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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.

Change

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’.

Why?

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.

A New Home Page

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.

My brand new logo!

Parenting with Purpose

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.

Pinterest Support & Help

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.

Does Pinterest make you worry about things like blog traffic? Wondering how to make it work for you? With over 11 years of experience as a blogger, I share how my services can help you as a Pinterest Manager, Trainer and Virtual Assistant. Let's get started!  #PinterestMarketing #Pinterest #Blogging #Blog #Shailajav #socialmedia #Blogger

Productivity Tips

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.

Book Reviews

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).

 Niche Services

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.

Workshops

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.

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

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.

Shailaja V 11th Blog Anniversary Giveaway



 *Featured image courtesy: Floral Deco via Shutterstock

Pin image courtesy: Lilie Graphie via Shutterstock

Comments

comments


48 Comments

Garg Ankit · August 21, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Congratulations on the new design Shailaja, it looks lit. All credit to Sid of course 😀
The static webpage is something even I have been considering since long, but I somehow keep myself talking out of it every time. Which is the biggest benefit of a static homepage according to you?

    Shailaja · August 21, 2018 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks Ankit! I agree. It’s all thanks to Sid.

    The static Web page makes sense in my opinion if you’re selling services in addition to having a personal blog. The reason I considered the move was because of my move into consulting and blog services. Now to see how it works out. 🙂

Meha · August 21, 2018 at 12:58 pm

Congratulations Shailaja. I really appreciate your sincerity, consistency and love for the written word. Hope you achieve many such wonderful milestones.

    Shailaja · August 21, 2018 at 4:00 pm

    Thanks so much Meha. That’s very sweet of you. 🙂

Pavithra M Adiga · August 21, 2018 at 1:02 pm

congratulations on blog aniversary. very motivating and informative post

Obsessivemom · August 21, 2018 at 1:26 pm

Love the new look though I still have to check out the homepage. But this looks neater and more professional. Congratulations on the blogversary. You deserve all the good things coming your way. Only rarely have I met a person so excited about learning new things and so ready to share.

    Shailaja · August 22, 2018 at 6:48 am

    Yay! Thank you so much. I was going for a more professional look since the focus of the blog has shifted from a hobby space to a more professional one. And Sid was the best person to do it. And you’re way too sweet to me. That’s true that I love to learn. I doubt I could survive in this space otherwise 🙂

Anamika Agnihotri · August 21, 2018 at 1:55 pm

Congratulations Shailaja for the 11th blog anniversary. The blog looks fantastic and this post gives an extensive detail about what this place is about. KidLit book reviews will be something I will look forward to among other things. I wish you all the best
Anamika Agnihotri recently posted The Button Collection #PictureBookReview 15My Profile

    Shailaja · August 22, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Thanks a lot, Anamika. I knew the kid lit section would appeal to you. 🙂

Sanch @ Sanch Writes · August 21, 2018 at 4:29 pm

Congratulations on the new look and new focus. It’s a great layout. And happy 11 years! 🙂
Sanch @ Sanch Writes recently posted Weekly Gratitude 2018 33/52My Profile

    Shailaja · August 22, 2018 at 9:47 am

    Thank you very much, Sanch 🙂

Nayantara hegde · August 21, 2018 at 5:55 pm

congratulations Shailaja. I have learnt so much from you in the last few months of knowing about your blog and page. Your Facebook page is the first place I think of when I need any solutions. I hope to keep you as my blogging guru and hope that I make it to such big milestones myself.
Nayantara hegde recently posted 0 to 2: the critical years to boost baby’s IQMy Profile

    Shailaja · August 22, 2018 at 9:49 am

    Thank you so much, Nayantara. That’s very good to know. And I am no guru, really. Just sharing what I learn 🙂

Mahati ramya adivishnu · August 21, 2018 at 7:49 pm

Wonderful design! Simple and pleasing to eyes. Congrats to you for completing 11 years. I will look forward to more posts on parenting , productivity and Pinterest.

    Shailaja · August 22, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Full credit to the design goes to Sid. Thanks for the wishes, Mahathi 🙂 I look forward to regular writing on the blog once again too.

Inderpreet Uppal · August 21, 2018 at 8:29 pm

Congratulations, it all looks very neat and spiffy All the best.

Pooja Priyamvada · August 21, 2018 at 9:24 pm

This is amazing and inspirational,you have shared all your personal and professional wisdom often,I appreciate that.
Pooja Priyamvada recently posted An Infant’s graveMy Profile

    Shailaja · August 22, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Thank you very much, Pooja 🙂

My Era · August 21, 2018 at 11:49 pm

Congratulations Shailaja!
Love the new look and professional feel of your website. Wishing you many more fabulous years of blogging and success in all you do.
Keep rocking!
My Era recently posted Why (and how) I Set Clear Boundaries With My ChildMy Profile

    Shailaja · August 22, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Thanks a lot, ME 🙂 I am so glad you like the site. Much love for all the warm wishes.

Debbie D. · August 22, 2018 at 7:20 am

it looks fabulous, Shailaja! 🙂 Congratulations to you on your new business and to Sid for a smashing design. All the best!

    Shailaja · August 22, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Thanks a lot, Debbie. That means a lot. 🙂

Varsha Baikar · August 22, 2018 at 11:02 am

Congratulations for completing such a long blogging journey Shailaja. The new look of your blog is great.
Wishing you all the best for your new journey

    Shailaja · August 22, 2018 at 11:28 am

    Thank you very much, Varsha. Glad that you like it!

Shilpa Gupte · August 22, 2018 at 11:58 am

This is simply beautiful! I loved the change, Shailaja! As i said, your site now looks super cool, clean and compact…um, you know what I mean, don’t you? It was cool earlier, too, no doubt. But, now it has a professional look.
WIsh you more success with every year, dear! Keep writing, keep smiling!
Love to one of the most beautiful souls I met online! <3

    Shailaja · August 23, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Yes I do know what you mean, Shilpa. Thank you! I was hoping the professional look came through. So glad it did. And likewise on one of the most beautiful souls. 🙂

Vishal Bheeroo · August 22, 2018 at 2:19 pm

Congrats veteran and the image makeover looks clean and super attractive. Power to Sid, the designer for lending a touch of aesthetic to the blog. A huge achievement Shailaja!

    Shailaja · August 23, 2018 at 9:58 am

    Ha ha, veteran makes me sound way too old, Vishal 😉 Absolute power to Sid. He is a Godsend.

Parul Thakur · August 22, 2018 at 6:17 pm

Congratulations! It looks perfect and neat. I loved reading this post and felt so good about your journey. The best part is that you have always been open to share your learnings with others and that’s why we love you so much. You are a giver. <3
I wish you another 11 years and counting.
Parul Thakur recently posted Facebook users in 2018My Profile

    Shailaja · August 23, 2018 at 9:57 am

    Thank you, Parul 🙂 I try to be as open as possible. All that I have learnt is through the kindness of others online. Your words mean a great deal to me. Thank you, again.

Vinitha · August 22, 2018 at 7:50 pm

Congratulations Shailaja! Hope that this new look gives you more confidence to unleash your creativity better and to grow brighter as a blogger and writer! I would like to say that with or without the new look and design I will be here to read you, always. ❤️
Vinitha recently posted Wordless Wednesday 50My Profile

    Shailaja · August 23, 2018 at 9:56 am

    You know you are the sweetest and one of the kindest people I have ever come across, Vinitha 🙂 Thank you so much 🙂

Ravi S · August 22, 2018 at 10:34 pm

Congrats. the blog looks neat

Shilpa Garg · August 23, 2018 at 12:34 am

Congratulations on this glorious blogging journey, Shailaja. Love the new look and the direction you are taking for your blog. Cheers!

    Shailaja · August 23, 2018 at 9:54 am

    Thank you so much, Shilpa 🙂

Maya Bhat · August 23, 2018 at 11:10 am

Happy 11th Birthday to your blog baby. I must say, this look is mind blowing. Wish you all the best !!! And yes, I love your Blog, your write ups, your fb group and ideas you come up with. I have learned a lot from you ☺️❤️

    Shailaja · August 23, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Thanks Maya. So pleased you like the look. And thanks for the wonderful words about the blog too. 🙂

Vinodini · August 23, 2018 at 1:11 pm

Congratulations, Shy! This is such a big milestone. I love this new look of your blog, especially the pink in the logo. You’ve really come a full circle. Looking forward to being more regular on your blog to keep up with all the interesting updates you’ve mentioned here. Here’s to many more! ❤

    Shailaja · August 24, 2018 at 7:24 am

    Thanks Vinodini. I’m thrilled to hear that. It’s been a very fascinating journey, really and I’m loving every step of it.

Sonia Chatterjee · August 23, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Congratulations yet again Shailaja. I love everything about the revamped site. There’s a sleek look about it. You have been an inspiration to me and I hope you continue to do such incredible work for many more decades. Love.

    Shailaja · August 24, 2018 at 7:24 am

    Thanks Sonia. That means a lot to me. Truly. 🙂

Reema D'souza · August 24, 2018 at 8:17 pm

Congratulations on completing 11 years of blogging! I can understand what an interesting journey that may have been. All the best for all your future endeavours 🙂
Reema D’souza recently posted No longerMy Profile

Janaki Srinivasan · September 1, 2018 at 8:39 am

Love he new look. It’s stylish. And I always look forward to tips that work in the blogosphere. Keep them coming. As a comparatively new blogger, I specially love the Pinterest tips….they’ve helped me. Congratulations and wish you many many more wonderful blogging years ahead!!

Chirag Mehta · September 4, 2018 at 12:05 am

Congratulations for completing 11 years of the blogging journey. All the best for your consulting endeavour and managing a tween along with.

The new design looks good and the idea of the static page is nice.

Wish you success.
Chirag Mehta recently posted 5 must-do activities for 4 years old in ParksMy Profile

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