a BG Lesson!

  37. Great post. Thank you!

    Hollys inspiring blog post..Going Green

  38. Very well said, Melissa. It was so great meeting you at Blissdom & I look forward to sharing more in blogland with you this year. I think most of us stumbled into blogging without having a clue of how it all works & you really hit on some great points about being yourself & blogging cause you want to share your passion. I thought I’d run out of topics by now too, but haven’t yet, so as long as people are still interested in what I have to say, I’ll keep on blogging. I blog what I live & that’s all I can do too. It is very easy to get caught up in blog envy for those who have bigger blogs than we do. I’m sure that some are envious of mine, while I look upward. It can be a vicious cycle, but my goal is to share community with everyone & to keep on learning along the way. Oh, and having fun while doing it! xoxo friend!

    And, you and Nester did a wonderful job on your panel. You didn’t look nervous at all.

    Rhoda @ Southern Hospitalitys inspiring blog post..The black architectural piece has landed

  39. breathingdreaming says:

    Dear Melissa,
    I found this post from ‘When Life and Blog Collide’. What a wonderful idea. Of course, I wasn’t surprised it came from you, your blog rocks!
    I posted a photo story on things to do for Valentine’s Day inspired by Paris. Enjoy!
    xoxo

    breathingdreamings inspiring blog post..a valentine from paris…

  40. Melissa,
    Girl, too crazy that we did complementary blogs today. I was ready to go but just had to finish the link for your party and when I read your blog I laughed considering where my mind has been this week…. MUST MEET IN REAL LIFE! Thank you for the reminder on balance. I’m so grateful for such a like minded blog friend. You really have been an inspiration. So glad Blissdom talk went well. I knew it would and wish I could have been there give you a hug when it was all over!

    Great post today girl,
    Pretty Organizer

    Pretty Organizers inspiring blog post..Remember your Gifts

  41. breathingdreaming says:

    Dear Melissa,
    I found this post from hookedonhouses.net. What a wonderful idea. Of course, I wasn’t surprised it came from you, your blog rocks!
    I posted a photo story on things to do for Valentine’s Day inspired by Paris. Enjoy!
    xoxo

    breathingdreamings inspiring blog post..a valentine from paris…

  42. Wow Melissa, must be something in the air because I was thinking a lot about this earlier in the week, trying to decide if I was going to keep blogging or not… It is hard to keep life and blogging and EVERYTHING in balance and sometimes we have to remember the reason we started it all in the first place. Thanks for the inspiration, as usual… I wish I could have seen you on your panel, I’m sure you were wonderful! :)

    Shauntelle @ A Beautiful Abodes inspiring blog post..What Inspires You?

  43. Melissa, I just loved reading that post. The main reason I started my blog was because I like to write, I always have. But along the way, I found out that honesty was the best policy. Healing was more important than trying to fit in, and from my blog I have learned a lot about myself, who i am, and how far I have come in the last 15 years and yet how much more i need to learn. I will be the first to tell you how many mistakes I have made, and show you my un-made bed..I tend to follow blogs that are real, that don’t make me feel like I need to compete, but that I need to be a good friend to that person~

    Thanks for sharing, we all forget sometimes that success is not measured by how big our houses are, or that we make our beds every morning…but how we live our lives and how we treat other~

    Have a wonderful Friday.

  44. I don’t have a blog, yet I needed your wise words. “Don’t quit your real life”. This is gold! I feel so much kinship with my favorite bloggers, yet I need to daily turn my focus to my “real life” and invest in touchable friends, even when they’re less inspiring than my blogheroes. Otherwise I risk letting the enemy turn an online blessing into a real life thief.

  45. I don’t have a Mr. Linky post today, but I’ll definitely be printing today’s post.

    Blogging for me started earlier last year as a therapeutic way to work through some of my issues. It turned into a whole ‘nother entity that brought me to this page. This page has led me to some other pages … and on and on it goes.

    I can say to date that blogging has allowed me to meet all of you; it’s given me a place to check my own personal development progress and it has definitely afforded me some additional resources and examples of what being an authentic, real woman is.

    Kudos to you Melissa and to all the other bloggers who come here. Each of you have been inspirational in your own way. Who knew all that could come from the internet?

    Nickys inspiring blog post..Love …. and all that jazz ….

  46. I love this post. I love you. Thank you.

  47. Well, I was gonna write a wrap up post too but now the pressures off–you said it all and so well and eloquently. Does anyone understand how great it is to meet someone online and then when you meet them in real life you like them even more?

    That is melissa people. Think of how you think she might be and then multiply that by like 10. Yes, she is a true friend.

    The Nesters inspiring blog post..Using Art Around the Home

  48. This was awesome to read!

  49. Melissa,
    What you said is so true! At times I am tempted to “find” a passion for my blog that will interest others. But it has been done before, and so much better, by many others. And then I am reminded of the reason that I began blogging in the first place: to get my thoughts, emotions and daily happenings on paper(?)–er monitor :) I started my blog to chronicle my family through the years (because I am terrible at scrapbooking and blogging is waaaaay cheaper of a hobby!). If it blesses others to read about my life, then great, if the only readers that I have are my mom and sister, well that is fine too. I am successful in writing what means most to me: my family. They are my passion…well that and a little DIY decorating mixed in :)

    I am so glad you had a great time at Blissdom–I am sure you were fabulous just like you are here :)

    Blessings!

    Mrs. Qs inspiring blog post..Confusion in the Bedroom

  50. Hi Melissa,

    Great advice. Luckily for me I’m a techno-klutz and don’t know how to access info about stats, counters or subscribers. What’s technorati? I haven’t a clue how many, if any are reading my posts. Anyway, I’m having fun and blogging is a wonderful way to put my every day life into a positive perspective, like a gratitude journal. To keep it in balance though, “Live First, Blog Later” is a good principle to live by. Love your work Melissa, you’re a class act.

  51. Hello!
    I am new to blogging in general, but I love it! It is a fun hobby and at least for me gives me a new angle from which to look at life from. It has helped me become more in touch with who I am and what motivates and inspires me to enjoy my journey in this “Beautiful Life”.
    Thank you for your practical advice about blogging. I will incorporate this new wisdom into my life and my “new” adventure in blogging.
    Thanks for sharing your fabulous time at Blissdom! I love your blog, it is truly beautiful and inspiring.

    Phaedras inspiring blog post..Simple but beautiful bathroom inspiration

  52. Melissa,

    This post really spoke to me. I have been reading so many posts about Blissdom that I am definitely inspired to try to attend some time. I love your thoughts about balance and how it is OK to want to be successful in many areas of your life.

    You definitely have a new fan! I love the blog!

    Taylor at Household Management 101s inspiring blog post..Feb 12, Weekly House Cleaning Schedules Benefit Your Home And Sanity

  53. This was a very interesting post. Thank you.

    I don’t really worry about whether or not I am a successful blogger, counting stats and all. I mainly started it because my children wanted to know what I was up to. I have found it fun because I can post pictures, like the huge herd of deer I encountered on my way to choir practice the other day. I blog on every day life, silly or spiritual, my projects, my choir, my grandchildren and anything else that strikes my fancy.

    I have made some really DEAR friends out here in Blog Land (see my most recent post). Now I want to travel and meet them all! They range from Seattle to Florida and all the way across the ocean to New Zealand and beyond. They are quilters, knitters, a man with a cochlear implant, one was even a VP of Bank, SAHM’s, specialists on the art of French Braiding, one who does book reviews, and even a Quilter Dad. I LOVE Blogdom. What a whole new world I have discovered.

    I RSS fed this blog because I am not the Best at decorating, and I figured with a name like this one, maybe I could pick up a few pointers. Thanks.
    ~a

    Annies inspiring blog post..An Honor

  54. Your thoughts on the importance of keeping our homes vs. spending time playing with our children really touched me. This is something that I struggle with daily. Empty the dishwasher or give in to my son’s repeated requests that I let him give me a check-up with his doctor kit? Too often I put him off and at the end of the day, I realize I’ve wasted my day doing the the little things that don’t really matter and not enough time just playing with my boys. I need to readjust my priorities!

    Thanks for taking time out of your day to put out such a wonderful blog.

    Kaceys inspiring blog post..Wordless Wednesday

  55. I loved reading about your Blissdom experience, since I wasn’t able to attend. And you offer such wonderful advice, too! :)
    Blessings,
    Michele

    Michele @ Frugal Granolas inspiring blog post..Bargain Meal of the Week

  56. Thanks for sharing, I love that reminder about success. It’s not about numbers or anything else other than doing what you’re supposed to be doing- and doing well (hopefully!) I think most of us can benefit from a bit of balance in life, not just with blogging but with all of life’s demands and requirements.

    I always appreciate your honesty, and your awesome inspiration for my home.

    Ginas inspiring blog post..Simple Valentine’s

  57. I really enjoyed reading your post Melissa! I’ve found myself having blog envy at times. Then I realize that what they are doing is not me at all. It would make it so much harder to write posts that don’t reflect my own thoughts. Thanks for sharing all your advice.
    -Kim

    Kim @ Forever Wherevers inspiring blog post..Hooked on Books?

  58. Such a well written post! And a great (and often needed) reminder! It’s hard not to “compare” myself to other blogs and bloggers at times, but I try to remain true to myself and my own personality. I really wish I had been able to go to Blogher…I don’t understand a lot about blogging still! No computer genius here. I have no idea how to make a button, or about having advertisers, or a myriad of other confusing bloggy things!! Maybe some kind soul will post about some of these things one day! LOL!! Anyway, thanks for the post, and hope you have a wonderfully Happy Valentine’s!! :)

    Stacey @ The Blessed Nests inspiring blog post..Won’t You Be My Valentine?!!…and a Winner!

  59. This is exactly what I needed right now. Fantastic post!

    ashley morgans inspiring blog post..Life is Good

  60. Such a wonderful post. Thanks for being true to your calling and also for being an encourager! God bless you!

    Shilos inspiring blog post..The Gift of Courage

  61. very ineresting post about blogging. I try not to look at numbers (it does get hard at time) and focus on writing and posting for me and hoping to make a connection with others…. I find the comments to be so rewarding… it’s like a sign that you have something of interest to offer in blogland and as a stay home mom that is so rewarding.
    your blog is inspirational,
    happy Valentine’s Day,
    LuLu

    LuLus inspiring blog post..Love Letters

  62. What an awesome post! Lots of good advice too.

    Hope you have a great weekend!

    Lisa @celebrate CREATIVITYs inspiring blog post..Hang Papers, Not Clothes

  63. hi melissa. i’m so glad you and nester and all the other attendees bonded with each other at the convention. it makes me feel like the overriding intent is to help each other, not out do each other,( which is an encouraging sentiment particularly at this difficult time). i love all the posts i visit regularly and i usually leave a message of appreciation after a visit. i don’t know how to do ‘computering’, have a blog or do more than email, and i marvel at the finesse and skill you all have developed in the course of pursuing your love of blog topics. thanks to you, and all bloggers! and thanks for the messages of balance, quality, truth, risk for trying new things, and integrity. these ideas apply to all of us in all aspects of life, and we all need these reminders. keep up the inspirational work! and enjoy a cup of tea/coffee as you relive your experience. we all look forward to your next sharing!! jkj

  64. Great post Melissa. It’s perfect actually. Such a tough thing to do, blogging and home life. Sounds like you guys had a great time. Maybe I will get there next year. Have a great Valentine’s day!

    Dawn-Hydrangea Homes inspiring blog post..Furniture Makeover

  65. Hi Melissa :)

    This was a great post. I lurk here all the time, because I love your blog and I was thrilled to get a comment from you. I should do the same here, but I just write about my simple life and my blog isn’t really about decorating, although it’s thrown in with all of the rest of it.

    Blissdom is not something I would go to , not only because I would do more than throw up a litttle (lol) , but also because I’m not trying to really DO anything, except maybe share the beauty of my life in hopes that people will find the beauty in theirs. Maybe look at their husband differently or hug their kids more and enjoy their homes more than they do.

    So, I’m not sure where I fit in, but it’s great to know I’m not the only one that wonders if I’m good enough to be apart of Blogland. No matter how many readers I have I will always wonder why they read what I write, but I’m thrilled to hear from them and to be apart of this.

    Anyway, Thank you for sharing what you learned while you were there :)

    rue

    rues inspiring blog post..A project and an unpacking interuption

  66. Thanks Melissa. Seems like I try too hard to make the blog better and let things slip around here. I need to be told by someone other than my husband to “lay off the blog” for higher priorities. Wonderful inspiration! I do not have a Beautiful Life post to link, just wanted to thank you for being you.
    ~Misti

    Misti @ Studio M Designss inspiring blog post..Design Inspiration: Just for Kids

  67. Thanks, Melissa. Great reminders, all! I’ve noticed from the beginning what a kind blogger you are- it meant so much to me when you popped by my space, just to send well-wishes to my family.

    Your readers were so kind in their comments in my post a few weeks back about playing piano that I had wanted to record a new favorite Sonatina for them to enjoy (it’s been a lot of fun to learn)…but alas, there are three measures that still need a LOT of work, and I can’t find a way to add audio to my post :) So, no beautiful life post right now!

    Myrnies inspiring blog post..Om Nom Nom

  68. Technically, it’s Saturday over here. And my last post was made before I saw this post. But I really think it can belong here, so I added it.

    Love the words of wisdom..they are ones I try to follow with my own blog. Hence the very slow growth, lol. But at least I am being true to me, rather than getting lost chasing blog glory.

    muralimanohars inspiring blog post..Valentines..

  69. Melissa~ I linked to your post yestererday for the 1st time and didn’t realize until today when I checked back that I was suppposed to link back to you…I’m sorry. I’ll fix it this afternoon when I get home.
    I love to follow the rules but I just overlooked that one!!!
    Sorry again and Happy Heart Day~
    Robin Rane’
    All Things Heart & Home

    Robin Rane’ ~ All Things Heart & Homes inspiring blog post..Daddy’s Valentine over time and space

  70. Hi Melissa,
    I really appreciated what you had to say – it was very wise and encouraging. Your humility and candor is refreshing in this sometimes overly competitive blogworld. You’re a sweetheart – Happy Valentine’s Day!

    annechovies inspiring blog post..MY FUNNY VALENTINE GIVE-AWAY

  71. My goodness, it seems like you all had a fabulous time! And I really do appreciate all the blogging wisdom you had to share. Thank you for reminding us not to give up real life in our quest for great blogs!

    Kristens inspiring blog post..Welcome Company

  72. Melissa, as always you are right on target! Great post and you said everything about blogging that I believe in but in a much better and kinder way than I ever could :-)!

    “Let your blog contribute to your life and challenge you in ways you never imagined, but don’t let your blog control you or let it overshadow what means the most to you in life.”

    I agree with you 100 million percent! It’s easy to get wrapped up in comments (who doesn’t like feedback) or stats (that’s why I disabled my sitemeter awhile back – I was checking it too much). I think you have to think about what you want to get out of blogging. Some people want to make money with their blogs and that’s fine, other’s just want a place to share their lives with like minded people. It’s easy to get wrapped up in blog envy (I’ve felt that way and I know it’s absurd)! Thanks for the gentle reminder to think of what’s most important in life!

    Glad you had a nice time at Blissdom! I’m sure everyone enjoyed what you had to say. I’m the same way – I’m very extroverted but get me in a huge crowd and I clam up. So good for you for challenging yourself cause I would have chickened out LOL!

    Manuela

    The Pleasures of Homemakings inspiring blog post..Happy Valentine’s Day!

  73. Beautiful post, Melissa!

    xo,
    Lynda

  74. … a word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.

    Thank you Melissa for your words of wisdom. I will take them to heart…

  75. hi melissa;

    i obviously had not paid enough attention to you blog as i zip thru life. was at hotel preston with my sister and mother for mom’s b-day weekend (from chicago) and saw all these beaming women in for bliss conference. wish i had known you were there your loyal follower would have said hello and thanks for the inspiration. but i can say thank you now for your tips as i have already spent far too much time preparing to launch my own blog. thanks for the perspective!

  76. Thanks you for sharing your experience and your humaness. Is that a word?
    It is good to know that you can do what you love and be acknowledged for it. Great post!

    pamelas inspiring blog post..all i got and some news

  77. This was pure wisdom….now to continue living it in the day to day…all the time….minute to minute. :) Bummed I forgot to link up. :) But the goals got a bit lost this week with being gone.

    Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlams inspiring blog post..Shopping the house with a little spray paint

  78. oops…and completely meaning me when I said remembering to live it in the day to day….hee heee ;)

    Jen@Balancing Beauty and Bedlams inspiring blog post..Shopping the house with a little spray paint

  79. I’m sure that you were very inspiring…your post was. It’s nice to be reminded that the counters aren’t the only judge of our success….It’s been an awesome week!!

    Jackson Square Deliciouss inspiring blog post..All Dolled Up for a Valentine’s Day Tea Party

  80. thanks for your kind words on my blog and thanks for this great post I think what I got out of this post is our blogs are really about us and as long as we are learning and growing it doesn’t matter how many readers we have and that’s pretty much my theory on my blog love when someone else sees things my way…ha!

    Michelles inspiring blog post..Valentine’s Day

  81. Glory, glory, girl! How did you know that this was exactly what I needed to read? You couldn’t be more right. What good is having a successful blog if we don’t have a successful life.

    I have a tendancy to be a little obsessive about anything I do. This is exactly the sort of reminder that I need.

    Love you, girl.
    Kimba

    Kimbas inspiring blog post..Linky Love!

  82. I enjoyed your post and love that you shared the photo of you & the Nester. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of you and I just love to put a face with a name. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    Kim Hancocks inspiring blog post..An afternoon at Picasso’s Cup…

  83. Such a fantastic post. Thanks.

    Liberty Post Editors inspiring blog post..Liberty Post 2009 Valentine Post Winners.

  84. this says it all…thanks for sharing your heart…i have missed you…happy valentines day a little late…rebecca

  85. My dear BFF,

    I ALWAYS knew you would be successful in your endeavors! You have such a kind spirit and an amazingly huge heart. People are drawn to that. And yes, your blog is wonderful, but it is YOU that bring others to your site. I once told you that Alexandra Stoddard doesn’t have anything on you and now you are proving it, my dear. You are a dynamo!

    Mazel Tov on all that you have accomplished. I cannot wait to see how far you go. I am very, very proud of you.

    With big hugs and lots of love,
    Debbie

    DebbieWs inspiring blog post..Learning to Rely on Hope as a Shelter

  86. Melissa,
    Thank you for this wonderful post about BlissDom and REAL LIFE!
    Also thanks for leaving the sweet comment the day that my nest and egg prints came out at Nester’s. I really enjoyed getting to meet you! You, Nester and Emily were the only ones I REALLY wanted to meet at BlissDom….so I was super excited to get to have some time with you all and not just introduce myself!

  87. perfect hearted on purpose post – loved it!

    love u…’me’

  88. Melissa,
    Thank you so much for your post! I was so encouraged by your suggestions.

    Sarahs inspiring blog post..Blog of the Week: Inspiring Ideas

  89. I am enjoying seeing others’ beautiful lives.

  90. Melissa-
    I just discovered your blog today for the first time. I so enjoyed your post on blogging success, and wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts. You are very talented! I am new to blogging since January, so welcome all of the insite I can learn from others.
    Sweet of you to allow others to link to your site and back to ours. Thanks again-
    Gretchen
    http://mimitoriasdesigns.blogspot.com

    Gretchen Schaumanns inspiring blog post..Artful Blogging Inspiration

  91. A really, really lovely post. I’ll have to try to visit the Mr. Linky’s soon.

  92. Melissa, you always inspire me with your outlook on life.

    I sometimes think my blog is just dribble, but I decided that maybe I am a dribble. Dribbles are good. Right? ;-)

  93. You girls were lovely. It was so nice to meet you and the Nester.

  94. Thank you so much for such a well thought out perspective. Every time I read one of those “Top ten blogs” or notice that someone was recognized in a magazine , I have to remind myself of why I blog. It is easy to feel inferior, or envy, or think that I should be striving for some recognition, when that is not why I started blogging at all. I have to remind myself that we are all living different lives with different demands and challenges. Some have made a career of sorts out of blogging and some do it merely for the creative process……there are thousands of reasons. When I am inspired to write a post, I do it, and it is such fun to create, edit and publish it! If someone reads it and enjoys it, so much the better…….. I love the process and I love hearing from so many neat people out there! What an amazing way to connect with those we might not have ever met. That is my personal reason and everyone has their own. On another note, I love your honesty about how nervous you were – that would have been me! Sounds like you had a wonderful experience though – thanks for sharing!

  95. Melissa,
    Thank you sooo much for this post. I needed this today and just want to print this out where I can see it to remind me frequently about why I want to blog, and not feel like I have to blog, or let my blog run me. Thank you for your words and inspiration!

    Melissa

    melissas inspiring blog post..bird watch

  96. Awesome post, Melissa~ just what I needed to read! Loved meeting you in person. :)

    Nicole aka Gidgets inspiring blog post..January and February Memory Verses

  97. So glad you’re back….so glad you had a wonderful time!!! And trust me….if you were simply YOU when you spoke….it was perfect because it was wonderfully YOU!! :)

    Karis inspiring blog post..Wordless Wednesday

  98. Cynthia says:

    Hi Melissa, I just ran cross this today. Thank you for sharing your heart. This is wonderful advise that I will hold dear. I have been in the process of launching my blog this week and it has already taken up a lot of my other life time. Blogging is all very new to me and I’m not technical. So, my start is rocky but fun!

  99. Melissa,
    Thanks for this post. I know it is an old one but I’m new[er] to your blog so it is nice to look through and listen to your wisdom.
    emily recently posted..painted wallpaper a tutorialMy Profile

  100. Oh thank you.thank you.thank you. So glad I read this tonight, thank you for posting this wonderful article. I was indulging in self-pity that no one had left a single solitary comment on my heartfelt post regarding adoption. It was so discouraging to put myself out there in such a vulnerable way and then feel as if no one thought it was worthy of commenting on. Furthermore, your article made me realize I had forgotten why I started my blog in the first place, not as a popularity contest or to show off my latest home revelation, but to have an outlet to share and reflect on our families’ journey. Thank you for keeping it real and reminding those of us with bruised egos to step away and remember to go enjoy life with the people under our noses, not the ones we wish would follow our every word.
    Blessings,
    P
    Polly recently posted..Adoption 101My Profile

  101. “Overcoming my fears, stepping out into new territory, facing new challenges and sharing my heart with others through my blog has definitely reshaped my life in positive ways!”
    I know I am commenting on an old post but I am enjoying getting to know your blog and you better. This quote of you is so me. THAT is what I am trying to do with my blogging now. I started blogging half-heartedly and now desire for it to have purpose and bring glory to Jesus. Hence, I have jumped off the cliff and am going to my first ever blogging conference. I was in shock when my husband said I could go! Looking forward to seeing you, hearing you, and (maybe) even meeting you at Relevant.
    Sharon recently posted..Scripture and a Snapshot Quench NotMy Profile

  102. Another great article! Great advise about keeping your priorities straight and trying to keep balance in your life. Something I always struggle with, but am slowly learning that life doesn’t have to be perfect everyday, just enjoyable.

  103. just came across this great advice! Thanks. I needed that. Now If I can just figure out where to save it to find it again!

Trackbacks

  1. […] spoke on the topic off Blogging at the Blissdom conference last February with my buddies Nester and Simplemom (and yes, they were […]

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  3. […] When Blogs & Life Collide (Notes from my talk at Blissdom 09) […]

  4. […] is a post I wrote a couple of years ago about When Life & Blog Collide! It is free for the […]

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