Reflection on a Year of Blogging

It’s been exactly a year since I started my Montessori for Everyone blog. How nervous I was the first time I posted! I wasn’t sure who was going to read it, or what I was going to say. I just knew that I had some thoughts to share, and a blog seemed like a great way to do it.

What changes a year brings! At this time last year, I still had my old webstore. This year has brought so many improvements to my business, and it has grown in untold ways. The blog has been a huge part of that. Every time I look at the statistics of traffic to my blog, I marvel. My blog readers come from around the world, and they find me a variety of ways – sure, from my store, but also from online searches, forums, and other blogs.

I’m grateful to everyone who has linked to my blog, and those links have motivated me to write a post even when I was tired, busy, or overwhelmed with all my responsiblities. If you placed enough faith in me to link back to my blog, I couldn’t let you down by leaving it untended.

I’ve blogged during family crises, late at night, early in the morning, and even when I felt like I had nothing to say (luckily by the end of the post, I usually did find something to say.) I like finding just the perfect picture to go with a blog post, and coming up with a title that’s catchy but descriptive. (The perfect picture for this post? Me, naturally! I don’t look 35, do I? *grin*)

At first, I had a few ideas of things I wanted to blog about, but to get more ideas, my husband and I spent one evening brainstorming. What might people want to hear about? We wrote down everything we could think of. Interestingly, many of those ideas are still on my “blog ideas” list – I haven’t gotten around to using them yet. Lots of others eventually became posts, though, and it was fun to make the ideas into reality.

Often ideas come into my mind out of the blue. Sometimes I’m out for a walk, or doing chores, and I have such a strong idea of what to say about a certain topic that I can barely wait to sit down at the computer. I often compose posts in my head beforehand, although they always end up changing by the time I sit down and type them up.

The Montessori Basics series, which has been phenomenally successful, came to me while I was scrapbooking. I grabbed a spare piece of colored cardstock and started scribbling: “essentials of classrooms”, “recommended books”, “glossary”. I couldn’t write fast enough! I knew that these were things I was asked about all the time; clearly, people were having a hard time finding even very basic information about Montessori online, and I wanted to fill that gap.

I’ve become a much better writer over this past year, but more importantly, I’ve become a better blogger. Posts need to be fresh, timely, frequent, and personal. I’ve tried really hard to share myself and my feelings, and to be honest about things even when it’s difficult or possibly humiliating. Some of my early posts were too short – the ideas were good, but I didn’t expand on them well enough. I may rewrite a few if I have the time.

Many of my posts sprung from questions or ideas given to me by readers and customers. That’s been the most rewarding part of blogging – the interaction with all of you! I love comments – I mean, I really, really love comments. Most recently, the free Friday files are a big hit, so I’ll be continuing that while thinking up new and exciting ideas for the future.

So, on my first blogging anniversary, thanks to all of you for making this such a great year of blogging! Here’s to many more.

P.S. I just got back from a business trip to Seattle – where I had a fantastic time learning more about search engines and optimizing websites for search – so I promise I’ll conclude my Montessori conference summary by the end of this week!