It’s almost hard to believe that this blog is still running, let alone generating an income to keep it afloat. I am beyond grateful for all of the relationships that have developed through this blog, and how they have helped me to develop as well.
Something that started out as solely a hobby has helped me realize my passions AND allowed me to use them in ways I never even thought out. Thank you for being here. Thank you for reading and sharing and commenting and making this corner of the internet a wee bit shinier. 🍋 HBD LBH.
five years down memory lane
This site started out as a blog (back on Wordpress) on Halloween night back in 2017. I didn’t truly know why but I knew I wanted to, and that was enough for me.
The blog continued to be about my long-distance relationship with my now-husband and how we navigated his constant travels. In 2018 the blog continued to follow my interests as I dabbled in home decor and my return to paper crafts, first through scrapbooking, and then discovering bullet journaling. We had just bought our home in Delaware and had our wedding, so I was going through a few transitions at once and needed a way to unload all of that from my mind.
Mid-2019 I had my first child and shared this post, still one of the site’s most popular to this day. During my maternity leave life slowed down even more and I started sharing more about my journaling and new adventures into pen-paling. In 2020 I shared my most popular post ever: How to Penpal: A Step-by-Step Guide, which eventually grew into a series of snail mail tutorials and posts.
Around the same time I finally bit the bullet and opened up my Etsy shop (I had given myself a six month deadline).
I started the shop with 2 or 3 digital downloads. Printable sticker sheets for brown skinned girls. As soon as I got the hang of my Cricut I started selling sticker sheets with my illustrations as well. The Etsy shop broke through it’s first hundred orders right away and I decided to continue making snail mail kits, sticker sheets, and bookmarks until it no longer served me.
Towards the fall of 2020 I began sharing my Recipe Journal on YouTube and the process for adding to it. I found a new hobby in creating videos but did struggle with being able to film with my noisy family sometimes.
By 2021 it didn’t make total sense to hold the blog in one place and the shop in another so I transitioned to my own Shopify website. I decided that the best time would be while my site was down for our family’s cross-country move.
I now love having everything in one place for my readers (though the migration was a headache) and it’s a lot less shuffling around for me as well.
five tips i would give my past self
- Stay on topic. I didn’t know what my topic was for a few YEARS and while I am glad it gave me the opportunity to find my passion, the internet would have been much nicer to my site if I’d known it earlier.
- Share to your people. I often hear the tip that content creators need to be everywhere and do for everyone. Be broad to attract more eyes. In my time blogging, making videos, sharing photos on Instagram, etc. I have found the opposite to be best practice. I share on the platforms that I enjoy and my people are right there with me. I have waaay more fun on Pinterest than Instagram and that’s ok for me. It keeps me from wasting energy and forcing posts I don’t want to create.
- Start with a solid foundation. I had a great time on Wordpress, especially when they introduced blocks. But had I known (or even considered) that one day I could be selling to my audience, I likely would have chosen a site builder that would grow with me.
- Organization is everything. I pump out much more cohesive and quality-filled content, when I am able to organize my thoughts someplace. I tend to have a process for writing out my blog posts and if I can leave it someplace and pick right back up later, it saves me a lot of re-writing. It also makes for an easier read for my audience.
- Sharing is caring. Too often I downplay, minimize, or completely leave my website out of conversation. To be honest, most of the people I do discuss it with are online. But in my experience, the best way to get my name out there has been to share what LBH is doing wether on social media or face to face.
five things i see on the horizon
- Re-imagined Journal With Me sticker sheets and club membership.
- Tutorial or maybe a mini-course.
- Notion content!
- A full digital collection. I’m talking notebooks, perhaps a planners, and stickers obviously.
- More in person markets for selling physical products.