When I first started Quirky, Brown Love, I had no idea that it would grow into what it is now. I started writing because I wanted to provide a platform for the quirky people of color in our world. Quirky, being the keyword. I was tired of reading eccentric love stories that were only written about White couples and on the other hand, I was also tired of only seeing Black love stories that are riddled with baby mama drama and infidelity. From my initial concept of feature real brown love stories, I have expanded the blog to cover issues affecting the Black community, a little bit of travel, and even some insight on my relationship.
The Infamous First Post
I personally enjoy seeing how bloggers and vloggers started their blogging journey by seeking out their first post. A lot of people delete them when they get big, but I plan to keep mine on my blog if I do get big one day. For anyone who is interested, here ya go!
The Evolution of The Quirky, Brown Love Header:
Welp, this is the embarrasing part, right? Everyone has start somewhere and I decided to start with a salmon-colored background and three different fonts! Throughout this year, I got some really good advice about branding my website, but until that point, I had a lot of trial and error.
Look at me getting fancy! I decided to add a few hearts to "spice it up a bit". I actually thought that I was doing something.
This header was definitely better; however, it doesn't say anything about what I talk about on my website. For most blogs with telling names, this is fine; however, "Quirky, Brown Love" has the type of name that needs a little bit of explaining.
Finally down the road, I decided to have an organized look by incorporating my signature font into my current header.
Most Helpful Resources
By far, my most helpful resources throughout this year have been joining social blogging networks. I am a member of BLM Girls: Bloggers Like Me and am an admin for Black Bloggers United. Through these two networks, I have had the opportunity to network with some of the most power bloggers in the business today. I have learned invaluable lessons about branding (obviously, looking at my first header, lol), networking and monetizing my blog. These are groups that I posted all of my newbie blogger questions about how to get followers, SEO, and increasing blog traffic.
My Blogging Tribe
This is by far the most valuable thing that I have gained from blogging. About three months into blogging, I heard another blogger mention the importance of building your own blogging tribe: a select number of bloggers that you meet up with on a regular basis. It's like a secret alliance of bloggers that have your back for blog promotion and growth. I am so lucky to have built relationships with the bloggers in my tribe! As bloggers, I am sure that a lot of us have felt the lack of support from our family and friends in the real world when it comes to blogging. Therefore, it is so comforting to know that at least once a week, I am guaranteed to talk to a group of people about my blogging goals. Never underestimate the power of having people to talk to who can actually relate to what you are saying.
Accomplishments this year
This is not me bragging, but a way for me to say thank you so much for holding me down by reading my blog. It has taken me so long to find my voice in this life and I feel like I am finding it through this blog. Without your support, I'm not sure if I would have the confidence to write the outlandish, off-the-wall stuff that I write sometimes.
This one is for you :)
2. I became an admin of Black Bloggers United.
3. I got some attention from Janelle Monae's record label, Wondaland for writing this post.
4. I worked with a few awesome brands, including the ones listed here on my media kit.
5. I actually have a media kit! Doesn't seem like an accomplishment, but it means that I have stats that I ready to brag about!
6. Speaking of which, I now average 65,000-70,000 pageviews each month! I'll tell you more about how later :)
7. I was nominated for "Best New Blog" and "Best Original Graphic Design" for the Black Weblog Awards! Thank you for everyone who voted for the finals!
8. I helped to lead my first ever Twitter chat, #ConfessionsOfABlackBlogger.
Goals For Next Year
One of my biggest goals for this year is to plan a few blogger events in my area. I was kind of discouraged after realizing that all of the big blogging events happen in areas like New York, California, DC and Atlanta, but then I had an epiphany. Instead of feeling like I am at a disadvantage for not living in one of these cities, I can be a part of the solution by creating my own events. I have at least two ideas for events now, so definitely hit me up if you are in the Durham/Chapel Hill/Raleigh, North Carolina area! I also plan to go to a few blog conferences, more specifically Blogging While Brown (hopefully, if I win a Black Weblog Award!).
If I haven't said it enough, thank you so much for supporting me as I navigate my quirky self through the blogosphere. Anything that you think I should be doing next year? Please let me know by taking my quick survey here!