Happy Blogiversary- A look back at my blogging journey!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

I recently had the sweetest Instagram friend reach out to me requesting some insight into how I got started blogging. I was so humbled that she reached out and at first a little nervous to put myself out there in this way because I still consider myself a newcomer to all things blogging but she encouraged me to share my blogging journey from one beginner to another! So, in honor of R&R at home turning THREE on April 29th (I'm a few days late) I wanted to share a little blogiversary post with y'all!

When I sat down to write this post I wasn't quite sure how I wanted it to read. Should I give detailed steps? Should I simply have a conversation with y'all? I figured a good place to start would be my 'why'. Why am I here? Why do I blog? I can tell you one thing for sure and that is that I am not here for money. I know that sounds harsh but it's true. Would I love to someday earn an income from blogging? Of COURSE! But three years into blogging and I have yet to earn one penny. The reason I am saying that is because my true why for blogging is because I truly enjoy it. I never considered myself a writer per say but I love sitting down and sharing my thoughts with anyone willing to listen (read). I also have a passion for DIY projects and home decor on a budget that I want to share with others. The other reason I say that is to let you know this post isn't going to be informative on how to earn an income from blogging. It's more of a 'here's what's worked for me' type of post! (But I'd love for you to share your money earning tips with me if you've got em 😉!)

So, now that you know my 'why' let's get into the how. How did I get started blogging? My journey all started with photo collages I would share on my personal Facebook page of various home projects I completed. I was always getting comments from friends to start a dang blog already (I'm still not sure if they were tired of my projects filled their feeds or genuinely wanted more tutorials, haha!). So, I logged into blogger and created my blog. This is the part where I fail at providing you with some grandiose plan I had made because I really did just sit down and login. I hadn't done much research on platforms or hosting (things I am still looking into). I did, however, have a friend who recently started a successful blog that I reached out to for tips. She gave me some great information and I will forever be grateful for that (I hope you're still reading Iulia!). Anyway, one day I thought of a name and created my blogger account. I'll never forget writing my first blog post. I spent WEEKS on it. I had multiple people proof it before publishing. Then, I accidentally deleted it. Yup. My first blog post was accidentally deleted while re-reading it for the umpteenth time on the train. I am pretty sure I cried right then and there. And that was the moment I learned to back up my work. After successfully re-writing my first post I hit the publish button and, as they say, the rest is history!

So I guess we're going to start the advice part of this blog post now. In all seriousness, I did want to share some tips I have from one beginner to another!


If you're looking into starting a blog you are going to want to start by deciding what platform to use. I started with (and am still using) Blogger. However, if I could do it again I would probably start with WordPress. Blogger is very user friendly but not as customizable. I don't have any fancy reasons why I just know that Wordpress is going to give you more options and is the way of the blogging future. That being said, I do believe that by using WordPress you are going to have to purchase hosting. I wanted to be able to provide you with the best details possible for this portion so I had my wonderful sister, owner and operator of RKA Ink, step in to provide some details on your different platform options.
'It seems like everyone has a blogging platform they swear by, so you might expect me to tell you why I believe one platform is the absolute best. But, the truth is, the blogging platform I give my highest recommendation is the one you use and commit to creating content on regularly.
All too often I see bloggers choose a tool based on what others recommend and then they wrestle with that tool and end up giving up on blogging because the tech gets in the way. My recommendation is to start with a tool you enjoy and find easy to use and, as your blog grows, upgrade when it makes sense for you. This means you might start using a platform like bLogger and eventually upgrade to amore advanced platform like WordPress.
About Blogger
It's free and (relatively) easy to use. Because it's connected to Google tool, if you're a Google use, you can quickly start a new blog in a few clicks and access it without creating a new account. Blogger is a dedicated blogging tool, which means you don't have to mess around with a bunch of complicated features that don't serve you. That said, if you want to do more than blog, you might find Blogger too basic and restrictive for your needs.
About Squarespace
Squarespace is an easy-to-use drag and drop website platform that allows you to expand beyond blogging for a full website experience. Their beautiful theses simplify the design process so you don't have to splurge on a fancy designer, but the service does come with a monthly fee. Squarespace is the perfect solution if you want to grow your brand and you blog without wrestling with tech.
About WordPress
WordPress is a self-hosted content management system (which means you'll need to purchase a domain and hosting and then install WordPress to get up and running). Wordpress, like Squrespace, is much more than a blogging platform. You can do almost anything with a WordPress site; it gives you the most control over the look and feel of your website and the most flexibility and customization options as your business grows. You can sell products, teach courses, launch a membership experience, etc. WordPress is a smart option when you've graduated beyond what Blogger and Sqaurespace can do and want a platform that can expand into the future with you.'


If I have learned anything about blogging in these few short years it is that content is so important. This is something that I actually struggle with on a daily... er weekly.... er monthly basis. I can tell you that the biggest and best bloggers are putting out content consistently. Something I just am not able to do yet but strive to (do you see a pattern here- I'm always looking to improve!). I distinctly recall my sister telling me NOT to launch my blog until I had enough content to interest readers. I didn't listen. Could I be making six figures today by listening to her advice? I have no idea. What I know is that because this blog was started for fun I post when and if I can without giving myself crazy deadlines. One thing that has really helped me create content is joining different blogging challenges that require weekly updates and provide structured posting timelines (I'll get more into that in my next bullet point). I guess my beginner advice here is if you want to start a blog but are worried about producing content, don't be! I'm probably telling you the opposite of what others will tell you but if you start slow and keep at it eventually you will have the content! I know it's scary to think about having to post even once a week but try not to give yourself those types of deadlines at first. If you're truly starting a blog because you enjoy it- do it for you! Blog when you can! Once it becomes stressful it takes away from what it's all about.


I honestly feel silly typing this word out because of how little I know about it. This is where having a web designer for a sister has really helped me out (thank you Rachael 👊). You'll notice that when I started blogging (see my first post here) my graphics were all over the place with colors and fonts etc. I also had a ridiculous usage of { } around every R. I thought I was being creative but really I was just lost. The first good thing I did for my 'brand' was buying a blogger template. I know this isn't the BEST way to customize a blog (it'd be better if you could shell out a couple thousand dollars to have one custom made) but I didn't don't have that kind of money and $15 for an Etsy blogger template seemed okay to me (and I'm still using it to this day!). The next big step I made was creating a logo. I had a vision for what I wanted and my sister brought it to life! One thing that came with this logo was font. Font that I now use with every single blog graphic I create. Using the same font in this way helps drive your 'brand' home.

In relation to branding I want to touch on niche. When I started R&R at home I knew I wanted to blog about home decor and DIY projects but I've found myself adding in a few random topics here and there. Some bloggers may tell you to stick to your topic but I really feel that it's okay to allow yourself to step out of the box every once in a while. I think it keeps readers interested to see new topics here and there. So, if you are new and starting a blog think about that when creating your 'brand' or even you blog name. A lot of people will call this 'Lifestyle' blogging and I think that's great because it opens a world of possibilities for topics, content, partnerships, etc.


So you've hit submit on your first blog post. Let the flood gates of readers open! Okay, not really. I am pretty sure that only my Mom, Sisters and Grandma read my first blog post (maybe only my Mom). I had no idea how to get people to read my blog or be interested in what I had to say. I started by simply sharing my posts on my personal facebook page. Then, I created a business facebook page. Then came Instagram (this was all over a couple of years mind you). But do you know how I got the most engagement ever? When I started to join 'link parties'. I have absolutely no idea how I found out about link parties. I think it must have been from a Pinterest search of 'how to start blogging'. But I stumbled upon this world and it changed everything for me. By changed everything, I simply mean it gave me a place to share my posts with other like minded people and start to engage in the blogging community. Once I started sharing my pots in link parties I saw my visitors numbers begin to increase. I still remember the day I had my first feature (I blogged about it here, haha)! It was so fun to see my work being recognized by other bloggers. So, if you're looking to start a blog and looking to increase your engagement- definitely make sure you are linking up your posts! You may also want to look into different challenge programs. In the home decor community there are a few challenges that happen throughout the year hosted by larger blogs. This year I participated in the $100 Room Challenge, the New Year New Room Refresh challenge and the One Room Challenge. The idea here is that you are given a deadline to complete a room makeover and are expected to share weekly updates. Not only does this provide great motivation to pump out content but also gets you connected with other bloggers! Then there is the mother of all blog networking and that is the Haven Conference. This conference is dedicated to all things home design and DIY blogging. I have yet to attend but I'm hoping I can muster up the courage this year! I've heard its the biggest game changer of them all!

Instagram/Social Media

I feel like Insta deserves it's own bullet because this has had a major impact on my blog. I started my @randrathome Instagram account a couple years back but got really serious about it in August of 2017 when I joined a class called 'Decor Newbies' (they're currently taking new members!). I owe a lot of what I know to Kelly (@athomewithkelly) and Jenny (@acleanprismlife) who were the directors of the class! The Instagram world is so crazy and the rules are always changing! I cannot believe the things I've seen happen just in the past six months. What I do know is that the Instagram community can be a good and a bad thing for blogging. Certain posts have helped increase traffic here at R&R at home but a lot of users don't want to click out of Instagram. That being said, it's so easy to build a following on Instagram versus building an email list for example which is why I keep at it. As for how I've built my following on Instagram- this is one platform I try to be consistent on, posting at least a few times a week. To me, it's easy to snap a pic and write a quick caption versus an entire blog post. I am also part of two hashtag groups that encourage participation and a follow to be considered to guest host each week. I have also been a part of several giveaways that require a follow to enter. All of these things have helped me gain nearly 5,000 in a little over six months. This may not seem like a lot but it's more than I ever expected to ever follow along with my lil ol' blog!

I realize that this post may not be the greatest tutorial for those of you looking to start a 'business blog' or looking to generate an income blogging (maybe i'll know more in a few years) but I really wanted this post to come from my heart and from who I truly am as a blogger and the truth is I'm still a beginner, hobby blogger! I do hope this post was helpful in some way- even if it was just a glimpse into my world and a better understanding of why I'm here! :) There are definitely days where I wonder why I spend so much time and effort on this blog that doesn't create any sort of income- but at the end of the day I do truly love sharing my projects with you. I consider this my hobby and it would be nice if it turned into more but for now i'm content where I am!

Please feel free to share your blogging journey with me in the comments below! Any and all tips welcome too!

As always, Thank you for visiting R&R at home!


  1. Luved this Rebecca. I do it as a hobby too���� Let me know if you recommend any good link parties. I use the design twins and waste not Wednesday’s now. But that’s it. ����. Great post. So authentic.

    1. Hi Ann! Thank you so much for reading! I am always looking for new link parties too and I'll be sure to pass any along! You can see a list of the current link ups I post to regularly under the 'Parties & Features' tab! I'd also be interested in starting a link up!


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