BLOGGING 30/30: I Actually Did It!

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 30 of 30

I Actually Did It!

My first published post was on 08/09/16.  It took me 33 days to complete this challenge, and I’m not mad at that.  I still can’t believe I actually did it! When I say “it” I mean both 1) a 30 day challenge and 2) blogging.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 30

I’ve tried, but I’ve never completed a 30 day challenge on anything.  Now I can say that I have!  And I created a blog with no knowledge of how.  Here I am… 30 posts under my belt! I couldn’t have done it without the guidance of Sark eMedia’s program.

Here are 5 reasons I think this worked for me:

1. Daily Emails

Blogging sounds like it would be easy, but there’s an art to it if you actually want to see success. The daily emails by Sarah Arrow helped me navigate the world of blogging. The resources she provides were relevant, easy to follow and executable. Before I started, I was already behind – because I was blogging blindly.  There were a few days I skipped.  But each morning an email popped in my inbox, reminding me of why I decided to start this particular challenge.

2. Goals

On Day4 I laid out my personal goals with this challenge.  Goal One was to make and maintain my own space, on the web and in my life, giving myself a creative outlet and stimulating my brain in a way I felt I was missing. I’ve done it by dedicating time each day to enjoy the process of writing.  Goal Two was to be able to put it on my resume.  Blogging is a key element to inbound marketing and building businesses in today’s world. Through this practice, I better understand Wordpress, SEO writing and optimization.

3. Community Support

I have my personal motivators, but was extremely shy about making my blog public.  Sarah Arrow provides a safe space through her Facebook Group page where 30 Day Blogging Challengers share their daily post, and get feedback from one another.  I was so scared that I didn’t join until day7 with my post “Confession: I’m a Closet Blogger“, but since then I’ve shared all my posts.  I’m still taking baby steps out of the closet to the outside world, but have been less reluctant because of the constructive input. There are some amazingly supportive bloggers out there and I’m proud to be part of this community.

4. I enjoy writing

I guess I always have, but I didn’t realize how much.  So I’ve rediscovered my joy of writing.  I’m not the type that likes to hear myself talk, but when I start to type, it flows out of me.  I even created an extra category and posted a bonus blog.  To be able to put structure to my thoughts has been meditative and trying to make my words resonate to a audience besides myself makes me feel productive.

5. Not a business (yet)

My intent going into this was not to make money.  I know blogs have the ability to be monetized, and lucratively.  My objective on the onset has been to create valuable content.  But with Sark eMedia’s lessons, I have the tools available once the opportunity to make this something more presents itself and then I can work even harder to become the boss in my blogging niche.

So, this is the end of my first 30 Day Challenge.  The Blogging Challenge was the perfect challenge to start this side project. I learned so much about myself, which was my purpose for doing challenges.

If you’ve followed me through this journey so far, THANK YOU (you know who you are!). There’s more to come as I continue onto the next one.  So join me for my the next 30 Day Challenge.





BLOGGING 26/30: Making a List…

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 26 of 30

Making a List…

One of the great things having worked at a small advertising agency was working with small businesses.  One that I had the pleasure to work with during their infancy was a small batch vodka producer out of Austin, Texas. You may have heard of the pioneer in micro-distilling: Tito’s Handemade Vodka. Managing their media meant getting to share Tito’s story.  This was my favorite part:

 I had worked in the oil, gas and mortgage industries around the same time I’d been infusing vodkas for my friends as Christmas presents. When rates went up, it killed my business and left me at a point of wondering what to do next. I saw this guy on television who said that if you’re trying to figure out what to do in life you need to take a sheet of paper, draw a line down the middle, and on one side list things you like to do and on the other side list what you’re good at. And then you basically build a job where you’re able to incorporate as many things from those lists as possible. I realized I’d been working all these other jobs so I could basically go out and eat and drink well. I was trying to make money so that I could enjoy the hospitality industry. So I thought it’d be genius if I got in the hospitality industry. After looking at my sheet I said, “I’m going to get into the liquor business.”


When I came out of my blogging closet and shared my new blogging hobby with an author friend, Alecia Whitaker, she made a comment on my first post  “Maybe you suffer at being good at too many things. One of those things is probably your path, but when you can succeed at so much, the white noise can drown out your true gift.” It reminded me of my client’s story.

So here’s my list:

Things I Like To Do Things I’m Good At
excursions with my family coordinating/organizing
reading a good book working in a team
learning learning
plan vacations following instructions/recipes
dinners with friends reading maps
quiet/alone time analyzing/comparing

In high school I remember taking a career aptitude test, but don’t remember my results.  But who I was then (busy being lazy) is different from who I am now.  I’ve tried “free” versions online.  I’m actually considering to pay for a legit one (any suggestions??).  Having been job searching the past year, I know the position I’m searching for within the industry I’ve been in. I know what I can do successfully to get a paycheck. But I want more than just a j-o-b.

What career do you think encompasses my list?

When can I put blogging on that list?


Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

BLOGGING 17/30: More “About Me”

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 17 of 30

More “About Me”

Today’s daily task is to focus on the “About Me” page.  It was the first page I wrote, and reading it over now I feel like it’s all still applicable and relevant. As a person who wants to keep my private life private, I think I’m sharing just enough.  There’s actually nothing about my About Me page I want to change.  But don’t readers always want to know more about who’s writing?

My favorite YouTube videos are the Getting to Know Me, Q&A’s, and even What’s in my Purse. I’m nosey!  So today, in keeping with my blog theme, I give you 30 Random Facts About Me I feel safe sharing.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 17

  1. my friends call me V
  2. I’m a Sagittarius
  3. my favorite color is purple
  4. anything on BravoTV is my guilty pleasure
  5. my pet peeve is when the toilet lid isn’t down
  6. my favorite singer is Bruno Mars
  7. the last concert I went to was Beyonce
  8. I believe in music therapy
  9. I prefer shopping for clothes online
  10. I hate wearing high heels but own some fabulous pairs
  11. I’m a low-grade hoarder
  12. I’ve been with my husband (dating+married) for almost 2 decades
  13. we tore down and rebuilt the house I grew up in
  14. I don’t mind driving long distances and prefer to do it at night
  15. I have an oddly good sense of direction which is useful when we’re on vacation
  16. I’ve always wanted 2kids- 1boy/1girl… and that’s what I have now
  17. last year I was a PTA class parent
  18. we’re going to be the TMNT for halloween. I was left with being Raphael – the angry one.
  19. I’m not a dog-lover but wish I were
  20. I wish I were a runner (future 30 Day Challenge?!)
  21. I don’t know how to swim
  22. I don’t like dill, cucumbers, or ginger
  23. I have a major sweet tooth
  24. my hair is always in a mom-bun
  25. I don’t like red wine – chardonnay is my drink of choice.
  26. I was Class President my freshman year of college
  27. I studied abroad for a semester (Hong Kong)
  28. I graduated early from college, unintentionally
  29. I was with my last employer for over 10years
  30. I think I’ve kinda always wanted to blog


Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

BLOGGING 15/30: Challenges of This Challenge

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 15 of 30

Challenges of This Challenge

I’m half way through the 30 Day Blogging Challenge!

I think this a good time to pause and evaluate my experience so far and pinpoint my hurdles so I can focus on overcoming them during the second half. I’m not going to rewrite my biggest challenge, you can read it here.  I’m going to focus more on the logistics.

30 Day Challenge Accepted 15

  1. Photos – not ready to pay for “free” images
    • I’ve tried so hard to find a photo that captures my message for each post.  Yesterday, I failed.  My go-to,, didn’t have the image I wanted and the other sites required subscription, which I’m not ready to commit to.  Being in advertising I knew about licenses and the requirements for that industry, but it’s still an area I need to understand better. I’m glad that one of Sark eMedia reference emails regarding this topic.
  2. Commenting – be a better neighbor
    • I wrote about this in a previous blog, and I’ve tried to comment on at least one new blog a day since. This forces me to check out other bloggers’ site and to find ones with intriging content and style that I can get inspired by too. But I still find myself hesitating. This includes being a better participant on the 30 Day Blogging Facebook Group Page.
  3. Post topics – I’m blogging about blogging
    • I have a editorial calendar as my planning and writing process, and I’m constantly editing it in an effort to have the posts flow day-to-day.  But blogging about trying to blog doesn’t change much in my 24hours.  I’ve done a good job making the time to write each night, but I haven’t made the time to learn new things, ie. WordPress, Facebook, SEO writing that will improve the credibility of this blog I’m trying to establish. Then I can start writing about what I’m doing versus what I’ve been scared of doing.

I’ve personally felt like I’ve stumbled over a few hurdles already and at times was ready to stop.  But like Haiti in the 110m semifinals at the recent Olympics (who completely faltered on the first hurdle! video here), I’m going to finish! I’m going to keep taking on my personal blogging hurdles and make myself proud.


Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

BLOGGING 14/30: Funny How Things Work Out

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 14 of 30

Funny How Things Work Out

I’ve mentioned this guy before – my husband. I wrote about how he’s my support team – both my emotional support and technical support. The funny thing is most of the time he isn’t doing anything.  But I’m not saying this in the tone of a bitter wife. I’m actually commending him, that he doesn’t go out of his way to be my cheerleader about blogging or to make sure things look perfect on this website.  He just lets me be.

What made me think to include him in this post today was watching him on this new toy his bought – a motorized skateboard. While most people might joke that this is mid-life crisis purchase, it’s absolutely the opposite. He’s such a kid at heart and doesn’t care what people think; and trust me – this thing looks ridiculous. He enjoys life, says what he feels, and does what he wants.  It doesn’t always work out initially, but it doesn’t matter, because it works out eventually.

“Opposites attract” is live and strong in our relationship. I think I was born with an old soul; I’ve been serious since I was a kid. My skin has thickened over the years, but I care what people think. I care how I come across (except in the morning when I’m dropping off my kids at school). I definitely take into consideration other people’s feelings and opinions. I try to be careful and thoughtful with my words.  I’m a planner by nature and need to go by a calendar. It doesn’t always work out initially, but it doesn’t matter, because it works out eventually.

Even though he doesn’t ask me how blogging is going and doesn’t check to see how he could help with improving the site, I don’t mind. I think it’s because we both know – it’ll work out eventually.

30 Day Challenge Accepted Blogging

Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

BLOGGING 8/30: Taking Baby Steps Out of the Blogging Closet

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 8 of 30

Taking Baby Steps Out of the Blogging Closet

While I was drafting yesterday’s 30 Day Blogging Challenge #7  I was also drafting an email to my closest girlfriends finally disclosing to them what I’ve been doing on the side. I don’t know which is scarier – sharing my thoughts to the world [wide web] through a blog or sharing to my friends that I’m blogging.  But some great things happened once I decided to start coming out of the blogging closet.

30 Day Challenge Accepted

As I re-edited my email (for the fiftieth time) a video popped up on my Facebook feed.  My friend came out of her closet – she was also starting her adventure on the internet superhighway via video marketing. She talked about how she has been learning about the power of social media marketing, just returning from a conference on the topic, and her plans to go through training, then ultimately teach and motivate.  She said making the video was out of her comfort zone – but you wouldn’t think it. Her courage pushed me to finally hit ‘send’ on my email. Thank you Jenny Monzon!

Then I procrastinated as I prepared to take my next (big!) baby step – finally posting to the 30 Day Blogging Challenge Facebook group page. I texted my husband (yes, i’m THAT lazy) to tell him how nervous I was, and in his usual straightforward demeanor he responds, “then what’s the point of you being online?”  Touché. (Love him!)

30 Day Challenge Accepted

I knew that I would get encouragement from my friends.  What I didn’t expect was them to say things like “I always thought you should blog”, “You’ve always been a great writer. Finally!”, and thanking me for sharing. Then from Challenge colleagues, comments that they enjoyed my post, that my writing is entertaining, and that what I wrote resonated with them. I’m so surprised and relieved! Now I laugh at myself. Why was I so scared?

The lesson I learned here is that, it’s true – there’s no reward without risk. I should know this by now! The best memories I have in life are the times when I did something out of the box. I’m not trying to change the world, but I have been looking to do something more stimulating than a 9-5. I think I’m finding something here.


Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE

BLOGGING 7/30: Confession: I’m a Closet Blogger

BLOGGING Challenge: Day 7 of 30

Confession: I’m a Closet Blogger

My personal Facebook setting is private. My personal Instagram is private. I’m generally unsocial on social media compared to most. I don’t even do reviews on company websites if they’re going to use my name because I have a unique first name. Yet, part of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge requires me to be ‘public’ in order for it to be successful.

30 Day Blogging Challenge 07

What am I hiding from?


I’ve always been protective of my personal information. Now that I have kids, I feel like I have more at stake to protect. I don’t need strangers knowing details about my life or putting my kids at risk. I want to keep my private life private.  But if someone wants to find out something, there’s no stopping them.


I’ve never needed to have the limelight; if anything, it makes me uncomfortable. I don’t over-share about how wonderful I think my kids are or boast about my marriage or friendships (imo). And I don’t do selfies. Often times I feel myself holding back from posting a particular photo or status because I think I’ll be the only person that finds it entertaining. That’s sort of how I feel about this blog.  But I won’t know if i don’t put myself out there. 


This is admittedly my biggest issue. Although I’ve grown a thicker skin over the years, I still care what people think. As this blog is just beginning, I don’t know what will become of it. I want to wait until I’m 3 challenges deep before I start telling my friends and family, “Guess what! I started a blog. Check it out.”  It’s like waiting until you’re in the second trimester before you start sharing the news that you’re expecting. But if I’m already prepared to fail, then I’m not prepared to succeed. 


Am I paranoid? Are there any bloggers out there that are incognito – that keep their personal persona completely separate from their blog? Or it is a given – if you want to blog, you have to expose who you are and be ready to take a headshot?


Want to read all 30 Days of the Blogging Challenge?  View the Overview page HERE