Brand Design Photography & Styling Clarity Consulting

Year One

December 12th (TODAY) marks the first day I blogged for The Veda House and I want to commemorate this first year with a week long series all about the ups and downs of blogging. Last year I was not new to blogging. Throughout my college career, a classmate and I maintained a joint design blog that lived for 3 years. We both shared design content on a daily basis, but since we were design students, it kind of felt like part of the student job description. I really enjoyed it, but didn’t feel any real pressure to maintain the blog for traffic or growth reasons. Last winter, I realized that I wanted to blog more on a personal level and the joint  blog was no longer the place for that.

Last December I was a little over a year out of design school with a huge desire to get connected back into the online social community where I once lived and thrived. I was missing being surrounded by all my other designer classmates and sharing content dropped off soon after school ended. I was also yearning to leap into the world of documenting my many DIY projects and mini-adventures I embarked on. I wanted to get back into photography that I once loved so much and I wanted to try baking…why not? I will admit that The Veda House started with very little direction, focus or plan for the future. I just wanted to document, and document in my own space/on my own time.

I’ll start by saying that the first year was one nasty roller coaster, and I hate roller coasters. The climbs to the top were short lived and the time spend zooming down hill were long and excruciating. When I first started I didn’t know that putting together posts about personal content would be so exhausting and mentally draining. I didn’t know that I would want to constantly be validated for the content I was putting out there for everyone to see. It became a war between me and myself and honestly, I hated it. I wanted my little blog to be seen by others. I wanted others to like the content enough to share it, and I wanted my blog to grow at a steady rate. I blogged about recipes, diys, thrifting trips, homes I liked, music I liked, our trip to the zoo…everything. This was mistake number one and the biggest mistake I’d make in year one; not having any focus what so ever.

During the first few months my itty bitty blog grew slowly. There was a time when ten views a day was like winning the lottery and days were 5 views was like death. I became a chronic stat checking, because I am a human who yearns to succeed at everything I set out to do. I wanted the numbers to tell me that all the time I had spent pouring my soul to the internet was worth all the hard work. Numbers grew, but at an embarrassingly low rate. I kept going, hoping that this was just what it takes to make the blog a success. That’s what others were telling me at least. Success doesn’t happen over night right? I networked my ass off, paid for advertising on other blogs, left meaningful comments on other blogs, and filtered all my blog content throughout Twitter and Facebook. I felt like I was doing everything right, but what was my problem??

About half way through the year the numbers stopped. My blog was no longer growing, but laughing at me at the top of a very low plateau. My blog laughed at me for the next couple months. This is when I was certain it wasn’t worth my time anymore and that being a full time blogger on top of a full time day job was just crazy talk. But I’m super stubborn and I keep going because this is what I do. I complained a lot about, whined and pouted, and even stopped my feet some, but I kept going.

Three quarters of the way through this first year I decided that I needed to shift the focus of my blog content to something a little more manageable. I needed to make my blog more about collaboration and networking to help out with the pressures of creating original content. I started blogging more about what was inspiring me on a daily basis, and less about where I went last weekend. I realized that as a design professional who is surrounded by great design on a daily basis, I had access to sharable design content. I know “good” design. I know what a beautifully styled room looks like. And I know that blogging about these kinds of things is really easy for me. It flies off the tip of my tongue without a problem. Over the last couple months of this first year my blog finally stopped laughing at me. OMG! Finally! Numbers have started to slowly grow. They are growing at a rate that keeps me motivated to continue. And wahoo, I really enjoy blogging again.

So today The Veda House is a place where I document inspiring graphic design work, illustrations, photography, interior design, and design trends. My blog has become a collaboration with other online bloggers/designers/artists who share similar design beliefs as myself. It has become a place to grow my network and share my own design services with others. It has become a portal to my online design portfolio and other social media outlets. My blog has become organized and refreshing to read. Most importantly, I really enjoy blogging. It’s no longer a debbie downer on my to do list, but something I can spend hours and hours enjoying. I can’t wait to see how this next year goes. So excited…and relieved.

Over the next 6 days I’m going to share with you 7 tips/suggestions (one category a day) I’ve gathered from my first year of blogging. I have so much I’d like to share, information that I wish other bloggers would have shared with me when I first started out. I hope you find this information valuable, even if you’ve been blogging for years. Everyone has a different experience, and this is just my version. I also wanted to thank all of you who have traveled this first year with me. It is because of you that I have kept going….and going. haha

Stay tuned for Part 1 and some additional insights from some of my blogger pals.


*All photos in this series are from Marco Suarez Art Shop on Etsy and all type was typeset by myself.

33 comments on “Year One

  1. I love this post! Thanks so much for sharing! It’s so interesting to read about other blogger’s experiences!
    Happy one year of blogging! Can’t wait to read more! xxx

  2. I know exactly what you mean. These little blogs of ours start from a passion but sometimes turn into mean little obsessions. I’m still learning my way around it all but my focus is to always try and remember why I started in the first place.

    Thanks so much for the honesty in this post. It’s hard sometimes to realize the work, effort, and emotion that someone puts into a blog. It really is a full-time job (minus the paycheck!)

  3. I blog, because it is my journal. No bother about others reading or leaving comments. Its a party when one person stays long enough to write one thing! haha.
    hope your next year is a good one!

  4. Happy Anniversary! I hit the same wall with blogging but I just started writing for me and it felt a lot more ‘right’ and a lot better. Glad you’ve found a balance!

  5. AWESOME! This is a great post. It can get so very frustrating. I’m a stat checker also but have tried to stay focused on what makes me happy and what my blog was meant for in the first place, me.

    Happy Anniversary Cassie! 🙂

  6. I know what you mean, your blog is fantastic by the way and I always enjoy stopping by to see what’s in store next. Happy one year dear friend! I can’t wait to sit back and hold on tight for for the ride ahead. 🙂 s

  7. I’m so proud of you, sweets! It has been such a pleasure getting to know you and watching your blog evolve this year – it’s truly something special.

    Yay, Cassie! Love to you, dear. xo.

  8. Cassie baby, the time and effort you put into this project, does not go un-noticed. Trust me you have built a nice family, and the content you put out for all to read is stunning. Always remember to do this for you, don’t worry about pleasing others. Show the world how talented you are!

    Happy Anniversary, we are very proud of you.

  9. It’s a hard place to be when numbers and stats are the focus, for sure. Ups and downs are normal and plateaus are ok too (contrary to what some bloggers will tell you). It’s how we deal with those times that helps develop our unique online voices. I’m glad you’ve found some balance and are enjoying blogging again, because what’s the point if you’re not enjoying yourself? I’m looking forward to reading about the other lessons you’ve learned your first year!

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  11. Congrats!! Love the honesty in this post. Blogging definitely isn’t all sparkles and roses, but it can be extremely rewarding. The most important thing is finding what works for you. Wishing you continued success in your 2nd year!!

    1. Thanks Kaileen. Sometimes its easy to write personal and honest post and other times it’s really hard. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

  12. Way to go, Cassie – You are a rock star blogger and possibly the most dedicated person I know. I can’t wait to see what you do for year 2!

  13. Just discovered this blog of yours and I think you are just doing great, can’t reason why your numbers have gone up so slow! My company is living up to its first anniversary so we’ve been in the same rollercoaster of trying to get the numbers up and keep everything interesting and relevant. It’s hard but rewarding! So keep up.

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  15. December marks my 11th month of blogging so im almost hitting the 1 yr mark too! This would be great to read since i had a lot of “unfocused” topics in the beginning!

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  17. Cassie, this is such a refreshing post to read, and having followed your blog for the past few months, I can’t imagine The Veda House NOT being successful. Everything you post is beautifully curated, and I enjoy your design point-of-view! I feel like I had (and am still having) a very similar time to your first year – but like you, I also refuse to quit! 🙂 Can’t wait to see more from you in the future!

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  20. Great post. January marks my one year anniversary of blogging, although it’s really only been over the last few months that I’ve become really dedicated to it (and definitely don’t have nearly as many posts at my one year mark as you do!)It’s been a strange journey, because while part of me wants the world to find me and wants to obsessively check my stats, the other part of me just wants to take my time and build something I’m proud of and not worry about how quickly it grows. I think your blog is great, and I LOVE how clean and simple your design is. 🙂

  21. Thank you so much for these tips you are sharing. I feel exactly the way you described I believe I am doing everything right but still it is growing at an incredible slow rate. Your insights are truly helpful.

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