This is a neat post. My fellow friends and I, who collectively, have been blogging almost 50 years are deviating from our normal fashion collaborations and bringing you blogging info and what has worked for us over the years. It will be a fun blog hop for you because I think you will find each of our perspectives very different on the topic of blogging and whether you are a blogger or not, you might gain some interesting insight. And if you have thoughts of starting a blog…some sweet tips! 


How long have you been blogging?

Last month I celebrated my seven years of blogging and boy how far I’ve come! My posts in the beginning make me cringe, lol!

Why did you start your blog?

I had read a local blogger who became very large in the past few years, and I no longer follow because she was quite rude and unhelpful, but I did enjoy what she did when she started out. And she was funny in the beginning. Mr. Nine and I were set to have our two oldest leaving the nest in the next year and I decided I needed a hobby as I was so stagnant and unhappy in my professional job.

I wasn’t on social media, but I often saw my husband scrolling through his phone and I just needed something! So, one day I just said “I’m gonna start a blog.” I literally had no idea what I was doing and did it all on my own while working full-time for the first three years. Then, I was blessed to early retire and within a year or two after that started making some real money.

I'll get to this a little later in the post but I also have been blessed by blogging in so many ways and even posted a post twice called How Blogging Saved My Life and much of that still resonates 7 years later.

Wordpress or Blogger? Pros and Cons?

From what I hear there are pros and cons to both. I started with Blogger and as long as Blogger is around, I will stay with it. It’s what I know, it’s easy, there are rarely glitches, and it just works for me. The only con on my end is that I’m a no reply Blogger which means that sometimes when I comment on other peoples blogs via blogger, they are unable to reply to my comment via email. This has not been a big deal to me because it’s usually someone that I comment on their blogs, and they comment on mine.


What is your niche or blog focus and why?

I am a lifestyle blogger, always have been and always will. Thus, meaning I share a little bit of everything that encompasses at least my lifestyle. From family to recipes to fashion to fitness to motivation to home decor, I sprinkle in a little of everything and that seems to be what my readers like. Everybody over on Instagram is telling me I need to find a niche and stick to it but I will not do that because that is not my life, I want to focus on it all because that’s what brings me joy.


What does your Planning/Time management look like?

I’m not gonna lie, now that I no longer work in the professional world, I do put about 40 to 50 hours a week into my blog. However, the promotion of that includes my time on Instagram. I did not join Instagram until 3 1/2 years into blogging and it is truly the biggest time suck of all. If I was not on Instagram, I would say I spend about 20 hours a week for just the blog. Literally if I dug into what all we do to make our blogs and social media function, it would spin your head and this post would be a novel. So, I’m just going to say that there is so much behind the scenes from photo taking to writing to editing to linking to set up to returns, shopping, cooking, research, SEO, etc. just to name a few.


Your Regular Posts/Content?

This is how my blog operates for the most part. I used to blog four days a week when I was sharing recipes with Tasty Tuesdays. I was even part of a group Blog collaborative called The Blended Blog. That dissolved and I have somewhat gotten away from 4 days a week mainly due to Instagram posting. So, for example, on Monday I may do an Amazon post, a motivational post, a recipe, decor, a round up, etc. Wednesdays are usually reserved for fashion. And then Fridays are always Friday Favorites which are my most popular posts.

Ironically, my recipe and decor posts are the most popular, The Amish Apple Fritter Bread and 2018 Fall Front Porch have seen over 750,000 page views. And that porch was my gifts at the new house and not near a good as the past couple years but these posts were Pinterest driven which shoes you the value of pinning from your Blog Posts.


Photography..What do you use and 

Who takes the photos?

When I first started, I used a Canon Sure Shoot 35mm but it got to be a hassle downloading the pictures and I couldn’t get it to work right with a tripod. Enter the technologically advanced iPhones and there are incredible cameras that just keep getting better and better. I do all my photos, 90% on my own, with my iPhone, magnetic tripod, and a remote control. Sometimes I add in a ring light but that is more for video. All the boys used to take the majority of my photos, but now that we are empty nesters, about 10% of them come from Mr. Nine or my sweet mama taking them, especially when I’m doing something where I don’t want to mess with the tripod. 


Engagement with your readers and fellow bloggers is so key. But I’m not gonna lie, I’m not as active as I used to be. In the beginning years of blogging, I had a list, and I would literally comment on about 150-200 blogs almost every morning. I would often get up to 70 comments on mine. At least 75% of those people are no longer blogging and each year I know the comments get less and less but my time to provide them is less and less as well. That doesn’t mean that I’m not reading blogs it just means time management shifts.


Thoughts on Link-Ups?

This is a very interesting topic. I used to wholeheartedly believe in link ups and in fact even co-hosted one on Wednesdays with my Style

Six girls. I also would join in leading them when I was part of the Blended Blog. I felt like they brought tons of traffic and helped bloggers engage with each other and help readers find new blogs and interesting posts. However, that too has changed. It was no longer benefiting me or my co-hosts to do such. It was the same people linking up week after week and so it just was not worth my time anymore to create the codes and host. There are a few of my friends link-ups that I love joining to support them and a couple that are well worth my time because they bring dozens of views, but those are truly few and far between anymore.


And Other Thoughts? 

Many bloggers and readers alike will notice that the blog posts and blog reading begins to wane in the summer months. People are just too busy enjoying the outside and so for the past few Summers I’ve cut back to 2 post a week and it’s worked well for my mental state, lol..

It usually picks back up again in the fall when the kids go back to school and people start wanting Fall and Holiday ideas and are in the house more to cozy up to blog reading.


I could literally write several posts on how I feel about this whole blogging thing but one thing I know is social media may be gone but we own our blogs and compiling these posts over the years has been a really neat online family diary for me that I would not give up for the world. I’m not sure I will always stay in this space but it’s mine and I’m proud of Living On Cloud Nine! 

THE BEST thing to come out of blogging is the friendships with you all and other bloggers I have gotten to meet in real life, many of whom have became close, everyday friends. We just "get" each other! I almost cry when I think about how special you are to me. And getting "recognized" in public from my blog makes me blush and proud at the same time that you 

care enough to say "hi!"

Thank you all for supporting me and making me feel valued in the space. I think as Blogger‘s, that’s all we really want, is to feel like something we said or have done has made a difference in someone’s life. 

Love you all.

Now Hop on over to my friends Blogs, in alphabetical order, to get their perspectives on their Blogging Journeys!

Caroline from The Petite Fashionista

Jill from Doused in Pink

Kathrine from Kathrine Eldridge Wardrobe Stylist

Laura from I do DeClaire





  1. loved reading this!

  2. Blogging has changed so much over the years, and social media - oh my goodness - I wonder what we'll be saying about it in a few years! So happy I found you all those years ago my friend - definitely one of the best things I've gotten out of my experience!

  3. I started about the same time as you and boy have things changed over the years. It has been fun, and our perseverance has paid off. It has been fun to watch you blossom and grow as a blogger. Like you, I have slowed my posting schedule down recently and spend some of that time going back to older posts making them better. When you have a library like we do, there is always something that can be done and it doesn't always have to be brand new stuff! Anyway, you know I love you and I am so happy with all of your successes!

  4. Loved reading your thoughts and tips! Social media needs to be its own series in itself! I agree 100% - the best thing about blogging is the relationships!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

  5. I'd love to reply to these questions myself! I still comment on blogs every morning but only about 10, nowhere near 100! That must have taken forever. It makes me sad that so many people have left blogging! I used to like the blended blog link ups!

  6. I agree with you Andrea that one of the best things about blogging is the relationships and friendships made. Blogging has changed throughout these years and a lot of people have moved from it to Social Media and YouTube. I'm glad I found your blog and I love reading it each week!

  7. I was surprised to realize the other day that I had been blogging for 10 years now... and oh boy do those early posts make me cringe! I was so afraid to post pictures of my boys and they are huge journal entries with no photos (though I have gone through and at least added stock photos). We've come a long way!

  8. I still remember when I first started following you and chatting with you. It seems like ages ago! You did a great job with this post and I have always loved that your content is a mix of everything and truly a reflection of you. I also think that you need to bring back Tasty Tuesday lol. Have a glorious day friend! XO, Caroline

  9. My blog will be ten years old this year, it is so crazy to think about! Blogging has definitely changed over the years. I don't blog near as much as I used to, and almost everyone that started around the same time as me is gone. But I love the connections I still have and would miss it if I didn't have I keep powering through. I love the mix of posts you do and your always bright, happy smiling face.

  10. This is such a great post. Blogging has definitely changed over the years. I started my blog as a family scrapbook and that is what I see it moving back to now. I also visit blogs but sometimes don't comment!

  11. What a marvelous idea for a post. Thanks for sharing some of your experiences and insights as a blogger.


  12. Thanks for sharing, Andrea! I really enjoyed your Blogging Saved My Life post--I would never guess you struggle with phobias and anxiety! Social media can so negatively impact my anxiety that it has really become a struggle balancing online/social media time with blogging. The blog friendships really are an amazing part of all this! <3

  13. I used to do a lot more food/recipe posts and I haven't lately. I miss it sometimes! It is a lot of work to photograph food, tho! I met one of my best friends (Lauren) from blogging! We talk all day long! She's been a blessing in my life as have all the other friendships I've made.


  14. This was such a fun topic to read everyone's perspectives! I feel the same about blogging and not abandoning it for social media. It's nice to have that homebase if you know what I mean.

  15. I loved reading this. It is SO true how much time suck it is, yet the connections we make are priceless.

  16. I'm so glad that I started blogging mostly because of all of the friendships I've made, yours included! I love your space on the internet and I look forward to visiting it every time a new post from you pops up in my reader. And I'm right there with you about Blogger... I've decided I'm just going to stick with it, too! I've contemplated switching to WP for years, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I feel like breaking out in hives every time I think about it. Haha. I'm so afraid I'd lose all of my old stuff! I'm sure I wouldn't, but it's scary to think about. ANyway, I loved this post and I hope you continue blogging for many years to come. Yours is always one of my favorites!

  17. Hola Andrea, a mí me encanta tu blog y te sigo desde Costa Rica..En realidad no sé mucho de esto, pero como me gusta ver cosas de decoración e historias de vida , creo que así te encontre. Además me encanta ver como una persona de mi edad viste tan bonito y elegante, igual que su mamá...Saludos

  18. Love this post Andrea and would want to learn so much more! I find it super interesting. The blogging community is so different from Instagram (although many of us are on both)- it's just friendlier and closer. I love blogging but there's so much more I could learn. Thanks! xx


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