This morning I decided to take a look at what Good Morning, Joe has been through this year. Sure, it’s only been up and running since September 6th of this year, but there have been so many changes and different ideas since I started Good Morning, Joe that it’s great to see how far it’s come. To be honest, when I started, I never thought I would end up loving blogging as much as I do, but I also feel like I could be doing a lot better.
My first post title “Good Morning, Joe!” was an intro to this blog and also where I first began my blogging journey. As you can see in the post, it doesn’t even have any tags (showing how little I knew about blogging at the time) and my closing line was a simple “Thanks” rather than the “See you tomorrow morning!” end I started putting in. The posts following that one were mostly reblogs and short posts about other websites that I enjoy. Then came my first actual post titled “Beautiful typed in Google Search”. It didn’t even have a category for heaven’s sake! What a newb I was. But somehow, I got 19 Likes on that page and I think since then I became addicted to blogging.
At some point I decided to try conducting a poll. That didn’t seem to work at all. Out of the many possible answers, I only ended up getting one vote and since then my polls have been few and far between. I discovered that asking for people’s opinion in that way was not going to grab the interest of readers.
Next, I tried a “Did you know…” and “Riddle Me This” feature. Every Friday, GMJ would write a “Did you know…” post about random facts and a “Riddle Me This” topic on Wednesdays where people would write in with their answers and whoever got the correct answer first would be dubbed the winner on the next post with a link to their blog. We got a few people writing in with answers, but no real interest in both features. I stopped posting them not long after and decided it wasn’t the way to go.
Then, I posted a Butter Chicken Recipe that my stepmother had sent me one day. That post got so many views and is still getting views now. I was blown away. Recipes and Food seemed to be quite a popular topic, so I decided to write more (Potato and Sausage Bake Recipe, Chicken Fajitas Recipe, Baked Salmon, Asparagus, and Mashed Sweet Potato Recipe). Those were a lot of fun to put together because it required making these easy recipes, taking pictures, and then enjoying the food afterwards.
Then, I thought that people may be interested in cleaning and organization tips. So I wrote a post called “Spur Of The Moment Cleaning Emergency Kit“. That started a whole new view for me as a blogger. Something I always enjoyed was finding the best way to organize and clean your home so I decided to incorporate that into Good Morning, Joe. So, I wrote a few more posts like that one, some showing step by step pictures and some posts on procrastinating. I loved the idea of inspiring others to do the same, so I looked into revamping the look of Good Morning, Joe.
Changing the Layout…
I finally learned about Menus. That took a lot of time for me to organize, actually. Something that I love doing is learning how to do things on my own and figuring things out for myself. Yes, I could have read all the “How To”s but I really wanted to try to tackle this on my own. So what once looked like more of a “magazine” feel turned into the New Good Morning, Joe Layout.
That’s where I got the idea for the sun as my “logo”. Originally, it was all very yellow. My mother actually told me that on her computer it looks extremely bright. My laptop is quite old, so to me it looked like a nice warm color. Not the case. That’s where I learned that my blog may look different on different computers, browsers, and even tablets and phones. What an eye opener!
Then, I wrote my first personal post. It was called “Mourning Flowers” and about a lady who came to my work. Sadly, I haven’t seen her since and I hope that she’s alright. She was in bad shape the last time I saw her. It got little response, which threw me off writing personal things for a while. I thought maybe people didn’t want to read about my every day life and my own thoughts. Looking back, I shouldn’t have let it get to me, but it did. I took it personally. Silly me.
So, I went on writing recipes, “Did you know…”, and Riddle Me This until one day around Thanksgiving I thought I’d write a post about 5 Fun Activities for your Thanksgiving Festivities. That was the first post I ever showed someone I know. It also brought me to write more posts on Advice/Tips. I put up similar posts like 5 Tricks to Waking Up Feeling Refreshed and Remember to Tip Your Waitress: a Guide to a Better Dining Experience. That’s when I pretty much started sticking to certain categories: Life, Family, Advice, Organization, Food, and Beauty.
I remember one of The Daily Post’s weekly challenge was to try something new. So I wrote a post about my weekend at Wolfe Springs. The difference with that post was all the pictures. Normally, I had never thought to put so many and wanted to try that. Looking back now, I should have put them in a gallery (which I only learned how to do much later on). It would have been presented a lot better. That post took me forever to do because I somehow kept forgetting to save the changes I had made to each photo. Extremely frustrating! I almost threw my laptop through my kitchen window. (Maybe I should write a post about anger management….hmmmm…)
Reading and following more blogs…
I started reading and looking into more blogs and met some great people, followed some awesome blogs. I have to say that’s become a great part of blogging. Not just focusing on yourself, but others as well. Communicating, interacting…it’s really a great feeling. For example, when I started following A Clown On Fire I felt as if I was part of something bigger. Know what I mean? What a great community of bloggers getting together on one blog. That’s something I wish for my blog one day (Le Clown, you are MagnificentTM*).
Apparently, rambling on about things that drive you crazy creates a lot of discussion. I probably got the most comments on posts like 3 Grammatical Errors That Drive Me Crazy and Kids in Restaurants: A Server’s Point of View. I started to think that maybe my opinions and ideas were more interesting than I thought and started to dwell on that a bit more. Soon after I created a Marie’s Thoughts category. I thought the posts in there suited me well and have pushed myself to be more creative in that field.
Then, I had a lot of fun with “How To”s with posts like 10 Step Easy-to-Make Ouija Board, Try Another Use for a Picture Frame, and How To Make a Diaper Cake complete with pictures. That’s when I discovered that I wanted to add more pictures to my posts to spice them up a little. Hopefully that will attract a few more people. I myself am a very visual person and need to see things laid out in front of me like that.
I wrote a completely different post before November called The Mathematics of Regret. I sat down at my laptop one night with a glass of wine (that I refilled quite a few times, might I add), listening to all my favorite emotional songs and wrote this post about regret and moments missed. It had a totally different feel to it than all my previous posts and I was actually extremely proud of it. It’s still one of my favorites to this day.
Then, I participated in Nation Blog Posting Month. That was quite the challenge. Writing a post a day was such a different experience. I really wanted to know if I could do it….and I did. Knowing what I know now, I probably won’t ever do it again. I found that, while good to know I could do it if I wanted, I don’t really want to write a post a day. It was a great discovery for me. Something that I definitely needed to experience.
I have to say, I did write a lot of posts that I liked during the month of November. Also, I took part in quite a few discussions (take a look at Sass & balderdash’s blog – you’ll see what I mean). It was a really an interesting time in my life as a blogger, but I am glad it’s over.
Good Morning, Joe’s Featured Posts
Finally, in December I came up with an idea for Good Morning, Joe’s Featured Posts. I wanted to get back to my original idea of a “blog to read with your morning coffee”. That way, readers and followers could visit the blog and look into new and interesting posts by other great bloggers. Of course, everyone could do that on WordPress’ Freshly Pressed page (there are some pretty great featured posts over there), but I wanted to take the time to look up interesting and fun posts myself. Whether people want to read it or not, it’s up to them, but it definitely gives them a chance to look at everyday blogs that may not have had the chance to be viewed by the people over at Freshly Pressed. Sometimes an easy read or different kind of post can be greatly appreciated!
Good Morning, Joe today…
So, looking back, I have come a long way and so has Good Morning, Joe. I really like the new theme (Sight) and the ideas I’ve had about my approach to blogging. I have no idea where 2013 will take us, but I’m hoping it’s somewhere exciting. I think I need to focus a bit more on what I hope to accomplish and write about. Maybe I should sit down and brainstorm a bit…but for now I’m just enjoying the ride. I hope you are, too.
Thanks for reading!
See you tomorrow morning!