Wednesday, August 3, 2022

My 7th Blog Anniversary

 My How Time Does Fly!

Hey friends!  I'm afraid I've let a few days go by without acknowledging and celebrating the 7th anniversary of my blog! So today I want to do just that. It is really, really hard for me to believe that seven years have passed since I first sat down and shakily pulled up Blogger to see if I could figure out how to even design a blog let alone write a post. You can see my first timid attempt here if you are interested. The post was short, sweet and to the point! If you have been a long time reader you will also notice how I have changed over the years. The picture collage above shows the very first picture I posted and the second, of course, is how I look today. Since I first posted on July 30, 2015 I have retired and learned to embrace the changes that come from retirement and adjusting to a new routine and schedule. I enjoy more freedom to choose how my days are shaped now than I did when I first started blogging. However, that doesn't mean that I have a lot of "empty" time. I have learned that "nature abhors a vacuum" and my time quickly has become filled with church work, spending time with The Mr. (who is also now retired), doing things around our home, musical endeavors, tutoring and traveling to see and help out with older members of my family. That especially has taken on new significance in the last few years. 

When I first started blogging, I tried to post at least three times per week. That has lessened over the years and now I post 1-2 times per week. Writing devotionals has been a mainstay of my blog since the beginning and I have returned to "Saturday Scriptures" for the summer months. I will decide when September comes whether I want to continue with this each Saturday. 

My posts are quite eclectic in my opinion. One may be about fashion the next may be about books, a tablescape or vignette, a devotional, or a mish-mash of all of the above! I guess that I write posts that I would enjoy reading. I enjoy learning about my favorite blogger's homes and pastimes and so I try to include all of that in my own posts! Even my two cats, Cassie and Garden, get in on the act when they "take over" the blog and write posts. They are creative little felines who like to share their adventures around the house as only they can share! 

I was looking back at my reader numbers from the start of the blog to now and, to be honest, they are rather discouraging. The numbers just aren't as big as they were at first. I attribute this to several factors. I think blogging as a whole has diminished and with the demise of blogs the readers have gone bye-bye as well. Instagram and Tik-Tok are the new "flavors of the month" and have taken the place of many blogs and I find that very sad. There also used to be lots of "link-parties" to link to and get new readers and those, too, have diminished and stopped. There are still link parties out there but I find that my interest in linking has also diminished. There are "rules" to join these parties which include reading and responding to other bloggers and sometimes I just don't have the time, energy or the interest in doing this. So, I plod along doing the best I can with my own little space in the blogosphere. I also made the mistake, which I truly regret, of reverting my blog back to blogspot for awhile and giving up my original domain name, Debbie This And That. In doing so, I lost a whole lot of readers that I never regained. Oh well. We live and learn, right?! The good news is that I have a wonderful group of faithful readers who join me in "styling life" and for that I am so very grateful!

Whenever a blog anniversary rolls around I always like to ask my readers to chime in with what they like to read/see on the blog and what I haven't included that would be of interest to them. So, here's your chance to let me know. Even if you read the blog and don't ever comment (I do that too with blogs I read) I would really appreciate a comment this time. It helps me to know that people do appreciate the time I put into blogging. I won't lie. It's been a challenge this past year to come up with ideas that I feel offer something "fresh." I mean, how many times do people want to read about what I put on my foyer table or how I set my table or what new dress I just got? I worry that my content is becoming boring or obsolete. I don't have new outfits to share each post. I made a definite decision long ago not to monetize my blog. I don't like reading blogs that have ads popping up while I am trying to read. It annoys me, so I don't want to do that to other people. I also don't invite or pay others to write posts for me. This blog is "all me" and that's the way I like it! I hope you do too. Thanks for giving your precious time to reading Debbie Styles Life. I truly appreciate YOU!

Until Next Time,
Debbie  (aka...Debbie This and That, Debbie Styles Life 😊)


Jodie's Touch of Style said...

Congrats Debbie. It's definitely a time commitment and people don't realize how hard it can be. But it's nice to have a community of women,

Linda said...

Good morning, Debbie.
I discovered you and your blog,
when I took an online class to study a book about the Serenity Prayer.
You have been brave and dedicated to maintain your blog all these years.
Writing a blog was something I thought about doing,
but I never followed through with that thought.
Congratulate yourself, Debbie.
I have appreciated your devotionals
and the times you have shared your faith.
Writing about the joys and the difficulties
that life has thrown at you has also been helpful.
May God bless you as you continue to be a blessing to your readers.
Thank you.

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thank you, Jodie. I always enjoy your posts with your Mom and friends. You have a beautiful style and spirit that certainly shows through in your posts! It's good to have the support of other bloggers. Hugs!

Debbie Styles Life said...

It's wonderful to hear from you, Linda! I enjoyed teaching The Serenity Prayer book in those online classes. I remember you and am so happy to hear from you. I enjoy writing those devotionals. As an introvert, though, it can be hard to share at times. But knowing that it helps others inspires me to continue. I hope you are well. Thank you so very much for your comment. Hugs!

Sharon said...

Congratulations, Debbie! It shows your dedication and creativity to be able to celebrate seven years of blogging! Each time that I see that you have a new blog post, I get excited and cannot wait to read it. Your blog is what I enjoy--a slice of life that resonates with my life. I'm glad you chose not to monetize your blog because, just like you, those ads popping up while I'm trying to read are annoying. I read some quilting blogs occasionally, and I read only the ones that don't have pop-up ads. Please keep doing what you're doing. (And please let Cassie and Garden, those ace cat reporters, know that I appreciate their roles in your blog as well.)

Debbie Styles Life said...

Thank you, Sharon, for all of your support over the years! I appreciate it so very much and I will be sure to tell Cassie and Garden how much their "writing" is appreciated!

Kara said...

Debbie, I enjoy your blog--I enjoy the variety. I like the faith focus. the home decor, the fashions, and your adventures. I am impressed by the bears in your yard--up here in Michigan we consider bears fearsome animals best observed in a zoo! I've never been to North Carolina, so it's fun to see your sites.
I also enjoyed reading about your visit to the Mitford Museum--I love the Mitford Series.
Thanks for taking the time and interest in providing your blog for us!


Iris said...

Congratulations on your Blog anniversary. To be honest, I cannot remember how or when I found your blog, but I do really enjoy it. I think what I like most is the fact that it is NOT just a single topic blog. There are enough "what to wear" blogs out there. I like seeing that on occasion, but not as a single topic (but that's just me).

Don't feel bad though, this has made me think and I cannot remember when I started blogging - I need to look that up.

I love the variety and the faith aspect of your blog, and the frequency. Frankly, I don't have time to read daily or bi-weekly blogs.