How it all started
Links + Loves
Somehow I got to explaining why I started my blog with my friends recently and Meg mentioned that I should write a blog post about it. It’s something that I figure people knew already, but her mentioning to write about it made me think it would be fun to look back and explain for anyone who doesn’t know the story.
I started my blog in 2010 as a way to share things that I liked. I had just stumbled across a few blogs and if my memory serves me, Centsational Girl was the first blog I ever read. That and My Right Brain. I had been looking to make a jewelry tree and I think both of those blogs had tutorials.
My blog consisted of very brief posts, from a short story that I found funny to a little note about a new lip gloss I tried. It started off being called Lemon Sugar, but shortly after that I changed it to “itsthesmallthingsblog.blogspot.com” . It was such a mouthful that I shortened it to thesmallthingsblog when I bought the domain in 2011.
At this time I was building my business as a hairstylist. I only ever worked independently, never for a commission-style salon, so I had to do all my own marketing, inventory, etc. I was a one woman show in a rented studio in Raleigh. Justin and I had just moved from about an hour and half east, so I had a lot of time on my hands between appointments.
I did puzzles, we got our first cat, and I poured HOURS into my blog.
At this time, I was also working with my sister on Elisabeth Ashlie. We ran that business together for a few years but now she’s doing it on her own!
That was pretty much it. I had a slight idea that people can make a small bit of money from their blogs but I didn’t really know how to make that happen.
In the summer of 2011, I shared my first hair tutorial video on the blog and pinned it to Pinterest. This was the most pivotal turning point in the history of the blog.
I filmed the hair tutorial in order to create a resource for my clients. I would take time to show them how to do their own hair while they were sitting in my chair, but they’d always forget details about the instruction when they went back home. I thought,”there has to be some sort of basic tutorial on the internet that I can direct them to”. But as it turns out, I couldn’t easily find any that were extremely basic and straight to the point.
And then I decided to film one of myself. I sat in front of my computer with my curling iron hot and ready, hit record, and 76 tries later I had a semi-decent video tutorial. I didn’t know how to edit anything, a photo nor a video, so I had to do everything right from the time I hit record to the time I finished up. It was terrifying.
The blog became the central location that I could refer my clients to versus just sending individual video files via e-mail.
And that is why/how the hair tutorials began.
After pinning that first one, which is now very painful to watch, my traffic skyrocketed. I was absolutely overwhelmed with the number of people. I attribute the popularity of it to a few things, one being the major obsession with Pinterest that had JUST started at the same time and also the fact that I was filling a void. Now, there are so many really great hair tutorials but back then they were hard to find!
I remember hitting refresh on the Blogger stat page, with my husband standing over my shoulder, saying “I’M GOING TO HIT 200,000 PAGEVIEWS. WHATTTTT!!!”
From about August to December of 2011, my blog saw the most insane growth of page views. I was excited, nervous, and absolutely surprised at the response. Since that first tutorial, I had begun sharing weekly tutorials on my blog every Monday. Monday was hair tutorial day, and I looked forward to it the most! The rest of my content focused on other beauty-related topics and my cats. And crafts, as DIY tutorials were really popular at that time as well!
A lot happened between that starting point and now. A lot of great things, some tough things, but mostly a humbling realization that I have such a fantastic community here on the internet.
So that’s how it started. It’s been such a fun journey and with more and more blogs popping up every single day, I’m grateful that you take time to visit mine!
To find an easy list of my hair tutorials on my blog, check out this page!