When I started blogging in 2015 I truly had no conception of the time involved, the commitment needed or the passion I would feel for something that started out as a lark. To be still at it as I celebrate 6 years of blogging is truly something of which I am proud!
This blog has evolved over the six years in terms of name (I began as Debbie This and That) and into a lifestyle blog that seeks to entertain, uplift, inspire and give ideas to women who, like me, are interested in reading about a variety of lifestyle issues. Not just about fashion, or books, or home decor, or daily life, or faith issues, but about a little bit of ALL of it. A little bit of this and that, in homage to the original blog name, is what Debbie Styles Life is all about!
I will admit that I had high hopes when I started this blog that I would be one of those bloggers who “hit it big” in terms of readership numbers. I wasn’t so concerned with monetizing my blog but I did want people to read what I had to say. Over the years, I have made blogging decisions that I believe have impacted those high hopes to some degree and my numbers have never reached the “going viral” stage. Changing my blog name definitely impacted the numbers and I lost many followers who never came back. I have also chosen to stay on a platform which is not the typical “recommended” one for bloggers who want a large readership. Whether that has anything to do with how my blog is advertised out on the web I have no idea but I have been advised over the years to leave the platform. I have chosen not to do so as I feel very comfortable working with the software on this platform and do not know how to do all of the “techie” things which may be required of me on another platform. I don’t need to worry about backing up my blog or figuring out what to do about hacking. My blog platform takes care of all of that for me.
For me, my blogging at this point in life is like the comfort of an old shoe. It may have a few scuffs here and there and be worn a bit, but it is so comfortable I would not want to part with it being the way it is. My readers are the VERY BEST readers and their loyalty, interest and comments mean so very much to me. When I have those moments, as all bloggers do, when I get tired or can’t come up with something to write about and I begin to think about quitting, I remember my readers and how sad I would be if I could no longer connect with them and that always gets me back on track with blogging!
Several years ago, I read a description of another blog that I wish I had copied down to keep because I loved the description so much. It was to the effect that this person’s blog wasn’t the BIG store type blog but was more like when one walks down a street window shopping into lovely little stores that offered a variety of interesting and homey items. This writer evoked a sense of comfort and warmth in describing their blog. And that, my friends, is what I want….what I hope….all of you feel when you read my blog. A sense of home where you can kick off your shoes, put up your feet, have a cup of tea and just relax and enjoy.
I continue to think about my blog and what topics readers like and what topics they don’t. Pretty much every year at “birthday time” I ask readers to let me know their thoughts and every year, without exception, the answer is to keep doing what I’m doing. And so, I will!
I do want to reiterate that I don’t consider myself an expert on ANY topic I share on the blog! I often think about stopping certain posts, mostly those where I share fashion. I have never considered myself “model” quality and I still will look at fashion posts and feel a bit silly. After all, what do I have to offer others in terms of fashion sense? Or, for that matter, home decor, sharing of books or devotionals?
I guess what I have to offer through blogging is being my genuine self. I’m just a sixty-something woman who has always enjoyed fashion from the time she was about three years old clomping around the house in her mother’s high heeled shoes. I’ve always enjoyed clothes and styling them and trying different outfit pieces on to see how they go together. I’ve always loved jewelry and I like to wear necklaces and bracelets and rings in ways that compliment my outfits. I don’t really care if clothing or jewelry are expensive or not as long as they look good and I feel I look good wearing them. And so I share these qualities in the fashion posts I write.
Likewise, I offer my genuine self in terms of home decor. I know my house doesn’t look like most of the houses you will see displayed on other blogs, or on Pinterest or Instagram. And I’m kind of glad about that. It’s not that those houses aren’t beautiful with all of their Farmhouse decor and perfectly styled porches. It’s just that I believe that houses need to be homes not museums. Do people actually LIVE in these homes we see images of so frequently? If you came to my front door right this minute you would see what I consider to be some pretty decor items. But, you would also see some dust bunnies and some clutter scattered around each room. Do you know why? Because, in my opinion, that is how people LIVE. Some of the most favorite homes I have ever visited had dust bunnies and clutter and the people who lived there were real people who made me feel at home and offered kindness and warmth. That is what I hope to offer with my home decor.
And then there are my books. Oh my goodness, no matter where life leads me in the future my friends, I must have my books! Where would I be without Miss Read, Agatha Raisin, Quilleran and his cats, Betsy-Tacy, The Magical Cats and all of the other wonderful characters who, over the years, have become my friends and companions? None of the titles I have shared on the blog over the years are “great thinking” books. And yet, great thinking is to be found in reading them because these books exude warmth and friendship and love of pets, friends and home. All things that are very important to me.
Speaking of pets, you know I had to include posts over the years that included my loveable fur babies! Whether it was Gracie the Ace Cat Reporter or my two fur- sleuths Cassie and Garden, I have made room on the blog to showcase the furry members of my family. And although he is not furry or a pet, this is a good spot to give a shout out to The Mr. who supports me in all of my blogging endeavors. I appreciate him so very much.
And, of course, there are the posts I have shared over the years that were devotionals or that shared scriptural thoughts. My faith is very important to me. My love for Jesus and my belief that He is as near as our very breath is a constant in my life. I don’t consider myself a Biblical Scholar, but I do read the Bible and believe in what it says. Am I a perfect person? Absolutely not. But faith in Christ isn’t about being perfect because He was perfect for us to the point of giving His life for us. I surely try each day to live as God wants me to live. But, being human, I often fail. I have faith that God loves me no matter what and that God came to us in the human form of Jesus to teach us how to live by His example. And so, I cling to my faith during good times and bad and I enjoy sharing devotional thoughts and scriptures with my readers.
So, in a nutshell dear readers, this blog is about me being me. Sharing how I do life on a daily basis warts and all! I’ve been at it for six years. I look forward to more years of sharing a little bit of this and that with all of you! If you like what you read, I encourage you to tell others so they too can become my bloggy friends. And, as always, I encourage you to leave a comment because I LOVE hearing from you!
From my heart, to my readers, after six years of blogging.
Until Next Time,