A Year of Blogging – Giveaway Alert!

Today marks the first anniversary of the blog.


Why does it feel so anti-climatic? Other bloggers have “blog parties” and press releases when they hit an anniversary. And I’m sitting on my sofa looking at the clock trying to come up with something, anything before I hit the shower and leave for the office. I’m telling myself not to compare my humble pages to those of people with hundreds of thousands of followers. It’s my first year. The truth is, I’m lucky anyone knows I’m around! I don’t have an eloquent post or wise words to share, but here are some things I’ve learned in a year of blogging:

1) A giveaway does not generate traffic *snap* just like that. My first giveaway was a $100 Bettie Page gift card thinking surely the women of the internet would swarm my page wanting to win! HA! HA! and HA! I had 33 entries in a week. Thirty-three. I have to chuckle. I had no idea I could list giveaways, should Tweet about them, pin them to a Pinterest board or post them on a Facebook page. I’ve come a long way.

Taken from The World Wanderer Facebook page

2) Blogging is a full-time job. I get up at 0400 (4am) with the hubs, make him breakfast (well, most days) and then after he leaves for base, I write before leaving for the office. I blog on planes. I blog in hotel rooms. I blog in airports. I set up my BufferApp daily. People have accused me of being on the internet when I’ve said I was elsewhere thanks to scheduled posts. Ah technology! Oh – and when I’m not blogging, I’m thinking of blogging. I talk about my blog like it’s a person. I embrace this obsession passion and luckily so does the hubs.

3) Receiving comments is better than finding a $50 bill on the sidewalk! I really do love comments and appreciate when people make the effort of filling in a ridiculous captcha-code to give me their thoughts. Sharing and receiving feedback is what it’s all about for me!

4) I do not have a niche and I don’t need one. So often I asked myself, “Am I travel blog? A health blog? A milspouse blog? How do I figure it out?” I’m a milspouse. I’m an event manager (who loves her job). I’m a frequent business traveler. I’m a pleasure traveler. I’m a cancer survivor. I’ve shared my hysterectomy journey. I share recipes. I aspire to be a great wife. I’ve created 1950’s Hot Housewife with a Modern Twist (more to come, I swear!) and some days are more interesting than others. I’ve concluded that I don’t have to check a category box. I walk to the beat of my own drum and so does my blog.

5) Social media is enough to make a person’s head spin! Twitter chats, Klout, Instagram, SumAll, Alexa, Google Analytics, Ad Sense, Rafflecopter, WordPress vs. Blogger, BufferApp linkys, link-ups and a million other things I am not writing. I had no idea what half of these things were. I’m still learning! Reminder to self: You do not have to know it all.

6) Being asked to guest post is like winning the lotto! I’ve guested posted on two other blogs and I’ve been asked to create two more pieces. It’s an honor to be asked. Stay tuned!

7) Feedback will not always be positive. When I wrote my hysterectomy piece for The Daily Beast, I was quite shocked to receive such negative feedback for the type of surgery I had. I was called vain and wasteful. Only one person had anything positive to write. I just have to remember that people are brave behind their screens, and not to take things personally. For all of the negative feedback, I privately received positive comments and thoughts ten-fold.

8) Friends won’t necessarily care about your blog nor think of you as a “blogger.”  Most of my “in-real-life” friends could care less that I have a blog. They don’t ask about it. Some may skim it, but they don’t regularly read it. And that is okay. They live life with me, and they’re supportive if I bring it up. I do not ask them to share it, because I don’t want to put them on the spot. So I’m doing it on my own. And that really is okay.

9) Turning things down sucks. I have been approached by those asking for reviews or blog posts about things with which I may not ethically agree. Of course, it would mean more blog traffic, but the integrity of anything I put my name on is more important than endorsing an item or organization with which, in good conscience, I cannot align myself.

10) I’m grateful to everyone who reads and that I am here to live a life worth sharing. Thank you for being here and for reading. It really does mean a lot.

Now, you know that OF COURSE, this means it’s giveaway time! I thought of what I could do in celebration of my first anniversary! Since the traditional gift is paper I am giving away a copy of one of my favorite books, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet along with an Edible Arrangement! Be sure to leave a comment telling us about a special anniversary you’ve celebrated! That is the only mandatory entry. All the rest are optional! Once you leave a comment the other options will be unlocked. The anniversary can be ANYTHING! Enter to win here:
a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Disclaimer: 18 and over only, US shipping addresses only due to delivery restrictions, Edible Arrangement may be different than what appears in photo. I am the sole sponsor of this giveaway.

Oh! You have probably noticed the new header and look of the blog. I hope you like it! Kayti Designs did an amazing job and I love the special touches in my header: The ship is a silhouette of a US Navy Destroyer – the type of ship on which the hubs was deployed. The suitcase is next to me since I’m the one traveling now and my hair, look closely, is different colors because I’m always changing it. It is of course, modeled after one of our amazing engagement photos taken by Angela of Powell Woulfe Photography:

Who knows what the next year will bring?! Be sure to stick around and see! 😉 Thank you again for being here and reading along on my adventures. Happy anniversary to Life of a Traveling Navy Wife!