Sometimes I wake up, pinch myself and re-read the title of this post as I draft it. 11 years of Blogging. I’ve stuck with this thing called my blog for 11 years! Isn’t that both incredible and heartwarming? And now it’s time for some changes.
I’ve already written a number of lessons that I’ve learnt from blogging. Last year, when I completed a decade, I covered most of them and to be honest, they haven’t changed in any way.
If there’s one thing I would add to the lessons, though, it would be ‘Stay A Learner’. That’s right. 11 years later, I can confess that there is so much that I don’t know and this doesn’t worry me, not one bit. If anything, it makes me happy that there is lots to learn from and grow as a person and a blogger.
The second thing I’d add to it is the concept of relationships. This blog won the award in the Best Relationships Category last year, thanks to Indiblogger’s jury and the absolutely wonderful group of people who read and voted for my blog.
As a blogger, today, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my relationships with my readers. Fellow bloggers who read me, regular users who connect with my words and critics who gently point out where I go wrong. Trust me, this means more than words can say. And that is what enabled me to take that leap of faith earlier this year when I launched my business: the power of relationships and community.
So, first and foremost, I must start this post with a note of immense gratitude to the one and only Sid Balachandran, who took up the rather daunting task of re-designing my website.
I say daunting because I had a TON of requirements and he came through with every single one of them. Right from the small logo you see on my site’s browser to the lovely bigger one on my home page, it’s his work.
Additionally, he worked through 3 themes with all the bells and whistles before settling on this one. He recommended features based on whether or not they made sense for my website. He kept in touch over mail and messages and calls and worked through the night to get this up and running.
And with all of that in mind, I now speak of the thing I’ve been working up the courage to do.
Now there’s the thing that both excites and unnerves me. And since there are so many changes on the site and on my journey, I felt a blog post would do it more justice. Let’s dive in.
The Name of the Blog: Long-time readers identified with this blog as ‘Diary of a Doting Mom’. As of today, the blog’s name is changed to ‘Shailaja V’.
Because it’s not just about parenting anymore. As we grow, we tend to expand our interests, our focus areas and our pet projects.
So with that, I present to you the old blog with a new name:
Parenting, Pinterest & Productivity
Using the new Gutenberg Editor
This was the one thing that really had me worried but barring a few minor hiccups, I actually love it. There are a couple of things I am still learning, but this new format and design of the post? That’s all thanks to Gutenberg.
Yes, my baby has a new look 🙂 The Home Page is now a Static Landing Page with some wonderful new features. I can’t think why I waited so long to get this done, but I guess there’s a time for everything.
The page now showcases my core focus areas at the top. This is followed by a link to my services packages, a contact me section, client testimonials and more.
I have a separate BLOG section which takes you directly to my latest blog posts. Don’t miss the search option on the top right of the home page.
Cool, isn’t it? Again, full credit to Sid for all the hard work.
New Logo: You must have seen it already on Instagram, but this is the lovely new logo designed by Sid for my blog. It was such a pleasure to brainstorm with him and come up with a design that we mutually agreed upon. In addition, Sid also re-designed my newsletter header and footer, my site’s extended logo, which you see on top of this page and of course, my business cards too.
A reading of my own posts over the last couple of months compelled me to realized that my blog isn’t just a diary anymore. It’s the space where I come to share lessons I’ve learnt as a person and a parent. I also have a tween (soon-to-be teen) in the house so the focus will now shift to parenting as an overall concept.
So while it isn’t ‘diary of a doting mom’ anymore, it’s still a potpourri of parenting experiences.
A glance at the year gone by has shown me what a magical world Pinterest can be. It lifted me out of a deep abyss, personally and blog wise & turned my blogging mojo around.
So from here on you can expect regular posts on Pinterest assistance, tips to navigate the platform and make it work for your blog.
And if you ever find the idea overwhelming, you can always hire me to do the hard work for you.
This was a bit of a foregone conclusion, actually, if you know me at all. Productivity, time management and personal management is in my blood. It keeps me energetic and happy. I’ve always loved schedules and it just seemed natural to integrate that into the blog as well.
Expect more posts on how to make your time work for you and more importantly, how to be the master of your own schedule.
Gy is a bookworm, just like her parents. A long time ago, I used to write book reviews on the blog. And it’s something I really enjoyed doing too. With that in mind, I am bringing back the Book Review section on this blog.
Reviews will be on Kid lit, Blogging Books and Guides, Productivity books and more. (I usually recommend books that I read out of my own interest and volition, so I won’t be taking book review requests).
As much as I enjoyed launching my business, I made the cardinal mistake of over-extending myself in this space. Yes, I love Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and everything else. But I can’t do justice to all of them from the services perspective.
Similarly, when I offered blog-related services on my ‘Work with me’ page, I was very generic. As a result, I had people reaching out to me for help with everything ranging from theme designs to giving them step-by-step advice on how to present their home page.
Lesson learned, the hard way. So I now have very specific things to offer my clients: Help with Pinterest, Mailchimp and on-page SEO. It is my hope that the niche products will help us work together with a more focused approach.
I’ve been conducting monthly group and one-on-one workshops for Pinterest/SEO/Mailchimp/Tailwind with a very positive response. Catch the reviews from customers on this page. As we move forward, I intend to conduct more such sessions for bloggers and website owners.
Two Facebook Pages
I already have two pages on Facebook, did you know? But here’s the thing I realised about quality engagement. The more niche you go, the more organic and better the engagement. As a result, parenting posts and updates do well on one page while blog, social media and writing updates do well on the other.
And thus, I give you these two pages. So, if you haven’t yet, go on and follow them today:
- A Parenting Diary where I will continue to talk about all things parenting including books for kids.
- Shailaja V, where I will share my tips on Pinterest, Productivity, the blog, social media and writing.
If you’ve read this far, I thank you immensely and also solicit genuine feedback on the new look of the blog as well as the services offered. Anything at all is most welcome. I will be working out any glitches or tweaks over the next week or so.
Now for the fun part. I have TWO exciting things to give away on the occasion of the blog turning 11.
- An Amazon.com Gift Voucher worth $25
- A paperback copy of one of my favourite books, ‘Deep Work’ by Cal Newport.
*The Voucher is open to everyone but the paperback can be sent only to someone with an Indian shipping address. 🙂
Click on the link below to enter the giveaway.
*Featured image courtesy: Floral Deco via Shutterstock
Pin image courtesy: Lilie Graphie via Shutterstock