My Blogging Journey at Year 7

My Blogging Journey at Year 7

I was a neighborhood party the other night when someone I knew asked me about how my blog was going. I don’t think she was looking for “fine, blogging is great!” It might have been more of a career question: are you making money blogging? So I thought it was time for an update on my blogging life.

Blogging is a Journey not a Destination.

I started blogging nearly seven years ago with an idea to turn it into a business. I had other ideas for a birthday gift registry for family members to go in on expensive gifts but I am not a programmer and didn’t want to hire one.

Initially, I wanted to share the after schooling curriculum I pieced together to catch my oldest up in first grade when her teacher was absent so often that there were subs for subs. It took a while, but I eventually found my voice and rekindled my love of children’s books. It wasn’t long before I put a stake in the ground and declared that I was dedicating my efforts to promoting diversity, inclusive, and multicultural books. Multicultural Children’s Book Day came out of that and with it, the joy of working with Valarie Budayr at Jump Into a Book and Becky Flansberg of Frantic Mommy.

Multicultural Children's Book Day

Blogging is a Community You Build For Yourself.

Blogging is like going to college. You can go far or nearby but in each case, you get the opportunity to make a new set of friends. With blogging, it’s even easier to find your tribe because you sort of float into each other through social media and the communities that exist out there already. And it’s wonderful to find your tribe. In my case, it’s KidLit bloggers, education bloggers, authors and illustrators.


Blogging Forces You to Learn.

Learning to blog can feel like drinking out a fire hose. There’s a lot to juggle and there’s always one crisis after another when things break and your technical know how limitations haunt you. But, at the end of the day, you will learn:

  • Social Media and how to engage your audience. There will be a new social media platform to figure out each and every year. Not all of them will feel like home. I’m currently on: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Flipagram, and Periscope. But I actually only actively trying to grow Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This will always be constantly changing as Google algorithms change with great frequency, but the tenants are the same: content is king, and organize your posts for reader comprehension. Which is to say, you will want to understand permalinks, backlinks, key words, the use of headers, SEO tools like plugins for your blog, as well as creating the best content you can day in and day out.
  • Rudimentary HTML and the backside of your blog. Your blog will break. That you can be sure of. But how to fix it? Try disabling all your plugins and enabling them one at a time to see which one broke it. That usually works. Make sure your blog has enough memory storage at your web host. Recall the last things you did to your blog. You might want to disable the last post, banner ad, or whatnot. You need to use the Scientific Method (observe, measure, experiment, formulate questions, test, and modify)  to figure out what went wrong.
  • Content Marketing. You are doing it! When you create the best content you are capable of, and readers come to read it, you are successfully growing your blog through content marketing. Now you need to do this consistently.
  • Branding. Bloggers are a brand of one and need to think like a brand in terms of how do I grow my brand. But it’s been equally freeing to know that I can be myself including occasional ranting and raving and that’s ok.

my blogging journey

Blogging as a Means to an End is like declaring What You Want to Be When You Grow Up in First Grade.

When I first started blogging, I declared my goal was to make $1000 a day. I still want that but I am far from it. But when I reach this goal, I am done in the sense that this is the size I want to be and no bigger. I don’t want employees or assistants or teams of help. I want to keep this small enough that I can do it all myself. I may never reach my goal, and yet, every year, it feels a little closer.

So what I’ve accomplished so far is:

  • I’m getting over a million views to my blog a year.
  • I’m getting paid to write content for brands and to promote them on social media.
  • Multicultural Children’s Book Day is a non-profit, now in its third year. Last year, we achieved 96 million social media shares during the week of our celebration! And we gave away more than four hundred diversity books to teachers and parents.
  • My “author platform” which consists of my blog and social media is, I think, large enough to help me get published. I’m working on several picture book manuscripts and one middle grade book.

I guess the most important realization is that I find joy in blogging every day, despite those days when I am buried in email, feeling tired and/or discouraged, and not bursting with ideas of what to say. It’s easy to get caught up and wish that you had someone’s blog traffic, or social media followers, or wrote that great post of theirs, or blah blah blah. At the end of the day, you just have to run your own race. Your best is good enough.

As for me, my blogging journey still excites me though the destination still out of reach. But maybe that’s the point.

my blogging journey

How about my fellow bloggers? How’s your journey been? Regrets, we’ve had a few? … Nah! It’s been a really great experience, right?!

My Blogging Journey at Year 7

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. WOW! 7 years! You really have accomplished a lot and I really appreciate all your retweets for my posts, all you’ve done to promote diversity and multicultural books and a few things you’ve taught me about social media and it’s uses over times.

    I wish the best of luck for the books you are working on and hope you continue your blog for years to come.

    • Thank you so much Alex! I truly mean that from the bottom of my heart. It’s so easy to be discouraged as a blogger. There are days that I ask myself why I do this and work so hard while making so little money. It’s easy to give up. Honestly, it’s these little words of encouragement that keep me going! It sounds totally corny but it’s true.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…My Blogging Journey at Year 7My Profile

  2. Dee

    Wow, Mia. I think I must’ve found you near the beginning of your blogging journey. I kind of thought you had been doing it for years and years! Yours is one of the few blogs I still follow regularly. You have a great balance of books, personal stories, and just plain interesting stuff! I always learn something from your blog.

    I look forward to see what else comes out of this space and I’m glad I found you! You are doing a great job!

  3. Renee Alam

    Thanks for sharing this! I’m about to start my own blog….needed a new working laptop to start it. It seems so scary not knowing if people will come and if they will like it because I do want to make money from it so I can work from home….I’m not expecting to get rich,but if I do I don’t mind! 😉 I’ll have to start on a free site like blogger I think but I hear people say when you switch to a paid host it’s difficult? Any thoughts on that? I don’t know anything about computers or websites since the only knowledge I have is going online to websites and commenting…lol! I don’t know anything beyond that especially computer lingo so I’m scared to be left in the dust since I’ll be a complete newbie at everything! Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Renee,
      My advice, and I will be posting on how to start a blog or website in a month or so, would be to start off on PAID wordpress. You can get everything free except hosting which is roughly $4 a month. The reason is that if you switch from free to self-hosted, your SEO will change for the worse and it’s a major pain to move everything over. Also, free wordpress doesn’t really let you sell anything including ads. I’ll try to write that post this week and post more quickly for you.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…My Blogging Journey at Year 7My Profile

  4. I enjoyed reading your update! Congrats on 7 years of blogging! You are doing amazing work! Wishing you many more years!

  5. Congrats on your blogaversary! Wow 7 years–that’s great! Glad to hear that it’s still fun!

  6. Wow, 7 years! I’m still in year 1 (and loving it!). Congrats, Mia!
    Svenja recently posted…Diversity Calendar 2016 -2017My Profile

  7. It sounds like you are doing very well! Is your blogoversary any time soon? 🙂
    Erik – TKRB recently posted…Review and Taste Test! Katie Chin’s Everyday Chinese Cookbook by Katie ChinMy Profile

  8. Thank you for writing this post. What I wanted to know but did not know how to ask. Blogging is such a mystery to me still. I certainly have learned so much but haven’t been able to apply the knowledge like you have.

  9. Great insights here, Mia! Pinned this to my blogging info board 🙂
    MaryAnne recently posted…The Best Resources for Teaching Kids about CastlesMy Profile

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